Tuesday, July 10, 2018

N.J.'s "Sad Spectacle" and "Pathetic Farce."

Former New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie announced recently that he will open a new law firm rather than joining Mr. Mastro (and friends) at a preexisting and surely grateful firm to which Mr. Christie provided a great deal of business as governor. 

Rudy Giuliani has promised to refer clients to this new Christie law firm, presumably, in exchange for a slight referral fee and the infinite "good will" of Mr. Christie in response. 

Mr. Christie's son is attending our shared alma mater, Seton Hall University School of Law after graduating from Princeton University, and Mr. Christie, Jr. already displays every sign of matching his father's C-average long before graduation. 

No doubt the plump and cheerful "chip off the old block" will someday join his dad's firm.

Evidently, it has not occurred to Governor Christie (as he still describes himself) that so prompt a creation of a new law firm for a former governor in New Jersey makes for a host of ethical dilemmas and not only the obvious and immediate "conflicts of interest." 

Most judges in Christie's native Morris County will be either political appointees or "supporters" of one kind or another of Christopher Christie's "compassionate policies for the rich" combined with disdain for the poor as well as minority groups.

Mr. Christie has become Shakespeare's "Richard III" forever scheming to reach the throne now held by Donald J. Trump as usurper.  

Will Mr. Christie run for president again? Let us hope not.

Morristown is "White Man's Country" -- or so I was told -- and hardly the sort of territory where one may expect to find admirers of Phil Murphy or Steven Sweeney, especially if the proposed millionaires' tax goes through, but certainly the right place for Christie to plot his return to power somewhere and somehow and at any cost. 

Equally worrisome is the idea that "lobbying" efforts by a recent former governor on behalf of mysterious "clients" (like Exxon or the Garden State's sinister insurance and pharmaceutical industries?) whose "activities" Mr. Christie (allegedly) once sought to control, as a public figure, will lend a very sleazy appearance to what is already the most discredited state legal reality and corrupt politics in the nation.

Will Mr. Christie "lobby" the very White House officials who are sending business to his office and who stand to gain financially from Mr. Christie's success? Is this acceptable, ethically-speaking,  nowadays in Washington, D.C.? Self-dealing is O.K. (or even admired) in Mr. Trump's America? 

The very same Republicans outraged by the so-called "ethical lapses" of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ("Hillary For Prison!" and "Lock Her Up!" signs are still available in G.O.P. turf) have extremely lax standards when it comes to their own "flawed" ethics if there is a dollar or two -- even a million dollars! -- to be made at the taxpayers' expense. 

No doubt Mr. Christie will stay at the Trump Hotel when he visits Washington, D.C. billing his expenses to Liberty Mutual or the Garden State's much-feared and highly nefarious pharmaceutical industry. 

Will David Wildstein, Esq. join Mr. Christie's firm? Has everything been forgiven by Mr. Christie?  

When combined with more depressing developments in New Jersey's grim reality, including fresh child abuse allegations and crises, additional corruption, gross incompetence among lawyers and paid-off judges, tainted and soon to be re-indicted politicians -- New Jersey is a more hopeless mess than ever before. 

I found myself struggling against computer crime yesterday that prevented me from writing. 

I anticipate that this essay will generate more of the same censorship from what is clearly New Jersey government and judiciary computers and police sources that I have experienced in the past. 

I am sure, however, that the effort to protest and struggle against this evil is necessary and important even if it remains unpleasant for me. 

It is crucial and, I am sure, also difficult for readers to experience censorship with me. 

I will continue to write. 

I will also send copies of these texts with attachments indicating the computer crime that I struggle against to the authorities in America, who are obviously indifferent to what you see here, and also to U.S. media along with international sources. 

I am unable to obtain a response or acknowledgement from the New York Police Department or FBI and Department of Justice to public criminality. 

I have yet to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are rarely this bashful (or reserved) about responding to public criticism or information that bears on the legitimacy of the American legal system and now even concerns the international perception of the nation's highest tribunal.  

I can only hope that I will receive a response soon to these communications in accordance with the requirements of law.

July 9, 2018 at about 9:30 P.M. I received a knock at my door from my neighbor "Cat" who explained that she has inherited an apartment in London that she wishes to sell. 

"Cat" asked that I witness her signature on what purports to be an authorization for the sale. I provided my signature purportedly witnessing her own signature on the form.

If persons in New Jersey (or elsewhere) require a sample of my writing or signature I will be very happy to provide both items without any need for subterfuge or distractions and lies. Mr. Vance? 

The essay that appears below with one hundred sources attached will be sent by priority mail to all of the following recipients: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan; Jefferson B. Sessions, Esq., U.S. Attorney General at this time; and to the Cuban Embassy to the United States of America; I will also send a package containing these materials to the New York Police Commissioner once again. Mr. O'Neill will be the third New York Police Commissioner to ignore these matters.    

Michelangelo Conte, "Sex Offender Violates Parole, Threatens Parole Officer: Police," Jersey Journal, June 23, 2018, posted to the online edition http://www.nj.com/journal-news/index.ssf/2018/06 ... (Alvaro Tuero, 45, [of Union City, New Jersey] convicted sex offender, was arraigned for violating the conditions of lifetime parole under Meghan's Law." Mr. Tuero explained, allegedly, that Bob Menendez shares his loathsome "tastes": "Menendez Consorts With Underage Prostitutes" and "Wedding Bells Ring For Menendez!")       

Abbott-Koloff, "Former Teacher Had Sex With 50 Boys," The Record, June 1, 2018, p. A-1. ("The Catholic order that runs the Delbarton School in Morris Township has settled lawsuits brought by 5 men who alleged that they were sexually abused by 5 monks -- including a former headmaster at the school." This is one of several class action lawsuits filed throughout the Garden State against private and public schools alleging child sexual abuse by teachers and administrators of underage students. There is nothing comparable elsewhere in America. Perhaps Mr. Christie's law firm will pay off a debt to New Jersey's Catholic institutions for his son's admission to law school and take up the defense of these monks who may be facing as many as twenty additional law suits: "Six additional law suits are pending [already] against the Order of St. Benedict of New Jersey and St. Mary's Abbey which runs the school [that] were filed Tuesday." More law suits alleging child sexual abuse are expected against schools in Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Essex Counties.) 

James Nash, "Lawmakers Ponder if Abusive Teachers Avoid Punishment: Undercover Video Subject of Hearing," The Record, June 1, 2018, p. A-3. ("After undercover videos appeared to show union leaders plotting to twist disciplinary processes" -- New Jersey's ethics? -- "to protect teachers accused of misconduct, the head of the state Senate's Education Committee vowed [to enact] tougher laws requiring more training of teachers on reporting suspected cases of physical and sexual abuse." Senator M. Teresa ("Teri") Ruiz, D -- Essex, said: "Laws alone cannot protect students from teachers and administrators determined to bury allegations of abuse." Maria Martinez a.k.a. Barcelo of the Leonia/Verona School District and others, allegedly, many of these persons are also working with fraudulent credentials and even accused of theft in many cases, are sometimes protected by New Jersey's notorious lesbian network in government and state schools. Will Justice Kagan be concerned about this dilemma? Is it true that Union City's Kathleen Valencia extracts sexual favors from young ladies or students? Were you ever in my law office Ms. Valencia? Are you, Ms. Valencia, affiliated with or connected in any way with Maria Martinez or Alexandra Ramirez? Did Ms. Valencia use the name "Diana Lisa Riccioli" at any time and for any reason? Did you have sexual contact with Marilyn Straus at any time Ms. Valencia? Was Ms. Valencia ever "romantically involved" with Deborah T. Poritz? "Trenton's Nasty Lesbian Love-Fest!" and "Jennifer Velez is a Dyke Magnet.") 

Caitlin Mota, "Jail Officer Took $350 From Undercover Cops to Smuggle Contraband: Court Documents," Jersey Journal, June 29, 2018, posted to the online edition http://www.nj.com/journal-news/index.ssf/2018/06/... (Alex Almeida is only a street-level guard, but the bribes that allow for this type of conduct to be pervasive in the state's jails and prisons includes prosecutors and judges in places like Hudson County and Trenton: Lourdes Santiago, Esther Suarez, Maureen Manteneo and others may be able to answer questions about these matters that are well-known to them as are the activities of Kathleen Valencia.)

