what is the Torah Question: “What is the Torah?”

Answer: Torah is a Hebrew word meaning “to instruct.” The Torah refers to the five books of Moses in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The Torah was written approximately 1400 BC. Traditionally, the Torah is handwritten on a scroll by a “sofer” (scribe). This type of document is called a “Sefer Torah.” A modern printing of the Torah in book form is called a “Chumash” (related to the Hebrew word for the number 5).

Here is a brief description of the five books of the Torah:

Genesis: This first book of the Torah includes 50 chapters and covers the time period from the creation of all things to the time of Joseph’s death and burial. It includes the account of creation (chapters 1—2), the beginning of human sin (chapter 3), Noah and the ark (chapters 6—9), the tower of Babel (chapters 10—11), the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and an extended narrative of the life of Joseph.

Exodus: This second book of the Torah includes 40 chapters and covers the period from Jewish slavery in Egypt until the glory of the Lord descended upon the completed tabernacle in the wilderness. It includes the birth of Moses, the plagues of Egypt, the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the giving of the Law to Moses upon Mount Sinai.

Leviticus: This third book of the Torah includes 27 chapters and consists largely of the laws regarding sacrifices, offerings, and festivals among the people of Israel.

Numbers: This fourth book of the Torah includes 36 chapters and covers a span of about 40 years as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. Numbers provides a census of the people of Israel and some details about their journey toward the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy: This fifth book of the Torah includes 34 chapters and is called “Deuteronomy” based on a Greek word meaning “second law.” In the book, Moses repeats the Law for the new generation who would enter the Promised Land. Deuteronomy describes the transition of leadership sacerdotally (from Aaron to his sons) and nationally (from Moses to Joshua).

The Torah’s five books have formed the basis of Judaism’s teachings from the time of Moses. Later biblical writers, including Samuel, David, Isaiah, and Daniel, would frequently refer back to the Law’s teachings. The teachings of the Torah are frequently summarized by citing Deuteronomy 6:4–5, called the Shema (or “saying”): “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Jesus called this the “first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:38).

The Torah is considered the inspired Word of God by both Jews and Christians alike. Christians, however, see Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies and believe the Law was fulfilled in Christ. Jesus taught, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

Recommended Resource: A Survey of the Old Testament by Paul Benware

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Categorical accusers?
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 9:40
I was reading Wm. Paul Young’s latest book, Lies We Believe About God, yesterday and came across an interesting point that he makes using the Greek word κατήγορος. Here is the full quote:

The New Testament was originally written in common Greek—Koine Greek (most of it). Guess what the Greek word for accuse is, as in “the Satan is an accuser”? (see Revelation 12:10). It is kategoro, from which we get the English word categorize. It means to put something or someone into a group to categorize them. We do this all the time, not always improperly, either. But when such categorizations carry an implicit judgment of value and worth, we are joining the adversary of our humanity, the Satan. Entering into divisive accusation reduces if not disintegrates the unity of our common humanity, and we become butchers of the Body of Christ.

They say that a little Greek is a dangerous thing and I think in this case it is. I’m not sure that Young’s tangent was at all helpful in making his point in this chapter. There are several problems with his conjecture, not the least is running afoul of the semantic anachronism fallacy that Carson warned us of in my post of two days ago.

I looked up Revelation 12:10 of course and then did a search on κατήγορος. I see that it is a hapax legomenon, meaning that this noun appears only once in the New Testament. The verb which appears in the same verse is used 23 times in the NT. We immediately run into a problem in that this word is seldom used and below is the complete entry from LSJ where you’ll see that it never means category:

κατήγορος, ὁ, accuser, Hdt.3.71, S.Tr.814, And.4.16, Lys.7.11, Pl.Ap.18a (pl.), Apoc.12.10, etc.; δημόσιος κ. public prosecutor, PFlor.6.6 (iii A.D.); betrayer, φρονημάτων ἡ γλῶσσʼ ἀληθὴς γίγνεται κ. A.Th.439; ἀμέλειά ἐστι σαφὴς ψυχῆς κ. κακῆς X.Oec.20.15; πνεῦμα ὧν κατήγορον, .. δρόμοις [ἡ φύσις] ἐκβιᾶται κατηγορέειν what the respiration reveals, Arte12. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 927.

The word from which we get our English word “category” is actually a word with similar spelling: κατηγορία. This word is used 3x in the NT (Jn 18:29; 1 Tim 5:19; Tit 1:6). and is translated as “charges, accusation, charge.” Our English word “category” comes from its use in Logic. Again LSJ is helpful:

κατηγορία, Ion. -ίη, ἡ, accusation, Hdt.6.50, etc.; opp. αἰτία (expostulaton), Th.1.69; opp. ἔπαινος, ib.84; opp. ἀπολογία, Arist.Rh.1358b11; τὴν κ. ποιεῖσθαι Antipho 6.10, And.1.6; ὡς ὑβοίζοντος κ. ἐποιοῦντο X.An.5.8.1; κ. ἐγένοντο πολλαὶ τῶν Ἀθηναίων charges were made against .., Id.HG2.1.31; κατηγορίαι κατά τινος γεγόνασιν Isoc.5.147; εἰ .. ἐπὶ τοῖς πεπραγμένοις κατηγορίας ἔχω I am liable to accusation, D.18.240.
II. in Logic, predication, Arist.Metaph.1007a35, etc.: pl., Id.APo.84a1; esp. affirmative predicaton, opp. στέρησις, Id.APr.52a15; ἄπορον ἐν κ. Stoic.2.93.
2. predicate, Arist.Metaph.1004a29, 1028a28, al., Epicur.Ep.1p.23 U., etc.
3. more freq., category, head of predicables, Arist.Top.103b20 (ten), APo.83b16, Ph.225b5 (eight), Metaph.1068a8 (seven), cf. EN1096a29. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 927.

You can see that II.3 explains how we got the English word category from this Greek word but it really doesn’t help Young make his point because this wasn’t the word used in Revelation 12:10 and John surely didn’t intend to make a connection to categorising people in an inappropriate way.

I hesitate to criticise Young for this inappropriate use of Greek but I think he needs to rethink his use of this verse especially given the gravity of his purpose. The lie that he wants to dispel in this chapter is “God is a Christian” and given the wow factor of his assertion that this is a lie he needs to be rock solid in his argumentation.

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September 28, 2017
Semantic range of the word Dynamite
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 8:43
Yesterday I provided Carson’s quote re. the word dynamite and the Greek word dunamis which is used 119 times in the New Testament and is translated variously as “miracle,” “power,” “ability,” etc. However, in Carson’ objection to preachers’ use of the comparison of God’s power to dynamite he neglects to mention the semantic range of both dunamis and dynamite.

Obviously dynamite means the chemical compound that blows things up but it also means anything powerful, exciting, dangerous, etc. Obviously no preacher is using dunamis/dynamite comparing the explosive properties of dynamite to God’s power of the gospel that brings salvation to everyone that believes. By restricting the semantic range of the English word dynamite Carson makes his point clear but at the expense of the ordinary linguistic use of the word.

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September 27, 2017
New Testament Dynamite? Hilarious.
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 18:29
I just reread D.A. Carson’s take on dynamite in the New Testament and did a search of my Logos Bible Software library for dynamite NEAR dunamis and came up with quite a haul. Here’s Carson’s full comment:

Semantic anachronism Pages 33–34
But the problem has a second face when we also add a change of language. Our word dynamite is etymologically derived from δύναμις (dynamis, power, or even miracle). I do not know how many times I have heard preachers offer some p 34 such rendering of Romans 1:16 as this: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the dynamite of God unto salvation for everyone who believes”—often with a knowing tilt of the head, as if something profound or even esoteric has been uttered. This is not just the old root fallacy revisited. It is worse: it is an appeal to a kind of reverse etymology, the root fallacy compounded by anachronism. Did Paul think of dynamite when he penned this word? And in any case, even to mention dynamite as a kind of analogy is singularly inappropriate. Dynamite blows things up, tears things down, rips out rock, gouges holes, destroys things. The power of God concerning which Paul speaks he often identifies with the power that raised Jesus from the dead (e.g., Eph. 1:18–20); and as it operates in us, its goal is εἰς σωτηρίαν (eis som tērian,“unto salvation,” Rom. 1:16, KJV), aiming for the wholeness and perfection implicit in the consummation of our salvation. Quite apart from the semantic anachronism, therefore, dynamite appears inadequate as a means of raising Jesus from the dead or as a means of conforming us to the likeness of Christ. Of course, what preachers are trying to do when they talk about dynamite is give some indication of the greatness of the power involved. Even so, Paul’s measure is not dynamite, but the empty tomb. In exactly the same way, it is sheer semantic anachronism to note that in the text “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7) the Greek word behind “cheerful” is ἱλαρόν (hilaron) and conclude that what God really loves is a hilarious giver. Perhaps we should play a laugh–track record while the offering plate is being circulated.

D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Carlisle, U.K.; Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster; Baker Books, 1996), 33–34.

In Logos I got 126 results in 60 articles in 53 resources which is a fair number but as Carson says “I don’t know how many times I have offer it in connection with Romans 1:16. Some of those hits are making the same point as Carson but many are committing the semantic anachronism he is warning us about.

Here’s my favourite of the ones I saw in my library: “worship can be dynamite, which is exactly what God has promised us. Dynamite comes from the Greek word dunamis, which is the word used in Acts 1:8 when Jesus promises, ‘You will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’” Bruce Larson and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Luke, vol. 26, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1983), 116.

What’s in your library? Is it dynamite?

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March 1, 2017
Lent – Are you giving something up or adding something to spend more time with God?
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 21:05
Tags: Lent, spiritual disciplines
March 1 is Ash Wednesday this year which marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Evangelicals have something on an ambivalent relationship with Lent, rightly rejecting its association with penance but also not taking the opportunity to seek a closer relationship with God. There are two basic themes to Lent. You can either give up something that you enjoy or you can add something such as engaging in a spiritual discipline: reading the Bible more each day, praying more, etc.

Back in 1999 I gave up watching TV for Lent and it changed my life. To this day I don’t watch TV or movies on a regular basis and there aren’t any TV shows that I feel the need to watch. This has given me a lot of free time to do other things like read, spend time with others and most importantly with God. I think it also means I am often out of the loop culturally (which I believe can be a good thing). These days you might decide to give up Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. You can use all that extra time to pray or read the Bible and devotional material. I would recommend you read the gospels and I’m currently reading A.W. Tozer as my devotional material. He wrote quite a while ago but most of his material is still spot on.

Blessings on You this Lenten season. May you seek and find a closer relationship with God in Christ Jesus through Holy Spirit.

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January 14, 2015
Time as History by George Grant
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 22:49
Tags: George Grant, history, Massey lecture, philosophy, Time as History
Grant, George. Time as History. Edited by William Christian. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995.grant
This can also be listened to online in its original Massey lecture format on the CBC.

This book is comprised of five lectures given in 1969 for CBC radio and is presented here with a long introduction by William Christian. He also rearranged the text quite a bit so if you are listening along with the lectures you will need to flip around to find the right place. It also includes a short dialogue at the end with Charles Malik. This is, quite frankly, the highlight of the book. The lectures focuses on Nietzsche and Grant’s agreement and challenge to the same.

Time as History is the theme and it is important to know what he means by this. For that reason the book actually begins with what did not appear until about the 20 minute mark of the original lecture. It would have been very difficult to follow Grant on the radio. With regard to history he says: “However these two sides of the modern project may be put together [history and the study of history], my purpose is to write about the word history as it is used about existence in time, not as it is used to describe a particular academic study….I am concerned with what it means to conceive the world as an historical process, to conceive time as history and man as an historical being” (13). For Grant there is no more purpose to history than the passage of time and our acting within it. This follows from Nietzsche although he does put some of his own spin on it.

History is future oriented in that we have a goal towards which we are focussed and the study of the past is what allows us to formulate and accomplish that goal. We speak of the present with a view to the future; “we are trying to gather the intricacies of the present so that we can calculate what we must be resolute in doing to bring about the future we desire” (16). To unpack the concept of time as history we need to “think our orientation to the future together with the will to mastery” (17). The ability and will to change things combines our future orientation with action, something that is unique to our civilization at this time. Along with future orientation is this idea of the willing. We are Creators: “It is our destiny to bring about something novel; to conquer an indifferent nature and make it good for us” (24) “Time is a developing history of meaning that we make” (24). History has makers – those who strive to bring forth something of their own creation. This reflects our future orientation. “…meaning is not found in what is actually now present for us, but in that which we can yet bring to be” (27).

He spends much time on Nietzsche’s rejection of the idea that there is purpose to be found within history. God is dead is the famous affirmation and now there are no absolutes to give shape and purpose to our world. Those who have left religion behind still find purpose in the very “unfolding of rationality among the species, man” (38). Nietzsche rejects this as well, seeing it as a vestige left over from Christian days. ‘Horizon’ is used to delineate the context within which everything appears within its limits. The historical sense shows us that these horizons are our own creation. “They are man-made perspectives by which the charismatic impose their will to power.” The horizons are not the nature of things out there, but rather “they express the values which our tortured instincts will to create” (40). Horizons are analogous to narratives in the meta-narrative – narrative distinction. Of course if we create them they have no meaning beyond ourselves.

Nietzsche found his only solace in the doctrine of amor fati (love of fate). By embracing an undecided fate one could find peace and “begin to will novelty in joy” (56). Grant seeks to move beyond this by speaking of remembrance and from that loving and thinking. Love of fate is not fatalism – the acceptance of whatever might be, but rather it requires action. “Nietzsche’s love of fate is not passive, but a call to dynamic political doing” (59) Those who have moved beyond the previous view of history are beyond the vices of that age. They are now free to practice dynamic willing without revenge. There are three facets to history: past, present, future which correspond to remembering, loving and thinking.
Remembering – the handing over of tradition is surrendering. To live within a remembered reverence. He gives the example of his dying Christian friend who rejected the thought of Nietzsche. That friend lived within the tradition handed down to him, Christianity, and was quite content with the meaning he found there.
Loving and Thinking are the means by which we appropriate from tradition and form the future.
The question is not who deserves to serve as masters of the earth but of mastery itself. Those who cannot live with the simple fact of time as history are called to utilize loving and thinking to create a better world. This is the task of great thinkers and saints. In the face of Nietzsche’s two options: last men and nihilists Grant seeks to articulate a third possibility in which we find meaning by looking to the past and appropriating meaning for ourselves. There can be nothing universal about this meaning but we can find solace in it. In other words we may unashamedly live within the tradition handed down to us (e.g. Christianity) while not claiming any kind of universal truth for it.

As a Christian, I obviously must be challenged by this concept as it seeks to undermine my understanding of history and my place in it. Specifically, Grant says that humans seek permanence rather than face the reality that all is in continuous change: “The desire to assert some permanence is particularly pressing among those who have begun to be aware of the abysmal void of its absence, and who wish to turn away from such a cause of fright” (37). As a Christian I find this unacceptable because I believe that there is permanence in many things, especially regarding the metaphysical, such as the soul. It would seem that one can only see the absence and face the fright if one has already rejected one’s solid Christian belief. If that is the case is he suggesting that we return to our belief in order to escape this newly found knowledge? What of those who have grown up with it and who have never stepped outside it? What of those who grew up without it and have converted to a world defined by the mind of God rather than their own creating. Surely not everyone, down to the ‘semi-literate,’ can be the relativists he believes us to be, given the high degree of religion in our society of one kind or another.

