September 30, 2009

here are AI’s immortal words from his twitter site:

God Chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career. I met with Mr. Heinsley, Chris Wallace and my next head coach Lionel Hollins

9:06 AM Sep 9th from web

you have to still love AI. based on his twitter site, he’s still the same guy with a heart of a champion he’s always been, even as he closes in on 35 years old and counting, along with 25,000 NBA points scored.

Incidentally, Lionel Hollins once played with the Sixers, although he also beat the Sixers as a Portland Trailblazer in 1976-77 with Bill Walton.

It’s a shame about the Sixers, who let very valuable point guard Andre Miller go in the offseason; Miller led the team in win shares last year with 7 1/2 according to basketball, along with Andre Iguodala’; the Sixers did not make an effort to sign Iverson as the replacement point guard.

AI signed with the Grizzlies of Memphis for much less money than Miller wanted, and he certainly would have been willing to play with Philly again.

Also, AI at point combined with Elton Brand at power forward and Andre Iguodala at 2 guard or 4 at the shooting forward, would have been potent in either the half court or the running game. It certainly would have helped the sixers’ three point offense and perimeter offense since at least two guys would have had to watch iverson at the perimeter. It would have given the Sixers three scorers.

instead, the sixers think lou williams, one of the statistically worst guards in the nba the last two years (can’t shoot, can’t pass) can play point guard full time in this league.

well, he can’t. and the offense will suffer for it.

no matter how good the rest of the team is, without a point guard, they won’t be able to score.

it may take 10, 20, 30 games, but the sixers will need to trade for an experienced point guard at some point this season.

it’s a shame that guy wasn’t AI. the Sixers could have had him here and he could have finished out his career here.

–art kyriazis, philly
home of the world champion phillies
NL East Champions 2007-2009

copyright arthur j kyriazis 2009 no use or other reprint without the express written permission of arthur j kyriazis.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from watching Movies like Ocean’s Eleven or TV shows like Leverage, if you want to pull the long con, you have to make sure that nothing is what it seems, or else you can’t pull off a long con when everyone in the world is watching and the cameras are running. But that is just what Iran, Ahmadinajed and the Ayatollahs of Iran have been doing for the last six and half years—in plain view of everyone—pulling the longest con in the history of international politics. And when they get nukes sometime next year, they’re going to make Danny Ocean and his ten buddies seem like a small-timers and small potatoes.

Right now, the ayatollahs of Iran are in the midst of one of the longest long cons in the history of international politics. Their short marks are the Iranian people, the middle-term marks the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and their long-term marks are Israel and the United States and the rest of the world.

Throwing missiles around and setting up secret nuclear enrichment plants has been one element of Iran’s long con. The fact is that they’ve been working on getting nuclear weapons, on and off, since 1979, and working on it in earnest since 2001, and in particular since 2003. Anything they’ve said and done to the contrary has all been part of the long con on the international community. Like the proverbial Cretan liar, everything they say and do is a lie. They are incapable of telling a truth.

Everyone is so focused on the fact that the 2009 election is crooked, that they’ve overlooked the fact that the 2005 election in which Ahmadinajed came to power originally, was completely and totally crooked, and was hijacked in a much worse fashion, than the 2009 election. And further overlooked the fact that Ahmadinajed was hand-picked in 2003 by the Ayatollah Khameini to be the radical right wing candidate of change in the 2005 elections, for the specific and long-term goals of Iranian intervention in Iraq, the building up of Iranian nuclear armaments, and the destabilization of U.S. efforts at building up middle eastern democracy in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Palestine and in the Middle East region.

Ahmadinajed’s history is that of working actively to secure the 52 U.S. hostages in 1979-81; interrogate them; working in Iranian covert intelligence, interrogation and torture from 1979-2003, and being a fanatical devotee of both the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Ayatollah Khameini.

Ahmadinajed is a vicious anti-Semite who denies the existence of the Holocaust and preaches the destruction of Israel by any means necessary, including the use of nuclear weapons and missiles. He co-mingles this message with one of the return of the 13th imam or Mahdi, a key element of millenarian shi’ite prophecy which predicts the return of the true caliph in occultation who is the rightful descendant of Ali, the rightful caliph and rightful heir to the prophet Muhammed. Upon the destruction of Israel, this event will occur, according to Ahmadinajed.

The Iranian leadership, and Ahmadinajed in particular, believe strongly that bombing Israel and other targets with nuclear weapons will hasten the arrival of the 13th imam or Mahdi, and bring about the arrival of the “millennium” and the fulfillment of shi’ite holy prophecies. Upon the destruction of Israel, this event will occur, according to Ahmadinajed

This is not a generally accepted view in twelver-shi’ism, but nonetheless, it is the view he takes.

Getting back to the long con, here’s how the long con is going down, according to multiple primary and secondary sources;

The Iranians regime in the 1990s was drifting towards a bit of moderation. Towards the end of the 1990s, there was a bit of a diplomatic opening under Secretary of State Albright and the Clinton Administration; the Iranians hosted the United States International Wrestling Team (including some professional acquaintances of mine, the Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Jackson & Olympic Wrestler John Giura, who went on that trip), and there was a substantial thawing of relations between the two countries.

Had Al Gore been seated as U.S. President, and the Albright State Department continued in office, eventually relations between the two countries might have been normalized, and the radical elements in Iran may or may not have emerged as they did in 2003.

Instead, we all know what happened. Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 election, but the U.S. supreme court intervened to give George W. Bush, the victory in the U.S. Presidential election, on a 5-4 decision in the case of Bush v. Gore. They did so by suspending the recount in the Florida popular vote count and declaring the Florida electoral vote tally turned in by Gov. Jeb Bush’s alleged mistress, who was running the electoral board, final. George W. Bush appeared to be a fraudulent winner, since he probably didn’t win Florida’ popular vote, probably didn’t win Florida’s electoral vote, probably didn’t win the electoral college, and definitely didn’t win the popular vote.

The ayatollahs in Iran sat up and took notice of this. They realized after watching President Bush take office in this officious way, that they, too, could steal elections in their country, and that the United States would say nothing about it, because, after all, President Bush had stolen the election as well. What could he say about stealing an election, after all?

So the hardliners in Iran, who have wanted control of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the destruction of Israel (where they have been funding Hamas and Hezbollah since the late 1970s, and helped destroy Lebanon as well as destabilize Palestine) decided on a plan to abandon their moderation and take a hardline approach with the usurper of the American Presidency and test him as no one had been tested before in American history.

So first of all, Iran along with bin Laden, hit hard at the U.S. on 9/11/2001. We all remember that. They decided to test the usurper, Bush II.

The response by the Bush II Administration was decidedly peculiar. Instead of seeking multilateral assistance, the Bush II Administration ventured forth into Afghanistan and then Iraq more or less singlehandedly with some allies, instead of as part of a generalized U.N. police force action as his father had done with the Kuwaiti liberation action.

To his credit, Bush II at least stood up to this infamy and hit back hard, and with everything the U.S. had. He certainly didn’t knuckle under. And he crafted a careful and thorough anti-terrorist policy almost immediately. But as Richard Clarke and others on the 9/11 Commission have documented, the Bush II Administration came to these positions only after 9/11 occurred.

Without determining the merits or demerits of the Bush II war interventions, suffice it to say that the Iranian leadership saw the American war intervention in Iraq as an opportunity.

First, in 2003, the Americans came to Iran and negotiated with them a stand still agreement for Iran to stay out of Iraq. But in exchange for this, Iran asked for, and obtained, the United States’ agreement for the US to bomb, and eradicate, all of the based of the MEK, stationed outside the border of Iran, in Iraq.

The MEK, up until 2003, was the primary opposition group in exile fighting the Iranian Revolution. In the event of a popular uprising, they would be able to come to Iran and assume power. They had bases just outside of Iran in order to invade the country and help a popular revolution if one occurred. Until 2003, the MEK were supported by Saddam Hussein and by the United States.

In 2003, the US betrayed the MEK and sold them down the river along with betraying Saddam Hussein, in exchange for a nonsensical deal with the Iranian Ayatollahs to stay out of Iraq, which the Ayatollahs have never honored. The MEK was bombed, all their camps bombed and eradicated by the United States, and the Iranian Ayatollahs had a major thorn in their sides removed by the United States.

The biggest fear of the Iranian Ayatollahs is a popular uprising followed by an armed intervention. With the MEK gone, there is no danger of an armed intervention. Moreover, what no one realizes is that the United States has AGREED that there will be no armed interventions in Iran as a quid pro quo to its occupation of Iraq as part of the 2003 agreement. In essence, the United States has abrograted its protection of the rights of 80 million Iranian citizens for very little in return.

And yet the Iranian Ayatollahs did not deliver on their promises. They did stay out of Iraq in the sense of not formally invading, but they stepped up their campaign of terrorist bombing, of terrorist infiltration, and of terrorist everything. Since 2003, the number of US soldiers and Iraqi citizens killed by terrorists and other organized NGOs sponsored by Iran has skyrocketed, and there is no peace in the land of Iraq.

It was then, in 2003, that Iran and its Ayatollahs foresaw their opportunity for the longest con of all—installing a President with a worldview like their own at the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The man they groomed for the job was none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinajed.

Starting in 2003, they laid the groundwork for stealing the 2005 elections from the people of Iran. Plans were made for stuffing ballots, for miscounting election results, and in general, for defrauding the people of Iran of their right to vote for President.

The inspiration for the Ayatollahs was all too clear. They all had watched CNN for two months in the fall and winter of 2000. They saw George W. Bush steal the American election. They properly reasoned that if he could it, so could they.

Moreover, they further reasoned, if Bush was in power, he had no legitimacy to complain if they, Iran, stole an election, since he, Bush, was in power due to a stolen election. It would be a joke if he complained.

And in this, they would be proven completely correct. The groundwork for their long con was laid down.

So what happened in the 2005 elections? A gigantic fraud was perpetrated on the Iranian electorate. The favored two candidates won with 21% and 19% of the vote, and Ahmadinajed was third. Only the first two were supposed to get into the runoff.

But a week later, the Ayatollahs declared that Ahmadinajed was actually second, and knocked the second place guy off the run-off ballot their boy Ahmadinajed on.

Then, in the run-off, in 2005, the Ayatollahs came up with a vote count of Ahmadinajed 66%, and the other guy 33%, even though all polls showed Ahmadinajed couldn’t possible be getting more than 33% of the vote. It was exactly the same garbage that the Ayatollahs pulled this past year, in 2009.