Corey W. McDonald, "Ubber Driver Charged With Touching Teen in a Sexual Manner During Ride: Police," Jersey Journal, June 29, 2018, posted to the online edition http://www.nj.com/journal-news/index.ssf/2018/06/... ("Bayonne -- Police charged Sukhminder Singh of Queens after a month-long investigation [because] a Bayonne teenager was sexually groped after seeking a ride home." Drivers in New Jersey, more than any other state, seem to feel that extracting sexual favors from children using a ride sharing app is "acceptable." More Ubber drivers will be facing similar charges in Hudson County. I wonder whether Mr. Menendez uses Ubber's service? Do parents feel comfortable allowing their children in North Bergen or West New York to say nothing of the filthy Union City area to use Ubber to get home from a party or event at their schools? "Is Union City New Jersey Meyer Lansky's Whore House?" and "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet.") 

Terrence T. McDonald, "Political Clash Continues Over Hoboken Mayor," Jersey Journal, June 23, 2018, posted to the online edition http://www.nj.com/journal-news/index.ssf/2018/06/... (Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is also an associate or partner in a law firm located in Chris Christie's territory, Morristown, New Jersey. As a Republican operative -- whatever his party affiliation -- in Democrat Hudson County, despite an obvious conflict of interest, it may be Mr. Bhalla's task to report on local people and events to the likes of Mr. Christie while further serving his evil masters in the G.O.P. rather than the people of Hoboken. There will be no OAE inquiry into these matters because of likely pay-offs to, or political protection from, Trenton's ethics lawyers. "New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics.") 

Benjamin Wieser, "Retrying Former Assembly Speaker, With a Different Set of Guidelines," The New York Times, April 30, 2018, p. A17. (Mr. Silver was convicted again. Despite his appeals together with protests from Stuart Rabner, "Little Debbie" Poritz, David Samson, Barry Albin's rabbi and other prominent Jewish persons, such as Gerald Shanker and Senator Schumer, Mr. Silver may finally be going to prison at least for "half the time" to which he is sentenced. "David Wildstein and Equal Protection of the Laws in New Jersey.")

Curtis Tate, "Schools Chief Told of Driver's Record: Documents Show She was Aware of Suspension," The Record, June 1, 2018, p. L-1. (The State Department of Education told the Paramus Schools Superintendent of a bus driver not fit to drive who was later involved in a serious crash in which students were injured. Call Mr. Ginarte? Michelle Robinson LIED in earlier statements that she was "not aware" of Huddy Muldow, Sr.'s record. Mr. Rabner? Ms. Poritz? Did you two distinguished New Jersey Chief Justices also LIE about matters concerning me and my record? Is it not time to tell the truth New Jersey? Please stop lying Mr. Rabner. "No More Cover-Ups and Lies Chief Justice Rabner!" then "New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" and "New Jersey's Feces-Covered Supreme Court.") 

Alan Feuer, "High Court to Consider Brooklyn Murder Case," The New York Times, July 6, 2018, p. A17. (New York's Court of Appeals will look into the John Giuca case where prosecutors may have lied and obstructed justice to keep an innocent man behind bars in order to, in their words, "cover their asses." Is this ethical? Why are prosecutors so rarely brought before ethics committees? Anne Rodgers? Esther Suarez? "Larry Peterson Cleared by DNA" and "Albert Florence and New Jersey's Racism.") 

Efren Olivares, "Life as a Lawyer at the Border," (Op-Ed) The New York Times, July 6, 2018, p. A21. (Children crying for their mothers and fathers have not been properly identified by the Trump administration. Many of these children may never be reunited with their parents despite federal court orders requiring such reunions. The lawyers handling this matter for ICE did not care enough to record information properly so that persons could be associated with relatives in the U.S. or in other countries. New Jersey's and other state's jails are becoming refugee centers and nurseries for helpless migrant children. No ethics charges will be brought against government lawyers who did not care about these children's fates before they were placed in concentration camps. Lawyers arguing against these tactics who have released tapes of incarcerated children crying for their parents are facing ethics charges and will probably be disbarred for such public revelations. "Lawyers Have No Ethics!" and "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State" then "American Lawyers and Torture" and "American Doctors and Torture.")   

"Chris Christie Rep. Denies Rudy Giuliani Sent His [Christie's] Firm Legal Work," http://www.CBS.19/article/news/nation-now/... (July 10, 2018). 

Claude Brodesser-Akner, "What Christie Says Now That 2 of His Bridgegate Lawyers Could Get Big Jobs From Trump," New Jersey Advanced Media for N.J.Com (June 17, 2017) posted online http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017 ... ("Vanity Fair reported Thursday that Christie told Trump he should handle inquiries into Russian interference in the presidential election in the same fashion the governor handled Bridgegate -- 'by conducting an internal investigation with his own lawyers' as Christie had with [Randy Mastro's firm] because 'at the very least, it gave them a heads-up as to what was coming,' ..." This certainly seems to be the strategy now pursued by Mr. Giuliani that includes imposing difficult if not impossible conditions on any interview of Mr. Trump by Special Prosecutor Mueller.)

"Chris Chrisite has opened a law firm and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor [sic.] and President Trump's attorney, says he sent New Jersey's former governor clients The Record and N.J.Com has learned." (CBS.19, p. 1.) 

Mr. Giuliani may not have realized the blatant conflicts of interests and appearance of impropriety involved as a result of this uncharacteristic moment of honesty on the part of the former federal prosecutor and Republican stalwart. 

Mr. Giuliani's awesome talent for "prevarication" seems to have deserted him recently. 

The "friendly" mutual back-scratching among Republicans is far from unusual for the Trump crew, or for Mr. Christie and his many loyal recent graduates of the Gibson & Dunn firm, who are "covering" for one another in well-placed positions of influence in today's ideologically-driven ranks of G.O.P. officialdom:

"[FBI Director Christopher Wray] represented Christie during the Bridgegate trial and reportedly still has the governor's Bridgegate cell phone, a key piece of evidence because it contained a dozen deleted text messages sent between Christie and his then-Chief of Staff during sworn testimony by Port Authority employees testifying before the Port Authority Investigating Committee." (N.J.Com, p. 3.) 

Mr. Giuliani's admission of a financial stake in Mr. Christie's legal success raises doubts about Mr. Giuliani's integrity and loyalty as a White House official (and lawyer) for President Trump. ("Is America's Legal Ethics a Lie?" and "Legal Ethics Today.") 

Mr. Giuliani, laughably, also claims to be above politics in his current role and/or immune to concerns about personal financial gain:

"A Christie representative denied Giuliani's claim: 'Gov. Christie has not been referred any clients from Mayor Giuliani,' Spokesman Peter Sheridan said in an email." (CBS.19, p. 1.) 

As usual in such matters:

"Christie did not return messages seeking comment." (CBS.19, p. 2.) 

It is not too much to ask that attorneys respond to messages or return phone calls from fellow professionals and members of the media. ("Christie and Mastro Accuse Each Other of Lying" and "Chris Christie and Joey Torres in New Trouble" then "Chris Christie's Bridge of Sighs.") 

The ethical obligation to respond, promptly and fairly, to all public inquiries is especially incumbent upon tribunals and, say, the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) in New Jersey. ("New Jersey's 'Ethical' Legal System" and "New Jersey's Office of Attorney Ethics" then "John McGill, Esq., the OAE, and New Jersey Corruption" and "No More Cover-Ups and Lies Chief Justice Rabner!")

Despite public concern in this matter it is likely that there will be no response at all to media inquiries and/or that more lies will be disseminated by Mr. Christie and/or Mr. Giuliani using spokespersons. 

New Jersey's OAE officials may have been bribed to look the other way in this situation in order to "stonewall" journalists with the hope that the "matter will go away." 

It is far from unusual in New Jersey for allegations of unethical conduct against prominent Republican attorneys (Jose Ginarte?) to disappear in exchange for cash payments to lawyers at the OAE or because of "political influence." ("David Samson Resigns" and "Law and Ethics in the Soprano State.")  

