Thank you for visiting my blog, an accumulation of over forty years of essays and poetry.   I hope you take the time to explore it using the menu above, and welcome comments here, or personal emails.  Thank you again.

Louis William Rose

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On Parliamentary Procedure

Liberty is the ability to do what I want, when I want, without interference, in order that some good may be accomplished. Politics is the interaction with others in an attempt to influence the outcome of events. A large part of political activity takes place in local deliberative meetings where public policy is decided.

Parliamentary procedures are the practical rules of democracy. By agreeing to abide by these rules we take the risk that the political outcome that we desire may not always come to pass. But because of our love of liberty, ours and the liberty of our fellows, we are willing to take that risk.

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Poem: Remembering you is easy

When I awoke I visualized your face,
your smile so vibrant, and your eyes so bright,
the way you looked when held in my embrace,
in tender dreams I had of you last night.

I often think of you throughout the day,
and wonder if, perchance, you think of me,
sweet recollections in your mind replay,
of when I pledged my love so faithfully.

Remembering you is easy for me when,
at eventide, before I take my rest,
I pray to God an as I say “Amen”
I ask that He would grace you with His best.

If I should live another forty years,
the brilliance of our love will never fade,
sweet thoughts of you that to my heart endears,
will gladden me and all my life pervade.

Still, I would know a joy beyond compare,
If each day of your life, with me, you’d share.

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A Neo-Patriarchal Response to Communitarianism

   To Those Who Rush to Praise Us

To those who rush to praise us when we say

they should do what is right in their own eyes.

All men or women having their own way

to live precisely as they would surmise.

To those who laud our liberality;

our tolerance of every faith, and creed,

and every sexual proclivity,

we ask the same consideration cede.

Each man the Lord and Master of his home.

This is the view WE fervently avow;

if he be familièd or live alone.

…At this they gnash their teeth and knit their brow.

The warrior knows how to deal with these,

who prove at last impossible to please.

Louis William Rose, February 2003

Very occasionally, in the morning when the weather is not too hot, I step out onto my front porch and sit on a broad wooden bench, looking out into my front yard and that of my neighbor’s, enjoying the coolness of the air with nothing save birdsong to disturb the silence.  I may bring a cup of tea with me, and perhaps one of my cats will come to sit near.

For the moment, I am at rest.  I own the ground upon which I sit.  I am fully provisioned and no enemies appear on my immediate horizon.  I am well aware that this is an illusion, but choose to pretend in the moment, that all is well.  Now in my fifties, my ambitions are modest. “A home, respect, freedom, and neighbors who want the same” (Lamar).  I desire peace and quiet broken only by the occasional company of my extended family and close friends.  I think that this is a desire commonly held by the overwhelming majority of mature adults existent across the face of the earth, irrespective of their culture, their history, or their present social and economic position within their particular communities.  In the following pages it is my intention to describe the realization of this desire by a certain class of men among the petit-bourgeoisie whom I shall refer to as neo-patriarchs.

The Sovereign Self

Those who have reached the conclusion that God is an intellectual construct are faced with the challenge of justifying man’s[1] intrinsic value or ultimate noble purpose. What valid arguments can be made that a man has a right to be sovereign or has claim to autonomy?  Why should he have a right to hold some small piece of property and live there in peace, eking out his existence by agriculture or some other rude trade?  Why is it wrong for a stronger culture to simply sweep him and his kindred away, or enslave them and take his land?  Surely this has been done in the past.  Faced with the persistent realization that we live in a shrinking world with limited resources, logical arguments can be made that the world would be a much better place if there were far fewer people in it, given the caveat that we are among those remaining.  Others posit a solution where an overarching will be imposed upon the people of the earth with the goal of helping them achieve a “greater good.”  I will not attempt to answer these questions in this essay but remind the reader of them because we know from bitter experience that there are those who do not believe that men have such rights.  Older men, considering their own increasing vulnerabilities and the safety of their loved ones and property, form alliances for the protection of the same.  This is the essence of what is commonly called the “social contract” and it is first formed at the lowest political level, neighbor to neighbor and family to family.  It seems to me that any world-wide communitarian effort must acknowledge this basic political reality and moreover recognize that any truly successful effort to develop universally accepted norms would have to be encouraged and driven from this level.


Those who have reached the conclusion that God is an intellectual construct must also rely on theories such as the ones put forth by the sociologist Max Weber[2] and embraced by the anthropologist Clifford Geertz that “man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun.”(Geertz, Pg 11) Rather, it may be said that he is suspended in webs his forefathers have spun.  An individual constructs his or her identity from the impressions and cues they receive from those around them, initially from their parents and siblings and then from others in their immediate community.  The neo-patriarch is an example of the “warrior-citizen.” (Taylor, Pg 25) These men purport to value personal liberty over life itself. (McCants, Pg 123)  This pride of sovereignty, autonomy, and honor has given rise to a self-perpetuating tradition of sovereign households which, like the arrangement of the several states, lay claim to rights and powers reserved exclusively to the individual.[3] In view of this they operate their households as mini-states with a corresponding hierarchy.

It is obvious that we exist in community.  Within that community, each child constructs its identity from its interaction with parents and relatives; as it learns the traditions and attitudes held to be the norm by others around it in the political conditions that prevail. (Taylor, Pg 35) As yet, no child has ever opened his eyes in this world or survived for long without a period of respite in a mother’s womb and the subsequent succor and general assistance of that mother or another human being.  I trust that the day will never come when an infant is not assumed to be entitled, ipso facto, to such care and respite. However, the loving care of a mother or of some other guardian, while greatly desired comes with a price.  Every child is born into a position of subjection and subordination and that child further incurs an obligation toward its caretaker and to those who have helped to create and support the environment within which that care is given.  “But”, the child may say, (then or later) “I did not express a wish to be born.”  “Fine”, comes the reply, “There is a precipice, throw yourself off and be done with it.”  Assuming that they choose in that instance not to take this advice, they tacitly agree to assume the obligations and responsibilities of birth into the human experience in much the same manner as Socrates agreed to be bound by the laws of Athens (Crito 52b).

What are those minimal obligations that accompany the opportunity that life affords the individual? It would seem first that an obligation of gratitude is incurred to the woman within whose womb he first found shelter.  He has a debt of honor to preserve her life as she preserved his or failing that to preserve the lives of others like her who yielded their bodies a haven for others like him.  He has an obligation of gratitude to those physicians and midwives and relatives who ushered him into this world and to those who provided his early food, shelter, clothing and rude care.  He has a debt of honor to ensure that those who provided for him or others like him will not lack similar assistance when, in their advanced age, they become helpless once again and require food, shelter, clothing, and care for their basic needs culminating in being compassionately ushered out of this earthly sphere.  Finally, he has an obligation of gratitude to those who sought to establish, secure, and make prosperous a nation-state within which small communities might find the peace and tranquility to consider possible and profitable the mundane activities of childbearing and domesticity.  He has a further debt of honor to ensure that his life contributes in some way to the establishment, security, or prosperity of that nation-state or of others like it.  To the extent that our newborn is obligated by the receipt of these boons from those who have come before him, so too are those who will come after him entitled to receipt of the same from his hands.  All these may be considered a part of the “natural duties” that Rawls speaks of. (Rawls, Pg 114)


To the extent they are accepted and nurtured children in a community have access to basic education and training in those subjects and skills thought necessary by their parents to fully equip them for adulthood.  Neo-patriarchal communities view children within their purview as an investment in the community’s future survival.  No one knows which child has the capacity to rise above its peers and bring some great good to the society into which it was born.  If not the provider of some great benefit to mankind at least a child may be properly raised, indoctrinated and assimilated into the community as a productive, participative member.  As such, children must be provided access to the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education and mentoring.

Assuming that an individual reaches the age of majority, they arrive at that age prepared or unprepared to assume the responsibilities and partake of the opportunities available to them as an adult.  My thoughts on this subject have been that: They [boys and girls alike] should have received an elementary education in to reading, rhetoric, grammar and penmanship, arithmetic, deportment, and basic etiquette, with a strong grounding in the fundamentals, children in the fourth through six years of elementary school should begin the task of reading in specific areas, and learning to write and speak about what knowledge has been gained during this process.

Students graduating from this type of elementary school would be fully prepared to read about, comprehend, write about and discuss any mundane subject, and would have all the necessary skills to continue to self-educate for the rest of their lives. Students graduating from this type of elementary school would have the mathematical and life skills necessary to function as a citizen in an advanced society, as well an appreciation of what priorities must be set upon work, and what pleasure might be obtained from the enjoyment and practice of the arts (Rose 2003). 

Such young people will have been taught how to think, not what to think.  Geertz quotes celebrated anthropologist Ward Goodenough’s 1957 pronouncement on culture, stating that “A society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members.” (Geertz, pg 11)  These things are best decided within the local community. At a minimum upon reaching adulthood a person must be able to think and act independently and analytically.  They should be able to move about their own society; well acquainted with its culture and traditions, as well as those of other societies.   They should have a general idea of all the knowledge the world has amassed and an understanding of how an individual might obtain the particulars of any part of it, even as they are taught the specific traditions of their own cultural environment.  

Parents who pressure their children to choose the same philosophy, theology, or lifestyle as their own may be motivated by power and control issues or because of a genuine desire to see their offspring follow in a path that has been successful for them. It seems to me that practically without exception, the family provides the only place where an immature person can obtain instruction, advice, and counsel offered in a true spirit of altruism, solely for the benefit of the recipient, and without hope of personal gain or the advancement of some hidden agenda (Rose 2003).  Even if a parent does hope to receive some benefit from their offspring, by way of support when they are aged, or from the pride and honor gained from being the sire of outstanding progeny, it is logical for parents to want their children to be provided with every opportunity and skill necessary for them to be give a good account for themselves, to be successful in their lives, and to be happy.


Neo-patriarchy is best viewed as a system of subordinate equals.  All individuals have their position within the patriarchal society and all are subordinate to someone within it.  Children are subordinate to parents, and while not yet equal in adult privilege or maturity, any more than an immature fruit tree is equal to its mature ancestor, certainly both their future potential and present helplessness and innocence accord them other privileges appropriate to their youth. It is also reasonable for their elders to rule over them benevolently always with a concern for their natural bent and future. (Rawls, Pg 209)  Goodwives, equal or superior to their husbands in intellect, character, or earning capacity, are by prior voluntary agreement subordinate to their husbands. Single men and women subordinate to the ruling heads of their families by birth, or if they be completely independent, subordinate to the civil authority by obligations I have outlined earlier. Individuals in a society have full political autonomy but still must act within a framework of “principles of justice”. (Rawls, pg 77) 

The question will arise, “Why patriarchy instead of matriarchy?”  In theory either is possible.  The ideas of marriage and family are influenced by social and civic mores.  From a purely civil point of view marriage is a contractual agreement between individuals and may be likened to a trading partnership with equal partners, or with senior and junior partners.   Liberal philosophers maintain that an individual has the right to form such contracts, including naturally the decision of whom he or she will marry (Nozick, 269)   Individuals also have a right to associate with who they wish and not associate with those they do not.  If a woman wishes to establish as a private enterprise a family with herself as ruling head, she need only find a man who is willing to agree to such an arrangement.  Those who do not wish to enter into such a relationship need not do so, and are free to disassociate themselves at any time should they wish.  The current divorce rate is proof enough of this.  No one is forced to socialize with those who enter into patriarchal or matriarchal relationships anymore than they are forced to associate with anyone else.

