PLAYOFF PICKS FOR DIVISIONAL WEEKEND JAN 12-13 2013
 
Last Week
Well, last week went pretty well as we got 3 out of 4 right. That wasn’t looking so good until Mike Shanahan, who I savaged in last week’s column, decided, after going up 14-0 on Seattle, to leave RG3 out there on one leg and see how injured the guy could get facing the best defense in the NFC.
 
We discussed last week Shanahan’s history of abusing QB’s and going one and done with guys not named Elway.  Last week was a classic batch of evidence of this.  Up 14-0, Shanahan only had to do one thing–sit RG3 on the bench and go with his competent backup and sit on the lead.  Instead, he left a hobbled, injured QB out there too long–who by the time they actually needed him to come back and get the lead in the 4th Quarter, was way too banged up to play.  Had Shanahan rested him for two and one half quarters, RG3 might have had enough for one last drive–or his backup could have gotten it going enough to keep the ‘Skins in the game.  
 
RGIII was left in last weeks game way too long by Mike Shanahan
 
Now the Seahawks march on, Pete Carroll is a genius, Shanahan is a ninny, RG3 may be out for 1/2 of next year, RG3 has LCL and possibly ACL damage that is severe to the same knee he destroyed once already in college, and Shanahan is directly responsible for aggravating the injury for leaving in the  kid in there after the kid worked hard in the first quarter to get a two TD lead.   If I’m a tort lawyer, I’m suing Shanahan for negligence.  I mean, c’mon.  
 
Oh, and by the way, another one and done for Shanahan.  See?  And another playoff win on the road for Carroll, who continues to show his playoff genius.  And makes my pick of last week look like brilliance.  Since I analyzed it as a case of Shanahan will beat himself and Carroll will take advantage.
 
Cincinnati was lackluster in losing to the Texans in the playoffs for the second year in a row (though I have to give a shoutout to our high school QB, Haverford School/Boston College and former NY Giant Michael Mayock, who was broadcasting that game and actually made it interesting).  Mayock does all of the draft analysis for NFL Network and is one of the best prepared and best NFL and college broadcasters in the game, and one of the greatest athletes I ever saw play high school football (he once dropped 26 points in a 12 year old hoops game that was about five minutes long).  Greatest line from Mayock:  the other broadcaster mentions that Arrian Foster runs like Marcus Allen, and Mayock immediately says “Hey, I played against Marcus Allen” and goes on to note the similarities and differences.
 
Marcus Allen, OJ, Jim Brown & Walter Peyton v. Adrian Peterson & Eric Dickerson
Thirty years ago this month I was living in LA, and my good friend E.N. was visiting from NYC, and we scored fifty yard line seats for the LA Raiders-NY Jets playoff game in balmy 70 degree weather.  You may remember that this was the game won by the Jets (barely) using Richard Todd at QB, and with their famous defensive combo of Gastineau and Temple’s own Joe Klecko.  Famous for the fact that until Rex Ryan came along, the Jets had not won a playoff game since that 1983 contest for a long, long time.  
 
Anyhow, Marcus Allen was in that game as a rookie, and not ten rows ahead of us was sitting then world famous actor and sports commentator Orenthal James “OJ” Simpson, a white Bronco ride still ten years away in his future, sitting with his beautiful blonde wife and an equally beautiful blonde on the other side of him.  During the entire game we (meaning the whole crowd) were peppering him with cries of “Juice, Juice”.  After all, we were in the LA Coliseum, the very place he had played college ball for USC, and he was watching his good friend Marcus Allen play ball.  
 
Marcus Allen USC and LA Raider HOF RB
 
 
It seems a long time ago, but this year some running back made an assault on Eric Dickerson’s 16 game rushing record of 2105 yards achieved in 1973 (Adrian Peterson with 2,097).  The only problem being, both Peterson & Dickerson did it in sixteen games, whereas OJ Simpson’s record of 2,003 yards, set in 1973, was achieved in fourteen games.  OJ averaged more than 143 yards per game, whereas Dickerson, in the longer season, averaged only 132 yards per game.  Meaning that had OJ played two more games, it’s pretty safe to say that OJ would have gained 2,289 yards in a sixteen game season.
 
No one since OJ has gained 2,000 yards in 14 games or less, and if OJ were playing today, he’s probably have already broken the 2,500 yard mark for a running back in a sixteen game season with a bye.  Remember, too, he set that record playing in Buffalo, outside, in the snow, without a bye week.  
 
OJ Simpson – the greatest RB of them all?
 
 
OJ had another year two years later in 1975 where he gained 1817 yards in a 14 games season and averaged 130 yards per game.  If he had played 16 games that year, he’d have rushed for 2,017 yards that year.  That would still be 5th on the all-time list today ahead of all but Dickerson, Peterson, and the famous 2000 yard seasons of Jamal Lewis & Barry Sanders.  
 
This was probably the OJ look that launched his “Naked Gun” film career
 
 
Lest we neglect the greatest RB of them all, Jim Brown played 1/2 of his career in a twelve game NFL season.  In 118 games he rushed for 12,312 yards and averaged over his career 104.3 yards per game.  In 1963, Brown rushed for 1863 yards and averages 133.1 yards per game, which means if he had played 16 games in 1963, he would have rushed for 2,129 yards.  
 
Needless to say, Jim Brown would have been the all-time rushing leader and the first to break the 2,000 yard barrier if he had played a 16 game season.  Moreover, Brown’s retrospective 2,129 yards he would have gained in 16 games played with a bye in 1963 would rank first in the NFL overall today, and would only rank behind OJ’s retrospective 2,289 yards which OJ would have carried in 1973 given sixteen games and a bye.
 
Consequently, let’s forget about Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson, who are great HOF backs, and concentrate on who were the greatest NFL running backs in history.  That list comes down to three–Jim Brown, OJ Simpson, and Barry Sanders.   And of course, the late Walter Peyton, whose 1977 season rushing for 1852 yards with a pace of 132 yards per carry in a fourteen game season would have propelled him to a total of 2,116 yards in a sixteen game, bye week season.  That would have ranked him third all time in NFL history.  
 
the late Walter Payton – perhaps the most beloved football player of all time
 
 
And I’d take Marcus Allen after them and before Eric Dickerson or Adrian Peterson.  Allen was as good a receiving back as he was a running back, and in his NFL career rushed for 12,000 plus yards as well as caught passes receiving for another nearly 5,500 yards at a nearly 10 yards per reception clip.  If you split him into two he’d be two HOFers, but as a single back, he was a wrecking crew.  In 1985 he totalled 2314 yards from scrimmage, 1780 on the ground and another 555 in reception yards.  Yikes.  Not even Sanders, Peyton, Simpson or Brown were that versatile.  Peyton could catch and run with the ball more than the others–and Sweetness was truly great–but at his peak, Marcus Allen literally destroyed defenses.  
 
In the Super Bowl of January 1984 between the LA Raiders and the Washington Redskins, wherein the Raiders destroyed the Redskins 38-9, Marcus Allen rushed for 191 yards on 20 rushing attempts.  John Riggins on the other side only gained 64 yards on 26 attempts.  The combination of Marcus Allen and Jim Plunkett was, literally, unstoppable, and the Raiders crushed a Washington Redskins team that had won the Super Bowl the very previous year over Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins.  They didn’t just beat the Redskins–they destroyed, humiliated and made a laughingstock of them, so much so that everyone forgot that the Redskins had ever been champions the year before.  
 
Marcus Allen’s 9.55 yards per carry Super Bowl rushing average is second all time in Super Bowl history–to the immortal Tom Matte of Baltimore, who averages 10.55 yards per carry back in Super Bowl III (which the Jets, not the Colts won).  Matte rushed for 116 yards on 11 attempts in that game, but that was in a losing effort.  Matte and Unitas were usually a terrific pair, but Namath and his teammates were just better that day–a lot better.  
 
That was how good Marcus Allen was.  And as good as OJ, Peyton, Jim Brown, and all the rest were, only Walter Peyton won a Super Bowl, and Jim Brown an NFL championship.  Marcus Allen didn’t just win a Super Bowl–he dominated it.  
 
PICKS FOR THIS WEEKEND
 
Saturday’s Games:
 
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos:
 
I’m getting this out a little late, so really I shouldn’t be picking so late on this one, but I’m going with the conventional wisdom and picking Denver, at home, over Baltimore.  Ave atque value, Ray Lewis.  Those about to do NFL combat for the last time salute you, you are a true warrior.  
 
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers:
 
This is a very close matchup.  Green Bay has a better offense with Aaron Rodgers, but SF has a superior defense, and one has to like the Niner’s coaching scheme.  Also, the Niners have the home field, which is a big difference from playing on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.  I like the 49ers in a close game.  
 
Sunday’s Games:
 
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons:
 
On paper, you’d have to like the Seahawks.  However, Atlanta is very tough at home, they have the bye week, and Matt Ryan is a much more veteran and savvy QB than rookie RGIII, and will play for the long haul.  Atlanta has a good rushing attack with Turner and Rodgers to go with the passing attack of Ryan, and Atlanta also has an excellent defense.  Think about Atlanta’s 34-0 smackdown of the NY Giants in the Dome, and you get the idea of how good Atlanta can play at home, and their 13-3 record is nothing to sneeze about.  I pick Atlanta.
 
Houston Texans at NE Patriots:
 
This is a rematch of last year’s playoff game, wherein the Patriots pretty much destroyed the Texans.  As much as one would like to see a different result, the fact is that Tom Brady and the Pats are really good at home, they scored the most points of any team in the league, and their defense is pretty darn good also.  And their QB is very good.  The Texans won last week, but in one of the most boring games ever, and other than Arrian Foster, they just don’t have the offensive weapons to keep up with the Patriots, and their defense will not shut down Tom Brady for an entire game–the Patriots scored 557 points this season.  
 
Footnote:
 
The Canton Bulldogs, which featured Jim Thorpe, and played in the NFL only during the 1920s (my late grandfather lived in Canton OH for two years and watched Jim Thorpe play football), won two NFL championship.  That is more NFL championships than the Seattle Seahawks, the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Minnesota Vikings (all of which have zero NFL or Super Bowl championships), and more than the Baltimore Ravens, the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Bucs, the NY Jets or the San Diego Chargers (all of which have one Super Bowl or NFL/AFL championship).  The Broncos, Bills, Chiefs, Titans, Dolphins and most embarassingly, since they’ve been in the league since 1920, the Chicago/St Louis/Arizona Cardinals, are all tied with Canton with two championships.   So much for NFL parity.  18 teams have won the same number or fewer NFL championships as the Canton Bulldogs, a team that last played during the Coolidge Administration.  Even the Philadelphia Eagles have three NFL championships (1948, 1949 and 1960).  
 
