Stairway to Democracy?

In my free time this week I've been listening to Donald Kagan's lectures on ancient Greece and enjoying them very much. I also listen during my visits to the Kline Center, where I spend time on the treadmill and the rowing machine. Certainly makes that time less tedious. (Now, if I could be more successful at cutting back on sweets I could make some real progress...) Kagan's comments on Athenian democracy and the analogies he makes to our times are certainly interesting and thought provoking. And certainly confirm my own ideas about the importance of education and its relationship to democracy. But beware: isn't it suspicious when our ideas find confirmation? On guard! And I didn't need Kagan to reach that conclusion. Socrates makes the point quite nicely. What I mean, of course, is that it's so easy to find confirmation for our beliefs. That's the problem! We've got to continually put them to the test. (And that's why 90% of political commentary today is so deathly boring. All these self-assured pundits. They'd be a lot more interesting if they gave their egos a rest now and then.)
Why do I seem to forget to bring my lunch with me in the morning? Is this an age thing? Should the US have intervened on behalf of the II Spanish Republic? Who's advising Mark McGwire? (Perhaps a Greek ostracism would be a good punishment for him.) In the photo: the spectacular triple staircase at the former churcho of Santo Domingo in Santiago de Compostela.