I was just reading an article about Islamic State and the aftermath of the Paris attacks. It claimed that IS is feeling the brunt of western air attacks and it is certainly only a matter of time until they are eliminated. Perhaps this is what Grant meant when he talked about our civilization destroying so many others. Nevertheless, it is not ideological superiority that seeks to defeat IS but modernity’s technological superiority. The grandchildren of the superior fire power that tried to bomb North Vietnam into oblivion. I would dare to suggest that there are far more Christians in Vietnam today that read the Bible daily than there are people who have ever read Grant or Nietzsche. The belief that our civilization is superior to all others was what led us to Vietnam and it failed. Where that failed the Church has been victorious. Dare I suggest that it will not be western humanistic, liberal, postmodern, time as history process that wins over the people of the Middle East but rather the love of Jesus Christ. A love so great that it expressed itself in death for an enemy.

I think this idea that time is merely history has had an impact on our world. There are many today in leadership, government and otherwise, who seek to remold the world according to their image, with no regard for the Great Ideas of God or Ideal or righteousness. Today in Canada, society seeks to redefine marriage with no regard to our past understanding. However, I do believe that those change-agents still believe that they have a greater purpose on their side. They will say things like those who disagree with us “are on the wrong side of history” as though historical progress will vindicate their position. This may be true in the short term but I do not see it happening in the long run. Those who seek to create our story through time are merely workmen for Ozymandias. History will pass and they will pass away forgotten while only the name of their king will be remembered in dusty history books.

In conclusion, I cannot agree with his premise because it does not fit our context. It no doubt fit his 1960s context but today around the world people are not pessimistic about the possibility of a better future because of an understanding of time as history, nor are they attempting to create a future by appropriating the past through love and thinking. Instead, from Africa to Asia to the Middle East billions believe that we live within His Story and that we are agents working on his behalf to bring about his will on earth as it is in heaven.

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January 10, 2015
God and the Problem of Evil, edited by William L. Rowe
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 12:18
rowe This semester I’m have a class on Suffering and Belief in God. We are reading the essays in this book so I will be also posting them on this blog for your edification. I hope to have them up regularly so stay tuned!

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No bias on the CBC website rofl
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 12:13
Tags: CBC, hyprocrisy
CBC had an article on Jan 8 about the Montreal Gazette publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoons and their unwillingness to do likewise. Here’s what they had to say about that:

“This is not a ban, and it isn’t censorship,” David Studer, CBC’s director of Journalistic Standards and Practices, said in an email on Wednesday, reminding news staff of CBC’s long-established policy.

“We are being consistent with our historic journalistic practices around this story, not because of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers about images of the Prophet​. Similarly, we wouldn’t publish cartoons likely to dismay or outrage mainstream followers of other religions​.”

Apparently the definition “mainstream followers” must be pretty broad because I did a quick search of for pictures that Christians might find offensive and came across three within seconds.

Piss Christ is the worst but another article on Chocolate Jesus specifically mentions that Roman Catholics protested that it was sacrilegious: “The Catholics objected to the nudity, to the casting of the statue in chocolate and to the display of the work during Holy Week, the week before Easter.” I don’t think that portraying Steve Jobs as Jesus quite passes the test either if you use the same criteria.

What’s the true issue here? Mainstream Christians are not truly offended or Christians don’t threaten journalists and carry through on those threats with this kind of violence? Surely anyone can see that there is a double standard when it comes to not offending religious sensibilities. However, as Christians, we leave it to God to judge. Specifically, we believe that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. I certainly choose not to mock him because I love him as he first loved me and died for me. We have a responsibility to warn others that God will judge them for their actions but only insofar as they understand them. Clearly someone willing to mock God already lacks a relationship with him and that condemns them already (John 3:18). The wise man also remembers Proverbs 26:4 “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him” and the Streisand effect :).

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2014 in Reading
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 11:58
Tags: 2014, reading
This year’s post is again once and once again dedicated to Aunt Joan who already asked about it 🙂 .

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t posted in a whole year. I guess it just shows that 2014 was an ever more superer duper busy year for us. Even busier than 2013, which I remember as being busier than 2012, 2011 and so on. Can you sense that the trend is well established? 2014 was the first year since 2007 that I didn’t meet my goal of reading 100 books a year. 2015 is shaping up to be even busier as I’ve started another MA program.

Total books finished: 67
Total pages read 13,290
Average length of a book: 198 pages
Best month: February (17 books)
Slowest months: November (0 books! ouch)

I compared my reading to the New York Times bestseller list again this year. In 2014 I advanced one book, and have read 163 of 10,618 New York Times bestsellers. You can check out the list on LibraryThing. The total number of 10,618 hasn’t increased so I’m not sure what’s going on with that but anyway.

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December 31, 2013
2013 in Reading
Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 22:20
Tags: 2013, reading
This year’s post is again once and once again dedicated to Aunt Joan who cares about such things 🙂 .

2013 was an ever superer duper busy year for us. Even busier than 2012, which I remember as being busier than 2011 and so on. Can you sense that a trend has been established? I still managed to meet my goal of reading 100 books a year but just.

Total books finished: 104
Total pages read 19,267
Average length of a book: 185 pages
Best month: December (14 books)
Slowest months: Jan-Feb (5 books each)

I compared my reading to the New York Times bestseller list again this year. In 2013 I advanced two books, and have read 162 of 10,618 New York Times bestsellers. You can check out the list on LibraryThing.

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History Tanoli

Nawab Khan (who defeated the Durranis), is famed for his rebellion against Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s governors of Hazara. Painda Khan “played a considerable part in the history of his time and vigorously opposed the Sikhs.”
From about 1813, Mir Painda Khan spent a life long rebellion against the Sikhs. Hari Singh Nalwa, the Sikh Governor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to Hazara, took the initiative during his governorship of setting up forts at strategic locations to keep Painda Khan in check.
Painda Khan’s rebellion against the Sikh empire cost him a major portion of his kingdom, leaving only the tract around Amb, with his twin capitals Amb and Darband. This increased his resistance against the Sikh government.
In 1828 Mir Painda Khan gifted the territory of Phulra as an independent Khanate to his brother Madad Khan, which later on was recognised by the British as a semi-independent Princely State.
Painda Khan was the Nawab of Amb who took over the valley of Agror in 1834, but in I841 it was restored by the Sikhs to Ata Muhammad, a descendant of Sad-ud-din.
General Dhaurikal Singh, commanding officer of the Sikh troops in Hazara, had Painda Khan poisoned to death in September 1844. Painda Khan is still revered in Hazara as a hero.
Major J. Abbott commented that ‘During the first period of Painda Khan’s career, he was far too vigorous and powerful to be molested by any neighbouring tribe, and when he began to fail before the armies and purse of the Sikh Government, he was interested in keeping upon the best terms with his northern neighbours of the Black Mountains.’ He is further described by him as, ‘a Chief renowned on the Border, a wild and energetic man who was never subjugated by the Sikhs.’
Mir Jehandad Khan
“Of all the tribal chiefs of Hazara, the most powerful [was] said to be Jehandad Khan of the Tanoli.” His territories laid on both banks of the Indus, and, as the son of Painda Khan, Jehandad Khan was particularly well respected among his peoples.
When Sikh power was on the fall in 1845 Jehandad Khan blockaded the garrisons of no less than 22 Sikh posts in Upper Tanawal ; and when they surrendered at discretion, he spared their lives, as the servants of a fallen Empire. “The act, however, stood him afterwards in good stead; for, when Hazara was assigened to Maharaja Golab Singh, that politic ruler rewarded Jehandad Khan’s humanity with the jagir of Koolge and Badnuck in Lower Tannowul.”
As far as Jehandad Khans hereditary domain of Upper Tanawal, with the capital at Amb is concerned, the term ‘jagir’ has never been applicable to it. The British Government considered Upper Tannowul as a chiefship held under the British Government, but in which, as a rule, they did not possess internal jurisdiction. The Chief managed his own people in his own way without regard to British laws, rules or system. This tenure resembled that on which the Chiefs of Patiala, Jhind, Nabha, Kapurthala and others held their lands.
In 1852, Jehandad Khan was summoned by the president of the Board of Administration (who travelled to Hazara to see the Khan) in relation to a murder enquiry of two British officers in his lands. When the president threatened the Khan to give up the murderers or suffer the consequences (of burning down the villages and giving the region to another), the Khan is said to have replied “We should consider your presence (in our kingdom) an honour, but our country is a ‘rather difficult one’ for your army.”
This response was the talk of the day and it is remembered by many locals of Hazara even to this day as a heroic answer.
He was son of Painda Khan. When he died, he left a nine years old boy: Muhammad Akram Khan.
Nawab Sir Muhammad Akram Khan
During the tenure Nawab Sir Akram Khan (K.C.S.I)(1868 – 1907), son of Jehandad Khan, the fort at Shergarh was constructed, along with Dogah and Shahkot Forts. His rule was a peaceful time for Tanawal with no major conflicts. He was later conferred the title Nawab Bahadur by the British Raj.
Not to be confused with Muhammad Akram (1817-1852), one of the sons of Dost Mohammad Khan.
Nawab Sir Muhammad Khanizaman Khan
Nawab Khanizaman Khan, son of Akram Khan, helped the British in carrying out the Black Mountain (Kala Dhaka/Tur Ghar) expeditions.
Nawab Sir Muhammad Farid Khan
Nawab Sir Muhammad Farid Khan (K.B.E) succeeded his father Nawab Khanizaman Khan. He had had a very good relationship with The Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan. His contributions to the Pakistan movement have been acknowledged by letters from The Quaid e Azam. In 1947 the Nawab of Amb, Mohammad Farid Khan, acceded to Pakistan by signing the Instrument of Accession of his State, in favour of Pakistan. In 1969, the State was incorporated into the North-West Frontier Province. He died in 1969 and in 1971 the royal status of the Nawab was abolished by the Government of Pakistan.
Malik Nawab Khan Tanoli
Malik Nawab Khan, of Lower Tanawal, is commented by Major J. Abbot as a “Brave man” in his book written on Abbottabad. Malik Nawab Khan was a learned man and an able soldier. He was a strong religious man. Malik Nawab Khan was among the fellow tribesmen of famous Mir Jehandad Khan.
Characteristics and Features of Tribal Tanolis (Based on the classification of Tribes of Indo-Pak by the British)
The Tanolies were counted amongst the Martial races, an ideology based on the assumption that certain ethnic groups are inherently more martially inclined than others( It was a term originally used by the British, who observed that the Scottish Highlanders were more fierce in battle than others in Britain, and extended this concept to India).
They have many Pathan customs and take much pride in their dress and appearance.
The Tanolis support themselves almost exclusively by agriculture, and their principal food is unleavened bread with buttermilk and butter; but fowls, eggs, fish, and game are also articles of diet.
Of those who live in the hills, many are as fair as Italians, with eyes of light hazel or greyish blue, and frequently brown hair and reddish beards. Those who live on the low-lying lands near the Indus are darker. All are stout and active men, and have the reputation of being good soldiers and staunch partisans.
They are hardy and simple in their habits, generally free from the vices of thieving and debauchery; but credulous, obstinate, and unforgiving.
Religiously; they are Mohammedans of the Sunni sect.
Tanoli sub-tribes
The Hindwal and Pallal are the major divisions of the tribe. The further sub?divisions of the tribe are:
Jamal; Charyal, Ledhyal, Abdwal, Khankhail
Saryal; Lalal, Hedral, Baizal
An sal
Labhya (Suba Khani)
Khan Khel
Painda Khel /also know (Payenda Khel)
Tani Khel
Nawab Khel
Mir Dad Khel
Jahangir Khel
Bohla Khel
Maza Khani
Sher Khani
Noorullah Khani
Shamsullah Khani
Tanolis Todays
Most members of the Tanoli tribe reside in the former state of Amb in the Hazara Division of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, in the cities of Abbottabad, Haripur and its district, Mansehra, Battagram and Kohistan districts. A branch of the Tanoli tribe also resides in Kashmir, mainly in Muzaffarabad and Srinagar. Tanolis are also living in some areas of Swabi,Khalabat, Nowshera, Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan and Sultanpur. A significant number of Tanolis also living in Karachi. There are also quite a few Tanoli families residing in the city of Queeta in the Balochistan Province. They dominate the Tanawal-Sherwan belt.
The principal language of the Tanoli is Hindko. Tanolis living in Pashtun dominated areas speak Pashto.

Murat Palta

Interview with Murat Palta – Genius Behind Oriental Remakes of Hollywood Classics

Oriental-esque Godfather by Murat Palta
“It began two years ago,” according to Murat Palta who studied graphic designing at Dumlupınar University Kütahya, Turkey, “with an experiment to blend traditional ‘oriental’ (Ottoman) motifs and contemporary ‘western’ cinema. After a positive response to “Ottoman Star Wars”, I decided to take the theme further, and developed more film posters using the same technique.”

And it turned out fantastic. Making waves all over the internet and various art e-zines, Palta’s oriental illustrations of Hollywood classics has the perfect aesthetic blend of the east and the west. Dressed up in sheikh garb while taking in the scent of a rose, our chubby villain Darth Vader looks pleasantly carefree among his equally well-dressed minions. Jack from The Shining doesn’t look so threatening either.

Considering how the eastern aspect of his digital illustrations meshed well with my (often critical and harsh) academic pursuits of orientalism and its various forms, I decided to take Mr. Palta’s interview – for some art-education and fun. Our digital doodler was kind enough to take some time out to talk.

Mehreen Kasana: So what’s up these days?

Murat Palta: I’m not studying anymore but I have to finish my internship to get my diploma. I finished graphic department of Dumlupınar University (placed in Kütahya) two months ago [but] there’s an obligatory internship that has to be done. All I am doing [right now] is to deal with it.

MK: How did you get this idea? Is there a precedence to it? Because it seems like the first attempt at blending two eras – and that too with quite some eccentricity.

MP: Me and my brother like to talk about movies. Once we were talking about Star Wars, asking each other “What it would be like if it was [the] Ottoman Empire?” and I illustrated what we had talked [about]. After uploading it to a Turkish website, I recieved nice responses. At the last year of university, I decided to carry it further as my thesis for graduation.

MK: Typical question. How long did it take? All that detail! Especially the Oriental re-creation of Star Wars – I see our iconic villain in quite the relaxing sheikh mode.

MP: I don’t remember much about Star Wars but as far as I remember it took like two days with lots of breaks, of course. On the other hand, the other [illustrations] were totally troubling. In the class, everyone was working on their project but the teacher was also giving some side projects which were unnecessary. So I decided that it was not going to be like this and I stayed at home for two weeks, without going to school. I acted as if it was my job. I used to wake up early, have breaks at certain times. After two weeks, they were finished.

MK: Usually artistic folks don’t enjoy sharing the tricks of their trade. I’ll try this on you: What did you use for your graduation thesis other than your obviously fantastic creativity? Tablet?