But what could the Bush II Administration do? They couldn’t protest. After all, they themselves had been elected under a cloud and under fraudulent pretenses, the most fraudulent, contested and controversial United States election in American History since the Samuel Tilden-Rutherford B. Hayes election of 1876 (which resulted in the end of Reconstruction, by the way, in exchange for the Presidency). Even the 2004 election had some questions. So they couldn’t very well question the Iranian election. Moreover, they had made DEALS with this Iranian Government regarding non-incursions into Iraq as of 2003 (see discussion, supra).

So they said nothing.

That brings us slowly, inexorably, to the present serious situation, which has been bubbling slowly below the surface for a long, long time.

The Iranian people who protested their government in the streets this past spring were nothing short of heroes, like the Hungarian people of 1956 and the Czech people of 1968. The United States Government should have extended a lifeline to help overthrow their government when it was weak and subject to pressure by its people, but President Obama stood still and did nothing, much as President Bush I stood still and did nothing during Tianamen Square twenty years ago.

This was reprehensible.

These people deserved freedom.

Now the show trials have begun, the repressions, the tortures, the killings, the executions and the inevitable purges. The Iranian hardliners fear only one thing—internal revolution. It happened, and the U.S. did nothing to help it along. Now the Ayatollahs know we will do nothing to help such a revolution along, they fear such an insurrection even less.

No wonder they are developing nuclear weapons. No wonder they are firing medium range intercontinental ballistic missiles. No wonder they send President Ahmadinajed to the U.N. where he denies the Holocaust, denounces Israel and makes a mockery of the very concept of the United Nations on U.S. soil. They do not fear the United States at all.

Soon the long con will come to a close and nuclear weapons will be fired from Iran and World War III will begin.

Only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a very modest man who grew up part of his life in suburban Philadelphia, seems ready, willing and able to take the right actions. He seems willing to take a pre-emptory military strike against Iran to take out their nuclear capacity, much as Israel did with Iraq back in 1981.

This is the proper and correct action. All this multilateralism the United States is going through is too little too late. The bottom line is the U.S. needs to take military action against Iran to take out the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

This isn’t like Iraq—we know Iran has WMDs this time. We have rights under the UN Charter, under Article 51, to take a pre-emptory military strike.

It would be defensive war and it would be justified both on international law grounds and because Iran has violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Administration’s response to this new Hitler of the sands will define it for all history.

–art kyriazis, philly
copyright arthur j kyriazis 2009 no use or other reprint without the express written permission of arthur j kyriazis.
home of the World Champion Phillies
NL East Division Champions 2007-2009


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Robin Wright. “Islam’s New Political Face.” Current History. (January, 1991). 90:25-28 & pp. 35-36.

Young, T. Cutler, “Iran in Continuing Crisis,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 40, no. 2 (January 1962): 275 292.

5) Book Reviews

Edward Allworth. 1960. Book Review. Russian Central Asia 1867: A Study in Colonial Rule. By Richard A. Pierce. (University of CA Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA). (viii + 359 pp. $7.00). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 14, No. 4). (Autumn 1960). 14:483-484.

Peter Avery. 1975. Book Review. The Golden Age of Persia: The Arabs in the East. By Richard N. Frye (Barnes and Nobles and Harper and Row, New York, NY, 1975), 290 pages. Illus. Maps. $25.00. Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 29, No. 4). (August 1975). 29:470-471.

Hafez F. Farmayan. 1971. Book Review. Religion and State in Iran, 1785-1906: The Role of the Ulama in the Qajar Period.” By Hamid Algar. (University of CA Press, Berkeley, CA, 1970). (286 pp., Index, $9.50). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 25, Number 3). (Summer 1971). 25:413-415.

Harold Glidden. 1959. Book Review. The Muqaddimah, by Ibn Khaldūn. Translated by Franz Rosenthal. (Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 1958). (Vol. I cxv + 481 pp, [five] (5) plates and [two] (2) figures); (Vol. II xiv + 463 pp, [nine] (9) plates); (Vol. III xi + 603 pp., [four] (4) plates and diagram in pocket, indexed, $18.50). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 13, Number 3). (Summer 1959). 13:330-331.

Edward J. Jurjii. 1957. Book Review. Islam in Modern History. By Wilfred Cantwell Smith. (Princeton University Press, Princton, NJ 1957). (308 pp., index to 317 pp., $6.00). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 11, Number 4). (Autumn 1957). 11:436-437.

Henri Laoust. 1960. Book Review. Islamic Law in the Modern World. By J.N.D. Anderson, with an Introduction by Dr. Saba Habachy. (New York University Press, New York, NY). (xx + 100 pp, bibliography to p.106, $2.75). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 14, Number 3). (Summer 1960). 14:338.

Ernest R. McCarus. 1960. Book Review. “Kurdish Language Studies.” Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 14, Number 3). (Summer 1960). 14:325-335.

Chantal Quelquejay. 1959. Book Review. “Anti-Islamic Propaganda in Kazakhstan.” Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 13, Number 3). (Summer 1959). 13:319-327.

J. Schacht. 1967. Book Review. The Islamic Law of Nations: Shaybānī’s Siyar. Translated with an Introduction, notes and appendices by Majid Khadduri. (The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD 1966). (xvii + 311 pp, $8.00). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 21, Number 2). (Spring 1967). 21:273.

Wilfred Cantwell Smith. 1957. Book Review. Islam and the West: Proceedings of the Harvard Summer School Conference on the Middle East, July 25-27, 1955. Richard N. Frye, ed. (Mouton & Co, The Hague, Netherlands, Distributed in the US by Gregory Lounz, 1956). (215 pp. $5.00). Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 11, Number 4). (Autumn 1957). 11:437-438.

Gustave Thaiss. 1976. Book Review. Shi’ite Islam. By ‘Allāmah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī. Translated from the Persian and edited with an Introduction and Notes by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. (Albany, [NY]; State University of New York Press, 1975).” Reviewed in Middle East Journal. (Volume 30, No. 2) (Spring 1976). 30:236-237.

6) Newspapers, Periodicals, Television Shows, Websites

“Scapegoat [Hassan] Ayat.” The Economist. June 28, 1980. p. _____

“Can the ayatollah’s revolution work and last?,” The Economist, June 7, 1980.

“Crusaders Win” The Economist. June 21, 1980. p. _____

Steven Emerson. “What Walsh Didn’t Know About Ollie’s Notebooks.” The Washington Post. March 20, 1988. p._____

Steven Holmes. “Giving In to ‘Graymail’: North’s Legal Strategy Decreases the Hope for a Full Airing of the Iran-Contra Scandal.” Time. January 16, 1989. pp. 24-25.

Youseef M. Ibrahim. “The Marketplace Remains, Despite the Conflicts.” & Paul Lewis. “The O.E.C.D. is a “Reactor” Not an “Initiator””. both in “Old Rich, Oil Rich: The West v. OPEC: The Oil Cartel and the West’s Economic Club Have Turned [Twenty] 20. War or No War, Oil Prices Should Keep Stunting the Industrial Nation’s Growth.” New York Times. (Sunday) (Business Section). November 30, 1980. Section Three (3). pp. 1 & __________.

“Israel Asked U.S. for Greek Light to Bomb Nuclear Sites in Iran; U.S. President told Israeli Prime Minister he Would not back Attack on Iran, Senior European Diplomatic Sources Tell Guardian.” Thursday September 25, 2008.
(four pages). (web only).

Joseph Kraft. “Letter from Riyadh.” New Yorker. June 26, 1978. pp. 62-77.

Thomas A. Sancton. “Quarreling Over Ghosts: The Hostage Release Grows Into a Burning Internal Issue [for Iran].” Time. February 9, 1981. p. 35. Reported by Roberto Suro, Washington, DC Desk.

Jack Thomas. “New Tack in TV News: TV News Scoop on Iran Deals.” Boston Globe. February 1, 1981. pp. 1 & 13.

“Portrait of an Ascetic Despot.” Time. January 7, 1980. p._____

“An Interview with Khomeini.” Time. January 7, 1980. p._____

“The Mystic Who Lit The Fires of Hatred.” Time. January 7, 1980. p._____

Mike Wallace. “Interview of former First Lady Nancy Reagan.” CBS Sixty Minutes. First televised Sunday, January 15, 1989.

Curtis Wilkie. “Was Carter Misled on Shah Visit: False Proviso on Shah Visit?” Boston Globe. February 1, 1981. pp. 1 & 12.

7) Legal Documents, Treaties, International Agreements, International Conventions, etc.

Bilateral Agreement Between the Republic of Aghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the Principles of Mutual Relations, in Particular on Non-Interference and Non-Intervention. (Article II). and U.S. Statement. 1988. cited in Rosanne Klass. 1988. “Afghanistan: The Accords.” Foreign Affairs. (Volume 66, Number 5). (Summer 1988). 66:922-945 at pp. 944-945.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 1980. The Middle East Journal. __________:181 204.

The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,

the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,

the ban on chemical and biological weapons,

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter

8) Legal Citations, Law Review Articles etc.

United States v. North, _____ F. 2d _____ (1989)


I. Introduction
An elementary school level question and answer, or so it would seem.

George Washington, First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen, Father of His Country and First President of the United States is the automatic answer to the question. Elected unanimously in 1788, Washington took office in 1789, served two terms and retired in 1797 after eight distinguished years in office, legendarily retiring to his beloved Mt. Vernon.

But if Washington was the First President of the United States, then who was the Mr. President to whom Washington addressed his acceptance of the command of the Revolutionary Armies in 1776; and if Washington was the First President of the United States, then who was the Mr. President to whom Washington addressed his retirement speech retiring his command of the Armies of the United States in 1783?

The answer to this question is that the Continental Congress from 1774 until 1789 elected a leader, and that this leader was given the formal title, “President of the United States of America, in Congress Convened,” and from 1781 until 1789, the United States of America through the Continental Congress formally selected a “President of the United States of America, in Congress Convened,” for a one year annual term pursuant to the Articles of Confederation.
Fourteen individuals served sixteen terms of office as “President of the United States of America, in Congress Convened” before George Washington took office as President under the United States Constitution.

This is not to equate the office of President under the Continental Congress or under the Articles of Confederation with the far different office of President envisioned and created by the Constitution; nonetheless, prior to 1789 when Washington took office as the First Federal Constitutional President of the United States pursuant to the United States Constitution, there had served before him a number of well-known and famous men in the office which was known as “President of the United States, in Congress Convened,” but which Washington referred to simply as Mr. President in his letters.

