From 1000 AD to WW3

Interior of Spanish Cathedral Example of Spanish Architecture and below an atomic explosionIf, according to Oscar Wilde, truth is a matter of style, even more so history is a matter of opinion. An obvious and unnecessary remark, were it not for the anger of some when they dissent with the thoughts of others. To them I would recommend, with all the earnestness at my disposal, the recollection of Mark Twain’s topic and soothing ruling that, “In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

We have no other device for returning through time, except that which operates in our minds with the materials provided by past generations. Therefore I declare myself a humble vessel, into which some ancient and nearer historians have poured the fruits of their findings. Continue reading

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Prisoners of Words

Cartoon of a puzzled puppet to illustrate the ambiguity of some recent words popularized by the nainstream media, for example, Russophobia and collusionDuring his recent meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump, answering a question form a US journalist, said that there was no reason to suspect Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. However, back on home soil, he said that what he meant was the opposite.

In the circumstances, there is some difficulty in assigning to either of Trump’s statements the property of truth. Continue reading

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Red-Wine, Health-Care, Shakespeare & Capitalism

A glass of red-wine and a Sjakespeare cartoonThose who follow the reigning fashion, or from fashion borrow their taste, will have observed that, after a de-facto 20 years of relative unpopularity, red wine has undergone a commercial and cultural renaissance.

Not that it was ever dead, but lore and clichés suggested that thoughtful solitude was the natural setting for a glass of red. Or, in a different setting, it was considered an erotic prelude to the real thing. An idea with a long tradition. In his “Art of Love,” the Latin poet Ovid says, Continue reading

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Post Scriptum on Skripal

Theresa May and Boris Johnson, image for article "Post Scriptum to Skripal"The dust of time is settling on the Scripal affair, after the eruption of British anti-Russian bile, bursting out from the deep state, and scattered to the four winds by the deep-state’s minions. Bile converted into imaginative insults and tokens of contempt for which sometimes it is not easy to find a name – for they are real but escape an attempt to describe them. Including, for example, the asinine and uninformed reference by the Foreign Secretary to “Crime and Punishment,” his knowledge of which, as indicated by the Russian UN Ambassador, is – to be kind – approximate.

And equally including those members of Parliament, nodding and applauding the Prime Minister, unstoppable in her litany of insults and accusations towards Russia – proving that insolence always propagates itself. Indeed, from the times of ancient Rome, corruption would always supply flatterers eager to applaud, and ministers prepared to serve the fear or the avarice, the manias or the oddities of their masters. Continue reading

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Who are the People in the Quiz?

Image of a QuizGiven that, for any current political or social event, there is a wealth of interpretations, from the simplest to the most elaborate, I will not add yet another comment. For I resent the idea of telling others what they already know – or most do anyway.

Furthermore I wonder whether, in the current climate of thought, crime and politics, we should resign ourselves to watch silently the flying arrows of outrageous prevarications and crimes – Gaza comes to mind as one example. Considering that taking arms against evil and by opposing end it, is delusional, for the conformism of silence and the distortion of facts by interested parties can hide the grossest crimes.

Instead, in this blog, I will challenge my 25 readers to solve a riddle, designed after I finished reading a relatively short book, of which the intended objective will become clear, once the riddle is solved. Continue reading

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Meditations on Skripal

place vendome in paris, starting point for the blog "Meditations on Skripal"Parisians, and those who roam the streets of Paris to take upon themselves the Frenchness of things, will no doubt know or remember the elegant, historic and fashionable Place Vendome.

There is a history in all men’s lives(1) and in what they built. In the instance, however, I only refer to the Duke of Vendome, (1654-1712), in whose honor the square is named.

He was a Marshal of France and a successful general, notably in the Nine Years’ war (1688-1697) – a global war of sorts, featuring France against a proto-coalition of the willing that included Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, England and Savoy. Continue reading

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Dostoyevsky and the Chosen People

Image of Dostoyevsky to accompany article 'Dostoyevsky and the Chosen PeopleDostoyevsky is known as an eminent tower of world literature and an implacable depth-sounder of the remotest recesses of the human soul – an analytical mind, fascinated by the invisible chemistry of people’s consciousness and emotions. And if Pushkin can be called the Raphael of Russian literature, Dostoyevsky is undoubtedly its Michelangelo.

Very, or at least relatively few, associate Dostoyevsky with journalism, to which he dedicated a major part of his life – notably during the years when he, single-handed, wrote and published “The Diary of a Writer.” In fact, in later years, the Diary that made him popular, also contributed to his extraordinary fame. Continue reading

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The Power of Aesthetics in Learning

an image from the book of hours to illustrate article/post "power of beauty in learning"This article was written for the Rocketship Education Home School.

John Locke, famous British empiricist, philosopher and father of Liberalism, asserted that, “The chief art of learning is to attempt but a little at a time.”

The aphorism seems obvious. But we may or should remember that the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some complicated concept, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truths in a few words. The idea is to contract important rules of life into short sentences that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind.

In the same spirit here is an aphorism even more obvious than Locke’s, “An unavoidable rule of learning is to start from the beginning.” He who reads this will no doubt recall one or more Continue reading

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The Founding Fathers and Other Tales

Painting and picture of the Founding Fathers, for the article "The Founding Fathers and Other Tales"The skeptics among my twenty-five readers may suspect from the title, that I am jumping on the bandwagon of our discontent(1), to direct cheap shots at a stale target.

Perish the thought. Irreverence towards the actors excludes irreverence towards the myth, even if the actors were its fathers – for myths are the ground of civilizations and mythology is the song of the imagination.

Most of us are proud of being Europeans or descendants thereof. Yet the mythical Europa eloped with Jupiter, who, for the purpose, assumed the shape of a white bull, for whom she had developed a penchant. A type of relationship most of us would not entertain, unless they are postmodernist cultural Marxists and followers of the Frankfurt school. Continue reading

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Brief History of Revisionism

Ironic depiction of a thought criminal, a convict with his brain linked to his leg by a chainOn hearing the word ‘revisionism,’ suspicion lurks in the mind of some, and alarms sound in the mind of others. Suspicion is the elder sister of twins, credulity and incredulity. And of all kinds of credulity, the most obstinate and wonderful is that of zealots; of men who resign the use of their eyes and ears, and resolve to believe nothing that does not favor those whom they profess to follow.

Hence the law of truth, which most would accept in principle, is broken without penalty, without censure, and in compliance with inveterate prejudice and prevailing passions. Men are willing to credit what they wish, and encourage rather those who gratify them with pleasure, than those who provide them with fidelity, (or at least try to.) Continue reading

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