Gaus: Freedom, Morality, and the State

Ok, here’s another book I desperately want to have (and while I’m wishing, it sure would be great to have the time to read it as well): The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World by Gerald Gaus. It’s about large-scale human societies — how they…

The Cat Cure: Animal Husbandry and Human Civilization

I do love my cat. Gods, do I love my cat. Cu Gwyn is his name, meaning “White Dog” in Welsh; we chose it for him because he’s a black cat, and that’s the kind of sense of humor we have. Cu wanders the house at random, mostly sleeping or looking out the window or…

Temperance, Terror, Torch, Torture

My old blog, the Word of the Day, is defunct, and I’m getting ready to take it down. Before I do, though, I’m going to repost some of the best words here over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Temperance Ultimately, temperance comes from Latin tempus, “time”. No one knows where Latin picked up tempus –…

The Tie that Binds: a Meditation on Love and War

Why are people violent? Years ago, during a visualization meditation on physical violence (I wanted to try and get at the root of it, to understand where it came from), I found myself on a path edged with tall, tangled bushes. Their branches were bowed with huge blossoms and masses of matted leaves. The air…

On the Christmas Tree

We received a most interesting Christmas card from a family friend recently. (Our family friend doesn’t yet know about our religious affiliation…) The card had a lovely picture of a family bringing home a tree in a sleigh, and inside the card was a remarkable story about the origin of the Christmas tree:

The Victory of the Sioux

Last week I had lots of opportunity to look at a map of South Dakota. Notice the shaded areas that represent the Sioux Indian Reservations. Go ahead, look. I’ll wait here… Did you notice? A full one fifth of South Dakota belongs to the Sioux. This is an area about the size of Wales. A…