Art Kyriazis, Philly
http://arthurjohnkyriazisgoogleblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/playoff-picks-for-divisional-weekend.html

 

Arthur John Kyriazis Google Blog: Easter 1916 William Butler Yeats.

reposted with new photos from 2008

The Complete Kung Fu on DVD Starring the Late David Carradine

The Complete Kung Fu on DVD Starring the Late David Carradine

THE SOPHIST: TWO SIDES TO EVERY QUESTION

From the Crane, we learn grace and self-control.
The Snake teaches us suppleness and rhythmic endurance.
The Praying Mantis teaches us speed and patience.
And from the Tiger, we learn tenacity and power.
And from the Dragon, we learn to ride the wind.
All creatures, the low and the high, are one with nature.
If we have the wisdom to learn, all may teach us their virtues.
Is it good to seek the past? If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present; but if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.
When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.
You must walk the rice paper without leaving any marks. This will signify that you can walk without making any sounds.
The…

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By Dr. Athanasios Ioannis Kyriazis

“EXCEPT THE BLIND FORCES OF NATURE, NOTHING MOVES IN THIS WORLD WHICH IS NOT GREEK IN ORIGIN.” –SIR HENRY SUMNER MAINE, 1875, FAMOUS BRITISH HISTORIAN

This article will raise several key points about 20th century history. It makes the point that but for European, Russian, American, EU, UN & League of Nations actions taken negligently and/or intentionally, and in direct abrogation of international law, against Greece and its sovereign interests, Greece would be a far, far larger, far richer, and far more populous country than it is today. Greece today is on the brink of financial crisis not due to its own mistakes, but due to the arrogance and indifference of the larger powers which denied its destiny to be again what it was supposed to be—a second Byzantine-Greek Empire with a capital at Constantinople spanning two continents and five seas as was originally negotiated and settled by Venizelos at the Versailles treaty table after World War I and consummated in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920. That Greek Empire today would have approximately one hundred forty-sixty millions population and would be one of the most powerful countries on earth, as well as one of the richest.

THE EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE AT ITS GREATEST EXTENT UNDER JUSTINIAN; JUSTINIAN'S CODE IS THE BASIS OF MODERN EUROPEAN CIVIL LAW IN THE EU

I. THE UNITED NATIONS, ENGLAND, THE MAJOR EUROPEAN POWERS, THE UNITED STATES AND TURKEY OWE GREECE AND CYPRUS REPARATIONS AND DAMAGES FOR THE TURKISH INVASION OF SOVEREIGN CYPRUS AND THE DAMAGES SUFFERED BY THE GREEK MINORITY IN CONSTANTINOPLE SINCE 1955 OVER THE CYPRUS ISSUE IN VIOLATION OF THE TREATY OF LAUSANNE

In 1975, Turkey was allowed to invade Cyprus not once but twice, eventually appropriating approximately forty per cent of the land, killing hundreds of thousands, and expropriating billions of dollars in property holdings belonging both to Cypriot and ethnic National Greek citizens in Northern Ethnic Cyprus.

The invasion, and the continued illegal military occupation and Turkish colonization program of settling Turks from the mainland and passing them off as “Turkish Cypriots” for the past thirty-five years, continues to be illegal and condemned repeatedly by international law and United Nations resolutions.

STAMP MEMORIALIZING THE VICTIMS OF NORTHERN CYPRUS AT THE HANDS OF TURKISH AGGRESSION 1975-2010; NORTHERN CYPRUS STILL ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED

Cyprus was only created as an independent state in 1960 after many years of Greek national lobbying for “enosis” or union of Cyprus with Greece. Cyprus was offered to Greece in 1915 as part of the spoils of World War I by England, but England breached that agreement at the Versailles Treaty table and retained Cyprus as a mandate and colony.

In retaliation for the enosis movement, Turkey forcibly expelled nearly 200,000 ethnic Greeks living in Constantinople lawfully entitled to reside there pursuant to the Treaty of Lausanne, first in a series of purges executed in 1955, and in a second round of purges in 1964, followed by the closing of the Halki school of Theology in 1971 and other acts directed at the Greek minority of Constantinople protected by the International Treaty of Lausanne.

Greece is entitled to damages with interest from 1955. Those are in the billions of dollars. Those are due them from France, England, the US and the UN’s failure to act to remedy the Turkish depredations to the Greek minorities of turkey since that date. For this reason alone, Greece is entitled to have not only its debts forgiven, but is entitled to war and treaty reparations and damages in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This issue was discussed in great detailed in acclaimed novelist Jeffrey Eugenides prize-winning historical novel, MIDDLESEX (2001);

Thus we meet Desdemona Stephanides, who with her husband flees the Turks in Smyrna in 1922 and arrives in Detroit, where she has cousins. Desdemona, a formidable creature, has the habit of fanning herself when she gets angry or excited. “To anyone who never personally experienced it, it’s difficult to describe the ominous, storm-gathering quality of my grandmother’s fanning,” says Calliope, her granddaughter and the book’s narrator. And Desdemona’s fans, it should be said, are eccentric: “the front of the fan was emblazoned with the words ‘Turkish Atrocities.’ Below, in smaller print, were the specifics: the 1955 pogrom in Istanbul in which 15 Greeks were killed, 200 Greek women raped, 4,348 stores looted, 59 Orthodox churches destroyed, and even the graves of the Patriarchs desecrated.” Again, it is not only the verve of the writing that appeals, but its exactness. The idea of an “atrocity fan” is wonderful enough, but Eugenides’s real talent lies in the detailed coda to this passage: “Desdemona had six atrocity fans. They were a collector’s set. Each year she sent a contribution to the Patriarchate in Constantinople, and a few weeks later a new fan arrived, making claims of genocide and, in one case, bearing a photograph of Patriarch Athenagoras in the ruins of a looted cathedral.” This is the kind of detail that makes narrative.

review at http://www.powells.com/review/2002_10_03.html

England, France and the other great powers of Europe, along with the League of Nations, the predecessor to the UN, are guarantors of the Treaty of Lausanne. As in this treaty has been breached repeatedly by the Turks due to the depredations suffered by the Greeks, and the treaty guarantors have failed to act and are in breach, they owe Greece monetary damages. Greece is entitled to injunctive relief and monetary damages. At a minimum, they are entitled to damages from Turkey, England, the EU, the UN, the US, and a new regime of minority legal rights from Turkey, including a new rider to the Treaty of Lausanne allowing them up to 3 million resident ethnic Greeks and newly expanded Patriarchate rights in Constantinople.

HOW ASIA MINOR WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PARTITIONED AFTER WWI UNDER THE TREATY OF SEVRES & VERSAILLES (1918-1920) - GREECE, ARMENIA, KURDS ALL GET PORTIONS OF ASIA MINOR

CF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_S%C3%A8vres

It should be pointed out that in addition to partitioning the Ottoman Empire and Asia Minor proper, the Treaty of Sevres also provided for the holding of the so-called “Malta Tribunals,” which were to punish Turkish war criminals for acts of war crimes committed from 1914 onwards, specifically, acts of genocide and war crimes directed at christian minorities, such as Armenians and Greeks.

cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta_Tribunals

These tribunals were, in fact, never held, but the fact of the armenian and greek genocides were recognized and the machinery put in place to try the Turkish war criminals as early as the Treaty of Sevres. Indeed, these provisions were later copied by the US at the Nuremberg trials. However, it was the Allies failure to punish the Turks after WWI that let Hitler famously to comment, “who remembers the Armenians” in pursuing his genocide against the Jews of Eastern Europe. In this, Hitler specifically referred to the failure to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Sevres regarding the Malta Tribunals.

Greece is owed indemnity for this as well. My own grandmother was witness to the senseless butchery of thousands of armenians in her own village, many of whom were defenseless citizens machine gunned down and buried in mass pits, while she also lost three older sisters to the ravages of the Turks. The Terrible Turks.

The Obama administration opposes the current house resolution declaring the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to have existed. Nancy Pelosi killed it when she was house speaker. Just to show I’m being bipartisan, so too did Speaker Denny Hastert of the Republicans kill it back in the 1990s, allegedly after receiving a suitcase of more than $1 million dollars from a Turkish lobbyist (it may have been from Hill & Knowlton). Nancy Pelosi and several other are also alleged to have received substantial cash bribes to change their votes from the Turkish lobbyists as well, but much of this is urban legend and myth.

Getting back to our narrative, of course, enosis was not granted because Cypriot independence was guaranteed by England in 1960. That independence lasted fifteen years, while Turkish invasion and slavery over half the island of Cyprus has lasted more than 35 years.

Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1975, marking very nearly the 400th anniversary of their original Ottoman invasion and conquest of Cyprus in 1570. This was an outrageous act of aggression and the first sign of the Islamic radical agenda to emerge in the modern era which culminated three years later in the Iranian Revolution, the Iranian funding of Hamas and the eventual destabilization of Lebanon. This was all the beginning of a program to de-Christianize the Middle East and depopulate it of westerners and Christians, a program which has culminated in the 9/11 bombings and the program of renewed neo-pan-Turkism, neo-pan-Islamism and neo-pan-shi’ism, together with the scourge of radical Islam, radical anti-Semitism and radical anti-Americanism/radical anti-European sentiment now dominating not only Turkey but all of the middle east from Lebanon to Palestine to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Regarding the invasion of Cyprus proper, England, the United States, the major European Powers, the UN and the EU, all owe Greece and Cyprus monetary reparations, damages and injunctive relief for the original invasion and all consequential damages. England, because Cyprus was a Commonwealth nation, and England guaranteed Cypriot independence after 1960 pursuant to treaty, by military means if necessary, and England is in breach of that treaty, owes Cyprus and the Greek Government damages for breach of that treaty.

Those damages are in the trillions of dollars, together with owing Greece, Cyprus and their people land and territorial compensation from the Turkish territories in compensation, along with reparations and damages from Turkey.

II. YUGOSLAVIA, BULGARIA, ROMANIA AND THE USSR, TOGETHER WITH THE EU, OWE GREECE DAMAGES FOR THE GREEK CIVIL WAR AND THE GREEK COMMUNIST PARTY OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS PLUS

The Eastern European nations which conspired actively with the USSR to fund the Greek Civil War from 1944-1948, as well as the funding of the Greek Communist Party and the left-wing Andreas Papandreou movement of the 1980s, which was a pro-Communist USSR-sympathetic government masquerading as a left-wing government (Papandreou was an out and out Marxist-Leninist communist in full sympathy with the USSR and an ardent anti-American) were fully and completely facilitated by the major European nations, the US and the UN.

To some extent, the US and CIA ameliorated these problems thru the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and active CIA involvement in Greece against the left-wing insurgents, but the root of the problem, the Greek expatriate communists living in the Eastern European Communist countries, propagandizing and funding these communist and left wing movements in sovereign Greece, have never been addressed satisfactorily by Germany, France, England, Italy or any of the major EU powers.

PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN 1945-1953 OUR GREATEST POST-WAR PRESIDENT AND GREECE'S ONLY REAL FRIEND IN THE WORLD SINCE 1821-HE KEPT GREECE FREE OF COMMUNISM

HARRY TRUMAN AMERICA’S GREATEST POST WWII PRESIDENT WHO PROTECTED GREECE & TURKEY FROM COMMUNISM WITH THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE AND THE CONTAINMENT DOCTRINE AND FOUGHT COMMUNISM IN KOREA FEARLESSLY; HE SPOKE PLAINLY AND THE BUCK STOPPED “HERE” ON HIS DESK. TRUMAN WAS MODERN GREECE’S ONLY TRUE ALLY AND FRIEND IN MODERN HISTORY.

