Today’s Quote: Diogenes Laertius (Solon)

Quote

“He compared laws to spiders’ webs, which stand firm when any light and yielding object falls upon them, while a larger thing breaks through them and makes off.”

— Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Chapter 2: Solon

I was struck by this quote describing the words of one of Ancient Greece’s Seven Sages, Solon the Law Giver (ca. 594 BC), particularly in relation to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and life in general.

I find it extremely aggravating, unfair and hypocritical that people like the Clintons — with their big money, political connections and gift for retaliation — literally break the law and get away with their illegal activities, when citizens like you and me — the “light and yielding” ones without the ability to wield our checkbooks and political clout like a bludgeon — have to tread on eggshells to negotiate a minefield of laws and their attendant penalties. How many of you seriously think you could commit even a fraction of the illegal and questionable acts Ms. Clinton has in her lifetime without being crushed under the “awful majesty of the law?”

The “larger things” — those with the power, influence and backroom deals in place — have rigged it so they don’t have to obey those same laws. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others …

Not that the Clintons are the only ones: politicians, big business leaders, entertainers, media talking heads, you name it are just as bad. This — not being subject to the same laws and punishments as everyone else — may be the biggest cause of the destruction of civilization as we know it. In the United States of today, we no longer actually believe in or live by the rule of law. We’re descending to the level of Banana Republic and nobody seems to care.

Indeed, people seem eager to elect Banana Republic dictators, regardless of their guilt.

Advertisements

Today’s Quote: Plutarch (+ bonus rant!)

Quote

“The Emperor Augustus once caught sight of some wealthy foreigners in Rome, who were carrying about young monkeys and puppies in their arms and caressing them with a great show of affection. We are told that he then asked whether the women in those countries did not bear children, thus rebuking in truly Imperial fashion those who squander upon animals that capacity for love and affection which in the natural order of things should be reserved for our fellow men.”

— Plutarch, from the Parallel Lives – Pericles

And now for my rant…

This is precisely what I think whenever I’m out and about and have to put up with someone’s infernal, yapping dog at a restaurant; or when I see photos of pets dressed up in the most ridiculous—not to say expensive-looking—costumes; or when I read about luxury pet spas complete with designer bedding and gourmet chefs. Amtrak can’t seem to run a railroad properly, what with abysmal on-time records and fatal train crashes, but they sure were happy to announce their new program allowing passengers to bring their pets along—wonderful for people like me with dog allergies.

Now, pets are perfectly fine. As those of you who’ve been reading me well know, I’m a cat person and had two cats: Victoria for 15 years and Max for 19 years. I have no pets at the moment for a variety of reasons, and sometimes I miss having them around.

But remember: they’re pets and just animals. Shouldn’t we be spending our real love, devotion and treasure upon our fellow men?

Commentary on Politics and Society…today?

“The citizens themselves, through their foolish acts, are
willing
to destroy the great city, yielding to their desire
for wealth,

and the leaders of the people have unjust minds, for
whom soon
there will be many griefs to suffer as a result of their
great hubris.

For they do not know how to control their excess, nor to
order well
their present good cheer in the peace of the feast

     and they grow rich, prompted by their unjust acts,

     and sparing neither sacred possessions nor public ones
they steal in violent seizure, one from one source one
from another,
and do not observe the solemn foundations of Justice.”

Wow—what a lucid, stinging indictment not only of what’s going on in America today, but indeed most of the developed world. Everything revolving around money; corrupt politicians willing to do anything, even legally questionable acts, in order to further their own selfish interests; the regular citizens having to pay the steep, steep price for their greed and arrogance. I wish I could say it was mine, but it comes from someone much smarter than me.

Where did I come across this gem? I’ve recently been reading the Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece and discovered it on page 78. It’s from the poem  Eunomia or ‘Good Order’ by Athenian legislator Solon, circa 580 B.C. The ellipses mark the locations where the surviving text becomes fragmentary and part has been lost to history.

No wonder our modern educational system neglects teaching the classics—it wouldn’t do for us to see that we’re still repeating the same mistakes of 2,500 years ago.

Truth

The following is the statement issued Monday by Edward Snowden, as released by WikiLeaks:

“One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country.

The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.”


There is a great evil in the world: the government of the United States of America as currently established. How much more tyranny are we going to put up with–while politicians from BOTH parties try to justify what they’re doing in order to save their phony-baloney jobs? Is this the kind of “Hope and Change” YOU were expecting?

Today’s Quote: Krauthammer

Quote

“Loyalty to the president is good, but loyalty, truth and integrity to the country is better.”

— Charles Krauthammer

So—which side are YOU on? The media is now filled with daily revelations of the cesspool of corruption the Obama administration has created and nurtured. Civil Liberties? Constitutional protections? Due process? Basic fairness? None of it seems to apply anymore in this brave new world of “Hope and Change”.

America is getting just what it deserves. This is precisely what big government brings you and modern technology only makes it worse and more dangerous. This is why we need to shrink government in our lives, not grow it. This is why we need to return to the original constitutional principle of Enumerated Powers.

Lessons about capitalism from my blue-collar, butcher father

Here, my friends, is an excellent opinion piece by former Libertarian VP nominee and all-around smart guy Wayne Allyn Root. It’s essential reading if you want to see both what’s wrong in our country and the correct attitude we need to adopt in order to begin to fix it. I will pull my two favorite quotes from it, but please go read the whole thing by clicking the link above.

First, what’s wrong and how it has been caused:

This president has damaged the American Dream–perhaps beyond repair. This President has created a bitterly divided society, a nation filled with anger, hate, rage, jealousy and envy. This President (the man who uttered “You didn’t build that”) has created an army of “have-nots” who instead of being inspired to work harder, aim higher, and do extraordinary things, see the successful as the enemy, and merely want to take what we have.

Now, the key advice from his father which is still valid for anyone today:

Forty years ago my butcher father taught me lessons about wealth that led to my extraordinary success in this great country. He said, “Son, I’d love to hate rich people. But no one poor has ever given me a job.” Wiser words were never spoken.

While, sadly, I no longer agree with his dad’s final observation about the Republican party–which in its current state is part of the problem and not the solution–how anyone with a brain can’t see how correct the other observations are is completely beyond me…