by Frank Thomas Smith
The name of Socialism has become a
dirty word. The fault lies with its extreme incarnation, Communism,
as practiced by the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and several wannabes in
Africa and Latin America. Here we will attempt to reconstruct
socialism either in its original meaning or by giving it a new
Since socialism entered English
around 1830, it has acquired several different meanings. It refers to
a system of social organization in which private property and the
distribution of income are subject to social control, but the
conception of that control has varied, and the term has been
interpreted in widely diverging ways, ranging from statist to
libertarian, from Marxist to liberal...
On Life and Death
by Jorge Luis Borges
I met Jorge Luis Borges in 1981, when I returned to Buenos Aires from a job at the BBC in London and began working for La Prensa [Buenos Aires]. He received me very kindly, remembering that during the 1920's, when he was not well known, La Prensa had been the first newspaper to publish him. Later I returned to see him frequently. Sometimes he would dictate a poem that he had been composing during a long night of insomnia. After typing it, I would put it in his desk near his collection of Icelandic sagas, a precious gift from his father. Sometimes we would walk to a nearby restaurant, where he would eat something very simple. Or we would go to a bookstore, searching for yet another book by Kipling or Conrad in an English edition for friends to read to him. People would stop to greet him, and he would jokingly tell me they must have mistaken him for someone else. His fame as a writer seemed to burden him, and he often regretted that he had to go on living so that Borges the writer could weave his literary fantasies.
A Dictionary of Euphemisms for Imperial Decline
by William J. Astore
The dishonesty of words illustrates the dishonesty of
America’s wars. Since 9/11, can there be any doubt that the public has
become numb to the euphemisms
that regularly accompany U.S. troops, drones, and CIA operatives into
Washington’s imperial conflicts across the Greater Middle East
and Africa? Such euphemisms are meant to take the sting out of
America’s wars back home. Many of these words and phrases
are already so well
known and well worn that no one thinks twice about them anymore.Here are just a few: collateral
damage for killed and wounded civilians (a term used
regularly since the First Gulf War of 1990-1991).
interrogation techniques for torture, a term adopted with
vigor by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of their
administration (“techniques” that were actually
in the White House).
The Kindertransport - a desparate attempt to save children from the holocaust
by Alex Q. Arbuckle
On the night of Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, across Germany and Austria,
thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses were burned or
ransacked by Nazi stormtroopers and civilians in a pogrom known as
Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass. At least 91
Jews were murdered, and tens of thousands were arrested and taken to
concentration camps, marking the beginning of the Holocaust.
In response, British Jews and Quakers made an emergency appeal to
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, asking for the government to
allow the admission of unaccompanied child refugees. A bill was
quickly passed by the government. Within days, the Refugee Children’s Movement and other
groups sent representatives to Germany and Austria to organize the
relocation of the children most at risk of persecution. The effort
was informally dubbed the Kindertransport. The BBC broadcast a
call for foster homes...
The Fiction Writer and the Biographer
by Gaither Stewart
I just read the novel, Euphoria,
by the young American writer, Lily King, a Top Ten Book of the Year
in 2014, published by Grove Press, New York. Readers of this article
do not have to worry; this is not to be a dry book review. Instead,
I have permitted myself to examine some of the ideas of this
thought-provoking intellectual novel, loosely based on the life of
famed anthropologist, Margaret Mead (1901-1978). I
emphasize “loosely” because novelist Lily King agrees
that you can’t feel like you really know someone from a
biography as you can characters in fiction. Biographers
can never know the person they write about in the way fictional
writers write about their characters they create...
by Frank Thomas Smith
The sky in the east is tinged with
orange as the sun prepares to rise over the Argentine Pampa. Patches of light
reach into a beehive set in the garden of an affluent suburban Buenos
Aires home, signaling the start of another furiously active day. The first
hunters step out onto the hive's porch and soar off in search of the blossoms
opening to receive them. Birds begin to sing softly outside the bedroom window. A
shrill scream wrenches Miguel and Alicia Paternostro from sleep - a persisting
cry of rage and pain. Miguel buries his head in the pillow as Alicia wearily
puts her legs over the side of the bed and pulls herself erect. She looks at
the clock on her night table. God, she murmurs, we've only slept for two hours.
