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These boots are made for walkin'!
by Leah Sellers
2008-07-31 09:23:34
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One can’t help but give credence to the tall leather boots and jangling spurs of T. Boone Pickens: Texas Sage and Father. We need your Guiding Spirit and Energy. Your Wisdom and Forward Attitude. What a History to confound everyone with, Sir. Texas Oil Man!

Sippin’ on, no, Gulpin’ down Texas Tea! Black Gold! Texas Wild Catter! Understanding the Winds of Change (so to speak) and stepping forward into a New Time with your indomitable Pioneering Spirit. Throwing your Hat into the Ring for Wind, Solar and Natural Gas Energies and Innovations, when you could have chosen to rest upon your hard earned and comfortable Laurels. Our Hats should be off ( and curtsies made) to you, Sir.
Our State needs Sagebrush Pioneers like You. Our Nation needs Wild Cat Questors like You. Our State and Nation need more Pioneering, Wild Cat Men and Women (Women and Men) like You. More Trailblazing Saging Fathers and Mothers to step forward who have gained Experienced Wisdom and Vision, who embrace the Groundbreaking and Shaking Spirit of Ingenuity and Trial by Fire, and are willing to place their Resources behind what they Envision. These are the Leaders and Motivators needed to help America take hold of Her Future. E Pluribus, Unum - Out of Many, One.
America should be Every American’s Common Cause. She should have Our Full Attention and Intention. She needs All of Our Healing Energies Focused upon Her. All of Our Talents, Inventions, Ideas, Creative Endeavours, and Innovations, Work, Love, Faith, and Hope need to be focused upon, Poured upon Her Shores, Her Waters, Her Peoples, Her Needs, Her Wounds. Not Ours - but Hers. If She survives - We survive.
America is a Great Nation. She is a Beautiful Nation. She is a Phenomenal, Living, Breathing, Struggling, Constantly Transforming Ideal and Entity! She has Given Much and Deserves Much in Return!
She is filled with Brilliant Souls, Creative Souls, Inventive Souls! Join Hands! Join Hearts! Join Minds! Let Us Work Together as Americans! Together - As Americans, there are no Limits - As Americans, the Future is Ours to Energize in Positive Ways - As Americans - Ours to Illuminate - As Americans, Ours to Create as We Will It to Be. As Americans, We have but to decide What We Will - What We Will It To Be!
But first, We must Remember, We are Americans! E Puribus, Unum - Out Many, One!
Part of Our Memory’s Responsibility is the irrefutable Knowledge of, the Hope filled fact that, the Raw, Untried Energy - the Untamed, Unstoppable and Uncontainable Genius of Youth is Invaluable to the alchemical equation involving America’s Healthy Recovery. But Elders, who are not afraid to put their Money and Expertise where their ‘Boots Are’ - or ‘Where Their Moccasins Tread’ are needed at the Helm of America’s majestic Vessel. Elders who have the Hearts and Souls of Expansive, Open, Free Thinking, Adventurous, Curious and Farsighted Youths!
America has a wonderful Opportunity to set a Shining Global Example - an Illuminating and Healing Planetary Ripple Effect - at This Moment in Time - This Moment in History. We can prove that Democracies - Republics can successfully sustain themselves and remain Healthy, Socially Benevolent and Forward Moving and Thinking (Nurturing and Sustaining: Mom and Pop enterprises, Middle class endeavours, growth and productivity, public education, public health care, Free Market wheeling and dealing that is genuinely open and lively) without becoming an Elitist Autocratic Megalithic Totalitarian Corporate/Political Entity that wants to make Slaves of Us All - Slaves for an Avaricious and Voracious Few.
We Can Turn the Tide! The Laws of Relativity need Only Be Applied! - They are Within Our Grasp - The Cosmic Threads (Strings) are Within Us (as well as Outside of Ourselves)! We have only to Peer into the Looking Glass! We are the Rabbit Holes! But it will take the Elders (Sages) of Earth, Fire Water and Wind - with Backbones of Iron and Diamond Flashed Stone!
We have difficult Choices to Face up to and Make Work for Us, not against Us! We must push Our Comfort Zones - Our Vanities - The Distractibility of Our Desires - Our Fears Away From Us! Put them Behind Us! We have Monumental Pioneering and Trailblazing Opportunities and Innovations In Front of Us with which to Create and Energize Our future Generations - Our Future Great American Societies - Our Future Great Global Societies!
It would be wonderful to One Day come to Honor and Cherish Men and Women (Women and Men) in Modern American Histories - in Modern Global Histories with Names like T. Boone Pickens ...................
E Pluribus, Unum - Out of Many, One!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 10:06:04
I see clearly now: T. Boone Picken waited forty years to become an elder and a sage so that he could offer ideas for alternate sources of energy. Meanwhile, for those forty years he laughed all the way to the bank. If he had wholeheartedly supported Al Gore's analysis of Global warming he would have been a bit more credible. As it is, the formula may have shifted but not the paradigm. The paradigm is still Cartesian, based on the domination of nature by power. Knowledged is power. There is an oler wiser paradgm: that of the Greeks and is based on harmony with nature.

Sand2008-07-31 10:55:52
Whatever you might have thought of Mr. Pickens' previous activities, his enthusiasm for an alternate form of power can only benefit the terrible current situation. If he can become wealthy doing so that should encourage others to try to do the same.

