Sunday, February 17, 2019

Cathedral.................................


"A Place of Worship"   Roosevelt at Glacier Point, Yosemite
May 1903























Two evenings later, Roosevelt lay high in Yosemite, on a bet of fragrant pine needles, looking up at the sky.  On all sides soared the cinnamon-colored shafts of sequoia trees.  He had the feeling that he was "lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hands of man." . . . Speaking in Sacramento, he begged Californians to preserve their "marvelous natural resources" unimpaired.  "We are not building this country of ours for a day.  It is to last through the ages."

-Edmund Morris,  Theodore Rex

Claims......................................


     His speech there on 7 September was so utopian that Jules Jusserand accused him of parroting Sir Thomas More.  Actually Roosevelt was identifying with Euripides—like himself, an upper-class celebrant of middle-class virtues— as he mused at length on the vulnerability of republics that failed to preserve their social equipoise.  Whichever class arose to dominate others—whether high, low, or bourgeois—always made disproportionate claims on the government:

          Again and again in the republics of ancient Greece, in
          those of medieval Italy, and medieval Flanders, this 
          tendency was shown, and wherever the tendency became
          habit it invariably and inevitably proved fatal to the
          state. . . . There resulted violent alternations between
          tyranny and disorder, and a final complete loss of liberty
          to all citizens—destruction in the end overtaking the
          class which had for the moment been victorious as
          well as that which had momentarily been defeated.
          The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as
          active power became lodged in the hands of those
          who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and
          poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for
          its interests as opposed to the interests of others.


Edmund Morris,  Theodore Rex

Leadership......................


“'Why do you suppose they made you king in the first place?'  I ask him. 'Not for your benefit, but for theirs. They meant you to devote your energies to making their lives more comfortable, and protecting them from injustice. So your job is to see that they're all right, not that you are - just as a shepherd's job, strictly speaking, is to feed his sheep, not himself.'” 

-Sir Thomas More,  Utopia

Woe...................................


“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” 


-attributed to Euripides

We could argue for hours....................


............................about the meaning of "most qualified":


Temperamentally..................................


In Washington, the President lunched with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes—"one of the most interesting men I have ever met"—and Sir Frederick Pollock, Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University.  Roosevelt enjoyed their company, yet remained temperamentally unable to understand the workings of minds more concerned with reason than power.

-Edmund Morris,  Theodore Rex

Checking in.............................


.....................................with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:

“We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.” 

“The man of action has the present, but the thinker controls the future.”

“Every calling is great when greatly pursued.”

“The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.” 

“We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them.”

“I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.” 

“Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.” 

“Greatness is not in where we stand but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”

“Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered that I was not God.” 

A rudder.................................


“Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” 

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Verse................................


And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The Holy Bible,  Matthew 5:1-16

Fifty years ago............................


The Hollies.................................He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Friday, February 15, 2019

Here's an idea........................


Indeed, I like to cite racism as a universal thing; something that binds all men together.
We need a National Bigotry Day, in which for twenty-four hours we can all find relief from the Political Correctors. And laugh at each other, scoff taunt and mock, because (have you noticed?) all of us deserve it.
-David Warren, from this blog post

Prime Time.................................


"Well let me tell you something, son … even your critics will have critics. So don’t listen to them. Don’t let the world dictate how you live your life. And trust that behind everything — every decision you make and every decision that is made for you — there’s a purpose."

-Deion Sanders, as culled from this letter to his seven-year-old self

via

Mixology..............................


..................................................When Two times Two equals Six.

TV........................................




“We would not deem life too short if we always remembered that we do not have to watch TV.” 

-Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Act..................................




“Should we not invariably act in this life as though the God whom our heart desires with its highest desire were watching our every action?” 


-Maurice Maeterlinck, Wisdom And Destiny

image via

Those are two very different skills....................


"In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."

-attributed to Charles Darwin

Copycat.............................


Humans are herd animals.  We want to fit in, to bond with others, and to earn the respect and approval of our peers.  Such inclinations are essential to our survival.  For most of our evolutionary history, our ancestors lived in tribes.  Becoming separated from the tribe—or worse, being cast out—was a death sentence.  "The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives." . . .

     We don't choose our earliest habits, we imitate them.  We follow the scripts handed down by our friends and family, our church or school, our local community and society at large. . . . Often, you follow the habits of your culture without thinking, without questioning, and sometimes without remembering.

-James Clear,  Atomic Habits

Fifty years ago.........................


At the cinema........Anthony Quinn in The Secret of San Vittoria

Fifty years ago....................


The Band..............................................................King Harvest

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Where does he...............................


........................................................find this stuff?

Mental models.........................