MP: Hahah, yes and a computer of course. But seriously, there’s no catch. I just went to the school library, examined the characters and everything about style. Also, I found a book with oriental ornaments. So I digitalized them as patterns. Eveything else was regular: I drew them with a tablet. Of course, there were some characters from the movies that I don’t remember [clearly]. So I paused the scenes where they acted, and drew them on the computer. Before that, I made lots of sketches on paper.

MK: Tough stuff, damn. In one of the illustrations – my favorite, i.e. – Jack is raging while his wife cowers in the bathroom – one of the unforgettable scenes from The Shining. There’s some very nice text in the left and right corners of the drawings – and since I can’t read Turkish (assuming that it is the language) – would you mind translating the particular text above Jack’s head?

MP: Sure. At the right top, it says “lunacy”. This is how the movie is named in Turkey. At the left, above Danny it says: Danny sees twin sisters’ illussion. And above Jack’s head: Jack breaks the door under possession.

MK: Creepy. There are dozens of Hollywood classics. What made you pick the ones in your paintings? Was the selection difficult? Or was it made on a pop culture basis considering how our internet is obsessed with Pulp Fiction jokes and A Clockwork Orange, Godfather references?

MP: We can say all of them were the parts for me to decide. I sought for the movies with three qualities: They had to be titled “classic” or “cult” so that everyone could recognise what the miniatures were about, even though he or she hadn’t seen the movie yet. They had to contain some reflections from western culture. They had to be adapted to eastern culture or miniature style. So these movies had these three qualities – more or less.

MK: It’s hard to believe these are digital illustrations, is what someone exclaimed to me. They further explained how the detail and texture looked amazing thus the disbelief. How long has it taken for you to master strokes and angles on a digital medium? Is it a lot tougher than an actual painting on a canvas?

MP: Sometimes. For instance, personally I like working with paper and pencil. It’s more enjoyable for me and it’s easier. To talk about digital medium, its advantage is colouring. Also, if you make a mistake, it’s easy to take it back. Since I didn’t have much time, I had to make them with a digital medium. Honestly, even if I had time I would still make them [on the same platform]. Because my aim was also to prove that traditional can go together with digital. Controlling strokes and angles didn’t take much time but at first, it was little hard for me to control the tablet. I had been using the mouse [before]. At the time I was working on the project, it had been four months or something since I bought the tablet and till that time, I just used it infrequently. But after all, I made it!

MK: I’ll stop pestering you now. Before I stop, got any tips or friendly advice for aspiring artists and illustrators?

MP: I’m too young to give tips but I can give some friendly advice: I think graphic artists shouldn’t try hard to draw great. Instead, they should try hard to find different ideas so that they can take a [different] step for graphic art.

MK: Thanks for your time, Murat. Awesome work.

Check out the whole set here. There should be a book of these.

In other news: The short film Assad Zulifqar Khan wrote and I co-wrote, depicted in Zia ul Haq’s dark era, is receiving interesting reviews from the audience. Make sure you check out the trailer and the review by Saadia Qamar for Express Tribune.

Peter KURETSKI and Kathleen Kuretski, Appellants v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Appellee. No. 13-1090.

Kuretski v. CIR, 755 F. 3d 929 – Court of Appeals, Dist. of Columbia Circuit 2014
ReadHow cited
755 F.3d 929 (2014)
Peter KURETSKI and Kathleen Kuretski, Appellants

No. 13-1090.
United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

November 26, 2013.
June 20, 2014.
931*931 Tuan N. Samahon argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Carlton M. Smith, Frank Agostino, and John P.L. Miscione.

Bethany B. Hauser, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the cause for appellee. With her on the brief was Teresa E. McLaughlin, Attorney.

Before: SRINIVASAN, Circuit Judge, and EDWARDS and SENTELLE, Senior Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge SRINIVASAN.

SRINIVASAN, Circuit Judge:

Peter and Kathleen Kuretski owed more than $22,000 in federal income taxes for the 2007 tax year. They paid none. The Internal Revenue Service assessed the unpaid amount plus penalties and interest, and then attempted to collect from the 932*932 Kuretskis by means of a levy on the couple’s home. The Kuretskis unsuccessfully challenged the proposed levy in the Tax Court.

The Kuretskis now contend that the Tax Court judge may have been biased in favor of the IRS in a manner that infringes the constitutional separation of powers. They point to 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f), which enables the President to remove Tax Court judges on grounds of “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” According to the Kuretskis, Tax Court judges exercise the judicial power of the United States under Article III of the Constitution, and it violates the constitutional separation of powers to subject any person clothed with Article III authority to “interbranch” removal at the hands of the President. The Kuretskis thus ask us to strike down 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f), vacate the Tax Court’s decision, and remand their case for re-decision by a Tax Court judge free from the threat of presidential removal and hence free from alleged bias in favor of the Executive Branch.

To our knowledge, this is the first case in any court of appeals to present the question of whether 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) infringes the constitutional separation of powers. We answer that question in the negative. Even if the prospect of “interbranch” removal of a Tax Court judge would raise a constitutional concern in theory, there is no cause for concern in fact: the Tax Court, in our view, exercises Executive authority as part of the Executive Branch. Presidential removal of a Tax Court judge thus would constitute an intra — not inter — branch removal. We also reject the Kuretskis’ remaining challenges to the Tax Court’s disposition of their case.



When the Internal Revenue Service determines that a taxpayer owes more to the federal government than the taxpayer has paid, the IRS may make an assessment recording the taxpayer’s outstanding liability. See 26 U.S.C. § 6201; United States v. Fior D’Italia, Inc., 536 U.S. 238, 243, 122 S.Ct. 2117, 153 L.Ed.2d 280 (2002). An assessment is “essentially a bookkeeping notation” made when the IRS “establishes an account against the taxpayer on the tax rolls.” Laing v. United States, 423 U.S. 161, 170 n. 13, 96 S.Ct. 473, 46 L.Ed.2d 416 (1976). Upon issuance of an assessment, the federal government acquires a lien on all property belonging to the delinquent taxpayer. See 26 U.S.C. §§ 6321, 6322. “`A federal tax lien, however, is not self-executing,’ and the IRS must take `affirmative action to enforce collection of the unpaid taxes.'” EC Term of Years Trust v. United States, 550 U.S. 429, 430-31, 127 S.Ct. 1763, 167 L.Ed.2d 729 (2007) (alteration and ellipsis omitted) (quoting United States v. Nat’l Bank of Commerce, 472 U.S. 713, 720, 105 S.Ct. 2919, 86 L.Ed.2d 565 (1985)). One of the IRS’s “principal tools” for collecting unpaid taxes is a “levy,” a “legally sanctioned seizure and sale of property.” Id. at 431, 127 S.Ct. 1763 (internal quotation marks omitted).

Until 1921, taxpayers had no pre-assessment opportunity to dispute the amount they owed the Treasury. Nor could they challenge a levy before its imposition. A taxpayer’s only recourse was to pay the disputed amount and then bring a refund suit against the tax collector or the United States. See Flora v. United States, 362 U.S. 145, 151-52, 80 S.Ct. 630, 4 L.Ed.2d 623 (1960); Burns, Stix Friedman & Co. v. Comm’r, 57 T.C. 392, 394 n. 7 (1971).

The Revenue Act of 1921 for the first time required giving taxpayers pre-assessment notice of a deficiency. The 1921 Act also provided that “[o]pportunity for hearing shall be granted” before assessment of 933*933 the tax. Revenue Act of 1921, ch. 136, § 250(d), 42 Stat. 227, 266. But it was not until 1924 that Congress created a tribunal separate from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (as the IRS was then known) to hear taxpayers’ pre-assessment appeals. See Harold Dubroff, The United States Tax Court: An Historical Analysis, 40 Alb. L.Rev. 7, 64-66 (1975); see also John Kelley Co. v. Comm’r, 326 U.S. 521, 527-28, 66 S.Ct. 299, 90 L.Ed. 278 (1946).

The Revenue Act of 1924 established the “Board of Tax Appeals” as “an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government.” Revenue Act of 1924, ch. 234, § 900(a), (k), 43 Stat. 253, 336, 338. The Act provided for the President to appoint members of the Board to ten-year terms with the advice and consent of the Senate. Id. § 900(b), 43 Stat. at 336-37. The Act also stated that “[a]ny member of the Board may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, but for no other reason.” Id. at 337. In 1926, Congress extended the term of Board members to twelve years and amended the removal provision to guarantee “notice and opportunity for a public hearing” before the President could remove a Board member for cause. Revenue Act of 1926, ch. 27, § 1000, 44 Stat. 9, 105-06. The 1926 Act also made the Board’s decisions directly reviewable by the circuit courts of appeals. Id. § 1001(a), 44 Stat. at 109-10.

In 1942, Congress changed the name of the Board to “The Tax Court of the United States” and declared that the court’s members “shall be known” as “judges.” See Revenue Act of 1942, ch. 619, § 504(a), 56 Stat. 798, 957. But the 1942 Act otherwise left intact the provisions governing the former Board of Tax Appeals.

More than a quarter of a century later, Congress enacted a series of additional changes to the statutes governing the Tax Court. See Tax Reform Act of 1969, Pub.L. No. 91-172, §§ 951-962, 83 Stat. 487, 730-36. The 1969 Act amended the statute addressing the status of the court to read:

There is hereby established, under article I of the Constitution of the United States, a court of record to be known as the United States Tax Court. The members of the Tax Court shall be the chief judge and the judges of the Tax Court.
Id. § 951, 83 Stat. at 730 (codified at 26 U.S.C. § 7441). The 1969 Act extended the term of Tax Court judges from twelve years to fifteen years. See Pub.L. No. 91-172, § 952, 83 Stat. at 730. Congress did not, however, alter the provision allowing for presidential removal of Tax Court judges. The removal statute remains in place today, and states:

Judges of the Tax Court may be removed by the President, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause.
26 U.S.C. § 7443(f). It appears that no President has ever sought to remove a member of the Tax Court or the Board of Tax Appeals. See Deborah A. Geier, The Tax Court, Article III, and the Proposal Advanced by the Federal Courts Study Committee: A Study in Applied Constitutional Theory, 76 Cornell L.Rev. 985, 994 n. 54 (1991).

After the 1969 Act, the Tax Court continued to provide a pre-assessment forum for taxpayers to challenge the IRS’s deficiency determinations. Upon making an assessment, however, the IRS could levy on a delinquent taxpayer’s property without any additional opportunity for a hearing. See United States v. Nat’l Bank of Commerce, 472 U.S. 713, 720, 105 S.Ct. 2919, 86 L.Ed.2d 565 (1985); United States v. Rodgers, 461 U.S. 677, 682-83, 103 S.Ct. 2132, 76 L.Ed.2d 236 (1983). That 934*934 changed in 1998, when Congress established the “collection due process” hearing procedure “to temper `any harshness'” caused by the IRS’s ability to levy on a taxpayer’s property before the taxpayer could challenge the collection action. Byers v. Comm’r, 740 F.3d 668, 671 (D.C.Cir.2014) (quoting Olsen v. United States, 414 F.3d 144, 150 (1st Cir.2005)); Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub.L. No. 105-206, § 3401(b), 112 Stat. 685, 747-48 (codified as amended at 26 U.S.C. § 6330).

Under the 1998 Act, the IRS must give thirty days’ notice before levying on any property to collect unpaid taxes. 26 U.S.C. § 6330(a). During those thirty days, the taxpayer may request a collection-due-process hearing before the IRS Office of Appeals, at which the taxpayer may raise “any relevant issue relating to the unpaid tax or the proposed levy.” Id. § 6330(b)(1), (c)(2). If dissatisfied with the result of a collection-due-process hearing, the taxpayer may appeal to the Tax Court. See id. § 6330(d)(1). The Tax Court’s decisions in collection-due-process cases are subject to review in this Court. Byers, 740 F.3d at 675-77.


On April 15, 2008, Peter and Kathleen Kuretski of Staten Island, N.Y., filed a joint federal income tax return for 2007 on which they reported a tax liability of $24,991 and claimed a withholding credit of $2856. The Kuretskis did not include any payment of the liability reported on their return. Because the Kuretskis did not dispute the amount they owed, the IRS assessed the balance shown on the return along with penalties and interest. In October 2008, the IRS notified the Kuretskis that they owed $23,601.50 to the United States Treasury, and the IRS told the Kuretskis that it intended to levy on their property thirty days later unless they paid the amount due.

The Kuretskis, through their counsel, filed timely requests for a collection-due-process hearing on the ground that “a levy would create a burden and hardship” for the couple. The Kuretskis submitted an “offer in compromise,” proposing to pay $1000 in five monthly installments of $200 to settle their outstanding tax liabilities, and they also asked for an abatement of penalties. See 26 C.F.R. § 301.7122-1 (procedure for compromises); see also id. § 301.6651-1(c) (procedure for abatement of penalties based on reasonable cause for failure to pay).

In a letter to the Kuretskis’ attorney dated April 14, 2010, an IRS settlement officer rejected the Kuretskis’ offer in compromise. The letter explained that the Kuretskis’ equity in their home rendered the offer “unacceptable as an alternative for collection.” The settlement officer later told the Kuretskis’ attorney that the IRS might be willing to accept a full-payment installment agreement under which the Kuretskis would pay $250 a month for the next nine years.

On June 8, 2010, the Kuretskis’ attorney advised the IRS that her clients continued to seek a partial-payment agreement instead of the full-payment installment plan. On June 28, the Kuretskis and their attorney met with the settlement officer, but did not then (or later) accept the full-payment installment offer. On July 7, 2010, the settlement officer closed the Kuretskis’ case file. An IRS appeals team manager approved the settlement officer’s decision the next day, and the IRS sent a notice of determination to the Kuretskis on July 20 informing them that their requests for a compromise and an abatement of penalties had been rejected. The Kuretskis appealed to the Tax Court. See 26 U.S.C. § 6330(d)(1) (right to Tax Court 935*935 review of IRS’s collection-due-process determination).


On September 12, 2011, the Kuretskis’ case was tried before the Tax Court. As is relevant here, the Kuretskis, represented by new counsel, argued that the IRS settlement officer abused her discretion by closing their case file and issuing a notice of determination even though the parties were on the verge of reaching agreement on an alternate schedule for installment payments. The IRS settlement officer, however, testified that she had no recollection of any discussions on an alternate schedule, and that she had concluded by early July 2010 that she could no longer keep open the $250-a-month offer that had been on the table since April of that year. The Tax Court found that the “weight of the evidence” supported the settlement officer’s account. Mem. Findings of Fact & Op. at 10. According to the Tax Court, the settlement officer had maintained a “firm stance” on the $250 figure through several months of negotiations, and an IRS officer “is not obligated to negotiate indefinitely.” Id. at 11.

The Kuretskis also alleged that they should avoid any liability for late-payment penalties because they had reasonable cause for their failure to pay. See 26 U.S.C. § 6651(a)(2). The Tax Court rejected that argument. The Tax Court noted that the Kuretskis bore the burden of proof on this issue and concluded that the Kuretskis had failed to carry their burden. The Tax Court did find for the Kuretskis on one issue, overturning an assessed penalty of $972 for underpayment of estimated tax under 26 U.S.C. § 6654.