II. Who was the First President of the United States? A Survey of the Presidents of the United States Before George Washington and Several Different Candidates for AFirst President of the United States

In his book The Critical Period in American History, historian Fiske terms the period between 1783 and 1789 “critical,” a phrase which is now famous in history books.

Setting aside for now the intent of the Founders or Framers of the Constitution, it remains an oddity in American History texts that the fourteen men who served this Country faithfully and well as Presidents of the United States in Congress Convened from 1774-1789 have not received their due by being listed as Presidents of the United States to be duly memorized by generations of students.

There isn’t an AP American History question about these men. There isn’t an SAT II American History question about these men.

In fact, it’s a pretty good bet that a student can major in American history at just about any university in the United States after getting high scores on the American History SAT II and a 5 on the American History AP, and maybe even get a master’s or Ph.D. in American History, without ever knowing the names of these men.

We needn’t even discuss the fact that it is more likely than not that the President of the United States and likely none of this Country’s leading Constitutional Scholars, or even a majority of the Supreme Court of the United States, can name more than a handful of these men.

So who where these men who led the Continental Congress and this country as revolutionary and confederate Presidents of the United States before George Washington was our first elected and inaugurated executive President under the federal Constitution of 1787.

A. Peyton Randolph of Virginia – First and Third President of the United States in Congress Convened First and Second Continental Congresses 1774 &; 1775 – First President of the United States?
Peyton Randolph of Virginia was the first President of the Continental Congress, in Congress Assembled, the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled, and thus the first logical candidate to be termed First President of the United States. He served two terms, one as President of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774, and a second term as President of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775. We all know Randolph by his more famous cousins…..Randolph was President and presiding officer of the First Continental Congress in 1774 when that body declared the colonies to be independent, declared and ratified a bill of rights, called upon the British to yield. Since he was President of the United States when the Continental Congress declared the Independence of the Colonies by formal resolution, the argument can be made that Randolph is, indeed, the First President of the United States.

B. Henry Middleton – Second President of the United States in Congress Convened – 1774 – First Continental Congress – Second President of the United States.

Henry Middleton of [PA/DE] served as President of the First Continental Congress after Randolph until the end of the session in 1774, and thus if Randolph was the first President of the United States, Middleton (whose descendants still live in Philadelphia, one of whom currently is a part-owner of the Phillies) can lay claim to being the Second President of the United States.

C. John Hancock – 1775 – 1777
Famous of course, for signing the Declaration of Independence. Just put your John Hancock right there, and you’ll have signed. Since he was President of the Continental Congress when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, he is candidate #2 for being the first President of the United States.

D. Henry Laurens – 1777 – 1778
Not famous, but a really beautiful name, eh?

E. John Jay 1778 – 1779
Famous for serving as an Ambassador and as a Supreme Curt Justice.

F. Samuel Huntington 1779-1781
His namesake was professor of government at Harvard for many years. Technically, the first President of the United States, since the Articles of Confederation were adopted under his Presidency. So he’s candidate #3 after Peyton Randolph and John Hancock, for being the first President of the United States.

G. Thomas McKean 1781
Wasn’t President long enough to matter, but he’s on the list.

H. John Hanson 1781-1782
Hanson is the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled, elected under the Articles of Confederation. Consequently, he is candidate #4, after Peyton Randolph, John Hancock & Samuel Huntington, for being the first President of the United States. There was a John Hanson who roomed with my younger brother at Harvard in the 1980s who was related to this John Hanson, same family.

I. Elias Boudinot 1782-1783
Second President under the Articles of Confederation.

J. Thomas Mifflin 1783-1784
Third President under the Articles of Confederation. Known as the man after whom Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River was named. Not so well known is that Mifflin was a former President of the United States of America.

K. Richard Henry Lee 1784-1785
Fourth President under the Articles of Confederation.

L. John Hancock 1785-1786
Fifth President under the Articles of Confederation, and as we see from the list, not only famous for signing his name, but also a two-time President of the United States. Some people are famous for the wrong reasons, and John Hancock is one of them. The reason, of course, that John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence is now obvious—he was the President of the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, at the time of the signing of the Declaration, on July 4, 1776. He was the President of the United States, and that’s why he signed first. So next time you want to win $50.00 on a bet from someone, ask them, “why did John Hancock sign the Declaration of Independence first” and don’t let them use a computer or a PDA, and you’ll win easily.

M. Arthur St. Clair 1787
Sixth President under the Articles of Confederation

N. Nathan Gorman 1787-1788
.Seventh President under the Articles of Confederation.

O. Cyrus Griffin 1788-1789
Eighth and last President under the Articles of Confederation.

Here’s the list of Presidents again:

President of the United Colonies
No Fixed Term
Peyton Randolph 1774
Henry Middleton 1774
Peyton Randolph 1775
John Hancock 1775-1777
Henry Laurens 1777-1778
John Jay 1778-1779
Samuel Huntington 1779-1781
Thomas McKean 1781

President of the United States of America – under the Articles of

One Year Term
John Hanson
Elias Boudinot
Thomas Mifflin 1783-1784
Richard Henry Lee
John Hancock 1785-1786
Nathan Gorman 1786-1787
Arthur St. Clair 1787
Cyrus Griffin 1788-1789

Source: wikipedia (of course!)

Art Kyriazis Philly (it all happened here, by the way)
Home of the Declaration of Independence and the Continental Congress
Capital of the United States, 1774-1800 under fifteen different U.S. Presidents, various Continental Congresses, the Articles of Confederation Congress, & the 1st US Congress & Senate and Supreme Court and Constitutional Government.

Recently a Democratic Congressman stated at a Town Hall meeting that “he had been a high school debater” and “debated the health care topic before.”

Well, that might make him pretty darn old! Here’s when the issue of national health care was first debated by high schools in this country:

In 1936 the National High School Debate Topic Was: – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.

In 1947, the National High School Debate Topic was: 1947 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete medical care available to all citizens at public expense.

Slight difference of wording, but same basic idea.

Here are some resolutions that actually eventually were adopted as policy:

1928: that there should be a Cabinet level Secretary of Education.
1932: that there should be compulsory unemployment insurance for unemployed individuals.
1940: Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads. (AMTRAK).
1941: Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.
1942: Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full time military training before attaining the present draft age. (Adopted from WWII thru 1975).
1943: Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.
1944: Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations. (United Nations Bretton Woods GATT World Bank IMF Formed 1944 and subsequent years).

You get the basic idea….enjoy reading thru the entire list…


• 1928 – Resolved: That a federal department of education should be created with a secretary in the President’s cabinet.
• 1929 – Resolved: That the English cabinet method of legislation is more efficient than the committee system is in the United States.
• 1930 – Resolved: That installment buying of personal property as now practiced in the United States is both socially and economically desirable.
• 1931 – Resolved: That chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.
• 1932 – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for compulsory unemployment insurance.
• 1933 – Resolved: That at least one half of all state and local revenues should be derived from sources other than tangible property.
• 1934 – Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of radio control and operation.
• 1935 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt the policy of equalizing educational opportunity throughout the nation by means of annual grants to the several states for public elementary and secondary education.
• 1936 – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.
• 1937 – Resolved: That all electric utilities should be governmentally owned and operated.
• 1938 – Resolved: That the several states should adopt a unicameral system of legislation.
• 1939 – Resolved: That the United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.
• 1940 – Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads.
• 1941 – Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.
• 1942 – Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full time military training before attaining the present draft age.
• 1943 – Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.
• 1944 – Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations.
• 1945 – Resolved: That the legal voting age should be reduced to eighteen years.
• 1946 – Resolved: That every able bodied male citizen of the United States should have one year of frill time military training before attaining age 24.
• 1947 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete medical care available to all citizens at public expense.
• 1948 – Resolved: That the federal government should require arbitration of labor disputes in all basic American industries.
• 1949 – Resolved: That the United Nations now be revised into a federal World Government
• 1950 – Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.
• 1951 – Resolved: That the American people should reject the welfare state.
• 1952 – Resolved: That all American citizens should be subject to conscription for essential service in time of war.
• 1953 – Resolved: that the Atlantic pact nations should form a federal union.
• 1954 – Resolved: that the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.
• 1955 – Resolved: That the federal government should initiate a policy of free trade among nations friendly to the United States.
• 1956 – Resolved: That governmental subsidies should be granted according to need to high school graduates who qualify for additional training.
• 1957 – Resolved: That the federal government should sustain the prices of major agricultural products at not less than 90% of panty.
• 1958 – Resolved: That Units States foreign aid should be substantially increased.
• 1959 – Resolved: That the United States should adapt the essential features of the British system of education.
• 1960 – Resolved: That the federal government should substantially increase its regulation of labor unions.
• 1961 – Resolved: That the United Nations should be significantly strengthened.
• 1962 – Resolved: That the federal government should equalize educational opportunity by means of grants to the states for public elementary and secondary education.
• 1963 – Resolved: That the United States should promote a Common Market for the western hemisphere.
• 1964 – Resolved: That Social Security benefits should be extended to include complete medical care.
• 1965 – Resolved: That nuclear weapons should be controlled by an International organization.
• 1966 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory arbitration in labor management disputes in basic industries.
• 1967 – Resolved: that the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to nonmilitary assistance.
• 1968 – Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral Units States military intervention in foreign counties.
• 1969 – Resolved: That the United States should establish a system of compulsory service by all citizens.
• 1970 – Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral United States military intervention in foreign counties.
• 1971 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish, finance and administer programs to control air and/or water pollution in the wilted States.
• 1972 – Resolved: That the jury system in the United States should be significantly changed.
• 1973 – Resolved: That governmental financial support for all public and secondary education in the United States be provided exclusively by the federal government.
• 1974 – Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual income to each family unit
• 1975 – Resolved: That the United States should significantly change the method of selecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
• 1976 – Resolved: That the development and allocation of scarce world resources should be controlled by an international organization.
• 1977 – Resolved: That a comprehensive program of penal reform should be adopted throughout the United States.
• 1978 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care system in the Units States.
• 1979 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to significantly increase the energy Independence of the United States.
• 1980 – Resolved: That the Units States should significantly change its foreign trade policies.
• 1981 – Resolved: That the federal government should initiate and enforce safety guarantees on consumer goods.
• 1982 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish minimum educational standards for elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
• 1983 – Resolved: That the United States should significantly curtail its arms sales to other countries.
• 1984 – Resolved: That the Unites States should establish uniform rules governing the procedure of all criminal courts in the nation.
• 1985 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide employment for all employable United States citizens living in poverty.
• 1986 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive national policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.
• 1987 – Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive, long term agricultural policy in the United States.
• 1988 – Resolved: That the United States should adopt a policy to increase political stability In Latin America.
• 1989 – Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.
• 1990 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
• 1991 – Resolved: That the United States government should significantly increase space exploration beyond the earth’s mesosphere.
• 1992 – Resolved: That the federal government should significantly increase social services to homeless individuals in the United States.
• 1993 – Resolved: That the United States government should reduce worldwide pollution through its trade and/or aid policies.
• 1994 – Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee comprehensive national health insurance to all United States Citizens
• 1995 – Resolved: That the United States government should substantially strengthen regulation of immigration to the United States.
• 1996 – Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward to People’s Republic of China.
• 1997 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States.
• 1998 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States.
• 1999 – Resolved: That the United States should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.
• 2000 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish an education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools in the United States.
• 2001 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.
• 2002 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.
• 2003 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.
• 2004 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.
• 2005 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
• 2006 – Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.
# 2007-2008
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.
# 2008-2009
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.
# 2009-2010
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

source: the national forensic league website,

art kyriazis, philly,
home of the world champion phillies

Buried on a single page of September 2009’s WIRED magazine is a marvelous piece by CLIVE THOMPSON called “THE NEW LITERACY.” Much of what I’m about to discuss is drawn directly from Mr. Thompson’s article, and I expressly attribute to him as souce material at p. 048 of the September 2009 issue of WIRED magazine.