Ruling heads of families are subordinate to the ruling elders of their church, or to the social and political pressures of some other peer group, tribe if you will, and all certainly subordinate to the duly elected civil authorities.   Civil authorities subordinate to the will of the electorate at whose pleasure they serve and are additionally accountable to each other by virtue of their respective offices.  Ruling elders of churches are accountable to each other and to the group of elders as whole or to ecclesiastical courts.  Under girding this society is a political philosophy acknowledging the basic rights of individuals embodied in constitutional forms of government but also declaring those rights to exist inalienably and independent of government.


Individuals who live long enough reach adulthood and are found in various political situations.  They may be completely dominated, in abject slavery, abused or imprisoned.   They may be in a subordinate position voluntarily or involuntarily as a wife, son, or daughter of a nuclear family, or as lesser brother, sister, aunt or uncle within an extended family.  Finally, it may be the case that they find themselves single, independent individuals either voluntarily or involuntarily.

The Single Person

The foremost benefit of remaining single is the retention of complete autonomy over one’s own life.  Any opportunity may immediately be taken advantage of without the consultation of others.  Life may be lived as luxuriously as one’s budget will allow or as stoically as possible in order to save capital to realize future plans.  Travel to anywhere in world is possible and one may leave at any time, on foot if desired.  One may seek the company of others wishing to be social, or enjoy solitude indefinitely. Familial responsibilities are usually minimal requiring little more than the occasional card or letter. After satisfying the necessary economic requirements, one’s time is one’s own with much time for reflection, for study, for personal and economic enrichment, for sleep.  One’s home and person may be kept meticulously clean and in order or as slovenly as a pig’s sty.

Cohabitate and the picture is dramatically different especially if marriage is the object of the relationship. Any change of plans must be discussed in detail even if it is a choice of which restaurant to frequent that night, let alone major decisions such as changes of career or living quarters.  Connubial relationships, while rewarding, require constant emotional maintenance. Substantial blocks of time must be set aside for marital discourse; appropriate tokens of esteem must be acquired and presented at appropriate intervals, and of course there is the responsibility for maintaining a satisfactory level of sexual euphoria for one’s partner, at least in the early decades, a task which, while exceedingly gratifying, nevertheless requires a significant amount of time, effort, and imagination. Various mutually agreed upon rules and regulation for the administration of the home must be negotiated and enumerated and accorded their due solemnity.  All this and the additional complexity of children has yet to be discussed.  To marry and have children causes an individual to bear the responsibility for providing and caring for those children that severely reduce one’s freedom to change careers at will. (Friedan, Pg 137) As for the economic cost, I have often said, “Without my wife I would have nothing – with my wife it seems I must have everything.”  Benjamin Franklin quoted an old English proverb in his autobiography: “He that would thrive must ask his wife.”


To what end would any individual male or female enter into such a relationship which so dramatically curtails one’s own autonomy?  Sexual union and procreation must be the primary motivation for all other objectives may be accomplished outside of the bonds of matrimony.  It would seem that friends or siblings could live an entire life together, own property, travel, go into business, care for one another, or embark upon any conceivable number of enterprises.  Proponents of evolutionary theory, where changes in species are affected over hundreds of thousands of years, must logically give assent to the idea that nothing has changed the basic overwhelming drive to reproduce the species over a mere eight thousand years of recorded history[4].  It is a universal desire of men and women to procreate their lineage, and further desire that their children should exist in an environment where they should live and prosper.  This is the most basic realization of the greater good.

Sex is the lingua franca of youth.  The idea of the sexual double standard is a much-abused myth.  It has never been acceptable in honorable circles for young men to go about sowing wild oats, deflower virgins, or consort with prostitutes.  Neither is it appropriate for young men to transfer their affections from one young woman to another, and then to another.  No parents who loved their young and inexperienced daughter would ever want to knowingly admit such a visitor into their home. Men who wink the eye and make light of such behavior are themselves equally debauched[5], not because of some esoteric theological pronouncement but because of the scant value they attach to this most powerful social mechanism.  If it appears that women up to this time seem to be more socially stigmatized by engaging in promiscuous behavior it may be due to the fact that they suffer a significant loss of dignity by allowing their physical integrity to be breached merely for the purpose of a recreational activity. (Honneth, Pg 129)  Sexual activity is part of the process whereby beautiful, creative, reasoning, human beings of supposedly limitless potential are brought forth upon the earth.  This is a further reason why abortion is considered by many to be so heinous an act; it interrupts the process of creating individuals of purportedly immense intrinsic value and therefore is a process that should not be initiated or interrupted haphazardly.  Famous prostitutes heralded for their blatant sexuality in the media are not lauded for being “great lovers”.  Neither is this meant when the appellation is applied to some infamous Lothario.  Rather people such as these, while known for being able to love ubiquitously, are pitied for not being able to love deeply.  Sex used solely for the purpose of recreation is akin to writing a grocery list on a Rembrandt.  Sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage is an impediment to personal development in that once an individual has been initiated into its delights, he spends considerable time or money in the procurement of same or remains distracted and frustrated at its regular absence.  Sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage presents an obstacle to forming a happy and permanent relationship with the person one is having sexual relations with.  The passions of the flesh obscure the rational reasoning process that might take place when people who differ on basic issues debate and therefore these issues may remain unresolved.  In other scenarios, sexual favors are used as a bargaining chip because the one knows that the other cannot control their sexual appetites and will ultimately give in, a form of coercion counter to rules of discourse ethics. (Habermas, Pg 89)   Finally, a casual attitude toward sexual activity presents the person who does eventually marry with an additional obstacle to remain faithful, as they wistfully recall the variety they once had rather than focusing on the task at hand.

Let us instead consider the alternative.  Imagine two attractive young people who have reached their majority as virgins.  Both are well equipped with all capabilities economic, physical, and intellectual necessary to function within their community as adults.  Both are recognized as sovereign, autonomous, responsible, and honorable individuals.  If they are not totally independent as well, they are certainly independent of each other. To be sure the great part of the knowledge that they possess is theoretical rather than experiential, including necessarily their own knowledge of carnal matters.  Nevertheless, they are well supported by trusted counselors of their own age and older single and married individuals on both sides who support the idea of a chaste and celibate existence before marriage. 

Whether thrown together by chance or by the determinate actions of others, the two individuals recognize a mutual attraction.  They open negotiations, informally at first, on various fronts, romantic, political, intellectual, religious, and social as each determines if they are in agreement or compatible with the other on scores of issues obvious and subtle.  If they arrive at some major philosophical impasse, they may “break off” for a time to consider matters, or may do so permanently and there is no harm done, no betrayal of honor, no personal debasement to be ashamed of.  Because both have remained chaste they have respect for each other’s strength of character. They may, will little difficulty, remain friends and rejoin the social gathering of their young unmarried peers.  Or, as the case often is, they may decide after a period of reflection to resume negotiation.  It is perhaps easier here as in no other type of give and take to put oneself in the position of the “other”, to hear their opinions with an open mind and a true desire to understand.  Marriage may be said to be the model of political compromise which is why the marriage of royals has served at times as the linchpin for alliances between sovereign nations.  As the discourse proceeds it becomes apparent to the couple that no one has ever listened and considered their individual opinion in the manner that they have with each other, and being more or less agreed, they form an alliance, becoming a couple, leaving their parents and cleaving to each other[6], while declaring so to the community.

Much has been made of Engel’s comments that marriage was created to control women and children. (Engels)  In contrast, Alan Keyes[7] has said that “Marriage … exists in order to respect the responsibilities and obligations of procreation, and to signify society’s recognition of those responsibilities and obligations, and its support for their fulfillment by the parties to the marriage.” (Winn)   It is the basic unit of community and of political power and as such may be reasoned to be an “honorable estate”[8].  As our ideal couple consummates their marriage their relationship becomes practically ironclad.  They alone are privy to the secret of their love and as it deepens they become better lovers, more familiar with each others idiosyncrasies both physical and psychological.  The sex act itself influences the social relationship between the couple.  The woman presents herself physically to the man encouraging and supporting his action.  She must yield herself if he is to be successful and that happily and willingly if their lovemaking is to be mutually enjoyable. They must both be able to relax and express their desires frankly and honestly. Assuming that the process progresses normally, they become completely trusting of each other and confident in the emotional and practical support that each provides for the other.  As such they are able to act more confidently individually in their respective social spheres and as a couple forcefully impacting the local community.  As they are now bonafide members of the married society, to the extent that their peers conduct their marriages responsibly and honorably the new couple has access to the additional information and counsel on how they are to exist and progress as husband and wife.

Neo-Patriarchy assumes that marriage will be the standard for a community and that males will provide leadership in family and social situations.  This may of course result in males having a great influence in the civil sphere as well.  Some religious traditions also mandate that men occupy sole positions of doctrinal authority. This does not preclude women from holding any position of authority in the business world, or in political life.  Women may be business owners, corporation presidents, tradesmen, doctors, lawyers, professors, artists, judges, and politicians up to and including head of state without infringing in any way upon the domain of neo-patriarchy. 

The Family

       In the neo-patriarchal system authority in the home is vested in the husband.  The individual male may adopt this ideology for various reasons.  While he may be willing to diminish his autonomy as described above in order to enjoy domesticity, he is unwilling to further abrogate his sovereignty. He desires to be in control of his immediate environment.  He may have specific plans for his future and the future of his household that he desires to implement.  His theology may dictate that he rules his own home.   Whatever his reasons, he is sure to make his desire to rule his home clearly understood to women he may be considering as possible spouses.  Women desirous of retaining their own sovereignty reject him as a suitor out of hand, wishing to find a partner who will in every situation compromise with them, or one who they can rule over.  Nevertheless, there seems to be no lack of women who seek a strong and assertive man to whom they are willing to subordinate themselves to, providing that he appears gentle and compassionate; capable of fidelity and love.  While a man is expected to provide support for his family just as he would if he were an adult still living in his parent’s home, the fact of his authority does not depend upon his providing all or any of that support.  His primary function is to provide leadership.  All members of the family including children of a certain age are expected to do whatever they can to ensure that the family prospers.  Feminist initiatives have been beneficial for the family in that they have provided women with additional economic opportunities to provide economic support giving them the ability to elect to pay for necessary goods and services that they themselves would have otherwise provided.  However, in order that a “home” environment may be created where small children can be nurtured the man often does elect to provide the sole support. Up until the time they marry both individuals are autonomous and individually sovereign, notwithstanding their subordination to the legitimately established government.  They mutually commit to a lifestyle that is family oriented.  The man does not dictate or rule by force but relies upon the vows of marriage establishing his authority and agreed to by his wife before they marry.  He in turn vows to make his wife and his family’s care and happiness his primary overriding concern.  As these vows are binding for life, they are “not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, [or] lightly.”[9] While a divorce has become easy to obtain and thereby discounting lifetime vows, some couples are making the decision to enter into “covenant marriage” a new form of contract that makes it considerably harder to divorce. (Corke)  The lifelong nature of the marriage vows subject them to criticism by those who feel that they unfairly restrict the freedom of choice of the participants who are, if I may rephrase it, liable to “marry in haste and be forced to repent at leisure.”  But the argument may still be made that children have a right to a mother and a father near at hand. Parents choose occupy these traditional roles in order to nurture and care for their and raise them up to be capable adults. (O’Beirne, Pg.2)  An inviolate, cohesive, established marriage and home is the ideal environment for this activity.  A further argument may be made that a man or a woman who devotes a substantial portion of his or her life and/or psyche to so intimate and all-inclusive a relationship should not be able to be so easily cast aside for frivolous reasons.  Couples that take on these traditional roles and enter into this ancient form of marriage create a new family, a political entity that stands in opposition to the powerful influences of the state and the public sphere, providing a refuge for the relatively weak, immature, and inexperienced children who are to be born into it.

