On Plotinus and Immortality

plotinusNow I shall endeavor to make that which is divine in me rise up to that which is divine in the universe.

~Plotinus (last words)

I become a Christian on this date 38 years ago, August 8, 1976.

~Ellis Washington

Biography

Plotinus (c. [...]

On Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler: When Science Wasn’t Politics

ptlmcAstronomy and religion have quite separate tasks, one teaching how the heavens go, the other how to go to heaven.

~Cardinal Barberini to Galileo

Prologue:

Science and scientists weren’t always like they are today—tools of the Leviathan socialist and progressive governments from whom most [...]

On Tacitus and the Tyranny of Monarchy

tctsThe more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.

~Tacitus

Prologue: Biography

Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (c. AD [...]

On Plutarch and the Idea of Citizen

pltrchIt is not histories I am writing, but lives; and in the most glorious deeds there is not always an indication of virtue or vice, indeed a small thing like a phrase or a jest often makes a greater revelation of a character than battles where thousands [...]

On Virgil and the Necessity of Good Language

vrglIt is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one’s steps to the upper air – there’s the rub, the task.

~ Virgil

Prologue: Biography

Publius Vergilius Maro (October [...]

On Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and the Nature of Life and Death

eptts “Again we are all sprung from a heavenly seed, all have that same Father…”

~ Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, Book II

If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And [...]

On Apollonius, Nicomachus and First Principles

“All that has by nature with systematic method been arranged in the universe seems both in part and as a whole to have been determined and ordered in accordance with number… by the domination of number preexistent in the mind of the world-creating God…”

~ Nicomachus of Gerasa, Arithmetic I, Chap. VI

Prologue: [...]

On Hippocrates, Galen and the Nature of Ancient Medicine

ms-snk“First do no harm.”

~ Aphorism attributed to the Hippocratic Oath

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to [...]

On Aristotle and the Nature of Animals and Slaves

arstl2“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”

~ Proverbs 6:6

“And indeed the use made of slaves and of tame animals is not very different; for both with their bodies minister to the needs of life.”

~ Aristotle, Politics (384-322 [...]

On Aristotle and the Idea of Judgment

arstl“We don’t do punishment [judgment]…. The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives….”

~ Will Smith (actor)

“…I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self…”

[...]

America the Beautiful… America the Racist… America the Hypocrite!

kkk“I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? … Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners that created [...]

On Plato’s Theory of Forms

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men [...]

On Socrates: Life and Legacy

scrtsStrong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people. ~Socrates

Prologue

In my ongoing series on the Classics of Western Civilization, we now come to Plato, however, since Plato was a student of Socrates as well as the primary source for what we know [...]

On Fate

ftFate is a disposition inherent to changeable things, by which Providence connects each one with its proper order.

~ Aquinas (attributed to Boethius)

The idea of Fate in literature, poetry, philosophy, politics and history was often presented in human form, sometimes abstractly personified as the opponent [...]

On Love

 Odysseus and Penelope by Francesco Primaticcio (c. 1563)

Odysseus and Penelope by Francesco Primaticcio (c. 1563)

Dilige, et quod vis fac—“Love, and do what you will.”

~ Augustine

According to the theologian love is not restricted to realm of the divine and human, nor to those beings [...]

On Tyranny

tyrnyAgain, where the people are absolute rulers of the land, they rejoice in having the openness and exuberance of youth, while a tyrant counts this a danger, and seeks to slay or silence those possessed of spirit, while the discreet fear his power and violence.

~Euripides, The [...]

On Courage

cslwsAs Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in Ukraine and now plans troop movements to eastern Ukraine, not a shot has been fired. America and all of Europe stands mute or its petty bureaucrats like Secretary John Kerry pontificate empty rhetoric for fear of angering a [...]

Education and Economics

slvry*N.B.: This article is based on an excerpt from Great Books of the Western World, Vol. 1: The Great Conversation—The Substance of a Liberal Education by Robert M. Hutchins

A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible [...]

Hagel’s Military Deconstruction

chckhgl2We have departed from the maxim of “peace through strength” to a belief in “appeasement through weakness.”

~Col. Allen West

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to announce draconian military cuts that would reduce the U.S. Army from 490,000 troops to between 440,000 to 450,000, the elimination [...]

Alinsky 101: IRS Picks the Tea Party Target

alnskyDave Camp (R-MI), House Ways and Means Chairman, said on Tuesday that the IRS is still targeting tax-exempt conservative groups for audits. These revelations by Camp’s committee comes on top of last year’s findings that the IRS as early as 2010 had used “inappropriate criteria” to discriminate [...]

Symposium—The Death of Work

Socrates (470-399 B.C.) was a famous Greek philosopher from Athens, who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle, and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a simple but ingeniously profound method of teaching by asking philosophical and revelatory questions. The Greeks called this form “dialectic” – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas [...]

Pete ‘Potemkin’ Seeger: Stalin’s Little Minstrel

Pete Potemkin Seeger“One of the things I’m most proud of about my country is the fact that we did lick McCarthyism back in the fifties.”

“I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches [...]

DOD’s War against the Framers and Conservative Ideas

gvtsrvlncHistorical Background of FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal freedom of information law that sanctions the full or restricted disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act outlines agency records subject to [...]

Opening the Gates of Hell

A UK Daily Mail article on former defense secretary Robert Gates who served in both the Obama and Bush administrations exposes damning allegations in a new book which describes Obama as ‘a feckless commander-in-chief who was less interested in winning wars than in taking political advantage of withdrawing America from them’ and in one meeting [...]

50 Years since LBJ’s Great [Slave] Society

Great Society“The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.”

~LBJ, “Great Society” Speech, University of Michigan (May 22, 1964)

“The black [...]






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