One month after the Tax Court’s decision, the Kuretskis filed a motion for reconsideration and a motion to vacate the decision. The Kuretskis argued for the first time that the statute allowing for presidential removal of Tax Court judges, 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f), violates Article III of the Constitution. The Kuretskis asked the Tax Court to find § 7443(f) unconstitutional, and then to decide the case again “free of `the improper threat of interbranch removal.'” Order at 1-2 (Mar. 4, 2013) (quoting Kuretskis’ argument).

On March 4, 2013, the Tax Court denied both motions. The court declined to address the Kuretskis’ Article III argument, concluding that they had failed to explain why they waited to raise the argument until after the court’s initial decision. The Kuretskis appealed to this Court, and the parties stipulated that the D.C. Circuit is the proper venue for review. See 26 U.S.C. § 7482(b)(2) (Tax Court decisions may be reviewed by any federal court of appeals designated by the IRS and the taxpayer “by stipulation in writing”).


The Kuretskis challenge the Tax Court’s decision on both constitutional and nonconstitutional grounds. As to the latter, the Kuretskis argue that the Tax Court committed clear error in finding them liable for late-payment penalties under 26 U.S.C. § 6651(a)(2). We first take up that challenge before addressing the constitutional claims.

Under § 6651(a)(2), taxpayers who fail to pay their income taxes on time are liable for an additional 0.5% of the amount due for each additional month of nonpayment, up to a maximum of 25%. A taxpayer may gain relief from liability for late payment by showing “that such failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.” 26 U.S.C. § 6651(a)(2). The taxpayer “must make an affirmative showing of all facts alleged as a reasonable cause for his failure to … pay such tax on time in the form of a written statement containing a declaration that it is made 936*936 under penalties of perjury.” 26 C.F.R. § 301.6651-1(c)(1) (emphasis added). The written statement “should be filed with the district director or the director of the service center with whom the [taxpayer’s] return is required to be filed.” Id.

The Kuretskis contend that they “clearly had reasonable cause” for their failure to pay their taxes on time, thus entitling them to penalty relief under § 6651(a)(2). Pet’rs’ Br. 49. The Kuretskis, however, have never submitted a written statement under penalty of perjury explaining why they had reasonable cause for their nonpayment. They raise no challenge to the validity of the regulation requiring a written statement under penalty of perjury as a prerequisite for penalty abatement. Cf. Mayo Found. for Med. Educ. & Research v. United States, 562 U.S. 44, 131 S.Ct. 704, 712-16, 178 L.Ed.2d 588 (2011) (Chevron deference to IRS regulations). The regulation was adopted after notice and comment, see 36 Fed.Reg. 13,594, 13,596 (July 22, 1971), and the Kuretskis do not dispute its applicability to the penalty abatement issue in their case. See Pet’rs’ Br. 50-51 (citing 26 C.F.R. § 301.6651-1(c)(1)). We see no basis for excusing their failure to comply with a regulation they concede to be applicable. See, e.g., DeSabato v. United States, 538 F.Supp.2d 422, 426 n. 6 (D.Mass.2008) (“Failure to submit such a written statement to the IRS precludes a plaintiff from making a `reasonable cause’ showing for the first time in federal court.”); Brown v. United States, 43 Fed.Cl. 463, 467 (1999) (taxpayer liable for late-payment penalty where he failed to submit the written statement required under 26 C.F.R. § 301.6651-1(c)(1)). We therefore find no error in the Tax Court’s holding that the Kuretskis owe late-payment penalties under 26 U.S.C. § 6651(a)(2). And because the Kuretskis’ failure to comply with the regulation affords a sufficient basis for upholding the imposition of late-payment penalties under § 6651(a)(2), we need not consider the Kuretskis’ remaining arguments concerning the application of that provision against them.


The Kuretskis’ principal contention on appeal is that the prospect of presidential removal of Tax Court judges under 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) violates the constitutional separation of powers. The IRS, for its part, initially advances three reasons for declining to reach the merits of the Kuretskis’ separation-of-powers argument. We first consider (and reject) those asserted reasons before turning to the merits.


The IRS’s first asserted basis for declining to reach the Kuretskis’ separation-of-powers argument is that they forfeited the claim by failing to raise it until their motion for reconsideration. The general rule in Tax Court cases is “not to consider an argument raised for the first time in a motion for reconsideration.” Cerand & Co. v. Comm’r, 254 F.3d 258, 260 (D.C.Cir.2001). But the Supreme Court has recognized an exception to the general rule: an appellate court may exercise its discretion to hear “a constitutional challenge that is neither frivolous nor disingenuous” if the “alleged defect … goes to the validity of the Tax Court proceeding that is the basis for th[e] litigation.” Freytag v. Comm’r, 501 U.S. 868, 879, 111 S.Ct. 2631, 115 L.Ed.2d 764 (1991). In that situation, the “disruption to sound appellate process entailed by entertaining objections not raised below” may be outweighed by “`the strong interest of the federal judiciary in maintaining the constitutional plan of separation of powers.'” Id. (quoting Glidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530, 536, 82 S.Ct. 1459, 8 L.Ed.2d 671 (1962) (plurality opinion)).

937*937 Just as the Supreme Court in Freytag elected to consider a belated constitutional challenge to the validity of a Tax Court proceeding, id., we do so here. In Freytag, as here, the petitioners raised a nonfrivolous constitutional challenge to the validity of a Tax Court proceeding after the Tax Court’s initial decision, and the petitioners’ claim implicated the federal judiciary’s strong interest in maintaining the separation of powers. The IRS, apparently attempting to suggest that the Kuretskis’ separation-of-powers claim is “frivolous,” characterizes the Kuretskis’ argument as “of a type that has been repeatedly rejected.” Resp’t Br. 40 (citing Nash Miami Motors, Inc. v. Comm’r, 358 F.2d 636 (5th Cir.1966); Burns, Stix Friedman & Co., 57 T.C. 392; and Parker v. Comm’r, 724 F.2d 469 (5th Cir.1984)). None of the decisions on which the IRS relies, however, considered the removal power argument raised by the Kuretskis. Nor does this case involve “sandbagging” concerns of the sort that the Supreme Court noted in Stern v. Marshall, ___ U.S. ___, 131 S.Ct. 2594, 2608, 180 L.Ed.2d 475 (2011), in declining to consider an argument that the bankruptcy court lacked statutory authority to resolve the respondent’s defamation claim. In Stern, a timely objection to the bankruptcy court’s statutory authority could have led to the consideration of the claim in federal district court. See 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(5). Here, by contrast, in light of the Tax Court’s exclusive jurisdiction over collection due process appeals, there is no other forum in which the Kuretskis’ appeal could have been considered. See 26 U.S.C. § 6330(d)(1).

Second, the IRS argues that the Kuretskis waived any pre-payment challenge to the constitutionality of the Tax Court proceedings by seeking relief in the Tax Court in the first place. Although Article III confers on litigants a “personal right” to “have claims decided before judges who are free from potential domination by other branches of government,” that right is “subject to waiver, just as are other personal constitutional rights that dictate the procedures by which civil and criminal matters must be tried.” Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n v. Schor, 478 U.S. 833, 848-49, 106 S.Ct. 3245, 92 L.Ed.2d 675 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted). But aside from any “personal right” that they assert, the Kuretskis’ arguments also implicate a separate interest protected by Article III: “`the role of the independent judiciary within the constitutional scheme of tripartite government.'” Id. at 848, 106 S.Ct. 3245 (quoting Thomas v. Union Carbide Agric. Prods. Co., 473 U.S. 568, 583, 105 S.Ct. 3325, 87 L.Ed.2d 409 (1985)). And when such a “structural principle is implicated in a given case, … notions of consent and waiver cannot be dispositive because the limitations serve institutional interests that the parties cannot be expected to protect.” Id. at 850-51, 106 S.Ct. 3245. In Schor, the Supreme Court thus found that the respondent’s decision to seek relief in the CFTC rather than in federal court amounted to a waiver of his claim under Article III of a “personal right” to “an impartial and independent federal adjudication,” 473 U.S. at 848, 105 S.Ct. 3439, but that he did not (and could not) thereby waive his “structural” claim, id. at 850-51, 105 S.Ct. 3439.

The IRS errs in resting its waiver argument on McElrath v. United States, 102 U.S. 426, 16 Ct.Cl. 630, 26 L.Ed. 189 (1880). In McElrath, a retired Marine Corps officer sued the government in the Court of Claims for back pay, and the government asserted a counterclaim on the ground that the officer had received more than he was entitled to be paid. Id. at 435-36, 440-41. After the Court of Claims rendered judgment in favor of the government on its counterclaim, the officer argued 938*938 in the Supreme Court that the entry of judgment without a jury trial violated the Seventh Amendment. Id. at 439-40. The Supreme Court affirmed, observing that “if [a litigant] avails himself of the privilege of suing the government in the special court organized for that purpose…, he must do so subject to the conditions annexed by the government to the exercise of the privilege.” Id. at 440. As the Court later explained in Schor, however, the “right to trial by jury in civil cases” — at issue in McElrath — is one of the “personal constitutional rights” that is “subject to waiver.” Schor, 478 U.S. at 848-49, 106 S.Ct. 3245. Because the Kuretskis raise a structural claim in addition to any “personal” claim akin to the one asserted in McElrath, they did not waive their structural challenge to the Tax Court proceedings by seeking relief in that court. See, e.g., Waldman v. Stone, 698 F.3d 910, 918 (6th Cir.2012).

Finally, the IRS asserts that the Kuretskis lack Article III standing to challenge the presidential removal of Tax Court judges. To establish Article III standing, the Kuretskis must show (i) that they have suffered an “injury in fact,” (ii) that the injury is “fairly traceable to the challenged action” of the IRS, and (iii) that it is “likely … that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992) (alteration, ellipsis, and internal quotation marks omitted). The proposed levy on the Kuretskis’ home undoubtedly qualifies as an “injury in fact” that is fairly traceable to the IRS, but the IRS argues that the Kuretskis fail to meet the redressability requirement. This Court, however, could grant the Kuretskis adequate redress by striking down 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) and then remanding the case to the Tax Court for a new trial before a judge no longer subject to the threat of presidential removal. We granted comparable relief in Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Copyright Royalty Board, 684 F.3d 1332, 1340 (D.C.Cir.2012). After holding that a statutory provision limiting the ability of the Librarian of Congress to remove judges from the Copyright Royalty Board was unconstitutional, we remanded the case to the Board so that the appellants’ claims could be heard by a constitutionally valid tribunal. Id. at 1340-42. Although Intercollegiate Broadcasting System involved a challenge to a statute restricting removal while this case involves a challenge to a statute allowing for removal, we see no reason why that distinction could make a difference for redressability purposes. We thus conclude that the Kuretskis have standing to bring their separation-of-powers claim, and we proceed to consider the merits of the issue.


In support of their argument that presidential removal of Tax Court judges violates the constitutional separation of powers, the Kuretskis’ “primary position” is that the Tax Court exercises “judicial power” under Article III of the Constitution. In the alternative, the Kuretskis contend that the Tax Court is part of the Legislative Branch. Either way, the Kuretskis argue, presidential removal of Tax Court judges “leaves those judges in an unconstitutional bind” because they “must fear removal from an actor in another branch.” Pet’rs’ Br. 11, 33.

The Kuretskis’ challenge rests on the assumption that “interbranch removal” is unconstitutional under Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714, 106 S.Ct. 3181, 92 L.Ed.2d 583 (1986). “Nothing in Bowsher, however, suggests that one Branch may never exercise removal power, however limited, over members of another Branch.” Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 411 n. 35, 109 S.Ct. 647, 102 L.Ed.2d 714 (1989). 939*939 We need not explore the precise circumstances in which interbranch removal may present a separation-of-powers concern because this case does not involve the prospect of presidential removal of officers in another branch. Rather, the Kuretskis have failed to persuade us that Tax Court judges exercise their authority as part of any branch other than the Executive. Consequently, if a President were someday to exercise the authority under 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) to remove a Tax Court judge for cause, the removal would be entirely consistent with separation-of-powers principles.


The Kuretskis’ principal submission is that Tax Court judges exercise the judicial power of the United States under Article III of the Constitution. We disagree.

Article III prescribes that the “judicial Power of the United States” is “vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” U.S. Const. art. III, § 1. Judges of those courts “hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” id., which means that they are removable only via impeachment and conviction. See United States ex rel. Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 11, 16, 76 S.Ct. 1, 100 L.Ed. 8 (1955). That arrangement aims “to give judges maximum freedom from possible coercion or influence by the executive or legislative branches of the Government.” Id.

“Article III could neither serve its purpose in the system of checks and balances nor preserve the integrity of judicial decisionmaking if the other branches of the Federal Government could confer the Government’s `judicial Power’ on entities outside Article III.” Stern, 131 S.Ct. at 2609. As a result, “[w]hen a suit is made of `the stuff of the traditional actions at common law tried by the courts at Westminster in 1789,’ and is brought within the bounds of federal jurisdiction, the responsibility for deciding that suit rests with Article III judges in Article III courts.” Id. (citation omitted) (quoting N. Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50, 90, 102 S.Ct. 2858, 73 L.Ed.2d 598 (1982) (Rehnquist, J., concurring in the judgment)).

At the same time, the Supreme Court has recognized a “category of cases involving `public rights'” that Congress can constitutionally assign to non-Article III tribunals. Id. at 2610 (quoting Northern Pipeline, 458 U.S. at 67, 102 S.Ct. 2858 (plurality opinion)). The “public rights” category comprises disputes that “`could be conclusively determined by the Executive and Legislative Branches'” without judicial intervention. Thomas v. Union Carbide Agric. Prods. Co., 473 U.S. 568, 589, 105 S.Ct. 3325, 87 L.Ed.2d 409 (1985) (quoting Northern Pipeline, 458 U.S. at 68, 102 S.Ct. 2858). The “public rights doctrine reflects simply a pragmatic understanding that, when Congress selects a quasi-judicial method of resolving matters” that could be decided with no judicial review, “the danger of encroaching on the judicial powers is reduced.” Id.

Although the precise contours of the “public rights” doctrine are not fully formed, see Stern, 131 S.Ct. at 2610; Granfinanciera, S.A. v. Nordberg, 492 U.S. 33, 51 n. 8, 109 S.Ct. 2782, 106 L.Ed.2d 26 (1989), it is “settled” that the category of public rights includes matters of “internal revenue” and “taxation,” at least at the pre-collection stage. Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Comm’n, 430 U.S. 442, 450-51 & nn. 8-9, 97 S.Ct. 1261, 51 L.Ed.2d 464 (1977) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Crowell v. Benson, 285 U.S. 22, 50-51, 52 S.Ct. 285, 76 L.Ed. 940*940 598 (1932); Murray’s Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Improvement Co., 59 U.S. 272, 284, 18 How. 272, 15 L.Ed. 372 (1856). Congress therefore can constitutionally assign the adjudication of pre-collection tax disputes to non-Article III tribunals. See Samuels, Kramer & Co. v. Comm’r, 930 F.2d 975, 992 (2d Cir.1991) (“The relationship between the government and taxpayer plainly gives rise to public rights and we have no doubt that the resolution of such disputes can be relegated to a non-Article III forum.”), abrogated on other grounds by Freytag, 501 U.S. at 892, 111 S.Ct. 2631.