However, the US abandoned Hungary and the Czechs to their fates in 1956 and 1968, and never allowed Yugoslavia to emerge from communism. The US also allowed the pro-US, anti-communist junta to be dissolved and allowed it to intervene in the affairs of Cyprus in 1975, while also green-lighting the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that same year.

To the contrary, the EU has pursued a policy of abandoning Eastern Europe to its communist fate, and not doing anything to resist the advance of leftist and communist parties in Greece, even if they were funded by the USSR or Eastern European nations.

Worse, since the breakup of the USSR, the EU has broken up and balkanized the former Yugoslavia, creating stronger Muslim states in Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia, while also creating issues for Greece with the FYROM, and weakening Serbia, Greece’s natural ally of World War I and II (and the only Balkan ally besides Greece of both France and England from both World Wars, incidentally).

Such a policy has been a betrayal not only of Serbia, but also of Greece, and of the Versailles and UN pacts, as well as of the fundamental understandings of the peace accords following World Wars I and II that Greece and Serbia were the winners, and the other countries were the losers.

Greece is owed reparations, land and damages from the EU, the former Eastern European Republics which intervened in her internal affairs, and from the US for the additional issues over Serbia, Yugoslavia and FYROM and Kosovo.

All of these matters have conspired to make Greece economically weaker and to cut Greece off from its natural trading partner, Serbia/Yugoslavia, for an extended period of time.

The damages are in the billions of dollars. And apologies.

At a minimum, Greece is owed Southern Albania (Northern Epirus) as land compensation for the evil deeds done by the Communists for fifty plus years. They are also owed this because of the Albania invasions during World War II and because of Greek claims to the land dating back to the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 and World War I prior to the formation of Albania. Also, because Italy owes reparations to Greece and Italy, more than any other country, is responsible for the current drawing of Albania’s boundaries.

The land compensation issue is not a minor one.

The other land that should really be awarded to Greece since Yugoslavia cannot hold it is the FYROM. Only Greece has the military, governmental and spiritual resources to hold this land against the Albanian minority.

Likewise, Kosovo should remain part of Serbia. It is holy land to the Serbian Orthodox dating back to the 13th century, and this issue is far more important than who happens to live there now. Besides which, most of the Muslim peasants who reside there are transients, nomads or rebels transplanted there for the purpose of fighting the Serb army and not true residents of Kosovo.

The fact that Albania, Bosnia, FRYOM and Kosovo are becoming breeding grounds for the Albanian mob and Islamic terrorism are only additional reasons for extending Serbian and Greek military and territorial sovereignty and orthodox churches to these regions. This is just compensation.

III. GERMANY AND ITALY AND ALBANIA OWE GREECE MASSIVE WAR REPARATIONS FOR WORLD WAR II

Greece is owed war reparations on a massive scale by Germany, Albania and Italy (and therefore the entire EU) jointly for depredations during World War II. Not only were more than one million Greek citizens killed by warfare, starvation and occupation by the Nazis and Italy.

The depopulation of Greece and economic damages to Greece due to the Italian invasion of 1940, the Greek Counteroffensive of 1940-41 (capturing Northern Epirus) and the subsequent Italian and German Occupations, and the looting of Greek archeological and art treasures, the theft of Greek farm products, the deliberate starvation of millions of Greeks, the holocaustic killing of Greek gypsies and Greek Sephardic Jewish minorities in Thessalonica and Macedonian Greece in the hundreds of thousands, often against bitter Greek resistance, caused severe economic and population damage to Greece for decades to come.

If you watched the recent Tarantino film INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, which took a few historical liberties, you got the essential idea of what the NAZIS were like–jew-hating, propaganda-wielding zealots, hungry and mad for power. They killed, plundered and exploited their conquered nations with reckless but precise abandon.

EVIL NAZIS ARE THE TARGET FOR THE INGLORIOUS BASTERDS OF TARANTINO'S LATEST FILM

First, Greece’s population was decimated, probably by a factor of two. Greece today would be twenty million but for the decimations and depredations of World War II.

Second, Greece became depopulated of Sephardic Jews, its most productive and happy citizens of the North and of Thessaloniki. The economic consequences were incalculable to Thessaloniki. Greece was one of the main theaters of the Holocaust as Thessaloniki was a largely Jewish city prior to 1940. Its Sephardic Jewish community was centuries old. This was true in other parts of Greece as well where the Germans attempted to first quarantine, then liquidate the Greek Sephardic Jewish population.

Third, Greece was split into two armed camps, communist resistance fighters and pro-British royalists working with the American CIA, resulting in a bitter civil war from 1944-48 which further split the country upon the retreat of the Germans, killing off what little wealth and population was left. This war destroyed the wealth and population of the North.

Fourth, a wave of emigration began from Greece to the US, causing further depopulation. Things were so bad in Greece, everyone basically left. Again, net result, Greece’s population would have been around twenty million, maybe 25 million if there’s no World War II attack by the Italians and Germans, and their GDP in Greece would be about fifty times as large.

Fifth, Greece was looted of antiquities, paintings, ancient art and other valuable objects which were never restored to her. The Elgin Marbles are peanuts compared to what the German Nazis stole, and as we now know, the Russians stole what the Nazis stole, as in the case of the rare Heinrich Schliemann gold jewels of Troy, to give but one famous example of World War II art theft—the so called golden jewels of Sophia Schliemann which were considered lost for more than sixty years, suddenly appeared in a Russian museum once communism fell.

One could go on, but it’s clear that the Marshall Plan and US yearly aid does not approach compensation for damages done to Greece by Germany and Italy. Germany owes Greece a permanent stipend in the hundreds of billions of dollars and so does Italy.

Moreover, Germany is now a rich country, while Greece continues to be poor. This is directly a result of Germany’s own imperial Nazi policies under the Third Reich, which not only followed prior Prussian imperialism but added to it Hitler’s anti-Semitic notions of lebensraum, anti-Semitism and other nutty ideas he had absorbed while living in 1890s Vienna listening to pan-German anti-Semites yearning for the lost years of the German-dominated Habsburg Empire.

Perhaps Germany has moved on, but Greece has been unable to, because it continues to be paralyzed by the left-right splits which were directly created by Germany’s interferences in Greece.

Nearly everything that has happened in Greek economic and politics since 1940 is directly a result of World War II, as well as other external events not of Greece’s own doing.

Germany and Italy are the main culprits and owe Greece trillions of dollars in reparations.

Greece and Serbia were both on the winning side in World War II. Yugoslavia emerged stronger, but Greece considerably weaker, although it was given the Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, from Italy. But this was not a sufficient compensation for the depredations of the War.

IV. ENGLAND, FRANCE, TURKEY, THE UNITED STATES, THE EU AND THE UN OWE GREECE REPARATIONS AND LAND FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE TREATIES OF VERSAILLES AND OF SEVRES

Greece and Serbia were on the winning side Under the Treaties of Versailles and Sevres. Serbia was rewarded with the Kingdom of the Croats, Serbs and Slovenes, which later became Yugoslavia.

Because of the events that are described herein, Greece continues to be owed reparations by the old Ottoman Empire, Modern Turkey, England, France, the USSR, modern Russia, the United States, the League of Nations and its successor the UN, as well as the land promised them in those treaties.

Greece by contrast was denied Cyprus and the Dodecanese were given to Italy. Instead under the Treaties of Versailles (1919) and Sevres (1920) (signed by the Turkish Sultan) Greece was given more territory from Bulgaria, as well as Smyrna and a zone in Asia Minor around Smyrna, to be governed by Greece for five years pending a plebiscite. Also, Eastern Thrace, a massive amount of territory largely Greek speaking and Greek populated, flat and fertile and bordering on the Black Sea, up to the borders of Constantinople, was given to Greece. This would have approximately doubled Greece’s land area and created the Greece of two continents and five seas envisioned by Venizelos. Finally, the Treaty guaranteed the international freedom of the Straits (the Bosphorus, Dardanelles and Sea of Marmora) as well as the status of Constantinople as an International City, free of any governmental control by any national entity.

In time, it was inevitable that both Constantinople and Smyrna would become wealthy, influential and rich centers of Greek trade and influence.

At this time, in 1919, Asia Minor had approximately five million Turkish, three million Greek, one million Armenian and one million Kurdish citizens. Constantinople was more than fifty per cent Greek, Armenian and Jewish, and had more than thirty newspapers, the majority of which were in French, Greek, or Armenian. Smyrna was at that time the largest, most populous and richest Greek city in the world, and the center of the lucrative Greek tobacco trade, which dominated the world. Aristotle Onassis’ father was the richest tobacco merchant in all of Smyrna.

Greek history books refer to what happened next as “the great catastrophe,” but the real story is at once more complex and also much simpler.

First, the United States promised to administer the Armenian Mandate, adopt the Treaty of Versailles, and join the League of Nations and guarantee by military means, if necessary, the provisions of the dismemberment of the Ottoman States. The Armenian Mandate included most of Northern and Anatolian Asia Minor, where resided many Christian Armenians and Greek Ottoman Empire citizens, many of whom were seeking protection from Turkish and German oppressions and depredations since 1915 in American missionary schools and camps. An extensive record of German-Turkish brutalities, including the Armenian genocide from 1915 onwards, is to be found in many sources.

This American mandate never happened. First, the US Senate voted down the Armenian Mandate. Second, the US Senate voted down the Versailles Treaty. Third, the US Senate voted down the League of Nations.

Thus, what US History books refer to as “isolationism” is really “refused to get involved in the politics of the Ottoman Empire and the protection of Christians from Turks”. And “refused to send us peacekeeping troops to protect Christians from Muslim genocidal race-hating young Turks”.

Since this is such a common US peacekeeping mission today, perhaps we have trouble envisioning this, but in 1919, eugenics was so commonly pervasive in the US that Armenians and Greeks were truly thought of as inferior genetically and racially by many learned American intellectuals, and thus not worth saving. It would only be four years later that the same US Senate passed the most sweeping immigration reform bill in history restricting southern European immigration to very low quotas, based on the same bad science and racial notions.

Next, the Russians, who were allies of the Greeks, became communists in 1917. They made a separate peace with the Germans and Turks, and in 1919, Kemal Attaturk who was commanding the rebel forces in the hills of Ankara, but who had no money and no weapons, went to Lenin and made a deal for war loans and weapons, and got both. In return, they agreed to partition Armenia and settle the long-standing disputes over the Caucasus border. At this point they both knew the US wasn’t coming with its navy or army.

Next, having sealed off his Northeastern front with the Russians, Attaturk faced an attack from the west by the Greek Army, who was told by British Prime Minister Lloyd George in 1920 that the Greek Army would need to invade Asia Minor to deal with the problem of the rebel Turk army led by Attaturk. They were told they would be supported fully by the French, the Americans, the League of Nations and the British in their endeavor.