The concept of conforming to the vagaries of nature is in exact opposition to human progress since humans started to utilize their mental powers. Nature is neither intentionally benign or malevolent. Every year presents the world with seismic activity, meteorological calamities, and basic changes in the environment that require the exercise of knowledge and power to preserve and maintain life. It is of no consequence to nature whether life prospers or is destroyed totally by local or astronomical forces as there are evidently a plethora of other planets if nature were so interested - which I sincerely doubt. Mankind must use its capabilities to adapt and utilize natural forces as best it can and the more understanding and power it develops to do so, the better life can survive and prosper.
Rich men also have their uses.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 14:33:55
The wisdom of the ancient Greeks consisted in understanding that Man (which includes women as a general term) is not the lord and master of nature but is part of nature. Moreover they were not so stupid, as some not so bright ignoramuses believe, not to perceive that nature has its own laws on which the best of positive (man made) laws is patterned. Hence harmony was the operative concept: harmony between Man and nature, positive law and natural law.

Sand2008-07-31 16:19:46
The word “harmony”, like the word “nature” or the word “human” is one of a type of word that can be manipulated by any scam artist to conform to his or her personal prejudices and mean almost anything at all. Humans, and any other living creature, manipulate the possibilities of resources provided to permit them to exist. This manipulation frequently results in environments forbidding to other living creatures. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles to revive an old phrase. Unlike religious or governmental regulations, the laws of nature cannot be broken. If they can, they are not laws of nature. If humanity creates environmental conditions on this planet that destroy its and other life, nature doesn’t give a highflying fart at the Moon about the results. It’s all in “harmony” with nature although it may not be particularly comfortable for mankind.
I have no conception of ancient Greek psychology so I make no judgments in that direction.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 17:40:25
"the laws of nature cannot be broken. If they can, they are not laws of nature." (SAND)

This is sad indeed! Considering the present conditions of our planet earth the Greeks would say that only an imbecille could declare that Man, who is has free will, cannot break the harmony that exists in the universe; and if he is not one then he is a clever sophist with an ideological agenda to push forward who has made a travesty of reason.

Sand2008-07-31 17:49:30
I doubt that the Greeks (if they were not imbeciles) would harbor the idea that they could break the laws of nature. It's obvious the quality of imbecility that declares this possibility is closer at hand.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 18:05:20
The problem is easy to resolve, you don't need the Greeks. Bang your head against the wall hard enough and see what happens. You may end up in the hospital and any reasonable doctor will tell you that while you are free to break the laws of nture and bang you head against the wall at your pleasure, you should not do that too often because there are grevious consequences and you do so at your own risk. Stay tuned for my next posting which deals in more detail whith the issue of natural law and should appear shortly.

Sand2008-07-31 18:22:48
The concept that banging one's head against a wall is violating a natural law is very revealing as to your comprehension of what constitutes natural law. If you are thereby revealed to be that profoundly ignorant it seems to be a good point to stop this discussion.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 19:35:28
What do the French say: nobless oblige! Indeed. Eventually, when they will not be able to breathe freely any longer (we will get a preview in Bejing for the Olympics)the "enlightened" condescending elitists who think they have the rational solution will realize that they are part of the problem.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-31 21:24:35
Meanwhile, the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending. Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.

Leah2008-08-01 03:22:26
I am normally shy about commentary, but you gentlemen are wonderful and brilliant !

Sand2008-08-01 06:32:00
Since your comment attempts to compliment both the pest eliminator and the cockroach equally I am not particularly delighted. You will have to decide which is which.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 07:27:54
Grand Pest Eliminator of Ovi magazine! Sounds like a wonderful new self-proclaimed title. Congratulations! Some scientists assure us that when Man, having violated the laws of nature, has eliminated himself from the face of the earth, the cockroach will survive him. Then the cockroach will declare itself the Grand Eliminator of the greatest pest that appeared for a brief span of time (a mere million years or so) within the 4 and a half billion year life of the planet misguidedly thinking that he was the master of nature because he was clever. On his tomb one will read: done in by his own cleverness devoid of wisdom.

Chris2008-08-01 16:50:30
Well said, Sir, but the unity and comes from diversity is not limited to America. In the time we live the entire world is involved, the world itslef is at stake, all people from everywere must join together. Hobbs spoke of the people as the Leviathan, a unity composed of all the people, an unstoppable force. It is time to see beyone national, ethnic, religious, political, and economic boundries for the sake of common survival and prosperity. The Earth is One. -- America is one player/piece on the chessboard of we now play. May she shine. May every nationa dn people shine. May this light illuminate our earth from the darknesses and delusions of our time.

Sand2008-08-01 20:05:24
I take no pompous overblown smug satisfaction contemplating the demise of my own species that has such fantastic possibilities. The dusty egomania that credits all sharp perception to civilizations that collapsed millennia ago in their own incapability to deal with their own realities. Much has been learned since and I still have hope that much will be learned in the coming years to move into successes we hold now only in our dreams.

