Briefly

is a feature for which is posted on Sundays, an original essay or short story written by Edward Fagan.

For Love of Country

A well known presidential candidate recently expressed hope that the intelligence agency of a long time enemy of his country had succeeded in hacking the e-mails of one of his presidential election rivals. This presidential election rival is one of his  country’s former Secretaries of State.

He also encouraged that country to reveal any such hacked e-mails to the public in his own country. That expressed hope and encouragement were mentioned in a recent news conference covered by foreign news agencies.

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The presidential candidate is a known admirer of this long time enemy of his country. This long time enemy of his country has nuclear tipped ICBM’s aimed at every city in his country.

He does not seem to understand the enormity of his expressed hope and encouragement. This expressed hope and encouragement brings into question, his long standing claim that he loves his country and fellow countrymen; and that if he’s elected president, he’s going to serve his country’s best interests.

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Shakespeare, Genius and God

William Shakespeare, England’s national poet, the Bard of Avon, the greatest writer in the English Language and the World’s greatest playwright, was only educated to secondary level.

It embarrasses some people of a tertiary education background that a man of such  humble educational status could write so well, and alone bear the awesome titles mentioned above.

Some members of the tertiary educated fraternity set out to deny that he ever did exist. This failed as the records showed that he lived and died. The next step was to claim his greatness for one of their own.

Such persons who they wanted to credit with his work include, Christopher Marlowe  (Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree, University of Oxford) and Francis Bacon (Bachelor’s degree, University of Cambridge, and successful Law study, Gray’s Inn).

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Francis Bacon was a statesman, in addition to being a writer; he also was a member of parliament for nearly four decades.

These two men, and others like them, who are suggested by the tertiary educated fraternity as likely writers of Shakespeare’s works are not the writers of those works. These men had no reason to hide behind his name. They were men of good standing in the eyes of the government and society of their day.

William Shakespeare was blessed by God with rare literary genius; and he was inspired by this rare literary genius to write the extraordinary master pieces with which he is credited.

by Edward Fagan

An original essay by

Edward Fagan

There is a distinct difference between the two terms nation and state; but to some of us, that difference seems unclear. A nation can be defined as, “a large aggregate of people united by common decent, history, culture and language”. A state can be defined as, “a territory considered as an organized political community under one government”.

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“Nation” refers to People, those of the same ethnicity whose size is large enough to allow them to be deemed a nation as defined above. “State” refers to Territory, Government and its Institutions, the territory and Government of a nation or nations. Government institutions are those arms of government which implement government policy, directly or indirectly, in part or whole, for the benefit of the people and the state.

The state may or may not be a partial or full provider of welfare assistance to people. It must, however, be the provider of  services in such areas as: the judiciary, law and order, national security, piped drinking water, ports of entry, education and the political economy. These and several other areas are vital to the perpetuity of a nation and state.

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It is through the state that the most noble ideals and aspirations of a nation are realized. It is through the state too, that the practical and common good is realized. It is also through the state that a nation sometimes realizes the lowest depths of failure, degradation and disgrace. We remember Hitler’s Third Rich.

A nation can exist without a state. A nation does not have to be settled and have a physical homeland to be a nation. A nomadic people who meet the criteria of a nation above is a nation.

The Biblical nation of Israel, before its exodus from Egypt, was not settled in a homeland of its own but it still was a nation.  They were slaves in the land of their masters but still saw themselves, and were treated by others, as another nation.

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They did not have statehood. They demanded of Pharaoh to let them go, and he did. They then journeyed to their homeland and created a homogeneous state. A state needs at least one nation for its existence.

A colonized people who meet the criteria of a nation and live in their own settled homeland is a nation without statehood. Colonization does not destroy the nationhood of a people; and independence does not confer nationhood upon a people. Colonization and independence are related to statehood, they are not related to nationhood.

A state can be comprised of one nation or it can be comprised of more than one nation. A nation-state or homogeneous state is a state comprising of only one nation. A multinational-state is a state comprising of two or more nations.

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Poland is a good example of a single-nation or homogeneous state (about 98% of its population are ethnic Polish). Belgium is an example of a multinational-state. Its northern region is home to ethnic Dutch people (54%); and its southern region is home to ethnic French people (36%). The US also is an example of a multinational state.