Friendship and the Public Sphere

It seems that whether gregarious or introverted most men have limited opportunities for socialization once they enter the working world.  Out of a hundred and sixty-eight hour week, seventy hours may reasonably be subtracted for sleep and other necessary functions such as bathing, dressing, and the like. Subtract an additional fifty hours for time spent at work and travel and you are left with forty-eight hours, a little less than seven hours per day.  Many men work longer than forty hours leaving them even less time to attend to their personal development or chores or getting together with friends to play a round of golf or share a glass of beer. A married man has practically no time for such activities.  Encounters with other men that they consider friends or acquaintances are often impromptu and occur in the course of their movements through public spaces, i.e. gyms, taverns, and clubs. (Kimmel, 393)  When meeting together corporately, at church for example, incidental conversations are by nature superficial and brief.  Nevertheless, the neo-patriarch would agree with Epicurus that “nothing enhances our security so much as friendship.”[10]  With a close friend we are able to express concerns and advance ideas while being ready to receive honest criticism without loss to personal reputation.  One may even talk of treason without fear. Close friendship, like family, is a relationship outside the civil structure and its law.  True friends and family will protect each other from discovery, arrest, and prosecution, even while being personally appalled at the other’s behavior.  It is this social mechanism that allows revolutionaries, freedom fighters, and of course terrorists to operate successfully.   Jews who were hidden from the Nazis were hidden by friends or by individuals who acted as friends.  This alter-network of friends acts as a buffer to ill-conceived or undesirable government initiatives.

The percentage of individuals in a particular community who actually involve themselves in local party politics is exceeding small, far less than the number who actually turn out to vote.  In the 2004 election, approximately seventy-two percent of the eligible population registered to vote, and eighty-eight percent of those registered, or sixty-four percent of the entire eligible population voted. (Holder, Pg. 2) These figures are impressive for a country with a reputation for voter apathy.  But voting is after all the least one can do.  More telling is the fact that during the 2004 election in Duval County, Florida the Republican Party had five thousand active volunteers out of one hundred and ninety thousand registered Republican voters or less than three hundredths of one percent who were actually involved in the campaign.[11]  This means that the percentage of individuals who actually influence and mold party opinion at the county level is of course substantially less than that and that the overwhelming majority of individuals have made the choice consciously or unconsciously to stay home and not concern themselves about such issues. Even in the tavern or around the dinner table it is rare to hear conversations about particular issues that last for more than a quarter hour without a radical change in subject. Is everyone basically in agreement on this issue? Three cheers and on we go to the next item for discussion. Do deep fundamental disagreements emerge among the company? Well, it is not wise to argue for too long, make your points and move on. No need to argue, as no one has any intention about actually doing anything about the issue, save perhaps writing a letter to the editor, or perhaps a check to this organization or that PAC.  All that occurs is a brief exchange of ideas, a testing of the political waters. This is a part of the conscience collective, the social combination of members of society that Durkheim spoke of (Giddens, Pg 133); Habermas’ Public Sphere.  It is not driven by a desire for political change but rather for a desire for political stability, for maintenance of the status quo, if at all possible, to simply live an ordinary life. (Taylor, Pg 14)  It is for this reason that Thomas Jefferson wrote:

 “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Men wish to be left alone to tend to their businesses or otherwise individual pursuits.  They resent the intrusion of the state into their lives even on issues so mundane as seat-belt laws or prohibitions on smoking which many are wont to disregard on principle, even at the risk of their own health and safety.       Any initiative to detect universal norms must find a way to survey public opinion unobtrusively using the same sporadic mechanisms by which it is formed.


In this paper I have attempted to outline the cultural framework of a small segment of American society and suggest universal norms and practices that may be operational within it. Not the least of these is a simple desire for a status quo within which to live essentially unmolested from the world at large.  Nevertheless, we are faced with the political reality that the world is a closed system and each day new issues arise which must be dealt with by concerted global action.  The management of global warming and other ecological concerns, shortages and fair usage of natural resources such as fresh water, and the ever increasing threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by rogue states necessitate that the individual give consideration to and cooperate with not just his next door neighbor, but with the fellow on the other side of the planet.  Worldwide cooperation through international deliberative bodies, law, and public administration would seem to be the only way that this can be effectively accomplished and it would be naïve to assume that such collaboration would be devoid of strong social influence and change.  The more incrementally and unobtrusively such changes are introduced the more likely they are to be accepted and incorporated into the local body politic.  But the idea that international bodies must be promulgated to determine and promote the “balance both between rights and responsibilities and between individuality and community” (Ross) contains within it the very seed of tyranny.  Historically it would seem that men are willing to tolerate anything and that almost indefinitely.  American slavery and the current situation in North Korea are two examples that come immediately to mind.  So it seems to me that there is a very real danger of individuals within unique and small viable communities being burdened and compromised by the intrusion of well-intentioned but unrealistic social polices  that are doomed to failure in much the same way that Marxist-Stalinist economic policies failed in the Soviet-Bloc nations.  The case for true social change that moves decisively toward the greater good must ültimately come as a result of persuasively reasoned arguments that are allowed to percolate and ferment in the soup of the public sphere finally emerging as “obvious” conclusions in the minds of the people who participate in that sphere, including men of good will who rule their homes.


Corke, Kevin. “Some couples opt for covenant marriage: Signing on for more restrictions against divorce”. Weekend Today Magazine. MSNBC. Internet Website  Updated: 4:17 p.m. ET March 25, 2005. Accessed November 19, 2006.

Engels, Fredrick. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Hottingen-Zurich. 1884

Geertz, Clifford. The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic Books, Inc. New York 1973

Giddens, Anthony. Ed. Durkheim on Politics and the State. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California, 1986.

Friedan, Betty. The Second Stage. Summit Books, 1981

Habermas, Jürgen.    Moral consciousness and communicative action. Translated by Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen ; introduction by Thomas McCarthy.   Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press,  c1990.

Holder, Kelly. Voting and Registration in the Election of 2004. U.S. Census Bureau. Issued March 2006

 Honneth, Axel, 1949-  . The Struggle For Recognition:  The Moral Grammar Of Social Conflicts. Translated by Joel Anderson.   Cambridge, Mass.:  MIT Press, 1996

Kimmel, Michael and Messner, Michael. Editors. “I’m Not Friends the Way She’s Friends”. Mens Lives. Sixth Edition. Allyn and Bacon, Boston MA (2004)

Lamar, Hedy, (as Marianne Lorress, a refugee from Vienna who survived internment in a German concentration camp). A Lady Without Passport. Screenplay by Howard Dimsdale, Directed by Joseph H. Lewis, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. Hollywood,  California (1950)

McCants, David. Patrick Henry, the orator. New York :  Greenwood Press,  1990.

Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, state, and utopia. New York :  Basic Books,  c1974.

O’Beirne, Kate. Women Who Make the World Worse, Sentinal (Penguin Group) New York 2006.

Rawls, John, 1921-    A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Mass. :  Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,  1971.

Rose, Louis William. Essay: A Philosophy of Elementary Education.  Internet website

Ross, Kelley L. Rights, Responsibilities, and Communitarianism. Internet website. Accessed 11/19/06

Taylor, Charles, 1931-    Sources of the self :  the making of the modern identity. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press,  1989.

Winn, Pete. “Dire Consequences”. Focus on the Family online magazine. Internet Website. Accessed 11/16/06

[1] As this is a patriarchal response, and as I happen to find myself existent in the body of a male, I shall resort to the masculine pronoun as a default unless I am specifically referring to females.  Should I make a statement that applies specifically to males, I shall identify it as such.

[2] A founder of modern sociology.

[3] Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

[4] Others may look to Genesis 1:28

[5] To avoid being accused at some future date of hypocrisy, the author must here that he himself has been guilty of this practice and therefore stands equally characterized as those he describes.

[6] Genesis 2:24 KJV

[7] Keyes has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University

[8] Anglican Book of Common Prayer

[9] Anglican Book of Common Prayer

[10] The Twenty-Eighth principal doctrine of Epicurus

[11] Ms. Suzi Loving of the Duval Republican Committee provided this statistic from party databases.

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A Philosophy of Elementary Education

          The education and the shepherding of a child through infancy and adolescence until he or she emerges from the protection of the family are wholly the right and responsibility of that child’s parents. In this way and only in this way can individual families ensure that the political and theological conclusions that they hold will be preserved and impressed upon future generations. The family provides a shelter from the commercial and political pressures of society. These societal pressures often present artificially skewed priorities, or prevent frank and open speech about the essential matters of life. Practically without exception, the family provides the only place where an immature person can obtain instruction, advice, and counsel that is offered in a true spirit of altruism, solely for the benefit of the recipient, and without hope of personal gain or the advancement of some hidden agenda. Tragically, this may not be the case in every family. Nevertheless there is no acceptable substitute for it.

          From birth to age six, every child would best be served by remaining in the home and being educated and cared for by both parents, with the majority of care and instruction provided by the mother. The mother carries the infant from conception to term and they are bonded to each other. The infant trusts and depends on the mother and knows her voice. The infant and the mother share the same routine for nine months and it becomes a simple matter to expand the routine after birth and expect cooperation from the infant child. The infant child wants its mother and she is there for the child. In this warm cocoon of caring and intimacy the child can be easily taught and encouraged if the mother is prepared and determined to teach.

          Rather than provide daycare opportunities for children up to the age of six, the government and society as a whole should create opportunities for parents to better teach and otherwise raise their own preschool children. Our society should do everything within its power to ensure that a single income be enough to support a family of four, or government subsidies should be provided when one parent (again presumably the mother) stays home to raise and educate the children. Opportunities should be provided for children to play together, during which time both parents can learn new teaching skills, and have access to the necessary materials. Parents should have already received training in the basic skills necessary for teaching and child rearing as a part of their secondary education. A national program of recitals when children could voluntarily showcase their basic skills should be established, with special holidays for colors, numbers, alphabets, days of the week, time telling, etc., when children might demonstrate these basic skills and receive a small treat or refrain from showing off their skills demonstrating their modesty of character. This would be done specifically to accommodate those who parents might decide not to formally teach their children at all letting them experience a purer form of childhood for the first six years devoted to what development might occur during self-directed play. Irrespective of which approach was chosen, children during this period would learn important life lessons, the first of which being that they are loved and cared for and protected, and under the authority of their parents, for this is what parents are supposed to do. The second being that they have a home, a described area separate and safe from the rest of the world, where the greater part of a good life takes place. Most importantly, by learning the lesson that they are individuals of importance, whose thoughts and feelings and emotions matter within the institution of the family, and that they are not just one more nameless child among scores of children in a vast, impersonal educational system. It is this strong social foundation, bolstered by basic skills that both parents should be expected and encouraged to impart to their children that would prepare them to enter the first grade of elementary school, and carry them through the rest of their school years and into adulthood.

