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Politics and Morality: Robert Nozick-Imagine No Government…

Robert Nozick (1938-2002) was an American professor and philosopher whose best-known book was Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974) was a libertarian response to John Rawls Theory of Social Justice. One of his one-liners is that, “The fundamental question of political theory is whether or not there should be a state.” That’s like saying the fundamental … Continue reading

The Magic Barn: Christmas Eve

I was eight years old that Christmas eve. We were not going to church and that was O.K. with me, because I found it hard to behave for a solid hour. But I had this strange inner urge…to do something. Christmas Eve. They said Jesus was born in a manger with animals around, so where … Continue reading

Politics and Morality: Plato’s Neo-Con Republic

Who cares what Plato had to say about government? We all should, because Leo Strauss was an admirer of Plato and the neo-conservatives are followers of Strauss. Plato’s Republic is as contemporary as today’s headlines. Plato was a smart, rich hunk of a man whose real name was Aristocles; “Plato” was a nickname referring to … Continue reading

The Magic Barn: The Too-Big Calf

The sideways blizzard stung my face when I went out to do the chores that February morning. Sideways blizzards are what I called snowstorms with tiny hard flakes that blew sideways. Ollie the milk cow was snug in her well-insulated cow barn and the beef cows had gathered under the shed, waiting for their alfalfa. … Continue reading

The Magic Barn: My Ugly Pony

When I was six years-old I got my first pony. He was perhaps the ugliest pony that ever lived, and he made up for this deficiency by also being one of the meanest ponies that ever lived. But I was six and I had my own pony! He was a Shetland pinto named Dan Patch … Continue reading

My Perky “Spanish” Daughter

To raise a biracial child in Deepsouth is to live in interesting times. Recently a customer left a note for my daughter’s employer, praising her excellent customer service skills. A brief excerpt:”A very perky young Spanish girl took my order…this young lady was amazing. She was one of the best servers I ever met…she was … Continue reading

Butterfly Windmills

I teach a fine arts class for adults who want their crayons back* and this week’s project was Butterfly Windmills. Butterfly Windmills is a spin-off of Russian born surrealist Vladimir Kush’s Fauna La Mancha and the original has Don Quixote in the foreground with a butterfly net. But my students just liked the butterfly windmills … Continue reading

The Magic Barn: First Time We Met

The magic barn is gone now, but it loomed on the hill behind the farm house for over 100 years, covered with the snows of 100 winters, rising darkly out of the mists of over 100 foggy autumn mornings. When we moved to the farm I was three years-old and the magic barn was the … Continue reading

He had a dream-’twas a good dream

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.-Martin Luther King When I taught a pilot class in horticulture at a high school in the Florida panhandle, they told … Continue reading

Fire in the Minds of Men: Revolution and the Spiritual Impulse

Some rail against religion while simultaneously promoting their personal ideology with notably religious zeal. Beware of “religiology” a blend of politics and the spiritual impulse, it tends to produce violence on an industrial scale. Politics is about power. Whether a religion adopts a political emphasis like the Catholic Church during the Roman Empire and Middle … Continue reading