Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rowing Toward ...

How shall I spend my new free time? Hmmm.....

Friday, April 13, 2018



1. To deprive (someone) of something, as by fraud, extortion; swindle
2. To obtain (money or the like) by fraud or extortion
3. To punish (a person) by fine, especially for misdemeanor


4. A fine, especially for a misdemeanor

What an odd, fascinating word!

According to the dictionary, mulct derives from mul(c)ta, a Latin word meaning penalty, especially pertaining to loss of property.

Why is it on Hopper’s radar this evening?

Because I stumbled across it during my current read, a recent biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. Immediately flashing lights went off inside my head (no, this was not an epileptic episode), and an imaginary klaxon wailed far away, something reminiscent of air raid sirens across the British countryside three-quarter of a century ago. And that was it! That was the link! Three months earlier I met this odd word for the first time – while reading Crusade in Europe, General Eisenhower’s memoirs of the Second World War.

So my most recent acquaintance with the word exemplified itself as definition #3, as done by Napoleon to certain rare miscreants in his Army of Italy. The earlier occurrence was definition #1, tallied in a long and evil list of Nazi crimes by a grim and gritty chain-smoking Western-reading pre-presidential Ike.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Zuckerberg and Rand

So I caught a little bit of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg being “grilled” before Congress on the news this morning. (Note: I’ve been grilled harder by my grade school librarian for returning that dinosaur book a day late.) What immediately came to mind was Ayn Rand. Would any Ayn Rand character – Hank Reardon, Francisco d’Anconia, Howard Roark – would any protagonist from an Ayn Rand novel choke back tears and grovel before a room full of self-important blowhard bureaucrats?

No! They’d sooner go bankrupt and back to the bottom of the pile before they knelt in submission to inferiors, completely self-assured that before long they’d be back at the top, claiming what is and was always theirs. There would be no goofy-haircut blubbering from such a man.

I’ve read in various places that testosterone levels in our contemporary male population have been waning over the past few decades. Whether true or not, can we at least agree that masculine, manly virtues have been on the wane in our culture, at least in the public sphere? I pray we can reverse such devastating trends before we’re overrun by enemies who truly want us to kneel in terrible submission.