Category: Free Content


I Had a Dream

Lying awake, I half-dreamed a novel plot in which an ordinary man dies, technically, on the operating table. The doctors revive him, and after weeks of slow and painful recovery, he goes back to his old life.


Poem: Pletho on Prayer

Pletho had concealed his growing attachment to what he thought was the old religion of the Greeks, though it was in fact NeoPlatonic Neopaganism, but some part of his explicitly pagan work The Laws came to the attention of his more Orthodox friends. However the last fragment of the Roman Empire had more on its hands in the 1450’s than a brilliant pagan


An Unreconstructed Summer Symposium

It was the Summer of 2008 when I first made my way up to Rockford, Illinois.  It was a slow, languorous summer drive, with plenty of preparatory reading to do, some often crammed in during the final segment of the voyage.  In many ways, this year was no different.  In other ways, the long tentacles of Covid-19 (and its handlers) couldn’t help but be felt by the attendees.  But perhaps the miracle is that we were able to meet at all, while most of the world huddled inside or behind masks, frightened by the government, media, and the new bands...


No Representation Without Taxation

Some sensible person on FB suggested that only taxpayers have the right to vote. Some of his “friends” demurred. I gave this answer: Paying taxes is a significant part of citizenship, so is agreeing to do one’s duty, if drafted or receiving a summons to sit on a jury. I avoided but did not evade military service on legal and reasonable grounds, but if taking the franchise away from draft-dodgers meant that I forfeited the right to vote, so be it. But that is only the start. Decades ago, I proposed a general rule that taxpayers, but not tax-consumers should...


Clash of Civilizations

Reading A Thousand Years of Jihad took me back more than 55 years to my freshman year in college.  I had become a rather indifferent student by the time I graduated from high school and went to college only to play football.  However, an outstanding history professor renewed my interest in scholarly pursuits with lectures that not only told great stories but also revealed great truths.  Thomas J. Fleming and Frank Brownlow do the same in this volume, and convey an impression of intimacy as if one is sitting in their classroom.  This is learning at its best.


More on the Masked Avengers

A FB friend I wish I knew personally reposted my observations on masks. I thought about responding to the rather shrill responses, but it would be bad taste to insert myself into his discussion, so… I don’t wish to stick my oar into Bob Alpert’s discussion, but I did include a proviso for medical necessity, which I meant also to cover, obviously, people in regular contact with decrepit old people like me. Our son, in his late 30’s, was talking to me on FaceTime, from Chapel Hill, when someone across the street–about 30 feet away, tried to shame him for...


Trump on the Couch

You have to laugh at politics or you’ll collapse in a corner and start babbling like Joe Biden. A recent comedy fest has been the book by President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump (MT), trashing him