Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 117, March - April 2018


Willem Drost (baptized 19 April 1633 – buried 25 February 1659) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is a mysterious figure, closely associated with Rembrandt, with very few paintings clearly attributable to him. He was presumably born in Amsterdam. Around 1650, according to the early art historian Houbraken, he became a student of Rembrandt, eventually developing a close working relationship, painting history scenes, biblical compositions, symbolic studies of a solitary figure, as well as portraits. As a student, his 1654 painting titled "Bathsheba" was inspired by Rembrandt's painting done in the same year on the same subject and given the same title, though their treatments are rather different; both Drost’s and Rembrandt’s paintings are in the Louvre in Paris.
The relationship between Bathsheba and King David did not begin well, but she later became his loyal wife and mother of King Solomon, the wisest ruler of Israel. David forced Bathsheba to commit adultery with him while her husband, Uriah the Hittite, was away at war. When she became pregnant, David tried to trick Uriah into sleeping with her so it would look like the child was Uriah's. Uriah refused. David then plotted to have Uriah sent to the front lines of battle and abandoned by his fellow soldiers; Uriah was killed by the enemy. After Bathsheba finished mourning Uriah, David took her for his wife. But David's actions displeased God, and the baby born to Bathsheba died. Bathsheba bore David other sons, most notably Solomon. God so loved Solomon that Nathan the prophet called him Jedidiah, which means "beloved of Jehovah."

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Editor's Page

The Military-industrial Complex and the Forces of Evil as Personified by Donald J. Trump

President Dwight D. Eisenhower coined the term Military-Industrial Complex on January 17, 1961, by warning that the United States' military spending was more than that of the next thirteen countries combined. Eisenhower was no starry-eyed tree-hugger; rather was he the victorious Allied Commanding General in World War II; one could say that after years in the presidency he knew what he was talking about. But how can it be explained? At the end of the Second World War, the United States was the only one of the great powers left standing on its own feet. It had been a determining force in winning the wars against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, mostly because of its extraordinary industrial ability to produce weapons – including, sadly, the atomic bombs, dropped needlessly on Japan, when President Truman and his Air Force generals became mass murderers... Continue reading

Current Events

The Norwegian Menace - Should We Build a Wall to keep Them Out? by Ann Jones

In the past couple of weeks, thanks to the president’s racist comments about Haiti and African countries he can’t even name -- remember “Nambia"? -- as well as the stamp of approval he awarded future immigrants from Norway, we’ve seen a surprising amount of commentary about that fortunate country. Let me just say: those Norwegians he’s so eager to invite over are my ancestral people and, thanks to years I’ve spent in that country, my friends.  Donald Trump should understand one thing: if he and his Republican backers really knew the truth about life in Norway, they would be clamoring to build a second “big, fat, beautiful wall", this time right along our Eastern seaboard. One thing is incontestable: a mass of Norwegian immigrants (however improbable the thought) would pose a genuine threat to Donald Trump’s America.  They would bring to our shores their progressive values, advanced ideas, and illustrious model of social democratic governance -- and this country would never be the same! Continue reading

Our Enemy, Ourselves - Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War by William J. Astori

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China(as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally.  A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countrieshelps enable its wars and interventions.  By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained... Continue reading


Educación y era digital por Hernán Malena

Imaginen que cada ser humano tiene un compañero que va a su lado y del cual le es imposible separarse. Este ser no tiene corporalidad –en el sentido humano– pero es quien, en los momentos de quietud y de soledad, aparece para llenar el espacio vacío. Cuando surge una incertidumbre, él está presente. Cuando evocamos a alguien, él nos ayuda. Ahora imaginen que esos seres han llegado a la tierra hace tan sólo diez años. Y si bien las personas mayores no pueden encontrarse con ellos con mucha fluidez, los jóvenes los tienen como un aspecto central de su vida: a esos seres los llamamos teléfonos celulares inteligentes. Continuar


