Saturday, February 16, 2013

Going Down the Rabbit Hole
Gore Vidal loses it.

Gore Vidal

Novelist, Playwright and prolific essay writer the late Gore Vidal, (1925 - 2012)1 could always be counted on for a provocative opinion or two or three. He was also sure to slay the sacred cows of received opinion with his incisive wit. Even if you disagree with him his opinions on literary matters, politics, history, social issues etc., were usually well grounded and if not that at least interesting.

It is however sad to say that late in life Gore Vidal developed a severe case of conspiracy theory thinking. This served to bring his whole oeuvre into disrepute by enabling his critics to label him a crack pot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Violated “Purity”?

Jeanne d'Arc

Much has been and will continue to be written about Jeanne d’Arc. (Joan of Arc in English) Her story is one of the strangest and yet one of the most compelling stories to have really happened. If it had been made up it would have been dismissed as unbelievable. Many small mysteries still remain concerning her life and mission. We do not have for example a clear idea of when she was born for one.1

One small mystery is the question of what precisely happened to her after her recantation in Rouen before she recanted her recantation. In other words was Jeanne raped?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Fall of the Khmer Rouge
A Note
Map of IndoChina

In 1975 a brutal regime of obsessed fanatics gained power in Cambodia and instituted through a combination of fanaticism and incompetence a reign of terror that killed c. 1.5 million Cambodians.1 In a previous posting I took apart what can only be described as a truly lame defence of the Khmer Rouge that in effect regurgitated much Khmer Rouge propaganda.2 Here I will concentrate on the foreign connection, being that Vietnam overthrew the Khmer Rouge with a military invasion.

Saturday, February 09, 2013


Book Cover

One of the most telling of popular myths regarding history is that history shows that force, coercion etc., do not work. Sadly this is simply not the case all too frequently violence does in fact work and work quite well in ”solving” problems. And this idea is allied with the notion that somehow success “proves” that the idea etc., was right.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

“Good Duke Humphrey”
A Note

Humphrey: Duke of Gloucester

Little known today Humphrey of Lancaster, (1390-1447 C.E.), was a younger brother of Henry V of England.1 His father was Henry IV of England and he had three brothers, Henry V of England, Thomas of Lancaster the Duke of Clarence, and John of Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford. Humphrey outlived all of his brothers.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Ticking Time bomb and the Terrorist
An example of a Forced Hypothetical

Ticking Clock

Since 9/11 there has been resurgence in the use of torture by states and along with that resurgence in the attempts to justify it.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


Crossed Fingers

A few Years ago I responded to individual in a forum who accepted a great deal of what Kant said about lying.1 The result was a stew of nonsense. When someone brought up the hiding the Jews in the basement / attic situation the person hemmed and hawed outrageously. The following is the main tenor of a discussion I had with the individual over lying. I have chosen to exclude a tangential discussion where the person engaged in an ad hominem attack on me and my family. The individual in question made a totally un-evidenced comment about lying always ending badly and responded with a personal attack when I pointed out the comment was absurd.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Heretic Pharaoh
A Note

The Aton 

One of the most controversial historical figures is that of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, a Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who reigned c. 1353-1336 B.C.E.1 The reasons for the controversy are rather obvious, the Pharaoh’s attempted religious changes and to put it bluntly the rather grotesque physique indicated by the art work of his reign.