The Greek Army invaded, and won major victories, until reaching near Ankara, where they reached a stalemate, trench like position near the Sakarya River near Ankara. There, more than 100,000 seasoned Greek troops faced off against more than 100,000 seasoned Turkish troops (both armies had fought in both the World War and the Balkan Wars) for the next two years, from 1920-1922, without a significant change or advance.

Next, Attaturk made a separate deal with France. France betrayed England and cut a separate treaty of peace with Attaturk, in violation of Sevres and Versailles, and their pledges to the English, the Greeks and everyone else, surrendered all their weapons and artillery to the Turkish rebels, agreeing to recognize Attaturk as the true ruler of Turkey, as well as signing over land to Attaturk’s faux regime, including Antioch, a Christian city with a bishop and patriarch.

The reasons for the French betrayal are complex, but essentially boiled down to rivalry in the Middle East with England. For some reason, they felt it would be to their advantage to have an independent Turkey friendly to France on the border of French Syria and French Lebanon than one controlled by Greece.

Of course, as events turned out, this was a huge mistake, since when Germany re-armed, Turkey immediately re-upped with Germany and tossed France over the side leading up to WWII. This led to the dismemberment of the French colonies in the Middle East. This led in turn to the increase in the role of the British and the US in the Middle East after 1945.

In short, France not only made a diplomatic mistake, but it betrayed its two World War I allies and violated numerous treaties as well as insuring Greece’s defeat in the War.

The French surrender was a turning point in the Greco-Turkish War of 1920-22. First, it signified a diplomatic recognition of Attaturk’s rump regime. Second, it provided Attaturk’s fledgling army with needed weapons. Third, and perhaps most critically, it gave Attaturk only one front to fight on. Without a Russian front to the Northeast or a French Front to the South east, Attaturk could concentrate all of his army and newly found money, artillery and weapons from the French and Russians against the Greek Army along their extended defensive lines on the Sakarya River.

In the summer of 1922, Attaturk prepared a counterattack, and manage to split the Greek lines in two. This caused confusion, and ultimately, a rout of the Greek forces, which began a disorganized retreat back to Smyrna in two groups with heavy casualties, losses and mean captured. It is estimated the Greek Army suffered more than 60-80% casualties in this battle and series of retreats.

And yet, military victory was well within the grasp of Greece for many months if not years of the war, for reasons that will be delved into at greater length in a longer work still in progress.

At the end, the Greek Army disembarked on ships, and left Smyrna and the Greek populace of Smyrna to their fate. In September of 1922, Attaturk and his rebel army entered Smyrna, and in the year of the 500th anniversary of the capture of Thessaloniki by the Ottomans in 1422 (an event clearly in Attaturk’s mind) Attaturk made sure his soldiers looted, pillaged and raped every Christian home, citizen and girl in the city, and then set fire to the Christian quarters of the city. Much the same fate had befallen Thessaloniki in 1422 when it fell to the Moslem.

Smyrna was utterly destroyed.

The Sack of Smyrna was an awful and terrible event. Smyrna is one of the seven cities of the Revelation, along with Philadelphia and five other cities mentioned in the apocalypsis of the revelation of st. john the divine, written on the island of patmos but revealing the divine word of God. Thus, it must be fated again to be Christian.

cf the NYT 1922. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9905EFD71139EF3ABC4C51DFBF668389639EDE

Eugenides’ Middlesex has a long passage on the sack of Smyrna–it is a central event in his book. It is the reason for the exodus of his main character Desdemona Stephanides to America–the sack of Smyrna.

There are several books treating this subject, but the best in english remains Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City by Marjorie Housepian Dobkin, http://www.amazon.com/Smyrna-1922-Marjorie-Housepian-Dobkin/dp/0966745108/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269617432&sr=1-2. There is also a newer volume out by a Giles Milton, but by default I still recommend Dobkin’s volume. Also, Ernest Hemingway wrote a famous war dispatch in 1923 about the sack of Smyrna which can be found in any volume collecting his war dispatches for newspapers.

BEAUTIFUL SMYRNA AS IT WAS PRIOR TO 1922 - THE LARGEST GREEK CITY ON EARTH

THE CITY OF SMYRNA BURNING AS IT IS SACKED BY THE TURKS SEPTEMBER 1922 AND UTTERLY AND TOTALLY DESTROYED AND ITS CHRISTIAN POPULATION KILLED

The terms of the Treaty of Sevres were renegotiated by force the next year in the Treaty of Lausanne, resulting in the so-called “exchange of populations,” whereby all Christian Greeks left Asia Minor for Greece and all Muslim Turks left Greece for Turkey, but the exchange was both lopsided and unfair. First, there were 1.5 million Greeks still living in Asia Minor, and second, the Turks had killed another 1.5 million Greek civilians during the Greco-Turkish War in genocide of their own. Many more would die during the trip and in refugee camps in Greece once they arrived.

Far fewer Muslim Turks made the reverse journey.

Most, if not all, of the Asia Minor Greeks never found a home in Greece. Many moved to other countries, notably America, though some went to Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries.

Those that did go to Greece did not feel Greek at all. They brought a different sense of culture with them, along with a sense that their land, their history and their past had been taken from them. But this is a story for another time. Their laments are today heard, and were then heard, in the rebetika of the time, the micrasiatika music.

In the final chapter of the War, the British refused to defend independent Constantinople from Turkish advance, and in the Chanak Crisis of late 1922, Lloyd George surrendered Constantinople rather than go to war with Attaturk, even though he himself had encouraged Greece to go to war with the same adversary. His Liberal Government fell soon after, and a Liberal Government has never again been elected in England. Lloyd George’s foreign policy can best be characterized as cowardly with regards to the Greeks. He failed to back them up with military and naval support and failed to commit to a total annihilation of the Turkish rebel army with British army and naval means.

That reparations, land and other monetary and equitable damages are due to the Greek Nation from England, France, Russia, etc. is clear. But for these treaty and agreement breaches, Greece would be a far greater, far more populous and far less Diasporic nation and peoples than it is. Also, Greece’s largest city, Smyrna, was destroyed at the height of its economic glory, and its largest trade center and Greek cultural center, Constantinople, was taken from it.

All in all, these two blows to the Greek economy were far too much for it to every recover. Sovereign Greece with a healthy Smyrna within it and an independent Constantinople trading freely would have soon become one of the most economically powerful countries on earth. What did happen in history was something far worse.

Greece is owed trillions upon trillions of dollars in reparations, land and two huge cities.

V. GREECE IS OWED REPARATIONS FOR THE FOURTH CRUSADE IN 1204 BY ALL THE WESTERN NATIONS

The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204, and looted and pillaged the city. At that time, Constantinople was the capital of the Greek Empire and the richest city on earth.

MAP OF MEDIEVAL CONSTANTINOPLE - THE LARGEST CITY ON EARTH IN 1000 AD AND MOST CERTAINLY THE LARGEST GREEK CITY AND CAPITAL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

To give an idea of what was taken, the St. Sophia alone had 40,000 pounds of gold and 80,000 pounds of silver decorating its walls and dome.

Just the gold alone, assuming 16 ounces per pound, and $1200 per ounce, would yield a value in 1204 of around $786,000,000.

However, in 2010, assuming an interest rate of 5% that investment would have doubled every 14.4 years since then or roughly 56 times.

The net worth of the gold in the St. Sophia, then, in today’s dollars would be approximately 5.69 times 10 to the 25th power—or approximately 56.9 billion trillion trillion dollars.

In short, more than the GDP of the entire EU combined, probably.

So, in short, Greece is owed everything owned by Western Europe.

At least that, in short, is the Fourth Crusade Argument.

Oh, and by the way, they stole the Holy Grail, the holy lance, the holy shroud (mistakenly known as the shroud of Turin, it’s the shroud of Constantinople), the crown of thorns the true cross, and all the other known relics of Jesus Christ. Is there a value on these? They were gathered in one holy place, a sanctuary, in Constantinople.

VI. THE EU SHOULD BAIL OUT GREECE BECAUSE EVERY ASPECT OF WESTERN CULTURE IS GREEK IN ORIGIN

This is even more basic than the Fourth Crusade argument. Everything in Western Europe and Western culture derives from Ancient Greece and Byzantine Greece—religion, art, philosophy, politics, science, mathematics, the renaissance, etc.

For this great endowment, the Greek people and the nation of Greece should be forever on stipend from Europe.

Every museum in Berlin, London and Paris has entire halls devoted to collections of Greek Antiquities. The Rosetta Stone and the Greek language were the key to unlocking Egyptology. The Gospels are written in Greek, as are the Septuagint and all of the major works of antiquity on geometry and mathematics which were studied by the Renaissance humanists, not to mention Galileo, Newton and others.

For this great endowment of learning, must we not reward the Greeks and Greece?

Monetarily? In Trillions? Quadrillions? Keep them a free trading zone? Lend to them interest free? Keep their country a kind of permanent museum?

One would think so.

I worked out the number once just for the Fourth Crusade. It’s about 1 times ten to the 56th power, even assuming a very low interest rate such as 3%, since 1204. You can work out similar numbers for the gold stolen from the Greeks and land stolen from the Greeks on many other occasions, including notably the sack of Syracuse, the various conquests by the Romans, the conquests by the Arabs, and so on and so forth, but the conquests by the 4th or Latin Crusade are the most galling, because the Catholic Church does not renouce either their spiritual claim or their temporal claim to the lands. In fact, you can go to France or Germany or any of these countries, today, and obtain a dukedom or other royal title appurtaining to Athens or any other city which used to belong to the Eastern Roman Empire. In addition, the Catholic Church appoints Bishops to every eastern city in which there should only be a Patriarch appointed by the Bishop of Constantinople,e.g. the Patriarch, thus not recongizing his full equality in the Christian Church.

It would be silly of me to see the hand of opus dei or some nefarious plot behind all these machinations against the Greek Government, but you have to admit, the Germans have been in league with the Catholic Church before, to be specific, 1938, and that didn’t turn out so well for Europe or its then considerable Eastern European Jewish population. Whenever Germany takes an interest in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and you have a sitting German Pope, it’s a pretty good bet someone wants to reconstitute the Austro-Hungarian Empire along Germano-Catholic lines. Recreating Croatia as a catholic, independent country was certainly a good first step in that direction. Perhaps isolating Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, the bastions of Orthodoxy, is the next step in the plan.

Of course, it’s not secret that Angela Merkel is unpopular at home. Saber-rattling against some small defenseless country fits her agenda. And, of course, there are millions of foreign Turkish gastarbeiter working in Turkey.

Returning to our main theme,Christianity itself is Judaism plus Platonism==expressed in Hellenistic philosophical terms by the Greek Church fathers.

And to Greek culture and philosophy we owe Islam and Protestantism, and perhaps even Confucianism and Buddhism too, since it was Alexander the Great who brought his Greek Philosophers to the brink of China and India in the 4th century BC.

As the Hollies once sang, “Pay You Back with Interest.”