What St. Paul Really Meant by David Bentley Hart

This past year, I burdened the English-speaking world with my very own translation of the New Testament – a project that I undertook at the behest of my editor at Yale University Press, but that I agreed to almost in the instant that it was proposed. I had long contemplated attempting a ‘subversively literal’ rendering of the text. Over the years, I had become disenchanted with almost all the standard translations available, and especially with modern versions produced by large committees of scholars, many of whom (it seems to me) have been predisposed by inherited theological habits to see things in the text that are not really there, and to fail to notice other things that most definitely are. Committees are bland affairs, and tend to reinforce our expectations; but the world of late antiquity is so remote from our own that it is almost never what we expect... Continue reading.

Book Review

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger - reviewed by S.N.Behrman

Holden Caulfield, the sixteen-year-old protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s first novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” which has been published by Little, Brown and chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club, refers to himself as an illiterate, but he is a reader. One of the tests to which he puts the books he reads is whether he feels like calling the author up. He is excited about a book by Isak Dinesen and feels like calling her up. He would like to call up Ring Lardner, but an older brother has told him Lardner is dead. He thinks “Of Human Bondage” is pretty good, but he has no impulse to put in a call to Maugham. He would like to call up Thomas Hardy, because he has a nice feeling about Eustacia Vye. (Nobody, evidently, has told him the sad news about Hardy.) Mr. Salinger himself passes his unorthodox literary test with flying colors; this reader would certainly like to call him up... Continue reading


Prospect Park - a mystery play (scenes 3 and 4 of seven scenes) by Frank Thomas Smith

Dim lights, soft music. KENNETH prepares the set: a table downstage center, a chair on either side, a half-empty bottle of red wine and two glasses. JUDY, an attractive young actress, preferably black, enters with a candle, which she places on the table and lights. KENNETH pours wine into the glasses. They sit. Lights up, soft.
JUDY: So what now? I mean it's all very interesting, but so what?
KENNETH: So plenty. If Jesus Christ himself appears to you in Prospect Park it must mean something for god's sake.
JUDY: What? ...assuming it was him.
KENNETH: That's what I'm trying to figure out.
JUDY: Is that why you disappeared without telling anyone, especially me?
KENNETH: Yes, I had to get away by myself and think.
JUDY: Where did you go?
KENNETH: Oh for god's sake, Judy, what difference does that make?
JUDY: Just asking. I'm interested in you, you know. Continue

Love in the Time of Spies (3 & 4) by Frank Thomas Smith

I remember the day well, because it was just after we got back from that night march. At reveille, the First Sergeant called out my name and when I raised my hand he told me to report to him at Company HQ after chow. Because of all that marching and other strenuous stuff, we were always famished at breakfast, knowing that another similar day stood before us. So despite being nervous, and the other guys asking me what I had done to be called to the First Sgt’s fearful presence, I shoveled it down as usual. Between mouthfuls I told them I had no idea, which was true. AT HQ he told me that I had been ordered to report to Division Classification and Assignment at 9 a.m. When I asked why, he shook his head and said, “Don’t know, son.” I was surprised at such a benevolent expression from a tough looking guy with all those stripes and medals, not to mention a pot belly. Frankly, it worried me... Continue reading

Miryam - Part Seven by Luise Rinser

Yehuda found me. He pushed me with his foot as if I was a cadaver, but there was fear in his eyes. He did it with clumsy care, almost gentleness. But he immediately regretted having shown emotion and he said roughly: Come on! We’ve been waiting for you for hours with supper. Then early to bed and up early. We’re going to Yerushalayim. Aren’t you glad?
O Yehuda: Yerushalayim’s ground is hot.
All the better: grapes ripen sooner on hot earth.
Grapes, yes. But we’ll burn our feet.
Come, you dark prophetess!
Rabbi, I said that evening, do you really want to go to Yerushalayim. People are waiting for your words in many other places.
Spoken to the wind.
We went carefully though, in small groups. Yeshua took me with him, Yochanan, Shimon, Thomas and Philippos. Peaceful people. Inconspicuous. We thought. Why then those sidelong glances here, joyful greetings there? I would have much preferred that no one notice us. Why then did something have to happen that attracted the glances to us? And whose glances, what glances!
Continue reading

