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Subversive Book Asserts Rule By Law, Not King August 21, 2009

In 1644, Samuel Rutherford, a Presbyterian theologian, published Lex, Rex, the now excessively scarce, enormously important treatise on limited government and constitutionalism. Only four copies have fallen under the hammer within the last thirty-five years. Lex, Rex is the first treatment of rule by law, not by men, based upon the separation of powers and covenant between king and subjects, (foreshadowing the social contract). It laid the foundation for the later thinking of political philosophers…

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Wall Street Bank For Poets Proposed. Never Too Big To Fail? August 5, 2009

There are many contenders for Top Dog status in the bone yard of bonehead ideas. [Provide favorite to Comments]. In the late nineteenth through early twentieth centuries, the highest honors for magnificently cockeyed excogitations belonged to one known only as the Idiot. The Idiot, the creation of Harpers humor editor, John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), whose Idiot confections were collected into six volumes*, was a boarder in Mrs. Smithers-Pegagog’s High-Class Home for Single Gentlemen. I’m always…

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Has The British Library Become a Brothel? July 30, 2009

”All libraries are, of course, petri dishes of simmering lust, but the BL is extreme: its walls contain more erotic pressure than an oil rig, a North Sea fishing trawler and several series of Mad Men combined.” “The whole building sighs with hothouse groans, which swell and fade to muffle other sounds.” “When everyone is sitting around in silence, you can project what you like on to them and everyone remains a sexual possibility.” This…

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Them’s Fightin’ Words! July 29, 2009

A bad July for fight fans as boxing greats Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti, and Vernon Forrest were murdered, Gatti by his wife, Forrest by thieves, Arguello by his own hand. Life was safer, calmer and more predictable in the ring. There is much drama to this sport in which the essence of its athletes is revealed as in no other human activity, save war. But, as with war, there is no romance to boxing despite…

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The Miniature Theaters of Martin Engelbrecht July 23, 2009

In the fourth decade of the eighteenth century a new form of entertainment emerged in a world hungry for novelty, cleverness, and beauty in the privacy of one’s home. Artist Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) and his brother Christian were printsellers and engravers in Augsburg, Germany during the eighteenth century. Martin Engelbrecht engraved some plates after Rugendas and other masters; his other works included illustrations for Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The War of Spanish Succession, Les Architectes Princiers by…

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