Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Republic



A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern or property of the rulers, and where offices of state are subsequently directly or indirectly elected or appointed rather than inherited. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch.

Currently, 135 of the world's 206 sovereign states use the word "republic" as part of their official names. Both modern and ancient republics vary widely in their ideology and composition. In classical and medieval times the archetype of all republics was the Roman Republic, which referred to Rome in between the period when it had kings, and the periods when it had emperors. The Italian medieval and Renaissance political tradition today referred to as "civic humanism" is sometimes considered to derive directly from Roman republicans such as Sallust and Tacitus.

However, Greek-influenced Roman authors, such as Polybius and Cicero, sometimes also used the term as a translation for the Greek politeia which could mean regime generally, but could also be applied to certain specific types of regime which did not exactly correspond to that of the Roman Republic. Republics were not equated with classical democracies such as Athens, but had a democratic aspect.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Galium odoratum


As the epithet odoratum suggests, the plant is strongly scented, the sweet scent being derived from coumarin. This scent increases on wilting and then persists on drying, and the dried plant is used in pot-pourri and as a moth deterrent. It is also used, mainly in Germany, to flavour May wine (called "Maiwein" or "Maibowle" in German), syrup for beer (Berliner Weisse), brandy, sausages, jelly, jam, a soft drink (Tarhun, which is Georgian), ice cream, and a herbal tea with gentle sedative properties. In Germany it is also used to flavour sherbet powder. Mixed with German "corn schnapps" or vodka, it is a popular party drink among young people. Also very popular at parties is Waldmeister flavoured jelly made from vodka.

Monday, 29 November 2004

Academic Freedom?


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2004

I currently attend a post-secondary institution of national, if not international, acclaim. I'm proud of my standing as a student- I consider myself a scholar. I take joy in the act of learning, knowledge for knowledge's sake. Sadly, my sort are disappearing. College has slowly been turned, in both popular opinion and in reality, a social event; college is now a four-year procedure in networking. Frankly, that's fine- I'm no prude, and I've been known to attend parties myself. But there's something even more unsettling to me- the constant saturation of liberal ideas by today's academia.

I consider myself boringly moderate. I despise Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh alike. Furthermore, I like to take time making up my mind. My opinions are expensive; too many people today cast their thoughts as though the garbage spewing from their mouths like shotgun spray: "He who says much is sometimes right." Therefore, let me hear all sides of the issue. To me, Socratic learning is the ideal academic pursuit of man. Unbias criticism of all beliefs in order to reach what is eventual unadulterated truth.

Are any of us suprised when survey after survey reveal that the American professorite is unabashedly liberal? Anyone that has been to college over the last 20 years could answer this to the affirmative, but the actual numbers are scary. The largest group of contributors to presidential campaigns this election cycle was from the system of Universities of California- who contributed at a ratio of 19:1 for John Kerry. Of course the common response to this and other data is either "education (i.e. intelligence) leads to liberality", or "conservatives are less likely to be educators (because their cold-hearted natures predispose them to take interest in money and money alone)."

Colleges force-feed multiethnicity and cultural relativism to the point where most institutions are perfectly willing to expel a student at the first instance of ethnocentrism (most institutions are much more loose about rules concerning underage drinking, cannabis use, etc.) There are a lot of institutions (somewhere in the order of 25% of colleges) that restrict free speech to a certain area on campus. This is usually to prevent the dissemination of conservative beliefs (anti-affirmative-action is one example.)

It doesn't stop there. I've had a professor apologize to the class because we had to read an article by a "dead, white, male" (of course, the DMW in question was Marx, so no chance of conservativm there ). In a different class, I've read three different articles that concluded that anyone who didn't support affirmative action is inherently racist. The school sponsered a talk by Louis Farakhan (sic?) earlier this semester, and no one raised any questions, despite the minister and his Nation of Islam being on the list of the Anti-Defamation League's official hate groups. I have a feeling that if David Duke came to give a similar lecture, there'd be some negative reaction.

I don't object to there being some radicalism in our colleges. It helps promote change, facilitates discussion, etc. It has largely been responsible for the diversity we see in our schools today, and it is refreshing to think that our hallowed halls of education are no longer dominated by rich white men. But the liberalism that destroyed ethnic and gender homoginization has also destroyed all difference of opinion that we can find. What's the point of diversity of skin color if we can't enlighten ourselves with different opinions.

(Note: 2 posts in one day will be the exception, not the rule, on this site)
Stevea

Sunday, 28 November 2004

New beginnings


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2004

I would say that since I was 16 I decided that I should be taking some account of my life. I, along with most other ambitious people, forsee some sort of importance in my future, at some indetermined point. Wouldn't it, then, be fun to look back at the past if I can at some point and see what I thought, and compare selves.

My structure will be loose. Often, most times, I will be talking to no one but myself. Other times, I may invite an audience. I plan on updating the site once a week at least- more if I feel so inclined, less if my life dictates so. I also will only so this as long as I personally still benefit from it.

With no further ado, I suppose, I launch my site.

Steve