Friday, October 27, 2006

Cousin Lucius

I have been reading I'll Take My Stand, a reprint of the 1930 essays by Southern agrarians at Vanderbilt University. Most of the writings in that collection are essays, all of them are very good. But my favorite is John Donald Wade's narrative, "The Life and Death of Cousin Lucius." This story describes the curriculum vitae of a classcially-educated Georgia farmer, who was about ten years old at the time of the War for Southern Independence. It is an account of how he coped with the misfortunes of the South, and warned against the siren song of industrialization. He had a very meaningful life. He lived until just before the Great Depression. Of course Cousin Lucius is fictional, but he is also a metaphor for how the agrarian can bend but not break, how he can continue to love the land when all around him are becoming something alien to what he always knew. His classical education makes him very reasonable, very courageous, and impeccably honest. This story stands before all of us as an example of what could have been had our educational system not deteriorated into its present state.

Monday, October 23, 2006


One question was posted: how do we get Russia to be our ally? Good question. Good and complicated. But I would say we begin by acting like an ally. We should support Russia in its war on terror against Chechnya. We should not be too critical of censorship -- considering how paranoid our government is to any suggestion of harming the president. We should support pan-slavic efforts, such as the Serbs in their struggle against Jihad (i.e. Kosovo). Russians like other Slavic peoples. It would probably take a few years of this to gain Russia's friendship. And finally, we should support other Orthodox peoples in their struggles against Islam, for example, the Greek Cypriotes, the Armenians, and the Lebanese Christians. At the very least we should give Christians economic support, and it is not too much to add diplomatic as well.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stressful Events

I was reading the Plain Dealer, and came across the story that Secretary Rice went to Russia and immediately started in to make trouble. What an incompetent oaf! Considering the chief geopolitical faultlines in the world today, we need Russia as an ally. We don't need NATO. We don't need Brits. We don't need Saudis. We need Russia. And India. We also cannot afford to lose Israel or Japan. Please don't send Rice there. She'll find some way to insult them and alienate them. I see the axis of evil very clearly -- the Republicans and the Democrats.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

All-time college football coaches

Time to react to things I heard on WKNR while driving from place to place. I heard a number of rankings of the best college football coaches, but most of them were meaningful to people half my age. I have my own list to propose of the top 16, beginning with the 16th an counting down: #16 -- Bobby Dodd, Georgia Tech, 50s/60s
#15 -- Earl Blaik, West Point, best military academy coach
#14 -- Ara Parseghian, Northwestern and N.D.
#13 -- Darrell Royal, Texas, 60s/70s
#12 -- Lou Little, Columbia, 20s
#11 -- Duffy Daugherty, Mich. State, invented the multiple offense
#10 -- Bob Neyland, Tennessee 40s/50s
# 9 -- Woody Hayes, Ohio State, 50s/60s
# 8 -- Bob Devaney, Nebraska, 60s/70s
#7 -- Paul Dietzel, L.S.U., South Carolina, invented the wing-T
#6 -- Joe Paterno, Penn State, still an active coach
#5 -- Bo Schembechler, U. of Michigan, 70s/80s
#4 -- Steve Spurrier, Florida, 80s/90s
#3 -- Bear Bryant, Alabama, 60s-80s
#2 -- Knute Rockne, who won one for the Gipper
#1 -- Bud Wilkinson, Oklahoma, 50s/60s, invented the split-T.

Yes, a case could be made for about 70 other guys. And any of these could put together a terrific team. I saw nearly all of thes guys coach, in fact, all except Little and Rockne.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

classical pelican: Here we begin

classical pelican: Here we begin

Here we begin

This is the first posting, Thursday, October 12, 2006. Today, 514 years ago, Columbus made a landfall on Watling's Island in the Bahamas, discovering a populated - though very sparsely - section of the world that was theretofore not part of most of Western Civilization's reckoning. Thanks to him, Western Civilization expanded to the Western Hemisphere. Yes, we call them both by that adjective, in one case meaning Christendom, in the other a physical location.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006