Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:11:41 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


Sadly, if this were true, it wouldn't surprise me:

Source ...

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:55:18 PM::
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NUNTII: Mind the Left

Kam Zarraby has a long, meandering article in CounterPunch which includes, inter alia:

But, what is Chomsky or other intellectuals of the Left-Liberal mindset trying to accomplish? Addressing admiring audiences at Harvard, MIT or Cambridge, or writing books and articles that appeal to the already 'enlightened' is like selling the merits of altruism to Mother Teresa! In other words, those who stand to benefit the most from exposure to these ideas are the least likely to welcome such exposure.

At the same time, knowledge of the facts does no more than confuse and agitate the minds of the 'ditto' crowds whose votes count exactly as much as those of the intellectual and the worldly--this is the essence of democracy, isn't it? Is democracy in action, then, no more than an illusion, a necessary illusion, to borrow from one of Chomsky's best-known books of the same title? If that is in fact the case, isn't hypocrisy or a system of mind control an effective means of creating first the mindsets, and then implementing policies of the state that cater to that mindset?

If the truths were only publicized in the public domain, many policies of the various administrations, drummed up to be in the nation's best interest, would not have received the support of the public at large. But, the disinterested and the oblivious far outnumber the curious and the skeptic. This picture has not changed from the time of the great Greek philosopher, Plato, who also believed that there had to be a fundamental disconnect between the rulers and the ruled. The non-elected wise had the quite natural right to plot the course for the future of civilization, and the masses, the disenfranchised and the proletariat, had to be led along that path by the advantaged lot and the bourgeoisie. Neither Prince Machiavelli nor Karl Marx, or especially the father of the new American neoconservatism, Leo Strauss, proposed anything fundamentally different.

The ancient Greeks are believed to have invented the concept of democracy. Athenian democracy worked, as long as only the male landlords and slave owners had the right to decide public policy. The Iranian Emperor, Darius, is said to have pondered on the type of governance for the vast empire he had just usurped. He wisely determined that the only logical and workable solution was a benevolent, authoritarian monarchy. A participatory democracy, even in the limited Athenian version, Darius argued, would be impractical in a vast empire. Any oligarchy or feudal system, he thought, would lead inevitably to rivalries and confrontations, and to the disintegration of the empire. But, argued a close companion, what if the Emperor proves to be less than benevolent? Too bad for the nation, Darius had supposedly responded!

Darius's remarks were truly cutting through the proverbial crap and calling a spade, a spade. In our modern democracies, liberal or otherwise, no government can afford to be that honest. This brings us back to the intellectualism of Noam Chomsky and his criticism of America's grand hypocrisy. His arguments fly against what the political philosopher, Leo Strauss, advocated in his teachings and writings over fifty years ago, and whose disciples, the neocons, are promoting today. Those of us who have problems with the foreign policies of the Bush Administration blame the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and other neoconservative Hawks, most of them disciples of Leo Strauss, for charting a path for the nation that, in our opinion, is about as un-American and antithetical to what this nation constitutionally stands for, as one could imagine. This is exactly why the term hypocrisy is so appropriate in this context.

The term hypocrisy applies because the truths about the agendas, and the means undertaken in achieving the objectives, have of necessity gone through a transfiguration process in order to appear attractive and acceptable to the public mindset. The philosophy behind such modus operandi is embarrassingly quite simple: A father must use his better judgment to decide the best course of action for his immature children, as does a wise leader to guide the masses submerged in the mediocrity of everyday life? Methods employed in accomplishing this task in a democracy are different from those in a totalitarian regime. In a democracy people participate in the decisions of the state by voicing and voting their opinions, albeit in blissful ignorance.

The whole thing ...

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:44:45 PM::
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NUNTII: Parthenon/Elgin Marbles Update

JH sent this one along (thanks!) ... Deutsche Welle reports that a pile of British Olympians are adding their collective voices to those who want the British Museum to return the marbles:

A group of 13 British Olympic medals winners are exerting pressure on their government to return the so-called Elgin marbles to Greece ahead of next year's Olympic Games. Popular sportsmen and women such as Linford Christie, Daley Thompson and Alan Wells as well as ice skating champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean added their voices to demands that the British Museum give up the 2,500 year-old sculptures. Since its independence in 1832, Greece has repeatedly requested the return of what it calls the Parthenon marbles and their fate has dogged relations between the two countries ever since. In October Britain denied a report that it was to return the marbles to Greece in time for the 2004 Olympics in exchange for Greek support of London's own Olympic bid for 2012.

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:38:23 PM::
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AUDIO: Father Foster

This week the Pope's Latinist begins by talking about 'mysteries', then gets into slaves and the Catilinarian conspiracy and assorted Ciceroniana.

Audi ...

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:35:21 PM::
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CHATTER: It's Spamtastic!

Well, I've often wondered why my ISP and/or "explorator" gets blocked so often. Check this out ... it's the header from a piece of spam advertising a weight loss product:

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: July 10, 2893 6:44 PM
Subject: Fw

Translation: I spammed myself, apparently.

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:28:55 PM::
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Virtus, repulsae nescia sordidae,
intaminatis fulget honoribus
nec sumit aut ponit securis
arbitrio popularis aurae.

Virtus, recludens inmeritis mori
caelum, negata temptat iter uia
coetusque uolgaris et udam
spernit humum fugiente pinna.

 -- Horace, Odes 3.16-24


Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

-- Wilfrid Owen, 1921

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 5:53:48 AM::
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ante diem iii idus novembres

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 5:11:21 AM::
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NUNTII: Atlantis in the New York Times

Atlantis gets the John Noble Wilford treatment this a.m.:

Somewhere in the imagination, at an intersection of the idealized Golden Age and mankind's descent into manifest imperfection, existed the island civilization of Atlantis. This realm of divine origin was ruled from a splendid metropolis in the distant ocean. Its empire, described by a philosopher as "larger than Libya and Asia combined," enjoyed prosperity and great power.

In time, driven by overweening ambition, a common theme in antiquity and not unheard of today, Atlantis set out to conquer lands of the Mediterranean. But in a terrible day and night of floods and earthquakes, Atlantis was swallowed by the sea, sinking into legend.

The story endures as a classic in the genre of lost worlds long vanished, the ruins and treasures of which are surely somewhere out there yet to be found. Legends, though, are often mirages, forever shimmering out of reach, yet exerting an attractive power beyond reason.

More ...

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 5:01:34 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Tonight

11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Odyssey of Troy
"What is it about the legendary city that 3,200 years after its
fall, we still try to unravel Troy's mysteries? Scholars attempt
to answer the question by researching the Greek poet Homer,
possibly one of the greatest poets in Western Europe's history,
and his epic tale of love and war, and comparing his text to
archaeological sites."

HINT = History International

::Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:52:37 AM::
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1. n. an abnormal state or condition resulting from the forced migration from a lengthy Classical education into a profoundly unClassical world; 2. n. a blog about Ancient Greece and Rome compiled by one so afflicted (v. "rogueclassicist"); 3. n. a Classics blog.

Publishing schedule:
Rogueclassicism is updated daily, usually before 7.00 a.m. (Eastern) during the week. Give me a couple of hours to work on my sleep deficit on weekends and holidays, but still expect the page to be updated by 10.00 a.m. at the latest.

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