According to Thomson, far from inhibiting today’s generation of kids from writing, the computer age of emails, facebook and other social networking tools, etc., and blogging, along with chat sessions, have actually INCREASED substantially the amount and type of writing that this generation does. Id.

These striking conclusions are based on a study by Prof. Andrea Lansford, professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, known as the “Stanford Study of Writing,” which collected 14,672 writing samples of students from 2001-2006—including class assignments, formal essay, journal entries, emails, blog posts, chat sessions and posts to social networking sites. Id.

Conclusions? “I think we’re in the midst of a literary revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization.” Id. According to Prof. Lansford, technology isn’t stifling our ability to write—it’s reviving it and enhancing it in bold new directions. One striking finding: young people today write far more than any generation before them. 38% of her sample in the Stanford cohort did their writing out of the classroom, due to socializing on line, email and blogging. Id.

According to Prof. Lansford, before the internet, most Americans never wrote anything that wasn’t an assigned school assignment or job assignment. Id. Moreover, the Stanford study found that the quality of writing online was good. Id.

Moreover, the KIND of writing online had a form to it—it was RHETORICAL, PERSUASIVE writing—focused on the audience, and getting a point across. Id. For those of us who have taught debating, persuasive speaking and these relevant arts for a long time, this may sound quite familiar.

Prof. Lansford specifically concludes that the “modern world of online writing, particularly in chat and in discussion threads, is conversational and public, which makes it closer to the Greek tradition of argument than the asynchronous letter and essay writing of fifty years ago.” Id. Well, imagine that. Writing as persuasive, argumentative speech. Who would have thought of that?

The article goes on. “For students today…writing is about persuading and organzing and debating…the Stanford students were almost always less enthusiastic about their in class writing because it had no audience but the professor: it didn’t serve any purpose other than to get them a grade.” Id. Again, kids who’d rather debate than go to class. I think we’ve seen that before too, if any of us have coached debating or speech. People who get into debating and speech enjoy it. Id.

The bottom line of the article and of the Stanford-Lunsford study is that students today are using new media to become debaters, rhetoricians and persuasive writers and speakers. Their writing is concise and focused on specific target audiences, and the anticipation of responses and replies forces them into debater-like preparation for extensions, rebuttals and replies. What we have, then, with the new media of the internet, is a new new rhetoric, and a new type of debating and persuasive speech. Id.

This phenomenon deserves considerably further study from the speech, rhetoric and debating community, as well as from all academic communications and related educational departments. semiotics, signs, simulacra, a lot is involved and going on here.


The distant, lost world of Byzantium got a bit distant and lost on December 11, 2008 with the death from cancer of distinguished historian and byzantinist ANGELIKI LAIOU, DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF BYZANTINE STUDIES AND HISTORY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, AND SENIOR FELLOW OF DUMBARTON OAKS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

Prof. Laiou was virtually the last of a line of distinguished byzantinists teaching at Harvard, going back many years, which most recently culminated with Laiou; before her was Ihor Sevcenko; before Sevcenko was A.A. Vasiliev. Dumbarton Oaks was bestowed upon Harvard in the 1940s precisely because for many years, Harvard was the central and focal point of ancient greek, Byzantine greek and classical greek studies in the world.

Sadly, with the death of Prof. Laiou, it is not clear who will take up her mantle at Harvard as its champion of Byzantine studies, nor is it even clear whether Harvard even wishes any longer to be first in the world in the field of Byzantine studies, a fact that has been communicated to me not only by the late Prof. Laiou, but by many others in the field as well who have studied at Harvard but gone on to attain tenure and teach at other universities.

Prof. Alexandros K. Kyrou, himself a Byzantine studies professor at Salem State College, has written a beautiful obituary in the National Herald at p. 6, February 14, 2009, dedicated to Prof. Laiou and her final book, THE BYZANTINE ECONOMY (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007). This article covers all the highlights of Prof. Laiou’s career, including her origins in the Pontian regions of Trapezounta/Kerasounta, her birth in Athens in 1941, her studies with the Greek byzantinist Prof. Dionysios Zakythinos, her undergraduate work at Brandeis, her graduate work at Harvard, where she took the Ph.D. in 1966, her teaching at Harvard and Brandeis from 1969-1981, and her appointment to be Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Byzantine History to succeed Ihor Sevcenko in 1981, and much of the following material is drawn directly or nearly directly from Mr. Kyrou’s article, and I hereby give attribution.

Prof. Laiou was the first native-born Greek and only the second female ever to be tenured in the history department of Harvard University, both impressive accomplishments. In 1985, she became chair of Harvard’s history department. In 1989, she became Chair of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. In 1998, she was elected to the Academy of Athens. In 2000, she was elected to a seat in the Greek Parliament.

Prof. Laiou was a kind person. When I wrote to her, she wrote back. Her office was always open to students of all backgrounds, and she mentored, taught and supervised undergrads, graduate students and post-docs from all walks of life, as well as supervising the Harvard history department, Dumbarton oaks and her own bailiwick of Byzantine studies. She was an prolific example of excellence in her work. She will be missed.

She was prolific, authoring fifteen books and nearly ninety articles in english, French and greek. Her magnus opus was also her last book, a three volume economic history of the Byzantine empire from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries, published from 2002 through 2007. In addition to the three volume work, she co-authored a one volume work with Cecile Morrison on the same subject intended for the general public as well, also published in 2007.

Perhaps Greece will one day again be the empire of two continents and five seas envisioned by the megali ithea—I truly believe it will be, one day, but if God decides this is not our destiny, let us dream for a moment of Blachernae, and of the Emperors in their purple, gazing upon the sea of Marmora, the gateway to the pontian euxine as well as to the Aegean sea, the road to Europe as well as to asia, the city of Constantine, but to all who knew it, quite simply, h polis, THE CITY, CONSTANTINOPLE. May her soul on its way to heaven gaze upon the holy city, and st. Sophia, and see it not as it is, defiled by the ottomans and the turks and the extremist muslim terrorists of our age, but as it was, a holy Christian city for more than fifteen centuries, devoted to the holy virgin mary, h hothegeetria, and devoted to blocking the tide of islam from overrunning Europe until Europe could stand on its own two feet.

Athanasios Ioannis Kyriazis
Romaiois Rumi Orthodoki
Pontos Kerasountas
Thessaloniki Mou Thessaloniki Mou
Makethonas Ellinas

RIP LES PAUL 1915-2009

September 29, 2009

Les Paul’s death was widely reported on or about August 14, 2009. Mr. Paul was widely recognized as the inventor of tape echo, tape overdubbing, multiple channel studio recording, and most famously, was the developer and inventor of the extremely influential 1952 Les Paul Gibson Electric Guitar, which was utilized by many famous jazz and rock guitarists, including Al DiMeola, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Steve Howe. A mid 1950s Les Paul Gibson was recently auctioned at Christie’s for nearly $50,000.00, which was probably a bargain for the buyer.

I used to have a cassette tape of Les Paul and Mary Ford, his wife and collaborator on many albums from 1949-1962, which I pretty much wore out on one of my old cars. The playing and singing were great, and it was like nothing else from its era. I wish I still had it. Les Paul and Mary Ford earned 36 (thirty-six) gold records for their hits, including such classics as “Vaya Con Dios” and “How High the Moon,” which both were Number 1 hits. Tape echo and tape overdubbing was a big part of their sound, but Les Paul’s distinctive guitar playing was really the key.

Les Paul retired for a time during the 1960s and 1970s, but came out of retirement and continued to play until near to the time of his death, and continued to be honored, winning Grammy Awards and election to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He was truly one of the greats.

Unfortunately, the only really good obituary on Les Paul was run in GOLDMINE: THE COLLECTORS RECORD AND COMPACT DISC MARKETPLACE (Volume 35, Number 20, Issue 761, September 25, 2009), which ran six pages of stories by four different authors. Practically all of the following is based on the Goldmine stories, and I will give specific attribution to them by page number; I strongly suggest you go out and buy the issue, it’s got Les Paul on the cover, and a picture of him playing guitar, and says “LES PAUL: A TRUE ORIGINAL”. You can also view the magazine online.

Since Goldmine is a collectors magazine (it can be found online at I’ll tell you about the stories;

1) Les Paul: A True Original 1915-2009 by Dave Thompson p. 28
2) Black Gold: Les Paul Changes the Guitar Forever by Dave Thompson pp. 28-29.
3) Overdubbing and Multi-Tracking with Les Paul by Peter Lindblad p. 30.
4) The Musical Journey of Les Paul by Mark Smotroff pp. 31-32.
5) Television Beckons – box story, no attribution, bottom of p. 32.
6) Are Les Paul’s Guitars, Records Going Up in Value? By Peter Lindblad, p. 33.

Id. There are also many photos running with these stories, including photos of four famous Les Paul Gibson guitars on p. 33. The rare and famous 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, valued at between $290,000 and $350,000 is pictured, but if you can find a Gibson Les Paul Model 1952, also pictured, you can get it for a mere $31,000-$38,000. Id. On page 32, there is a great photo of Les Paul, Mary Ford and Bob Hope together. On pages 28, 29 and 30, there are three different photos of Les Paul playing live at age 94. Id.

