Focal Point


What you desire most deserves your total focus.


The Rule of Law v. The Rule of Men

Therefore he who bids the law rule may be deemed to bid God and Reason alone rule, but he who bids man rule adds an element of the beast; for desire is a wild beast, and passion perverts the minds of rulers, even when they are the best of men. The law is reason unaffected by desire.

Aristotle, Politics: Book 3, Part XVI – Written 350 BC.

Coriolanus: Once the Glory of His Age


  • ATTIUS TULLUS, general of the Volscian army.
  • GALESUS, one of the deputies of the Volscian states attending the camp.
  • VOLUSIUS, one of the principal Volscian officers.
  • TITUS, freed-man of Galesus.


TUNNUS, VOLUSIUS, and Conspirators. Upon the noise of the tumult, enter hastily to them GALESUS, the other deputies of the Volscian States, officers friends of CORIOLANUS, and TITUS with a large band of soldiers.

Gal. (As he enters.) Are we a nation ruled by laws, or fury?
How? whence this tumult? (Pausing.) Gods! what do I see?
The nobe Marcius slain!

Tul. You see a traitor
Punish’d as he deserved, the Roman yoke
That thrall’d us broken, and the Volsci free!

Gal. Hear me, great Jove! Hear, all you injured Powers
Of friendship, hospitality, and faith!
By that heroic blood which from the ground
Reeking to you for vengeance cries, I swear,
This impious breach of your eternal laws,
This daring outrage on the Volscian honour,
Shall find in me a rigorous avenger!
On the same earth, polluted by their crime,
I will not live with these unpunish’d ruffians!

Tul. This deed is mine: I claim it all! These men,
These valiant men, were but my instruments,
To punish him who to our face betray’d us.
We shall not fear to answer to the Volsci,
In a full council of the states at Antium,
The glorious charge of having stabb’d their traitor!

Gal. Titus, till then secure them.

(Tullus and conspirators are led of; Galesus, standing over the body of Coriolanus, after a short pause proceeds.)

Volscian fathers,
And ye, brave soldiers, see an awful scene,
Demanding serious, solemn meditation!

This man was once the glory of his age,
Disinterested, just, with every virtue
Of civil life adorn’d, in arms unequall’d.
His only blot was this; that, much provok’d,
He rais’d his vengeful arm against his country.
And, lo! the righteous gods have now chastis’d him,
Even by the hands of those for whom he fought.

Whatever private views and passions plead,
No cause can justify so black a deed:
These, when the angry tempest clouds the soul,
May darken reason, and her course controul;
But when the prospect clears, her startled eye
Must from the treacherous gulph with horror fly,
On whose wild wave, by stormy passions toss’d,
So many hapless wretches have been lost.
Then be this truth the star by which we steer,
Above ourselves our COUNTRY should be dear.

Liberty and Responsibility are Inseparable

Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions and will receive praise or blame for them. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. A free society will not function or maintain itself unless its members regard it as right that each individual occupy the position that results from his action and accept it as due to his own action. Though it can offer to the individual only chances and though the outcome of his efforts will depend on innumerable accidents, it forcefully directs his attention to those circumstances that he can control as if they were the only ones that mattered.

F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, p. 17.

A Hundred Impertinent Obstructions – Adam Smith

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security, is so powerful a principle, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Volume IV, 5.

The Punch-It Burger with Harissa Tomato Sauce and Cream Cheese



Harissa tomato sauce: adapted generously from Smitten Kitchen’s harissa chili paste

  • 1.6 oz (45 grams) assorted dried chilis
  • 1 red bell pepper, charred/roasted
  • 1 tsp Mexican chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 6 (100 grams) sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 3 (26 grams) chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp (16 grams) tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp (14 grams) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Spiced buttered patties:

  • 10.6 oz (300 grams) boneless beef short-ribs
  • 5.3 oz (150 grams) boneless lamb
  • 3 small Asian shallots, coarsely cut
  • 3 tsp capers
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp grond cumin
  • 1/3 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, divided into 1/2 tsp
  • little bit of flour to dust

To assemble:

  • Crispy onions (instruction as followed)
  • Cream cheese, softened and whipped
  • 4 medium-sized potato rolls

Make Harissa Tomato Sauce: Cover the assorted dried chilis with boiling water and let sit for 30 min. Meanwhile, if you are roasting your own pepper, place the red bell pepper over direct flames, turning as needed, until it’s evenly charred on all surfaces. Then scrape away the charred skins and remove the stem and seeds. Once the dried chilis have softened, drain well, then remove the stems and seeds as well. Toast Mexican chili powder, coriander, caraway seed, cumin and cocoa powder in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer the roasted pepper, dried chilis, spice-mixtures, sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle, garlics, tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil, dark brown sugar, sea salt, white wine vinegar, and black pepper into a food-processor. Pulse and run until the mixture is smoothly pureed. Transfer into an air-tight container and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 day before using.

Make Spice Buttered Patties: Cut beef short-ribs and lamb into small chunk, then flash-freeze for 1 hour until hardened. Transfer into a food-processor along with shallots, capers, ground coriander, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, salt and black pepper. Pulse for as many times as needed, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (You can also use ground beef and lamb, then mix evenly with the rest of the ingredients that are finely minced). Divide into 4 equal portions, then place 1/2 tsp of unsalted butter into the centre of each, then shape into round patties (the butter will melt through the patty during cooking and make’em succulent). Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Make Crispy Onions: Add enough canola oil into a small frying-pot until it reaches 1 inch deep, then heat over medium-high heat. Very thinly slice 1 medium red onions, then separate the slices into individual rings. Dust with just enough flour to evenly coat the surfaces of every rings, then drop a small ring into the oil to test the heat. If it bubbles up immediately, the oil’s ready. Fry the onions in small batches, turning them once or twice, until golden browned on all edges (the onions will crisp up further once cooled slightly). Let drain on a paper-towel and season with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside. Reserve the frying-oil.

To Cook: Lightly season both sides of the patties with salt and black pepper again, then dust the flat sides lightly with a bit of flour (this helps form a crust). Add enough of the onion frying-oil into a large flat skillet to generously coat, then heat over medium-high heat. Place the patties in the skillet then put a lid on. Once the first sides are deeply caramelised, flip them and caramelize the other side as well (For medium-rare, remove the lid while browning the second sides. For medium-well done, keep the lid on).

Transfer the patties to a plate and smear a generous dollop of cream cheese on top, then let rest for 3 min. Slice and toast the potato rolls, then place a good amount of harissa tomato paste on the bottom roll, then the patty, then the crispy onions, then cap it. Serve immediately with large supply of napkins.

Original article: The Punch-It Burger