conflict

A Euron Sample For Westeros … (No That’s Not A Typo)

Anticipation, autonomy, awareness, betrayal, Challenge, Change, Civil War, conflict, courage, critical judgment, culture, Current Events, Discernment, Ethics, fables, faith, faithfulness, Fire And Ice, Game Of Thrones, hate, history, Human Condition, humor, Ideology, Imagination, justice, Literature, Mythology, Politics, Religion, Religious War, Uncategorized
Like most everyone else – that is, except probably for the actual actors and staff of Game of Thrones (hereafter GOT) – I have only watched the penultimate episode “The Bells”. So I know no more about how the series ends than anyone else. Least of all do I know who ends up sitting on the Iron Throne. That question presumably is answered in the final-season episode next week, as this is written (14 May). But if the Westerosi elite were to ask my counsel about who is best suited and equipped to sit on the Throne, I could recur to some ancient Greek texts, specifically Plato’s Republic, for some very wise advice. But first a solemn warning:  If you have not seen this next-to-last episode of GOT, then read no farther, because reading past this paragraph will almost certainly

Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

abolition, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, betrayal, Change, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, constitution, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, Discernment, Executive Branch, faithfulness, First Amendment, history, Ideology, Impeachment, Justice Samuel Chase, law, Marbury v. Madison, Politics, Presidency, race, racism, Secularity, Separation of Powers, slavery, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
The US Constitution explicitly outlines the causes and procedures for impeachment of the President and other ministers of the US government, e.g., Supreme Court Justices.  These are the so-called “impeachment clauses”. (Other parts of the Constitution deal with impeachment, but this is the most relevant for present purposes). Prof. Alan Dershowitz, despite being unfairly perceived as being contaminated through association with Fox News, has performed a valuable service, especially in books like Trumped Up:  How the Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, by urgently advising against the weaponization of political differences, and even free speech, as tools to further purely political ends. As anyone knows who has followed my “Skeptic’s Collection” columns over th

Faith, Sight, And Plato’s Cave

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, bible, Buddhism, Christianity, conflict, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, epistemology, Ethics, faith, God, monotheism, Plato, postmodernism, Religion, Secularity, Trump
Like any other ideology-based group or community, Christian communities – churches and even entire denominations – have their own hortatory idioms, their own shibboleths, often drawn from the biblical text itself. One of the biggies for me, growing up as a fundamentalist Baptist, was “Saved by grace through faith,” right out of Ephesians 2:8-9. As a Catholic, I remember being admonished to “Follow your [i.e., my] vocation [or sometimes ‘calling’]”.  As a non-fundamentalist but still conservative evangelical Christian, I well remember assurances that “God has a wonderful plan for your [my] life” (usually those exact words). Now, just so there is no misunderstanding, most of the time, these exhortations are just harmless rhetoric. (Usually … there are exceptions, e.g., the “Follow