The stories in the Goldmine issue are packed with information. “As a record producer, and alongside vocalist Mary Ford, he [Les Paul] scored no less than 42 [forty-two] U.S. hits between 1945 and 1961, including more standards than most performers of the era could shake a stick at.” Id. at p. 28. “And as a technological visionary, he was responsible for many of the studio tricks that we now take for granted…multi-tracking, overdubbing and special effects included.” Id. at p. 28. “…[Les Paul] is synonymous not with his own accomplishment, but with those of a never-ending stream of other people—namely every single guitar player who has ever strapped on a Gibson Les Paul and played a tune.” Id. at p. 28.

The legend of the Gibson Les Paul is tracked in detail in these articles. We are told that in 1964, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones started playing a 1959 Les Paul Standard Gibson sunburst; then in 1966 Eric Clapton started playing a Les Paul Gibson Standard, quickly followed by Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Jimmy Page, Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Taylor, Martin Barre of Jethro Tull and Paul Kossoff of Free. Id. at p. 29. “The British blues [rock] boom of the late 1960s was built on the Gibson Les Paul [guitar]. Id. at p. 29. More great guitarists picked up Les Paul Gibsons—including such guitar legends as Frank Zappa, Mike Bloofield, Duane Allman, Neil Young, John McLaughlin, Pete Townshend, Johnny Winter and the amazing Carlos Santana. Id. at p. 28. Some 1970s guitarists who were Les Paul devotees included Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Jan Akkerman of Focus, Marc Bolan of T. Rex, Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Bob Dylan), Steve Hackett of Genesis, and John Lennon on his solo albums. Id. at p. 29-30. Even some of the punk banks used Les Paul Gibsons, including the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the New York Dolls. Id. at p. 30.

Les Paul came up with the first overdubbed, multi-tracked recording in history in 1947 when he released “Lover (When You’re Near Me” on the A side, backed with “Brazil” on the B side. Id. at p. 30. On “Lover,” Les Paul is featured on eight different guitar parts, with the final recording featuring them all in a multidubbing. Id. at p. 30. “Along with overdubbing his parts on “Lover,” Paul recorded some of them at half-speed, resulting in them being “double-fast” when played back at normal speed for the master. And so, multi-tracking was born.” Id. at p. 30. “Paul would invent and improve on other effects, specifically with regard to echo and delay effects. And he would reinvent the Ampex Model 200, the world’s first commercially produced reel-to-reel audio tape recorder, leading to the making of two- and three-track recordings, and ultimately, in 1954, the eight-track recorder he commissioned Ampex to make.” Id. at p. 30.

Les Paul was originally born Lester William Polfus June 19, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a town close to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he was known locally in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Wisconsin as the “Wizard of Waukesha.” Id. at pp. 31 & 5. The career notes article states that Paul began his career performing as “Red Hot Red” and playing and touring with country star Sunny Joe Wolverton in the early 1930s. Id. at p. 31. After 1933, Paul joined up with Jimmy Atkins & Ernie Newton and formed a jazz trio, and also jammed occasionally with Art Tatum, Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong, eventually landing a gig with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians that lasted until 1941. Id. at p. 31. Paul was then drafted, and was assigned to the Armed Forces Orchestra. Id. at p. 31. In 1944, Paul sat in on Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic sessions with Nat King Cole and others. Id. at p. 31. Paul was also backing Bing Crosby on several of Crosby’s vocal records at this time, and from 1944-45 served as the road backing band for the Andrews Sisters. Id. at p. 31.

From 1950-1960, Les Paul had his amazing run of success with his wife and singing partner Mary Ford (originally Colleen Summers), which extended to radio, television and stage performances, as well as being voted Downbeat Magazine’s readers’ poll’s winners three consecutive years, 1951, 1952 and 1953, and selling ten million records by 1952. Id. at pp. 31-32. Around the early 1960s, Paul and Ford retired, and in 1964 they divorced, Ford passing away of pneumonia in 1977. Id. at p. 32.

But this was not the end for Les Paul. In the lat 1970s he became the music director for the hit TV show “Happy Days.” Id. at p. 32. He recorded a Grammy-winning LP with Chet Atkins called “Chester and Lester” around this time. Id. at p. 32. He continued to play guitar more or less until his death, and in 2005, released an album called “Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played” which won a Grammy, featuring Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora as guests on guitar. Id. at p. 32.

Inventor, Guitar Player, Entertainer, Jazz Artist, Country Artist, Rock Artist, Innovator, and the star of multiple eras of American music—there was, is and will be only one Les Paul—a giant of the guitar, a giant of the studio, a giant of the stage, a giant of the 1950s charts, and a giant of American Popular Music. Has anyone in American Music History ever played with this list of artists: Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, the Andrews Sisters, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora? And won Grammy Awards for doing it?

Les Paul will be missed. He lives on in his music, in his guitars, and in his technological innovations.

–art kyriazis, philly
home of the world champion Philadelphia Phillies

My prior post claiming extinction for the phils was, to paraphrase mark twain, premature.

Last nite, the Phils won, the Braves lost, and now the Phils are up five with five to go, they’ve clinched a tie for the NL East, and they have Pedro Martinez, THE PEDRO MARTINEZ, who has thrown two shutouts and has a ridiculously low ERA and gone 5-0 or 6-0 since returning to baseball in August, on the mound tonite before a packed house, to clinch it against the Astros.

You couldn’t draw it up any better than this.

Who would have thought at the start of the season, that the Phils would clinch their 3d NL East Crown with Pedro Martinez pitching like the Pedro of old, on the mound for them?

But all hail the Braves, who have put on quite a show in September. They’ve got some great young kids, and the best kid in AAA is joining their club next year.

Baseball is a funny old game.

The World Champion Phillies have played well enough to repeat at NL East Division champs in September. They’ve gone 15-12 and in the last 14 games, 8-6, and in the last 17 games, 10-7. Those are all winning records.

But the Atlanta Braves, like the St. Louis Cards of 1964 and the NY Giants of 1951, are scorching the earth. They are 15 and 2 in their last 17 games, and just won’t lose.

But Madsen did the job last nite, and finally, the Braves lost a game and the Marlins beat them, 5-4. Go Fish.

–art kyriazis, philly
home of the world champion phils

Prof. Richard Dawkins was it again in yet another publication, arguing for the indefensible proposition, Atheism. As History has demonstrated, perhaps more than any other “ism”, including Communism, Nationalism Nihilism, Anarchism, Fascism and Nazism, Atheism is very likely the worst “ism” of them all, because Atheism lies at the heart of all of the other “isms”. And, making this ever worse is the fact that Prof. Dawkins is a respected Biology Professor, that he writes to undergraduates and graduate students, and that he should really know better.

Prof. Dawkins’ argument this time was framed and cloaked in scientific syllogism and enthymeme, to wit, that the scientific laws of physics and evolution (1) explain everything, and there (2) leave no room, according to Dawkins, for the actions of God, ergo, (3) God does not exist. A broad and sweeping argument, to be sure, but does it stand up under any sort of critical analysis?

We’ll examine the deeper logical argument of whether this is a proof of God’s non-existence in a moment, but first let’s examine whether this is a proof at all of anything.


Initially, are there “laws” of physics or “laws” of evolution? Here, Dawkins has problems right off the bat. Modern scientific epistemology is sort of torn between two schools—the Thomas Kuhn school of paradigms and the Karl Popper-Carnap school of incremental advance of science. Dawkins seems to be resurrecting the Popper-Carnap school of epistemology—and yet right now, the Kuhnian school is ascendant.

What Kuhn basically says is that all scientific laws amount to is a reigning paradigm, and that science is a social process among scientists—meaning that scientific laws are not laws at all, but simply the best available paradigms which meet the approval of the current scientific community. This of course is a terrible oversimplication of Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) and subsequent editions, but let’s assume for the moment that you’ve read Kuhn, or been forced to read Kuhn. If you’re familiar with Kuhn, you would not make a statement such as was made by Dawkins about “scientific laws” proving that “God does not” and “cannot exist” because in Kuhn’s model of scientific induction and epistemology, men make scientific laws, and not particularly accurately all the time.

But let’s assume for a moment you’re a Popper-Carnap style epistemologist of science, and you believe in the intrinsic accuracy of the scientific laws. Even then, Popper and Carnap et al., accept Hume’s causality arguments and attacks on scientific “laws”, to wit, scientific law cannot explain “causation” but only a sort of probability tending towards a value between 0 and 1; or as Popper would put it, if I drop a ball five thousand times, it will fall to earth each time, tending to prove the “law” of gravity, but I still can’t be one hundred per cent certain that it will fall to earth the five thousand and first time, because of the causal arguments of Hume. All I have done is prove an increasingly likely probability of that causal association such that I might term it a scientific “law,” but what is termed a scientific “law” is really a correlation coefficient with a high degree of associative character, a high degree of probability, according to epistemologists like Popper and/or Carnap.

Likewise, if I have risen from bead a thousand times and seen the sun rise, that is tending to a probability of one that the sun is at the center of the solar system, but does not guarantee that I will rise to see the sun on the thousand and first day, because there is still not a causal relation, only an associative one. This is readily conceded by even the most formal of scientific epistemologists like Popper and/or Carnap.

Consequently, Dawkin’s notion of scientific “laws” fails because of the underlying failure of scientific epistemology. And yet Dawkins breezes over both the Kuhnian problem of paradigms and the Humeian problem of causation in violently asserting the overarching and complete validity of scientific laws, in spite of the fact that nearly all philosophers and historians of science and all scientists themselves are nearly unanimous in believing that there are no such things as immutable “laws” of science.

The fact is, just as there was no reality in the Matrix, there is nothing valid or solid about scientific laws. Scientific “laws,” including the vaunted “laws” of physics and “laws” of evolution asserted by Dawkins, are subject to constant and considerable subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) revision by scientists, and subject to paradigm change every 25-30 years or so as Kuhn describes. The late Stephen Jay Gould advocated a theory of not-so-incremental not-so-Darwinian evolution, which would have represented a major paradigm shift in the so-called “laws” of evolution, and increasingly, many empirical findings dispute the original theories and paradigms advanced by Darwin, who was, after all, just a good 19th century naturalist, albeit a brilliant one.

In many respects it is Galton, the statististician and cousin of Darwin, who has proven to be the better scientist in certain respects, of our time, since it was he who coined the phrase “regression,” a phrase without which social science itself would hardly exist today. Nor should we forget Mendel, whose observations were the foundations of modern genetics. It is not Darwin only who was the founder of modern molecular biology; there were many founders, and while Darwin might have been necessary, he was not sufficient.