Congress undisputedly exercised that option when it initially established the Tax Court as an Executive Branch agency rather than an Article III tribunal. See Revenue Act of 1924 § 900(k), 43 Stat. at 338 (Board of Tax Appeals established as independent executive agency); Revenue Act of 1942 § 504(a), 56 Stat. at 957 (Board renamed “The Tax Court of the United States,” but status as independent executive agency unchanged); see also 26 U.S.C. § 1100 (1946). The Kuretskis believe that Congress shifted course in the 1969 Tax Reform Act, when it adjusted the Tax Court’s formal title from “Tax Court of the United States” to “United States Tax Court,” and provided that the Tax Court was “established[] under article I of the Constitution.” 26 U.S.C. § 7441. There is no indication, however, that by prescribing that the Tax Court had been established under Article I, Congress somehow converted what had been an Executive Branch tribunal into an Article III court. The legislative history in fact indicates a belief and intention that the Tax Court is not an Article III body. See S.Rep. No. 91-552, at 304 n. 2 (1969) (“limitations of Article III of the Constitution, relating to life tenure and maintenance of compensation,” do not apply to Tax Court judges). It would seem clear, then, that the Tax Court is not a part of the Article III Judicial Branch, and that its judges do not exercise the “judicial Power of the United States” under Article III.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Freytag v. Commissioner, however, adds a wrinkle to what would otherwise be a straightforward analysis. The dispute in Freytag concerned a statute allowing the Chief Judge of the Tax Court to appoint “special trial judges” and assign certain cases to them. See 26 U.S.C. § 7443A. The petitioners in Freytag contended that the provision for appointment of special trial judges violates the Appointments Clause of Article II. That clause grants Congress the power to “vest the Appointment of … inferior Officers … in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.” U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, cl. 2. The Freytag petitioners argued that “a special trial judge is an `inferior Officer'” and that “the Chief Judge of the Tax Court does not fall within any of the Constitution’s three repositories of the appointment power.” Freytag, 501 U.S. at 878, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (alteration omitted). The Supreme Court rejected that argument. Four Justices would have held that the Tax Court is an executive “Department” and the Chief Judge is its head. See id. at 920-22, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment). A majority of five Justices instead held that the Tax Court is a “Court of Law” (and, implicitly, that the Chief Judge of the Tax Court can exercise the appointment power on behalf of the court). See id. at 870, 892, 111 S.Ct. 2631.

The Kuretskis rely substantially on the Freytag majority’s holding that the Tax Court is a “Court of Law.” That holding, however, does not call into question the constitutionality of the President’s removal power over Tax Court judges under 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f). A tribunal may be considered 941*941 a “Court of Law” for purposes of the Appointments Clause notwithstanding that its officers may be removed by the President. The Freytag Court’s treatment of territorial courts confirms the point. The Court indicated that territorial courts constitute “Courts of Law” for purposes of the Appointments Clause, see Freytag, 501 U.S. at 892, 111 S.Ct. 2631, even though it was by then well settled that the President may remove judges from territorial courts (including without cause) if the governing statute allows it. See Shurtleff v. United States, 189 U.S. 311, 316, 23 S.Ct. 535, 47 L.Ed. 828 (1903) (“judges of the territorial courts may be removed by the President”); see also McAllister v. United States, 141 U.S. 174, 179-91, 11 S.Ct. 949, 35 L.Ed. 693 (1891) (rejecting constitutional challenge to President Cleveland’s suspension of Alaska territorial judge).

To be sure, the Freytag Court observed that the Tax Court “exercises a portion of the judicial power of the United States.” Freytag, 501 U.S. at 891, 111 S.Ct. 2631. That statement, if considered in isolation, could be construed to suggest that Tax Court judges exercise Article III powers. But the Freytag Court clarified that “non-Article III tribunals … exercise the judicial power of the United States,” such that “the judicial power of the United States is not limited to the judicial power defined under Article III.” Id. at 889, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (citing Am. Ins. Co. v. Canter, 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511, 546, 7 L.Ed. 242 (1828)). The Court therefore used the phrase “judicial power” in “an enlarged sense,” not in the particular sense employed by Article III. See Murray’s Lessee, 59 U.S. at 280 (“judicial act” in “an enlarged sense” encompasses “all those administrative duties the performance of which involves an inquiry into the existence of facts and the application to them of rules of law”); cf. City of Arlington v. FCC, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1863, 1877-78, ___ L.Ed.2d ___ (2013) (Roberts, C.J., dissenting) (administrative agencies exercise “judicial power” when they “adjudicat[e] enforcement actions and impos[e] sanctions on those found to have violated their rules”). As another court of appeals has explained, a “central lesson from Freytag is that adjudication by adversarial proceedings can exist outside the context of Article III.” S.C. State Ports Auth. v. Fed. Mar. Comm’n, 243 F.3d 165, 171 (4th Cir.2001), aff’d, 535 U.S. 743, 122 S.Ct. 1864, 152 L.Ed.2d 962 (2002); see Freytag, 501 U.S. at 891, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (Tax Court is “an adjudicative body”). The Freytag Court, after all, repeatedly compared the Tax Court to the non-Article III territorial courts. See id. at 889-90, 892, 111 S.Ct. 2631.

The Kuretskis argue that the precedents allowing for presidential removal of territorial judges have little bearing on their separation-of-powers argument because “territorial courts do not exercise the judicial power of the United States.” Pet’rs’ Br. 40-41. It is true that territorial courts do not exercise “the judicial power of the United States” in the particular sense addressed by Article III. See McAllister, 141 U.S. at 190, 11 S.Ct. 949. But the Freytag Court suggests that territorial courts exercise “judicial power” in the same overarching sense in which the Tax Court exercises “judicial power,” such that the territorial courts and the Tax Court are similarly situated for purposes of the Appointments Clause. See Freytag, 501 U.S. at 889-90, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (territorial court is “one of the `Courts of Law'” under Appointments Clause). We see no reason why the territorial courts and the Tax Court are not also similarly situated for purposes of presidential removal. Accordingly, we conclude that the Tax Court’s status as a “Court of Law” — and its exercise of “judicial power” — for Appointments Clause purposes under Freytag casts no doubt on the constitutionality 942*942 of the President’s authority to remove Tax Court judges.


Even if the Tax Court does not exercise Article III judicial power, the Kuretskis argue as a fallback position that the Tax Court functions as part of the Article I Legislative Branch. Understandably, the Kuretskis make no attempt to explain how the Tax Court could conceivably be considered a legislative body or conceivably be seen to possess legislative power. Instead, the Kuretskis suggest that the Tax Court may fall within the Legislative Branch because it constitutes “an Article I legislative court.” We have no disagreement with the characterization of the Tax Court as an “Article I legislative court.” Congress, as explained, amended 26 U.S.C. § 7441 in 1969 to provide that the Tax Court is a “court of record” established “under article I of the Constitution.” And the Freytag Court understood that the “clear intent of Congress” in the 1969 Act was “to transform the Tax Court into an Article I legislative court.” Freytag, 501 U.S. at 888, 111 S.Ct. 2631. But even if the 1969 Act transformed the Tax Court into an Article I legislative court, it did not thereby transfer the Tax Court to the Legislative Branch.

The Constitution itself “nowhere makes reference to `legislative courts'”; the “concept of a legislative court” instead “derives from the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall in American Insurance Co. v. Canter.” Glidden, 370 U.S. at 543-44, 82 S.Ct. 1459 (citing Canter, 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) 511). In Canter, Chief Justice Marshall used the phrase “legislative Courts” to describe the territorial courts of Florida, which at the time had yet to be admitted to the Union as a state. “The jurisdiction with which [the Florida territorial courts] are invested,” according to Chief Justice Marshall, “is not a part of that judicial power which is defined in the 3d article of the Constitution, but is conferred by Congress, in the execution of those general powers which that body possesses over the territories of the United States.” Canter, 26 U.S. (1 Pet.) at 546; cf. U.S. Const. art. IV, § 3, cl. 2 (“Congress shall have Power to … make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory … belonging to the United States”). Later decisions describe tribunals such as the Court of Customs Appeals and the superior courts of the District of Columbia as “legislative courts”; those bodies, like the Florida territorial courts, were created by Congress pursuant to non-Article III powers. See Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 U.S. 438, 449-61, 49 S.Ct. 411, 73 L.Ed. 789 (1929); cf. U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 1 (“Power To lay and collect … Duties, Imposts and Excises”); id. art. I, § 8, cl. 17 (legislative power “over such District … as may … become the Seat of the Government of the United States”).

A tribunal constitutes a “legislative court” if its power “is not conferred by the third article of the Constitution, but by Congress in the execution of other provisions of that instrument.” Williams v. United States, 289 U.S. 553, 565-66, 53 S.Ct. 751, 77 L.Ed. 1372 (1933). Congress’s authority to create the Tax Court stems from two clauses in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: the Taxing and Spending Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 1 (“Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes … to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare”); id. art. I, § 8, cl. 18 (authority “[t]o make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers”). The Tax Court itself has explained that it owes its existence to Congress’s authority under those Clauses. See Burns, Stix Friedman & Co., 57 T.C. at 394-95.

943*943 The Tax Court’s status as an “Article I legislative court,” Freytag, 501 U.S. at 888, 111 S.Ct. 2631, does not mean that its judges exercise “legislative power” under Article I. Cf. Whitman v. Am. Trucking Ass’ns, 531 U.S. 457, 472-73, 121 S.Ct. 903, 149 L.Ed.2d 1 (2001) (“legislative power” consists of decisionmaking authority without any “`intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized … is directed to conform'” (quoting J.W. Hampton, Jr., & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 409, 48 S.Ct. 348, 72 L.Ed. 624 (1928))). The Tax Court is in the business of interpreting and applying the internal revenue laws, see Freytag, 501 U.S. at 891, 111 S.Ct. 2631, not in the business of making those laws. And the Tax Court’s Article I origins do not distinguish it from the mine run of Executive Branch agencies whose officers may be removed by the President. After all, every Executive Branch entity, from the Postal Service to the Patent Office, is established pursuant to Article I. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 7 (Postal Clause); id. art. I, § 8, cl. 8 (Copyright and Patent Clause). The Tax Court no more exercises Article I powers than do those agencies. The Tax Court’s status as an “article I legislative court” therefore presents no barrier to presidential removal of Tax Court judges. See Mistretta, 488 U.S. at 411 n. 35, 109 S.Ct. 647 (“the President may remove a judge who serves on an Article I court”).


We have explained that Tax Court judges do not exercise the “judicial power of the United States” pursuant to Article III. We have also explained that Congress’s establishment of the Tax Court as an Article I legislative court did not transfer the Tax Court to the Legislative Branch. It follows that the Tax Court exercises its authority as part of the Executive Branch.

That conclusion is fully consistent with Freytag. The Freytag majority rejected the argument that the Tax Court is an executive “Department” for purposes of the Appointments Clause. See Freytag, 501 U.S. at 888, 111 S.Ct. 2631. But the majority also made clear that an entity can be a part of the Executive Branch without being an executive “Department.” See id. at 885, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (“We cannot accept the Commissioner’s assumption that every part of the Executive Branch is a department, the head of which is eligible to receive the appointment power.”); id. at 886, 111 S.Ct. 2631 (“a holding that every organ in the Executive Branch is a department would multiply indefinitely the number of actors eligible to appoint”). One of our sister circuits thus understands Freytag to hold that “the Tax Court is a Court of Law despite being part of the Executive Branch.” S.C. State Ports Auth., 243 F.3d at 171 (emphasis added).

The Freytag majority also observed that the Tax Court “remains independent of the Executive … Branch[],” and in that sense exercises something other than “executive” power. 501 U.S. at 891, 111 S.Ct. 2631. We understand that statement to describe the Tax Court’s functional independence rather than to speak to its constitutional status. The Supreme Court has used similar language to describe “quasilegislative” and “quasijudicial” agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, noting that such agencies are “wholly disconnected from the executive department” and that their members must “act in discharge of their duties independently of executive control.” Humphrey’s Ex’r v. United States, 295 U.S. 602, 629-30, 55 S.Ct. 869, 79 L.Ed. 1611 (1935). While “independent,” members of such agencies can be removed by the President for cause. See Fed. Mar. Comm’n v. S.C. State Ports Auth., 535 U.S. 743, 773, 122 944*944 S.Ct. 1864, 152 L.Ed.2d 962 (2002) (Breyer, J., dissenting on other grounds) (noting that “[c]onstitutionally speaking, an `independent’ agency belongs neither to the Legislative Branch nor to the Judicial Branch of Government,” and “even `independent’ agencies[] are more appropriately considered to be part of the Executive Branch”). And the Tax Court is hardly the sole Executive-Branch “adjudicative body,” Freytag, 501 U.S. at 891, 111 S.Ct. 2631, to sit in “independent” judgment of other executive actors. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. § 1204(a) (Merit Systems Protection Board sits in judgment of other agencies); id. § 7105(g) (Federal Labor Relations Authority); 10 U.S.C. § 867 (Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces reviews decisions of other Defense Department entities); 29 U.S.C. § 659(c) (Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission sits in judgment of Secretary of Labor); 39 C.F.R. § 3001.1 et seq. (Postal Regulatory Commission sits in judgment of Postal Service). Congress may afford the officers of those entities a measure of independence from other executive actors, but they remain Executive-Branch officers subject to presidential removal. Cf. City of Arlington, 133 S.Ct. at 1873 n. 4 (“Agencies … conduct adjudications … and have done so since the beginning of the Republic. These activities take … `judicial’ form[], but they are exercises of — indeed, under our constitutional structure they must be exercises of — the `executive Power.'” (quoting U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 1)).

In relevant respects, the constitutional status of the Tax Court mirrors that of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The statutes establishing the status of the two courts precisely parallel one another. Each provides that the respective court is a “court of record” “established under article I of the Constitution.” 10 U.S.C. § 941 (Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces); 26 U.S.C. § 7441 (Tax Court). In fact, when Congress in 1969 enacted that language for the Tax Court, it specifically sought to bring the Tax Court into alignment with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (then known as the Court of Military Appeals). See S.Rep. No. 91-552, at 304 (“The bill establishes the Tax Court as a court under Article I of the Constitution,” and “[a]t the present time, the Court of Military Appeals is the only other Article I court.”). In doing so, and in departing from the prior language describing the Tax Court as an executive “agency,” Congress aimed to emphasize the Tax Court’s independence as a “court” reviewing the actions of the IRS. See id. at 302 (observing that “it is anomalous to continue to classify [the Tax Court] with quasi-judicial executive agencies that have rulemaking and investigatory functions” as opposed to a body having “only judicial duties,” and noting “questions in the minds of some as to whether it is appropriate for one executive agency to be sitting in judgment on the determinations of another executive agency”). And while we have no need to reach the issue here, Congress, in establishing those entities as a “court” rather than an “agency,” perhaps also exempted them from statutes that apply solely to executive “agencies.” Cf. Megibow v. Clerk of the U.S. Tax Court, No. 04-3321, 2004 WL 1961591 at *4-6, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17698, at *13-22 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2004) (Tax Court is a “court of the United States” and not an “agency” under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551(1)), aff’d, 432 F.3d 387 (2d Cir.2005) (per curiam).