It’s a big debt Europe owes the Greeks. Not the other way around, last time I checked, the ledger is still pretty heavily on the Greek side.

–ART KYRIAZIS, AKA ATHANASIOS IOANNIS KYRIAZIS
3/25/2010 greek independence day

Today, as we survey the wreckage of the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, 2010 version, which has destroyed nearly everyone’s brackets, including mine, it is wise to remember the words of one of the seven sages of Ancient Greece, Heraclitus, who noted that “everything is in flux,” or more modernly, “everything changes constantly.”

HERACLITUS ONE OF SEVEN SAGES OF ANCIENT GREECE "ALL IS FLUX"

Since today is GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY, everything I write today will really be about GREECE and the incredible influence GREECE and GREEK THOUGHT has had upon modern life. Specifically, I will show you how GREECE & GREEK THOUGHT have had a major influence on MARCH MADNESS AND THE NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT. You won’t even believe it, but it’s so.

BETTER ONE HOUR OF FREEDOM THAN FORTY YEARS OF SLAVERY & JAIL

Today marks the 189th anniversary of the birth of the modern Greek nation-state and the uprising against the Ottoman Empire by the ethnic Greeks and Greek-speaking majority of Roumeli against their Ottoman overlords on March 25, 1821. After nine long years, that struggle resulted in the creation of the modern Greek state. And of course, we who are Greek-American have to celebrate it, since the actual Greeks in Greece are temporarily on strike against government austerity measures. Hey, I wish I could retire at 41 with a full salary and benefits too, but as one of my Harvard economics professors once noted, TANSTAAFL “THERE AINT NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH.” (actually, that phrase was coined by sci fi giant Robert A Heinlein, 1907-1988, if you grok me). Frackin’ great line, though.

ROBERT A HEINLEIN & ISAAC ASIMOV AT PHILLY NAVAL SHIPYARD 1944

Many, many effects of that revolution can be seen here in America.

1) The very idea of athletic competitions and tournaments is Greek in origin. The Greeks invented the Olympics in 776 BC. They had them on a four year rotation, along with three other games, the Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian Games, the four being known as the “Pan-Hellenic Games.” The point is the Ancient Greeks had an athletic competition to determine a winner in each event every year. This is exactly what the modern NCAA does. The logos of the NCAA even use Olympic/ancient Greek style laurel wreaths on some of their publicity and trophies, and even up to the present day, the concept of AMATEURISM, the notion that an athlete should not be paid for participating in sports, is uniquely and completely ancient Greek in origin, as the Romans customarily paid their Olympic and other athletes, or compelled them to compete through slavery. It was the Ancient Greeks who prided themselves that competition should be amateur and free of payment, and participated in by free citizens of city-states only for the glory of the competition. This very concept is what animates the entire notion of the NCAA and of college sports; its entire spirit and animus are Ancient Greek in conception and thought. The Ancient Romans had no such distinction; to them, athletes were paid the same as anyone else. Moreover, the concept of colleges today relate closely to the concept of ancient Greek city-states. There are many more parallels, but you get the idea. Winning at sports was the sine qua non of excellence in Greek culture. Note that Christianity for many years discouraged athletic competition—it was a modern development with the rediscovery of humanist thought, and the rediscovery of Greek thought, that athletics made a comeback in modern society. The Greek notion of athletic competition heavily influenced the Romans, who made stadiums, chariot races and gladiatorial combat part of their culture. Consequently, it is very clear that the very notion of having an NCAA tournament every year is nothing if not Greek in origin.

ANCIENT OLYMPIA AT ELIS GREECE SITE OF THE ANCIENT OLYMPIC GAMES 776BC-495 AD

2) Many colleges and college nicknames are Greek in origin. For example, Michigan State is in the Sweet Sixteen. Their nickname is the “Spartans.” They were nicknamed, largely, in tribute to the Greeks of the Greek Revolution of the 1820s, largely due to Philhellenic (Greek-loving) feeling. Most Americans were sympathetic with the Greeks, 1) because the Greeks were struggling for democracy against autocracy 2) because the Founders were largely influenced by Ancient Greece in their models for what a democracy like America should look like and 3) because the Greeks were Christians struggling against the Turkish Infidels, which is what we used to call Muslims in the 19th Century before PC discourse deconstructed plain language and speech sometime in the past 20 years. In fact, Turks used to be called “the Terrible Turk” by people like no less than Prime Minister Gladstone, and the Ottoman Empire, after the Greeks won, used to be called the “Sick Man of Europe,” and the question of how to carve up the fading Ottoman Empire was called the “Eastern Question.” It wasn’t settled finally until World War I, and not really finally until 1923. But that’s another story. So I like Michigan State. Didn’t you watch “300”? “We are SPARTANS!!!”

KING LEONIDAS & 300 LEGENDARILY HEROIC SPARTANS OF THERMOPYLAE BRILLIANTLY DRAMATIZED IN MOVIE "300" (2006) STARRING GERARD BUTLER

3) U. Tennessee remains in the Sweet Sixteen. Vanderbilt is in Nashville, Tennessee, where they have an actual full-scale replica of the Parthenon built which you can go see today. It is complete and accurate to the last detail. In fact, throughout the South, there is more Greek Revival and neo-classical architecture than almost anywhere in the US, especially on college campuses. This is certainly true at Vanderbilt, at Duke, at Kentucky, at U. Tennessee, at U.Va certainly, and many of the other schools left in the Sweet Sixteen.

PARTHENON REPLICA WHICH STANDS IN NASHVILLE, TN TODAY EXACT DUPLICATE OF PARTHENON OF ANCIENT ATHENS, GREECE BUILT BY PERICLES IN 5TH CENTURY B.C.

About the Parthenon

The Parthenon stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, Nashville’s premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.

Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

The Parthenon also serves as the city of Nashville’s art museum. The focus of the Parthenon’s permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

The Parthenon is open year round Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 – 4:30. Additional hours during June, July & August: Sundays, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. The Parthenon will be closed on July 4, Labor Day, the Thursday & Friday of Thanksgiving week, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission: Members free; Adults – $6.00; Children 4-17 – $3.50 (under 4 free); Seniors 62+ – $3.50. Phone number 615-862-8431.

http://www.nashville.org/parthenon/

See? And you thought you had to travel to GREECE to see the Parthenon? Nope, you can go to NASHVILLE, TENNESEE AND SEE IT! AND THIS PARTHENON ISN’T IN RUINS!!! (No Turks or Venetians to blow it up in a meaningless war in the 17th century). Oh–and they have some pretty darn good music there, too–and hey, Vandy and U. Tennessee are pretty darn good schools.

4) Many of you have probably watched the show “GREEK” on TV, which details “GREEK” or fraternity/sorority life on campuses around the country. What you probably don’t know is that fraternities and sororities have their origins with the Greek War of Independence. So many college students were in sympathy with the Greeks and their War of Liberation from the Turks during the 1821-1830 period, that many of the campuses and universities founded societies named after Greek letters such as “Phi Beta Kappa” or “Alpha Chi Rho” to celebrate their “fraternity” and “solidarity” with the Greek cause of independence, liberty and freedom. So, if you’ve ever been a fraternity or sorority member, you actually have pledged fraternity, sorority, brotherhood and sisterhood, to the nation of Greece and its sacred causes for liberty, democracy, Christianity, and its ongoing fight against the Turks. Thus the “GREEK” show really is, in actually, about Greece. It even takes place at fictional “CYPRUS-RHODES UNIVERSITY.” Hey, I’ve been to Rhodes, that island rocks, every single hotel opens out to a private beach, and every bar is open all nite long. And Cyprus, even though only half of it is open (the other half is still occupied by a muslim country from the north starting with “T” and ending with “Y”) is the hottest tourist and banking destination in the Middle East. Plus, Garo Ypremian is from Cyprus, and he once kicked a touchdown! He told me so 18 holes in a row at a pro-am golf tournament. “where else but in america could a 5 foot 7 cypriot find work in the NFL as a professional kicker?” he said. To his credit, he was a great golfer.

The very origins of sorority and fraternity life are from the Greek Revolution and Greek War of Independence, and Philhellenism among American college students. In fact, many of those students went to Greece and fought for the Greek cause. In the NCAA tournament, it’s obvious that frat and sorority and Greeks are the main hoops fans. Thank you Greece and Greek culture, again. And here’s to our favorie fraternities, Kappa Tau Gamma (ΚΤΓ), Omega Chi Delta (ΩΧΔ), and our favorite sorority, Zeta Beta Zeta (ΖΒZ). May we all be Greeks forever!

EVERYONE'S IDEA OF COLLEGE FUN IS SUMMARIZED IN THE SHOW "GREEK"

5) Syracuse is a heavy favorite to get to the final four. Syracuse University and Syracuse, NY are named for the ancient Greek city-state of Syracuse. Syracuse was the richest and most famous Greek city-state of the ancient world. Situated on one of the three corners of Sicily, Syracuse was as powerful in its heyday as Rome, Carthage, Athens or Persia, and made a play for hegemony against Rome and Carthage during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Unfortunately for Syracuse, despite being neutral in the 2d Punic War between Carthage and Rome, Rome decided to lay siege to Syracuse in order to plunder its enormous stores of gold. Rome simply needed the money. Archimedes, the most brilliant mathematician and scientist of ancient times, was a native of Syracuse. He famously designed siege defense machines which pulled Roman ships out of the water and crashed them against the rocks, other machines which focused the light of the sun on Roman ships and set them on fire, etc. You get the picture. The Romans were kept out of Syracuse for years by the high walls of Syracuse and Archimedes brilliance. When they finally breached the walls, the Romans were instructed to bring Archimedes alive to the Roman commander, but of course they got it wrong and killed Archimedes by mistake. The Romans plundered billions of dollars in gold, silver and other treasures from Syracuse. P.S. Italy owes that money back to Greece, today, with interest, under international law, in my view. Syracuse was neutral at the time. Also, indemnity for Archimedes’ death is independently owed by Italy to Greece. One supposes that would sort of cancel out any debts owed by Greece to the EU. In fact, one might suppose that Italy should just hand over the deed to, well, Italy, since the interest has been piling up for 2,400 years or so on that loan. Or have I just lost my Elgin Marbles? (many thanks to my good friend the brilliant Mike Reiss on that line).

ANCIENT SICILY WAS MAINLY GREEK CITY STATES WITH SYRACUSE THE LARGEST RICHEST AND MOST FAMOUS GREEK CITY STATE OF ANTIQUITY

THE WAR FOR SYRACUSE AND THE DEATH OF ARCHIMEDES

source: http://www.livius.org/sh-si/sicily/sicily_t17.html

The philosopher Plutarch of Chaeronea (46-c.122) is the author of a series of double biographies in which he compared Greeks and Romans, and tried to explore the nature of some type of man. They contain much historical information. The following text is taken from his Life of Marcellus, and describes how this Roman general captured Syracuse during the war between the Romans and the Carthaginian general Hannibal. During the siege the famous scientist Archimedes (287-212), was killed. The translation was made by Walter Charlton and appeared in the Dryden series.