Moreover, all scientific laws are subject to incremental change in light of empirical data, and all scientific laws are not really laws at all in light of the causal issues raised by the Humeian critique.

So are there laws of physics and of evolution which leave “no room for God?” Of course there aren’t. Just to take one example, the Darwinian paradigm of evolution was that evolution was gradualist. Darwin rejected sudden changes, and also rejected Lamarckianism. But both of these paradigms are and have been in the process of being assailed and replaced in the face of modern scientific evidence and new theory making by new groups of scientists. First, sudden catastrophic evolutionary change has gained a great deal of currency, c.f. Stephen Jay Gould, supra. The theory of sudden events such as asteroids plunging to earth and causing mass extinctions, and the notion that there have been five mass extinctions in earth’s evolutionary history, has gained real traction among scientists. And even more recently, changes in somatic dna and living animals have been re-evaluated in light of better understanding of molecular biology, prompting a re-evaluation of the paradigm on Lamarckian evolution.

As for the “laws” of physics, string theory is still controversial, no one has yet attained fusion in any controlled conditions dozens and dozens of years after it was predicted to be able to be done, scientists don’t know if the earth is warming or cooling, and if it is warming, whether humans or climate change cycles are to blame, there is still controversy over what the fundamental particles are, civilian use of nuclear power has run up against a stone wall in the united states (putting most physicists out of work), and nuclear proliferation has become a worldwide problem, perhaps proving that physics is yet to be the messenger of Armageddon and the doom of the planet through worldwide thermonuclear war.

So basically, the claims asserted by Dawkins about the laws of physics and the laws of evolution are wrong, wrong as to scope, wrong as to paradigm, and wrong even as to the claim that there are laws qua laws.


Secondly, do Dawkins assertions about the laws of physics and the laws of nature, e.g. that they “explain everything” and “leave no room for God”, carry any weight?

The obvious answer is, in light of this line of reasoning, a clear no. First, it’s obvious that the laws of physics and the laws of nature, in their current states, don’t explain “everything,” or anything close to “everything.” What they currently do is what all scientific laws do—they explain what’s obvious and well-settled, which is about the 20% of science you find in undergraduate textbooks—and the more advanced stuff is continuously debated among grad students, professors and advanced institute people at science conferences on a constant basis, over the internet, in academic journals, etc. as the scientific process is an ongoing continuous process.

A scientist who is arrogant and believes he already knows all the answers is no scientist at all. Such a man could not be a scientist, because a true scientist never believes the scientific laws are settled, never believes that all the scientific questions are answered, or that all the scientific issues have been explained.

Were that all true, as Prof. Dawkins erroneously suggests, then there would be no need to continue to experiment or for NIH or any other world or international scientific group to continue with biology or physics experiements. If we already know everything, why bother with seeking new knowledge?

The answer, the obvious answer is, we DON’T know everything, and we need to know a great deal more. We actually know very little. What little we do know we know pretty well, maybe with a probability of .80 or so, maybe .90, but as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the Pauli exclusion principle, molecular orbital bonding theory, the Church-Turing thesis and Godel’s theorem famously remind us, there are also things we can’t know within the framework of science and that we have to take on scientific faith.

Just to take an example from freshman chemistry—the notion of an electron cloud, electron shell, electron atomic orbital or electron molecular orbital. A “smear” of electron energy. The notion of electron “tunneling”. We really don’t know where the electron is, we can only guess where it is. Quantum mechanics, wave version and matrix version. Elegant mathematics, but still, electron electron, where is the electron?

For all that we know, we don’t know where the electron is, or where the electrons are, except that we know what region they’re in within a 99% region of probability. Or so approximately. That’s a far cry from a scientific “law” of physics. If Dirac and Heisenberg and Born and all their famous brethren were here, right now, none of them would claim that quantum mechanics or even quantum electrodynamics were scientific “laws” of a certainty sufficient to exclude the existence of God.

To the contrary, these theories were advanced modestly and no grand claims were made for them, as anyone reading the original papers (they’re available in historical reprints and online) would know. The authors were humble and careful in their work. This applies to almost all of the so-called “new physics” of the 20th century, going back to the original great three papers of Einstein of 1905.


So to return to the initial question of this essay, is Prof. Dawkins argument a proof of the non-existence of God?

The answer is clearly no, because Dawkins is committing the logical fallacies of either Denying the Antecedent and/or Denying the Consequent. His arguments consist of an he implied syllogism and an enthymeme as follows;

(1) The scientific laws explain everything in physics & evolution.
(2) Since everything in physics and evolution is explained by sciene, God explains nothing in physics and evolution
(3) Since God explains nothing in physics & evolution, God does not exist.

It should be relatively clear, once we reduce Prof. Dawkins’ argument to atomistic syllogism/enthymeme, that it is clearly flawed, and commits logical fallacy, but let’s examine the logical fallacies further.

Imagine if the argument was stated this way:

(1) Physics & Evolution are remarkable.
(2) Physics & Evolution are unexplainable.
(3) If there is a God, God can explain the unexplainable.
(4) God can explain Physics and Evolution.
(5) Therefore there is a God.

I believe this accurately fills in the blanks of the “straw man” enthymeme that Dawkins is attempting to set up.

Now let’s take some converses and contrapositives. Let’s say Physics and Evolution ARE explainable, as Dawkins claims.

Dawkins argument there is as follows;

(1) Physics & Evolution are remarkable
(2) Physics & Evolution are fully explainable by the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Evolution.
(3) If there is a God, God can explain the unexplainable.
(4) God cannot explain Physics and Evolution.
(5) God cannot explain one or more instances of the unexplainable.
(6) Therefore there is no God.

We should immediately recognize the logical fallacy of denying the antecedent/denying the consequent here. The converse/contrapositive of changing physics and evolution to negations and God explaining same to not explaining same does not negate god’s ability to explain the unexplainable, or God’s UNIVERSAL existence.

There are several flaws in the logic here.

First is the instantiative assertoric error committed by Dawkins. To the extent that he states that “God exists” or “God Does not Exist,” he concedes, at least in some schools of thought, the existence of God qua God, via the assertoric and instantiative schools of philosophic thought. These basically assert if I state “a unicorn is blue” that unicorns must exist, somewhere in some potential universe, because I have conceived of unicorns in my mind and named them, e.g. given them a class appellation and attributes.

While there is controversy as to assertoric and non-assertoric logics, the fact remains that Dawkins was not careful to set forth whether his argument was one or the other, consequently, the old medieval Aristotelian argument that God exists because he named God, conceived of God and gave God attributes in his argument, means that he cannot turn around and then argue that God does not exist, because by stating or implying God’s existence, he concedes the fact of God’s existence by instantiative and assertoric principles.

In making this argument, it is important to distinguish between the statements “God is God,” “God exists” and “God has attributes.” Note the first is ontological, the second ontological-metaphysical, and the third is lexical and goes to class definitions. But in all three cases, Dawkins falls into logical error, because by merely naming God, he implies that God is God, God exists, and that God has attributes. Dawkins falls into the trap of assertoric discourse, because somewhere, in some religion, in some world, in some universe, there is a God, because he has conceived of one and named him, and given him attributes, and attempted to negate him universally, which cannot be done by definition. Moreover, God may even control physics and biology in those other worlds or universes or existences, since Dawkins’ arguments don’t address those worlds, universes or possible existences.

Second, Dawkins’s conclusion of a universal negation of God’s existence, is proceeding illogically and fallaciously, from an antecedent of God’s inability to explain some unexplainable particular events, when all that is claimed for God is God’s particular ability to explain some unexplainable particular events. The fact that God cannot explain a subset of “some unexplainable particular events” such as the laws of physics and the laws of evolution, in this world, in this universe, in Dawkin’s religion, does not result in the negation of the proposition that God can still explain some other unexplainable particular events in any or all religions in any or all worlds, etc. One cannot refute and effect negation of a “some x is y” statement by a “some x is not z” statement.

This would be clearer using first order predicate logic and the universal and particular quantifiers—I’ll get to that in a second—but let’s stick to Aristotelian logic for the moment.

Let’s see why dawkins is wrong:

(1) Physics & Evolution are remarkable
(2) Physics & Evolution are fully explainable by the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Evolution.
(3) If there is a God, God can explain the unexplainable.
(4) God can explain the unexplainable for some things in any and all possible religions in any and all possible worlds in any and all possible universes and in any and all possible realities.
(5) God transcends and is outside the explanation of, the laws of Physics, Evolution and Science.
(6) God cannot explain Physics and Evolution in this world in this universe and in this reality.
(7) God can explain the unexplainable for some things in any and all possible religions in any and all possible worlds in any and all possible universes and in any and all possible realities, except for and other than, Physics and Evolution in this world and in this reality and in Dawkins’ religion.
(8) Dawkins claims there is therefore not a God.
(9) However, Logic says there still is a God, since there are still events etc. that God still can explain other than physics and evolution in this world, etc.
(10) Dawkins argument does not invalidate the universal particular “God can explain the unexplainable” etc.set forth in argument (4) because it does not negate it for all instances of substitution value for “God can explain the unexplainable, etc.” set forth in argument (4) and thus commits the dual fallacies of denying the antecedent/denying the consequent as well as committing a logical fallacy of erroneous invalidation of a universal particular in first order predicate logic.

Notice what’s changed here, and feel free to draw your own Venn Diagram.

Argument 3 states that God can explain some unexplainables for all possible things for all possible religions for all possible worlds in all possible universes and in all possible realities.

Whereas Arguments 6 and 7 are particular existential instantiators—they quantify only as to God’s ability to explain physics and evolution. Negating them only negates some of the class of unexplainables which God can explain. It’s a subset of what God explains, not all of what God explains. Consequently, negation of them is not invalidity of God, God’s existence, God is God, or God’s attributes.

Here it is held that God can still explain some other unexplainable for all possible things, in all possible religions, in all possible worlds, in all possible universes, in all possible realities. Dawkins’ negation argument is fatally flawed, because in order to invalidate a particular universal, you have to show it’s false for ALL substitution instances of the particular universal. Dawkins fails to do this, and consequently his argument is a fatal instance of logical fallacy of denying the antecedent/denying the consequent, one of the oldest and best known logical fallacies.

Third, and note this, carefully, the thrust of this essay, is that Dawkins has actually failed to prove propositions (2), (6) and (7). So really, he’s failed to prove his premises as well, and if the premises fail, the syllogism also fails because if the premises are false, so are the conclusions.