Congress did not, however, move the Tax Court outside the Executive Branch altogether. Indeed, the Supreme Court has recognized that the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is an “Executive Branch entity” and that its judges are “Executive officers.” Edmond v. United States, 520 U.S. 651, 664-65, 117 S.Ct. 1573, 137 L.Ed.2d 917 (1997); see id. at 945*945 664 n. 2, 117 S.Ct. 1573 (finding it “clear that [the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces] is within the Executive Branch”). Congress sought to — and did — achieve the same status for the Tax Court.


The Kuretskis raise a separate constitutional challenge to the IRS’s procedure for collection-due-process hearings. That procedure, in the Kuretskis’ view, failed in their case to satisfy the requirements of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. We are unpersuaded.

“An essential principle of due process is that a deprivation of life, liberty, or property `be preceded by notice and opportunity for hearing appropriate to the nature of the case.'” Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 542, 105 S.Ct. 1487, 84 L.Ed.2d 494 (1985) (quoting Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 313, 70 S.Ct. 652, 94 L.Ed. 865 (1950)). The Kuretskis acknowledge that they received notice of the IRS’s proposed levy and a hearing before the IRS settlement officer assigned to their case. The Kuretskis, however, have a “sneaking suspicion” that the decision to deny them a penalty abatement was “influenced” by the appeals team manager who supervised the settlement officer. Pet’rs’ Br. 54. They argue that they should have been afforded an opportunity to comment on the settlement officer’s written report to her appeals team manager or “some opportunity to interact” with the manager before he made a final decision to deny their abatement request. Id. at 56, 105 S.Ct. 1487.

Assuming arguendo that the Due Process Clause generally requires the IRS to afford a taxpayer some manner of hearing before imposing a levy, see United States v. James Daniel Good Real Prop., 510 U.S. 43, 60-61, 114 S.Ct. 492, 126 L.Ed.2d 490 (1993), there is no basis for recognizing a constitutional entitlement for taxpayers to comment on an IRS settlement officer’s report to her appeals team manager or present their case directly to the appeals team manager. The Kuretskis rely on Ballard v. Commissioner, 544 U.S. 40, 125 S.Ct. 1270, 161 L.Ed.2d 227 (2005), which holds that the Tax Court must disclose the reports of special trial judges who serve as factfinders in cases in which Tax Court judges make the ultimate decision. But the Court based its holding on its interpretation of the Tax Court Rules, see id. at 46-47 & n. 2, 125 S.Ct. 1270, and “express[ed] no opinion” on whether “the Due Process Clause requires disclosure of a trial judge’s factfindings that have operative weight in a court’s final decision,” id. at 64-65, 125 S.Ct. 1270.

In Gottlieb v. Pena, 41 F.3d 730 (D.C.Cir.1994), we rejected a due process claim similar to the one advanced by the Kuretskis. There, a Coast Guard lieutenant commander applied to a Coast Guard board for correction of his military record, and the board heard evidence before submitting a recommended decision to the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary was the final decisionmaker, however, and the plaintiff had no opportunity to examine the board’s initial decision or make a submission to the Secretary in light of the board’s recommendation. We held that the Coast Guard’s procedures did not violate the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, concluding that the lieutenant commander had no “entitle[ment] to input or process past the first `tier’ and cannot force the agency to open its essentially deliberative process.” Id. at 737 (citing Morgan v. United States, 298 U.S. 468, 481, 56 S.Ct. 906, 80 L.Ed. 1288 (1936)); see also Morgan, 298 U.S. at 481, 56 S.Ct. 906 (“[e]vidence may be taken by an examiner” and “may be sifted and analyzed by competent subordinates,” so long as “the officer who makes the determinations … consider[s] and appraise[s] the evidence which justifies them”).

946*946 In any event, regardless of the procedure in the collection-due-process hearing, the Kuretskis subsequently had an opportunity to challenge the IRS’s proposed levy in Tax Court, and also to contest any underlying liability for which they lacked a prior opportunity to raise a challenge. See 26 U.S.C. § 6330(c)(2), (d)(1). When a petitioner appeals the IRS’s proposed levy action to the Tax Court, the levy action is suspended while the appeal remains pending. Id. § 6330(e)(1). Thus, the Tax Court proceeding itself allows an opportunity for a pre-deprivation hearing. Because the Kuretskis make no claim that the Tax Court proceedings fall short of the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause’s requirements, they cannot prevail on their challenge under that Clause.

* * * * * *

For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the decision of the Tax Court.

So ordered.Kuretski vs cir

Victoria and Albert

Victoria and Albert: a marriage of misery?
To the outside world, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the golden couple, exemplars of traditional family values. Yet, as Jane Ridley reveals, behind the romanticised veneer, Albert’s thirst for power was putting the marriage under intense pressure…

This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine

Sunday 15th October 2017Submitted by: Elinor Evans
BBC History Magazine – 5 issues for £5
Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s painting The Royal Family in 1846 shows Victoria and
Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s painting ‘The Royal Family’ in 1846 shows Victoria and Albert with their children (from left to right): Alfred, Edward, Alice, Helena and Vicky. Sadly, inter-family relations weren’t always as blissful as this idealised portrait suggests. (Bridgeman)

After the sudden and tragic death of Prince Albert in 1861, the grief-stricken Queen Victoria dedicated herself to memorialising her marriage as a perfect union. She herself composed large parts of the first biography, The Early Years of the Prince Consort (1867). At Frogmore, the royal burial ground at Windsor, she built a mausoleum and commissioned the sculptor Marochetti to create effigies of herself and the prince lying side-by-side – though it would be another 40 years before she would take her place beside her beloved Albert. Thanks, in part, to the queen’s efforts, her marriage to Albert, prince of the German duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, came to be seen as one of the great love matches of all time, celebrated (with varying degrees of accuracy) in films such as The Young Victoria and, more recently, the ITV drama Victoria.

As Queen Victoria’s journal shows, from the moment she saw the prince arriving at the foot of the staircase at Windsor in 1839, she was smitten. Five days later she summoned him to her blue closet and proposed to him. But the marriage was not the romantic happy-ever-after story that Victoria constructed. It was far more complex than that.

Like all dynastic marriages, this was an alliance with a political agenda. As the second son of a minor German duke (Coburg is smaller than the Isle of Wight) and a mere Serene Highness, the lowest grade in the royal hierarchy, Prince Albert was Victoria’s poor relation, although the two were first cousins. But what he lacked in rank and wealth, he made up for with education and self-confidence, and he had been trained from his teens by King Leopold of Belgium, the cousins’ mutual uncle, to marry Victoria and take over the British throne.

Albert began his quest for power immediately after the marriage. Within months he had moved his writing desk next to the queen’s. At first, Victoria resisted Albert’s attempts to remove her trusted governess, Baroness Lehzen, from control of the court. But as one pregnancy followed another in quick succession – seven of Victoria’s nine children were born in the first 10 years of the marriage – the queen was in no condition to resist. Albert fired Lehzen and assumed control of the household, introducing much-needed reforms and economies.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in court dress, 1854. (Bridgeman)

King in all but name
In November 1840, when her first child was born, Victoria gave Albert the key to the cabinet boxes. He started to attend meetings with ministers, dealing with the queen’s correspondence and drafting business letters for the queen to copy out. At dinners with politicians, Albert could be heard prompting Victoria in German before she spoke. By now he had become her private secretary.

In 1850 he described his position thus:

“As the natural head of [the queen’s] family, superintendent of her household, manager of her private affairs, sole confidential adviser in politics, and only assistant in her communications with the officers of her government, he is, besides, the husband of the queen, the tutor of the royal children, the private secretary of the sovereign, and her permanent minister.” Not only was Albert king in all but name but he intervened in politics, pursuing an active role in foreign policy.

Victoria declared herself grateful to Albert for relieving her of the tiresome work of the sovereign. Women, she believed, were not fit to rule. “It is a reversal of the right order of things which distresses me much and which no one, but such a perfection, such an angel as he is – could bear and carry through.” But Victoria had a vein of steel, and her commitment to her birthright was absolute. She was torn between her passionate desire to be a perfect ‘Victorian’ wife to Albert – an angel in the house, all sweetness and light – and her Hanoverian inheritance.

The royals retreat
The image of the Victorian monarchy, crafted by Albert, and projected in paintings such as Winterhalter’s The Royal Family in 1846 was one of a child-centred bourgeois family on the throne. But the fact was that the royal marriage was unlike any other. It took place within the peculiar context of the court.

As a young maid of honour in Victoria’s court in the 1850s, Mary Bulteel would watch the door silently close on the queen’s private apartments. How she longed to get to know the queen, her employer, but Victoria barely spoke to her.

Victoria and Albert pictured in 1854. The prince’s grip on power grew throughout their marriage. (Getty Images)

The withdrawal of the royal family from the public space of the court into the private apartments was Albert’s doing. It meant that Victoria’s life was no longer bounded by the court, as it had been in the early days of her reign, when her court was a Camelot, famed for its parties and youthful high spirits. The creation of a private sphere – of a space dedicated to domestic life – was one of the most far-reaching changes made by Albert in his drive to reform the monarchy.

Disliking London with its late nights, and sneered at by the aristocracy as a German beggar, Albert persuaded Victoria that her enjoyment of society was wrong. True happiness, he claimed, was to be found in the country with her beloved prince and her young family. Albert designed the new family home at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, safely inaccessible from a prying public. Even more remote was Balmoral, the castle he created in the Scottish Highlands, 500 miles from London.

At Osborne or Balmoral, the family could live the simple outdoors life that Victoria later depicted in her Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands. Victoria believed her “happy domestic home” made her more popular than any other sovereign and gave a good example to her subjects.

At court, Albert introduced new rules, distancing the royal family from the household – that is, the courtiers and officeholders such as the Lord Chamberlain. He ordered that no man was to sit in the presence of the queen. Throughout Victoria’s reign, prime ministers stood during audiences; only two were accorded the special privilege of sitting in the queen’s presence – her favourite Disraeli, who declined the offer, and Lord Salisbury, who was too heavy to stand. The hated Gladstone was never asked to sit, even in his eighties.

Albert forbade maids of honour from sitting in his presence or speaking to him unless spoken to. He went everywhere attended by an equerry, thus emphasising his royal status. In his relations with the courtiers of the household, Albert was cold and stiff. “His way of giving orders and reproofs was rather too like a master of a house scolding servants to be pleasant for those who were bound to listen in silence,” wrote Mary Bulteel. People noticed that the prince made not a single friend among ministers or the household. Such reserve in so young a man was “unpleasant”, thought Mary: “It implied something of the cold egotism which seems to chill you in all royalties.”

Memoirs of ladies-in-waiting concur that Albert was “detested” because he was “so stiff”, especially with women. Victoria, on the other hand, was adored because of her disarming frankness and her unquenchable curiosity and interest in the affairs of everyone around her.

Albert’s cold manner derived in part from his upbringing at the small German court of Coburg. When Mary Bulteel visited Coburg in 1860, she found the court far stiffer than in Britain, and the equerries and household much more “collapsed before these little sovereigns than we are before the queen”.

One result of withdrawing from the court was that the royal couple were closer to their ordinary servants than they were to the aristocratic courtiers of the household. This is perhaps why, after Albert’s death, Victoria became intimate first with her Highland servant John Brown, and later with her Indian servant Abdul Karim – relationships that the courtiers found especially upsetting because they overturned the protocol of the court.

Muslim issues

“Muhammad was once a refugee taken in by the Jewish City of Medina. Within 5-years, he had driven out, executed, or enslaved every jew there.”
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Over 670 million non-Muslims massacred since the birth of Islam
Posted on June 15, 2015 by ADMIN • 178 Comments
These numbers keep increasing all the time when more forgotten figures from history keeps being added. To the total numbers we have updated over 80 million Christians killed by Muslims in 500 years in the Balkan states, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia. We are missing numbers on the Islamic genocide of Jews, a continuous goal in Islam …

Kuwait executed prince believed to have converted to Christianity
Kuwait executed prince believed to have converted to Christianity
Posted on October 16, 2017 by ADMIN • 2 Comments
This story announcing the execution is a few months old, from January 2017. In 2012 the Vatican Insider reported that multiple Arab news channels claimed that Kuwaiti prince Abdullah al-Sabah had converted to Christianity. Kuwaiti prince Azbi al-Sabah denied that anyone with the name Abdullah al-Sabah belonged to the royal family. However, in January 2017 … Continue reading →

10 Facts About The Arab Enslavement Of Black People
10 Facts About The Arab Enslavement Of Black People
Posted on October 16, 2017 by ADMIN • 1 Comment
The Atlanta Black Star, a has put together a very impressive short but succinct video narrative of the Arab slavery of Africans. In honesty, it’s rarely you see this level of historic fact in black reporting. Good for them. The more the black community learn, the more they will see that the entire world suffered … Continue reading →

UK’s The #Independent Uses Hollywood Sex Scandals to Promote Islam
UK’s The #Independent Uses Hollywood Sex Scandals to Promote Islam
Posted on October 16, 2017 by ADMIN • 4 Comments
Independent Uses Hollywood Sex Scandals to Promote Islam by Virginia Hale, 16 October 2017 Breitbart News Alleging U.S. “rape culture” caused the Hollywood sex abuse scandal, UK news site the Independent has claimed that only Islam can provide the answer to preventing violence against women. “Harvey Weinstein is just another case of a powerful man abusing women … Continue reading →

UAE ‘plotted to overthrow Qatar Emir’ with Obama Gov Blackwater mercenaries
UAE ‘plotted to overthrow Qatar Emir’ with Obama Gov Blackwater mercenaries
Posted on October 15, 2017 by ADMIN • 2 Comments
Watch how the media works: Notice how the article says the planned attack didn’t take place against the Qatari Emir because Trump never gave it a green light? The article leaves out a clarification, however, that the Blackwater training of mercenaries was provided in 2011 under Obama’s and Hillary’s White House leadership, not under Trump. … Continue reading →

ACLJ: Ex-Muslims in America speak of the dangers to their lives after leaving Islam
ACLJ: Ex-Muslims in America speak of the dangers to their lives after leaving Islam
Posted on October 15, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
This week Jay Sekulow with the American Center of Law and Justice talks with three former Muslims who have converted to Christianity. The extreme dangers these ex-Muslims live under with daily threats, is completely unacceptable in our society. And this is only happening because Islam has been allowed to enter into the West and freely … Continue reading →

Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. Taxpayers a Stunning $134.9 Billion a Year
Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. Taxpayers a Stunning $134.9 Billion a Year
Posted on October 15, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. Taxpayers a Stunning $134.9 Billion a Year by Judicial Watch SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 Illegal immigration costs American taxpayers a mind-boggling $134.9 billion annually, according to a detailed analysis of federal, state and local programs that include education, medical, law enforcement and welfare. Conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), … Continue reading →

