May 22, 2011

Prelude: Plato

  "Then shall I explain first how timocracy changes into oligarchy?"
  "Yet a blind man could see that," I said.
  "That storehouse full of gold," said I, "which every man has, destroys such a constitution.  First they invent ways of spending for themselves, and neither they nor their wives obey the laws, but they pervert them to support this."
  "That is likely," said he.
  "After that," I said, "they observe each other and rival each other, and make the whole body of the people like themselves."
  "Quite likely."
  "By and by, then," said I, "they push ahead with their moneymaking, and the more they value money the less they value virtue; in truth, we may imagine riches and virtue as always balanced in scales against each other."
  "Just so," said he.
  "And when riches are honored in a city, virtue and the good people are less honored than the rich."
  "That is clear."
  "Now what is honored anywhere is practiced, and what is dishonored is neglected."
  "Just so."
  "Thus in the end they have become lovers of money and moneymaking and no longer aim at honor and ambition; they praise the rich man and admire him and bring him into places of government, and the poor man they dishonor."
  "So then they lay down a law of limitation in the constitution; they fix a sum of money, greater or less, according as the oligarchy is more or less complete, and proclaim that no one may share in the government unless his property comes up to the assessment.  This they carry out by force of arms, or they have used terror before this to establish such a constitution. Don't you think so?"
  "Yes, I do."
  "Then that is how it is established, more or less."

-- Plato, The Republic, Book VIII
translated W. H. D. Rouse

" . . . in truth, we may imagine riches and virtue as always balanced in scales against each other."

May 13, 2011


Chillin' at the bus stop a little after 6 p.m. today . . .

Well, "chillin'" is the wrong word to use.

Sitting at the bus stop this evening after work, the sun glowering down on me while I wait, shirt sleeves rolled up & sweat rolling into my eyes . . . it's summer, baby.  90 degrees.

Meh - I seem to be getting used to it.  Gotta say the heat and the short (about a mile and a half) walk home actually can make me appreciate a really cold Miller High Life . . . though maybe ice water would have been even better.

Let's get a few shots from Up North:

Was around 65 up there, which, believe me, is a heatwave of an even higher grade than 90 down here less than halfway into May.

Let's scare up one from the neighborhood:

a little blurry, but it will do.  This one's off the back deck, a nice quiet shot of the back of Schnitzelburg.  Out front it's all about the Goss/Poplar Level traffic and the Kroger, but back here it's quiet.

I'll spare you the one of meat roasting on the grill - positively barbaric.

The livin' may or may not be easy, but it's summertime.  Peace!

Coming up: hipsters, the Tigers, Osama bin Laden, and maybe some audio to get you through.