September 18th, 2003

Sue Blom Salon, 09-05-2003

As it was First Friday evening, Sue Blom's chat salon convened at her house. We had a very lively and wide-ranging discussion as usual, with emphasis being on Presidential politics and the current state of the race. Upcoming topics will discuss the practicality of recalls, and an eventual post-mortem of the Claifornia guernatorial race (assuming it ever ends--).

Ashram, 09-08-2003, Just War?

The monthly Ashram discussion group met at our house on the evening of the 8th. Besides generating topics for future discussions (and coming up with at least a year's worth), we revisited the philosophical question of whether or not there can be a just war. We took a moment to define "war" for the purposes of this discussion as armed conflict between "national groups" (which could include civil wars, or wars between different peoples in the same country). A number of differing opinions were expressed. Georgie's idea that, unfortunately, even a self-defensive war remains just for only about three days until someone does something unjustifiable and initiates a downward spiral of revenge and retribution, was well received.

As for myself, I have come to the conclusion that in today's world, there can be no just war. Particularly given the increasing globalization of economies, economic leverage, including trade sanctions, can be enormously powerful. The United Nations SHOULD be the primary moral force and diplomatic channel for dispute resolution, backed up by treaties and the World Courts. It's unfortunate that the United States, with its current insistence on use of force and resistance to World Court jurisdictions, is the primary stumbling block to this desirable progress.

Bardic Dinner, 09-13-2003, Celtic Lands

This month has been our turn to host things, and we had the monthly Bardic Dinner at our place Saturday night. The food theme was Celtic Lands, and the reading from the Irish myths. A number of delicious dishes were presented: Shelia Haberland did savory Breton crepes as appetizer, Tim Kozinski provided Root Vegetable soup ala the County Clare restaurant, main dish was Beef in Guinness (by Chef Gregory) supported by baked potatoes and carrots. Bob Seidl brought an elegant syllabub for desert. Georgie was Skald for the evening, and read from the life of Cuchulain, the great Irish hero. She gave us portions from his early life, the incident that got him his name, Bricru's feast, critical parts of his defense of Ulster in the Cattle Raid of Cooley, with its beginnings and endings, and his eventual death by the treachery of his many enemies. Georgie read well (as always!) and a very good time was had.