All posts by bradbirzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author, a biographer, and a prog rocker. Interests: Rush, progressive rock, cultural criticisms, the Rocky Mountains, individual liberty, history, hiking, and science fiction.

Cicero’s Republic: Three in One ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Yet, in this greatest of strengths also resides the deepest of weaknesses. When the people enjoy true liberty, they often fail to identify its source, admiring its effects rather than its causes. In particular, they misunderstand the necessity of virtue to the health of a society, misbelieving it the possession of the haughty and elite. “For when, on account of this mistaken notion of the common people, the State begins to be ruled by the riches, instead of the virtue, of a few men, these rulers tenaciously retain the title, though they do not possess the character of the best,” he laments. “For riches, names, and power, when they lack wisdom and the knowledge of how to live and to rule over others, are full of dishonour and insolent pride, nor is there any more depraved type of State than that in which the richest are accounted best.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/05/cicero-republic-three-in-one-bradley-birzer.html

Think Progress Publishes Fake News | Abbeville Institute

As a lawyer, I could be reprimanded, maybe even disbarred, for the kind of professional misconduct that Mr. Michel has demonstrated in his intemperate reporting about the Abbeville Institute’s conference. Shouldn’t journalists be held equally accountable?  Arguably, at least in certain circumstances, their capacity to harm society is greater than lawyers’, given that their writings are immediately available worldwide whereas the actions of most lawyers most of the time are confined to their jurisdiction and the parties to a case. If I could be removed from my profession or disciplined for actions similar to those of Mr. Michel in this instance, why shouldn’t he be removed from his?  Will media companies, including those that employ him, care about the flaws in his reporting?  Will they continue to feature his writings or air his opinions on television? Will his other work be scrutinized to ensure that it has truthfully conveyed verifiable facts to the general public? And what will happen to him if concerned readers discover a pattern of professional misconduct in his work, or that he has misled the public?
— Read on www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/think-progress-publishes-fake-news/

Fundraiser by Eleanor Rabaioli : Help Catherine Kuiper Heal

Eleanor Rabaioli needs your help today! Help Catherine Kuiper Heal – Friends, A little over one year ago, our dear Catherine (Sims) Kuiper was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis.  She had defended her dissertation the previous summer (while pregnant with her second son, Daniel) and was set to graduate with her Ph.D. from Notre Dame in…
— Read on www.gofundme.com/help-catherine-kuiper-heal

Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In two of his last dialogues—On the Republic and On the Laws (most likely meant to be part of one larger work)—Cicero offered some of his most Stoically-influenced thoughts on the nature of man, the community, and the divine. Yet, as the names of each dialogue reveals, Cicero also took Plato as his exemplar, though his Roman republican conclusions differ considerably from Plato’s. The text of the former, fascinatingly enough, faded from western history from sometime in the seventh century until 1819! An early medieval monk erased a copy of it, recording St. Augustine’s commentary on the psalms atop of it. Thankfully, Angelo Mai recognized this two hundred years ago and recreated what he could of the palimpsest. During the missing eleven centuries, On the Republic only existed as a variety of quotes and commentary as written by St. Augustine in The City of God, and as a memory in the minds of a few other scholars who had had access to the manuscript before it got erased.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/05/ciceros-republic-implanted-nature-man-bradley-birzer.html

Measuring the Influence of Russell Kirk and Other Conservative Authors ~ The Imaginative Conservative

As noted on the slide itself, this slide compares and considers, arguably, the seven most influential male conservatives of the 20th century: Irving Babbitt; Friedrich Hayek; Christopher Dawson; Eric Voegelin; Leo Strauss; Russell Kirk; and Harry Jaffa. [As a sidenote, had I included Paul Elmer More, his reputation would have paralleled, almost exactly, Irving Babbitt’s, so I left it off for sake of clarity.] This chart makes several things clear. First, and most significantly, the most important conservative thinker of the century came at its beginning, not its end: Irving Babbitt. At his height, Babbitt soared above all others, and he experienced three peaks. Second, the most important conservative as of 2008, without compare, is Leo Strauss. Yet, interestingly, his reputation declined rather shockingly during the Clinton years, and only rebounded with the election of George W. Bush. Third, Christopher Dawson and, to a lesser extent, Eric Voegelin each enjoyed considerable and sustained popularity over decades.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/05/russell-kirk-influence-conservative-authors-bradley-birzer.html

Best of Yes, Post 1983

For most music fans, and especially prog rockers, Yes existed between 1969 and 1983.

Some would even end Yes around 1979.

Amazingly enough, though, Yes still exists. And, while the band has never produced a perfect album since 1983’s 90125, it has produced a number of tracks equal to the best of the “classic Yes” period.

The two best albums of this later period were Magnification (2001) and Fly from Here-Return Trip (2018).

For those interested (and with ears to hear), here are my favorites from 1987-present.

  • Birthright (Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 1989)
  • Dreamtime (Magnification, 2001)
  • Endless Dream (Talk, 1994)
  • Evensong (Union, 1991)
  • Fly From Here (Fly From Here-Return Trip, 2018)
  • Homeworld (The Ladder, 1999)
  • I’m Running (Big Generator, 1987)
  • In the Presence Of (Magnification, 2001)
  • Into the Storm (Fly From Here-Return Trip, 2018)
  • Life on a Film Set (Fly From Here-Return Trip, 2018)
  • Magnification (Magnification, 2001)
  • Minddrive (Keys to Ascension 2, 1997)
  • New Language (The Ladder, 1999)
  • Order of the Universe (Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 1989)
  • Shoot High Aim Low (Big Generator, 1987)
  • Silent Talking (Union, 1991)
  • Spirit of Survival (Magnification, 2001)
  • Subway Walls (Heaven and Earth, 2014)
  • Themes (Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 1989)