Children's Corner

A Journey to the Stars by Frank Thomas Smith

One evening Nicky and his little sister Caroline were sitting in the meadow near their home at the edge of the forest. The sky overhead was like a cape of black silk encrusted with brilliant jewels.
"How many stars are there in the sky, Nicky", Caroline asked.
"A lot."
"Yes, I can see that, but how many?" she insisted.
"Billions. Nobody knows."
"Let's count them."
Nicky laughed. "Fine, you count them and tell me how many there are." "Let's see." Caroline stood up to be closer to the stars and began to count: "One, two, three, four, fi...Oh no, I already counted that one."
"You see, silly," Nicky said, "you'll never be able to count them. Not even scientists with telescopes can." Continue reading.


Bio-dynamic Agriculture Course - Lecture Five plus a Q and A session by Rudolf Steiner

The indications given yesterday as to the treatment of manure by the use of cows' horns were intended, of course, only to show a method of improving manure. Manuring as such remains, and we shall speak today of the way in which manure has to be applied by those who have grasped that all that is living must be kept within the realm of life. We saw that the etheric life-forces should never be allowed to leave what is within the region or sphere of growth. That is why we found it to be so important to know that the soil, out of which the plant grows and which surrounds its roots, is itself a kind of continuation of the living plant-like nature of the earth... Continue

The Fundamental Social Questions of our Time - Marxism, Socialism, Capitalism by Rudolf Steiner

We have been studying from many points of view the social impulses of the present and of the future. You will have seen, among the many and varied phenomena which these impulses bring forth, that there is one apparently fundamental tendency. Social and antisocial worldviews make their appearance. This or that action is taken, inspired by these social or antisocial worldviews. But if from the vantage-point now gained we put the question: “What is it that really underlies these things? What is it that is trying to work its way out to the surface in human destinies and human evolution?” We may characterize it as follows: Man wants to have a social order, he wants to give the life of humanity in society a social structure within which, in harmony with the age of the Conscious Soul, he may become conscious of what he is and knows himself to be as human in his human dignity, in his significance and force as a human being. Within the social order, he wants to find himself as human. Continue reading

Foundation stone Address for the Malsch Temple and Branch

The following text is a portion of the talk Rudolf Steiner gave on the late evening of April 5, 1909 on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the “Malsch model” during the founding of a new theosophical branch in the town of Malsch, Germany. That small building was meant as the model for a “temple” to be built later on. It was built by the student E. A. Karl Stockmeyer, who had asked Rudolf Steiner for the necessary guidelines. The basis for the model is formed by twice seven columns that support an oval-shaped cupola. The capitals of the columns form a row of carved images depicting the planetary metamorphosis of the earth's evolution. These capital drafts were used in the First Goetheanum [in Dornach]. Continue

"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: English / Español


Refugee Blues by W. H. Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.
The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive...

Three Poems In Tribute To Mr. William Shakespeare by Richard A. Lord

Steady Henry, once known as Hal,
Can taste the tang of power now,
His father, Henry, waits at death’s portal,
To pay, soon, the dues of any mortal.

But Henry who will be the Fifth
Wields cunning that cuts to the pith
Of how one rules in parlous times,
Ignoring, coldly, midnight’s chimes.

In corridors where darkness reigns,
A nation’s conscience sits in chains
While monks chant solemn tropes of gall
And ravens answer, caw to call. Continue

"Fear no more the heat o' the sun" and other poetry by William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust... Continue

Words and Music

America - West Side Story

My heart's devotion
Let it sink back in the ocean
Always the hurricanes blowing
Always the population growing
And the money owing
I like the island Manhattan
Smoke on your pipe
And put that in! Continue reading and listen.

You can find us under the Southern Cross in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.

Frank Thomas Smith, Editor

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