The Magnitude of Islamic Atrocities in #India
The Magnitude of Islamic Atrocities in #India
Posted on October 15, 2017 by ADMIN • 5 Comments
by Rajiv Varma American writer, historian, and philosopher Will Durant has written in his The Story of Civilization series, book two, “India and Her Neighbors” (1935) that the Mohammedan conquest of India was probably the bloodiest story in history. India before the advent of Islamic imperialism was not exactly a zone of peace. There were … Continue reading →

South Carolina Imam: ‘A Woman Is Her Husband’s Prisoner. We Don’t Live By The American Way.’
South Carolina Imam: ‘A Woman Is Her Husband’s Prisoner. We Don’t Live By The American Way.’
Posted on October 15, 2017 by ADMIN • 5 Comments
This is the legacy of the Obama presidency: The importation of Islamic “teachers” to impart Islamic law onto Muslims in America to assure they know how they should behave, and to not confuse themselves with the legal system and culture of the infidels. If you look like this ugly dirty old dog, you’d have to … Continue reading →

UK: ‘Soldier of Allah’ gets 18 weeks in jail and a £200 fine after Jihad threats
UK: ‘Soldier of Allah’ gets 18 weeks in jail and a £200 fine after Jihad threats
Posted on October 14, 2017 by ADMIN • 4 Comments
‘Soldier of Allah’, 22, who threatened to blow up a UK hospital avoids terror charges after ‘legal technicality’ due to his Facebook privacy settings Leroy McCarthy posted on Facebook about bombing Furness General Hospital McCarthy, who went by Abdullah Mahmood, was arrested for offensive posts In one, he mocked murdered soldier Lee Rigby who he … Continue reading →

History: 735 Million Non-Muslim Deaths Under Islam
History: 735 Million Non-Muslim Deaths Under Islam
Posted on October 14, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
The numbers below do not include the 400 million Hindus Muslim historian Firistha (b. 1570) wrote in Tarikh-i Firishta and Gulshan-i Ibrahim that got slaughtered up to the peak of Islamic rule of India, bringing the Hindu population down from 600 mil to 200 million. The figures would bring the total historic record known, so … Continue reading →

ISIS defector: Migrant ‘sleeper cells are ready’ to attack across Europe
ISIS defector: Migrant ‘sleeper cells are ready’ to attack across Europe
Posted on October 14, 2017 by ADMIN • 1 Comment
‘Sleeper cells are ready’: ISIS defector warns UK faces MORE terror attacks from jihadi migrants in Europe who are waiting for their strike order from Syria Former ISIS commander reveals jihadists are recruited around the world online Recruits are send documents, video and propaganda and told to await orders When they are told to do … Continue reading →

New York: Muslim hails cab and leaves female passenger to burn to death in car
New York: Muslim hails cab and leaves female passenger to burn to death in car
Posted on October 14, 2017 by ADMIN • 5 Comments
Driver leaves passenger to die in blazing car on Brooklyn Queens-Expressway BY Molly Crane-newman, Ellen Moynihan, Thomas Tracy NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, October 13, 2017, 2:36 PM A heartless motorist left his 25-year-old passenger to die after he crashed on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and his car burst into flames, police sources said. Saeed … Continue reading →

UK Muslim “Exorcist”: ‘We Must Hate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Diwali, and Hannukah’
UK Muslim “Exorcist”: ‘We Must Hate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Diwali, and Hannukah’
Posted on October 14, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
Readers can watch the video here. . . TRANSCRIPT: Birmingham-Based Islamic “Exorcist” Abu Ibraheem Husnayn: We Must Hate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Diwali, and Hannukah Islamic “exorcist” Abu Ibraheem Husnayn, who is based in Birmingham, UK, said that Muslims “have to hate” the likes of Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Diwali, and Hannukah, because they are “hated … Continue reading →

Bangladesh reduces child-marriage age to zero
Bangladesh reduces child-marriage age to zero
Posted on October 13, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
Bangladesh child marriage: New law will ‘reduce minimum marital age to zero’ Campaigners say loophole introduced by new bill could see victims forced to marry rapists Lizzie Dearden The Independent Online Wednesday 8 March 2017 16:06 GMT 15 year old Nasoin Akhter is consoled by a friend on the day of her wedding to a … Continue reading →

Chinese hotel is fined £1,700 for accepting Muslim guests during political Congress
Chinese hotel is fined £1,700 for accepting Muslim guests during political Congress
Posted on October 13, 2017 by ADMIN • Leave a comment
Hotel in China is fined £1,700 for accepting Muslim guests after authorities banned the ethnic minority from staying in the area ahead of Communist Party congress Chinese authorities fined hotel for breaking a ban on welcoming Uyghur guests Security is tightened before Communist Party’s five-yearly congress starts The move is aimed at combating attacks by … Continue reading →

UK: Terrorist couple argued who was more radical, mulled stabbing spree as wedding gift
UK: Terrorist couple argued who was more radical, mulled stabbing spree as wedding gift
Posted on October 12, 2017 by ADMIN • 1 Comment
Heavily pregnant wife, 21, ‘bought her wannabe terrorist husband a hunting knife and training dummy to prepare him for an attack as the couple argued over who was the biggest jihadist’ Madihah Taheer allegedly spent hundreds to help husband plan deadly attack Her husband Ummariyat Mirza, 21, admitted preparing to commit terrorist acts Taheer, 21, … Continue reading →

UK: Muslim rapist refuse to talk to female police on arrest, ‘In my country we speak to men’
UK: Muslim rapist refuse to talk to female police on arrest, ‘In my country we speak to men’
Posted on October 12, 2017 by ADMIN • 1 Comment
Man, 21, ‘claimed to be Saddam Hussein after raping one woman on a riverbank and telling a second ‘Allah’s going to get you’ Abdel-Aziz Al-Shamary, 21, is accused of raping a woman in Darlington in May Before arrest he allegedly grabbed another woman and said ‘Allah will get you’ When arrested he said ‘I am … Continue reading →

Sweden: Mass shooting at busy market Church near Malmo – ‘not terror related’
Sweden: Mass shooting at busy market Church near Malmo – ‘not terror related’
Posted on October 12, 2017 by ADMIN • 2 Comments
It’s astonishing how the police can declare that the attack had nothing to do with terrorism, when they don’t have a clear idea who the suspect is. Are the Swedes fighting in “Palestine” or in the Middle East? Not at all. Their only fault is that they opened their doors to a deeply racist people … Continue reading →

‘Rape and slavery was lure for UK Isis recruits with history of sexual violence’, study shows
‘Rape and slavery was lure for UK Isis recruits with history of sexual violence’, study shows
Posted on October 10, 2017 by ADMIN • 2 Comments
TMI has said the same for a long time. People who are attracted to Islam are looking for kindred spirits in misogyny, murders, incest, crime and violence. . . Rapists and wife-beaters flocked to join ISIS because the group’s systemised sexual violence appealed to them, study shows ISIS used sexual abuse as a way of … Continue reading →

200 ISIS accounts hacked and filled with gay porn
200 ISIS accounts hacked and filled with gay porn
Posted on October 9, 2017 by ADMIN • 11 Comments
This is hilarious. The guy is a hero. However, he is wrong by assuming that pushing ISIS and their message underground will somehow help to stop them. It will only keep the general public uninformed and in denial of that Islam actually stands for – which is even more dangerous. People need to be educated … Continue reading →

Former British banker fights ISIS
Former British banker fights ISIS
Posted on October 8, 2017 by ADMIN • 13 Comments
‘I won’t go home until ISIS has fallen’: Privately educated former banker who sleeps 300ft away from ISIS troops says he will not stop fighting jihadists until ‘fascism’ is pushed out of Syria Macer Gifford, 30, is fighting with the Syriac Military Council, a Christian group set against the Islamic State He is a Cambridge-born … Continue reading →

Petrol bomb is found in Paris belonging to cement firm that is involved in constructing Trump’s Mexican wall
Petrol bomb is found in Paris belonging to cement firm that is involved in constructing Trump’s Mexican wall
Posted on October 5, 2017 by ADMIN • 4 Comments
Petrol bomb is discovered in Paris under trucks belonging to cement firm that ‘funded ISIS’ and is involved in constructing Trump’s Mexican wall Device found this morning in a northeastern neighbourhood of French capital Petrol cans were attached to a ‘crude detonator’ underneath several lorries Device was found on truck belonging to Franco-Swiss cement … Continue reading →

Saudi woman conveniently dies in crash ‘while learning to drive’ before the country lifts its ban on female drivers
Saudi woman conveniently dies in crash ‘while learning to drive’ before the country lifts its ban on female drivers
Posted on October 5, 2017 by ADMIN • 7 Comments
Sounds completely staged. Someone appears to be trying to block the lifting of the ban from happening. . . Saudi woman is killed when she crashes into a concrete block while learning to drive before the country lifts its ban on female drivers Woman died during a driving lesson in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia She … Continue reading →

“Mosque pulpits in America are out of control”
“Mosque pulpits in America are out of control”
Posted on October 4, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
Mansour Al-Hadj, Director of Reform at MEMRI, interviewed on Al-Hurra TV on August 24, talked about the problem of imams coming to the U.S. from the Middle East. Such imams, who are “ignorant of the values” of tolerance, liberty, and freedom of belief enjoyed in the U.S., spread the traditional religious discourse, he said. Al-Hadj … Continue reading →

US Cleric: “Goal of Jihad Is to Implement Sharia – Non Muslims Should Convert to Gain Rights”
US Cleric: “Goal of Jihad Is to Implement Sharia – Non Muslims Should Convert to Gain Rights”
Posted on October 4, 2017 by ADMIN • 6 Comments
Sheikh Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa, head of the Islamic Jurisprudence Center in Clarksburg, Maryland, gave a lecture in Toronto, Canada in 2010, in which he said that Muslims could only live in the land of the infidels under certain circumstances, one of which was to do da’wa. “When the caliphate is established, you need to pack … Continue reading →

Liberal Media is Desperate to Deny Antifa #VegasShooter is One of Their Own
Liberal Media is Desperate to Deny Antifa #VegasShooter is One of Their Own
Posted on October 4, 2017 by ADMIN • 6 Comments
The plot thickens. Stephen Paddock has been caught on video with this girlfriend Marilou Danley at an anti-Trump rally. It’s not going down well in Hollywood and the pro-Clinton, pro-Obama, and pro-Sanders media. YouTube and Facebook has been quick to delete all video clips arguing that it’s #fakenews. The video shows “what appears to be” … Continue reading →

Ex-Muslim Issues Dire Warning to America
Ex-Muslim Issues Dire Warning to America
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
Ex-Muslim Issues Dire Warning to America. Best Western Big Spring Lodge, 1810 Southern View Dr., Neosho, MO graciously hosted Aynaz Anni Cyrus and others at “The Truth About Islam” seminar on Sep. 30, 2017. Aynaz is a renowned human rights activist and expert on Middle East culture. In this live public appearance, while under threat … Continue reading →

Footage Emerge of Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock at an Anti-Trump Protest
Footage Emerge of Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock at an Anti-Trump Protest
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 3 Comments
YouTube has been quick to remove the footage. At whoms instructions, one may ask? Here the Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock with his Indonesian girlfriend is captured on video at an anti-trump rally in Vegas… ANTIFA literature was found in Paddock’s Vegas Hotel Room says hostage rescue team. He also wired $100,000 to the Phillippines … Continue reading →

#LasVegasShooting: Liberal and Trump-hater Stephen Paddock Sent Thousand$ to Philippines Before Massacre
#LasVegasShooting: Liberal and Trump-hater Stephen Paddock Sent Thousand$ to Philippines Before Massacre
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 4 Comments
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was a Trump-hating liberal. Pussyhat and all. . . Massive Sums of Money to Philippines Before Massacre The Political Insider By Matt | October 3, 2017 4:37PM The more information that comes in regarding Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas, the more confusing everything becomes. Despite ISIS claiming responsibility for the … Continue reading →

German Psychiatrist Warns of Time Bomb: ‘Today’s Muslim Migrants Are Not Integrable’
German Psychiatrist Warns of Time Bomb: ‘Today’s Muslim Migrants Are Not Integrable’
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 6 Comments
Angela Merkel’s “gift” to the socialists in Europe. . . Psychiatrist Warns of ‘Time Bomb’ in Germany: ‘Today’s Migrants Are Not Integrable’ by Virginia Hale, 3 Oct 2017 Breitbart News A psychiatrist has warned that Germany faces a “time bomb” as a result of the mass migration of young men who have “crazy potential for … Continue reading →

France: Bomb defused at Paris football stadium before game – Muslims arrested
France: Bomb defused at Paris football stadium before game – Muslims arrested
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 6 Comments
Bomb found near Parc des Princes hours before Paris Saint-Germain were due to play Bordeaux Five men have been arrested in connection with the plot, which involved gas cannisters by Jack Austin, The Independent Tuesday 3 October 2017 12:36 BST The bomb was found close to the Parc des Princes where PSG play their … Continue reading →

UK: Blind Muslim immigration judge ‘had no idea of the law’ – allowed to practice 26 years
UK: Blind Muslim immigration judge ‘had no idea of the law’ – allowed to practice 26 years
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 4 Comments
Political correctness gone mad. . . Blind immigration judge ‘had no idea of the law or his own powers’ says panel after 12 out of 13 appeals against his rulings succeed ‘Shambolic’ immigration judge Amir Ali Majid ruled against by senior panel He was found to have ‘very little idea’ of his powers or the … Continue reading →

Myanmar beauty queen stripped of her title after accusing Rohingya Muslims of acting as ‘harbingers of terror and violence’
Myanmar beauty queen stripped of her title after accusing Rohingya Muslims of acting as ‘harbingers of terror and violence’
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 6 Comments
Myanmar beauty queen is stripped of her title after accusing Rohingya Muslims of a ‘caliphate-style movement’ and acting as ‘harbingers of terror and violence’ Miss Grand Myanmar Shwe Eain Si stripped of her crown over Facebook post She described Rohingya Muslim militants as a ‘caliphate-style movement’ Beauty queen, 19, said they were to blame for … Continue reading →

Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS “history of claiming others’ attacks as their own” is not true
Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS “history of claiming others’ attacks as their own” is not true
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 2 Comments
In May ISIS published a video promising to target Vegas and other cities. After the Vegas mass shooting by “no political association” Bernie Sanders supporter, liberal and Trump hater Stephen Paddock, ISIS announced that Paddock was a newly converted member of their cult. The liberal media went into a frenzy of denials. But how common … Continue reading →

Egypt hunts down gays, conducting forced anal exams
Egypt hunts down gays, conducting forced anal exams
Posted on October 3, 2017 by ADMIN • 8 Comments
Egypt “hunting down” gays, conducting forced anal exams – Amnesty Reuters Staff September 30, 2017 / 12:48 PM / CAIRO (Reuters) – Six Egyptian men arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday. Their arrest is … Continue reading →

Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS claims Stephen Paddock ‘converted to Islam a few months ago’
Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS claims Stephen Paddock ‘converted to Islam a few months ago’
Posted on October 2, 2017 by ADMIN • 19 Comments
They could be posturing. It doesn’t sound right, somehow. But who knows. Time will tell as more information is uncovered. Lack of knowledge makes people more prone to be groomed. . . Officials deny Vegas shooter was linked to terror groups after ISIS claim responsibility and say gunman ‘converted to Islam months ago’ Stephen Craig … Continue reading →