          The first day of elementary school can be a very stressful one for the young student. In order to smooth the transition into the educational system, as the sixth year is reached children must be afforded additional opportunities for socialization with other children of their own age, and must also be required to take a battery of tests to establish a base line for their educational development. These tests will have been available throughout the child’s life and may or may not have been taken advantage of by the parent or administered by educational counselors or the child’s pediatrician at the request of the parent. But now, because of the state’s vested interest in an educated citizenry in order to preserve a functioning constitutional republic, yearly testing would continue throughout the child’s educational career. At all times parents will have the option to home school, or to enroll their child in a private or a public school.

          The public elementary school should be based on the principles of inclusivity, community, and assimilation. All cultures and personalities embraced, every student valued, respected, and challenged, and all students citizens of the republic. Students should be encouraged at every turn to develop their unique personal identity as a sovereign citizen, and also to identify, take pride in, and cooperate with their class and their school. Classes should not be numbered but should instead be named in some agreed upon convention, perhaps using colors or the names of animals. The class should keep its name and remain together as a unit for the entire six years. Students should be taught little more than the essentials during their first three years of school limited to reading aloud, rhetoric, grammar and penmanship, arithmetic, deportment, and basic etiquette. Much of this with the exception of reading will occur by simple rote memorization. All other subjects, science, history, social studies, health, geography, and civics, should be lightly touched on as a result of what was chosen by the instructor to be read aloud in class that day. Reading aloud is essential to develop a strong and independent personality in the child, to teach confidence and the ability to stand up and speak for one’s self. It is also the easiest way to see if basic reading and punctuation skills have been retained. Demonstrations by the instructor might possibly follow the reading, as well as celebrations of politically significant days and other holidays, show and tell by students, and special visitors to class, many of whom should be parent presenters and observers. All of these activities should serve to enrich and diversify the learning experience. However, none of these additional activities would be tested or graded. A long recess period at midday during which the children have lunch and engage in supervised but essentially unstructured play ought to punctuate the day, followed by an afternoon period where the children receive music education in the form of choral singing or group playing of instruments, and on alternate days, creative art projects such as painting, clay or papier-machie sculpture, drawing, and the like. At every point, parents must be invited to recognize, appreciate, and participate in the learning, artistic and recreational activities of their children. Each year, students should be tested for the basic skills of reading aloud, grammar and penmanship, and arithmetic. Students failing to meet standards should be referred to remediation during the summer and as a last resort placed in a special class for a year or more. Observations about the children regarding rhetoric, deportment and basic etiquette should be reported by the teacher to the parents and counseling staff so that they might be aware of any unique or troubled personalities that might require special attention. A wide variety of behaviors and eccentricities should be accommodated with the exception of violent and disruptive behavior, or behavior that is inherently mean or disrespectful to faculty or fellow students.

          If the first three years of elementary school could be said to teach children how to learn, the next three years should be devoted to teaching them what there is to learn about. With a strong grounding in the fundamentals, children in the fourth through six years of elementary school should begin the task of reading in specific areas, and learning to write and speak about what knowledge has been gained during this process. Focusing on the construction of clear, concise, and grammatically correct paragraphs, this process of reading, discussing and writing should be applied to all other subject areas that begin to be explored in greater depth. A suggested curriculum would include World History and Geography, American History, American Government and general civics in the fourth year, Earth Science, Astronomy, and Heath Science in the fifth year, Art History and Music Appreciation, Biology, and Life Management in the sixth year. Throughout the three years students should also be exposed to a great deal of English Literature, additional training in mathematics through pre-algebra, and of course basic computer and keyboarding skills. During the last three years of elementary school, recess after lunch is to be replaced by various organized individual and team sports. Afternoons continue to include art and music, but students are given opportunities to advance their skill in areas that are of particular interest to them, either by performing music in ensemble, receiving instruction in a particular art medium that is appealing, or working on special projects in other areas of academic interest including foreign language studies, with the guidance of teachers and parents.

          Regular testing and comprehensive examinations at the end of each year, and overarching comprehensive finals at the end of the three years would ensure that the knowledge that had been meant to be imparted during the six years of elementary school had in fact been processed and retained. Again, those students who were having difficulty in retaining the curriculum ought to be remediated during summer sessions or transferred to another class, until such time as they would be ready to be graduated. Students who were unable to complete the curriculum after an appropriate period of time would be conditionally graduated and would be eligible enter a select group of secondary trade schools. Nothing would preclude these students from retesting at a later date, even at a much later date, and passing their comprehensives, receiving a regular diploma dated for the year that their class graduated. Students who did receive a regular diploma from elementary school would be determined fit to enter high school, or a broad and diverse group of secondary trade schools. High school would be considered a necessary path only for those students planning careers in business management, law enforcement, the military, the para-professional fields, or for those who were planning to attend university in order to prepare for professional and academic careers. Students graduating from this type of elementary school would be fully prepared to read about, comprehend, write about and discuss any mundane subject, and would have all the necessary skills to continue to self-educate for the rest of their lives. Students graduating from this type of elementary school would have the mathematical and life skills necessary to function as a citizen in an advanced society, as well an appreciation of what priorities must be set upon work, and what pleasure might be obtained from the enjoyment and practice of the arts.

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A Little Rant about Weapons

The 2nd Amendment begins with an explanatory statement, and might as well have begun with the word “BECAUSE”. “A well-regulated (trained) militia (a military force that engages in rebel activities in opposition to a regular army) being necessary to the security of a free (as opposed to a totalitarian) state, “THEREFORE” The right of the people (me and you and especially the weaker among us) to keep and bear (military) arms (typically carried by infantry soldiers on the battlefield) SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.  Typically, the militia also serves as a very informal way for the local sheriff to organize, train, and get to know the armed individuals in his county while keeping a very informal, friendly eye on them.
So, our forefathers (and their equally freedom-loving wives) knew precisely what it meant when they read the 2nd Amendment…. So therefore, I absolutely oppose any further restrictions on the sale of military grade weapons. To begin with, it is impossible to restrict supply in a free society. For example, if our enemies wanted to import a briefcase nuclear bomb, all they would have to do was to hide it in a bale of marijuana, right?  It is easy enough to buy weapons at a local gun dealer, and of course they do require ID and a background check, and they do not sell to children. Nevertheless, anyone with basic machining skills can make firearms all day in the privacy of their own homes, or businesses, and would do so if it were not for the ready availability of such arms on the black market.
From WWII until today, 18-year-olds are eligible to join or be conscripted into the military.  I learned to shoot at age 16 in the basement of the local YMCA, and it helped me when I enlisted. A firearm is just another tool like a chainsaw or a car. All three can be used to kill.  Knives are very handy and have the additional benefit of being silent and easily concealed.  A sharp pencil will do if necessary, and I am sure you would not be very surprised at the number of household products that can be made to go boom!  How much restriction do you want?   Some villages overseas were reduced to a single knife chained to a stump in the center of the village for cooking purposes.
People have a responsibility to secure their weapons and keep them out of the hands of children. Schools have a responsibility to regulate entrance to their buildings, check students as they enter, and know how their students are feeling and doing at all times. Public venues have similar responsibilities and may allow or prohibit entry to those who are armed.  This has always been the case, but sadly it is not always done.  People who do not take their responsibilities seriously should be penalized, but not the rest of us. Our 2nd Amendment rights undergird and protect our 1st Amendment rights and all the others enumerated and not enumerated in the Constitution.

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Life, Love, People and God

My book: Life, Love, People and God is available on Click here to order a copy

It is comprised of poetry and essays written over the past fifty years by myself, a lifelong student of parliamentary procedure and political process.

As a political philosopher, poet, singer, and writer, I have tried to be an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government.

I have been writing poetry and lyrics since I was a very young man, to express my passions and my sorrow. Here they are for your consideration and I hope that you enjoy them, but more than this, that they may be of some use to you.

My poetry is divided into four categories:

These catagories can be easily accessed from the front menu, or you can search the categories on the right of most any page.

You may also find interesting two essays of mine on the subject of poetry:

My Definition of Poetry

What Role Does Poetry Play in Society?

Thank you so much for your interest in my work.

Posted in About God, About Life, About Love, About People, Christianity, Ethics, Freedom of Speech, Liberty, Literature, Philosophy of Religion, Poetry, Political Theory, Politics, Right to Bear Arms, Social Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Critical Five-Year Periods of Human Life

Buddha is reported to have said, “The trouble is, you think you have time.”

Of course, Buddha ran out of time, just as all of us will sooner or later.

To help overcome this, I have developed a chart which I call,


 This is a look at the average life as I have experienced it, and perceive it to be for all men and women in all places at all times.  Of course, there are exceptions, many of them! Nevertheless, I think this chart worth a look especially for those just beginning their journey.   It makes the claim that you only have about thirty years to accomplish anything, so get to it!  In the past when I have worked with younger people, I hand out copies of the chart with an arrow pointing to where I am located on it in red.  I hand out red pencils so that they can mark an arrow pointing to where they are located.

We begin with Infancy which is applied to the years 0 – 20.  During this time, you know little or nothing and pretty much do what you are told.  (That is why they call it Infantry, right?)

The years 20 – 30 are normally when one is getting a real education or learning a trade which is why I call them the Neophyte years.  Years 30 – 40 are the Adept years during which we work at our professions, and years 40 – 50 the Master years.  If an individual is to make a lasting mark in this world, he or she will probably do it then.

From 20 – 35 we are typically in the process of marrying, child rearing, and career building.

From 35 – 50 we are typically in the process of child launch and creating our masterpiece.

That is, if we get to do any of these things at all in what is a very brief 30 year period.

From 50 – 70 we may properly be said to be in our dotage.   Psalm 90:10 tells us: The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.   

Retirement age in this country is at age 65 and both males and females on average live into their 80’s.   Still, I do not think that age 50 is too early to begin to consider the more important matters of life and death.  Most important is to realize how blindingly fast time passes at that age.

I hope that the chart and this explanation will be of some use to you.

A copy of the chart may be downloaded here

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Song: A New Lyric for “America the Beautiful”

O beautiful for stony heights,
From whence to see our land.
With Constitution, Bill of Rights
Kept safely close at hand.

America! America!
Has all your glory past?
Shall tyranny, not liberty,
Reign over us at last?

O beautiful for countrymen,
Who answer at the run.
See, every one of them has brought,
His Bible and his gun!

America! America!
Abandon not your cause.
Reject the rule of haughty fools,
Embrace a rule of laws.

Oh beautiful for conflicts found,
with streets filled up with blood.
Where every patriot stood his ground,
And did the best he could.

America! America!
Your country needs you now.
Defeat the foe, till all shall know,
That free men never bow.

O beautiful for children born,
To fill our thinning ranks.
Who gain a free and happy home,
and kneel to give God thanks.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And there inspire a holy fire,
To keep your people free.

