Did they ban Charlton Heston, back in the day?
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Who doubts it would facilitate peaceful transition to multi-party democracy?
A transition that would preserve as much as reasonable the socialist patrimony and progressive achievements of the Cuban Revolution.
A transition not at all like the feeding frenzy as the sharks of the New Russia devoured the common wealth of that unhappy people.
As in the Ukraine, the US right openly applauds, and Western governments have meddlesomely supported, coups from the street against lawful governments duly elected according to reasonable democratic standards, so far as we can tell.
A successful coup in Ukraine, but so far only attempted in Venezuela.
The complaint of the American right against the Bolivarian Revolution is its successful and popular hostility to bare-knuckle capitalism and the global institutions of neoliberalism, which have caused it to flirt and seek safety with enemies of America.
The complaint against the lawful and legitimate, democratic government of Ukraine was its decision to move closer to Russia rather than the EU and NATO.
Mr Sanchez Ceren, 69, was a Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) commander during El Salvador's bloody civil war, which went on from 1980 to 1992.
And I would vote for him, though I was not on his side, back in the day.
Quite a continuing parade of ex-reds, these days, into the democratic left.
The pithy wisdom of insanity, or animal and human nature compared, with a view to understanding virtue, happiness, and the just or good state, in relation to poverty and wealth
Is it fair to say that, empirically, only the most severely damaged humans choose homelessness?
Alcoholics, drug addicts, the most viciously abused of children, and the mad?
In the ancient world, anyway as far as Hellenistic times, the relation of mentor to pupil was particularly intense and personal, sometimes almost cult-like.
And, as we know, among the common perquisites of cult leadership are these two, that the women - and the men and the children - are yours for the taking and the followers give you all their money.
These thoughts in mind, what are we to make of the Dog Philosopher?
On the other hand, do the homeless write books or compose tragedies?
Might that whole poverty-schtick have been no more than one of his stunts, enduring no more than a few days, weeks, or years?
Or might it have been a regular phase in the Cynic training or career? - an idea that seems not to have occurred to Robin Hard, editor of the Oxford paperback, Diogenes the Cynic, Sayings and Anecdotes.
See his remark that Antisthenes would have had no use for the Cynic robe and backpack and could not himself have taught Cynicism to Diogenes because he was married and owned a house.
But, to be fair, that impoverished dog's life was regarded by the later tradition as at once the whole of the Cynics' life of virtue and happiness and, according to RH, a "short cut" to the very same virtue and happiness advocated by the Stoics, without the trouble of scholarship or the demands of theoretical reflection.
Anyway, the stories of Diogenes cast an odd light on the figure of Socrates and the City of Pigs in Republic, Bk. II, don't they?
Perhaps more sardonically even on Plato's dog-guardians, also in Bk. II.
But also and more significantly on the dichotomies that preoccupied Greek ethics in from first to last like those between nature and custom, convention, or culture, between internal and external goods, and between natural and vain desires.
And (thus?) perhaps also on the conventional dichotomy between classical (Hellenic) and post-classical (Hellenistic) philosophy.
"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."
The Hellenic/Hellenistic wisdom of Janice Joplin.
And then there are echoes in philosophical pessimism right through the 19th Century.
And there is this.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
New York at all times is full of foreigners and immigrants.
It's a cosmopolitan city.
And it should be America's capital.
DC is too much a Southern city dominated by the hillbilly conservatism that claims to define America and Americanism, though it rejects the realities of both of which the life and culture and history of the Big Apple are much more truly representative.
What would it take to make New York the national capital, again?
If New York had been the capital at the time, would "under God" have been shoved into the pledge?
Would "In God We Trust" have replaced "E Pluribus Unum" and got onto the currency?
There is way too much redneck religion in American public life and redneck culture in American culture, their positions exaggerated by the location of the national capital.
Philadelphia would be an acceptable but still inferior second choice.
Doubtless, those killed in New York on 9/11 included people of dozens of religions.
So what do you make of this?
As to the issue in dispute - whether the cross is a religious, Christian symbol - Silverman was obviously right and the conservative claim that it is not, it being instead a mere commemorative symbol of historical reality, frequently invoked these days to evade the First Amendment altogether in court fights in preference to appealing to the implausible accommodationism of an earlier conservatism, is an egregious lie.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly took the court's rejection of the appeal to publicly mock the atheists' discrimination claims and laughed off the idea that the cross is an explicitly Christian symbol during a debate with American Atheists' head David Silverman.
. . .
She argued that the cross is a historical artifact and dismissed his arguments against its inclusion as an explicitly religious symbol.
Near as I can see, Silverman urged in court that the cross and other religious symbols ought to be excluded on First Amendment, separationist grounds but, if they are viewed not as religious but as historic commemorations of the dead, then a plaque to the atheist dead should be added.
No and no, said the courts, in deference to the apparently permanent right-wing Christian, hillbilly conservative control of public memory of the events and victims of 9/11, even in blue New York.
To Megan Kelly's malicious joy.
A Southern capital!
What a tremendous advantage to the wrong side, to the minority side, in the culture war!
And the political one!