Category: Fleming

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The Xanthippe: Part 3 in which Plato comes a cropper

Socrates:  “Suppose not” will have to do for the moment, but you still think it is wrong to spend money on potters or cartmakers. Pheidippides:  I do. Socrates:  Save that thought, because at least it is solid.  However,  is enough on this for now.  So, Xanthippe, Pheidippides apparently thinks it would be wrong to use his small share of Athenian taxes to subsidize an industry.  What do you say, that it would always be right? Xanthippe:  By no means, Socrates.  Surely you would agree with me that some businesses are more important than others.  For example, if Pasion’s shield business...

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Properties of Blood I.4, Part B

Legitimate Violence The New Testament does not instruct soldiers to desert from the army or executioners to abandon their useful profession, and neither Jesus (Mat. 8:5-13) nor Peter (Acts 10) displayed any reluctance to associate with military men.  (Peter’s anxiety about meeting Cornelius the centurion concerned the prohibition on eating with gentiles.)  Although Christ certainly preached peace, He also said that he came not to bring peace but a sword, and on leaving his disciples, he instructed them: “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip, and he that hath no sword, let...

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Marco Rubio, Fool and Scoundrel

This has been a pretty disgraceful week in the news, with the press drooling  over the pornography known as Trump’s dossier and a fat Hibernian lesbian calling for martial law.  But the two most disgraceful moments were, surely, the live Obamas’ sob-fast on TV crowned by the awarding of the Medal of Freedom to plagiarist Joe Biden, the lying apologist for tyranny in America, and Marco Rubio’s soulful and self-righteous interrogation of Rex Tillerson. I am conducting an informal poll and would really like to know your opinions.  For me, the hands-down winner is Rubio.  Yes, I know, if the...

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Mad Dog McCain and the Libel Machine

No, the title is not the name of a 60’s rock and roll band, but it is not really a joke, either.  We are dealing with the latest phase in a determined effort to annul the results of an American presidential election. For weeks, even months, rumors have been circulating about a secret Russian dossier on Donald Trump.  The dossier, which details obscene acts I have only heard of through my old friend Jack Douglas, a sociological expert on perversion, has not been confirmed by any other evidence, and Julian Assange, who has scrutinized his share of Russian documents, declares...

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The Xanthippe, Part 3

Part III Socrates:  Well then, Xanthippe, now  that we have silenced this childish ruffian–would that we could do the same to Anna and all her teachers and disciples–we can talk like adults.  We are not random strangers, we Athenians, but fellow citizens in a commonwealth founded by the goddess Athena and the earthborn king  Erechtheus and unified by Poseidon’s son, the hero Theseus.  The bones of heroes are buried on our territory, and their spirits and the ghosts of our ancestors watch over us, but more important than these heroes and ghosts are the nomoi, the traditional laws and customs...

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More Pots and Kettles

According to Amazon-owned Washington Post, President-elect Trump has been warned that he had better watch out.  The mouthpiece for Jeff Bezos cites a top official on government ethics, Walter M. Shaub, jr., who has informed the world that Trump must do a thorough job of vetting before trying to push through his cabinet appointment.  And who, is Walter M. Shaub, jr.   The simple answer is that he is the improbably titled “Director of Government Ethics,” which is the political equivalent of a “Director of Business Integrity” at Goldman Sachs, or a “Director of Responsible Non-Violent Resistance at the New Generation drug cartel or,...

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Properties of Blood I.4: Hate as the Instrument of Self-Defense, Part A (Free)

I find to my chagrin that in rearranging the parts of this book project, I neglected to post the chapter on Self Defense, which precedes the chapters on Revenge and Defending Honor.  Fortunately, anyone sufficiently interested will be able, some time in the not too distant future,  to read it as a print volume or ebook.   I.4 Defending the Self But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on they right cheek, turn the other to him [Mat 5:39] Human beings are not, as John Donne famously observed, islands separated by vast stretches...

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Black Pots, Gray Kettle (Free)

Joe Biden–or was it Neil Kinnock?–has told Donald Trump to “grow up” and accept the verdict of his administration’s intelligence commissars.   Is this the same Joe Biden who has not been content to make  fool of himself at every point in his career  and then, as vice president, by his shenanigans dragged the whole country into disrepute?  This is the poor fool who actually stooped to plagiarizing the platitudes of  socialist Neil Kinnock, and then offered his defense that it was staffers who were responsible–the staffers who put the words into his mouth he was incapable of writing himself. VP...

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Jerks, Chapter 2: Taxonomy–More on Randy Individualists (Free)

The extreme case of false individualism is the libertarian sect, rooted in the teachings of Ayn Rand,  known as Objectivism.  Only in America, I sometimes think, could a political movement be based on a writer of pop fiction.  The thinness of Rand’s erudition is matched only by the banality of her imagination, which ran to most of the clichés of soft pornography.  I never got farther than a few chapters into Atlas Shrugged, but I did once manage to finish The Fountainhead, and even though I skimmed it rather quickly, my gag reflex was hard to suppress.  In her defense,...

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The Xanthippe, Part 2

Part II Xanthippe is saved by the noisy entrance of a semi-intoxicated young man . Xanthippe: “Why, it’s Pheidippides, that new student of yours at the Phrontisterion.  What does he want?  I hope he’s come to pay his bills.” Socrates:  You know I do  not charge for my instruction.  The sophists take money, because they claim to be able to teach their students how to succeed.  I only want my young friends to understand, and who would pay for that? Xanthippe:  Some of them, at least, bring me presents—good wine and oil for dressins greens, not that lamp oil you...