Of tall buildings, sublime oceans, and big dreams, by Obi Cogito (3)

“The man who can center his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self,” Bertrand Russell once observed, “can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life which is impossible to the pure egoist.”  It is advice that is as obvious as it is true, but still hard to accept as a native New Yorker. I have lived in this city my whole life and could never escape the paradoxes and contradictions that abound here.  New Yorkers have a swagger: we all think that we are superstars while simultaneously being aware of the real superstars in our midst. 


SIGN THIS PETITION! Israel says God gave the whole of the Land of Israel to the Jews. Every major Israeli political party says the whole of the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews. Every major political party has pledged not to withdraw from any of the Land of Israel.   Israel has controlled the whole of the Land of Israel for more than a half century. Israel has vaccinated about half the residents living in the Land of Israel.

Journal-January 19, 2021 (ESSAY CONTEXT-$100.00 PRIZE!)

Journal-January 19, 2021): Essay Contest-$100.00 Prize I just finished reading the second of W. E. B. Du Bois’s three autobiographies, Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept. In this journal entry, I would want to do two things: first, propose an essay contest; and second, quote from Du Bois’s “Philosophy of Life.” 1.      Essay Contest: I came across this challenging passage in Dusk of Dawn:

The Romanian Left’s (mis)adventures in the realm of idpol and cancel culture (Part I)

Leaning left became lately a required badge for a part of the young Romanian generation. One would say it’s a breath of fresh air, after decades of demonising left-wing politics and identifying it with the worst political sins.

What happened to Julian Assange

Jeff Conibear Monday was an unexpected victory. Not, it has to be said, a victory for journalism or free speech, but a significant victory nonetheless for Julian Assange and his family.  The findings of Judge Baraitser in her decision not to extradite:1. Finds that the 2003 Extradition Act governs and not the US/UK Extradition treaty. Assange is therefore not protected against political persecution.

Journal-January 14, 2021 (Did Trump Incite Violence?)

Were Donald Trump’s remarks at the rally preceding the melee in the Capitol Building a defensible exercise of free speech?  The answer would appear to be No.  Without parsing the current U.S. law on the subject, I would note that the underlying principle traces back to a passage in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. Mill, who was as close as one can be to a free speech absolutist, laid out one sole exception.  It reads in full:

Journal-January 8, 2021

Journal-January 8, 2021 W. E. B. Du Bois’s Autobiography is conventionally chronological until he suddenly springs on the reader a chapter entitled “My Character.”  Of character in general, he says “that the sort of person a man was would in the long run prove more important for the world than what he knew or how logically he could think.” This chapter is replete with all manner of personal insights.  I’ll mention three:

Amen, Awomen, A-hole

‘Amen and Awomen’: U.S. Congressman mocked for gendered prayer finale By  Global NewsPosted January 4, 2021 3:35 pm Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver delivered the opening prayer while opening up the 117th Congress on Sunday and decided to use a gender-neutral “amen and awoman” to close out the prayer.