Perhaps the new U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the OAE's double standards on strictly partisan political lines with five Republicans prevailing over four Democrat justices. 

It is certainly bizarre that Mr. Christie and Mr. Giuliani are unable to coordinate their "canards" or, more politely, "selective disinformation" campaigns. ("New Jersey's Political and Supreme Court Whores" and "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet.")  

Despite Mr. Christie's denials by way of a spokesperson, for example, Mr. Giuliani AGAIN asserted that he had indeed sent Mr. Christie clients no doubt expecting a nice under-the-table referral fee from Christie in response. ("New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" and "Is America's Legal Ethics a Lie?")  

The OAE should explain that legal ethics rules in New Jersey are generally used "against" radical minority attorneys rather than "against" upstanding Republican lawyers peering over their massive beer bellies at growing bank accounts and shrinking genitalia. ("New Jersey Lawyers' Ethics Farce" and "Corrupt Law Firms, Senator Bob, and New Jersey Ethics.") 

"It is not clear what type of law Mr. Christie is practicing, [lobbying?] but Giuliani, the former New York City mayor now working on Trump's legal team in the special counsel [sic.] investigation, said in an interview with The Record and New Jersey.Com [that] he has referred two former clients to Christie. Before representing Trump, Giuliani worked for the Greenberg Traurig law firm." (CBS.19, p. 3.)


Dustin Racioppi, "Christie Opens a Law Firm: Giuliani Says He's Sent Him Clients," The Record, June 11, 2018, p. A-1. ("Chris Christie has opened a law firm and Rudy Giuliani, a longtime mentor and attorney for President Donald Trump, says he's sent New Jersey's former governor clients, The Record and New Jersey.Com learned." Mr. Christie continues to deny through spokespersons, whose statements have not been withdrawn, that Mr. Giuliani sent the new Christie firm clients. How many other Republican "operatives" are providing referrals to this wonderful new firm? How does Mr. Christie show his appreciation? What clients does Mr. Christie represent in lobbying efforts before Trenton or D.C. officials affiliated with the G.O.P.? Are the G.O.P. officials being lobbied also referring matters to Mr. Christie's firm? Is this hunky-dory with Trenton's legal ethics attorneys?) 

Kathleen Hopkins, "Official Accused of Defecation Appears in Court: Prosecutor Says 'Evidence' Will Prove He Sullied Sites," The Record, June 13, 2018, p. A-3. (While it is certainly true as defense counsel has pointed out that if defecation is a crime everyone -- including members of the judiciary -- may well be guilty of the offense, it is more a matter of where the defendant chose to relieve himself that is a cause of concern. Thomas Tramaglini, a former school superintendent decided to express, eloquently, his opinion of local schools and concerning his colleagues by defecating, publicly, on premises that he clearly despised. Mr. Tramaglini "unburdened" himself at Holmdel High School's track area and, perhaps, elsewhere. Many courtrooms in New Jersey have been and remain the targets of such protests being smeared with feces. Mr. Rabner may have done much the same, metaphorically, at the New Jersey Supreme Court's chambers. Perhaps Maria Martinez will seek to emulate Mr. Tramaglini. Is this N.J. style of protest a form of protected political expression under the First Amendment? "New Jersey is America's Legal Toilet" and "New Jersey's Feces-Covered Supreme Court.")  

Joshua Jongsma, "ICE Makes 91 Arrests in New Jersey in Five-Day Span: 77% Were Convicted Criminals," The Record, June 13, 2018, p. A-3. (For once criminals paying-off local officials in New Jersey did not help themselves. Many dangerous criminals entering the country illegally are found, mysteriously, in Hudson County. Several of persons deemed to be "highly dangerous" were living in West New York, Union City and North Bergen, including persons affiliated with MS-13. Evidently, some of these persons were "contributors" to local political figures, but exact information about such contributions will not be revealed to the public. "Illegal Payments to Bob Menendez" and "Bribery in Union City New Jersey.")

Alan Gomes & Trevor Hughes, "Judge Tells Feds: Reunite Families Now -- Considers Penalties if Administration Can't Meet Deadline," The Record, July 11, 2018, p. A-5. (At some point it will become clear that, due to faulty or non-existent legal record keeping by attorneys -- which was almost certainly not accidental --  the administration will be unable to comply with court orders requiring immigrant children to be freed and restored to their families. There will be no ethics charges against lawyers for the administration, or ICE, who may have lied about these matters to federal judges. The Trump attorneys' goal is to make the journey to America and fate of immigrants so horrible that people will be "discouraged" from attempting to migrate to America illegally. What will happen eventually to these children is anyone's guess. It is unlikely that the goal of "discouraging" illegal immigration will succeed because many of the persons attempting this dangerous journey have no choice and may face death at the hands of criminals or the state -- or both -- in their home countries. Persons desperate enough to risk losing their lives or being separated from their children are way beyond being "discouraged.")

Deidre Shesgreen, "All-Out Ad War Over Supreme Court About to Start," The Record, July 11, 2018, p. A-4. (Brett Kavanaugh will be asked, essentially, to lie about his Republican opinions during hearings or to claim to have no view of matters that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court -- such as the scope of "Executive Power and Indictment of a President in Office" -- even as Judge Kavaugh insists that he is open-minded about these matters he will be expected to "reassure" Republican senators, privately, about his "reliable Conservative credentials and views" in order to be confirmed. We are placing nominees in impossible positions and turning the judicial confirmation process into a circus. I am not a Republican. I must say, however, that both Justice Gorsuch and Judge Kavanaugh -- barring a spectacular revelation of criminal activity -- are exactly the sort of persons who should be confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court as was Merrick Garland.) 

AP, "Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Charges, Released On Bail," The Record, July 10, 2018, p. A-3. (Does Ms. Poritz still claim that "Jews do not commit crimes"?)

Tom Nobile, "Talks Set in Suit Against Mahwah: Discrimination Against Orthodox Jews Alleged," The Record, June 11, 2018, p. L-1. (Jews in New Jersey are upset at recent prosecutions of fellow Jews for defrauding the tax payers of welfare funds and because several prominent rabbis have been charged with child molestation. New Jersey Jews insist that criminal laws should only be applied to African-Americans, along with other minority group members, but not to themselves.)   

Kathleen Parker, "At Marquette, Conservatives Got it Wrong," (Op-Ed) The Record, July 10, 2018, p. A-11. (Cheryl Abbate, a politically correct philosophy professor, was recorded by a student claiming that opposing gay marriage rights is "homophobic." Will recordings of Lourdes Santiago concerning me finally be made public? John McGill? John McAdams, tenured faculty member at Marquette, took exception to this claim by his colleague and brought suit prevailing in Wisconsin's Supreme Court. Please see: "Guerilla Aesthetics and the Lobotomizing of the American Mind." Remember the item about "doubled-consonants" in the Oxford Companion to the English Language? "Counsellor" or "counselor" are equally acceptable usages or spellings.) 

AP, "Judge Blocks N.J.'s Bid to Bolt From Waterfront Commission," The Record, June 5, 2018, p. A-4. (As new arrests of New Jersey's alleged mafia members in the famous waterfront area take place efforts are made by judges and politicians on the mob's payroll to get New Jersey out of multi-state efforts to keep local ports free of organized crime. The mafia has adopted "guerilla" and/or "guerrilla" tactics against the feds. Ms. Manteneo and other alleged mafia-connected judges in the Garden State will be pressed into service by the Jersey mob. "New Jersey is Lucky Luciano's Havana" and "Mafia Influence in New Jersey Courts and Politics.") 

Chad Day & Eric Tucker, "Did Manafort Call 2 Witnesses?: Mueller Team Alleges Tampering," The Record, June 5, 2018, p. A-4. (Did the OAE obstruct justice in matters concerning me? And did the OAE then LIE to federal judges as well as others about these matters?)

Joe Malinconico, "Police: Man Was Impersonating an Officer," The Record, June 5, 2018, p. L-3. (Did Gilberto Garcia and Alex Booth claim to be FBI and/or CIA agents in commenting about me to persons in New York and New Jersey? Was the OAE aware of this fact and of Mr. McGill's participation in such tactics? Philosophy Cafe? "Have you no shame Mr. Rabner?" and "Stuart Rabner's Selective Sense of Justice.")    