Marcellus now was a third time created consul, and sailed to Sicily. For the success of Hannibal had excited the Carthaginians to lay claim to that whole island; chiefly because, after the murder of the tyrant Hieronymus, all things had been in tumult and confusion at Syracuse. Therefore, the Romans also had sent before to that city a force under the conduct of Appius, as praetor. […]

At this time Marcellus, first incensed by injuries done him by Hippocrates, commander of the Syracusans (who, to give proof of his good affection to the Carthaginians, and to acquire the tyranny to himself, had killed a number of Romans at Leontini), besieged and took by force the city of Leontini; yet violated none of the townsmen; only deserters, as many as he took, he subjected to the punishment of the rods and axe.

But Hippocrates, sending a report to Syracuse that Marcellus had put all the adult population to the sword, and then coming upon the Syracusans, who had risen in tumult upon that false report, made himself master of the city. Upon this Marcellus moved with his whole army to Syracuse, and encamping near the wall, sent ambassadors into the city to relate to the Syracusans the truth of what had been done in Leontini. When these could not prevail by treaty, the whole power being now in the hands of Hippocrates, he proceeded to attack the city both by land and by sea.

The land forces were conducted by Appius: Marcellus, with sixty galleys, each with five rows of oars, furnished with all sorts of arms and missiles, and a huge bridge of planks laid upon eight ships chained together, upon which was carried the engine to cast stones and darts, assaulted the walls, relying on the abundance and magnificence of his preparations, and on his own previous glory; all which, however, were, it would seem, but trifles for Archimedes and his machines.

These machines he had designed and contrived, not as matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance with King Hiero’s desire and request, some little time before, that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable speculation in science, and by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of the people in general.
Eudoxus and Archytas had been the first originators of this far-famed and highly-prized art of mechanics, which they employed as an elegant illustration of geometrical truths, and as means of sustaining experimentally, to the satisfaction of the senses, conclusions too intricate for proof by words and diagrams. As, for example, to solve the problem, so often required in constructing geometrical figures, given the two extremes, to find the two mean lines of a proportion, both these mathematicians had recourse to the aid of instruments, adapting to their purpose certain curves and sections of lines.

But what with Plato’s indignation at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and annihilation of the one good of geometry, which was thus shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be obtained without base supervisions and depravation) from matter; so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and, repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as a military art.

Archimedes, however, in writing to King Hiero, whose friend and near relation he was, had stated that given the force, any given weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are told, relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there were another earth, by going into it he could remove this. Hiero being struck with amazement at this, and entreating him to make good this problem by actual experiment, and show some great weight moved by a small engine, he fixed accordingly upon a ship of burden out of the king’s arsenal, which could not be drawn out of the dock without great labor and many men; and, loading her with many passengers and a full freight, sitting himself the while far off, with no great endeavor, but only holding the head of the pulley in his hand and drawing the cords by degrees, he drew the ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly as if she had been in the sea. The king, astonished at this, and convinced of the power of the art, prevailed upon Archimedes to make him engines accommodated to all the purposes, offensive and defensive, of a siege. These the king himself never made use of, because he spent almost all his life in a profound quiet and the highest affluence. But the apparatus was, in most opportune time, ready at hand for the Syracusans, and with it also the engineer himself.

When, therefore, the Romans assaulted the walls in two places at once, fear and consternation stupefied the Syracusans, believing that nothing was able to resist that violence and those forces. But when Archimedes began to ply his engines, he at once shot against the land forces all sorts of missile weapons, and immense masses of stone that came down with incredible noise and violence; against which no man could stand; for they knocked down those upon whom they fell in heaps, breaking all their ranks and files. In the meantime huge poles thrust out from the walls over the ships sunk some by the great weights which they let down from on high upon them; others they lifted up into the air by an iron hand or beak like a crane’s beak and, when they had drawn them up by the prow, and set them on end upon the poop, they plunged them to the bottom of the sea; or else the ships, drawn by engines within, and whirled about, were dashed against steep rocks that stood jutting out under the walls, with great destruction of the soldiers that were aboard them. A ship was frequently lifted up to a great height in the air (a dreadful thing to behold), and was rolled to and fro, and kept swinging, until the mariners were all thrown out, when at length it was dashed against the rocks, or let fall. At the engine that Marcellus brought upon the bridge of ships, which was called Sambuca, from some resemblance it had to an instrument of music, while it was as yet approaching the wall, there was discharged a piece of rock of ten talents weight, then a second and a third, which, striking upon it with immense force and a noise like thunder, broke all its foundation to pieces, shook out all its fastenings, and completely dislodged it from the bridge.

So Marcellus, doubtful what counsel to pursue, drew off his ships to a safer distance, and sounded a retreat to his forces on land. They then took a resolution of coming up under the walls, if it were possible, in the night; thinking that as Archimedes used ropes stretched at length in playing his engines, the soldiers would now be under the shot, and the darts would, for want of sufficient distance to throw them, fly over their heads without effect. But he, it appeared, had long before framed for such occasions engines accommodated to any distance, and shorter weapons; and had made numerous small openings in the walls, through which, with engines of a shorter range, unexpected blows were inflicted on the assailants. Thus, when they who thought to deceive the defenders came close up to the walls, instantly a shower of darts and other missile weapons was again cast upon them. And when stones came tumbling down perpendicularly upon their heads, and, as it were, the whole wall shot out arrows at them, they retired. And now, again, as they were going off, arrows and darts of a longer range inflicted a great slaughter among them, and their ships were driven one against another; while they themselves were not able to retaliate in any way. For Archimedes had provided and fixed most of his engines immediately under the wall; whence the Romans, seeing that indefinite mischief overwhelmed them from no visible means, began to think they were fighting with the gods.

Yet Marcellus escaped unhurt, and deriding his own artificers and engineers, “What,” said he, “must we give up fighting with this geometrical Briareus, who plays pitch-and-toss with our ships, and, with the multitude of darts which he showers at a single moment upon us, really outdoes the hundred-handed giants of mythology?”

And, doubtless, the rest of the Syracusans were but the body of Archimedes’ designs, one soul moving and governing all; for, laying aside all other arms, with this alone they infested the Romans and protected themselves. In fine, when such terror had seized upon the Romans that, if they did but see a little rope or a piece of wood from the wall, instantly crying out, that there it was again, Archimedes was about to let fly some engine at them, they turned their backs and fled, Marcellus desisted from conflicts and assaults, putting all his hope in a long siege.

Yet Archimedes possessed so high a spirit, so profound a soul, and such treasures of scientific knowledge, that though these inventions had now obtained him the renown of more than human sagacity, he yet would not deign to leave behind him any commentary or writing on such subjects; but, repudiating as sordid and ignoble the whole trade of engineering, and every sort of art that lends itself to mere use and profit, he placed his whole affection and ambition in those purer speculations where there can be no reference to the vulgar needs of life; studies, the superiority of which to all others is unquestioned, and in which the only doubt can be whether the beauty and grandeur of the subjects examined, of the precision and cogency of the methods and means of proof, most deserve our admiration. It is not possible to find in all geometry more difficult and intricate questions, or more simple and lucid explanations. Some ascribe this to his natural genius; while others think that incredible effort and toil produced these, to all appearances, easy and unlabored results. No amount of investigation of yours would succeed in attaining the proof, and yet, once seen, you immediately believe you would have discovered it; by so smooth and so rapid a path he leads you to the conclusion required. And thus it ceases to be incredible that (as is commonly told of him) the charm of his familiar and domestic Siren made him forget his food and neglect his person, to that degree that when he was occasionally carried by absolute violence to bathe or have his body anointed, he used to trace geometrical figures in the ashes of the fire, and diagrams in the oil on his body, being in a state of entire preoccupation, and, in the truest sense, divine possession with his love and delight in science. His discoveries were numerous and admirable; but he is said to have requested his friends and relations that, when he was dead, they would place over his tomb a sphere containing a cylinder, inscribing it with the ratio which the containing solid bears to the contained. Such was Archimedes, who now showed himself, and so far as lay in him the city also, invincible.

While the siege continued, Marcellus took Megara, one of the earliest founded of the Greek cities in Sicily, and capturing also the camp of Hippocrates at Acilae, killed above 8,000 men, having attacked them whilst they were engaged in forming their fortifications. He overran a great part of Sicily; gained over many towns from the Carthaginians, and overcame all that dared to encounter him.

As the siege went on, one Damippus, a Spartan, putting to sea in a ship from Syracuse, was taken. When the Syracusans much desired to redeem this man, and there were many meetings and treaties about the matter betwixt them and Marcellus, he had opportunity to notice a tower into which a body of men might be secretly introduced, as the wall near to it was not difficult to surmount, and it was itself carelessly guarded. Coming often thither, and entertaining conferences about the release of Damippus, he had pretty well calculated the height of the tower, and got ladders prepared.

The Syracusans celebrated a feast to Artemis; this juncture of time, when they were given up entirely to wine and sport, Marcellus laid hold of, and before the citizens perceived it, not only possessed himself of the tower, but, before the break of day, filled the wall around with soldiers, and made his way into the Hexapylum. The Syracusans now beginning to stir, and to be alarmed at the tumult, he ordered the trumpets everywhere to sound, and thus frightened them all into flight, as if all parts of the city were already won, though the most fortified, and the fairest, and most ample quarter was still ungained. It is called Achradina, and was divided by a wall from the outer city, one part of which they call Neapolis, the other Tycha.

Possessing himself of these, Marcellus, about break of day, entered through the Hexapylum, all his officers congratulating him. But looking down from the higher places upon the beautiful and spacious city below, he is said to have wept much, commiserating the calamity that hung over it, when his thoughts represented to him how dismal and foul the face of the city would be in a few hours, when plundered and sacked by the soldiers. For among the officers of his army there was not one man that durst deny the plunder of the city to the soldiers’ demands; nay, many were instant that it should be set on fire and laid level to the ground: but this Marcellus would not listen to.

Yet he granted, but with great unwillingness and reluctance, that the money and slaves should be made prey; giving orders, at the same time, that none should violate any free person, nor kill, misuse, or make a slave of any of the Syracusans. Though he had used this moderation, he still esteemed the condition of that city to be pitiable, and, even amidst the congratulations and joy, showed his strong feelings of sympathy and commiseration at seeing all the riches accumulated during a long felicity now dissipated in an hour. For it is related that no less prey and plunder was taken here than afterward in Carthage. For not long after they obtained also the plunder of the other parts of the city, which were taken by treachery; leaving nothing untouched but the king’s money, which was brought into the public treasury.

