11-3 index

The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.



A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

11.3 (Summer 2011)


The previous issue of Praesidium (Fall 2010) may be viewed by clicking here.


John R. Harris, Ph.D.


Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.


Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY


Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)



Contents of This Issue

     Literary Analysis

“Its Beginning Is Better Than Its End”: Proverbs, Wisdom, Cynicism, and the Oral Mind     John R. Harris

Proverbs are always favorites with those who enjoy succinct wit and the sound of language–but little thought is usually given to the affinity of the proverb with oral-traditional culture.  This connection does much to explain the tendency of such sayings to resignation and pessimism. 


Penitence and To the Beloved PAL Girls        Wesley Ross Harris

A young poet, appearing in this venue for the first time, reflects upon a subject very appropriate to young men. 

Now He Drives Himself       John Harris

A rather older poet has a low-impact collision with his aging.

     Short Stories     

The “A” in “Team”    Ivor Davies 

Don’t underestimate the ability of the determined female athlete to win on and off the field–by doing “whatever it takes”..

     The Polis vs. Progress

Notes Towards the Definition of a Conservative Green Philosophy      Mark Wegierski

Thanks to an unscrupulous abuse of terms, the notion of conservation has passed out of the word “conservative” in a political context.  This short piece remarks certain conditions that must be acknowledge if the two usages are to be brought back under one aegis..

Technology: Culture’s Deterioration        Wesley Ross Harris

This short essay is based on an extraordinary effort in a freshman composition class.  Among other things, it implicitly gives the lie to those condescending technophiles who never tire of affirming that the up-and-coming generation loves gadgetry and will demand more and more of it.

Mass-Hysteria and Name-Calling: A Very Ancient Example        Peter Singleton 

Gustave Flaubert was inspired by his reading of Polybius when he found a perfect example of men acting like animals.  We should re-read the same ancient text and and learn the right lessons before history repeats itself to the final hour.

     Faith & Cultural Meltdown

Islamic Neighborhoods–Not Koranic Societies     John R. Harris

No educated Westerner wants Islam to be eradicated from the earth, and no true American would deny it the same freedom of expression as other religions enjoy here; yet to the extent that Islam actively seeks the subversion of Western freedom and American tolerance, it is a threat to common decency and an enemy of the state.  We may disagree about that extent, but we cannot ignore the basic challenges posed by the Koran.

     Home-School Corner

Reading and Writing: The Bedrock of Home-Education       Gianna DiRoberti 

Public and private schools have different problems, and parents certainly have very different situations and objectives: but to dispute the higher literacy of children who learn to read and write at home is almost impossible..