Recently, Bill Ferguson, a local columnist in The Macon Telegraph, opined it is "time to call for a new constitutional convention." To make his points, he tells us about the public's general dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in our nation, and then tries to scare us to death with the frightening scenarios of a government shutdown, the U.S. defaulting on the national debt, and the gridlock in Congress, so that "these once-unthinkable situations could come to pass."(1)
When I get a chance I read Viewpoints, the busy electronic version of the Macon Telegraph (MT), which frequently has heated discussions. On September 5, a discussion centered on a MT reader who stated that although in good health at age 75, his doctor would not perform a PSA test or a colonoscopy because "it was not needed" and besides "something else would kill me before colon or prostate cancer does [given his age]."
Caesar's Women (1997) is the fourth installment of the Masters of Rome historical book series by novelist Colleen McCullough. The complete series spans the period from 110 B.C. to 27 B.C. This tome covers the eight years of the Late Roman Republic from 67 B.C.
A recent article appearing in the magazine Scientific American Mind caught my attention as a perfect example as to how science (scientism) is being used to demonize those who disagree with a particular issue. The article, “What a Hoax,” appeared in the September/October 2013 issue. In fact, the article goes far beyond just demonizing dissenters of the orthodox opinion; incredibly, it classifies them as mentally ill and a danger to society. This of course reminds one of a similar methodology used in communist countries, such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China and communist Cuba.
Fortune's Favorites is the third installment of the fascinating Masters of Rome series of historical novels by famed Australian novelist Colleen McCullough. The 878-page book opens in 83 B.C., as the triumphant general, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, returns from the East after his successful campaign against King Mithridates VI of Pontus. The book ends with events taking place at approximately 69 B.C.
The magnificent "Masters of Rome" series of historic fiction by novelist Colleen McCullough continues down the annals of the Roman Republic with the notable careers of Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Aemeilius Scaurus, Metellus Numidicus, Metellus Pius, and Marcus Livius Drusus. This second tome at 894 pages also contains magnificent maps, improved glossary, and sketch portraits of many of the main characters.
This is a wonderful introduction to the "Masters of Rome" series of historic novels by famed author Colleen McCullough. The first tome in this series, The First Man in Rome, at 896 pages, including magnificent maps, glossary, even sketch portraits of many of the main characters, is incredibly well-researched. Crisp writing, eloquent prose, exhilarating reading, spellbinding plots and intrigue — are all parts and parcel of this literary, unfolding, historic drama.
B. F. Skinner (1909-1990) was a prominent professor of psychology at Harvard (1958-1974) and a founder of Operant and Behavioral Psychology.
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death.
...The last chance for a future that makes ecological sense...We thought that the one-month deadline for the writing [of this Manifesto] was impossible, that we could easily spend a year on it. But a year is about one-fifth of the time that we have left if we are going to preserve any kind of quality in our world.
The Environmental Handbook, Earth Day celebration, 1970.
Quoted 22 years later by Gary Benoit, editor of The New American, June 1, 1992.
All the information that has come to light regarding the deliberations, inappropriate and shocking revelations, of the secret Health Care Task Force of President Bill and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton thanks to the lawsuit, AAPS v.
The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world, except perhaps in Israel and Switzerland.
Recent Macon Telegraph articles and Letters to the Editor continue to discuss "separation of church and state," but frankly, many of them miss the mark. Our Founding Fathers, even Thomas Jefferson, meant something completely different in the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution than what liberal pundits are leading us to believe.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”
— First Amendment in the Bill of Rights
Charles Richardson's informative column on Macon and Bibb County crime statistics points out that while aggravated assaults have declined in the city and county, residential burglaries are up 6% over last year. These burglaries are associated with drugs and violence. The reality is that police cannot be everywhere all the time to protect our homes. Roadblocks and visible police presence may deter crime briefly, but unless we turn society into a police state even those measures will not suffice. Citizens must take some responsibility for their own safety.
For Russia, as well as to the rest of the world, the approaching presidential election of March 4, 2012, is raising concerns as to how it will affect Russian democracy and the stability of Europe — Russia vis- à-vis the West. Just this past November, Russian Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov and President Dmitry Medvedev, threatened to have Russian missiles deployed against the proposed U.S. missile shield in Europe.
The State by Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was recommended to me years ago by friends as a Libertarian classic of political science. However, having just finished this tome, I now suspect that some of them did not actually read the book, but instead only read passages from it.
Since the heyday of Billy Graham in the 1950s to the 1980s, Protestantism has evolved mostly to become silent on secular issues or to speak only to promulgate politically correct (PC) proclamations depending on the trendy issues of the day. I was brought up as a Presbyterian. Presbyterianism originally believed in the Elect and predestination. As a 14-year-old boy when I discussed this with my pastor, a learned man and respected pillar of the Miami community, he brushed it aside to talk to me about the power of faith.
The study of the nature of reality leads to the Medieval argument (conflict) between Realists and Nominalists. I will defer further discussion on that controversy for now, and instead, deal with more contemporary philosophies.
Pragmatism or Idealism
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
From 1876 onward, after the North recovered its fortunes and the South was unburdened by the end of Reconstruction, the nation was ruled by laissez-faire capitalism, and freedom flourished for most (not all) of the nations' citizens. The rapid pace of the Industrial Revolution brought about an exemplary standard of living but also new problems for the rapidly developing nation, and socialistic or progressive "reforms" appeared in this country for the first time.
“¿Cómo estás? Muy bien, gracias. ¿y tú?”
Can you translate? Do these words mean anything to you? If not, it’s time to start learning a little Spanish. I know it’s difficult for people my age to wrap our minds around the demographic shift that is happening even as you read this column. Here are just the facts — and why it’s time to take up a second language.
There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African decent, like me — African-American or Black or Afro-American — were almost unheard of.
I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or ’64. The term “black” was just coming into vogue and he didn’t like it one bit. “Call me a Negro,” he said, “but don’t call me black.”
Deja Vu in Medical Care
Linear No Threshold Hypothesis
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici has asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to update a 1994 study on radiation protection in the United States, pointing out that the agency should examine the validity of standards on which current policies are based.
This is a great book. It shows how American medicine is being socialized to the detriment of patients.