But nothing afflicted Marcellus so much as the death of Archimedes, who was then, as fate would have it, intent upon working out some problem by a diagram, and having fixed his mind alike and his eyes upon the subject of his speculation, he never noticed the incursion of the Romans, nor that the city was taken. In this transport of study and contemplation, a soldier, unexpectedly coming up to him, commanded him to follow to Marcellus; which he declining to do before he had worked out his problem to a demonstration, the soldier, enraged, drew his sword and ran him through. Others write that a Roman soldier, running upon him with a drawn sword, offered to kill him; and that Archimedes, looking back, earnestly besought him to hold his hand a little while, that he might not leave what he was then at work upon inconclusive and imperfect; but the soldier, nothing moved by his entreaty, instantly killed him. Others again relate that, as Archimedes was carrying to Marcellus mathematical instruments, dials, spheres, and angles, by which the magnitude of the sun might be measured to the sight, some soldiers seeing him, and thinking that he carried gold in a vessel, slew him. Certain it is that his death was very afflicting to Marcellus; and that Marcellus ever after regarded him that killed him as a murderer; and that he sought for his kindred and honored them with signal favors.

http://www.livius.org/sh-si/sicily/sicily_t17.html

Q.E.D. Archimedes was brilliant, the Romans stole all the Greeks’ money, and Syracuse was a neutral city whose neutrality was blatantly violated by the Romans in the 2d Punic War. And the Romans did it for the money. Plutarch is pretty much a reliable source.

PLUTARCH - ANCIENT GREEK HISTORIAN - A RELIABLE SOURCE ON THE FALL OF SYRACUSE AND THE DEATH OF ARCHIMEDES

ARCHIMEDES OF SYRACUSE - THE GREATEST MATHEMATICIAN OF ANCIENT TIMES AND DEFENDER OF SYRACUSE VS. THE ROMAN SIEGE

ARCHIMEDES – THE GREATEST MATHEMATICIAN OF ANCIENT TIMES AND DEFENDER OF SYRACUSE AGAINST THE ROMAN SIEGE

MY PICKS THEN AND NOW

Of 32 first-round picks, I only got 19 right, for barely a 59% percentage. That looks good until you realize by flipping a coin I’d get 50%, so basically that’s a 9% winning percentage. Not very impressive. The only two brackets I have reasonably correct are the East, where I have Kentucky meeting West Virginia in the Regional Final, which can still happen, and the South, where I had Duke meeting Baylor in the Regional Final. Of those, I had West Virginia upsetting Kentucky in my original bracket and going to the final four, and Duke beating Baylor to get to the Final Four. In the East bracket, I was totally busted as I had Kansas hitting Georgetown in the regional. Oops! Can you say University of Northern Iowa? In the West, I had Syracuse hitting Pitt. From there I had Kansas and Pitt in the final four, and Pitt v. West Va in the finals, with West Va winning. Well, that clearly was wrong. I did pick Villanova to lose in the second round, although it was to Richmond, and not to St. Mary’s, but I’ve never thought much of Jay Wright as a tournament coach, much less an NCAA coach. He had a good run last year, but usually ‘Nova has done poorly in both the Big East and the NCAA tournaments. Temple, by contrast, has usually done well in A-10 and NCAA tournaments, and Fran Dunphy has coached many fine teams not only at Temple, but at Penn and LaSalle before that.

In light of the first two rounds, I’d have to revise all that. In the East, I think Kentucky-West Virginia, first of all, is sort of the championship within the championship. Second, I believe Kentucky will win. I am also assuming that Kentucky will beat Cornell. West Virginia will beat Washington. In the South, Duke will handle Purdue, while St. Mary’s dance will end at the hands of Baylor, although that’s a bit more of a flip. It doesn’t really matter, since Duke will beat the winner of that game and advance to the final four. So it will be Duke v. Kentucky in that bracket. At this point, Kentucky will beat Duke in a good game, but John Wall is simply better. Also Calipari is a match for coach K.

The Midwest is tougher. Of course, I love the Spartans, and they will beat UNI. Ohio State is still a #2 seed, and they should handle Tennessee. That leaves an interesting Big Ten match up of Mich State v. Ohio State in the Regional Final, which I have to like Ohio State, but then again, Tom Izzo is a terrific coach, so really, it’s a flip. I have to favor Ohio State, but Michigan State has the coaching. Then again, the Spartans will be without one of their key players due to injury. Finally, in the West regional, I like Syracuse to beat Butler, although Butler is good and playing well. I also like Kansas State to beat Xavier, although again, Xavier is good and playing well. Neither will be easy games. That leaves Syracuse against Kansas State in the regional final. Here you have a #1 against a #2, and a real dogfight. I like Syracuse, but both teams are talented and well-coached. I like Syracuse to go to the final four. Out of that bracket, then, I like Ohio State v. Syracuse, and in that match up, I actually think Syracuse has an easier game against either Ohio State/Michigan State than they did against Kansas State, and Syracuse advanced to the final Round.

The final round therefore will be Syracuse against Kentucky, and this will be a terrific game. I like Kentucky here, but it will be a terrific game.

After notes: I was stunned to see Cornell beat an outstanding Temple team, but Cornell is legit—they have a 7-footer with hands who can pass, rebound and shoot, and they’ve surrounded him with a good point guard and several excellent three point shooters who can bomb it from way downtown. So you can play inside-outside all day long, and Temple was stuck double-teaming low or pressing on the perimeter, and getting burned on both ends. Cornell put up 78 points on Temple—and Temple allowed no more than 50 something in the A-10 against great teams like URI and Richmond, and shut down Xavier defensively in the regular season. And Cornell then went out and destroyed Wisconsin for good measure. No wonder Cornell has been on the front page of the WSJ for like a week straight.

Did I mention that Cornell is in ITHACA, NY? You remember Ithaca–that’s the place ODYSSEUS or as he’s known in latin, ULYSSES was from. He was a pretty famous king who went to TROY (another city in NY and also a famous kingdom in ASIA MINOR) to fight the TROJAN WAR, then got lost on the way back.

ULYSSES story of how he gets back to ITHACA is told in the screenplay and movie, “O WHERE ART THOU BROTHER?”, which of course is based upon the novel ULYSSES by James Joyce, which of course is based upon a famous old poem in decapentasyllabic metred Homeric Ancient Greek by an old blind goat named HOMER, called the ODYSSEY.

In ancient times, everyone was required to not only read this book but to memorize and recite it. ALEXANDER THE GREAT so loved the book, he kept a copy of it under his bed, along with the ILIAD.

So yes, even CORNELL has ties to ancient greece, in fact, their very town is the embodiment of all things greek–didn’t they read the poem by Cavafy about returning to Ithaca at Jackie O’s funeral???? Isn’t that in the last collection of poems by her daughter??? Everyone knows what HOME is–it’s ITHACA.

ITHACA LEGENDARY HOME OF ODYSSEUS AKA ULYSSES IN THE ODYSSEY GREEK ISLAND OFF THE IONIAN COAST OF SOUTHERN GREECE

And right across from Cornell is ITHACA COLLEGE–alma mater of my cousin–and of course, the setting for ROAD TRIP, one of the ten greatest films ever made about college life. And yes, everyone has been with a girl like Amy Smart once in their lives. Not. But if you’re Odysseus, you can spend five years with a hot siren, and chalk it up to mental defect or the effect of some goddess like nectar, and still plead the fifth to your wife, who remains faithful for yeah, 20 years.

Cornell is the best basketball team I’ve seen with four white guys on the floor since maybe the Boston Celtics of Bird-McHale-Ainge-Rick Robey-Parrish of the early 80s. Those Celtics had four white guys and they could flat out play. Of course, they got better, NBA championship better, when they got rid of Robey and got Dennis Johnson, who could flat out PLAY, plus he could shut down Andrew Toney, the Boston Strangler and ever-underrate Sixers sharpshooter, as Simmons points out in his recent fantastic book.

–art kyriazis, Philly hoops guy
March 25, 2010

LARRY BIRD OF FRENCH LICK, INDIANA & INDIANA STATE ON COVER OF SI 1977 WITH TWO CHEERLEADERS WHO ARE NOW YOUR MOTHERS OR GRANDMOTHERS

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.

I. ARE THERE SCIENTIFIC LAWS?

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.

II. SCIENTIFIC LAWS AREN’T LAWS, AND EVEN IF THEY ARE, THEY DON’T EXPLAIN EVERYTHING

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.

III. NONE OF DAWKINS ARGUMENTS ARE A PROOF THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST – LOGICAL FALLACIES IN DAWKINS ARGUMENT

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.

IV. FURTHER LOGICAL FALLACIES IN DAWKINS ARGUMENT

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.

VI. BELIEF IN GOD IS A MATTER OF FAITH, NOT LOGIC

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.

VII. ATHEISM WAS THE WORST ‘ISM’ OF ALL TIME

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.

VIII RELIGION AND FAITH EXPLAIN TO US WHAT IS RIGHT FROM WHAT IS WRONG MORE CLEARLY THAN LAWS ETHICS OR MORAL PHILOSOPHIES; ATHEISM RESULTS IN THE LOSS OF MORALITY AND AMORAL AND IMMORAL CONDUCT ON A VAST SCALE

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.

IX. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE AND WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT ALL THIS?

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.

Amen.

–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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukas

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 http://asiaminor.ehw.gr/Forms/fLemmaBodyExtended.aspx?lemmaID=7855 (article on doukas family name) and in the bryn mawr library, a book by demetrios polemis on the doukai from 1968, http://tripod.brynmawr.edu/search~/?searchtype=X&searcharg=doukai&SORT=D&searchscope=10&search.x=22&search.y=13&search=search, 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

The Christian East

August 4, 2009

The Pope recently took a tour of the Middle East. He might have stopped at Jerusalem and some other holy cities as well. He made a number of speeches about Christians and Muslims and Jews getting along, and then got on his way.

This was all dutifully covered by the news organizations.

Forgotten by all but scholars and bookworms, is the fact that for the most part, Christians in the Middle East and Near East are anything but Catholics. The Assyrian Church or Church of the Near East, which up through the 15th Century used to command millions of followers, continues to have followers in Iran and Iraq; the Coptic Orthodox Church is the dominant Christian Church in Egypt, and its followers are the original Eqyptians, the ones who built the pyramids (the muslim Egyptians are Arabs and Mamluks; Coptic is a version of spoken hieratic ancient Egyptian); the Lebanese are pretty evenly split between the Orthodox (eastern church) and the Maronites (western church); the Armenian Orthodox continue to exist in small but significant numbers in Iran as well as the newly formed Armenian Republic; and in the rest of the near East, notwithstanding the wholesale expulsions of Armenian and Greek Orthodox by the Ottomans in 1923, Orthodox Christians far outnumber Catholics everywhere in the Middle East and Near East.

This is why when scholars and bookworms speak of the East, they speak of the “Christian East.”

Secondly, the catholic presence in the Middle East was first introduced by the several Crusades, beginning in 1096 and thereafter, and after their expiration with the last failed crusade at Varna in 1396 and the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Jesuits continued missionary activities throughout the Middle East, largely on behalf of the French, mainly to convert Orthodox subjects of the Sublime Porte to Catholicism, since it was forbidden to convert Muslims to Orthodoxy.