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On Rebellion


These are the words of Howard Beale in “Network”. The American movie classic is about an aging network broadcaster who rebels against the corporate oligarchy and subsequently is murdered at their hands.  Rebellion and the rebels that foment them are a recurrent theme in story and song.  Spartacus[2], Robin of Loxley, William Wallace, Zorro, Patrick Henry[3], John Brown, and Michael Collins are but a few characters, real and imagined, who considered their own liberty and that of their fellow compatriots more important than the authority of a tyrannical state.
Continue reading

Posted in Academic Papers, Liberty, Natural Law, Political Theory, Politics, Right to Bear Arms, Social Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Poem: Remembering Copake at Iguaçu

When I was young I saw a waterfall

A single stream into a crystal pool
For twenty feet or more
There in the water childlike lovers play

The scent of pine is heavy in the air
Its pungent sweetness carried by the mist
While rushing water sprays
The peal of lover’s laughter in my ears

Iguaçu dominates my senses now
White rising vapors fill the eastern sky
That panoramic sight
Cannot obscure my view of Copake Falls

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On Global Socioeconomic Justice

When discussing contemporary theories of global socioeconomic justice we should begin with John Rawls, if only for the fact that the two other philosophers whose views I shall be examining, Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Pogge, refer to Rawls frequently in their own arguments.  Rawls concept of “Justice as Fairness” is found in the first chapter of his book, A Theory of Justice where Rawls say that it “corresponds to the state of nature in the traditional theory of the social contract.” [1]   In this hypothetical state behind Rawls’ “veil of ignorance” no one knows in advance what their social, political, or economic position in life will be, which serves as a strong motivation to agree that everyone should have equal opportunities, resources and rights.   In order for this to play out realistically in a society, in addition to everyone having equal access to opportunities, any inequalities that do exist should benefit the economically and socially disadvantaged.

In a later book, The Law of Peoples,[2] Rawls seems to take a more pragmatic view of the situation describing a society of “well ordered” peoples made up of “liberal” societies constructed as constitutional democracies and “decent” hierarchical states that allow for political input from their citizens while acknowledging basic human rights.  “Outlaw” societies are those which are totalitarian in nature or severely “burdened” by economic or cultural failings preventing them from operating in democratic manner.

Rather than apply the idea of equalities of opportunity and resources to a global scale, Rawls felt that nations should be considered to be equals in that they were all exhibiting the necessary resources by virtue of their statehood.   He did however believe that richer nations had a moral obligation to help outlaw and burdened societies rise to the level of decent societies.  Accordingly, resources could be given to these states until they had reached that level, when presumably they could continue to develop on their own.

Thomas Pogge rejects the idea that prosperous countries have only a positive duty to assist those economically disadvantaged.[3]  His position is that rich countries have failed in their negative duty to not cause harm to poorer nations, arguing that the present global organizations and agreements dealing with economic issues are biased against poorer nations preventing them from coming out of poverty. He takes issue with Rawls’ social contract theory which assumes that societies will have rational reasons for dealing with each other based on the assumption that such dealings will be mutually beneficial.  If this is the case Pogge argues, then such societies cannot rationally decide to deal with poor nations because there will be no benefit in their doing so.   I think that in this Pogge fails to see the opportunities for individuals in richer nations to extract raw materials and cheap labor from such transactions. Rawls suggests that impoverished nations have primarily themselves to blame because of the lack of effective forms of government and other economic and cultural institutions. Pogge arguing against this purely domestic poverty thesis (PDPT) saying that other factors must be considered.   For example, he makes the claim that world markets such as the World Trade Organization are structured to the disadvantage of poorer countries.  He also alleges that present day poverty is a result of a long history of bad acts perpetrated against poorer nations by richer ones.  His strongest arguments in my opinion center on his discussion of the “resource privilege” and the “borrowing privilege.”  Governments that take and maintain power by force have immediate access to state resources which they may sell, and to lines of international credit whereby they may finance their operations.  Though both processes they may bankrupt their countries and plunge them deeply into debt while maintaining their power.    It seems obvious that constitutional republics should refuse to do business with such governments and forbid corporations and individuals within their borders from doing so.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case and perhaps the representatives of those governments bear some responsibility for their dealings with rogue governments.  Pogge says that Rawls original position of individuals behind the veil of ignorance should be extended to states and used as a benchmark for their economic dealing with each other.

Martha Nussbaum has offered a more robust scenario than either Rawls or Pogge regarding the prerogatives that all humans should rightly enjoy in an article in The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitianism.[4]  Nussbaum’s capabilities approach restates basic human rights as descriptions of what persons should be able to accomplish or the resources to which they should have access.   Contract theory presumes that all parties negotiate from a position of equality. Nussbaum departs from Rawls’ contractarian approach because she feels too many classes are excluded; unable to enter into quid pro quo agreements such as the disabled, the very old, and very young, etc.  Instead, Nussbaum feels that we all need to think about what “human beings require to live a richly human life” and work to achieve that based on the idea of human fellowship rather than mutually beneficial contract arrangements.  Rawls idea of contract between nations is based on the idea that all nations have worked out within their own domains a set of procedures and protocols for living together as a nation and therefore negotiate as equals.  Nussbaum disagrees pointing to the many nations that do not operate in a democratic manner, and where large parts of the population are disenfranchised.  In this she seems to be echoing Pogge’s discussion of the inequity of the resource and borrowing privilege.

 Both Pogge and Nussbaum commend Rawls’ position that liberal societies should help burdened societies form stable and equitable forms of government but both feel he does not go far enough.  Nussbaum’s primary criticism of both Pogge and Rawls is that the contractarian model cannot justify the philanthropic relief of the impoverished necessary to create a just world.   Rather her claim is that it “must be human fellowship, and human respect, in a more expansive sense.”    It would seem that this type of appeal would have to be made on an individual level, but Nussbaum stresses the unpredictability and difficulty of managing aid to the poor on an individual basis.  She is committed to the idea that nation-states and multinational corporations must decide and commit their resources to the relief of the global poor and the development of capabilities in order for the process to be successful.  She also speaks of a global structure comprising an economic system and public sphere but does not elaborate on how it should be organized or controlled.  Most problematic is her idea that the family should not be considered a private sphere, but that government should have a hand in its management.  It seems to me that families precede the formation of government, and are the primary actors in the overthrow of unjust government.  The family, the church, and the magistrate have been coequal institutions of society serving to act as a check and balance of each other.   In a small group I attended with Nussbaum she remarked that she did not believe that parents should be allowed to educate their children.[5]  I took issue with her then asking her, given her strong support of religious and political freedom, how parents would be able to inculcate their children with the political and religious philosophies they held most dear if they could not educate their children.  I do not recall her answer, but I note that education is one of the ten principles she advances for the establishment of a global structure, and that she stresses that “institutions and individuals have a responsibility to support education, as key to the empowerment of currently disadvantaged people.”

Individuals (and by extension their government) have a limited amount of time and resources which in turn must be applied to a hierarchy of responsibilities and needs.  I must take steps to preserve my life if at all possible, and in turn the government must take steps to ensure its preservation.   I must provide for the well-being of my wife and children.  The government must provide for the well-being of its officers and citizens. I have both a moral responsibility and social incentives to promote the well-being of my close relatives, friends, and neighbors. Nevertheless this is limited both by time and financial constraints as well as the obligations I have previously outlined.   I exchange the limited precious hours of my life for a paltry sum in order to meet my obligations.  I exchange my life for currency and my currency for goods and services.  He who steals from me steals my life.  He who attempts to rob me attempts to take my life by force and deserves nothing but the sword in return.  Taxation is a form of taking by force, and this is why government officials do well to be careful that such taking is just. Government, being a legal entity, has no moral obligations whatsoever but it does have legal obligations to its citizens, and political and national security concerns that must be addressed within the limits of its authority.    The Constitution of the United States makes no provision for government to in any way cede the powers and authority granted to it by the states to any other government or global organization.  Therefore, the pronouncements of any international body have no legitimate authority over the people of the United States and should treaties be signed to that effect, they can have no legitimate legal standing.   The Constitution of the United States makes no provision for our government to redistribute the income of the citizens of the several states, or designate it for charitable purposes. The fact that this has been done in the past does not make it any less illegal.  Therefore our government should do as little as possible to relieve the suffering of the poor in our own nation or any other nation, providing no foreign aid whatsoever except in those situations where the national security of the United States demands it.  Thomas Pogge says that “as affluent people and countries, we surely have positive moral duties to assist persons mired in life-threatening poverty.”  I will readily admit that this is true for us individually, but maintain that our government does not have such moral duties.  Regarding the negative duties to reduce severe harms that we allegedly have caused, The United State has given approximately seventy three billion dollars in foreign aid over the past decade alone.[6]   We have given hundreds of thousands of lives in the cost of freedom.  We have send thousands of missionaries and Peace Corps volunteers into the field to help those less fortunate than us.  With a word, an unpopular American president was able to generate over ten million dollars in text-mailed contributions to aid Haiti’s earthquake victims.   It was Senator Robert Goodloe Harper who said, “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.”  I think that the citizens of this nation would be quick to echo, “Millions for charity, but not one cent for reparations.” Regarding the rest of the world, including those underdeveloped nations who have chosen to live in peace with us, our foreign policy should be the promotion of free trade and human rights, and the promulgation of a constitutional government as the ideal.

With the idea that the truth about such matters will prevail, global organizations should be clearing houses of scientific research, sharing and disseminating it to all nations and their citizens to bolster their technological and economic development, and to aid in decision making and legislation at the local level.  National or federal governments would do well to refrain from implementing regulations of any kind, allowing the state legislatures and court systems to sort out most matters themselves.  However as our government is tasked with the execution of foreign policy, I think it should be our policy not to deal financially with rogue governments, and agree with Thomas Pogge in this matter.

Wherever private American capital and entrepreneurship is welcome, it should go with the goal of making more profit for Americans, while at the same time providing an opportunity for the citizens of poorer nations to learn skills, raise their standard of living, and improve the quality of their culture and their lives.  This is in accordance with my earlier premise that personal and immediate well being must come first because of the obvious lack of time and resources.  As Lincoln said, we must teach men to fish. As we do so, I think it behooves us to sell them the pole, hook, line, and sinker as well.  The steady capitalization of any area results in an immediate benefit for the entrepreneur it is true, but yields a long term benefit for the communities who gain their own capital from earnings and thrift, and find an example which they may follow in order to enrich themselves and their children.  Should they wish to do, so labor unions may send missions to enlighten the working men and women in these countries about the benefits of collective bargaining.

Wherever missionaries and independently funded NGO’s are welcome, they should go in order to further their own private agendas of peace, development, and relief for the poor.  The National Association of Parliamentarians, of which I am a member is an example of such an organization.  NAP regularly sends volunteers to countries unaccustomed with the workings of democratic government to train citizens at the local level on the procedures used to set up legislatures, debate and decide issues, and how have free elections. Volunteerism should be lionized and contributions to these types of organizations encouraged, perhaps with the cooperation of the television, film, marketing and advertising industries. The private sector is the proper place for charity and relief of the poor, which should be privately funded and manned by unpaid volunteers.  But charity must never be made compulsory because at the point that it is made so, it ceases to be charity on the part of the giver and becomes robbery on the part of the recipient.

