Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Rome Journal — Bruno, Pantheon And More

A good night of sleep. Now I feel equal to it. After class yesterday, I ventured into the heart of Rome. There, I found my way to the statue of Bruno in the Campo di Fiori. He, a Renaissance humanist, heretic and memorization master, was burned at the stake in 1600 for a range of unacceptable views, including that Jesus …


Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Rome Journal — Arrival

It’s a big planet. I flew from Bismarck to Minneapolis, from Minneapolis to Paris, from Paris to Rome. I started at noon Saturday and arrived in Rome at noon Sunday, though, of course, I had lost seven hours in time zone. It’s a big planet. By the time I arrived I wanted to burn my clothes. But I had done …


CLAY JENKINSON: Rome Journal — To Rome

Journal of a journey to Rome. I’m teaching a capstone humanities course for a Catholic university. Twenty-five students. They have been there all semester, staying in a convent that has plenty of room for the campus. My job is to show them things about Rome that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see. Long day of flying ahead. Bismarck, …

CLAY JENKINSON: Thanksgiving

To all my friends around the United States and beyond, I am writing to give thanks for your friendship, for your interest in my work, for your commitment to the principles of Enlightenment. In the wake of the raucous election and the American circus of failed political civility; in the wake of the appalling and unnecessary crisis on the Standing …

CLAY JENKINSON: Let Us Now Praise The Robustness Of American Democracy

To my friends who are feeling frightened and damaged by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016, I offer the following thoughts. First, the people have spoken. Virtually the entire American establishment —mainline politicians, the media, the major religious leaders, Hollywood, the pundits of both parties, former and current national security personnel, the diplomatic corps, the leaders …

CLAY JENKINSON: A Clash of World Views — Kevin Locke

I had the honor today to hear the world renowned Lakota flute player and hoop dancer Kevin Locke perform in Bismarck. He’s in his 60s now. He has been performing all over the world since he was in his early 20s. He’s a national and international treasure. Someone I know, who knows these things, says Kevin Locke is the greatest …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock Sioux Crisis — A Plea for Understanding

I know many of you have little respect for the Standing Rock Sioux (Lakota) in the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline crisis. Your views by now are pretty well known: A) The Sioux leadership should have been at the negotiating table long ago, when it might have made a difference; b) the pipeline is off the reservation, so the Lakota don’t …

CLAY JENKINSON: Concession V. Concussion

When Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in the presidential election of 1800, Adams was bitter for several reasons. First, he was an important American patriot and revolutionary who believed he deserved to be re-elected by the American people. He could not understand why someone of his historical significance would be retired after a single term. He had the notion that …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Winter Humanities Retreats

One of the principal joys of my life is hosting humanities retreats at Lochsa Lodge, just west of Missoula, Mont., in the first weeks of January. People gather from all over the country to talk about books for four days. It’s not just about books, of course. It’s about the art of genuine, mutually respectful conversation. It’s about reading and thinking …

CLAY JENKINSON: Our Sad Fractured Republic

As the election lurches toward us, I find myself in a deep sadness, even a depression. Probably Hillary Clinton is going to win. If she does, it will not give her a mandate or even a reasonably good chance of proving herself as president. She will be wounded from the moment she declares victory. If you think the conservatives did what …

CLAY JENKINSON: Donald Trump’s Appalling Game

By now, we all know that Donald Trump is a loose cannon. He says things he cannot possibly mean in order to whip his national constituency into a frenzy of xenophobia, islamophobia, race hatred, American-firstism and the zeal to depart 11 million to 15 million illegal immigrants. Every rational person now has to decide whether President Trump would try to …

CLAY JENKINSON: Notice The Effects Of Terror — Standing Rock

As perhaps you know, the Native Americans encamped on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation felt that they were perhaps being sprayed with tear gas yesterday, Sept. 28. They were not. Although Morton County law enforcement brought armored vehicles and a range of other paramilitary devices to the scenes of protest, the spray plane turned out to be a crop duster. …

CLAY JENKINSON: Campaign Diary — One

The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton won the first presidential debate Monday. I was less certain. She was clearly better at talking policy, but I doubt that she really drew many undecided voters to her side. If she had been debating an inspired or charismatic opponent, she would come off as dull and uninspiring. My own study of American …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Lakota Protest — Head and Heart

This is just going to be a personal meditation, and I apologize to anyone who would rather have more analytics and argumentation. When I was still a teenager, my best friend gave me a copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. I read it hard and fast, cover to cover, and it changed my life. It’s basically …

CLAY JENKINSON: Indian Sovereignty As Monopoly Money

Non-Indians have a very hard time understanding and recognizing the concept of tribal sovereignty. No matter what the U.S. Constitution might say, or Chief Justice John Marshall, most non-Indians see Native Americans as a poor, ghettoized and dysfunctional people living on the fringes of American society. They are aware that Indians license their vehicles with special plates, according to the …

CLAY JENKINSON: Taking Off On Some Airplane Follies

Ten (OK, a bunch more) Things That I Find Totally Annoying in Airplane Travel 1: The flight is sitting on the tarmac in the departure city. Minutes pass, then tens of minutes. The pilot doesn’t bother to get on the intercom to explain what’s happening. We all have connections to make at the next hub. How hard is it to keep …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock — A Plea To Keep This Pure — And Non-Violent

In the southern heart of North Dakota, we may be witnessing the beginning of a national and international pan-Indian renewal of First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Native Americans. Anything that helps rebuild Indian pride, cultural confidence and a firm and solid assertion of Native American rights is a good thing for all of us, for all Americans. It is past time …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock — A Time to Listen, Not to Spout

Events of historic importance are slowly unfolding south of Mandan, N.D., near the boundary of another nation state, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Dakota Access Pipeline protest has grown into something much larger and more important for the future of white-Indian relations. It is no longer just about the pipeline. We may be witnessing the beginning of a continent-wide …

CLAY JENKINSON: I Respect The Protests At Standing Rock

It’s in all of our interests to show respect for the protests now under way at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation (and nearby). I acknowledge that the pipeline company has a right to extend its oil pipeline across the Missouri River (willing buyer — willing seller, the very essence of American capitalism). I acknowledge that the state of North Dakota has …