Category: Free Content

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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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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, A Lost Dialogue, Part I (Free)

This mysterious work, when it was discovered in the late 20th century, was attributed to Plato, but in view of the philosopher’s appearance in the dialogue, that identification is as suspect as everything about the work.  The scholar and translator, who says he discovered the text in the ruins of a Calabrian monastery, claims the Greek original was destroyed in a fire.  Even if the tale is true, it is hard to know what to make of the translation, which makes anachronistic literary references and uses late 20th century expressions for which it is hard to imagine Greek equivalents.  Nonetheless,...

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Wednesday’s Child:  The Technicolor Dreamcoat (Free)

Truth may be stranger than fiction, especially in places where the writers ain’t all they’re cracked up to be, but these days, I swear, even apparently random facts seem to be running away with themselves in the land of Gogol. I have made two posts, one in April and one in October, highlighting the creation in Russia of the equivalent of Himmler’s Schutzstaffel (SS), called the National Guard (Rosgvardia), and speculating on the likely function of this 350,000-strong presidential private army.  Recent developments bear out my speculation.  Last week a senior Rosgvardia commander, Aleksandr Maul, made a statement that swept...

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When Christmas Was Coming! (Free)

When Christmas was coming, Mama would start collecting medium-sized boxes which she would later decorate with bright Christmas paper for the purpose of taking food as a gift – a canned ham, some fruit, some nuts and some homemade candy- to the numerous “shut-ins” in and around Pollock. When Christmas was coming, out would come the reserve box of Christmas cards which were chosen, filled out, and stamped at the dining table some pre-Christmas night after supper. I usually chose a card for a particular person or family; Mama filled it out and addressed the envelope, and Daddy would break...

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Wednesday’s Child:  Wheat of the Saracen (Free)

“Idiot!” exclaims the driver of the car I’m in, referring to the man ahead who has just pulled out, or cut him up, or whatever it is that motorists do to each other which they oughtn’t.  In exclaiming thus he pronounces judgment on his fellow man where the verdict is shorter than a sentence.  It’s called an insult. An insult is different from a slur in that no inferences are drawn about the person apart from those suggested by his behavior of the moment. He was cursed, yet remains a stranger.  Calling the erratic driver in front a “bastard” would...

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The Fleming Foundation Wants You

Wanted:  A Few Good Men and Women Dear Subscribers and Readers: The Fleming Foundation needs help.  We have virtually no staff but the broken-down old editor plus some part-time help from volunteers, and, if we are going to thrive and grow, we need more. If you have any useful skills—beyond talking a good game or thinking great thoughts —please consider joining our dedicated band of volunteers.  What sorts of skills?  Computer and internet experience, for example, secretarial skills, business administration, book editing and publishing, writing and editing…  We are deficient in every area. And compensation?  Initially, nothing but good will. ...

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Trump Must Break Up the CIA, Reform Entire Military

Back when I marched as a soldier in the U.S. Army in West Germany from 1979-82, I used to listen to Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. They broadcast in English, German, Russian, Czech, Polish and other languages. I had never heard them back in The World, as we called our free America, because they were banned from broadcasting in the United States. All federal intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, were banned from interfering in any way with our domestic politics, even to reveal the horrors of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But three years...