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Pirates and Criminals-Racing History Episode 9

  When Diego finds himself the sole crewmember of the Spiritus, he very quickly learns that freelance starhopping isnt all its cracked up to be. Its a hand-to-mouth existence at best and simply impossible for one person to manage especially when ones starship is being sought by corporate reposessors! He discovers an unlikely copilot and partner-in-crime: a chimeric-sapient pirate called Razzle, directly descendent from the gengineered feline equivalent of Martin Luther King. But will they manage to see past their differences before those differences tear them apart?

A Tolerable Anarchy

  “Brilliant . . . Erudite but straightforward and packed with insights . . . A tour de force of engaged political philosophy from one of America’s most perceptive public intellectuals.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)“For a sapient citizenry and a new administration, a graduate-level seminar on a civic philosophy that reminds us, ‘Freedom is not just where you end up but also how you get there.’”–Kirkus“Purdy has emerged as one of America's most promising young public intellectuals. This beautifully written book confirms his place. Rich in the history he tells, and brilliant in its insight, the book will change how you think about America, and the challenge we face for its future.”-- Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons and author of Free Culture'America has always struggled to define freedom–a struggle that has involved everything from slavery in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to the cultural ferment of the 1960s, and the free-wheeling capitalism of the 1980s and 1990s. In this thoughtful and engaging history of ideas, Jedediah Purdy vividly recounts this multifaceted debate and illuminates how the idea of freedom is still evolving. Here is an essential book for understanding the idea of freedom in America and the role of government in our lives.' –Robert B. Reich, author of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday LifeFrom the Hardcover edition.


  a selection from the PROLOGUE: The 'present writer' has no wish to be considered an iconoclast, much less an 'anti-Christ', nor even an anti-Christian. He has no fell purpose to smash sacred images, either physical or mental, that have dominated, whether for good or evil, the minds and hearts of humans. But--since many of the readers of this essay will be those who look to the stars in the heavens for the rationale of human actions and character traits--he may state that he was born in the last moments of the suns occupancy of the sign of Virgo,--September 22--and that the ordinary account of the characteristics of the Virgo native as found in any authentic work on the zodiacal significances, positively reads like a description of his mental traits and qualities. Being a pronounced Virgo, then, he will not shrink from the imputation of being powerfully influenced or motivated by the pronounced flair of the Virgian, the passion to have things as exactly right and true as it is humanly possible to get them. When, of course,, this predilection is not exercised with proper intelligence and balance, the Virgo person can become a meddling, nagging, censorious dog-in-the-manger sort of critic and snarler at everything. But--if the general principles of astrology can be relied upon to point to true intimations--even here he has the ground for presumptive defense against the charge of scurrilous and crass criticism that will seem almost sacrilegious to many, in the odd fact that his birth moment fell almost precisely on the cusp between the sign of the critical mind and the sign of Libra, the Balance. So that it may be presumed that he has the natural proclivity to exercise the function of meticulous logical analysis with due and rightful balance of all factors entering into any problem. Virgo is 'ruled' by Mercury, god of the swift and nimble mind, and all in all, this brand of intellectual quality is quite likely to discern alike both the massive aberrancies of common thought (and in certain things the mass-ideation is always wrong!) and the subtle fallacies that persist in traditional obsessions of belief. The statement in the Upanishads of India referring to the great universal mind-principle of the Atman pervading all things, that 'by sharp and subtle intellect is He beheld', must allude to the Mercurial mind. It has unfortunately to be said, with only too much historical testimony to corroborate it, that in particular the religious life of mankind, where the forces of even the most consecrated devotion, faith and loyalty are predominantly in play, has been tragically twisted all awry by lack of the balance that should have been supplied by keen functioning of the intellectual faculty. The sapient Sages who laid down the canons of wisdom for the ancient Egyptians called the Christ-mind, which they prefigured as the seed power of our divine nature implanted in the very flesh of humanity, to germinate, grow, blossom and flower to glorious beauty in the course of evolution, the 'Lord of the Balance', a configurated representation of one of the twelve radiations of his power. For his advent and eventually full release of power is to bring 'peace' to the chaotic turbulence of the lower sensual, emotional and irrational elements that cause the Biblical 'tempest' on the sea of human life and which can be subdued to beneficent function by the superior intellectual principle. This is St. Pauls war of the 'law which is in my members' against the law of the mind, and only with the coming in every life of the kingly rulership of the diviner reason over the seven 'elementary powers' that generate the 'seven deadly sins' will 'peace' spread its benign mantle over the confused and disorderly human scene.

The Tract of the Quiet Way

  The Introduction: THE Yin Chih Wen is a religio-ethical tract, which, in spite of its popularity all over the Middle Kingdom, has not as yet, so far as we know, been translated into any Western language. Next to the Kan-Ying P'ien it is read and studied and taught both in schools and at the home, and there is probably no family in China without it; but its contents are very little known in the. Western world, and we have only once met with references to it by Professor Douglas in his Confucianism and Taouism under the title of 'Book of Secret Blessings.' a selection from the first chapter - YIN CHIH: It is difficult to translate the title of the book. All we can say is that the rendering by Douglas, 'Book of Secret Blessings,' does not recommend itself; but the truth is that a-n exact translation which would be as terse and as expressive as is the Chinese, appears to be all but impossible. We have long been in doubt as to what English words would best express the term Yin Chih, and we have seriously considered the following three possibilities: 'secret virtue,' 'heaven's quiet dispensation,' and 'mysterious workings.' None of these versions would be incorrect, but they do not sufficiently express the full meaning of the term. The first and second express two meanings which ought to be combined into one such as is the third, in order to serve as an equivalent of this peculiar expression; and we have finally decided to render our title The Tract of the Quiet Way, which, however, though it is sufficiently broad and brief, is not intelligible without further explanation. The word chih is used both as verb and as noun. As a verb it means 'to determine,' 'to raise'; as a noun it may be defined by 'principle,' 'rule,' 'method,' 'dispensation,' 'way.' The word yin means 'in secret,' either in the sense of 'unheeded' or 'unostentatious.' It also conveys the idea of anything possessed with a deeper meaning, anything mysterious; and the two words together, yin chih, denote the quiet way of Heaven, which works out the ends of divine dispensation, invisibly yet unfailingly, to the awe and astonishment of every sapient observer, as says the Christian hymn: 'God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.' If we had to translate these lines into Chinese, we might render the words 'a mysterious way' very appropriately by yin chih. It is an old maxim of the traditional wisdom of China which is most emphatically insisted upon by Lao Tze and all the sages of his school, that these quiet ways of Heaven should be imitated by man. As Heaven lets its sun shine upon good and evil, without discrimination and also without expecting reward or advantages; so man should do good to his fellows, perform acts of rectitude, of justice, and of mercy, show benevolence and kindness toward all in an impartial spirit without cherishing ulterior motives, without hope of reward, and without desire for praise. The man who thus imitates 'Heaven's quiet way' in unostentatiously realizing the ideal of heavenly goodness is truly virtuous, and so yin chih has also come to denote a condition which may be characterized as, and translated by, 'secret virtue,' reminding us of Christ's injunction not to let our right hand know what the left hand is doing (Matt. vi. 1-4). In the title of the book the words Yin Chih cover the general idea of the 'secret ways' both as they are working in the divine dispensation and in human action, and if either meaning predominates we should say that it is certainly the former—the quiet ways of Heaven which determine the destiny of man and which are described by Shakespeare as 'A divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.' —Hamlet, VI, 1-4.

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