UK: Police stops Muslim for routine check, finds kidnapped woman crying in trunk
UK: Police stops Muslim for routine check, finds kidnapped woman crying in trunk
Posted on October 1, 2017 by ADMIN • 18 Comments
Kidnapper is jailed after police stopped him for driving while disqualified and found a woman in the boot of his car Shafak Abbas was questioned by police as he sat in his car in east London He admitted that he did not have insurance but was acting suspiciously Police searched the vehicle and found … Continue reading →

Canada: Police officer stabbed, four people injured by a speeding U-Haul truck in Edmonton
Canada: Police officer stabbed, four people injured by a speeding U-Haul truck in Edmonton
Posted on October 1, 2017 by ADMIN • 10 Comments
Terrorism suspected in Edmonton attack that leaves 5 injured Fox News Police believe there was an ISIS flag inside suspect’s car. Stabbing in Canada being investigated as terrorism Police believe there was an ISIS flag inside suspect’s car. A police officer was stabbed and at least four people were injured by a speeding U-Haul truck … Continue reading →

France: Muslim shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ slits a woman’s throat with a butcher’s knife in Marseille
France: Muslim shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ slits a woman’s throat with a butcher’s knife in Marseille
Posted on October 1, 2017 by ADMIN • 5 Comments
Of course they attack women, children, the elderly, the disabled before they attack a man. . . Two passengers are killed as attacker shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ slits a woman’s throat with a butcher’s knife and stabs another at Marseille station before soldiers shoot him dead Attacker stabbed two female passengers at Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles He … Continue reading →

Malaysia: “Muslims are Halal and Non-Muslims are Haram”
Malaysia: “Muslims are Halal and Non-Muslims are Haram”
Posted on September 29, 2017 by ADMIN • 1 Comment
FACT OR BIGOTRY: MUSLIMS ARE ‘HALAL’ & NON-MUSLIMS ARE ‘HARAM’ Malaysia-Chronicle | September 28, 2017 by | A worker cleans an Islamic plaque of calligraphy saying “Mohammad” on the morning of Eid al-Fitr in a mosque in Kota Bharu, in Malaysia’s northeastern state of Kelantan in this January 8, 2000 file photo. Calls by … Continue reading →

Chinese authorities in Xinjiang ban the Quran
Chinese authorities in Xinjiang ban the Quran
Posted on September 29, 2017 by ADMIN • 9 Comments
Chinese Police Order Xinjiang’s Muslims to Hand in All Copies of The Quran Radio Free Asia, 2017-09-27 A mosque in Xinjiang’s Turpan city is shown in a file photo. AFP Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have ordered ethnic minority Muslim families to hand in religious items including prayer mats and … Continue reading →

Myanmar: ‘300 Rohingyas kidnapped 100 Hindus, butcher 92 of them and convert the women’
Myanmar: ‘300 Rohingyas kidnapped 100 Hindus, butcher 92 of them and convert the women’

Classical mythology

Classical Mythology, Seventh Edition
About the book
Instructor resources
Student resources
Chapter materials
Chapter 01
Chapter 02
Chapter 03
Chapter 04
Chapter 05
Chapter 06
Chapter 07
Chapter 08
Chapter 09
Myth summary
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26

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Chapter 09
Aphrodite Urania. We know that Aphrodite arose amidst the foam (aphros) from the severed genitals of Uranus that were cast upon the sea. Hesiod’s account of her birth allegorizes the powerful sexuality of her nature. Yet this APHRODITE URANIA [a-froh-deye’tee you-ray’ne-a], born from the male alone and not as the result of sexual union, came to be characterized as the goddess of pure love that has as its end not physical satisfaction but spiritual gratification. The sensual Aphrodite Urania, sprung from Uranus, god of the heavens, became the HEAVENLY, or CELESTIAL, APHRODITE of philosophy and religion.
Aphrodite Pandemos. In stark contrast to celestial Aphrodite, another Aphrodite was identified, the daughter of Zeus and his mate DIONE [deye-oh’nee], about whom we know little. Their daughter was APHRODITE PANDEMOS [pan-dee’mos], “Aphrodite of the People” or “Common Aphrodite,” the goddess of sex and the procreation of children, whose concerns are of the body and not of the mind, the spirit, or the soul.
This duality in Aphrodite’s nature came to be described as sacred and profane love, the most universal of all archetypal conceptions.
Aphrodite received two epithets in connection with her birth on the sea, CYTHEREA [si-the-ree’a] and CYPRIS [si’pris or seye’pris], since she was brought first to the island of Cythera and then Cyprus, the latter especially associated with her worship.
In general, Aphrodite was the captivating goddess of beauty, love, and marriage and her power was very great. Her universality led to a gamut of conceptions of this goddess, who presided over everything from hallowed married love to temple prostitution. Depictions of her in art, literature, and music reflect not only the duality but also the multiplicity of her nature.
The Three Graces. The CHARITES [kar’i-teez] are feminine personifications of aspects of charm and loveliness.
The Hours or Seasons. The name of these daughters of Zeus and Themis is HORAE [hoh’ree], or HORAI, meaning hours, and then time, and then seasons. Their number increases from two to four, and they represent the attractive attributes of the various times of the year.
PRIAPUS [preye-ay’-pus], or PRIAPOS, the son of Aphrodite, personifies the elemental, sexual side of his mother’s nature. He bears a huge and erect phallus and began as a respectable fertility god bringing good fortune for crops and procreation. He developed into an erotic and sometimes obscene inspiration for later art and literature.
Ovid’s story of PYGMALION [pig-may’li-on] is most influential. Venus, enraged because the women of her own cult-place of Cyprus denied her divinity, caused them to be the first women to prostitute themselves. The sculptor Pygmalion would have nothing to do with these licentious women. In his loneliness, he fashioned an ivory statue of surpassing beauty, so realistic that he fell in love with his creation and treated it as though it were alive.
On the feast day of Venus, Pygmalion timidly prayed to Venus that his ivory maiden would become his wife. He returned home to find that his lovely statue was alive. He gave thanks to Venus, who was present at the marriage of the happy couple. The son of Pygmalion and GALATEA [ga-la-tee’a] (her name is not in Ovid) was PAPHOS [pa’fos], after whom Venus’ favorite city in Cyprus was named.
The classic version of this myth is by Ovid. KINYRAS [sin’i-ras], or KINYRAS (the son of Paphos), had a daughter named MYRRHA [mir’ra], who fell in love with her father. The faithful nurse of guilty Myrrha prevented her from committing suicide by convincing her to satisfy her passion. So Myrrha carried on an incestuous relationship with her father, who was unaware of her identity. When Cinyras found out, he pursued his daughter, who fled from his rage. In answer to her prayers, Myrrha was turned into a myrrh tree. She had become pregnant by her father and from the tree was born ADONIS [a-don’is], who became a most handsome youth and keen hunter.
Aphrodite fell desperately in love with Adonis and warned him of the dangers of the hunt, but to no avail. While he was hunting a wild boar, it buried its deep tusk into his groin and Adonis died in the arms of a grief-stricken Aphrodite. The goddess ordained that from his blood a flower, the anemone, should arise. Here is allegorized the important recurrent theme of the Great Mother and her lover, who dies as vegetation dies and comes back to life again.
This motif of death and resurrection becomes even clearer in the following variation. When Adonis was an infant, Aphrodite put him in a chest for PERSEPHONE [per-sef’o-nee] (PROSERPINA), the queen of the Underworld, to keep. But Persephone looked upon the child’s beauty and refused to give him back. It was agreed that Adonis would spend one part of the year below with Persephone and one part in the upper world with Aphrodite. Celebrations honoring the dead and risen Adonis share similarities with Easter celebrations for the dead and risen Christ.
The myth of the great Asiatic mother goddess called CYBELE [si’be-lee and si-bee’lee], or KYBELE, in the Greek and Roman world, and her consort, ATTIS [at’tis], is another variation on the archetype of the Great Mother and her lover. Cybele originally was a bi-sexual deity who was castrated. From the severed organ an almond tree arose. Nana, daughter of a river god, put a blossom from the tree to her bosom; it disappeared and she became pregnant. The beautiful Attis was born, and when he grew up, Cybele fell passionately in love with him. But he loved another, and Cybele, because of her jealousy, drove him mad. In his madness Attis castrated himself, and a repentant Cybele obtained Zeus’ promise that the body of Attis would never decay.
Religious ceremonies in honor of Attis celebrated resurrection and new life through the castration and death of the subordinate male in the grip of the eternal, dominant female. This is the powerful theme of Catullus’ great poem, translated in the Archives section of this web site.
Aphrodite of the Melos (Venus de Milo), late second century B.C., marble sculpture.
The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite tells how Zeus put into the heart of Aphrodite an overwhelming desire for the mortal Trojan ANCHISES [an-keye’seez].
Using all her wiles, Aphrodite seduced Anchises by tricking him into believing that she was a mortal. Discovering that he had slept with a goddess, he was terribly afraid that he would be enfeebled, “for no man retains his full strength who sleeps with an immortal goddess.” Here is yet again the eternal theme of the Great Mother and the castration of her lover, only in a more muted form. The son of Aphrodite and Anchises was AENEAS [e-nee’as], the great hero of the Romans.
As with Aphrodite there are various facets to the character of EROS [e’ros] (CUPID). He came out of Chaos, and he attended Aphrodite after she was born from the sea-foam. He (or a different Eros?) was said to be the son of Aphrodite and Ares. Eros was a young, handsome god of love and desire in general, but by the fifth century B.C. he had become very much the god of male homosexuality.
Plato’s dialogue presents a profound analysis of love, the topic of this famous dinner-party. Two of the speeches are particularly illuminating.
The Speech of Aristophanes. Since this speech is by the famous writer of Greek Old Comedy, not surprisingly, it is both amusing and wise. Aristophanes explains that originally there were not just two sexes but a third, an androgynous sex, both male and female. These creatures (all three sexes) were round in shape with four hands and feet, one head with two faces exactly alike but each looking in opposite directions, a double set of genitals, and so on. They were very strong and they dared to attack the gods.
Zeus, in order to weaken them, decided to cut them in two. So all those who were originally of the androgynous sex became heterosexual beings, men who love women, and women who love men. Those of the female sex who were cut in half became lesbians and pursued women; those bisected from the male became male homosexuals who pursue males. Thus, like our ancestors, according to our own nature, we pursue our other half in a longing to become whole once again. Eros is the yearning desire of lover and beloved to become one person not only in life but also in death.
Aristophanes by his creative humor has given a serious explanation through mythic truth of why some persons are heterosexual while others are homosexual; he also articulates a compelling definition of love, reiterated throughout the ages: Eros inspires that lonely and passionate search for the one person who alone can satisfy our longing for wholeness and completion.
The Speech of Socrates. The great philosopher Socrates elucidates Platonic revelation about Eros. Socrates claims that his wisdom in the nature of love came from a woman from Mantinea named DIOTIMA [deye-o-tee’ma]. A new myth is told about the birth of Eros to explain his character. He is squalid and poor, not beautiful himself, but a lover of beauty and very resourceful, forever scheming and plotting to obtain what he desires passionately but does not himself already possess – beauty, goodness, and wisdom. This is the Eros who must inspire each of us to move from our love of physical beauty in the individual to a love of beauty in general, and to realize that beauty of the soul is more precious than that of the body. When two people have fallen in love with the beautiful soul of each other, they should proceed upward to pursue together a love of wisdom.
Platonic Eros is a love inspired in the beginning by the sexual attraction of physical beauty, which must be transmuted into a love of the beautiful pursuits of the mind and the soul. Although Socrates’ discourse dwells upon male homosexual attachments as his paradigm, his message transcends sexuality. Platonic lovers of both sexes, driven by Eros, must be capable of making the goal of their love not sexual satisfaction at all nor the procreation of children, but spiritual gratification from the procreation of ideas in their intellectual quest for beauty, goodness, and wisdom.
The Greek Eros develops into the Roman Cupid, still a very familiar deity today. This mischievous little darling with a bow and arrows, who attends Venus, can inspire love of every kind, often very serious or even deadly, but usually not intellectual.
The canonical version of this famous tale comes from the Roman novel, Metamorphoses or The Golden Ass by the African author Apuleius. Thus Eros is called Cupid, who appears as a handsome, winged youth. PSYCHE [seye’kee] means “soul,” and here is an allegory of the union of the human soul with the divine.
Once upon a time, a king and queen had three daughters, of whom Psyche was so beautiful that Venus was jealous. She ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the most vile of creatures, but instead Cupid himself fell in love with Psyche. She was transported to a magnificent palace, where each night Cupid, as an anonymous bridegroom, visited her and departed quickly before sunrise.
Psyche’s two sisters, who were very jealous, visited her. Cupid warned of their treacherous purpose to persuade Psyche to look upon his face. He told her that she was pregnant and that she must keep their secret. Nevertheless, Psyche was tricked by her sisters into believing that she was sleeping with a monster and, at their advice, she hid a sharp knife and a burning lamp with the intention of slashing her lover in the neck when he was asleep.
In the night her husband made love to Psyche and then fell asleep. As she raised the lamp, knife in hand, she saw the gentle and beautiful Cupid. Overcome by desire, she kissed him so passionately that the lamp dropped oil on the god’s shoulder. Cupid leaped out of bed, and as he flew away, Psyche caught hold of his leg and soared aloft with him. Her strength gave way and she fell to earth, only to be admonished by Cupid for ignoring his warnings. In her despair, Psyche attempted unsuccessfully to commit suicide. As she wandered disconsolate she encoutered her two evil sisters and lured each to her death.
When Venus learned from Cupid all that had happened, she was enraged and imposed upon Psyche four impossible tasks.
First, Psyche had to sort out a vast heap of a mixed variety of grains. She did this successfully with the help of an army of ants.
Next, Psyche had to obtain the wool from dangerous sheep with thick golden fleeces. A murmuring reed told her to shake the trees under which the sheep had passed to gather the wooly gold clinging to the branches.
Then, Psyche was ordered to climb to the top of a high mountain, face the terrors of a frightening dragon, and collect in a jar chill water from a stream that fed the Underworld river of Cocytus. This she accomplished with the help of Zeus’ eagle.
Finally, Venus imposed the ultimate task, descent into the Underworld itself. Psyche was commanded to obtain from Persephone a box containing a fragment of her own beauty. As Psyche, in despair, was about to leap to her death from a high tower, the tower spoke to her and told her to take sops to mollify Cerberus, the dread hound guarding the realm of Hades, and money to pay the ferryman Charon; most important of all, she was not to look into the box. Of course Psyche looked into the box, which contained not the beauty of Persephone but the sleep of the dark night of the Underworld, and she was enveloped by this death-like sleep.
At last Cupid flew to the rescue of his beloved. He put sleep back into the box and, after reminding her that curiousity once before had been her undoing, told her to complete her final task. In the end, Venus was appeased. Psyche became one of the immortals, and on Mount Olympus Jupiter ratified the marriage of Cupid and Psyche with a glorious wedding. A daughter was born to them called Pleasure (Voluptas) and they lived happily ever after.
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