The advice of the skeptical philosophe.
The point is not to change the world, but to understand it, so as to live as best one can.
You might have thought, in the nature of the case, the skeptic does not understand it.
But that would have been wrong.
The advice of the Epicurean was not much dissimilar.
Cultivate your own garden.
Nor very different from that of the cynic or misanthrope.
I voted for Nader instead of Kerry in 2004 because Kerry was too bellicose.
So who is Secretary of State, giving 9 reasons for war in 2013?
I don't want a new deal.
I want a new deck.
We need a whole new classe politique.
But we'll be stuck with this same crop of jackasses until they die out, replaced by the next crop, in a natural progression that dooms our generation for all its time in this world to having to choose among them.
Barring a well-timed and well-placed tsunami or a lucky hit with an asteroid.
To be doomed all our lives to being governed by these lice.
CNS today reports the IG says the IRS intentionally hindered efforts by the Social Security Administration to stop illegal aliens using fake or stolen SSNs in tax returns.
Were you expecting, or anyway hoping, for Social Security checks in your old age?
This might not be good.
Do you think Holder and Obama will jump right on it?
An excellent film that left viewers wondering why it was made.
But, up to a point, I sympathise, and always have.
An urban hermit, I follow with my almost equally un-sociable wife Voltaire's misanthropic advice to cultivate one's own garden, though he most certainly did not follow it himself.
A choice made all the more comfortable by the Internet.
Thank you, Al Gore.
The movie dates from 1983.
Can it really be 30 years since this came out?
Can I really have been 34 when I saw it at the theater?
And I can't remember with whom.
Who was I with, then?
Anyway this may have been the last time it really made sense for the US to aid Muslims to political power, even against communists.
This time in Indonesia, I mean.
Even though things are a bit dicey there, now, owing to increasing Muslim radicalism.
Later, Reagan helped Muslim fighters in Afghanistan throw out the Russians and their client communists and we got the Taliban for our trouble.
And then al-Qaeda.
It's not even clear this was better for the Afghans.
And I who say so am a lifelong anti-communist!
In passing from a state of nature to civil society each gives up natural liberty limited only by his natural force and an unlimited right to whatever he can get and keep for positive property and civil liberty under the General Will.
Not as different from Hobbes as all that, or as Locke.
Because of profanity, obscenity, or vicious ad hominem attacks?
Because of wild polemical style?
Because the site is liberal/conservative, the articles/posts are liberal/conservative, and the comments must be, on the whole, the same?
But at liberal sites my comments look like conservative protests and at conservative sites they look like liberal protests.
As befits an honest individual.
And so I am eventually banned.
Oh, all right.
I suppose some honest individuals are down-the-line liberals or conservatives.
But not many, and damned few.
And not me.
Pretty much nothing of John Locke's political theory - involving a fantasy contract built around a fantasy of rights and justice - is true.
But its historical influence has been mostly positive.
Much, though by no means all, of what Marx taught was true.
But his historical influence has been much more devastating than the worst plagues and natural disasters of all time, taken together with Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Adolph Hitler.
Some time in the 70s , looking back at the Vietnam War era, a liberal friend pointed out the venality and corruption of Ky, Thieu, and Sihanouk, as though that settled the whole thing.
I pointed out that a government can do much, much worse to its people than rob them, and that communist governments always did.
And then there was Pol Pot, in case Mao or Stalin were not enough to illustrate the point.
I opposed the Vietnam war, but not because I was squeamish about the governments we supported or the methods we - or they - used.
Better a puppet kleptocratic dictatorship, I thought, than an honest and indigenous revolutionary totalitarianism.
Better for the Vietnamese.
Or the Cambodians, come to that.
Communist governments were by no means all equally awful.
And the Cambodians, of course, were vastly better off after the Vietnamese reds rescued them from the Khmer Rouge.
Nobody else was going to save them.
Certainly not that unspeakable bastard, Kissinger.
So it was a lucky break for them when the Vietnamese knocked off the Khmer Rouge to please the Russians, to annoy the Chinese.
Has any religion ever been as devastating for mankind as communism has been, I wonder.
I am guessing not.
As Nazism, yes.
As all forms of fascism, yes.
I think not.
Whose Black Book could ever equal The Black Book of Communism, which I still have, in paper, in the original French?