When I was a boy & my parents were going out to dinner with friends or or to the horse races in Wheeling, West Virginia, they would declare a "hodge-podge" night, meaning that my brothers & I could make whatever we wanted for our dinner (usually my grandmother would provide a bit of adult supervision). That often meant peanut butter sandwiches with chocolate instant pudding for dessert, or something tasty like that.
"Hodge-podge" - noun [$2] - means a mixture of diverse ingredients.
Today is a hodge-podge blog day.
More on Public Employee Unions
A public employee union "bargaining" for anything represents Taxation without Representation and the stripping of power of the legislature. How can a bargain be struck that deprives the people of the power to legislate spending and taxation ? That's what a backroom bargain over wages or pensions or anything means. The union bosses and their cronies in the executive get together to put the State or City into a binding contract. What role does the people have ? Nothing. The government gets bound into a contract requiring it to PAY. And from where does that money come? Taxes.
When the contract is executed, the legislature finds itself having to vote taxes to fund it or be violating the contract and subject to various judicial confiscations. This is inherently taxation without representation. People getting no benefits have thus been forced to pay for endless retirement and health benefits of long retired state workers who might no longer even live in the state. This is involuntary servitude - a form of serfdom.
No legislature can bind another - no people can bind another - without their own legislature having FINAL say. That mean NO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS for public employee unions. Those are a violation of democracy and the principles of the nation and a republican form of government as mandated by the Constitution.
A Thought on Libertarianism
Here's a fine quote I read yesterday in an essay by T. S. Eliot on the writings of the philosopher, Francis Herbert Bradley [in this case comparing his thoughts to Matthew Arnold]: "For Utilitarianism was, as every reader of Arnold knows, a great temple in Philistia", meaning that if all value to humanity is measured by "utility", then where do moral or social or fraternal values fit? All becomes decadence, hedonism, the "values" of the Philistine rule. And what is almost synonymous with Utilitarianism? Libertarianism. Thus to modernize the thought:
Libertarianism is a great temple in Philistia.
Tea party adherents, beware. You are going down a path of darkness.
An Intensive Course on Literature
Simultaneously read multiple works of the following:
T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, H. L. Mencken, and Sinclair Lewis.
Those are three Novel laureates writers in the English and American languages and a hugely influential, entertaining and literate newspaper columnist. All wrote in the period roughly from 1890 to 1940, a period that created the foundation of the modern world. The first three have wonderful vocabularies; Lewis provides crucial societal scenes of America we can still recognize today.
Those writers cover poetry, essays, plays, critical prose, polemical prose, imaginative novels, etc. As one reads more and more, your ability to understand them grows. They complement each other.
Post World War II writing is thin gruel compared to their works. Why bother with it at all?
Word of the Day
"Miasma" - noun [$10] hmmm a card from high school days.
Miasma means a pervasive influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt.
Sentence: The multi-decadal miasma brought by State Boards of Education to American schools has infected secondary education in science and literature with gangrenous tissue causing the whole limbs of the body of student knowledge to rot.