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No one of understanding can abandon a friend who is dear to him. I venture to recall to you the saying of Plato, that lying and duplicity are injurious to both body and soul. Since deceit is the root of all misfortune, how should I desert the friend who is closer to me than a brother? What is the knowledge of the Sages worth to me if I do not act upon it? The purpose of their teaching was to perfect our nature and raise us to the order of the heavenly beings. Have you not read what the Apostles wrote of love, how their praise of it resounds? “Love ennobles us!” Their words ring out like a chime of bells.
–Shota Rustaveli, Vepkhistkaosani (The Knight in Panther’s Skin) ch 26 (ca. 1190)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Ratio of the amount J. P. Morgan paid a man to fight in his place in the Civil War to what he spent on cigars in 1863:
The Food and Drug Administration asked restaurants to help Americans eat less.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”