During the Crusades and thereafter, the Catholic Church set up a series of parallel bishoprics and patriarchates which essentially duplicate the hiearachical structure of the Eastern Orthodox prelates and Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire’s Church as it then stood in 1096 A.D.; if there was a greek patriarch in Antioch, they replaced him with a latin patriarch, if there was a greek patriarch in Jerusalem, they replaced him with a latin patriarch, if there was a greek patriarch in Edessa, they replaced him with a latin patriarch, and so forth ad nauseam.

Consequently, even though the Crusades are long gone (and the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire as well) the dual Eastern Church/Catholic titles (and dual office holders) in the middle east still co-exist, confusingly so. There are still catholic and greek bishops and patriarchs of many middle eastern cities, and they often have fights and squabbles for control of sacred places and relics, most notably over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was commended to the care of the Eastern Orthodox Church by St. Constantine and his mother St. Helena in the 4th Century A.D., which is built over the tomb of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That these petty fights and squabbles are often mediated by the Arabs (or Jews) who actually own the land in question demonstrates the practical reality that in the Middle East, everyone must really get along; it’s not a hollow truism merely echoed by the Pope as one more speech, but an actual, living fact of living as an oppressed Christian minority in a Muslim land.

To really appreciate the value of being Christian, or simply the value of freedom of religion which we enjoy here in America, one should live as an oppressed Christian minority for a year in a land which is overwhelmingly muslim or otherwise non-christian for a year or two.

It will shed great light on our great freedom of worship here.

art k philly/south jersey
home of the world champion phillies

Kosovo is a land of myth and memory. It was here in the 1300s that three separate battles were fought between the Serbian and Ottoman Empires that would decide whether the Balkan Peninsula would be Christian or Muslim.

This was the heart and glory of medieval orthodox byzantine serbia. all of the famous icons and churches, monasteries and art, that you see in books, are all located in Kosovo.

Now the US wants to give this holy land, holy to the Orthodox Christians, to Muslim Albanians.

I need not remind any of you of what evils have been perpetrated in the name of islam in the past few years, including 9/11.

practically every TV show you see nowadays shows you muslim albanian gangsters up to no good either here in or europe.

yet smart people call for the independence of kosovo;

YIELDING TO BALKAN REALITY

Amid the unraveling of Yugoslavia that began in the early 1990s, the United States and its European allies have staunchly defended multiethnic society in the Balkans. The military interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, the ongoing peacekeeping missions there, the hundreds of millions of dollars given annually in economic aid — these sacrifices have been made to preserve the individual states that once constituted a federal Yugoslavia and to prevent bloodshed among the numerous ethnic groups that populate them. Now, however, the time has come to let pragmatism triumph over principle — and move decisively toward independence for Kosovo.

The most important piece of unfinished business in the Balkans is the final status of Kosovo, the southern province of Serbia, which has been under international trusteeship since NATO’s intervention in 1999. Anxious to scale back its obligations in the region and confronted with growing impatience among Kosovo’s population, the international community is finally gearing up for negotiations over Kosovo’s political future, as provided for under UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

Serbs, for whom Kosovo is an ancestral homeland and the site of many important Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries, insist that the area remain under Serbian sovereignty. Broader opposition to separating Kosovo from Serbia stems from concern about the potential precedent that would be set by redrawing boundaries along ethnic lines and the likely impact this move would have on the integrity of the borders of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia.

Nevertheless, harsh realities on the ground make independence for Kosovo the only viable option. In the current state of limbo, relations between the Albanian majority, which is mostly Muslim, and the Serbian minority, which is mostly Orthodox Christian, have reached the boiling point. The Albanian leadership in Pristina, which governs Kosovo in an uneasy partnership with UN authorities, wants nothing to do with Belgrade. Kosovo has already left Serbia’s orbit. And throughout the area, walls of hostility divide ordinary Albanians and Serbs. In spirit as well as fact, multiethnic society is nowhere to be found.

THIS VIEW OF PROF. KUPCHAN’S, THAT KOSOVO SHOULD BE INDEPENDENT, IGNORES 1000 YEARS OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN HISTORY, AND ALSO IGNORES PRESENT MUSLIM JIHADIST AND EXTREMIST REALITIES AND THE POST 9/11 WORLD.

If we create ANOTHER muslim state in the balkans (we already have Albania, and sizeable muslim populations in Bosnian and FYROM, there will be FOUR European states with Muslim minorities.

Wow. Just what we need sandwiched between the Nato states of Greece and Germany–four states where bin Laden can train muslim jihadist terrorists to blow up european terror targets, perhaps starting with the Orthodox shrines to Christianity of Pec and other holy cities of the Serbs, and working their way across Europe to France and Spain.

The Albanians were once a catholic, christian, people but under the Turks they became mercenaries for the muslims.

The albanians have one state already; they don’t need another.

keep kosovo for serbia. autonomy yes, independence no.

–art kyriazis
philly/south jersey

With great fanfare, the organizers of the new MLS Soccer Franchise for Philadelphia unveiled their team logo on Monday of this week, an event which was duly reported in the various sports pages of the local newspapers.

The organization which is promoting the new soccer franchise appears to be a group of overweight, entirely male surburban white men, who have absolutely nothing to do, and who have organized themselves into an organization for the promotion of professional soccer in the Delaware Valley/Philadelphia/South Jersey area, known as the “Sons of Ben.”

I only mention this parenthetically, because as it well known, most people who attend soccer games are world/ethnic—they are Latino, Italian, Greek, Caribe’, whatever—anything but white suburbanites.

If these fat white suburban guys driving SUVs buy season tickets to professional soccer, I’d be greatly surprised—and if they do show up, they’ll find a league composed almost entirely of foreign players, for the most part, with a few Americans sprinkled in for show.

Not to mention a stadium full of ethnic segments waving various flags of different countries for their favorite players from those countries, whether it’s Brazil, Germany, Greece, Holland or wherever.

It won’t be the U.S. Flag, I know that.

The Beckham experiment in LA is pretty much par for the course, except that it proved that MLS soccer is so far below the standards of English Premier League, that a guy like Beckham isn’t worth having on your team—it’s like playing Alex Rodriguez in sandlot ball. He doesn’t really help you because people just pitch around him, since all your other players are awful.

Let’s get to the awful LATIN. The logo for the new team is as follows:

PHILADELPHIA UNION
(Picture of Snake)
Jungite aut Perite

see also, the team’s new website,

http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/

which also displays the mistaken latin phrase “Jungite et Perite.”

The organizers assured the press conference that the snake and the latin phrase “Jungite aut Perite” were taken directly from the Newspapers of Benjamin Franklin, and that the phrase means “Join or Die,” and the snake represents the Join or Die emblem employed during the times of the American Revolution.

Ok, except for one huge problem. As Henry Beard, author of “Latin for Even More Occasions” (Villard Books, NY, 1991), states at p. 111 of his very humorous book,

“CONSONANTS….”

“J, W AND Y don’t exist in Latin.”

Beard, Id. at p. 111.

There is no letter “J” in the Latin language.

I believe what the Sons of Ben meant to say was the following:

“IUNGITE AUT PERITE.”

Latin for All Occasions by Henry Beard

Latin for All Occasions by Henry Beard

As is well known to those of us who have either studied the arcana of the Latin language for several years (I won the Latin Prize at Haverford School) (twice, actually) (now I’m just showing off) (thanks to Steve Dall, by the way, a great Latin teacher), or have gone to Catholic School and been forced to take Latin,

THERE IS NO J W OR Y in the Latin alphabet.

The letter J is approximated by the vowel combination “IU” as in “Iuno,” “Iuvenal,” and so forth.

Thus, there actually was no “Julius Caesar.” His name was “Caius Iulius Caii filius Caii nepos Caesar Imperator” (see wikipedia article on “Julius Caesar”) meaning “Gaius Julius Caesar, son of Gaius, grandson of Gaius, Imperator”. See? No “J”.

Gaius Iuilius Caesar

Gaius Iuilius Caesar

Thus, in Latin, there would be no “Dr. J”, only a Dr. “Iulius”

And you couldn’t jam the ball, you could only “iuam” the ball.

anyway, I think you get the fundamental point–there is no “j” in latin, either in the alphabet or in the everyday usage of the language. All of the “J”s you see in modern day latin (as when you see “Julius Caesar”) are added as approximations to the ancient lation usage of “Iu” for “J” which is the proper latin.

Now let’s see if the “Sons of Ben” (none of whom claim any actual lineage from Ben Franklin) actually know their Latin:

Iungite, “Join!”, is the plural imperative form of iungo, with principal parts iungere, iunxi, iunctum, “I join” (from which we get many english cognate words such as “conjunction” or “injunction”). The imperatives are “iunge”, join!, singular, addressed to one person, and “iungite”, join!, addressed to two or more persons. (See J. Wohlberb, 201 Latin Verbs, Barrons, NY, 1964, at pp. 94 & 63, the verbs “iungo” and “eo”) (see infra).

See? No “J” in “Iungite”. “Jungite” is just plain WRONG. The proper word is “IUNGITE”. That would be RIGHT.

Are these guys morons or what? Maybe they should try speaking latin in a Latin American soccer league! (I shudder to think what their spanish or italian is like).

Clearly, no matter how much money the Sons of Ben spent on their advertising, logo and presentation budget, it wasn’t enough.

I, along with numerous others like Victor Davis Hanson, have been lamenting the deconstruction and utter loss of the classics, e.g. the loss of the required learning of Latin and Greek for many years now; here is a pertinent example of WHY everyone should known Latin and Greek.

End of Sparta by Victor Davis Hanson

End of Sparta by Victor Davis Hanson

It is completely embarrassing that a major sports team should hold a press conference, insert a logo on their press team that draws from the Latin language, and then GET IT WRONG, when simple fact checking with a high school latin teacher could have straightened them out.

Here was an opportunity to show lots of schoolchildren that latin still matters–but the growups get it wrong. how embarassing.

On the rest of the slogan, they’re ok—aut means “or,” and “perite” is the plural imperative of “per-eo”—I kill—the root verb being “eo, ire, ii or ivi, itum,” with imperatives “I and ite” singular and plural—you just add per- in front of those to get “per-ite.” (201 Latin Verbs, id., cited supra, p. 63).

I guess I conclude here with a translation of the title of this piece, which was supplied by Mr. Beard—”avaritia bona est” can roughly be translated as “greed is good.” (The slogan from “Wall Street”, 1980s, Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas). (see Beard, id. at p. 14).

Here some other great latin sayings from Beard (id. at p. 24):

Tu, rattus turpis! –
You dirty rat! (Jimmy Cagney)

Ei fer condicionem quam non potest repudiare –
Make him an offer he can’t refuse – Vito Corleone, the Godfather (Marlon Brando)

Age. Fac ut gaudeam. –
Go ahead. Make my day. Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood).

Fuit mulier quae me potare egit. Nunquam steti gradum ad ei gratias agendas. –
It was a woman who drove me to drink. I never stopped to thank her. (W.C. Fields).

Fasciculum nicotianum fumificum meum quoque amo, sed aliquando eum de ore extraho. –
I like my cigar too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while. (Groucho Marx).

See you all in remedial Latin class!

Art Kyriazis, philly/south jersey
Home of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies