Thursday, May 03, 2007

Recently Read, & Some Yard Eco

An interesting, (and I think rather timely) perspective on militarism from Chesterton:

Now, Mr. Kipling is certainly wrong in his worship of militarism, but his opponents are, generally speaking, quite as wrong as he. The evil of militarism is not that it shows certain men to be fierce and haughty and excessively warlike. The evil of militarism is that it shows most men to be tame and timid and excessively peaceable. The professional soldier gains more and more power as the general courage of a community declines. Thus the Pretorian guard became more and more important in Rome as Rome became more and more luxurious and feeble. The military man gains the civil power in proportion as the civilian loses the military virtues. And as it was in ancient Rome so it is in contemporary Europe. There never was a time when nations were more militarist. There never was a time when men were less brave. All ages and all epics have sung of arms and the man; but we have effected simultaneously the deterioration of the man and the fantastic perfection of the arms. Militarism demonstrated the decadence of Rome, and it demonstrates the decadence of Prussia.

G. K. Chesterton on Rudyard Kipling from Heretics, 1905.
Page By Page Books (Also available at several other sites.)

*****
A thoughtful opinion piece by Fred Thompson on Cuban health care and Michael Moore's latest "documentary."

*****
Yard Eco: A very handsome male
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
dropped into our backyard feeder yesterday and was back today (he really seems to enjoy the spread chez minor premise! Must be the sunflower seeds.) Rose-Breasteds are northern birds and we don't see much of them around here; this was the first one I've seen since I started birdwatching. Our grosbeak is likely en route to points north; the species migrates to the tropics over the winter. I called up a local wildlife expert of my acquaintance yesterday about the sighting. She assured me that, notwithstanding the heat and the fact that the local wild birds settled into nesting some time ago, those birds from boreal climes are still on holiday and he might stick around a few days before heading north. I'm enjoying watching the feeder--he really is a thing of beauty!

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