Sand2008-08-01 22:12:28
It must be understood and understood in depth that there is no such thing as an unnatural phenomenon. Nature is everything, both living and not living and there is no preference in nature for either one. Therefore that preference resides in living beings who must condition their actions in line with their preferences. Anyone who thinks differently is unfortunately deluded and must be prepared to meet unfortunate consequences.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:35:39
The universe formed by chance and has no purpose, it has no laws that can be discovered and perceived, it has no transcendent spirituality; it is mere matter and indicates no meaning. At the same time we should do everything we possibly can to make sure that one of the species of this purposeless universe survives: ourselves. Why? There is no reason, just a rather meaningless and selfish reason to have one’s own species survive, period. And of course within the survival of the fittest, the strong make the rules and the laws according to their interest and survive and the weak simply perish. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, it’s always been that way and will continue to be that waysays the rationalist devoid of compassion and humanity. The undesirable simply must go so the Ubermench can come on the stage of life and survive. In philosophy that kind of thinking goes by the name of nihilism. The eight monsters with Ph.D.s after their name who planned and took over the execution of the Holocaust which murdered 11 million people in three short years were that kind. It would have been better had they never gone to school. They would have probably have remained monsters but they would have done less harm. The English have a simpler term: being “clever by half.” The ancient Greeks and Stoics who understood the concept of natural law would heartily approve.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:49:25

Since paradoxically in depth thinking about the natural law has been called for while dismissing it in a very shallow mode (the cleverness by half again), the above link may be helpful to the serious reader who wishes to deepen the issue for him/herself. The clever by half will of course condemn it as a way to obfuscate and distract attention from his misguided argumentation. Ah, the unlimited ways of self-deception.

Sand2008-08-01 22:51:02
Mr. Paparella openly declares in his profound ignorance "The universe formed by chance and has no purpose, it has no laws that can be discovered and perceived"
I realize that he believes in the purpose of the universe and unprejudiced observation has yet to reveal that but the rest of his statement is not merely peculiar, it is downright amazing in its profound ignorance of the many discovered regularities proclaimed in the treatises of all the scientists operating in their many fields throughout the centuries and into the present. None of these have ever claimed that there were no laws of nature and what is perceived is chaos. To say so only reveals the deep murk encompassing Paparella's odd watchamacallit that serves as his mind.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:55:46
The (Natural) Law: Not (just) a good idea…?

By Eric Weislogel

Gerard Mannion asks in a recent essay in The Tablet whether natural law is such a good idea (20 October 2007, pp. 12-13). The way he sometimes describes it, you might not think so.

Mannion is commenting on Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the International Theological Commission in Rome on October 5, 2007. In his address, the Pope is arguing that the occlusion of the natural law has consequences that reach further than the confines of the Catholic Church (if there really are any…), and he, the Pope, offers in Mannion’s words “natural law as a means of offering moral guidance not only to Catholics but those with different or even no religious beliefs–as a form of ethics that can transcend interreligious and indeed religious secular boundaries.” But Mannion wonders: “So could natural law be a kind of moral Holy Grail? Would it be right to perceive natural law as a definitive code of absolute moral norms, applicable at all times and all places?” (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:57:12
Mannion then goes on to help his readers understand just what is meant by “natural law.” He rightly notes that there term has been used ambiguously and that there is a rich history of thought surrounding the concept. He concludes

Thus “natural” means the attempt to ground ethics in existence and in a shared understanding of what it is to be human, while “law” means something very unlike the modern understanding of the term–principle or orientation might be a more appropriate term today, as opposed to fixed and rigid “laws” in a legalistic sense. Even a shared understanding of what it means to be human does not mean that all persons must follow the same course of action in a given situation for we also share in common human uniqueness. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:58:29
Every reader of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics would know as much (as would, of course, just about anyone).

Mannion is worried that the Pope’s address is one more example of the Magisterium’s asserting itself, and that the Pope is pushing “a particular understanding of NLT (natural law theory) as normative for all human beings” in an effort to “claim greater certitude or find ‘closure’ concerning numerous questions, be they moral, ecclesial, or political.” Mannion opines: “Certainty is appealing and safe. Uncertainty is not.” Mannion sees this as the contunuation of the battle against the evils of postmodernism, calling a concern for what may appear as nihilsm as “reactionary Christian discourse” in which “all ‘relativism’ is shunned as somehow detrimental to the faith.”

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 22:59:53
Mannion says that a survey of history would show plenty of examples of positions once held to be absolute and binding being overturned as context-bound and relative to the times or situation. Indeed, Mannion argues,

the Church’s moral tradition has changed. There were no universal, immutable natural ‘laws’ teaching against religious freedom, against democracy, freedom of the press, human rights, ecumenism and so on, nor were there any written in the hearts of human beings in favour of allowing capital punishment, in favour of rigidly defined social-class hierarchy or permitting slavery. And yet, in the past, the Church and many Catholics have spoken as if there were.

Mannion cites theologian Charles Curran in holding that
morality is best understood along a continuum that moves from the more general to the specific. At the general end, we thus speak of wider moreal principles and of orientation. At this end, of course, a great deal of agreement can be achieved. At the opposite end we have the specific or particular situations and contexts whereby the more general principles need to be applied and the fundamental moral orientation needs to prevail. Here there will be differences concerning the right course of action ‘relative’ to specific persons, communities and contexts, and there will even be legitimate diversity.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 23:02:48
No, what we need, says Mannion, is not postmodern nihilistic anything goes absolute relativism (love that phrase, btw…), nor an “equally absolutist ‘universal’ ethical ’system’.” What we need, he says, is “a healthy and pluralistic dialogue between different faiths, churches, political, social and scientific ideologies and across diverse communities and nations. The common good cannot be ‘defined’, it must be discerned.” We don’t need a “voluminous rulebook,” just an “understanding of the nature and process of moral discernment itself.”