Friday, June 15, 2018

Guerilla Aesthetics and the Lobotomizing of the American Mind.

In June of 2018 there is still no response to my many communications nor to inquiries by others into my matters.

There is increasing public danger from continued official silence in connection with this situation.

No rejection of my communications has taken place. 

No documents have been returned to me. 

Many persons in multiple jurisdictions are simply ignored by U.S. officials, relegated to silence, their humanity and rights denigrated and unprotected as are my rights.

There are no explanations for this illegal and unethical silence from American officials and judges nor for the indifference of the U.S. media to a matter of some public urgency.

My home telephone has been obstructed. I am unable to make calls as family members are also precluded from communicating with me in a time of crisis in our lives. 

I will ignore all threats against me. 

The usual computer crime, alterations of the text, censorship efforts have obstructed my attempts to post this essay. It is appalling and disgusting that persons are still allowed to deface these writings using N.J. government computers.

I will continue to write. 

The next essay to be published at this blog examining New Jersey issues will be sent to Justice Elena Kagan of the U.S. Supreme Court; Jefferson B. Sessions, Esq., U.S. Attorney General; and to the Cuban Embassy to the United States of America.  

Primary Sources:

Frank Bruni, "Aristotle's Wrongful Death," (Op-Ed) The New York Times, "Sunday Opinion Section," May 27, 2018, p. 3. ("Manohla Dargis Strikes Again" and "'The Reader': A Movie Review.") 

Michael Esfeld, "Quantum Entanglement and a Metaphysics of Relations," Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 35 B (Dec. 2004). ("Entanglement, Dialectic, Scientific Hermeneutics and Holism, or Scientific Neo-Hegelianism.") 

Peter Gratton, Speculative Realism: Problems and Projects (London: Bloomsbury, 2014). (Is "Speculative Realism" only another footnote to Immanuel Kant?)  

Francis Halsall, "Art and Guerilla Metaphysics: Graham Harman and Aesthetics as First Philosophy," Speculations: A Journal of Speculative Realism, V (2014). (Available online.) ("Kantian Aesthetics as First Philosophy.")  

Graham Harman, Guerilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things (Chicago: Open Court, 2005). ("Speculative Realism and Phenomenological-Hermeneutics in the Kantian-Hegelian tradition.")  

Secondary Sources:

Mortimer Adler, Philosopher at Large: An Intellectual Autobiography 1902-1976 (New York: Collier, 1977), pp. 15-35.

G.E. Anscombe, Intention (New York: Cornell U. Press, 1979, 2000), pp. 79-94.

A.J. Ayer, The Problem of Knowledge (London: Penguin, 1956, 1980), pp. 176-223.

A.J. Ayer, The Philosophy of the Twentieth Century (New York: Vintage, 1980, 1984), pp. 262-267. 

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim (London: Penguin, 1954, 1988). (The great coming of age novel in English literature.)

Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers (London & New York: Vintage Books, 1973, 1992). (A postmodernist "Lucky Jim.")

Isaiah Berlin, Four Essays On Liberty (Oxford & New York: Oxford U. Press, 1969, 1986), pp. 118-173. 

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), pp. 141-243. (Still crazy after all these years?) 

Aryeh Botwinick, Michael Oakeshott's Skepticism (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2011), pp. 29-49.

Malcolm Bradbury, Eating People is Wrong (London: Arrow Books, 1959, 1989). (A novel dramatizing the philosophical controversy discussed in my essays "Why I am not an ethical relativist" and "John Finnis and Ethical Cognitivism.")

Michael Caine, Acting in Film: An Actor's Take On Movie Acting (New York: Applause, 1990, 1987), pp. 137-146. (Acting on screen, stage, in life, or creating fictional as well as non-fictional "characters" -- all are matters of "art.")   

Roger Caldwell, "Review of Charles Taylor's The Language Animal," Philosophy Now, April/May, 2018, p. 38.

Kenneth Clark, Civilization: A Personal View (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), pp. 1-33. ("The Skin of Our Teeth.")

R.G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1938), pp. 286-300. (This work was reissued in the fifties unchanged from the original edition and is about to be republished because it continues to be cited by scholars in both traditions.)

Arthur W. Collins, Thought and Nature: Studies in Rationalist Philosophy (Indiana: Notre Dame U. Press, 1985), pp. 180-243.   

Roger Crisp, "Iris Murdoch on Nobility and Moral Values," Justin Broackes, ed., Iris Murdoch: Philosopher (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2012), pp. 275-295.

Bruce Duffy, The World as I Found It (New York: Technor & Fields, 1987). (Analytical philosophy's founders in "wonderland.") 

Michael Dummett, The Logical Basis of Metaphysics (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1989). ("Anti-Realism and Analytical Philosophy.")

Michael Dummett, The Nature and Future of Philosophy (New York: Columbia U. Press, 2001), pp. 30-38, pp. 115-136. (Truth is essential even in semantic theories or analytical logic.)

Michael Dummett, "Reply to John McDowell," The Philosophy of Michael Dummett, pp. 367-368.

Ronald Dworkin, Law's Empire (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1986), pp. 400-413.

Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), pp. 366-415.

Marc Elliot, Cary Grant: A Biography (New York: Three River Press, 2004), pp. 235-244.  

Nick Everett, "Review of Colin McGinn's Inborn Knowledge," Philosophy Now, April/May, 2018, p. 40. (I admire Professor Everett, but I find this review somewhat unfair to Colin McGinn's thinking which is indebted to Jerry Fodor and Noam Chomsky neither of whose writings are discussed in this review.)  

John Finnis, Intention and Identity: Collected Essays Volume II (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2015), pp. 279-313. ("Neo-Thomism, Idealism, and Analytical Jurisprudence as well as Metaphysics.")

Eckart Foster, The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 2012), pp. 17-153. (The discussion of Kant and the extensive bibliography is well worth the cost of this book.) 

M.E. Fox & A.C.F.A. d'Avalos, "The Necessity of Moral Realism," Philosophy Now Ultimate Guide, Issue 1: Ethics (2018), p. 8. (Defending moral realism and cognitivism in ethics.)

Paul Franco, Michael Oakeshott: An Introduction (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2004), pp. 24-56, pp. 81-116. 

Michael Freeman & Andrew E. Lewis, eds., Law and Literature: Current Legal Issues, Volume 2 (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1999), pp. ix-xxv.   

Markus Gabriel, Transcendental Ontology: Essays in German Idealism (London: Continuum, 2011). ("German Idealism in the Twenty-First Century.") 

Michael O. Garvey, "In Memoriam: Rev. Ernan McMullin, Notre Dame Philosopher of Science," University of Notre Dame Office of Public Affairs and Communications, February 9, 2011, available online. ("Critical Realism in the Catholic Tradition fusing Kant with Neo-Thomism.")

A.C. Grayling, ed., Philosophy 2: Further Through the Subject (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1998), pp. 72-268. (Articles by Christopher Peacocke, Michael Dummett, John Worrell.)  

Marjorie Grene, Dreadful Freedom: Introduction to Existentialism (Chicago & London: U. Chicago, 1948, 1959, 1965), pp. 10-12.

Marjorie Grene, A Philosophical Testament (Chicago & La Salle: Open Court, 1992), pp. 52-64.

Paul Guyer, Kant and the Claims of Taste (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1979). (Still the leading authority on Kant's aesthetics.) 

Graham Harman, "Vicarious Causation," Collapse (2007), 2, p. 204. ("Are we free to believe in free will?") 

G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (New York: Dover, 2003, 1st. Ed., 1807), pp. 370-395. ("The Beautiful Soul.")

Sebastian Horsley, Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography (London: Harper Perennial, 2007), pp. 284-296. (Please see again Michael Caine's examination of acting on- and off-screen.)  

Christina Howells, Mortal Subjects: Passions of the Soul in Late Twentieth Century French Thought (London: Polity, 2011), pp. 24-69. (The most impressive scholarly work of Continental philosophy in the French tradition that I have read for many years and, perhaps, the most important book listed among my sources for this essay.)

