Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Settler Democracy

May 25th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

Another interesting internet poli sci: Three types of societies. Pioneer societies, marcher societies, and core societies. Pioneer societies are settler societies. Marcher societies are borderers. And core societies are the ones that are no longer marcher societies or settler societies. The theory is that pioneer societies are democratic, marcher societies are aristocratic, and core societies are monarchical/bureaucratic. (more…)

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May 25th, 2017 06:51:58

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 4

May 24th, 2017 by Vader

In the previous posts of this series, I developed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential decisions; briefly discussed the three key concepts in this definition (ability, meaningfulness, and consequence); and described liberty as the set of social constructs we erect to sustain freedom.


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May 24th, 2017 14:44:16


May 24th, 2017 by G.

Our own Lord Vader has been thinking carefully about agency and what it means for politics. See Notes 1, 2, and 3. It’s good stuff. The man breathes so heavily because his brain needs the oxygen.

I’ve been thinking a bit along the same lines. Must be something in the air.

Self-government famously requires a responsible people.

Our current form of self-government is democracy and has been for awhile.

Democracy has some problems. One of them is that while it relies on having a responsible people voting, it does nothing to teach that responsibility. In fact, the democratic form pushes against responsibility. The thrifty farmer gets the same vote as the gambler and the drunk. (more…)

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May 24th, 2017 12:46:09

The Honest Man

May 23rd, 2017 by G.

More and more, honesty is not a virtue our society prizes but fails to live.  More and more, it is a virtue that we reject as for dupes.  And more and more, it is.

What I failed to realize when I was younger is that honesty is a societal virtue.  It is a virtue whose purpose and sense is in relation to society at large. (more…)

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May 23rd, 2017 07:30:10

The Truth of Nostalgia

May 22nd, 2017 by G.

I have nostalgia for lives I’ve never lived.

I was just driving through a tiny foothills Spanish colonial landgrant.  There are a few small adobes, willows and cottonwoods by the streams, a twisted apple tree, a few cattle, stacks of firewood, everyone related.  And I felt a strong sense of the distinctness and value of their life.  And an attraction, like nostalgia.

That’s what the best tourism usually is.  Nostalgia for unlived lives.  Imaginative communion with them. (more…)

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May 22nd, 2017 10:20:35

Hobson’s Imperialism

May 22nd, 2017 by G.

For those who like high-concept political theory, this is just the sort of thing they would like.  It has Burnham, the managerial class, all the favorites, with some genuine new bits too:

The private, public, and nonprofit sectors in modern developed nations do not have separate and distinct elites that can be counted upon to check each other. Instead, the private sector tends to dominate the public sector through campaign finance, and the nonprofit sector through donations. Even in the absence of these methods of elite coordination, the fact that almost all of the personnel of elite institutions of all kinds belong to the managerial-professional class and have similar educations and shared outlooks produces a common mentality, tending toward Orwellian groupthink among corporate executives, investment bankers, elected politicians, civil servants, and nonprofit leaders. Managerial dominance is reinforced by lateral mobility at the top levels of society. Diplomats become investment bankers, investment bankers become ambassadors, generals sit on corporate boards, and corporate executives sit on nonprofit boards.

from The New Class War, by Michael Lind

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May 22nd, 2017 09:48:47

Sex Roles Are . . .

May 18th, 2017 by G.

Sex roles aren’t strict rules for living. They are banners for living. They are the old, sweet melodies and we are jazz musicians who sometimes play them straight and sometimes improvise variations on them.

-from Man and Woman, Men and Women


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May 18th, 2017 06:00:49

The Price of Greatness

May 16th, 2017 by G.


The price of greatness is responsibility.

-thus Winston Churchill.

Image result for churchill smiling

I would say that the reward of greatness is responsibility. Responsibility means you have more room for meaningful choices. There are more lives you can touch. There are more ripples in eternity. Your imagination runs deeper and wider. There is more joy.

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May 16th, 2017 07:46:09

Imagination and Places

May 15th, 2017 by G.

Some places, the appeal of them is evident to everyone.  They satisfy the lust of the eye.  But some places are beautiful because of the memories they have.  It is not a common sight, especially anymore, but I love to see some nondescript little apartment with a family group outside and the Mom and Dad gesturing at it, grinning and remembering, while the children look skeptical–but slowly warming up as they hear the stories.


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May 15th, 2017 10:56:52

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 3

May 15th, 2017 by Vader

In the first part of this series of posts, I proposed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential choices. I offered some explanation of the three elements of this definition, namely: ability, meaningfulness, and consequence. In the second part of this series of posts, I reflected on the significance of freedom as a gift from God, pointed out that there is strong opposition to freedom, and described liberty as the set of social and legal constructs we are duty-bound to erect and sustain to protect and enhance freedom.

In this post, I will discuss some of the aspects of liberty that support the second element of freedom, namely, meaningfulness.


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May 15th, 2017 05:19:17

Pillar of Fire

May 12th, 2017 by G.

There is a paradox.  When you are used to something, you have a hard time realizing how strange and beautiful and unusual something is.  But you can’t really know it without getting used to it.  I think its why we have to be both body and spirit, and experience both time and eternity, to truly grow up.

The specific something that made me think of this paradox is the scriptural references to God appearing as a “pillar of fire.”  Pillars are supports made of rock.  Or in ancient times, they were rock monuments.  Their point is the solidity and their structural strength.  They are immovable.  Fires are none of these things.  Fires are fleeting and shifting.

The use of pillar of fire in the scriptures reflects both sides of the paradox.  The pillar of fire that leads the children of Israel moves, but it is also a reliable support for them.

Perhaps a “pillar of fire” is suggestive of both the spiritual and physical nature that God combines into one united whole.

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May 12th, 2017 06:44:51

LDS and BSA part ways. Sort of.

May 11th, 2017 by Bookslinger

LDS readers will get this elsewhere, but for our non-LDS readers….

The church has announced that as of Jan 1st, 2018, it will no longer charter/register Varsity Scouts and Venturing.  This only affects Youth age 14 and up.  Programs for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts through age 13 will continue.  Merit badges and rank advancement will also continue for those age 14-up for those who want to.

This only applies to USA and Canada.

Details here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program

There is a link to a pdf of the official church announcement at that web page.

I’ve never been involved with the YM (Young Men) programs at church, so I’m ignorant of what all the changes will entail, or how the merit badges and rank advancment (only) will work out.

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May 11th, 2017 16:32:03

Arguing with Satan

May 11th, 2017 by G.

Here is a temple thought.

Satan has more than a bit part in the creation story.  But basically all he does is talk.  No one takes what he says seriously. No one enters into discussions with him.   They all just defy him or command him or condemn him.  No one converses with him.  Except Eve–and with all due respect for the recent Mormon trend of affirming the consequent, I am not altogether convinced that she was altogether prudent to do so.

I wonder how much our taste for reasoning with people is just a cultural thing.  Not that there is anything wrong with cultural things.  But they do not convert directly into eternal things.

God reasons some in the scriptures, but mostly not.  Mostly He just offers glory or misery.  He doesn’t offer logic, he offers a choice.  Christ debates the Pharisees and Sadducees–but mostly he ignores their logic with rhetoric and jumps over the conversation they are trying to have to a higher truth.

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May 11th, 2017 08:48:41

And Given in Marriage

May 10th, 2017 by G.

The scriptures like to point out–it happens more than once–that on the verge of some catastrophic punishment for their gigantic wickedness, the people are going around “marrying and giving in marriage.”  Which is odd.  Getting married doesn’t seem so awfully wicked. (more…)

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May 10th, 2017 08:31:15

Three-fold Dysgenics

May 09th, 2017 by G.

Your daily dose of gloom.  Dr. Charlton is seen, and raised.

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May 09th, 2017 20:28:39