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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ponder This

The words of Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330–after 391):
In consequence of this state of things, the few houses that were formerly famed for devotion to serious pursuits now teem with the sports of sluggish indolence, re-echoing to the sound of singing and the tinkling of flutes and lyres. In short, in place of the philosopher the singer is called in, and in place of the orator the teacher of stagecraft, and while the libraries are shut up forever like tombs, water-organs are manufactured and lyres as large as carriages, and flutes and instruments heavy for gesticulating actors.

At last we have reached such a state of baseness...
Read more HERE.

I recently encountered the words of Ammianus Marcellinus in the following context — in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post:
When I read about Michelle Obama’s appearance at the Academy Awards, I was struck by the historical parallels. The historian Ammianus Marcellinus, observing the slow death of Roman culture, described the descent as follows: “In place of the philosopher the singer is called in, and in place of the orator the teacher of stagecraft, and while the libraries are shut up forever like tombs, water-organs are manufactured and lyres as large as carriages.”

The Obamas did not initiate this worship of celebrity and descent into triviality, but they have taken it to the next level, aided and abetted by a fawning media. We are forced to endure the president and first lady emulating celebrity behavior on late-night television. It is quite sad.

An era that began with such promise may very well end with the president accepting a position at ESPN and the first lady hosting “Entertainment Tonight.” This is not the stuff of Lincoln.

Robert F. Reklaitis, Bethesda
How many Americans are members of the Cult of Obama? At least enough to have elected Barack Hussein Obama to a second term and, apparently, enough to continue to worship the royal couple as they unabashedly assume the role of entertainment celebrities.


  1. This poll may be of interest: Obama tumbling in voters' eyes.

    I don't know who was polled.

  2. Great catch. So much to learn from those who are willing.

  3. The love of the trappings of power is as potent as any drug.

  4. It is like a cult, when you have street interviews with people saying "I don't know or I don't care, I voted for him because he's Black". And you have those who voted for him looking to him for their every need in life to be met

    Right Truth

  5. Tag-teaming with Debbie, let me bring a bit of comic relief to the comments. Last night I cared for a woman in PACU (post anesthesia care unit). She was quite confused. In asking her a wake-up question, I followed through with a broader category, since she had flubbed the easier questions. I simply said, "Who is the president?" She stated, "Well I know he is black." I rejoined, "But what is his name?" She brightened up and said, "Ray Charles!" smile

    Back to the topic at hand, one of my favorite Biblical admonitions is the following: He hath shown thee oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of thee? But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Thy God."

    I agree that the Obama couple have made themselves debase in the eyes of the nations. Who can take them seriously? They lack true class and dignity, and their publicity-seeking antics remind me of Justin Bieber. Queen Elizabeth needs to teach them Protocol 101 for head of state.

    Tammy Swofford

  6. We're in the degenerative phase described so well by Alexander Tyler.

    These cycles of societal ascent, decline and fall are as inevitable as the tides and as uncontrollable as the movement of the spheres.

    The reason this keeps happening is that Success always seems to breed Complacency -- Complacency creates Apathy -- Apathy Indolence -- Indolence Degeneration - Degeneration Disintegration.

    What happens to human societies over millennia is very similar to the life cycle of flowers in a single season.

    As the great hymn "Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise" says:

    "We blossom and flourish
    _____ like leaves on a tree
    Then witherith, then fadeth,
    _____ but naught changeth Thee ..."

    God is the only constant in the Cosmos, which like the oceans, seethes with ceaseless, unpredictable motion -- i.e. constant change.

    What-we-call "Liberalism" or "Progressivism" is doomed to fail, because it is rooted in a lack of logic and amounts to little more than wishful thinking run amok.

    The mistaken notion idea that Man has the capacity to control and transform Nature and recreate the word to suit himself is probably has functioned as the root of all our greatest tragedies.

    The Greeks called it hubris. What that means is an assumption on the part of those afflicted that they have both the right and the duty to tyrannize the majority -- usually in the name of some ill-defined "good."

    Hubris is a potentially fatal disease that affects utopian thinkers, "revolutionaries," and religious zealots of all stripes.

    Thomas Acquinas was every bit as afflicted with this morbid mindset as Caesar, Nero, Alexander, Genghis Khan, Attila, Vlad the Impaler, Cromwell, Lincoln, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, and the Neocons, et al.

    The "cause" doesn't matter. ALL Evil stems from an overwhelming, irresistible desire to DOMINATE others -- and the elaborate rationales we invent in the attempt to justify it.

    What no one ever seems to learn -- or is willing to admit -- is that in most cases "we" are every bit as guilty as "they."

  7. The modern day "Jezebel"
    in co-heart with the modern day 'Judas'.
    Both from the same Global rule cloth.

  8. Oh give it a rest, dc, and go talk to Nancy Raygun about her White House astrologer (accent aigu on the White).

    Now quite frankly it bothers me that we have a president and first lady who think that deciding between Beyonce and Rihanna is a cultural adventure but has anyone since Jackie Kennedy really tried to make a pitch for the classics?

    Really, Bonzo the Chimp? The guy was a joke as an actor and his wife was simply concerned about which designer was donating gowns gratis. She's a stiff.

    Bill and Hillary the power brokers? Nothing there.

    Chucklenuts? Has he finished My Pet Goat ?

    But let's focus on the current White House (accent aigu on the White, eh Tammy) as if they are the causes and not the product of the cultural decline.

    The Cult of Obama? Please.
    What's been elevated is all the whining.

  9. ... and why not consider the changes in our media?

    What you object to most is all rather new and you can't very well claim other presidents wouldn't have tried to use changes in media to their advantage.

    Media is controlled by the tastes and demands of youth. The folks who can be most easily influenced by advertising.

  10. Uppy uppy uppy uppy
    Poo poo pa DOO!

    Betty Boop

  11. What a deal! Can we trade Bath House Barry in for Ray Charles?!

  12. Unless there is solid proof that Obama frequented gay bathhouses, Marine, I can't see it does the conservative cause any good to assert malicious gossip like that.

    If you can find the proof, I'd be glad if you linked us to it -- not that it would unseat The One. He's in like Flynn like it or not -- and I don't, believe me.


  13. Betty Boop is infinitely wise. I like her style.

    Betty Boop for president.

    Dick Wilde

  14. Boy the marine sure knows his way around the bath house.


  15. This applies to some: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/06/28/joan-walsh-says-vicious-obama-supporters-are-paid-trolls/

    Unclean Bath House: http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/washington-insider-obama-member-of-chicago-gay-mans-club/


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