[1] Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of HarvardUniversity Press, 1971.

[2] Rawls, John. The Law of Peoples: With “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited”. Cambridge, Mass: HarvardUniversity Press, 2000.

[3] Pogge, Thomas Winfried Menko, and Keith Horton. Global Ethics: Seminal Essays. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2008.

[4] Nussbaum, Martha “Beyond the social contract: capabilities and global justice.” in The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism,ed Brock, Gillian, and Harry Brighouse. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2005.

[5] Colloquium attended by Martha Nussbaum, UNF faculty and graduate students of the Department of Philosophy and Ethics, University of North Florida.  February 21,2008


Originally published November 7, 2013 University of North Florida

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Liberty and Non Aggression

Liberty is expanded by the free exchange of information and freedom of association. Nevertheless Tyranny is easier. I observe this constantly as a parliamentarian. The right to bear arms protects the right of free speech, religion, association, and petition, all constantly under attack. But everywhere I go, I observe those who would subjugate others for their own purposes.
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So Many Religions – Why Christianity?

My dear friend, Dr. Levitt asks, “So only the Christian Religion is the one and only true religion? Only Christians know who is the one and only God? Jews? Mormons? Hindu’s? Buddhists? Muslims? Atheists? Everyone is all wrong but Christians? Isn’t it a bit expected that you live in a country that is 80% or so “Christian?” Do you really think you would take the same position if you were born Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, etc?”

First, let us set the boundaries. I maintain that I live in a metaphysical world, not an existential one. So unless you agree on that basic premise, all that follows is moot.

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Why I am Unfit to be an Elder or a Deacon in a Bible Believing Church And Some Other Thoughts on the Church and the Law

A version of the this article was originally published in THEOOSE an online Christian Magazine Sep 14, 2002 

        I have broken all of the Ten Commandments countless times with a deliberate will, in my heart and mind, and in fact with the exception of murder, which I have come pretty close to actually accomplishing a couple of times.  Amazingly, I was never arrested or tried for any crime, nor did I ever contract any incurable disease.  I am not likely to be a candidate for elected office, or even attached to an ongoing campaign, because I am not shy about sharing my past when it seems appropriate to me.  I try not to brag about my past mistakes, although there are several amusing anecdotes I might relate.  I do not make a point of recounting long lists of conquests, drugalogues, or high-speed car chases.  But I decided around the age of forty, that I would say what was on my mind, and to tell the truth about myself as far as I was able, and to tell what I thought was the truth about others, when I thought it might be of some good. Continue reading

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A Sadly Changed Country

Back in the 1970’s a man wrote a letter to the editor of the Palm Beach Post. I though that I should share it with you. Hear Hear!


By the mercy of God my grandfather is dead.

He would not recognize today the country he loved.   He would never have believed that his country would be controlled by a small group of socialist judges.  Nor would he have believed that ten percent of the population[i] would be on welfare, and another ten percent on the public payroll.[ii]

You would never convince him that in the 1970’s our children would be used as pawns in quasi legal power struggle to socialize our nation. He would have been apoplectic at their being bused from one city to another at the whim of some judge against their wishes, with little thought to their safety.  If his children had been endangered in school riots and the school could not, or would not, insure their safety he would have kept them home.

If you had suggested to him that he could not legally defend his home and family with a gun he would have suggested to you that you should try to harm his family or take his gun.  Without this right there would be no United States today.

I can just imagine some government agent trying to take 35 or 40 percent of his income for taxes.[iii]  They would have needed a gun.  And any judge that told him he could not play or sing “Dixie” or any other song would have been tarred and feathered, then placed in a mental institution.

He would have been horrified to hear that children could no longer intone the Lord’s Prayer in school, or that some children would not participate in The Pledge of Allegiance.  In his day the prayer and pledge were so important that anyone not participating was shortly convinced that perhaps they would be happier in another country.

My grandfather would have told you that a man is entitled to only what he earns.  If he accepted more he was a parasite, that a crooked politician was a traitor, and that the Constitution only guaranteed the PURSUIT of happiness.[iv] If you didn’t catch it you weren’t running fast enough and you couldn’t expect your fellow man to carry you on his back.

By the mercy of God my grandfather did not live to see the wreckage that was once the United State of America, the land he loved with all his being.

A.A. CORLEY, West Palm Beach

[i] 21% as of 2015

[ii] 14.5% as of 1999

[iii] The Bureau of labor statistics estimated 24% of income is average amount paid in taxes for income, Social Security, and Medicare in 2017.  This did not include the sales tax that is paid every day, or property taxes, or vehicle taxes.

[iv] The Declaration, actually, but apples of gold in pictures of silver…

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Thoughts on the Militia for a New Republic

We constantly hear about the second half of the Second Amendment, an independent clause which guarantees us the absolute right, free from any legislative impingement, to keep and bear arms. All laws to the contrary in my opinion are unconstitutional, and may be reasonably viewed as null and void.

However the founders did have a reason for this as we read in the amendment itself. Continue reading

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Poem: I Killed a Fish Today

I killed a fish today.
This flounder, so alive.
Caught at the end of day.
Upon my butcher’s block,
He struggled to survive.

So beautiful, and proud.
My knife against his head,
Apologized aloud.
Then quickly as I could,
Made sure that he was dead

Filleted him to the bone,
As close as skill allowed.
Breaded and fried at home,
Enshrined upon a plate,
With hot sauce for a shroud.

Louis William Rose,
April 11,2020


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Here’s to the Guys that got Married Three Times

Here’s to the guys that got married three times
They should have known better but didn’t.
They paid a high price for all of their crimes,
Well meaning, forbidden, or hidden.

Here’s to the guys that got married three times
They all were such hopeless romantics.
Their honeymoons taken in tropical climes,
Were replete with the usual antics.

Here’s to the guys that got married three times,
They thought two and three would be better.
If what they know now they had known in their primes,
They’d have all kept their vows to the letter.

– Louis William Rose

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No Stanky Cheese for Christmas

No stanky cheese for Christmas
My good wife said to me.
No Camembert, no Limburger,
No pungent, agèd brie.

At this year’s Christmas table
Such “cheese” shall have no place
Among the meats and roots and greens
Its smell is a disgrace!

That cheese, sir, is offensive
A bane to appetite.
How dare you dare ingest it, sir?
That cheese, it just ain’t right!

So then, I double wrapped my cheese,
and hid it in the back,
Of the produce drawer inside the fridge
Beneath the bottom rack

I simply cannot bring myself
To throw away the thing!
Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait
and bring it out this Spring.


Louis William Rose


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The Host of Heaven Views with Open Mouth

The host of heaven views with open mouth.
Shocked and appalled at every lurid scene.
Each good intention tragically gone south
Each careless word both frivolous or mean.
How desperate and how rapid was his fall!
But, then the Blood of Christ shall cover all.
How glorious that when my life shall end.
On Christ, and no one else shall I depend.
Louis William Rose,
August 2014
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Created Male & Female

ugly worthless man
Beautiful Priceless Woman
harbinger of death
Custodian of Life
builder of towers
Creator of Homes
master of men
Mother of Children
waging war
Harboring Hope
hating and remembering
Loving and Forgiving
comforted and Comforter
Protected and protector
clinging to each other
in the cruel world

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Sonnet: Things That Were to Be

Once I dreamt of things that were to be
But now can only dream of things that were
Sweet escapades designed to passion stir
From next to next I wandered wild and free

Once I gazed upon horizons vast
Where ere I looked saw opportunity
But now, I find it difficult to see
An option which has not already past

The universal fate of man is this
To ignorantly struggle in his prime
With needed knowledge gained too late in time
Eyes open he steps into the abyss

Recovery seeming not to be in sight,
Perhaps, it’s time to just turn out the light.

This sonnet, like a child took nine months to come to fruition
Louis William Rose

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Song: Once I’d Had Love

Once I’d had love,
I had to have it all the time,
The years when I was in my prime,
To do without it was a crime.
Life with-out love,
You know it isn’t worth a dime,
Or even just a cent, but cent don’t rhyme.

You gave me love,
But then you took your love away.
You promised you would always stay,
You didn’t though, but that’s okay.
All that sweet love,
Made me the man I am today.
Will you return to me? I cannot say.

Should love find you,
Be careful you do not offend.
She always conquers in the end,
You really want to be her friend.
If love chooses,
Your happiness will never end.
Or else your broken heart may never mend

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Poem: To Choose Between the Two

Thinking of the old days,

Before my life was through.

Thinking of the younger moments,

And I thought of you.

What is life and time that I

Should be there and here too?

Why don’t I have a natural right

To choose between the two?


Haven’t written in a while  I was awash in self-pity a few nights ago, daydreaming about my high school years and remembering my life-long friend Chas August.  So here is a short ballad dedicated to him as he lives his idyllic life in of all places, California…



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Poem: To Turn and Look at You

When I think about the way that it’s turned out
disappointments, failings, and missteps review,
If the worth of it I should begin to doubt
I’d need only but to turn and look at you

I still stand by everything I’ve ever said
and if asked if circumstances I foreknew
would I then have chosen different words instead
I’d need only but to turn and look at you

When they ask me to describe my fondest dream
the elusive aspirations I pursue
I care not how enigmatic it might seem
I’d need only but to turn and look at you

If all women in the world were mine alone
Siren, mermaid, queen, or teenage ingenue
none of them would I select to share my throne
I’d need only but to turn and look at you

I’d need only but to turn and look at you
for my heart beams bright when you come into view
should they ever ask me if my love was true
I’d need only but to turn and look at you

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Song: There’s no Calvin like John Calvin

(Sung to the tune of “There’s no Business like Show Business.”)
The Elders, the Deacons, the Choir, the Church,
are generally known to be a stodgy bunch,
and yet,
The Elders, the Deacons, the Choir, the Church,
all smile and laugh when they go into lunch.

And if you wonder what should make it so,
Just ask them and they’ll tell you that they know,

There’s no Calvin like John Calvin, like no Calvin I know.
Everything about him is appealing,
Everything that doctrine will allow.
No where can you get that happy feeling,
when he’s revealing what we avow.

There’s no ‘vinists like Calvinists,
They smile because they know

Even though some Christians are a bit confused
When Jesus calls you, you can’t refuse
When they get to Heaven they’ll all change their views

Cause God’s running the show,
Yes! God’s running the show.

Our Book of Church Order, our hymnals, our schools,
are carefully designed so they ensure,
Our Book of Church Order, our hymnals, our schools,
are all kept theo-log-ic-al-ly pure.
If there’s some doubt about whether we do,
There’s only one thing left to say to you.

There’s no Calvin like John Calvin, like no Calvin I know
If your pondering deep religious questions.
Counting angels dancing on a pin.
He will answer all of your objections,
Upon reflection, you will give in.

There’s no ‘vinists like Calvinists,
Elect right from the start.

Even though the world may see us sore oppressed,
By schisms rendered, by lies distressed.
All in all it’s really hard to be depressed,

When Christ lives in your heart!
When Christ lives in your heart!

