The Huns were not the same race of people as the Mongols. Genghis Khan led his hordes into China, across Russia, and into Europe in the 13th Century (1210-1260). The Huns were from a much earlier time. The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD.

The Huns and the Mongols, however, were the same type of people. They were steppe people. Steppe people spent their lives on horseback, moving their vast flocks and herds across the steppes (vast grasslands) of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Mongolia, according to the season.

Now the tribes of the steppe fought on horseback using recurved, composite bows, each of which took more than a year to build and cure. These powerful bows could punch an arrow right through the shield and armor of an opposing warrior and continue almost out his back. Young Hun warriors would train from childhood to put an arrow through a coffee can-sized target from the back of a galloping horse. These bows and this training made the armies of the steppe virtually unstoppable.

In 36 BCE, about the same time that Julius Caesar was conquering Gaul, a Roman general named Crassus led an army of 46,000 Roman legionaries, the finest foot soldiers in the world, to conquer Parthia. Now Parthia was a desert kingdom adjoining the steppes, and Parthian warriors fought just like steppe people - on horseback with recurved, composite bows

Uh-oh! The proud army of Crassus met up with just 11,000 Parthian horse archers at Carrhae, a small town in what is now southeastern Turkey. The Parthian archers drowned the Romans in arrows. The Parthians even brought with them vast trains of camels carrying spare arrows, and the arrows would pin the arms of the Roman soldiers, after piercing their shields, to their body.

It was a slaughter, almost as complete as Custer’s Last Stand. This leads us to the first of three messages today: You don’t mess with a race of people with recurved, composite bows. A recurved, composite bow will even punch a hole through a bullet-proof vest.

Now the scene is finally set for my story. In the latter part of the 4th Century, the Huns came roaring out of Hungary, sacking and burning everything in their path. They marched south through the lands of the barbarians, north of the Danube River. The Danube River, which runs East and West, marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire, just as the Rio Grande River marks the southern boundary of the United States.

Directly in the path of the Huns were the Visigoths. The Visigoths were of Germanic stock, part of a race of people called the Goths. The Visigoths had fled from southern Denmark during the Great Migration to settle in southern Romania, just north of the Danube River. The Visigoths tried to bravely stand in their shield walls facing the Huns, but they were repeatedly cut down by the Hunnish archers. City and after city fell. The men were typically all killed, and the younger women were enslaved.

The Visigoths were in a real pickle. They were stuck between the raging Huns coming down on them from the north and the Roman Empire and the Danube River to the south. To the south of the Danube River was the Roman province of Thrace, which is now the country of Bulgaria. The Visigoths had little choice, so on a misty morning in the year 376 AD, the Roman commander guarding the norther border of the Empire woke up to find tens of thousands of Visigoths streaming across the Danube River and establishing a beachhead on Empire territory. Assembling his legion, the Roman commander marched out to repel the invasion.

But it wasn’t an invasion. It was a migration. The Visigoths were landing more women and children than warriors. The Roman commander, almost certainly a Christian, was forced with the terrible decision to either send these people back to their certain death (or rape and enslavement) or to allow them to settle in the vast, lowly-populated areas of Thrace. He had compassion. This leads to the second message of this letter: Sometimes people, through no fault of their own, become desperate refugees. They deserve our compassion. (Can you imagine kissing your precious sons goodbye to go fight the Huns?)

This tale would make for a great  Hallmark movie, except for one thing.  War broke out between the Visigoths and Romans just two years later, and the Romans were defeated in one of their worst and final defeats in their 800-year history at the Battle of Adrianople.  The Roman Emperor Valens was even killed.  In 406 AD, the Visigoths sacked Rome.  This leads to my final message of this letter:  Immigration can be compassionate, but it must be limited and spread out slowly over time. 

It’s Christmas, and perhaps - during Christmas dinner and as it pertains to immigration - it’s time for both sides of the political aisle to show respect for the other side’s viewpoint. These drug gangs, like MS-13, in Mexico and Central America can be almost as vicious as the Huns. Against them a poor peasant has little chance. He is truly a refugee, and we should provide sanctuary. 

