Brendan

1144 posts
A revolution without dancing? Pfft.
NYU sociologist Andrew Ross

Are Student Loans Immoral?

by Andrew Ross, The Daily Beast (09.27.12). Millions of grads are saddled with unpayable student loans, yet colleges still say they’re a sound investment. NYU professor Andrew Ross asks if it’s time to stop repaying the loans. Straight talk about the crushing burden of student debt is everywhere—except the one place it should be: on college campuses themselves. Students, professors, and college administrators seem to be in denial. For students who have never managed their own finances before—certainly the vast majority of undergraduates—the silence isn’t so surprising. After all, they’re not required to pay a penny on their loans until […]

NYU Professor of Philosophy, Samuel Scheffler

What Matters to the Dead?

by SAMUEL SCHEFFLER. The New York Times, “The Stone,” September 21, 2013 I believe in life after death. No, I don’t think that I will live on as a conscious being after my earthly demise. I’m firmly convinced that death marks the unqualified and irreversible end of our lives. My belief in life after death is more mundane. What I believe is that other people will continue to live after I myself have died. You probably make the same assumption in your own case. Although we know that humanity won’t exist forever, most of us take it for granted that […]

"Socrates," by Mitch Francis

Socrates in Plato’s Alcibiades

Our text comes from Plato in Twelve Volumes. Trans. W.R.M. Lamb. Vol. 8. Harvard University Press, 1955. The numbered notes derive from the Perseus Digital Library.Numerals styled like thisreflect 16th century “Stephanus pagination”, still standard for references.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:

Business Needs Philosophy

Why Future Business Leaders Need Philosophy

BigThink – August 3, 2013 by Anders Poulsen In the wake of the financial crisis, an era of severe turbulence, rapid changes and increasing complexity has emerged. A black cloud hangs over the past decade’s economic prosperity and global consumption habits, which fundamentally challenges the purpose of business. All too often the approach to business practices has been one-dimensional, lacking in richness and depth. This goes for both the cheerleaders and the critics of the current business practices. In these times, it is important to be able to view the world in different shades – one of possibilities, rather than […]

A Sample Contents

Here’s a sample of readings drawn from the Texts on this site: We open with some “Socratic Lives” – that of Martin Luther King, Jr., and that gadfly on which King in part modeled himself: Socrates. Each in his way, these thinkers were doers. Challengers of the status quo beliefs, they called for rational consistency and for justice. Each in his way created a situation of what King called “constructive tension,” in which we – as individuals and as “society” – must confront ourselves, and respond to the challenges of consistency and justice. (Warning: Carrying such a message can be […]

Urban agriculture in Cuba (image: WikiPedia)

How Cubans’ Health Improved When Their Economy Collapsed

Richard Schiffman | The Atlantic Monthly Apr 18 2013 Sometimes financial crises can force lifestyle changes for the better. When Cuba’s benefactor, the Soviet Union, closed up shop in the early 1990s, it sent the Caribbean nation into an economic tailspin from which it would not recover for over half a decade. The biggest impact came from the loss of cheap petroleum from Russia. Gasoline quickly became unobtainable by ordinary citizens in Cuba, and mechanized agriculture and food distribution systems all but collapsed. The island’s woes were compounded by the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which intensified the U.S. trade embargo […]

Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq with Mass Displacement & Epidemic of Birth Defects, Cancers

Iraq War Anniversary: Birth Defects And Cancer Rates At Devastating High In Basra And Fallujah

The Huffington Post | by Eline Gordts (Posted: 03/20/2013) [ Despite the U.S. military’s repeated denials, it appears the U.S. in fact took action knowing that the “casualties” of war would be the next generation of Iraqi children. ~BL ] Ten years after the start of the U.S. invasion in Iraq, doctors in some of the Middle Eastern nation’s cities are witnessing an abnormally high number of cases of cancer and birth defects. Scientists suspect the rise is tied to the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus in military assaults. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8QOvr0PLW4 On the war’s ten-year anniversary, Democracy Now! spoke with […]

"Sartre," by Mitch Francis

Sartre’s Existentialism

This main text here is the lecture Sartre delivered October 29, 1945 to a packed Club Maintenant in Paris. It served also as the basis for the 1946 book, Existentialism and Humanism.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:

Comments & Symbols on Written Work

Items in grey rows fall on the formal/mechanics side of the spectrum of evaluation. They refer to criteria such as length requirements, spelling, and grammar. Items in green rows fall on the content/conceptual side, and include criteria for assessing the articulation of ideas, the evaluation of evidence, and the composition and presentation of arguments. links to help pages. This list is worth some attention prior to paper-writing, as a guide to common issues to keep in mind.