A nation is a mass of people who share the same ethnic connections and gene pool. A state is a land area and its functioning government and political machinery, and the body of laws by which it governs.

by Edward Fagan

An original essay

by Edward Fagan

“The love of money is the root of all evil.”, and “Self praise is no praise.”, are two very old and well known sayings. The first saying has always been inaccurately interpreted. The second saying, similarly, has always been, not only misunderstood but wickedly used in attempts to destroy the self image of others.

The source of the first saying is the Holy Bible. The origin of the second saying may be lost in time even though we know when it first appeared in writing.

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The book of 1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (King James Bible)

The saying, “Self praise is no recommendation” first appeared in writing in the early 19th century. It however, may have been in use verbally, in one variant or another, long before this time.

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Concerning the Biblical quote above, 1 Timothy 6:10, it can be read thus, “For the love of money is the root of all evil [of the type]: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (Textual content in square brackets is added by this writer.)

The love of money can lead to one or more of “all” of the “evil” practices which can be related to the love of money. In the case of this quoted passage, the evil practices pursued are the coveting of money “which while some coveted after,” and the rejection of God’s intended way of life for us “they have erred from the faith,”.

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They (who covet money and reject God’s intended way of life for us) experience the consequence of their sinful action even in the temporal life “and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”.

Those who covet money as mentioned above, ignore the tenth commandment in the Holy Bible, Exodus 20: 17; Deuteronomy 5: 21. The passage quoted above clearly expects us to practice this commandment even in relation to matters involving money.

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‘The love of money is the root of all money-based evil.’, is a more accurate usage of this saying. The traditional usage of this saying, ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’, seems to suggest that the love of money is the motive behind all evil.

Evil existed long before the advent of man, and longer still before the creation and use of money. The love of money, therefore, could not be the root of all evil. There also is evil practiced by man that has no connection to money or its use.

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“Self praise is no recommendation”, is the earliest written variant of this saying. Like all other sayings, this saying was created by simple rural folk in response to certain situations involving people and property. The type of person and situation for whom this saying was created, were perhaps aptly addressed by the saying.

This saying, however, was not created for use against persons whose performance in their field spoke well of them.  A person’s work can and should recommend them, according to the quality of that work.

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Using our old familiar sayings is convenient, conservational, nostalgic and can save us a bit of time, so let us continue to use them; but let us use them with a little more understanding for increased accuracy and effect.

by Edward Fagan

 

An original essay

by Edward Fagan

The practice of diary keeping is a good one for all persons and, additionally for some of us, it is an absolute necessity. Those of us who record or intend to start recording entries in a diary, irrespective of the frequency of those entries, might need to ensure that our present or intended method of diary keeping is optimal for our needs.

We then can consider changing our method or intended method of diary keeping if we find that it does not meet our requirements.

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Many people who do not keep a diary now, have been interested in keeping and attempted to keep a manual diary in the past. Many such persons have always given up the practice out of concern that the diary might fall into the wrong hands and so to their detriment.

The lives of many of those persons, over time, have become more complex with added responsibility. This has increased their need now, much more than was the case in the past, to record their thoughts, speech and actions.

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The manual form of diary keeping appeals to the person who prefers to write and edit their entries by hand. The risk of ones diary falling into the wrong hands is therefore one that such persons might have to endure. Much of what has been said so far has been about manual diary keeping.

What about digital diary keeping? The digital diary offers a much smaller degree of risk of falling into the wrong hands than the manual or hand written diary. It also is not accessible by hackers if it is kept offline.

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 The digital diary is totally accessible (for adding entries, reading, editing etc.) using any computer, server, gadget, external drive and location that are connected to the internet. It can be shared across multiple: computers, servers, gadgets and external drives using an Ethernet connection. It can be located on any computer, server, gadget, external drive or the cloud, in any location, and can be online or offline.

It thus is a relatively safe and very convenient form of diary; and it should appeal to those who are interested in the digital world and information technology.

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There are, then, three options for diary keeping based on the media used and the corresponding method of adding entries to the diary. They are, the manual diary, the digital diary and the double diary (using both manual and digital diaries). Diary keepers and prospective diary keepers can decide on their diary keeping preferences, and then choose the type of diary that meets their requirements.

by Edward Fagan