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Bushido: The Way of the Warrior

The code of Bushido is the ethical code of conduct developed during Japan’s feudal period. This occurred at about the same time that the code of Chivalry was developed in Europe. The development of both systems was directly related to the structure and purposes of feudalism, a social, governmental system wherein certain noble families controlled most of the land, and maintained private armies of professional soldiers. In Japan, these soldiers were called Samurai. For almost five hundred years, various Japanese lords, called Daimyo, warred with each other for land and for political and economic power. They employed thousands of the Samurai warriors, who swore loyalty to them alone. To hone their professional skills, outrageous license was granted to the Samurai. A samurai could kill anyone who was not a Samurai for any reason whatsoever, or for no reason at all. It was reported that Samurai would cut off the heads of passing peasants merely to test the cutting edge of their swords! Soon, these excesses led to the threat of anarchy. To forestall this, some form of noblesse oblige had to be imposed on the Samurai. The code of Bushido was the result.
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Where Will I be in Fifteen Years?

Where will I be in fifteen years?
You sure ask complex questions.
I can’t exactly pin it down,
But here’s a few suggestions: Continue reading

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On Sexual Behavior

May we assume that every adult has the right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, with whomever they wish, provided that all involved parties have attained their majority, are agreeable, are acting of their own free will, and are not likely to cause any serious damage or injury physical or psychological to themselves or another? I do not presume to pass judgment upon individuals such as these, because I do not feel I have the moral authority to do so. I do not believe that government has the right to pass judgment upon anyone acting within these boundaries, because I do not believe that government is competent to do so. Finally, it is my desire to ensure that I protect and preserve the above stated right for my own use, and for that of future generations. Continue reading

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Contract Law and the U.S. Constitution

From a popular tutorial on contract management, we may learn the following:

“A contract is…a formal written agreement between two individuals or organizations for the procurement of commodities and services.

Every contract consists of the following five elements:

  1. Mutual agreement – a meeting of the minds where both sides agree to an offer and an acceptance of that offer.
  2. Consideration – each party to a contract receives something of value that it wants, and, in turn, gives something of value in exchange for it.
  3. Capacity – both parties must be legally competent, at least 18 years of age and acting within the law. They not only need to be legally of age but they must have the mental capacity to contract. They must be authorized to commit their organization.
  4. Legal Purpose – for a contract to be enforceable by law, it must be concerned with a legal purpose or objective. A purpose or objective must be considered a lawful, rather than an unlawful, pursuit.
  5. Certainty of Terms – the terms of the contract must be sufficiently clear to permit the court to conclude that a contractual agreement was intended and to determine from the document what the terms of the agreement were. It must be written very clearly and specifically. In a court of law, a contract is construed against the preparer.”

We must insist that our United States Constitution be viewed in the same manner. It is nothing more and nothing less than a simple contract between the People and their government. Our mutual agreement is such that we promise to give our allegiance and support to the government and they agree to protect our rights and safety and conduct the government in accordance with the specifics of the contract, the Constitution. In consideration, the government receives delegated powers and authority from the people, and money in the form of taxes, and the people are supposed to receive a good measure of safety, security, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness as they otherwise conceive it. Mature, sovereign, powerful, intelligent, honorable beings that have the capacity and the will to enter into and dissolve such contracts make them for the legal purpose of living in freedom and peace.

When considering the certainty of terms we do so to ensure that the provider, (in the case of our Constitution this means the government) is properly bound by the terms of the contract. When we say that the contract is construed against the preparer, we understand this to mean that the preparer has the responsibility to ensure that the terms are specific and well defined. When this is not the case, the benefit of the doubt goes to the other party involved, (in the case of our Constitution this means the People). The founders of our government and our Constitution added the tenth amendment, which is provided as a further protection against misinterpretation saying, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Finally, when one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.

When one party to a contractual agreement fails to provide the goods and services promised, the other party has no obligation to fulfill their part of the agreement.

That is right. It is for this reason governments take punitive action against criminals, because they have failed to fulfill their duties as citizens.

It is for this reason that we originally separated ourselves from the government of King George, who had in onerous and numerous ways failed to meet his contractual responsibilities to his people by “taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.”

As we consider and celebrate our United States Constitution this week, I exhort you by saying that when considering contracts it is not necessary to read between the lines, but to read the lines themselves and understand what they say. Our Constitution is not a living document, it is a legal document and should always held and enforced as such, and whatever is necessary to be done to uphold it must be done and sooner, much sooner, rather than later.

Louis William Rose

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Sonnet: Mike 1984 – 2016

Come tell me there is something I might say,
a string of magic words, some fated rhyme,
whereby I might turn back the hands of time,
and usher in a former favored day.

Bring something that will hold my thoughts at bay,
to close the door upon my fevered past.
Some potion to eradicate at last,
the tortured scenes that all my memories fray.

It did not seem too high a price to pay.
A little folding of the hands to sleep,
not knowing my descent would be too deep,
that I’d awake no more to my dismay.

My Lord, although I’ve gone so far astray,
I trust in You to all my fears allay.

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Poem: Twelve Hours

I go to bed
Turning around
There at the foot
I lay my head
On doggie’s paws
She cleans my face
To let me know
That I am loved

I turn again
My pillowed mind
Set free to roam
To dream of things
That yet will be,
Or might have been
Deciphering what
Awaits for me

The morning calls
Me to my feet
I say my prayers
Stumbling about
I dress and eat
Waiting outside
A foggy future

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All Lives Matter, If You Don’t Think So, Maybe Yours Doesn’t Matter So Much

Life is cheap. That’s the truth. Hundreds of thousands die every day, some violently, some ignominiously, some of old age or sickness, some in infancy or the prime of life. All tragically. Today you are alive, and your life matters, at least to you. Yet, the Bible says in James 4:14, “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Yet, as short and tenuous as it is, life is still precious and beautiful.
lives Continue reading

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Poem: A Thousand Different Lights

To see you in a thousand different lights,
And watch the shadows play upon your face.
To revel in the myriad delights,
That sun and stars would delicately trace.

To sense your every mood and temperant,
Observe you comprehend and then respond,
with feelings pensive or ebullient,
That I might share with you a closer bond.

To touch you in a thousand different ways,
To make you laugh, or stir you with desire,
To gently chid you, or to sing your praise,
To comfort you, to cheer you, and inspire.

To understand you is my goal in life.
A husband needs to know about his wife.

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LGBT Rights and the First Amendment

In Jacksonville there once again is an initiative to support the amendment of Jacksonville’s existing Human Rights Ordinance to add protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodation.

From Muhammad Ibn Abdullah to Joel Osteen the world seems awash with false prophets.  This is why it is so important to be able to say whatever we want, to believe whatever we want about God, or not to believe, to publish whatever we want to publish, to associate with those whom we wish, and to shun those with whom we do not.  All this, as well as the ability to petition the government, encompasses the entirety of the First Amendment. Yet these rights precede and supersede the authority of any government.

Romans 2:1 says “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”  It seems to me that this is a pretty broad statement and as such must include what we regard as sexual sin, lust, adultery, fornication and homosexuality.

If we condemn others, we condemn ourselves, because we do the same things.

It should be obvious to the cognoscenti that this ordinance will be passed into law. In my opinion solutions for the presumed difficulties that it may present will be found and implemented.   If I was a baker I would gladly bake a cake for a same sex couple, and as a Realtor I will be happy to rent to them.  Every business and civil encounter will find me eager to provide and protect their rights as citizens with the same passion with which I will plead with them to repent, and share the Gospel of Jesus the Savior who died for their sins and mine, and rose victoriously from the dead.  This is our right and privilege and no ordinance will ever prevent that.  For we must obey God rather than men.

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Poem: What Do You Do?

What do you do when it costs too much and you can’t afford to pay?
Do you hunch your shoulders, and turn your head, and quietly walk away?
Do you think how different it would have turned out if you’d known what you know today?

What do you think when they’re serving up the artificial cream?
The margarine, and the diet drinks, and the textured soy protein?
Do you think that they might have meant something else when they spoke about haute cuisine?

What do you say when you get the word that they have to let you go?
Do you pack up your desk, and wish them well, and put on a gallant show?
Do you think what should matter is what you’re worth, instead of just who you know?

What do you do when you wake at night and the one you love is gone?
Do you tear your hair, and wring your hands, and pace until the dawn?
Do you think it was “better to have loved and lost” or to wish you had never been born?

What do you do when you realize its over and you’re through?
That your body is shot, and your hopes are gone, and you haven’t got a clue?
Do you think the Man with the hole in His hand has room in His house for you?

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Poem: The End of Moose and Squirrel

BorisnatashaMost days I sit in rocking chair on porch outside my dacha
I throw back vodka shots and reminisce with my Natasha
But while inside my alcoholic brain fond memories swirl
I still have dream to someday bring an end to moose and squirrel

Those two! I hear they’re doing well and living in Orlando
While I starve on the pension of a soviet commando
I give no heed while comrades their pathetic insults hurl
I have a plan! A plan that spells the end for moose and squirrel

Boris will prove once more he’s still a no-goodnik’s no-goodnik
I’ll lie and cheat and steal and show them this dog’s got a new trick
I’d sacrifice it all to gain that greatly valued pearl
That I might live to see at last the end of moose and squirrel

B. Badenov,
Pottsylvania, 2015

As transcribed by Louis William Rose

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Poem: Reaping

The constant dreams that fill my head,
Of horrid things I did or said,
Make me to turn upon my bed,
To search in vain for sleep instead.

I walk about throughout the day,
Mouthing the words that I must say,
To keep the rabid wolves at bay,
Distressed to think I’ve lost my way.

The time has all run out you see,
While there is yet eternity,
To reassure and comfort me,
My grand designs are not to be.

The City on the Hill I’d planned,
Was built, alas upon the sand,
To leave me with but one demand,
That death at last should take my hand.


Galatians 6:6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Matthew 7:26  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

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On Racism and Eclecticism

Race relations is a favorite subject of mine, because it is the only significant political debate that can be conclusively proven to be based on a fallacy. The fallacy is that there is such a thing as race in the first place. Imagine the thought of stratifying an entire civilization on the basis of appearance! Where is the queue for the fat, bald men? I need to get in line. The Romans enslaved the Greeks, the Egyptians enslaved the Jews, the English and then the Americans enslaved the Africans. The English, by the way enslaved scores of other peoples across the globe before their sun finally set. At every turn some guilt ridden half brain offered the lame excuse that it was “all right you know, because they’re not like us at all, they’re an entirely different race”. Race is the Big Lie, the biggest lie, the one that has provided an excuse for everything else. The truth is out now, most recently with the announcement of the Nobel Prize for genome research. The National Geographic Human Genographic Project conclusively proves that we all have sprung from a common ancestor. There is no such thing as race. What does exist are cultural factions, groups of people that share the same history, music, cuisine, rituals and yes, more often than not the same general appearance. These cultural factions, nations if you will, have often worked for their own advancement at the expense of the well being of other nations, and sometimes have enslaved them, or attempted to annihilate them. Many nations continue to do so. I believe that the media explosion can make a difference. Through the dissemination of information and entertainment across a worldwide multicultural network we may all come to know each other a little better, and realize that we are all humans living on a very small planet. While this may mean the end to the lie that is racism, it will probably not mean the end of serious armed conflict. There are plenty of other ideas that people are going to have to fight about over the next century.