"Socrates," by Mitch Francis

Socrates in Plato’s Apology

Our text comes from Plato: The Collected Dialogues (17a to 42a), Eds. Huntington and Cairns. Trans. Hugh Tredennick. Princeton University Press, 1961. 4-26. I have included some section headings from Jowett’s translation. I’ve used a highlighter so that you should be able to read the marked portions for an overview on your first look through.Numerals styled like thisreflect 16th century “Stephanus pagination”, still standard for references.I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:
"Plato," by Mitch Francis

Plato’s Republic

Our selections come from the common Jowett translation of Plato’s Republic. For further study, I recommend C.D.C. Reeve’s better, albeit non-free, translation for Hackett Publishing, from 2004. Numerals styled like thisreflect 16th century “Stephanus pagination”, still standard for references. I’ve inserted speaker-labels (e.g., Socrates) to indicate the flow of dialogue — even in cases where Socrates is reporting what the speaker said. Once characters are established, I thin them out. I indicate where my commentary ends by using our writer’s avatar where the primary text begins:

Harvest Leek Pie

The millet crust. 1.5 cups millet to 3 cups of water boiled; simmer for 15 minutes. Take it off the heat; add 2 Tbsp butter, and let millet sit to cool for about 10 minutes. Coat the baking pan with butter. Press the millet into the pan to form the crust, pressing with fingers or a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 Farenheit. The filling. Cut 2-3 leeks into half-inch rounds. Add minced garlic to your liking (we add a whole head). Sautee together in olive oil. Add veggies to your liking. We add lightly sauteed chopped broccoli & […]

Tomato Dream Pie

Use a pre-baked pie shell to keep the pie from bottom sogginess. Layer with tomatoes and top with herbs of your choosing. Use 2 cups of shredded cheddar (Michelle uses extra sharp and 1 cup of mayonnaise mixed together). Top the first layer of tomatoes with half the mixture and then do a second layer of tomato and mixture with the rest. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes; let cool about 15 minutes, and enjoy. This is highly recommended by Michelle and Brendan. 🙂

"Atheism," Dmitry Dzhus (2007)

Why do Americans still dislike atheists?

By Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman, Washington Post (April 29, 2011) Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just don’t like much: atheists. Those who don’t believe in God are widely considered to be immoral, wicked and angry. They can’t join the Boy Scouts. Atheist soldiers are rated potentially deficient when they do not score as sufficiently “spiritual” in military psychological evaluations. Surveys find that most Americans refuse or are reluctant to marry or vote for nontheists; in other words, […]

Do academic publishers hold feudal powers?

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 30th August 2011 Who are the most ruthless capitalists in the Western world? Whose monopolistic practices makes WalMart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch look like a socialist? You won’t guess the answer in a month of Sundays. While there are plenty of candidates, my vote goes not to the banks, the oil companies or the health insurers, but – wait for it – to academic publishers. Theirs might sound like a fusty and insignificant sector. It is anything but. Of all corporate scams, the racket they run is most urgently […]

On Americans (Not) Getting By (Again)

It’s the 10th anniversary of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. Have things improved? Here’s her new, wake-up-call afterward. Posted by Barbara Ehrenreich at 7:05am, August 9, 2011. It was at lunch with the editor of Harper’s Magazine that the subject came up: How does anyone actually live “on the wages available to the unskilled”? And then Barbara Ehrenreich said something that altered her life and resulted, improbably enough, in a bestselling book with almost two million copies in print. “Someone,” she commented, “ought to do the old-fashioned kind of journalism — you know go out there and try it for […]