The problem with this essay is that Mannion makes it seem like he’s picking a big fight with the idea of natural law, but ends up describing and defending a fairly standard model of NLT. NLT theorists do not think the result of their work will be “voluminous rulebooks” or algorithmic moral machinery. From Aristotle on, natural moral law was taught and learned by studying cases. Mannion is misleading by noting that St. Thomas “spends but few pages upon ‘natural law’ as such,” because the whole of Thomas’ analyses of the virtues depends on a prior understanding of human nature. It’s all about natural law (and, yes, “law” in the sense that Mannion describes it, as principle and orientation, and not a mathematico-physical law).(continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 23:03:55
I am not complaining about how Mannion would help us in essence to become more moral, more virtuous. No one working for Metanexus is going to object to a call for the most wide-ranging dialogue! My complaint is that Mannion seems to have an axe to grind with the Vatican in its application (but not necessarily its understanding) of natural law. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The problem, seems to me, is with the execution, not the play that was called. These are different.

Mannion, for instance, suggests that “morality has changed” and so the Vatican is wrong to persist in condemning certain forms of artificial contraception. But how are the Pope and Mannion going to figure this out? (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 23:04:28
And, this leads back to the title question of Mannion’s essay: Cast in stone? My question in response is “Is what cast in stone?” The essential principles of natural law? Mannion himself notes the “consistency” with which those principles are maintained. Perhaps the principles are cast in stone, only seeming to waiver when the will is weak. But is any particular moral act set in stone? The actual act? No, in the sense that I could do otherwise. And no, in the sense that there may be more than one act that would satisfy the demands of morality in this case (although perhaps…perhaps…not the demands of excellence). But that the act will have moral significance? Yes, that’s set in stone, too.

Read the Pope’s address. See for yourself whether he is talking about systems and algorithms or whether he is talking about what underlies the complex richness of all human interaction, the occlusion of which has adverse consequences. And see whether the Pope and Mannion are that far apart

Sand2008-08-01 23:07:03
There is no ethical quality to Newton's laws of motion nor the immense reconception of time, space, matter and energy laid out by Einstein. These are some of the more important fundamental laws of nature and are not in the least chaotic nor subject to papal proclamation.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-01 23:20:57
A comment of Mr. Sand's comment above: true to form, Mr. Sand in the above statement takes the description which the 8 monsters with Ph.D.s would have given to describe their nihilism and puts it squarely and deviously in my mouth. He has done that before and repeatedly. It is one of his dishonest debating stratagems. Obviously he feels he can do it with impunity in a magazine of opinion. But the tactic remains reprehensible and devious and scurrilous, worthy of the worst kind of sophistry. If it were mere rationalism it could be debated. As it is, all that one can do is point it out. Indeed, one of the symptoms of a decaying civilization in love with its idolatrous technological gadgets is the absence of shame and decency.

Sand2008-08-02 07:43:36
Now, now, Paparella, I have merely stated obvious facts. You are so besmeared with your own enthusiasm for tossing mud that a few clean facts obviously startle you into your perpetual paranoid whining about how unfair the world is for kicking your mental junk towards the sewer where it can be properly disposed of. Your obsolete cracked and dusty nonsense commands no intelligent respect and it is well past time for you to grow up and join the rather more difficult world where people face more rewarding facts.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 10:01:33
Spoken as a Grand condescending Inquisitor while obfuscating the issue of intellectual dishonesty. Indeed, the internal voices must have been visiting again. I am afraid that listening to them has inoculated you from even being aware of your inveterate pathologies; but natural law dictates that ultimately one remains responsible for one's actions and condition. Indeed, character is destiny.

Sand2008-08-02 10:31:36
One does not have to be a Grand anything to be repelled by the intellectual odor of the decaying idiocies of your superstitious proclamations. Any ordinary mind with a modicum of integrity and an awareness of the twisted corruption of decency which is the core of organized religion is quite capable of discerning your motivations and methods.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 10:59:28
Indeed, it takes no genius to detect the ax you have been grinding away at in the dark cave of rationalism in this forum from the very beginning while hypocritically declaring oneself a poet of sort. I am afraid that the first requisite of a poet is intellectual honesty. Absent that, one remains a utilitarian versifier who manipulates words the way he manipulates natural phenomena. To be a charlatan and a sophist and parade as a Grand poet is self-deception of the highest order. You ought to stop listening to the visiting voices.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 11:05:02
Now the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending.
Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.

Sand2008-08-02 18:09:15
Since I introduced the notion of the Punch and Judy show many submissions ago I must note, as Charles Colton did, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But brown nosing, Paparella, will get you nowhere.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 18:31:28
Indeed, you are the inventor of the Punch and Judy show the way Al Gore is the inventor of the internet. What else have the voices been telling you? Don't believe them, they are liars.

Sand2008-08-02 19:00:26
Goodness, Paparella! Just look at your nose now! Not only is it brown but growing at a rapid rate!