So to summarize;

1) God exists on instantiative, assertoric grounds;
2) God exists because Dawkins fails to prove God’s existential invalidity and commits logical fallacies of denying the antecedent/denying the consequent; and
3) God exists because Dawkins fails to prove the truth of the premises of his argument and therefore the conclusions fail.


Of course, it would be a miracle if atheists like Dawkins were to make a logical argument in favor of their conclusions. People like Dawkins like to get to the conclusion first, and then make strained and illogical arguments full of logical and illogical fallacies in order to get to their ridiculous conclusions. That’s why their arguments seem so silly and so contrived.

In addition to all the foregoing, Dawkins commits the fallacy of the appeal to authority—he claims that because science—physics and biology in this case, and in particular the laws of physics and biology—are so accurate and their scientists so wonderfully supreme—that we should give up going to church and instead worship physicists and biologists.

Of course, this argument, when put in this form, is utterly ridiculous. Let’s atomize it;

1) Currently, you worship God.
2) God has great authority.
3) The Laws of Physics and the Laws of Evolution have Great Authority, as do the Physicists and Biologists.
4) The Physicists and Biologists are always right, and God is Always Wrong, when it comes to Physics and Biology.
5) Physicists and Biologists are Therefore Great Men.
6) Therefore, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, you should Stop Worshipping God, and God’s Laws, and instead Worship Physicists and Biologists, and the Laws of Physics and Biology Instead.

Now when atomized in this fashion, you can see what a silly, foolish, ridiculous appeal to authority Dawkins’ argument really is.

In fact, it’s really no different than Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar or Caesar Augustus Octavian claiming that they were not merely men, but Gods walking the earth, and therefore men should worship them, because they were great, and they were always right about everything they did, because they had conquered the known world.

It’s precisely the same syllogism/enthymeme. Dawkins’ argument for worshipping science over God is the same argument that oriental kings have used for centuries for their divinity. It’s called the “appeal to authority.”

It goes something like this: “I’m in charge, I’m always right, therefore, worship me.” Notably, the early Christians rejected this argument wholesale and never, ever bowed down to either oriental or Roman monarchs, until the Roman Emperor became a Christian himself, and prostrated himself before God and Jesus every Sunday with the conversion of St. Constantine and his victory with the cross—“in this sign I shall conquer” (“nika”).

I seriously doubt that any clear thinking individual, including a scientist, wants to stop going to religious services and start bowing down to another scientist in lieu of God.

Maybe Dawkins wanted to be an oriental king in a former life.


Perhaps a couple of more points are in order.

First, faith in God is not a matter of rational or logical argument. Kantians and neo-Kantians, and many moral philosophers, have been influenced to a large degree by Protestantism, and especially the brand of Pietism which Kant himself espoused, all of which emphasize a close personal relationship between God and Man, unmediated by the Church or the clergy. This has led to the mistaken modern view that morality and even religion must be justified, somehow, by logical, rational or reasonable grounds.

This inference, which is highly Kantian (or neo-Kantian), only makes sense if you aren’t Catholic or Eastern Roman Orthodox; however, one billion people are Catholic and another 500 million are Eastern Orthodox, and all of those Christians believe in God because the Church tells them to, and salvation is through the Church and its sacraments, not through God or any personal relationship to God. God doesn’t talk to people in the Catholic or Orthodox churches, unless you happen to have been a saint or a prophet. And reasoning about God’s existence is entirely and totally unnecessary if you are Catholic or Orthodox, because God of course exists—why else would there be St. Sophia, the Eastern Roman Empire until 1453, or the Pope, or the Patriarch, or Constantinople, or the Crusades, or the Catholic Church, or the Seven Sacraments, or Communion, or Transubstantiation?

Likewise, if you are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, etc., you don’t need to think too much about whether there is a God either—it’s pretty much implicit with the territory. It’s a peculiarity of Protestant thought that we sit around thinking whether there is a God or not. Frankly, I have better things to do in Church on a Sunday morning than to think about whether God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit exist or not. Like remembering where I parked my car, or when the next church festival is.

Especially apt is that every year we have religious holidays, like Yom Kippur, Christmas, Easter, the Jewish New Year, Passover, that everyone respects with dignity and honor.

Those who are atheists shower disrespect and dishonor on those who would worship freely.

The founders of the USA put freedom of worship in the first amendment. They were silent as to freedom not to believe in god, and they never intended for atheism or lack of religion to be protected by the constitution, notwithstanding any court decisions of any kind to the contrary. theories of hla hart and decisions of church and state to the contrary, faith is a big element of socializing our youth to right and wrong, and i join those who call for a return of prayer to schools, and those who want faith-based programs for our troubled youth. crime rates are very high and a little prayer and a little church or services have been shown to be the only thing that can help troubled youth, as Prof. DiIulio has shown many times over.

Point being, belief is a matter of faith, God a big mystery, and really none of it has much to do with science at all. On top of which, the vast majority of people believe in God and go to church, and the vast majority of scientists, including famous scientists like Einstein, Newton, Pascal, to name but a few, believed in God and attended services. Even Galileo in the end was more worried about his mortal soul than his scientific theories, and ended up recanting before the church. It’s a modern conceit to see him as some kind of champion against the church. Galileo was a perfectly good catholic.


Finally, atheism has the most destructive of social movements in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. First advocated by the French proletariat during the French Revolution, it resulted initially in the French Terror and the killing of innocent tens of thousands and endless rivers of blood by means of the guillotine in the 1790s by the Directory, as famously described by Sir Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France. The French Aristocracy was either killed or sent into hiding, and tens of thousands of intellectuals were needlessly and thoughtlessly butchered. Churches and clergy were shuttered and church properties seized.

But worse was yet to come under Napoleon. Even though one has to admire Napoleon as a military figure, Napoleon’s policies regarding the churches set in motion a series of consequences which were to have long-lasting and far-reaching effects. First were the hundreds of thousands if not millions who died in the Napoleonic Wars, the first true “World Wars” if you will. Second, Napoleon effectively dis-established the French Catholic Church and clergy; destroyed the Spanish Inquisition and seized the best lands of the Spanish Catholic Church, rendering that church impotent; hurt the Catholic Church badly all over Europe; and incited Nationalism of a secular character all over Europe, particularly in Italy, Germany and the Balkans.

Napoleon destroyed the settled character of the Catholic Church in Spain, France, Italy and many smaller countries, and left those countries in permanent political and social turmoil as a consequent result, turmoil that has persisted to the present day. France has been through five or six governmental and constitutional changes since the Revolution and lost her colonies and three different wars including the two world wars; Spain has been through a civil war and many political instabilities; Italy despite the Risorgimento remains a politically fractured country, albeit an economically sound one; and many smaller catholic countries remain marginal in the European sphere.

The orbit of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Balkan States have been particularly unstable, leading to World War One due to Bosnian nationalism, and fractures between orthodox and catholic partisans in Croatia/Serbia and Ukraine/Russia during World War II which the Nazis exploited, along with fractures between catholics and jews with the Nazis exploited during World War II in Poland and other lands.

Atheism and nationalism were at the root of these difficulties; had the pre-1800 regime stayed in place, unaffected by the atheistic, nationalistic whirlwind of Napoleon, it is doubtful that a Bismarck or a Hitler, a Lenin or a Stalin, could ever have risen up from the ashes. Atheism was the spawning ground of dictators and communism, and of modern world war and of modern genocides.

In some places, nationalism was a good thing, such as the Lower Balkans, where Greece and Serbia and Bulgaria liberated themselves from the Ottoman Turk, but in Germany, secular atheistic nationalism eventually resulted in German military imperialism and the rise of the German military state, and, eventually, Adolf Hitler, who was himself quite the atheist at heart.

Atheism and disestablishment of religion weakened the German and Austrian churches and paved the way for the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the onset of World War I, and the Russian Revolution. The so-called secular states of Turkey and Iran, which for many years engaged in brutal internal repressions of their own peoples as well as ethnic progroms, were also based in part on the atheism and nationalism of the Napoleonic era and Russian Communistic era.

As we now know, the Iranian secular regime was swept under by a religious theocratic muslim regime in 1979, which has influenced many other Middle Eastern regimes in the same direction since then, and the Turkish regime is under heavy internal pressure to do the same, become expressly religious, muslim and theocratic again. But these are false theocracies manned by leaders trained for centuries in secular, atheistic violence and bloodshed, and not true religious leaders at all.

Soviet Communism was based on atheism, and hundreds of millions died under this regime, as documented by Solzhenitzyn in his Gulag Archipelago works. In 1937 & 1938 alone 500,000 priests were killed for the crime of being Russian orthodox priests.

More modernly, Chinse Communist atheism has resulted in the destruction of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhist shrines in the takeover and occupation of a sovereign nation since 1958, and the destruction of a religious nation and its thousand year old religious shrines, and the exodus of its highly respected religious leader, the Dalai Lama. The atheist Communist Chinese show no respect whatsoever for religion. They destroy religious relics in their own state as well, have destroyed the thousands’ year old cult of Confucianism in their own country, and do not tolerate the many catholics, Nestorians and other Christians and protestants attempting to worship God in their midst. Tens if not hundreds of millions have died in China, Tibet and other occupied regions over the issue of religion.

In short, Atheism has been responsible for the deaths of nearly a billion people on this planet since it was first officially sanctioned by the French Revolution in early 1789. It is a hideous doctrine and once in place, one responsible for moral indifference to the point of recklessness to human death and suffering.


One may wonder, why is Atheism responsible for the loss of morality, amorality and immoral conduct on such a vast scale as this? The reasons are fairly simple.

The moral philosopher or neo-Kantian may think it an easy matter to prove why the Holcaust or why a genocide or why the killing of an entire Church and its clergy is morally wrong and indefensible. Perhaps a lawyer may say it is a violation of international law. All of these words are nice words—but they are mere words.

And aren’t there always debates about this? Don’t the French deny killing anyone? And don’t the Turks deny an Armenian Holocaust? And the Germans admit a Holocaust, but never seem to do enough? And the Russians never seem to admit all their wrongs? And the Chinese say they’ve done nothing wrong in Tibet?

Morality and seeing right from wrong, it seems to me, cannot be a matter for moral philosophy, ethics boards or international legal commissions.

What is needed, in the end, are religious views to determine right from wrong. We know in our hearts what is right from wrong because we have a religious sense of things. No one is going to sit and read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and achieve some transcendental state of pure moral reasoning in the internet age; but it’s easy enough to go to mass or services and hear a sermon and let a priest or deacon explain with a story from the bible why this or that thing is wrong.