At the same time, we need to keep in mind that oceans levels are rising, and soon hundreds of millions of people, most of them Muslims, will be on the move. Bangladesh, with its population of 150 million people, will be under water by the end of the century. The Republicans are not just a bunch of heartless b@stards. They can demonstrate through history the importance of protecting America’s borders. Immigration is one thing, but mass migration is another thing. 

Now if I were king, I would build the wall; but I would also allow millions more young Latin Americans to legally immigrate to the United States. “You have three years to learn the English language; otherwise, you’re outa here.” No one has been paying attention to me, but I have been telling my investors for almost a decade that America needs workers! Our reproduction rate, like the rest of the developed world, is lousy – less than the replacement rate. (George IV, what have you done recently to help?) Folks, its Christmas, and this country was built on strong, loving Judeo-Christian values. Let’s show some kindly compassion, okay?


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My sweet wife, Cisca, spent the year arranging our newly-acquired house here in the Geist Reservoir area of Indianapolis. What a job of decorating my darling wife has done! Our home is lovely and immaculate, although we still joke that we merely own the servant’s quarters, compared to the 10,000+ sf mansions on Geist Reservoir, just two houses away and actually on the water. Wow, talk about successful operations, Cisca’s two new knees have left her dancing like a professional at her exercise-dance classes and kneeling in our backyard, creating a landscaping masterpiece. We recently had friends over, and when they stepped out onto our back balcony, one of them exclaimed, “Wow, did you win the lottery?!” Heavens, I so love my wife! 

George IV, age 34 and years behind in his obligation to produce George V, is finally-finally-finally in love. He is now living with his significant other in his dearly-loved 950-sf house in Sacramento. Wedding bells? Children? Tick-tock. No pressure, son. Tick-tock. Take all the time you need. Tick-tock. Except if you want your daughter to win gold in Epee at the Olympics, your knees will soon be gone (like Cisca’s and your uncle’s knees). Did I mention, tick-tock? 

While I am still the President of Blackburne & Sons, I find myself getting more and more “instructions” from my first born. But as smart as he is getting, he is still just a minion to Angela, our Executive Vice President. You don’t get to manage $60 million in investments until you have earned decades worth of battle scars, like poor Angela. But if George IV is just a minion to Angela, and I am clearly now just a minion to George IV, am I allowed to order copy machine paper? Ha! 

My second son, Tom, also known as “M”, our neglected middle child, got married this year to Giselle Bundschin. Actually, Alexandria “Alex” Lauren Hnatsusko is just as beautiful as Giselle, but she has far more on the ball. At the age of just 27, Alex is the President of the Indianapolis Society of Women Realtors, the youngest by far in their history. I actually married Tom and Alex, using my newly-acquired, $40, internet ministry certificate. Alex loved my sermon (phew, Cisca and Jordi made me re-write it four times), and the couple had a gorgeous wedding. When I asked Tom whether he took Alex to be his wife, he shouted, “Heck, yes!” My son hit a home run.


They say that you should meet the love of your life in college, and for the first time ever, my daughter, Jordi, is in love. Her significant other is a track star at a college four hours away, and Jordi spends much of her weekends on the road. We very much approve of her choice, and we are very happy for her. Although as a millennial, we fear she’ll wait another 15 years before giving us grandchildren.

As for me, I battled through health problems with atrial fibrillation this year, but I finally got an ablation. Now my heart works great! But during the operation, the surgical nurse, while inserting a catheter, punctured my prostrate and bladder eight times! I bled for three weeks in the hospital before they finally stuck a camera and a laser up my urethra and cauterized eight bleeders. Yikes!

So, what did I learn this year? I was probably too blind to see it, but I won the greatest lottery of all. I have a beautiful wife, who, because of major mental problems, somehow still loves me, and my two dear sons are thriving in my business. I never wanted to be rich. Fast cars and a huge mansion were never my thing. I just wanted to pass my investment business on to my sons, and I wanted the children of my loyal investors to someday do business with my sons. This month an old investor of mine told me that he had told his own adult kids to trust the Blackburne’s. I cried.

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Warm Regards,

George Blackburne III, Esq.

Owner and President


4811 Chippendale Drive, Suite 101

Sacramento, CA 95841

P: (916) 338-3232 // F: (916)338-2328

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