Chris2008-08-02 20:46:56

I believe you are knowledgable. I also have come to the conclusion that almost every post to OVI begins, in the comments section, with some hyperbole about your own superior understanding of everything there is based on mysterious Great Names of the past. I respect you as a human being, but I believe you should gather up your views and publish seperate articles, rather than clog up the reader's of OVI with your incessant and pompous remarks. I post less and less to OVI, primarily because it is almost sure that some irrevelant comment of yours will blotch up any real discussion of what I had to offer. Sand has continually tried to stop you. You don't seem to get the point! I would ask you to back off a little, so that others might have a chance to get their two cents in before you quote some dead philosopher or something. I mean no harm, and wish you fortune and happiness.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 22:01:35
I am assuming you are interested in a dialogue on your concerns about comments are and that you will kindly grant to me what I gladly grant to you that " I mean no harm, and wish you fortune and happiness." However, your advice would have been a bit more objective and credible if the pompous remarks of Mr. Sand, who has from the beginning of my contribution decided to become my memesis, and in a rather nasty and boorish mode to boot, in this forum (which commendably declares itself a forum of opinion, all opinions, and a champion of free speech) had also been defined for what they truly are. They are not there for love of the True, the Good and the Beautiful, I can assure you, and perhaps you yourself have realized as much. You yourself hint at the fact that they were meant to discourage my comments which you say glugger too much the space for comments. I had no idea there is a limited space for comments. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 22:04:00
I still remember that sometime ago, when I first started contributing to the magazine, Asa bemoaned to me that while some contributors complained that nobody commented on their articles. they themselves never commented on those of others. Which is an insightful observation. Moreover, under every article as well as on the cover they continue to place a box urging the reader “to get it off your chest and write a comment”) which to me it does not sound as displeasure at or discouraging of comments. If the editors did wish to discourage comments and discussion they would have eliminated that little box a long time ago. Commendably they have not yet. Besides, is anybody being prevented from posting their own comments and clogging the space as their heart’s content just as you just did, even if those comments charge one’s interlocutor of being a pompous ass and relying too much on past luminaries? (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 22:04:44
Were I to grant you the frank if somewhat egregious charge of pomposity and the ego trip, I would still fail to see how in itself that is relevant to the basic quality of my contributions, which hopefully stand on their own. Indeed, there is no doubt that some of the comments proffered in Ovi are pretty much over the top but I submit to you that a vibrant publication can easily withstand even that; in fact, in my opinion, the editors are wise in tolerating them. That is certainly preferable to censorship of any kind in a magazine of opinion whose life-blood is indeed discussion, debate and dialogue. The articles after all, yours and mine and those of others, are not censored in any way and stand on their own. I simply fail to see how even preposterous comments to which everybody is free to contribute are a drawback to an honest free-wheeling dialogue. Or have I misunderstood the import of your message?

One more comment, if you don’t mind, could it be that the editors have genially understood something crucial for a magazine of opinion: that such a magazine can only profit from a free wheeling dialogue, even one a bit over the top, and in fact it is that encouragement to dialogue and debate that makes it stand out, in my opinion, from other run of the mill magazines. Frankly, it was such a characteristic that encouraged me to begin contributing to it more than a year ago. Or am I missing something here?

Sand2008-08-02 22:12:22
Although I admit being forceful in my comments at times and perhaps betray a tendency for over imaginative description, I have never in my whole participation ever gluggered. I simply wouldn't know how.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 23:18:34
Point proven. When one cannot confront the content one attacks the form. Clugger was a typo. Mr. Sand who has made his own typos in this forum but continues to throw stones from the glass building, fails to notice that in another place it is spelled correctly. The voices in his head told him to ignore that. Oh well, some humor is needed or the magazine would become a bit too serious. As Fellini said while directing his movies: bring the clowns.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-02 23:25:14
it occurs to me that "those mysterious great Names from the past" are not so mysterious after all. They are simply the giants on whose shoulder we all stand whether we are aware of it or not. Judging from your fine contributions, you are surely aware of it and need no reminder, but I'd like to reiterate it once again for those assorted rationalists who'd rather reinvent the wheel and be clever by half.

Sand2008-08-02 23:51:04
A wonderful illustration of how really messed up Paparella's mind really is. The typo wasn't clugger, it was glugger and the mystery remains. Just what was the word he originally intended?
It certainly is not obvious to me. I suspect it's not obvious to him either which is why he didn't supply what he intended.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 00:33:13
To continue our fun typo game within the Punch and Judy show,I'll let you wonder whether it was clogger or glogger that was mispelled. Obviously you don't seem to know or you'd have announced it. Regarding perfection of grammar and syntax don't listen to the voices that tell you you are a model of perfection; please notice that after a period, or an interrogation mark at the end of sentence the next letter is capitalized. I'll let you figure where the mistake is but it is there. Keep on looking and you'll find it; if not ask the voices in your head. I ask again: should those who live in glass houses be throwing stones?

Sand2008-08-03 01:29:47
Wonderful exposure of Paparella's wildly defective thinking processes. If somebody else commits an error, then of course Paparella has a wide open permit to make all the mistakes he can dish up and it is impermissible to correct him. As long as there is one liar ranging the world, of course Paparella is free to tell as many lies as he can manufacture and no one can dare to criticize.
I still don't know what "glugger" was supposed to mean but Paparella was never much good at communication anyway so it's par for the course.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 02:44:15
Is that what the voices have been telling you lately? Don't believe them they are liars. If you do, then look at your nose and see how it has grown lately, no matter what color it happens to be.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 02:45:59
Now the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending.
Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.

Sand2008-08-03 08:30:46
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 11:32:21
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
--Albert Einstein

Sand2008-08-03 12:09:15
Both great Einstein quotes. Too bad their messages are beyond you.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 13:15:01
Surely the voices have told you that the courageous and intelligent man is nobody else but you. But truly intelligent men are always skeptical of voices leading to narcisism and self-deception.