Monsanto’s New Sweet Corn, Another Unregulated, Unlabeled Frankenfood

Organic Bytes #289 Government regulation of genetically engineered crops, already weak, is increasingly non-existent. The latest example of this new hands-off policy is the commercialization of Monsanto’s first flagship product for the produce aisle: genetically engineered sweet corn, containing the Bt toxin and herbicide-resistant genes. Monsanto’s new sweet corn produces Bt toxin, a genetically modified version of an insecticide from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Until now, Monsanto’s Bt corn and cotton crops have mostly been used in animal feed and highly processed ingredients. Even with this limited exposure, Bt toxin has already been found in the blood of pregnant […]

Timothy Leary (Los Angeles, 1989)

How to Operate Your Brain: An Owner’s Manual

I just saw Limitless (which was ponderously provocative), and recalled this Leary piece. by Timothy Leary You might catch yourself sliding in and out … relax and enjoy it. This is an experiment in mind formation, in-formation, forming, controlling, operating your mind and your brain, using digital techniques to overload, scramble, confuse, unfocus your mind. The natural state of the brain is chaos. We’re dealing with a complexity of in-formation. The first thing to do is to overwhelm your focused mind, your linear mind, by overloading signals, digital patterns, clusters of photons and electrons which produce a pleasant state of […]

Band Names Back

The Trove Down with the Invisible Regime (02/18/2011) – There is a possible revolution on every corner. Greenage in Your Gourd! (01/10/2011) – Yerba, Baby. My life is so much better with me in it (11/30/2010) – Okay, programmy album title. Twitching Mystic (09/13/2010) – In the dark center of the Temple of Reason is a mystic-priestess in ecstasy. Typographical Eros (08/24/2010) – Re-reading work is excruciating for self-critical perfectionists. But typographical eros is a more loving approach. Dead Buddha (08/13/2010) – Aren’t they all? Spontaneous Picnic (07/05/2010) – with B&T on Gale Meadows Pond … Enigmaic Tortilla (04/22/2010) – […]

Pre-mail: Not just a good idea.

WARNING. This is not email. This is pre-mail. It is a new product being marketed on the internet by the imasupermarketing-genius.com company. Please get your friends to visit our web site by simply telling them our easy-to-remember web address. In fact, if you don’t tell 15 of your friends, bad luck will befall you by the end of this day. I am not kidding. This is not a hoax. This is not another “chain mail.” This is for real. Frank Shepherd of Pennsylvania is one sorry man who didn’t tell 15 of his friends. He got cancer and died within […]

Breathing Black

Black caterpillar red mushroom Strolling trance, fading pen whirling water sandy path waving fern, breathe again Black fingers wagon trail red leaf, message sent trickle water pooling grief stone wall, breathe again Black eyes elbow tree bleeding mushroom, dripping end crashing down berry tomb wet leaf, beathe again Black cloud low growl talking trees, cryptic omen chirping rain blossom bees groaning song, breathe again (Tue, 08/19/2008)

Sea Through Glass

Hunger looks through glass, through empty-handed, shivering branches, to an ebb and flow, to a sea.   Flag poles planted in morass pledge allegiance to our fledgling fleet’s mother, who dies unknowingly. (Dec. 5, 2007)

Free Grow

I let go in order to grow down, into dark, nutritious ground. I feed my garden nectar of golden apples. Having freed my hands of tares from elsewhere, my plants grow so full weeds send up flares just to be noticed. (Sat, 08/21/2010)

We Knew It!: The U.S. Continues to Thwart Haitian Democracy

We’ve seen a lot of obfuscation come out of the State Department about Haiti before. Now this. Wikileaks Haiti: The Aristide Files Kim Ives and Ansel Herz | The Nation. August 5, 2011 US officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at keeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in South Africa, rendering him a virtual prisoner there for the last seven years, according to secret US State Department cables. The cables show that high-level US and UN officials even discussed a politically motivated prosecution of Aristide to prevent him from “gaining more traction with the Haitian population and returning […]

Peanut Sauce!