Christina Howells, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Sartre (Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1992), pp. 318-353 ("Conclusion: Sartre and the Deconstruction of the Subject"). 

Christina Howells, Derrida: Deconstruction From Phenomenology to Ethics (London: Polity, 1999), pp. 6-23, pp. 72-95.   

Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology (Evanston: Northwestern U. Press. 1970, 1st Ed., 1938), p. 135 (D. Carr translation). (More timely than ever in offering strong warnings against scientism.) 

Adrian Johnston, Time Driven: Metapsychology and the Splitting of the Drive (Evanston: Northwestern U. Press, 2007). (Professor Johnston describes his position on foundations as "transcendental materialism" which is a synthesis, to the extent that it is coherent, of Kant's "transcendental idealism and critical realism" with a Hegelian twist that features a curious form of holism.)

Adrian Johnston, "Contigency, Pure Contingency -- Without Further Determination: Modal Categories in Hegelian Logic," RJPH, Volume 1 (2017). (Available online. The "transcendental" part of Professor Johnston's theory is becoming larger than the "materialism." See my forthcoming citations of Charles Taylor's books.)

Adrian Johnston, "The Weakness of Nature: Hegel, Freud, Lacan and Negativity Materialized," Hegel and the Infinite, pp. 159-179.  

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (New York: Hackett, 1996, 1st ed., 1781, 2nd Ed., 1786). (This is the most recent English language translation that I know of, but I prefer the Kemp-Smith classic. Everybody is drinking at this well.)

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (New York: Prometheus, 2000, 1st ed. 1790), pp. 106-130 (J.H. Bernard translation). (The most important text for the new aesthetics is this book by an obscure philosopher.)

David Lodge, Small World (London: Penguin, 1984). (Authenticity and literary theory in "novel" form.)

William Lyon, ed., Modern Philosophy of Mind (London: Everyman, 1995), pp. xlv-ilxviii. 

John MacMurray, Reason and Emotion (London: Faber & Faber, 1935), pp. 45-55. ("John Finnis and Ethical Cognitivism.")

Bryan Magee, Ultimate Questions (Princeton U. Press, 2016), pp. 59-68. 

Bryan Magee, ed., "Isaiah Berlin Interview With Bryan Magee," Talking Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1978, 2001), pp. 1-27.

Catherine Malabou, What Should We Do With Our Brain? (New York: Fordham U. Press, 2008). (Sebastian Rand translation.)

Catherine Malabou, "Is Confession the Accomplishment of Recognition?: Rousseau and the Unthought of Religion in the Phenomenology of Spirit," Slavoj Zizek, Clayton Crockett, Creston Davis, eds., Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics and Dialectic (New York: Columbia U. Press, 2011), pp. 19-50.

Herbert Marcuse, An Essay On Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), pp. 42-72.  

Paul Marshall, "Transforming the World Into Experience," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8 (1), (2001), pp. 59-76. (A new version of the transcendental deduction grounded in neurology and Critical Theory.) 

John McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1996). (An updating of Kant by way of one of the most famous of the Pittsburgh Hegelians with a liberal sprinkling of analytical philosophy on top of the text like sugar on a plum cake.) 

John McDowell, "Values and Secondary Qualities," Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, ed., Essays On Moral Realism (Ithaca & New York: Cornell U. Press, 1988), pp. 166-181. (A defense of ethical cognitivism and moral realism.) 

John McDowell, "Referring to Oneself," Lewis Edwin Hahn, ed., The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson (Chicago: Open Court, 1998), pp. 129-146.

John McDowell, "Dummett On Truth Conditions and Meaning," Randall E. Auxier & Lewis Edwin Hahn, eds., The Philosophy of Michael Dummett (Chicago: Open Court, 2007), pp. 351-367.

Colin McGinn, Problems in Philosophy: The Limits of Inquiry (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993), pp. 62-79. 

Alasdair McIntyre, Marcuse (London: Fontana, 1970), pp. 62-73, pp. 74-86. 

Thomas Meaney, "Doctor Zeitgeist," The New Yorker, February 26, 2018, p. 28. ("Frank Bruni" a.k.a. "Jennifer Shuessler" is indeed a "meaney" in this profile of Peter Sloterdijk.) 

Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (London: Continuum, 2006), p. 124. (Fusion of a semi-rationalistic epistemology locating our most secure knowledge in a priori mathematical forms with scientific materialism where matter is understood as "energy" and "reality" is never perfectly knowable in itself in the Kantian tradition. See page 41 of Peter Gratton's Speculative Realism.)

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception (London: Routledge, 2002). (Colin Smith translation.) (This classic of the phenomenological tradition is in the midst of a new wave of popularity and influence.)   

Iris Murdoch, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (London: Penguin, 1992), pp. 436-450.

Christopher Norris, "'Second Nature,' Knowledge and Normativity: Revisiting McDowell's Kant," Diametros (March, 2011), pp. 64-107. (Christopher Norris is entirely correct about everything, as usual, or so he claims.)

Christopher Norris, Derrida (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1987), pp. 172-193. 

Christopher Norris, Truth Matters: Realism, Anti-Realism and Response-Dependence (Edingburgh: Edingburgh U. Press, 2002, 2005), pp. 23-57.

Christopher Norris, Minding the Gap: Epistemology and Philosophy of Science in the Two Traditions (Amherst: U. Mass. 2000), pp. 231-259.

Christopher Norris, Quantum Theory and the Flight From Realism: Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics (London & New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 194-230. ("Speculative Realism" by any other name smells just as sweet.)

Michael Oakeshott, The Voice of Liberal Learning (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001), pp. 62-105.

Michael Oakeshott, "Political Education," Peter Laslett, ed., Philosophy, Politics and Society (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1967), pp. 1-21. 

Michael Oakeshott, Experience and Its Modes (Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1933, 1995), pp. 9-81, pp. 169-247. 

Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1962, 1980), pp. 97-221. 

Walter Pater, "The Renaissance," Harold Bloom, ed., Selected Writings of Walter Pater (New York: New American Library, 1974), pp. 17-63.

Christopher Peacocke, The Realm of Reason (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004, 2005), pp. 148-197.

Nicholas Rescher, "Evaluative Metaphysics," W.H. Capitan & D.D. Merell, eds., Metaphysics and Explanation (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh U. Press, 1964), pp. 62-73. 

Sebastian Rodl, Self-Consciousness (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 2007). (The new absolute idealism.)

John Ruskin, "English Art," Mathew Hodgart, ed., Selected Prose of Ruskin (New York: New American Library, 1972), pp. 324-326.

George Santayana, The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outline of Aesthetic Theory (New York: Dover, 1955, 1896), pp. 111-173.

Roger Scruton, Art and Imagination: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind (London: Metheuen & Co., Ltd., 1974), pp. 15-71. ("Guerilla Aesthetics" from an unexpected source.) 

Roger Scruton, The Aesthetic Understanding: Essays in the Philosophy of Art and Culture (London & New York: Metheun, 1983), pp. 138-243.

John Searle, "The Storm Over the University," Paul Berman, ed., Debating P.C.: The Controversy Over Political Correctness On College Campuses (New York: Dell, 1992), pp. 85-124. (Still unsurpassed in discussing these issues.) 

Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason (London & Minneapolis: U. Minn. Press, 1987), pp. 217-325.

James Staunton, Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilization (New York: Vintage, 2016), pp. 30-38.

Grant Sterling, "Review of Bryan Magee's Ultimate Questions," Philosophy Now, December 2017/January 2018, p. 46. (I believe Bryan Magee's book is beautifully written and important, but Mr. Sterling's reservations should be noted.) 

Galen Strawson, Things That Bother Me: Death, Freedom, the Self, Etc. (New York: NYRB, 2018). (Good old British common sense combined with analytical philosophy and logical sophistication. I wonder from which parent Mr. Strawson derives his interest in philosophy?)

Galen Strawson, "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility," Gary Watson, ed., Oxford Readings in Philosophy: Free Will, 2nd Edition (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2003, 2nd Ed., 2010), pp. 212-228. (Mr. Strawson, Jr. argues against free will in assessing moral responsibility.)

