King of the Greek Molossian tribe during the Hellenistic era that spanned from 323 B.C. to 146 B.C., Pyrrhus of Epirus was considered by Hannibal himself to be the time’s greatest military commander, perhaps second only to Alexander the Great. He was a staunch and able opponent to the Romans, as demonstrated in encounters such as the Battle of Asculum that pitted roughly equal forces against each other.
In the conclusion of my interview with Jennifer Peterson, the animal activist discusses the horrors of puppy mills and how Barkworks’ business promotes and, in her opinion, sustains cruelty for profit.
Last December, I wrote about an ongoing effort to shut down the Barkworks pet store at Westside Pavilion on account of its sick animals and association with cruel and inhumane breeders
After much thought but surprisingly little gnashing of teeth, I’ve decided to retire The Recreational Nihilist. It’s been six years – Six! Years! – since I first started writing this column for The Front Page before it was Online. The time has come to set it aside.
Am I just getting old or does progress seem a little less, well, progressive? I’m not referring to politics, which is the same dizzying old nonsense repeated over and over again until much vomiting ensues, but to technology. Over the past decade alone, we have seen our lives profoundly changed by the internet, cell phones, and social networks. But are we better off for it?
What if the Second Amendment didn’t actually say what it says? Here it is: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Arms is the key word. And it creates an explicit gray area.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Washington D.C. gun ban was unconstitutional, that was surprising. Less surprising is a Chicago man challenging the court to take the ruling (D.C. vs. Heller), which applies to federal territories, and expand it to cover all states and cities. On the surface, the issue is about the Second Amendment right to own a gun. The discussion has been fierce by both gun-rights and gun-control advocates. But there’s a suspicious equivocation going on, one that clouds the philosophical heart of the matter, between defense and gun ownership.
In light of the outpouring of support towards victims of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, it is comforting to consider the human capacity for compassion and generosity. But if you’ll forgive the narcissism that comes with me quoting myself, compassion is only as meaningful as its consistent practice. Whether it’s Johnny Weir and his fox fur or the GOP filibustering a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to the jobless, that silver lining in the human condition comes with a cloud. After finally watching that most excellent documentary The Cove, the cloud is surely an angry black thing with thunder and lighting aplenty.
I love manifestos — sleek, sometimes sexy statements of principles that distill fuel for a philosophical treatise into something that goes down smooth — neat, without rocks. In an age of verbosity and endless information delivered across multiple media, we certainly need manifestos to lay down the foundation.
We repeatedly hear from Republicans and libertarians about “free markets.” Despite the deregulation ushered in by Reagan and continued through Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 — and what is deregulation if not a “freeing” of markets? — the catastrophic near-failure of the economy hasn’t been enough to get rid of the more virulent strains of this ideology. But what happens when market challenges are confused with political challenges?