She walks into the adjoining room and picks an infant out of its crib. Its face
is red with exertion and its tiny fingers are closed in tight fists. In
response to Alicia's soothing it reduces its cries to gasping whimpers. But as
soon as it gets a second wind the fury breaks loose again and Alicia puts her
son down in desperation...
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Meir should have become the Kolomer
rabbi. His father and his grandfather had both sat in the rabbinical
Kolomir. However, the followers of the Kuzmir court had set up a
stubborn opposition: this
time they would not allow a Hasid from Trisk
to become the town's rabbi. They bribed the district official and
sent a petition to the governor. After long wrangling, the Kuzmir
Hasidim finally had their way and installed a rabbi of their own. In order not to leave Yoineh Meir
without a source of earnings, they appointed him the town's ritual
slaughterer. When Yoineh Meir heard of this, he
turned even paler than usual. He protested that slaughtering was not
for him. He was softhearted; he could not bear the sight of blood...
Trastevere: Piera, Paola, Priscilla and a Poet
by Gaither Stewart
two roommates, Piera and Paola, reconstructed that Priscilla had been
missing since noon on December 31. Twenty-four hours did not sound
like a long absence to the police agents but for Piera and Paola it
was a lifetime. Smirking
and winking at each other, agents in their district police-station,
asked about Priscilla’s love life.“Turbulent?”
one asked, grinning at both the girls and his colleagues."Normal,
I would say,” answered Piera. “Don’t
worry about her love life and find her,” Paola barked in her
Butterflies - Their Unrecognised Paranormality
by Stanley Messenger
When John asked me do a
piece on butterflies I was very pleased, much more so than if he had
suggested I do one on crop-circles. It is not that I think that
crop-circles are getting too much attention, far from it. I think it
is vital that paranormal matters get as much airing as possible now
that paranormal experiences are conspicuously on the increase.
However, it is painfully apparent that some aspects of natural
observation have suffered through this change. It would be a good
starting point to enquire why this should be so, especially in a
field of observation like the world of butterflies, an area which
remarkably few people are moved to enter...
"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia
Nine Lectures on Bees - Lecture Seven
by Rudolf Steiner
were asked as to the affinity between bees and flowers; also,
what honey should be, and is. The question of the laying of eggs
when the Queen is not fecundated was again raised, as in a
normal hive there are three kinds of eggs: queen-eggs,
worker-eggs and drone-eggs).DR.
Very well, we will discuss these things once more in today's
lecture. It is like this: we have first the fertilisation of the
Queen during the nuptial flight. The Queen is then fecundated.
Then we have to consider the time which elapses between the
laying of the eggs until the insect is completely matured. With
the Queen this period is sixteen days, with the worker-bee
twenty-one to twenty-two days, and in the case of the drone
twenty-two to twenty-four days. We have then these three types;
they differ from one another in so far as they mature during
differing periods of time. What lies at the root of this?
Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Ten
by Rudolf Steiner
fundamental feeling which I have wanted to call forth is this: The
individual who finds himself within the Anthroposophical Movement
should begin to feel something of the peculiar karmic position which
the impulse to Anthroposophy gives to a person. We cannot but confess
that in the ordinary course of life man feels very little of his
karma. He confronts his life as though the things that become his
life's experience happened by fortuitous concatenations of
circumstance. He pays little heed to the fact that the things that
meet him in earthly life from birth till death contain the inner,
karmic relationships of destiny. Or, if he does not consider this, he
is all too prone to believe that a kind of fatalism is herein
expressed, and that human freedom is thereby called into question,
The Southern Cross & Parting on 185th Street
by Frank Thomas Smith
the gaucho gallops through
pampa's waving windswept grasses;
time to time he strokes his beard,
as the eyes of the country's lasses.
patiently makes its rounds,
dust in the River Plate,
over the rancho, his destination,
Southern Cross guards the gate...
by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
woods these are I think I know.
house is in the village though;
will not see me stopping here
watch his woods fill up with snow.
little horse must think it queer
stop without a farmhouse near
the woods and frozen lake
darkest evening of the year.
You can find us under the
Southern Cross constellation in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.
Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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