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What is your favourite Green Party policy?

Michael,

I desire to build a constructive, positive dialog between us two.

Can you tell me which of the American Green Party policies you like the best or you feel is the most important? This can be the starting point for a more constructive discussion.

Les Misérables [1.1-VI] Who guarded his House for him

Today, we discuss chapter I of book 1, volume 1 of Les Misérables: Who guarded his House for him.

I need some help to build the project to its full potential so that collectively we can make a concerted, positive and effective difference in the world. Please check the "Open Questions / Open Tasks" section below and see what aspect inspires you the most to contribute. Although your active participation would be very welcome, it is not a requirement. I am also very happy when people simply check my diaries and tip my tip jar now and then, as time allows them to. :) Blessings to all!

[Fr.] [En.]
Nisi Dominus custodierit domum, in vanum vigilant qui custodiunt eam. Si le Seigneur ne protège pas la maison, c’est en vain que veillent ceux qui la protègent. Nisi Dominus custodierit domum, in vanum vigilant qui custodiunt eam. Unless the Lord guard the house, in vain do they watch who guard it.

This chapter sets the stage for the major plot development that will happen in book 2. While in chapter II~V, Hugo used the character of Myriel in order to expose his own idealistic vision, the purpose of this one is chiefly to help get the story started.

Still, it does not prevent the author from covering a couple of important themes, providing additional pieces to his overall vision.

Security is the main theme being expounded in this chapter: the huge differential between the richest and the poorest is one of the main factors which affect security and which drives individuals and whole countries to build more and more extreme defences in order to protect and maintain that differential.

Also this chapter completes the portrait of the practical, heart-centred intellectual which was started in the previous chapter.

The beginning:

Past episodes:

The project:

  • If you haven't yet, make sure to join the Daily Kos group Les Misérables: Send me a private message and I'll send you an official invitation to join the group. Joining the group does not obligate you to participate in any way, but it makes it more convenient for you to follow the group's activity.
  • Take action: you and other interested people can contribute to this project in many different ways, depending on what aspects or what issues interest you the most.

Les Misérables [1.1-V] Monseigneur Bienvenu made his Cassocks last too long

Today, we discuss chapter V of book 1, volume 1 of Les Misérables: Monseigneur Bienvenu made his Cassocks last too long.

From chapter I:

Que se passa-t-il ensuite dans la destinée de M. Myriel ? [...] Nul n’aurait pu le dire ; tout ce qu’on savait, c’est que, lorsqu’il revint d’Italie, il était prêtre. What took place next in the fate of M. Myriel? [...] No one could have told: all that was known was, that when he returned from Italy he was a priest.

This chapters offers a change of pace; and a riddle: is Hugo taunting us with a very subtle clue as to Myriel's past?

[Fr.] [En.]
Tantôt il bêchait dans son jardin, tantôt il lisait et écrivait. Il n’avait qu’un mot pour ces deux sortes de travail : il appelait cela jardiner. « L’esprit est un jardin », disait-il. Sometimes he dug in his garden; again, he read or wrote. He had but one word for both these kinds of toil; he called them gardening. "The mind is a garden," said he.

Chapters I to IV presented M. Myriel's public life, its external manifestations. Chapter V presents the private and internal aspects of his life. After a very heavy, very potent chapter IV, this one appears much more mundane. One may almost question its usefulness in the whole of book 1. Yet, in it, we discover subtle clues about the genesis of it all, the source that sustains M. Myriel.

The beginning:

This week:

Past episodes:

The group:

  • If you haven't yet, make sure to join the Daily Kos group Les Misérables: Send me a private message and I'll send you an official invitation to join the group. Joining the group does not obligate you to participate in any way, but it makes it more convenient for you to follow the group's activity.
  • Take action: you and other interested people can contribute to this project in many different ways, depending on what aspects or what issues interest you the most.

Les Misérables [1.1-IV] Works corresponding to Words

Today, we discuss chapter IV of book 1, volume 1 of Les Misérables: Works corresponding to Words.

This is one of the most important chapters in book 1. It is a magnificent chapter full of short and catchy aphorisms, worthy of being shared widely. Here, we can see the greatness of Victor Hugo's progressive soul. There is a lot of information to cover and it is very difficult to comment on it in a way that gives this chapter justice.

[Fr.] (Original) [En.] (Hapgood translation) [En.] (modified translation)
Être un saint, c’est l’exception ; être un juste, c’est la règle. Errez, défaillez, péchez, mais soyez des justes. To be a saint is the exception; to be an upright man is the rule. Err, fall, sin if you will, but be upright. To be a saint is the exception; to be just is the rule. Err, fall, sin if you will, but be just!

Chapter I briefly told us about the past of M. Myriel. It gave us an opportunity to review the historical context.

As Myriel set his budget in chapter II, we talked about economic matters and the unequal wealth distribution.

In chapter III we talked about the spiritual nature of the novel.

In chapter IV, we have a collection of seemingly unrelated stories. However, a second, more attentive reading reveals the common denominator in the whole chapter: Justice. Hugo approaches justice from different, complementary perspectives: divine justice, human justice, fiscal justice, justice within the judicial system, etc.

This one of the core chapters in book 1. We haven't gone as far as setting the stage for the events in book 2, yet. However this chapter represents some of the core philosophy of Myriel. The theme of this chapter, justice, echoes the title of book 1: "A just man". (This parallel is lost in Hapgood's translation, hence our modified translation. See section below about another translation problem.)

The chapter explores our human foibles although in somewhat forgiving manner. Our physical bodies bind us to imperfection. Everything is flawed about us, including both our judicial system and our approach towards divine justice. But this shouldn't prevent us from being just. Myriel, even before becoming a saint, was a just man. Sainthood may very well be unachievable for most/all of us, being just, however, is a basic requirement we should set for ourselves.

If you missed the beginning:

If you haven't yet, make sure to join the group Les Misérables: Send me a private message and I'll send you an official invitation to join the group. Joining the group does not obligate you to participate in any way, but it makes it more convenient for you to follow the group's activity.

If you missed or want to revisit some of the previous episodes, you can find them all conveniently published here, alongside the chapters they relate to.

Read online: French <=> English edition of Les Misérables.

What are the issues related to West Virginia 1st Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for West Virginia 1st Congressional District:

http://minguo.info/usa/node/411

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

What are the issues related to California's 4th Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for California's 4th Congressional District:
http://minguo.info/usa/node/413

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

What are the issues related to Virginia's 7th Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for Virginia's 7th Congressional District:
http://minguo.info/usa/node/409

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

What are the issues related to California's 31st Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for California's 31st Congressional District:
http://minguo.info/usa/node/414

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

What are the issues related to North Carolina 10th Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for North Carolina 10th Congressional District:

http://minguo.info/usa/node/382

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

What are the issues related to Texas 1st Congressional District?

Pipsorcle has just started a wiki page for Texas 1st Congressional District :
http://minguo.info/usa/node/378

What should be documented in the wiki page above?
What are the main issues affecting the electorate of that district?
What strategies to adopt in order to increase the population's awareness of progressive issues?
What good progressive activists and candidates exist in the district or nearby?

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