The Greeks and the Romans appear to have made great strides in eliminating the animosity between them. It has only taken 1700 years. As for the Jews and the Arabs, well, at least the treaty with Egypt is still holding. In America, racism is a virulent cancer of ignorance within the body politic. I believe it will continue to flourish as long as we continue use the vocabulary of racism, and make our arguments or apologies within the framework of a racist worldview. For America, the dilemma is this. Many African-Americans may consciously or subconsciously be repelled by the idea of swearing allegiance and buying into a political and social system that in the past so brutally abused and excluded them.

I am unimpressed with the term “black man”. I am not a white man nor do I see the sense in describing myself as one. I am a Christian man, I am an educated man, I am a compassionate man, and I am a passionate man. To say that I am a white man or a black man is akin to saying that I am a sweat gland man or I am a pimpled man. If your allegiance is to those with skin whose color is the same as yours, we have no basis for reaching out to one another. The color of a man’s skin must be as incidental and unimportant as the color of his hair (or the lack of it). Men should not seek to be Black leaders or Hispanic leaders, or White leaders, but leaders of Men.

As a young boy growing up in the City of New York, I occupied a large portion of my time reading biographies of great men. Among others I read about George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, Paul Robeson, Adam Clayton Powell, and Roy Innis. I was encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music and have listened to, among others, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Fats Waller, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles, and James Brown. I had my attention directed to great actors, athletes and politicians, among others, Sydney Poitier, Dick Gregory, James Earl Jones, Roy Innis, Bill Cosby, Red Fox, Quincy Jones, Adam Clayton Powell, Ralph Abernathy, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, John Shaft, Shirley Chisolm, Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. Many of these people changed the very core of my being, the way I think and react. Do I admire them because they are black? I admire them because they are great. So should we all.

Cultural diversity is a gift to be celebrated, but political assimilation must be recognized as a first principal. A democratic republic cannot exist if its members wave different flags and speak different languages. Racial prejudice must be replaced with political prejudice. Racists must become the ones that we are most prejudiced against. Their views must not be heard any longer. They must be legislated against, their rights curtailed, their activities made illegal, their assets seized, and their philosophies ridiculed from the podium, pulpit, and in the press. We, as a nation, must not be concerned with which skin color you pledge your allegiance to, but to which flag. Democracy has proved itself over and over, to be the highest form of government to which humans can subscribe. We must tolerate only those who will support and swear allegiance to it, or to its allies.

Individually, we must fight our own fight against racism, and that within our own minds. It is an old truth that “what we do not know, we fear, and that which we fear, we hate.” Americans should strive for eclecticism. While we celebrate our own culture and the traditions of our parents, we must learn to delight ourselves in the culture, the music, art, literature, the food, dress, and traditions of our fellow citizens. Let us all celebrate Kwanzaa as well as Saint Patrick’s Day. More importantly, let us celebrate the Fourth of July and Memorial Day as days that bring us together as one nation.

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The Civil Liberty that Protects all Others

It was certainly ironic and fitting that a legislator who voted against allowing guns in a certain place should be shot by a gun in exactly that place.  Yet that was the fate of Clementa Pinckney, state senator and pastor of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  No matter how good and Christian a man Pastor Pinckney may have been, his vote to prohibit the carrying of firearms in churches was a violation of his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

Why do people so blithely agree to give up the one civil liberty that guarantees all the others? Without the right to be armed, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to privacy, the right to vote, are in jeopardy. Then slavery comes, and the worst abuses of power. Slavery in this country would have been impossible without ensuring that slaves remained unarmed. The first gun laws in this country were passed to prevent freed slaves from owning guns, right along with laws designed to prevent them from voting. North Korea would be impossible if the citizens there were armed.

I will not yield an inch to any government, to any populace in respect to these rights. It must be Liberty or Death, and every man and woman who loves liberty should rightly stand up and shout “Liberty or Death!”, proclaiming the terrible price that will be paid by those who attempt to restrict these rights. They are NOT negotiable, they are NOT to be the subject of legislation. They are NOT for sale at any price, and those who think they are must be stopped at any cost.

No one, no government, no majority has the right to disenfranchise humans of their natural rights.

The right to the defense of the integrity of one’s person by employing necessary force up to and including deadly force is a basic right of every human just as basic as their right to be free, to speak their mind, to practice their religion, to work, to own property, and all the other basic rights of man. This is why we fought a war to establish the republic.
Personally, I think there are still enough of us left who would be willing to fight again, if necessary.  Has it become necessary?

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Poem: Ham, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

hameggsHam, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

How many of a morning have I spent with these?
In quiet contemplation at my home,
Or in some crowded urban luncheonette alone
A cup of coffee with some milk to wash them down

Ham, Eggs, Grits and Cheese

A hearty company of flavors sure to please
Too often of them did I thus partake
At times forsaking ham for sausage, hash, or steak
With every season seemed I’d gained another pound

No longer easily up the stairs to sprightly bound
And harder still to tie my shoes each day I found
Gone are the days when I might carry on with ease
My love affair with Ham and Eggs and Grits and Cheese


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Poem: Ethics

platoaristotleI read a book of Ar … istotle,
When life for me was still brand new.
I thought I should achieve … perfection,
When all my studying was through.
Much older now, I still (ah!) engage in,
The acts I know I should eschew.
I know I’m really not … supposed to,
But every now and then I do.

Woo Hoo, Yes I do,
Every now and then I do.
Boo Hoo, Sad but true,
Every now and then I do.

I had a little fen … der bender.
They sent a check for what was due.
Mistakenly, they sent … another.
I had my bankers put it through!
I never meant to keep (ah!) the money,
Or interest that should thus accrue.
I knew that I was not … supposed to,
But every now and then I do.


A customer who comes … to visit,
Pays with a twenty he’s through.
But as you put it in … the strongbox,
You see he’s give not one but two!
You wonder should you tell (ah!) your partner,
She’ll ask to share the revenue.
You know you’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then you do.


You stop to buy a cup … of coffee,
You think you’ll have a doughnut, too.
You see a tall brunette … in high heels.
She takes a second look at you.
You know you’ve got a wife (ah!) and family,
You know you’d promised to be true.
You know you’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then you do.


I hope you’ve found illu … minating,
This casuistry for your review.
But if you are anti … cipating,
The answers then take this in lieu.
At times our pride can o (ah!) vertake us,
We speak as if we think we knew!
You know we’re really not … supposed to,
But every now and then we do.


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Poem: At The End of the Short, Hard War

He awoke with a start and shaking himself
to ward off the morning cold,
he arose from his bed on the concrete shelf
to see what the day might hold.

After coaxing his fire to life, he checked
how much coffee was left in the can
that he’d found in the back of the trucks that wrecked
moments after the conflict began.

He considered the coffee more than he deserved
(though it wasn’t the best he had tasted)
as he pondered the things that had been preserved
after all of the rest had been wasted.

The brilliant white flash, the shock of the blast
and the subsequent fireball,
all the horrors he witnessed were more than surpassed
by the fact he’d outlived them all.

With his parka zipped up and a rifle in hand
he stepped cautiously from his abode.
All alone with his thoughts in a desolate land
through the massive destruction he strode.

For a very long time he had lingered bereft
of a partner who might meet his need.
And he wondered aloud was there anyone left
who’d be willing to harbor his seed?

That his future looked bleak with no hope of surcease
was a prospect he could not ignore,
yet took heart at the thought that at least he had peace
at the end of the short, hard, war.

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What Role Does Poetry Play in Society ?

“Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate.”
Sir John Denham (1615–69), English poet. To Sir Richard Fanshaw upon his translation of Pastor Fido.“

Poetry is what is lost in translation.” Robert Frost (1874–1963), U.S. poet. Quoted in: Louis Untermeyer, Robert Frost: a Backward Look, ch. 1 (1964).

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, in Biographia Literaria, ch. 22 (1817):

“In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning.”

With a word the universe was created and man along with it, endowed with the ability to speak forth ideas and, by extension, more concrete realities into existence.  Rhetoric, “the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively”, and poetry, one of its refined manifestations,  is no less than an attempt to emulate the glory of God by manifesting truth and form where before there was nothing.  Priest, poet, and blacksmith, these three, stood before the king in ancient times.  Priests and blacksmiths are easily identifiable but how do we describe the poet?
Continue reading

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Poem: I Want to be Good to the Ladies

I want to be good to the ladies,
For the ladies have been good to me.
The gifts that they gave me were precious,
And most of the time they were free.

When I was a lad and much bolder,
The ladies were gentle and kind.
And now that I’m quite a bit older,
They smile and they say they don’t mind.

It’s true on occasion I’ve stumbled,
Having not been the man I should be.
I confess that some ladies have reasons,
To have doubts about my bonhomie.

Dear ladies, I beg your forgiveness.
My goal is to make it all right.
So, I thought I would call up and ask you
If you had any plans for tonight…

For the ladies on Saint Valentines Day 

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Poem: First Memory

Sitting in his chair watching the man with big pockets
he slaps the wooden tabletop, high, dry, and cool.
Brown shiny wood, very good for his hands to slap
so early in the morning on a new day.

A cup of cold milk is put before him.
But it’s all about the big pockets
All about his hands slapping the smooth wood
The cup tips and the milk spills across the table

Hands slapping his head, his chest, his back
Pulled from his chair and dropped to the floor
Then picked up and roughly stuffed back
Another cup of milk before him

He has to drink it now
Drink it now before anything else
Before big pockets, before shiny wood smooth
Before joy, before love, before all

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Sonnet: Government

What do you mean when you say government?
An entity once held in high esteem?
Realization of some patriot dream?
A rule of law some said was Heaven sent?

Its reputation badly tarnished now
with statesmen promulgating globally
their deconstructionist philosophy
by which they may each promise disavow.

Small wonder should a citizen repent
that he had pledged his own allegiance to
a flag bestrewn with stars, red, white, and blue
when it no longer means what it once meant.

Let all who everywhere love liberty,
Stand up and fight till all at last are free.

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Sonnet: The Sonnet Form

The Sonnet Form

Folks say the sonnet form is out of date.
I cannot say that I myself agree.
Though modern poets’ verse is often free
of form or even simple rhyme of late.

Yet here and there we find occasionally,
a Cummings or a Parker who would state
their sentiments of love or hope or hate
within the sonnet form most succinctly.

Don’t you agree that it’s a noble trait?
To so constrain yourself when desperately
you seek to share the pure philosophy
within your heart to which all men relate?

If all this talk of sonnets makes you weak.
I still believe it’s how most people speak.

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Poem: Rhonda Running Fast

eflections of her stormy past
aunt her loveliness
ur farmer’s daughter running fast
ow is come her test
ream sweet Rhonda, dream
nd carefully wish for what you really mean

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Poem: New York, 1964

Could I return from far away,
to snow forts where the young boys play.
Where school let out for half a day,
to hear what words the priest might say.

The fall felled leaves red, gold, and brown,
lay heaped in piles upon the ground.
In spring I’d hear the happy sound
of schoolgirls ring the Maypole round.

Might I return there once again,
where summer sun my strength would drain.
From all my labor I’d refrain,
until the streets filled up with rain.

Though I have traveled far of late,
I still remember New York State.

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