P.F. Strawson, "Freedom and Resentment," in Oxford Readings in Philosophy, Free Will, 2nd Edition, pp. 72-93. (Mr. Strawson, Sr. argues for free will in assessing responsibility and "resentment" in denials of responsibility.)

P.F. Strawson, Individuals (London: Methuen, 1959). (P.F. Strawson is one of the greatest philosophers of the century and vitally important, whatever tradition of philosophy attracts the student, is this book on "persons" and "identity.")

P.F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense (London: Methuen, 1966). (P.F. Strawson's discussion and analysis of Kant makes the Prussian philosopher an empiricist and, controversially, minimizes Kant's transcendental idealism. However, this work making use of the original title of the First Critique, is indispensable for serious students of philosophy today.) 

P.F. Strawson, "Reply to John McDowell," The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson, pp. 146-147.

Charles Taylor, The Language Animal: The True Scope of the Human Linguistic Capacity (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press/Belknap Press, 2016).

Charles Taylor, "Iris Murdoch and Moral Philosophy," Maria Antonaccio & William Schreiber, eds., Iris Murdoch and the Search for Human Goodness (Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 3-29. (Professor Taylor recognizes Iris Murdoch's supremacy on discussions of the moral development of the person.) 

Charles Taylor, The Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press, 1989), pp. 25-53, pp. 185-199.

Charles Taylor, Hegel (Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1975), pp. 148-171, pp. 214-225. ("Stuart Hampshire and Iris Murdoch On Freedom of Mind.")

Mario Vargas-Llosa, Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays On Spectacle and Society (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2012), pp. 97-123 (John King translation).

Ian Ward, Law and Literature: Possibilities and Perspectives (Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press, 1995), pp. 142-154. 

Lloyd Weinreb, Legal Reason: The Use of Analogy in Legal Reasoning (Cambridge UK: Cambridge U. Press, 2005), pp. 14-15.

Jeannette Winterson, Art Objects: Essays On Ecstasy and Effrontery (New York: Vintage, 1995), pp. 153-164. (See the Michael Caine book above.)  

"How is this class going to help me in my life?"

The "culture wars" of the past four decades resulted in a loss of  power by adherents of traditional views of the role of the humanities in American higher education. The liberals won; the conservatives lost.

There has been a gradual shift in U.S. universities, especially, away from the civilizing and educating function that was understood to be the primary responsibility of the undergraduate "training" of young people towards a more vocational view of what higher education is "for" (or means today) as persons are directed to careers and "majors" that, allegedly, are more likely to lead to employment after graduation. ("Nihilists in Disneyworld" and "America's Nursery School Campus.") 

Rather than a solid grounding in liberal arts it is "felt" by many so-called "experts" that the basis of today's university programs should be found in the hard sciences or business studies, industrial arts perhaps, or finance and management, to say nothing of the wonderful world of computer science and accounting for fun and profit:

"History is on the ebb. Philosophy is on the ropes. And comparative literature? Please. It's [sic.] an intellectual heirloom cherished by those who can afford such baubles, but disposable in the eyes of others." (NYT, May 27, 2018, p. 3.)

Much of this discussion concerning current options in universities is based on profound confusions. 

Education was defined, traditionally, as distinct from -- or even opposed to -- vocational training. Persons concerned to maximize their "employability" after graduation were encouraged to look into the joys of air conditioning and refrigeration repair, automobile mechanics was always a good option for such individuals, while those persons who claimed to have a genuine intellectual vocation were instructed to enroll in liberal arts schools, or large universities offering solid concentrations in the arts and humanities and/or sciences, allowing for some exposure of the full panoply of human inquiries across disciplinary boundaries to every single student. 

To expect mastery of the classics or a secure grasp of logic to translate immediately into a six-figure salary in Manhattan's Wall Street or a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court for your 24-year-old "genius child" with $200,000 in student loans may be unrealistic; but this is hardly a reason to get rid of the philosophy department at your local state college or to change your child's major from English Literature to "Feminist Approaches to Marketing" (I am not inventing this trendy major):

"[The University of Illinois] is pairing certain majors in the liberal arts -- for example, anthropology and linguistics -- with computer science. [Assumption College of Mass.] is doing away with a host of traditional majors in favor of new ones geared to practical skills. [Define "practical."] Goodbye arts history, geography and, yes, classics. Hello data analytics, actuarial science and concentrations in physical and occupational therapy." (N.Y.T., May 27, 2018, p. 3.)

"Mr. Bruni" reasons with unusual clarity concerning this vexing issue:

"Assumption is hardly an outlier. Last year the University of Wisconsin at Superior [sic.] announced that it was suspending nine majors, including sociology and political science, and warned that there might be additional cuts. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point [sic.] recently proposed dropping 13 majors, including philosophy and English, to make room for programs with 'clear career pathways.' ..." (N.Y.T., May 27, 2018, p. 3.) 

Is the issue of whether an academic "discipline" has a "clear career pathway" a matter for university bureaucrats or senior faculty to decide on behalf of students considering that such professionals have usually spent their entire working lives in universities? 

Administrators and academics usually know very little about the potential job market five years into an uncertain future.

University professionals may be expected to know something about the works that have shaped civilization and science over centuries so as to be able to advise students about what they need to know today in order to be educated human beings whatever jobs they come to hold during their lifetimes. 

The decision concerning a field of study must belong to the adult student as opposed to faculty members with their own interests and claims of relevance to consider who, at best, may advise young people based on their areas of specialization. 

Mr. Bruni's conclusion is somewhat puzzling:

"But I worry that he's suggesting an either/or where there needn't be one." (N.Y.T., May 27, 2018, p. 3.)

I have read this sentence several times. I cannot say with confidence what, if anything, these words mean or to what they may refer. ("Whatever happened to the liberal arts?")  

Perhaps the author(s) of this text would benefit greatly from a liberal arts education. 

Education, it seems to me, is first and foremost about the personal enrichment or inner-life of the student, as a human being, however that person earns a living when he or she is out of school is a very different matter even as true education must remain a life-long concern. 

To suggest that such a view of authenticity in higher education is "elitist" is to decide that, on the basis of a person's economic class, he or she is precluded from being called to the intellectual life, or becoming a fine artist, theoretical scientist, philosopher, or jurist.

Excluding poor or working class young people from such noble lives is something I cannot accept because it is this very dubious "practicality" that is the true elitism. It seems very convenient for wealthy or privileged "elites" to claim that there is "no more room at the top," no more need for intellectuals from the working or middle classes. Education for the children of the poor (or workers) should focus on "employability" after graduation, we are told, while privileged students may spend a year reading poetry at Oxford University. ("Whatever" and "What is education for?")

My response to this controversy will draw on recent developments in Continental thought focusing on the aesthetics of judgments in politics, law, moral thinking and the sciences to argue that a genuine and well-rounded education may be more necessary than ever and should be, as much as possible, available to everyone who desires it, if we are to benefit from the contributions of all sectors of our society to resolving the great injustices and intellectual difficulties that we struggle against as a people.

Speculative realism, other "realisms," anti-realism, and the persistence of philosophical problems in a scientific age.

Twentieth century intellectual history is, largely, an account of disillusion with various ideologies and belief-systems, including scientism and the wonders of technology. 

Efforts to find a "scientific" approach to philosophical or other humanistic and/or theoretical inquiries mostly ended in failure. It became painfully clear to many of those who consider the matter that philosophy is not (and cannot be) a science, nor very scientific. Given the limitations of scientific method important philosophical and artistic questions (or problems) simply cannot be resolved or even examined very effectively by using scientific methods.

Whatever success science may claim in coping with empirical reality will be of limited value in struggling with other kinds of "realities" that are crucial today.

Analytical philosophy sought to develop linguistic and logical discipline and sophistication in the service of traditional philosophical inquiries. ("Robert Brandom's Reason in Philosophy" and "Is clarity enough?") 

Philosophy in the analytical tradition was bound to become, we were assured by A.J. Ayer and many others, only a "handmaiden to the sciences" rather than the "Queen of the Sciences" as traditional classifications required.