"Building your latticework is a lifelong project."   Back story here.

Tyler Cowen talks...............................


....................................with Jordan Peterson.   A brief snippet:
COWEN: If we turn to senior management of large American companies, as a class of people — and I know it’s hard to generalize — but what do you see them as just not getting?
PETERSON: I would caution them not to underestimate the danger of their human resources departments.

Please do.............................




Fifty years ago....................


Jefferson Airplane........................................We Can Be Together



A pretty good list...........................




           via

How could we forget............................?



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sending................................


.................................prayers and thoughts of peace and comfort.

As mantras go.............................


    Speak softly and carry a big stick was a West African proverb Roosevelt had tried out once, as Vice President, and memorized as a personal mantra.  Perhaps the current situation would enable him to test its effectiveness, starting with the soft speech.  "If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, but neither will speaking softly avail, if back of his softness there does not lie strength, power."

-Edmund Morris,  Theodore Rex

To put this paragraph in context, it is late 1902, Germany is sending a fleet to extract repayment of  over-due loans from bankrupt Venezuela.  Roosevelt, opting to enforce the "Monroe Doctrine", suggests, with the US Navy as his backstop, that Germany arbitrate instead.  Judging by the absence of a war between Germany and Venezuela in the history books, his mantra was effective.

And that is a good place to be.................




              via

Good vibrations.........................


Feelings are energy and all energy gives off a vibration.  We are like sending and receiving stations.  The less negativity we are holding, the more aware we can be of what others are really holding about us.  The more we love, the more we find ourselves surrounding by love.  The replacement of a negative feeling by a higher one accounts for the many miracles one can experience in the course of life.   These become more and more frequent as one continues to surrender.
     As we surrender, life becomes more and more effortless.  There is a constant increase in happiness and pleasure, which requires less and less from the outer world to be experienced.  There is a diminution of needs and expectations of others.  We stop looking "out there" for what we now experience as coming from within ourselves.  We let go of the illusion that others are the source of our happiness.   Instead of looking to get from others, we now look to give.

-David R. Hawkins, Letting Go:  The Pathway of Surrender

Anticipation......................


"It is the anticipation of a reward—not the fulfillment of it—that gets us to take action."

-James Clear,  Atomic Habits

On properly estimating your threshold for pain,


..............or, the time to think about risk is when there is none.

Bear hunting in Mississippi, 1902.................


     Paradoxically, one misadventure worked to his political advantage, and spawned the most enduring of all Rooseveltian myths.  Early on the morning of 14 November, Holt Collier's hounds scented bear and began to yelp.  Roosevelt and Foote galloped after the pack, but thickening brush cut them off.  Collier tactfully suggested that they stake out a nearby clearing, while he rounded up the critter and drove it past them—"same as anybody would drive a cow."
     The yelping hounds receded into silence.  Roosevelt and Foote sat for hours, sweating as the sun climbed and cooked the humidity of the forest.  Noon came and with it boredom and hunger.  Eventually they concluded that Collier's bear had gone astray, so they might as well ride back to camp for lunch.
      No sooner had they left than a lean black bear burst through the brush with the pack on its heels.  Hot and exhausted, it lunged into a pond, and the dogs splashed after it.  The bear reared and struck out, crushing one hound's spine.  Collier threw a lariat over the shaggy neck and pulled tight.  Then he waded in and cracked the bear's skull with the butt of his gun—carefully, because he wanted to stay alive.
      Back at the camp the hunters heard excited horn calls.  A messenger from Collier galloped up.  "They done got a bear out yonder about ten miles and 'Ho' wants the Colonel to come out and kill him."
      Roosevelt rode back at full speed.  He was both disappointed and upset, on reaching the pond, to find a stunned, bloody, mud-caked runt tied to a tree.  At 235 pounds, the bear was not much bigger than he.  He refused to shoot.  "Put it out of its misery," he said,   Somebody dispatched it with a knife.
     The hunt continued for another three days, but the curse of that tortured bear kept Roosevelt's bullets cold.  He did not know, as he crashed vainly through the mists, that the outside world was already applauding his "sportsmanlike" refusal to kill for killing's sake.  Clifford Berryman, the Washington Post cartoonist, was inspired to make a visual pun linking the incident with the President's race policy.  He sketched a very black bear being roped about the neck by a very white catcher, and Roosevelt turning away in disgust, with sloped rifle.  The cartoon appeared on the front page of the Post on 16 November, captioned Drawing The Line In Mississippi.

-Edmund Morris,  Theodore Rex


Fifty years ago.................................


Grateful Dead.........................................Mountains Of The Moon
(Intro is sort of interesting in a cultural way, music starts at 2:00)