Sand2008-08-03 13:55:42
And you, Paparella? Are you eager to distance yourself from your obvious smug certitude as to your intellectual qualifications? Surely that PhD that you incessantly flaunt has lost a bit of its glitter by your own repeated assaults on its intellectual capabilities by indicating how incapable it was to dissuade those Nazi monsters from their delight in the Holocaust. Surely you do not want yourself associated with that bunch. Or do you?

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 16:51:52
Is that what the voices told you: that rationality and knowledge equals ethical intelligent behavior? Don't believe them they are liars. Tell them next time they visit that it would have been better if those monsters had not gone to school at all, never mind the Ph.D. Educated monsters can do more damage than uneducated ones. The shadow knows.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 16:57:45
For example, somebody who is out to search for truth would not degrade a forum to ad hominem comments and bashing and ax grinding against somebody or some institution with which he does not agree with. So much for democracy and freedom of speech. Those are the tactics of the intellectual bully; the kind of tactics present in the Soviet Union at one time and present today in the so called People's Republic of China.

Sand2008-08-03 17:12:40
Excellent thought! No denial of the horrors of religion throughout history. No denial that the Catholic Church was significant in generating the hatred for Jews that finally resulted in the Holocaust that could not have happened by the actions of a few misguided intellectuals without a solid foundation of centuries of religious persecution by Christians. Very good!

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 18:43:25
Is that what the ax grinding voices told you lately? Don't believe them and read the whole historical record not just what is convenient to your bashing agenda. It's a terrible thing to be clever by half and disrespect truth and not even know that one is doing it. Kierkegaard called it the sickness unto death. He was talking about spiritual sickness about which of course the modern rationalist knows precious little.

Chris2008-08-03 18:46:41
Wow, Wee -- Is the tweedle dee and tweedle dum? History and religion and politics amd hatred and free speach and on and on -- lookers into the past always see the past! Do you stand in the river of time, watching the future come down to you, standing still in the present, letting the past drift by behind you. Or do you swim across the lake of time? Time standing still, you forging through it's waters from your own past, in your own present, on to your own future? Or do you swim in the river of time as it drifts? -- They say it's easier to swim downstreem, which, in the simile, would mean drifting into the past. I have the impression that standing on the sholders of the past's heros is a form of this modality. Yes, we are communicating in a language which formed over time. The important thing, though, is wether we understan d each other.

Emmanuel, -- I don't think you got my point. It's great to hear your pontifications. I do get the impression that you wait for the posting of each days new articles with the specific intent to put something in the comments slot before anyone else. Many times I have wondered what your comment had to do with the article, in any way at all. -- Sorry, my friend and comrade, I think you need to back off just a little, let others get a word in edgewise, then present your perfect understanding of all topics.

Thank you for trying to uderstand what I'm trying to convey to you.

P.S. I am famous for my typos, and do not appologize. It could be, you know, that there is more to the picture (or typo, as the case may be) than meets the eye.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 19:13:56
Indeed, Chris, despite my name which has been intrepeted (wrongly as it turns out) to mean little Pope, I try not to pontificate but keep hoping for a dialogue of some sort. Maybe I do it as a way to keep on writing, as a an open diary of sort, the way Kierkegaard did, who knowns. We all have subconscious motives and some of them may be pathological, I suppose. Certainly I do not expect any sort of useful dialogue from my memesis that simply wants to discourage me from writing, period, simply because my opinions do not agree with or conform to his with his. If we can discourage that kind of thing in a magazine of opinion of all places, then something has been accomplished. I reiterate, nobody is being discourage or crowded out and as far as I know the editors have not put a space limit on the comments that can be submitted. We are invited to the dialogue or to make fools of ourselves as the case may be.

By the way I don't think you should apologize for typos. We all make them including the fools who dwell on them because they cannot deal with the content and simply wish to cast gratuitous aspersion. There is one in this forum. I need not tell you who he is.

Sand2008-08-03 20:07:32
I find it unfortunate that your neurotic insecurities prevail over your abilities to interpret what I submit. Several times you have insisted that I am trying to prevent you from making submissions to this site and there is no concrete evidence whatsoever for that. That I have confronted your misinterpretations of what I and other people have written and intended with corrections is apparently so offensive to your bloated ego that you presume I want to stifle your submissions when all I have in mind is to try to squeeze a little sense into your obdurate brain. Unfortunately it is like trying to get toothpaste back into the tube.

Your weirdly pseudo sly comic clumsy efforts to make indirect reference to me without indicating my name is especially strange, as if it were some sort of mild blasphemy to speak of me directly and might have roots in your religious training but I assure you I have no store of lightning bolts to dispatch in your direction.

Insofar as typos are concerned, they are a sign of carelessness and disregard for your readers. They indicate that you do not pay proper attention to what you send out and are signs of poor workmanship. When I use them to make fun of you it should prompt you to be a bit more careful and caring. I always try to apologize to readers when I make them and use a spellchecker to try to eliminate them.

You made three in the comment which prompted this reply. It's not a serious thing, merely impolite like farting in a crowded elevator.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-03 21:32:32
What I find intriguing is that you have taken it upon yourself to appoint yourself the guardian of good speech manners at Ovi and to be the catcher of every "unpolite fart" to use your true to form anal if slightly putrid language, but it is always a selective kind of "fart policing." Those who agree with the misguided and biased views of the Grand Inquisitor of politically correct "farts" are given a pass and are never called upon to take responsibility for their "farts." That boorish tactic parading as language purity surely gives pause to any fair-minded interlocutor as to your real agenda and intentions.