This understanding of the scope and limits of philosophy and concerning the potentially infinite capacities of the sciences to resolve all problems for humanity is mistaken. Debates over the threat of nuclear winter and out-of-control pollution are still unresolved. Science -- like the totalitarian ideologies that happily envisioned the "perfectibility of man and woman" -- was due for a humbling recognition of "finitude" or necessary limitations and constraints. 

The reason why some questions cannot be answered by objective scientific methods is that these inquiries focus on subjective phenomena and the many mysteries of human life. For example, philosophical inquiries examining consciousness, inner-life, values, aesthetics, the passions, spirituality and other issues that are not merely empirical but cultural-emotive and, nevertheless, just as "real" as scientific concerns, often more important to people's lives than scientific questions, even if they are also more demanding of theoretical understanding are beyond what (or more than) science alone can handle. ("The Return of Metaphysics.") 

Among these matters of continuing philosophical concern is the presence of evil in human nature and societies, or the finality of death and its effects on personality as well as culture. 

A new controversy has emerged about whether science is as much an enemy as a friend to humanity since gas chambers and nuclear weapons were created by the same scientists who discovered antibiotics as well as invented pesticides. 

The "journey of enlightenment" that must result in disillusion if it is to lead to wisdom also describes accurately the adventure of Anglo-American jurisprudence in our era. From positivism to American realism and policy analysis then to process-based theories of law and finally to the grudging recognition of law's necessary philosophical component and regrettable affiliations with such subjects as economics and psychology along with the welcome recognition of genius in the form of synthetic or fusion theories, notably in the works of Ronald Dworkin, there is an admission, finally, that lawyers and judges are not so much "engineers" as "interpreters" and administrators of society's values in resolving ethical-political-jurisprudential conundrums that must have scientific and humanistic aspects besides their technical legal difficulties. ("What is Law?")  

One of my favorite American philosophers summarized this hard-won wisdom about science effectively, first, as a young woman immediately after America's defeat of Nazism, when everything (briefly) seemed possible, and later, when it became the responsibility of philosophers to remind "winners" and "survivors" of the horrors of the Holocaust and dangers of the nuclear age:  

"The inadequacies of scientifically-oriented philosophies to explain the genesis of values is more conspicuous perhaps, though not essentially different, in the position of the school now variously called 'logical positivism,' 'scientific empiricism,' or the like; for here the emphasis on modern logistic methods, on the one hand, and, on the other, the explicit restrictions of the facts that mathematics and logic works on, to spatiotemporally locatable sense-data have doubly removed the subject-matter of philosophy from any relevance to the felt reality of the individual consciousness. But it is, for the existentialist [or the entire Continental tradition,] only within the confines of that reality, unwillingly flung into its world, yet freely making a world of it, [through creative interpretation,] that good and evil, importance and unimportance can originate."

Ms. Grene's argument is now widely accepted:

"Values are created, in other words, only by the free act of an agent who takes this or that to be good or bad, beautiful or ugly, in the light of his endeavor to give significance and order to an otherwise meaningless world. Now positivistic ethics is, as it wants itself to be, descriptive, not normative; it describes men's [and women's] value judgments as behavioristic psychology described the paths of rats in mazes. And, although such descriptions may be detailed and accurate, they have ... little to do with the problems of mortality -- as little as the positivist's manipulations of artificial symbol-symptoms [analytical logic] have to do with the infinite shades and subtleties of meaning of what are deprecatingly called 'natural languages.' Whatever the shortcomings of his Puritan fanaticism, in one respect at least Kant's ethics was undeniably correct: there is no good or evil apart from will and there is ... no will apart from freedom." 

Marjorie Grene, Dreadful Freedom, pp. 10-11. 

For a new statement of this idea in a currently fashionable reinvention of the wheel please see Peter Gratton's discussion of "Speculative Realism" and the Kantian background of the new aesthetics: "Correlationism and Its Discontents," Speculative Realism, pp. 13-38. 

The British rejection of metaphysics and retreat into the cloistered pursuit of logical and linguistic game-playing (granting the undeniable methodological achievements of the analytic tradition) struck many philosophers as hesitation before the necessary confrontation with the horrible revelations concerning human nature made evident by the many nightmares of recent history: 

" ... philosophical analysis leads to skepticism; so give it up, chaps, forget philosophy and play another game of squash. Indeed, that was on the whole the spirit of British philosophy for many years, [after the war,] the era of ordinary language philosophy. Philosophy became clever reflection on British idioms or for that matter English behavior ..."

Marjorie Grene, A Philosophical Testament, p. 55. 

Philosophy began to lose its importance to a civilization that found "cleverness" not nearly enough of a response to new ethical and metaphysical dilemmas -- dilemmas sometimes created by science and technology as well as by "wayward" Continental philosophers, like Martin Heidegger, who discovered that the "world was darkening" and that only a man, like Adolf Hitler, could bring us to the light: "Only a god can save us!" Heidegger insisted.

The arts, once again, thrived, however, and philosophers along with other thinkers (lawyers included) discovered in human creativity and imagination as well as in the indestructible human capacity for play and love the possibilities of renewal. 

The arts and aesthetic thinking have become central at least for the Continental tradition in considering social and political problems. ("Stuart Hampshire and Iris Murdoch On Freedom of Mind" and "Law and Literature" then "Ronald Dworkin on Law as Intepretation" and ''Interstellar': A Movie Review.")

Genuine education in the humanities has, therefore, become crucial once again to thinking well in politics and law and in the contemplation of human cultures, because subjectivity and/or identity have become matters of artistic achievement and concern for all of us at a time when religions are less meaningful and we are frightened of what the sciences are uncovering and manufacturing to say nothing of humanity's self-destructive tendencies. 

This is not to deny the importance of science or the beneficial effects of technology. 

It is merely to recognize that there are things that science cannot do and, given what science is, will never be able to do, for which other disciplines and practices have been developed that are just as necessary to human happiness (or survival) and not to be denigrated in a civilized society. 

What is called for today is a return to the classics in higher education and not abandonment of the Western tradition. It is important to restore the foundational values that define our society as we move into the future -- values that cannot be left behind because they are part of what we are and must be, even if these same values may need to be re-interpreted, always, for a new age and set of challenges.

"Back to the Future."  

Writing of what he calls Graham Harman's "Guerilla Aesthetics" Francis Halsall suggests that "speculative realism," as a form of complementary "metaphysics" or "object-oriented philosophy," is essentially imaginative or creative thinking and judgment about the nature of the real. "Speculative" realism, in other words, is a kind of artistic fictionalism or literature: 

"We make pictures of ourselves," Iris Murdoch comments, "then we come to resemble the pictures." 

As a novelist or film-maker "imagines" or postulates something to be "real" so the philosopher unifies scientific knowledge and disciplined rational thought to create/reveal the ultimate meanings of the world(s) that, simoultaneously, we must constantly bring into existence through our experiencing natures (or by experiencing):

" ... aesthetic reflection and judgment are employed in metaphysical speculation into what a mind-independent reality might be like. This is a distinct strategy within speculative realism which I will identify with an aesthetic turn in contrast to the mathematical/objectivist strategies exemplified by Meillasoux and Brassier." 

Halsall, "Art and Guerilla Metaphysics," p. 383.  

Mind-independent reality is always a paradoxical or Quixotic notion since it is only minds that can speculate about what a mind-independent reality would "look or be like."

This is far from the first occasion on which Continental thought (or, indeed, Western philosophy) has taken an aesthetic turn. From Romanticism to existentialism then hermeneutics, after Hans-Georg Gadamer's revolutionary work Truth and Method, there has been a European tendency to move in the opposite direction from the positivist trajectory of Anglo-American analytical thought that is seen as seeking an impossible scientific (or semi-scientific) method in philosophy. ("Is clarity enough?") 

Analytical philosophy's efforts to answer ultimate questions logically and clearly has excluded from discussion and explanation the obscure and paradoxical features of human existence that are precisely what requires philosophical attention in the first place.

Human nature and all that gives rise to metaphysical curiosity as well as the need for meaning does not lend itself to the methods that work best in the laboratory particularly as the "setting" of discussion shifts to society rather than classrooms. 

