Education toward the end of the Roman Republic


Horace at lines 56 to 100 of his 6’th satire of book 1 tells of how his father, a former slave, ensured his mental and moral education.


“Dig”  and “cool” were words that I first remember in a  context that seemed to have preceded the birth of rock and roll’s popularity, words that shaded mysterious cultish initiates who behaved and spoke as though they’d tapped into the essence of  existence: for as in another of their cult-like expressions:  they knew “where it’s at” , and the rest of us didn’t, maybe in a way like our similarly insular contemporary cult of techno-science’s sit-com’s supercilious techno-archetype, Sheldon. There were of course imitators and hangers-on like the toggled crowds of Rome who wanted to look “cool” like them, dress like them and most of all swagger and talk like them. In a sense when you talked to anyone using the hipster cool jazz-aficionado lingo you were always wondering if they were as in another hipster expression, I believe, “putting you on”. And there were in them days a lot of people putting each other on as though people wanted to show how smart they were by fooling others, often categorizing each other according to psycho babble afflictions.

But what I think I recall of this kind of pseudo hip conniving pretended interest in one’s fellow man, the tail end of the cool hipster era when “dig”  seemed to embody all that hyperbolic keenness  about life, music and humanity is the image of the hipster himself.

That image and that quaint notion of “digging” woke me from a kind of  etymological slumber in Kerouac’s 1947 novel On The Road  and rekindled  a world that I realized must have vanished sometime between the end of the era of “cool “ jazz and the beginning of “rock“, a world whose dregs had hung on in places such as the Hound Dog early R&R/R&B radio show’s opening with “Dig man“! “The Hound’s  around.” Though I now understand that “digging”  as empathetic depth perception had authentically existed for a time –  approaching its climax maybe toward the conclusion of WWII and the coming of the Beat Generation’s era of futility. In a way Kerouac’s novel is about the behaviour of characters whose only possession was the will to “dig” places and people – by pilgrimaging  to destinations in America where they “dug” street smells, grass, mountains, suns rising and falling, and street strangers like the “banana man”, in a kind of post romantic frenzy that masked the just concluded inhumanities of war.

Make the rich pay..

In 2016, kind things were said about Mr. Sanders, beat by Mrs. Clinton in the Democrat party primaries. They talked about his socialism respectfully, and raved of how his followers could have buried the arch-billionaire champion of capitalism overwhelmingly. Even the Toronto Sun spoke well of him and his socialism that they used to say was communism up here in Toronto the good where the wealthy ruled: like the Eatons, the Blacks; the Trumps and the self-made like Heffner, and the Clintons. They’re where the money is; make them pay.

Unity implies agreement.

Today CP24 television, part of the Bell Network, has been highlighting president Obama’s call for unity after a rancorous election contest. The piece below was written during the 2008 Democrat primaries about when Hillary Clinton was expected to walk away with it and Mr. Obama first started calling for “unity”.

Saturday, 15 March, 2008

Political Unity

In politics there is no unity without the sharing of a common purpose, a job to be done.

All other calls to unity are artificial because they lack agreement on the need to achieve a concrete goal in ways that are agreed upon.

Without unity of purpose, in unity there is only submission to the quietude of unity.

The First…

What’s been happening to us in the West is happening to both men and women. The better life style advertised by retailers who market imported consumables are doing so at the expense of people whose jobs they have exported or whose wages they keep low. Women in the families of those running those global entities do exceedingly well whether they or their relatives are CEO‘s, CFO‘s, COO‘s, VP of whatever, or president. But the many women with title less relatives or associates will invariably work in an office cubicle recording data, in a call center responding to consumer complaints or as a cashier receiving cash for items imported from Mexico, China and South East Asia, and will work more than one job to survive, experience low pay and forever face the threat of having their job transported to far away places, in one case to a place as far away as India.

The 2012 Presidential Election and its Aftermath

Immigration Reform A Second Term Priority

On January 21, 2013 (below), the day of President Obama’s 2nd public inauguration I recorded some of the opinions of what Mr. Obama’s political priorities  might be. After thinking about those assessments and the one in the January, 2013 edition of “Migration News” that I’ve been sitting on for too long now, I decided to quote that publication’s view that reforming immigration will be Mr. Obama’s most compelling act as President. And as the “Migration News”quotation below suggests immigration reform is a real bipartisan goal for both Republicans and Democrats; employers, some labour unions, and middle class citizens who can afford to hire imported nannies and lawn trimmers.

…Immigration reform is expected be a top domestic priority after issues surrounding the debt ceiling and spending cuts are resolved. President Obama in October 2012 called immigration reform his major “long-term” priority for a second term, and House Speaker John Boehner said that a “comprehensive approach [to immigration] is long overdue.” One summary of the politics of immigration reform concluded that the Democrats want immigration reform that includes legalization to reward Hispanic voters while the Republicans need immigration reform to increase their appeal to Hispanic voters. The coalition in support of comprehensive immigration reform includes employers seeking immigrant workers, from agriculture to IT firms, unions that want to represent newly legalized workers, and many other groups, from young people seeking immigrant status to evangelical pastors with Latino parishioners. Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union said: “We expect action and leadership on immigration reform in 2013. No more excuses. No more obstruction or gridlock.”…

Presidential Inauguration January 21, 2013

Is this what it all meant, the election that is ? Or is something better in store, something not yet noticed.

Have y’u  heard Mr. Obama’s startin’ a fresh new term: that’s how BNN characterized what Mitch McConnell said. And when they interviewed Michael Smart from Washington he said that this time around Mr. Obama would be going for free trade in a big way even though his trade union supporters might not be for it.

If that’s true maybe it’s because he won’t be runnin’ again. Or maybe he’s gonna get in line with his real supporters.

But here’s what an ABC News Utube upload caption reads:”The president will tackle gun control, immigration and national debt in the next four years.”

And a British paper, the Guardian states “Barack Obama cites climate change and gay rights in inauguration speech – live”.(Make sure you hit the Latest First link under the Obama’s’ photo to get the climate and gay rights prediction of the Jan.21, 2013 Guardian article. Nevertheless it is strange that the line “Barack Obama cites climate change and gay rights in inauguration speech – live”.which I copied and pasted from the article(s) seems to have disappeared.)

And the New York Times opinion is “Climate Change Given Prominence in Obama’s Address”.

Today, January 22,2013, I perused a NY Times report of Mr. Obama’s 2013 inauguration in which climate change, gay rights, and immigration are central to journalist, Peter Baker’s, view of Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address outlining tasks for his second Presidential term. So far none of the reports of the inauguration speech say anything about the urgency of addressing poverty and the death rate for Americans under the age of 50 which affects citizens of all persuasions, perhaps even the rich. My guess is that emphasis on climate change, gay rights, and immigration may be items favoured by those who had the political and financial power to get him re-elected, and not the needs of the nation and those seeking justice.

November 2,2016

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Looking over the Guardian and the New York Times agreement in 2013 that climate change and gay rights would be top priorities for Obama’s second term, I recall that both media organizations have appeared at the top of Google searches for Donald Trump with similarly mocking characterizations of just about everything Mr. Trump has said or done as far back as I can recall.


November 3, 2016:2:30 pm.
I just got the following header courtesy of the Guardian at the top of an FBI Google search: the first I’ve seen of a charge that some in the FBI support Trump. I wonder if The Guardian originated this report?

‘The FBI is Trumpland’: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaks …
The Guardian-30 minutes ago