February 2015 Topic: Civic Virtue

by Nathan on February 19, 2015

“Oath of the Horatii” by Jacques-Louis David (1784). Source: Wikipedia.
Topic: Civic Virtue
Inquiry: What makes a good citizen in a free society? What makes an ideal citizen? And finally, what makes an exceptional citizen?
Required Readings:
2. Titus Livy: Histories Book III: Ch. 26 – 29 only. This is the part on Cincinnatus.
3. Thomas Macaulay’s Horatius (from the Lays of Ancient Rome).
Optional Readings:
1. Shakespeare’s Coriolanus
2. OR… you can watch Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, which is excellent in my mind.


January 2015 Topic: Money-lenders

by Nathan on January 24, 2015

Topic: Money-lenders

Inquiry: Across time and space, why are money-lenders so universally disliked?



A Few Thoughts on Veteran’s Day

November 11, 2014

Spending my morning at the airport greeting WWII veterans flying in from Kansas City for their Honor Flight was one of the most powerful and rewarding things I’ve been able to do in DC – perhaps in my entire life. It is a humbling reminder of the greatness of our country that these men, farm […]

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Edward Gibbon Quotation

July 19, 2013

From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the demon of Socrates affords a memorable instance of how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud. – The Decline and Fall of […]

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Remembering Eric Hoffer, 30 Years Later

May 20, 2013

(Photo credit: Google Images) This week marks the 30th Anniversary of the death of Eric Hoffer, a rare gem in American philosophy largely forgotten today. Hoffer’s thoughts and analyses, elucidated mostly in short essays, penetrate the deepest recesses of the human soul and spirit. His only book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of […]

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A Eulogy for Patricia Caywood, My Grandmother

April 28, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family: We are gathered together today to mourn the loss of a decent and virtuous woman, to share the grief we all feel, and, perhaps, to learn something from this woman’s lifetime of goodness. In sharing our grief and sadness, let us all reflect and meditate upon her life’s example, […]

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The Tragic Business Cycle

January 30, 2013

Most, if not all, game-changing American companies (Standard Oil, Ford/GM, Walmart, US Steel, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Nike, Disney, etc.), once hailed as a mark of human genius and innovation, are eventually demonized throughout society. So, when will today’s heroes – Google, Apple, and Facebook – be tomorrow’s villains?

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The Artist and the Impulses of Capitalism

April 6, 2012

THE ARTIST AND THE IMPULSES OF CAPITALISM (The Artist movie poster. Source: Wikipedia) The 2011 French film, The Artist, which swept the Academy Awards last month, has been met with near-universal critical acclaim. Shot in black-and-white, this silent film (with music that echoes the mood of each scene, like the original silent films) tells a […]

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Idealism, Wealth Creation, and Engineering

March 22, 2012

The idealism of today’s college students is rather remarkable. A cursory look at the brochures of top university programs reveals a strong desire to not only transform America but also tackle persisting global problems like poverty and world hunger. It is encouraging for our country that so many of our nation’s young people are moved […]

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Iraq War Teach-in Discussion

February 24, 2012

This is an excellent discussion (or teach-in) by some of the most learned and wise scholars in the U.S. just after the commencement of the Iraq War. It is a two-hour video, but well-worth the time. Iraq War Teach-in

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