The paradox, of course, is that human animals are empirical entities (or objects) besides being linguistic-cultural "persons" dwelling in a natural environment and cultural-linguistic spaces

"Persons" are best studied both scientifically and humanistically, then, with the proviso that complete understanding of these bizarre creatures is unlikely.  

The phenomenological tradition which may be more dominant now than ever began with this humanistic insight of mystery at the source of the self; the surrealists further developed the idea of the unreality(ies) in social networks; hermeneutics and now speculative realism have sharpened the intuition of "plasticity" to its most fruitful expression allowing for key insights into the challenge we face at a moment of digital, image-saturated, and commodified social spaces that multiply by the second where the inner-life (to the extent that it survives) is displaced, instantly and constantly, from the deepest recesses of the individual psyche to collective cinematic forms, advertising messages, celebrity-worship or -surrogacy, increasing psychological fragmentation and emptying the subconscious leaving us baffled, shocked, or confused about what we have become or how to survive this predicament of disintegrating identities in a media age.  ("'Ex Machina': A Movie Review" and "Why philosophy is for everybody.") 

"These [heightened] tendencies are the transcendental aspects of the Kantian tradition, of idealism, and of phenomenology [also hermeneutics and humanistic Marxism,] all of which argue that the two starting points for philosophy in general and for ontology in particular are, firstly, consciousness, and secondly, the relationship of that consciousness to the world." 

Halsall, "Art and Guerilla Metaphysics," p. 385 (emphasis added).

Consciousness and the "world" are more illusory and malleable or "fictional" than ever. 

Consciousness and our world are works of art. The boundary (if there is or ever was one) between internal and external "realities" has largely vanished. However, to say this is to describe the classic condition of the insane person: "I am what is real. The world is me." (''Westworld': A Review of the T.V. Series." and "David Stove's Critique of Idealism.") 

This leads to the far from comforting thought that our "situation," existentially speaking, is so crazy that being insane or adopting bizarre surreal interpretations -- especially if they are very "speculative" -- concerning " the self and existence" seems trendy and clever at the local coffeehouse (or university cafeteria) but may well get one confined to a mental hospital in any other setting. It would be nice to think that it is merely Western philosophy that has taken a wrong turn, again, but it may be far worse than this: 

"If all the world is insane," Cervantes wonders, "then what is insanity?"

The setting (intellectual and otherwise) in which we must think today is strange in lots of ways that philosophers cannot change and may be unable to improve, but this is merely to underline the need for philosophical wisdom and the impossibility of failing to reflect all of this craziness in the abstract theories of our times. 

Given the challenges of this situation a return to the time-honored educational tradition centered on the classics and history along with exposure to great art in order to cultivate character and wisdom (or the "best" realization of persons in a moral and aesthetic sense) is attracting intellectuals from all points on the political spectrum even as an equal number of others seem to reject standards and truth entirely as "outdated" values and concepts. ("Whatever" and "America's Nursery School Campus.")

Do we seek to regain a sense of the trajectory of Western civilization and/or of who we are today? Or do we surrender to the madness and engage in Nietzschean celebrations of polymorphic perversity and nihilism? ("The Wanderer and His Shadow" and "Drawing Room Comedy: A Philosophical Essay in the Form of a Film Script" then "John Finnis and Ethical Cognitivism.") 

"Human beings are and can only be what they understand themselves to be and the world that human beings inhabit is not [primarily] a world of things, but of meanings. The understanding of these meanings requires an understanding of understanding itself. It is a consequence of the relation between human beings and understanding that their inherited culture is not an addition to human beings, but is essentially what makes a human being human. 'A man is his culture,' and 'what he is, he has to learn to become.' ..."

John Searle, "The Storm Over the University," p. 115.

Philosophy and the arts are truth-seeking and truth-revealing endeavors. Like science these ancient disciplines and practices (law also) are cognitive activities providing explanations of what is real and good, or defining truth for all of us. ("Is truth dead?")

"Literature, like all the arts, involves explanation, classification, discrimination, organized vision. Of course, good literature does not look like analysis because what the imagination produces is sensuous, fused, reified, mysterious, ambiguous, particular, art is cognition in another mode."

"Iris Murdoch in Conversation With Bryan Magee," Talking Philosophy, p. 235.

To appreciate the cognitive yield of great art the best technique is still the guided examination of masterpieces created by the greatest artists and thinkers of our civilization that a good university education affords -- or should afford -- to all students. 

This is not "elitism" in the pejorative sense, but it is "elite" in the meritocratic sense of cultivating taste and what is "best" in persons (accepting the notion that there is such a thing as "best") through sharing in the finest achievements of the human intellect. The "best" intellectual company will produce better transformations in the student. 

This is something (what is the best work that has been created over centuries?) which can be determined fairly and objectively, I believe, regardless of gender, race, and other such concerns and aspects of persons. In fact, learning to make such determinations and distinctions is the primary purpose of a life-long education in the humanities and sciences. 

"Lobotomizing" the American Mind.   

Race, gender and sexual orientation have become obsessive concerns for many trendy academics. 

Obsession with "otherness" and Political Correctness, defined exclusively in chi-chi cultural terms, has often come at a great cost in competence and ethics.

It is dismaying and infuriating not only that such P.C. persons -- self-described, evidently, as "multi-gendered" or "queer theorists" subject to human "reassignment" whatever that means -- find it necessary to deface or alter and try to destroy my writings because they seem too inarticulate to protest or argue effectively without committing computer crimes. This includes altering the space between my sentences.

Judith Butler is unlikely to censor or destroy the writings of an adversary in debate. ("Judith Butler and Gender Theory.")

That members of what Harold Bloom calls "The School of Resentment" have acquired sufficient political power in the worst parts of the country to get away with despicable crimes, like sadistic torture and censorship, is depressing and frightening for America's future. 

In response, I suppose, "multi-gendered" persons will speak of Donald J. Trump and Harvey Weinstein. Actually, experiencing the hatred of such people allows me to have a better understanding of exactly how and why Mr. Trump was elected in the first place. ("'This is totally amazing!'-- Donald J. Trump.") 

Traditionally-minded scholars, whether Leftists or Conservatives, have the effrontery to insist on competence and standards in intellectual work transcending context or source material.  

Insistence on standards is unforgivable to many so-called "feminists." 

I do not see why, however, since many of the finest scholars and writers in America and elsewhere, persons who meet or set the highest standards for intellectual work, happen to be women and feminists. (See the Christina Howells books cited above.)

Lives and careers of men who assert the need for standards have been destroyed by these so-called "P.C.-feminists." The horror stories are too numerous and ugly to reproduce here. (See John Searle's essay listed above and several recent collections that bring the controversy up-to-date.) 

Scholarship and intelligence are "gender-neutral" and very democratic achievements or human talents. 

We seem to have reached a point at which being a male (of any or all races) and also a university professor is a category of guilt. 

Is it now a crime to be a white male and well-educated or affluent? ("Shakespeare's Black Prince" and "John Searle and David Chalmers On Consciousness.") 

Teaching young people a hideous jargon of euphemisms and calumnies may be to "identify" as a moron and "present" as an idiot. 

Intelligence is desperately needed today. Scholarship is vital. Being well-read and articulate are the hallmarks of the educated person even if that person finds it necessary to equate Gloria Anzaldua with William Shakespeare, or more modestly, if he or she fails to see the achievements of each writer in context and with a recognition of appropriate limitations of scope and influence for any contemporary writer by comparison with Shakespeare and a handful of others. (Again: "Shakespeare's Black Prince.") 

Before we do away with English and philosophy departments America should reconsider "Women's and Queer Studies" departments and, worse, academic grants devoted to studying something called: "Othering the Multi-Gendered Other in a Gendered Society." 

Let us try talking to one another again, including arguing when necessary, in a civil fashion, while avoiding efforts to harm one another through New Jersey-like behind-the-back attacks and lies, or orchestrated outrage and/or claims of victimization, to say nothing of victim-status competitions among various minority groups and/or genders. 

If you are as smart and educated as you can be the jobs will come to you.