Sand2008-08-03 22:09:09
C'mon Paparella, you keep insisting I am some sort of policeman or "Grand" watchamacallit because you insist on submitting sloppy work. It's not only sloppy in spelling but more important your thinking is so full of sloppy misinterpretations of the quotes from those so-called giants you insist on clambering upon that the final result is a mish-mash of outmoded ideas based on ancient ignorances poorly expressed and miserably presented. I don't have to be anybody special to object to the queasy trash full of lies and historical inaccuracies you shove out as the product of an educated mind. I have seen much better workmanship sent out by twelve year olds with a sense of style and an understanding and an appreciation of language. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 01:08:07
Obviously the voices have been visiting again. On these egregious slanderous statements, surely you remember that I asked you once how do you explain that the article on Levinas, as per the same editor of Ovi, was the most widely read article that month, and of course you had no plausible answer except to mouth some juvenile clichè about arrogance and humilityl that for stating a fact. Which means you should not heed those voices. They are liars and slanderers. Were you living in the US you could easily get sued for slanderous statements. Or could that be reason why you are in Finland? One cannot but wonder.

Chris2008-08-04 01:38:49
Emanual and Sand -- It's starting to look more and more like you deserve each other. I would like to recommend to you both -- and the editors of OVI -- that you are given a column, a special domain of OVI where you can hone your wits against each others. If you did that I think others (like me) should be allowed, now and then, to throw a log on the fire. I find your trysting blows of outrageous dierespect for each other entertaining. You need to build on a domain of OVI into a comedy routine or something. Ever sen My Dinner With Andre? It's been done. Now we need The Witch-hunts of Emanuel and Sand, or some such.

You guys are real assets to the spirit of OVI. I withdraw my suggestion that you withhold from posting. I do suggest you be given a special form to duke it all out.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 01:48:47
I have a better proposal: Mr. Sand should start his own blog dedicated to people who like call each other names. As it is, if one looks at the comments' policy of this magazine the editors are really tolerating it because the first two rules are these:

1.To harass, threaten, embarrass or cause distress or discomfort upon another participant, user, or other individual or entity;

2.To transmit or publish any information, data, text, files, links, software, or other materials ("Content") that Ovi magazine considers to be unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.

So they are tolerating the Punch and Judy show because a little humor never hurts and this is a magazine of opinion and even opinions over the top can be tolerated and debated and laughed upon in a vibrant magazine. However, I really think Mr. Sand would be happier with his own blog dedicated to insulting and calling people names.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 01:51:53
Errata above: the two rules are things that cannot be done. Moreover, on the first line,"like call" should be "like to call."

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 01:57:51
A good name for the blog could be "Grumpier and angrier old men."

Sand2008-08-04 03:23:56
I am not so much angry but aghast at the intricate convolutions of a limited mind for justifying its hatred of intelligence and knowledge which would destroy the dangerous illusions which have misled humanity for ages.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 04:43:18
Meanwhile, the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending. Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.

Sand2008-08-04 08:33:45
You can stop your tottering dance around your room, Paparella. The Punch and Judy show stops here. You have clearly demonstrated your total inflexibility in evaluating the points in our somewhat insane conversations. Those shoulders you climb up on are useless for your nearsighted eyes that can barely penetrate beyond the long length of your prevaricating nose. I'm letting someone else have a shot at penetrating the petrified midden of dessicated nonsense where what you take for your thinking takes place. I have seen no viable takers so far but perhaps you will get lucky.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-04 12:04:45
Is that what the voices told you. They are right about the insanity but wrong about the conversation. There was no conversation or dialogue; that is only possible between people who are genuinly in search of the truth and respect it, not among those sophists and big egos out to win an argument and have the last word and call people names and put on the Punch and Judy show and then delude themselves that they are dialoguing. I told you not to listen to those nasty voices. They are liars.

Sand2008-08-04 13:32:53
And that unquenchable urge for the last word? Who will be guilty of that now?

Leah2008-08-04 18:04:03
Although, it has never been my pleasure to meet you in the flesh, it has been my great honor to share your thoughts and insights via this amrvelous electronic machine - the computer. I know that your debate grew rather heated, but (and I know that I am an outsider looking in) but I think that it did so out of a kernel of admiration - a push-pull relationship which exists between two very active and strong Mind/Souls. I find that wonderful and hope that you will allow that relationship to continue to flourish.
I was asked to choose betwwen the cockroach and the cockroach hunter. I cannot. I appreciate tham both. The cockroach is a Survivor. He/She will probably be beating His/Her wings around upon this planet long after we're gone - ha ! As for the cockroach hunter, bless his/her heart, he/she senses this and reacts to the cockroach out of fear. Fear can be quite an overriding motivator. I empathize with the hunter and appreciate the hunter's skills. So, I appreciate and learn a lot from both.
Gentlemen, I have found your depth of knowledge and wit wonderful and inspiring. I hope to continue to be inspired by y'all in the future.
Free speech is such a precious gift and what a precious gift for all of us to be able to share with one another, and with others. A truly amazing Gift !
Thank you for sharing your Gifts with me and everyone else, gentlemen !