It would be my contention that without religion, without the Church and the Bible as frames of reference, we would not know, and I mean really know, that the Holocaust, Genocide, Extermination of entire churches and peoples and religions, are wrong and crimes against God and not merely crimes against humanity or laws.

The German people as a people made Nazism and state-sponsored atheism their religion for more than a dozen years, and consequently, amorality, immorality, and finally mass killing and genocide, seemed acceptable to them, first by degrees and eventually on a grand scale.

But this was not unprecedented. The same thing had happened before—in Revolutionary France—in Communist Russia—in Secular Turkey—anywhere that traditional religion was swept aside, a wave of butchery, savagery and killing swept the land, and the people forgot their first and foremost rule, thou shalt not kill.

The atheist has no moral compass. The atheist doesn’t believe in the ten commandments. The atheist kills one or many and feels the same about both. That is the bottom line. Atheism results inevitably in moral chaos and an utter loss of morality, leading to evil on a grand scale. All of the great killing sprees of modern history have been effected by godless states—atheistic states if you will.

Atheism is the worst ism of them all, because atheism is at the heart of communism, Nazism, socialism, fascism, all the other isms.

Religion tells us in Black and White, without shading, that these killings, these acts, these things are wrong.

Only the Atheist is capable of moral relativism in these matters.

Only the Atheist makes sophistical refutation of claims that he is a mass murderer.


Compare these claims of moral relativism and legal defenses of state-sanctioned mass murder in atheistic states to what the Bible says;

Deuteronomy 53

1. And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and observe to do them.
2. Jehovah our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3. Jehovah made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
4. Jehovah spake with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
5. (I stood between Jehovah and you at that time, to show you the word of Jehovah: for ye were afraid because of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
6. I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
8. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
9. thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me;
10. and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
11. Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain: for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
12. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee.
13. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;
14. but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou.
15. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
16. Honor thy father and thy mother, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee; that thy days may be long, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.
17. Thou shalt not kill.
18. Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
19. Neither shalt thou steal.
20. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor.
21. Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s wife; neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbor’s.
22. These words Jehovah spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them unto me.
23. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
24. and ye said, Behold, Jehovah our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth speak with man, and he liveth.
25. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of Jehovah our God any more, then we shall die.
26. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27. Go thou near, and hear all that Jehovah our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that Jehovah our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
28. And Jehovah heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and Jehovah said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
29. Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
30. Go say to them, Return ye to your tents.
31. But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
32. Ye shall observe to do therefore as Jehovah your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33. Ye shall walk in all the way which Jehovah your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Note that the existence of God is proven beyond all doubt by the express words of Deuteronomy. This passage was dramatized several times in movies, most notably with Charlton Heston playing Moses in the 1950s Cecil B DeMille version of the Ten Commandments.

I’m inclined on faith to believe in it, and certainly more likely to believe in Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments, and the word of the Lord God and Moses, than in anything Richard Dawkins writes down or brings down from his burning bush or his mountaintop.

Compare this to what Isaiah says in the Bible:

ISAIAH 2:4. And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Compare this to Matthew 5:21-22:

Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22. but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment;

Compare this to what St. Paul says in the Bible:

Romans 6

1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2. God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?
3. Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4. We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
5. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection;
6. knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;
7. for he that hath died is justified from sin.
8. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him;
9. knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him.
10. For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11. Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.
12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:
13. neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.
15. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid.
16. Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteouness?
17. But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered;
18. and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.
19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification.
20. For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free in regard of righteousness.
21. What fruit then had ye at that time in the things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22. But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life.
23. For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


–art kyriazis philly
home of the world champion Philadelphia Phillies
Monday 9/28/09

according to all available published reports, former Mass. Gov. and 1988 Democratic Presidential Candidate MICHAEL “MIKE” DUKAKIS was the odds on favorite to be the interim appointment to the late sen. ted kennedy’s senate seat in massachusetts to fill the seat from now until a special election can be held in january of 2010.

Instead, Kennedy Hack and former DNC chairm Paul Kirk got the job. A less inspiring choice could not have been imagined. Paul Kirk is basically a Kennedy in all but name. This shows that the Kennedys continue to control Massachusetts Democratic Party Politics to an unhealth degree.

the seat is crucial to pres. obama’s chances at health care reform.

I believe overlooking Gov. Dukakis was a big mistake. The party should have taken the time to honor him with the appointment. Kirk has never been elected to anything, hardly. Gov. Dukakis not only ran for president, but was a former three time Gov. of Mass.

I know Gov. Dukakis pretty well, as I sat on his national finance committee in 1987-88 and also studied with him at harvard’s kennedy school back in the day, and have kept up with him over the years. he teaches in the fall at northeastern and in the spring at ucla, both schools he teaches political science and public policy.

he’s still the same down the earth, scrupulously ethical man he was 21 years ago. he walks to work, takes the trolley or subway, and is in excellent health. he’ll probably live to be a hundred.

his students adore him and he’s never once become a lobbyist or taken a dime from special interests, or written a book to cash in on his few minutes of fame. instead, he lives a quiet life dedicated to his family and to teaching the young, encouraging them all to public service.

he would have been a good president. he served the people of massachusetts an unprecedented three terms as governor, still the all time record for that state.

if he does get this appointment, it will be a real honor for him. i always thought the party failed to properly support him in 1988 but now they need him badly.

and, lest we forget, in 1988, Dukakis destroyed Al Gore and Jesse Jackson in the democratic primaries, and was up 20 points on George Bush senior in the polls as of the Democratic convention. Al Gore ran so badly against Dukakis he didn’t run for president again until 2000, that’s how bad a whipping Dukakis gave him.

I always thought Dukakis’ main mistake was attaching Bentsen to the ticket–John Glenn, the former astronaut and senator from Ohio would have been a better choice. First, they needed ohio to win, and second, ohio was in play whereas texas was not. third, glenn really, really wanted the job.

i’ll never forgot seeing john glenn speak at the convention in 1988–he really still seemed to have the “right stuff”, just like the movie. i’d of trusted him with the space capsule, rocket and all. i could see why JFK liked hanging out with him. there was nothing phony or fake about john glenn. he was a true american hero.

dukakis-glenn might have been the winning ticket in 1988.

this is probably as good a time as any to point out that “DOUKAS” (which means duke or leader) is the name of at least one and possibly two royal aristocratic byzantine families which served in high positions, and even emperor, in the eastern roman empire. “Doukakis” “dukakis” means literally, “small duke” or “small doukas”, and so the etymology of Dukakis’ name suggests that he is of royal blood; moreover, his family is from Asia Minor, which is of course, the home of the Byzantine royal families.

I believe that Michael Dukakis is descended of the royal blood of the great byzantine families of the Doukas family. His leadership skills evidence this.

here are some details about the DOUKAS family:

Doukas or Ducas (Greek: Δούκας; fem. Doukaina or Ducaena, Δούκαινα; pl. Doukai or Ducae, Δούκαι), from the Latin tile Dux meaning “leader”, is the name of a Byzantine Greek noble family allegedly descended from a cousin of the Roman Emperor Constantine I who had migrated to Constantinople in the 4th century. The family or families using this surname supplied several rulers to the Byzantine Empire.

Towards the end of the 10th century there appeared another family of Doukas, which was perhaps connected with the earlier family through the female line and was destined to attain to greater fortune. A member of this family became emperor as Constantine X in 1059, and Constantine’s son Michael VII ruled, nominally in conjunction with his younger brothers, Andronikos and Konstantios, from 1071 to 1078. Michael left a son, Constantine, who reigned nominally alongside his father and then Alexios I Komnenos. The latter married Irene Doukaina, the great-niece of Constantine X and united the Doukai and Komnenoi. Id.

So we see here, that a man named “Michael VII Doukas” ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from 1071 to 1078 AD.

And a man named Michael Dukakis (also spelled Doukakis by some) wanted to rule the American Empire from 1989-1997 AD.

This is really weird stuff. The families have to be related.

But there’s more to the Doukas saga:

In 1204 Alexius Doukas, called Mourtzouphlos, deposed the emperor Isaac II Angelos and his son Alexios IV Angelos, and unsuccessfully tried to defend Constantinople against the attacks of the forces of the Fourth Crusade. Later John III Doukas Vatatzes expanded the Empire of Nicaea into Europe and launched it on the road to recovering Constantinople. Nearly a century later one Michael Doukas took a leading part in the civil war between the emperors John V Palaiologos and John VI Kantakouzenos, and Michael’s grandson was the historian Doukas (see below). Id at website.

whoa, there’s another michael doukas ruling and doing important stuff in byzantine history…but now in the 1300s….

and yet more….

Through the dynastic marriages of the Doukai with other members of the Byzantine nobility, and especially with the Komnenoi, the name Doukas was adopted into several other families, most notably by the relatively low-born Angeloi, Constantine Angelos having married Theodora, the daughter of Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina. One of Constantine’s sons became known as John Doukas and his descendants reigned over Epirus and Thessalonica calling themselves mostly Komnenos Doukas and only rarely Angelos. A branch of this family called itself simply Doukas and reigned in Thessaly. Another Doukas, grandson of Michael, wrote a history on the last decades of the Byzantine Empire and the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks. Id. at website.

mike’s son is named john dukakis. and here we see that john and michael are the family names of the imperial dukas family. coincidence? you decide.

i bet the kennedys wish they had bloodlines like these.

we’re talking relation to the the ROMAN ARISTOCRATIC RULING FAMILIES OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. and of course, america is the modern roman empire. and mike dukakis came within a hair’s breadth of becoming emperor, president if you will, of this modern roman empire, back in 1988.

what a strange course of events that would have been.

so, we see that the doukas family lasted until the fall of constantinople and beyond….it’s clear that they were intermarried and prolific in producing doukas’ and heirs…so it’s likely that the doukas name continued to the 20th century and that michael dukakis aka doukakis is probably a descendant of one or more members of this royal family. see also (article on doukas family name) and in the bryn mawr library, a book by demetrios polemis on the doukai from 1968,, described as

xvi, 228 p. geneal. table. 25 cm
Subject Doukas family
Byzantine Empire — History
Greece — Genealogy
Series University of London historical studies
Note Includes bibliography
ISBN 0485131226

Polemis, Demetrios I
Title The Doukai : a contribution to Byzantine prosopography
Publisher London, Athlone P., 1968

so mike dukakis is more than just a great american or more than just a great greek-american. he may actually be long-lost royalty of a long-lost empire, the eastern roman empire of constantinople, descendant of an emperor who ruled in the same name almost a thousand years ago in the most magnificent city on the earth.

–art kyriazis, philly
home of the world champion phillies