Roman Wednesday


When presidential candidates run on a campaign of “change,” historians typically roll their eyes. After all, Western political systems haven’t changed in 2,000 years — so it’s highly doubtful that an egalitarian society will emerge any time soon. In Ancient Rome, senators of the elite schemed, bribed and above all else, plotted military operations to expand the Empire, which is an abbreviated way of saying that they conquered foreign lands to enrich their own wealth and power.

Sound familiar?

In S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome, a fascinating read, Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University and award-winning author of several books on antiquity, draws important parallels in her new book between Ancient Rome 63 BCE, leading up to Caesar’s assassination, and US politics, specifically after 9/11. “After 2,000 years,” concludes Beard, “Rome continues to underpin Western culture and politics, what we write and how we see the world, and our place in it.”

When I read the next line in Beard’s book, I thought about the number of democratically elected leaders in the last 30 years that the US government covertly or overtly, (how should I put this delicately) — disposed of — in one way or another.

“The assassination of Julius Caesar,” Beard explains, “on what Romans called the Ides of March 44 BCE has provided the template, and the sometimes awkward justification, for the killing of tyrants ever since.” Today, the president need only call said leader a “tyrant,” or in G.W. Bush’s words, “an evil dictator” and voila! send in the troops. Vietnam, Latin America and presently the Middle East are all examples of Mary Beard’s assessment on Julius Caesar’s assassination, wrapped in the same rhetoric that Roman statesmen used for removing a leader: He’s an evil doer!

There’s only one small problem concerning the elimination of sovereign leaders on the basis of “name-calling”: “Regime change,” as it is now commonly called, violates constitutional and international laws. (Forcible regime change is prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The targeting of civilians constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, which is prosecutable as a war crime.) When the US government illegally intervenes in the affairs of a sovereign state by plotting the removal of its leader, it’s often because the leader is improving conditions for the poor. For example, if a democratically elected socialist leader uses the profits from their nation’s oil to pay for free health care, food, schools and rebuilding eroding infrastructure for the people, then said leader will immediately be seen as a threat to US corporate control over foreign resources, such as oil, which has benefited multibillionaires at an appalling cost to ecological communities and entire populations. Such “regime change” violations of national and international laws are impeachable offenses. So one would think, right? Wrong. As noted in our recent history, if a president lies about a silly sex affair, then and only then will he or she face impeachment charges.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Roman Wednesday

  1. Den says:

    Time to bump the Doomsday Clock ahead 2 minutes, apparently Russia has become emboldened and increasingly defiant.

    The US has not created an endearing relationship with anyone in the World since venturing into the Regime Change Arena, making it likely that both Russia and China will advance toward regime change here in the US without notice.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    11 minutes to the Hillside Cafe. Keadrin asked to join me for lunch and of course I said yes. I told her about the mathematican Emmy Noether and her accomplishments. We then went on to cosmology since she seemed interested. She left when she said she was late for choir practice but that she enjoyed it very much.


    • David B. Benson says:

      After lunch from the EME Building counterclockwise to C Street; daily total is 105 minutes. Lotsa those little birds which hang around the cattle stations and the compost operation this time perched on the wires watching the traffic on the Moscow highway.

      Day 4: 140+105=245 minutes.


  3. º¿carol says:

    Mowed EVERYthing yesterday. Sun all day, and a breeze. I didn’t start until a little after 3:00 and was done at 6:45. I got it all, our place AND the neglected 2 acres next door. My walk last night was wonderful, everything looked beautiful.

    There is movement at the other house next to me, the guy I coined “Bad Daddy” moved out a few weeks ago. Finally, someone was there the last two days, curtains that were never opened on the bedroom are gone, the window A/C unit that friend Eddie, who used to live there, took out for winter and put back in for spring. Bad Daddy never bothered, but now it’s gone. Curtains that were falling down on the front of the house bedroom windows are gone, and whoever is in there seems to have been ripping carpeting out of the back bedroom. Eddie’s widow still owns the house as far as I know but moved a couple years ago to be near their son a couple towns over. I wonder if it will go up for sale, or another renter will come in. We’ll see.


  4. º¿carol says:

    The house smelled wonderful all day as my spaghetti sauce simmered. I made garlic bread in the oven, but first I stuck a Marie Calendar Lattice Cherry Pie in. Two birds w/ one stone, why heat up the oven for a 10 minute garlic bread, what a waste of energy. That’s why I bought the pie, to use the power in sequence for two items. The sun was roaring, there was a great breeze and the windows were open.

    The county was busy out front, fixing the shoulders of our road now that the wonderful new road is done. I love the county boys, they are so good at taking care of our roads. Our dirt roads are never washboard, cross over into the next county on a dirt road and they’re awful.

    The pool is covered for the winter. Next time Pete comes over he’ll dismantle the filtering system for us and the pool will officially be put to bed.

    Hummingbirds left a week and a half ago so I took the hummingbird feeders down. I keep forgetting to wash them to put them away in the basement. They’re still sitting on the table on the back deck, and I do dishes every day! I keep forgetting to go grab them.


  5. º¿carol says:

    I watched the debate last night in here, Bob didn’t want to watch it and wanted the TV. I couldn’t wait until it was over. It wasn’t as exciting as the Trump/Clinton debate.

    Almost time to go out, Bob is ready for his dinner so I’ll go do that before it gets much darker out. Clouds have rolled in, dammit.


  6. Den says:


  7. David B. Benson says:

    Home from the tuba+ concert.


Express your views below, politely please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s