Sand2008-08-04 21:57:47
Well, Leah, I suppose it's some kind of plus when somebody is made happy, but I am not. I had hoped, at the inception of this brawl to inject a bit of logic and good common sense into proposals that are so idiotic as to be assumed to emanate from an insane asylum, not a professor with a self acclaimed PhD. But, in the latest discourses, when the guy outright defends ignorance and a good deal of stupidity as opposed to logical rational thought I really don't see much point in getting further involved. It cheers me that somebody was at least paying attention and since I detect a modicum of enthusiasm I would suggest, that as the possessor of normal good sense, you take on Mr. P. and see if you can whack his petrified thinking apparatus into reasonable activity. I give up but wish you all the luck in what looks like a hopeless case.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 02:15:39
Indeed, Leah. Here is proof of the intellectual dishonesty and sheer scurrilous innuendos (just to mention one)Mr. Sand is capable. When he says "self-proclaimed Ph.D." he is obviously implying that I do not have an earned Ph.D. degree from Yale University as my Ovi bio states. I have previously challenged to a bet of one thousand dollars that in fact I have the degree and in fact the dissertation for it was published by the Mellen Press (1993) in their distinguished dissertation series (titled "Hermeneutics in the Philosophy of Giambattista Vico" but he cowardly refuses to take the challenge. I throw the challenge once again. I predict, and am willing to bet on that too, that Mr. Sand, true to form, the form of the intellectual bully and the demagogue, will not take the challenge.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 02:19:15
Errata: capable should be "capable of." "Challenged" should read "challenged him."

Sand2008-08-05 07:45:09

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 15:43:12
Prediction on target! Mr. S. will not take the challenge.

Now the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending.
Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.

Sand2008-08-05 16:00:30
Gotcha again!

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 17:17:48
Point confirmed again! Were I to lower the bet to ten dollars he will not take it because he knows full well that it is a lie and a slander. Indeed, those visiting voices are not his friends and they are the ones tho are shouting "cotcha."

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 17:21:45
Here is a gotcha proffered some 24 centuries ago: "Gentlemen the issue is not whether one escapes death, we all die eventually, but whether or not one can escape corruption, for that runs faster than death, and once it has in its grip it is leary to let go." (Socrates, in Plato's "Apology.") Gotcha!

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 17:28:02
Errata: and the issue is not the "you" missing between "has" and "in," but the ethical blindness and ethical blindness of those who think that language is a mere tool for the powerful to place the wool over the honest people of this earth and go around peddling "gotchas" and mistaking it for cleverness. "O tempora, o mores."

Sand2008-08-05 18:54:34
See! There you go again dumping a truckload of verbal garbage just to be the last one to post. You just can't resist being the last one to post!

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 19:47:12
When you can distinguish verbal garbbage from the wisdom of a Socrates or a Plato you will realize that life without honor and integrity is not worth living, and may not even be worth saving...

Sand2008-08-05 20:31:00
Just as I said, you cannot let anyone else have the last word. A stupid idiot such as yourself has not the slightest concept of what makes my life worth living and it is very obvious you will never have the slightest capacity of finding out.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-05 23:05:55
GOTCHA! Good thing you did not bet anything.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Jon Butler, Dean

Celebrating the study of Italian

Nearly 100 graduate alumni of the Italian department returned to campus in late October for a reunion and celebratory conference on the Italian legacy at Yale. Department chair Giuseppe Mazzotta, Sterling Professor of Italian, hosted the event, along with Dean Butler and Professor Millicent Marcus '73PhD. Highlights included an exhibition of rare Italian manuscripts in the Beinecke, the screening of an Italian film, and dinners -- complete with arias from Italian operas. Panelists discussed a new philology in Italian, career issues, and the future of the teaching of Italian. The core of the celebration was a laudatio to Thomas Bergin, the late Sterling Professor of Romance Languages, who is widely considered the pioneer of the Italian scholarly heritage at Yale. One attendee, Emanuel L. Paparella '90PhD, found the event extraordinary and wrote the university afterward expressing consensus that Italian studies should continue to be "promoted as an integral part of any interdisciplinary humanistic and/or liberal arts program."


Socrates had it on target: the dishonorable life is not worth living.

Sand2008-08-06 00:30:48
I bet you will succumb to your irresistable temptation to try to be the final poster on this thread.

Sand2008-08-06 10:53:34
Socrates, if history had it right, never tried living a dishonorable life so his verdict on it is pure speculation. You, on the other hand are totally embedded in insincerity and ignorance and, like your deceased Catholic mentor, Senator Joseph McCarthy who was a master at character assassination, seem to be having a hell of a good time.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-06 23:49:18
I see, the voices have counselled to turn the table around and put words in my mouth, once again. The shadows know. I am afraid they don't have your best interests in mind, for every time you use the strategem it becomes more evident who is the real dishonorable individual in this forum. Indeed, you are a piece of work, Mr. S. You could actually be a case study of a confused and beffudled mind; of what Lewis calls "a man without a chest."

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-06 23:51:57
By the way, you lost the bet above, even though you posted nothing on it. You still have to accept the challenge of the scurrilous implication that I don't have a Ph.D. I can wager anything you never will.

Emanuel L. Paparella2008-08-07 00:43:03
As it was asked of Senator McCarthy, "sir, have you no shame, have you no decency?"

Sand2008-08-09 02:21:05
As you are extremely well aware, Mr. P., I never doubted you had a PhD. degree since you yourself many times over had proclaimed that a handful of vicious idiots with PhD.s single handedly had conceived and executed the Holocaust thereby demonstrated the value of the degree in affecting human decency. You thereby placed yourself very nicely amongst that scoundrel collection.

The bet, of course, was that you would have found it impossible to permit anyone else to have the last word in any discussion and I have won that bet hands down several times over.

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