I was surprised how great my improvised peanut sauce turned out. Veggies sautéing. I added a couple-to-four tablespoons of peanut butter – all natural, chunky. I don’t have soy sauce, so I used teriyaki – about 1-to-1.5 Tbs. Finally, I added a couple squirts-worth of hot pepper paste. Wanted to add ginger, but didn’t have it. Would have added water, but my zucchinis were already adding a lot. Added whole peanuts, salt, and pepper to the sautee, too! The result?: Mmmmm! Great.

“Give us a phlog…”

This post is something like the title cut of an album – it presents the header image of my resurrected blog (at least for now). I like this picture, especially at full size, and call it “Sinews of the Earth.” I’m looking forward to seeing what, if anything, happens as I open this space for images. To the tune of “Piano Man”: Give us a phlog, you’re the Camera Man; give us a phlog tonight, while we’re all in the mood for a photograph and what we’re seein’s so nice. Oh, la di da. Seriously, though, I invite Dionysus to […]

One More Cup of Reggae

I’ve been having quite a good time this last month playing Latin jazz/salsa/reggae with the Salsa Cinco. Here’s a snip of Sunday’s gig at The Lakehouse. Yeah! [mp3-jplayer tracks=”https://thereitis.org/tii-content/uploads/2011/06/2011-06-26_lakehouse_one-more-cup-of-coffee.mp3″]

Moosewood Hummus

Use your imagination, or serve it on pita or as a dip for raw veggies. Yields 3 1/2 cups. Ingredients 2-3 medium cloves garlic handful of parsley 2 scallions, chopped 3 c cooked chick peas (or 2 15 1/2 oz. cans, rinsed & drained) 6 T tahini 6 T fresh lemon juice (I usually use less, add a little at a time and taste as you go) 3/4 – 1 t salt cayenne & cumin to taste (optional) Directions Place garlic, parsley and scallions in food processor or blender and mince. Add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice and salt and […]

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

This is another all-time favorite, from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. You can taste the love in it. Ingredients 2 TBSP butter 2 cups chopped onions 1 1/2 to 2 pounds mushrooms, sliced 1 tsp salt 2 – 3 tsp dried dill (r 2 -3- TBSP fresh minced dill) 1 TBSP mild paprika 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 3 TBSP flour 2 cups water 1 cup milk (can be lowfat) at room temperature black pepper, to taste 1/2 cup sour cream (can be reduced fat variety, but regular works best) – I’m calling this OPTIONAL finely minced parsley, for the top […]

Brazillian Blackbean Soup

This is one is from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook (1977). Spoilers: The secret ingredient is OJ; the secret procedure requires a blender! Serves 6-8 INGREDIENTS • 2 cups dry black beans, soaked • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cups onions, chopped (about 1.5 large onions) • 10 medium garlic cloves, crushed • 2 tablespoons cumin • 2-2 1/2 teaspoons salt • 1 medium carrot, diced • 1 medium bell pepper, diced • 1 1/2 cups orange juice (squeeze your own, and then add the chunks of orange to the soup for extra texture and sweetness) • black pepper • cayenne • 2 diced tomatoes (optional) • sour cream (optional) • cilantro (optional) […]

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Southern Cornbread

When I was off gluten for experimental purposes, I was dismayed that I could not eat bread – until I found I could make my own rice flour with a grinder, and substitute it for wheat flour. Hooray!  This was my tasty substitute, found on the glutenfreecookingschool.com site. Cornbread should really be made in a cast-iron skillet, but you can use a glass casserole dish in a pinch. The crust won’t be as crispy, but that’s the only difference. Ingredients 1 Tbsp shortening or oil 1 1/4 c. white cornmeal 1/2 c. brown rice flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. […]

Rhubarb Pie

“It doesn’t take much to make rhubarb sing: Some sugar, a bit of flour, and a pat or two of butter. When this lovely double-crust pie emerges from the oven, it’s golden outside and sweet and luscious inside. It’s especially nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”   Ingredients: 4 cups chopped rhubarb 1 1/3 cups white sugar 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon butter 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in pie plate. Heap […]