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Letters to the World “Series” by Jascha Kessler

Monday, December 26, 2016

 

Letters to the Editor

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

New York

Dear Letters Editor:

Professor Pielke, citing his safety in tenure at University of Colorado, seems content to pursue corruption in the universe of big-time sports after a career of skeptical analysis of climate-change intellectual tyranny in journalism and science and business, big business. [“My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic,” 3 December].  Perhaps the coming generation of academic researchers wont have it so good, given human nature cited as long ago as 1400 by Chaucer’s charming con artist, The Pardoner, who quoted St. Paul’s 1 Timothy letter; viz., Radix malorum est cupiditas (Cupidity is evil’s root).  Given the sources of attack from the first against students of climate change and its economics, Pielke is fortunately secure in his professorship.

However, one recalls a hero of science, one Galileo Galilei, condemned to lifelong house arrest in 1633 by the Catholic church for heresy, and his perhaps apocryphal last cry, Eppur si muove!, or, Nevertheless it [is the Earth that] , moves [around the Sun].  I mention this because today’s news from Nigeria reveals mass destruction of schools and massacres of teachers and students by Boko Haram, an Islamic sect that declares the world is flat.  Those killers and destroyers also think of themselves as “protestors.”

In short, it is not hard to imagine a future of daily calamities far worse than politicians and journalists (and climate scientists} ruining a man’s research career.  It stems from humanity’s innate greed for money and/or power, often cloaked in religious garb.

 

Sincerely,

Jascha Kessler

 

Emeritus Professor of Modern English & American Literature, UCLA

Santa Monica, CA

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Jascha Kessler
Born in New York City, Jascha Kessler (Ph.D., Litt.D.) has received varied research grants, prizes, and writing fellowships since 1952 when he won a Major Hopwood Award for Poetry (University of Michigan). They include the NEA Fellowship in Writing, two Senior Fulbright Awards to Italy and one to Czechoslovakia. Since 1961, he has been a Professor of English & Modern Literature at UCLA, also teaching poetry, fiction, and playwrighting. In 1979, Mr. Kessler was a Rockefeller Fellow and worked at the Bellagio Study Center, completing his translation (with Amin Banani) of the Persian poet Forugh Farrokhzad: BRIDE OF ACACIAS: THE POETRY OF FORUGH FARROKHZAD (Caravan Books, Delmar, NY: 1983). He won a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction Writing for 1993-1994. He reviewed fiction and poetry weekly, theater and events on the air for KUSC-FM (Los Angeles) for 5 years in the 1980s; several dozen of his reviews, both broadcast and published in magazines and papers since the 1960s, have been anthologized in CONTEMPORARY LITERARY CRITICISM (Gale Research) over the decades. His literary essays have appeared widely. He also served as Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica, California, from 1990-1996. In 2001, his translation of TRAVELING LIGHT from the Finnish won the Finnish Literary Translation Centre Award. Kessler has published several collections of fiction. AN EGYPTIAN BONDAGE, & Other Stories (Harper & Row, NY: 1967); DEATH COMES FOR THE BEHAVIORIST: 4 Long Stories (Lexis Press, San Francisco, CA: 1983); CLASSICAL ILLUSIONS: 28 Stories (McPherson & Co.: Kingston, NY, 1985); and TRANSMIGRATIONS: 18 Mythologems (Jazz Press: Capitola, CA: 1985). His latest collection, SIREN SONGS & CLASSICAL ILLUSIONS: 50 Stories", was published by McPherson & Co., in December of 1992. Also a novel, RAPID TRANSIT 1948: An Unsentimental Education (Xlibris 2000) and a second edition of AN EGYPTIAN BONDAGE (Xlibris 2000). He has also published three volumes of poetry: WHATEVER LOVE DECLARES (The Plantin Press: Los Angeles, CA: 1969; AFTER THE ARMIES HAVE PASSED (NYU Press: NY: 1970); and, IN MEMORY OF THE FUTURE (Kayak Press, Santa Cruz, CA: 1976). Also, revised as COLLECTED POEMS (Xlibris 2000). In 2013 his KING SOLOMON’S SEAL: 76 AND MORE FABLES, was published (xLibris.com, in hardback, paperback, ebook versions).

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