Man Thinking

Background Stanley Cavell, the American philosopher and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University, died recently at the age of 91. Coming to philosophy by way of music and film, he authored a diverse assortment of philosophical texts including The Claim of Reason, Must We Mean What We Say?, Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of... Continue Reading →

Musings on Democracy

Introduction The right to vote is the basis and spiritual heart of democracy—precious, hard won, sacred. Yet, ninety million eligible voters didn’t vote in the presidential election of 2016. Sixty-six million people voted for Hillary Clinton and sixty three million for Donald J. Trump, who became President by garnering more than the requisite 270 votes... Continue Reading →

Lincoln: Pretense to States Rights

This is the second of two blog entries on Abraham Lincoln’s Message to Congress in Special Session on July 4,1861. The first, Lincoln’s American People, appeared in this blog two weeks ago. This entry examines Lincoln’s choice and use of the word “pretense” in an important paragraph framing the central concerns of his speech. Both essays... Continue Reading →

Lincoln’s American People

“ . . .there are many single regiments whose members, one and another, possess full practical knowledge of all the arts, sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether useful or elegant, is known in the world; and there is scarcely one from which there could not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a Congress, and perhaps... Continue Reading →

Graceland: Barack Obama’s Third Inaugural

President Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney—massacred Pastor of Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina—was one of the finest I’ve heard, and deserves standing among the most important speeches in our history. Think about his problem for a moment. What could he say to the wife, daughters, extended family, colleagues, and co-religionists of a Pastor... Continue Reading →

Dumping on Trump

Author's note: This essay, first published in September of 2012, is particularly relevant now that Donald Trump is running full bore for the Presidency of the United States. While I've retained its original title for filing purposes—it is after all easier to reblog than rewrite—it is renamed Double Dump on Trump here to highlight his no apologies/no retractions habit of doubling down on... Continue Reading →

Science and Creationism: A Self-Directed Learning Experiment

What should scientists do when the majority of parents and children are in the thrall of a wrong idea? That was the problem Copernicus had with the church when the earth was thought to be the center of the universe. Copernicus was wary and withheld the publication of his book, On the Revolutions of the... Continue Reading →

The American People

Every national politician loves the American People and speaks often of his fealty and devotion: “The American People are my employer.”  “I trust the American People.” “The safety of the American People is my primary concern.” “The American People will not stand for inaction.” “The American People are watching.” “The American People aren’t stupid.” “The... Continue Reading →

The Man Nobody Knew – A Must See Documentary Film

I recently had the opportunity to see Carl Colby's documentary film  THE MAN NOBODY KNEW: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby. The trailer, available through the filmmaker''s website, portrays the storyline faithfully. William Colby's service to the United States is laid out in sympathetic detail in his biography in Wikipedia. Another useful... Continue Reading →

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