Saturday, May 4, 2013

Skies of blue.....................

Louis Armstrong..........................What A Wonderful World
(It is a wonder, even if you have to click through to YouTube)

The Garden..........................

     "Now think on this:  Why would God or the God-force put us in a dimension of such incredible wealth and abundance - a veritable Garden of Eden - and expect us to be poor and lacking in our needs?  It makes no sense.  It is natural that we would use the resources around us and gradually become abundant.  God must have foreseen that as having a high probability.  Given the dimension we live in, richness is natural.
     "To make that philosophically wrong, and to make poverty - which is so unnatural - right, is a conceptual flip-flop.  It may serve certain vested interests, but under the Universal Law governing the naturalness of things, this cannot be true.  Imagine a God who considers the dole and food stamps holy and good, and, alternatively, considers the opening of a factory that grants creativity and wealth to, say, a hundred families, wrong.  You can stick that in yer ear, kid; it just ain't true!"
-Stuart Wilde, The Trick To Money Is Having Some

Yep..................

"....we should think of financial shocks as closer to commonplace than to exceptional is based on history. Consider the United States over the past thirty or so years. By my count, there have been six distinct times over that period when financial developments posed important macroeconomic risks. In three of them, the risks were largely averted and the costs ended up being minor. In two, the costs were modest to moderate. And in one, the damage was enormous."
-David Romer, as excerpted from here

If you doubt his premise, you might want to review this history lesson.
thanks Greg

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

The Jaynetts..........................Sally, Go Round The Roses

A better reason than most to drink more beer...















The guest blogger at Watts Up With That is concerned that declining beer consumption may lead to global cooling.   Full post is here.  A few serious-minded excerpts here:
As some of you know, CO2 is not a major component of the Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, it is such a small part of the air we breathe that it is a bit amazing that plants, which depend on CO2 the same way we depend on Oxygen, do not suffocate.  However we are asked to believe that this tiny, tiny part of our atmosphere can have humongous effects. Well, if it has such a humongous effect, despite being tiny, it is a bit like a tiny pebble that can start a huge avalanche, is it not?  And, if such a tiny thing can have such a huge effect, so can another tiny thing, like the head on your beer.
After all, the head of your beer is mostly CO2.  If a little pebble can start an avalanche, then whether you have one beer or ten could make a difference in the wheat crops......
Do you see how ominous this trend is!!!?  If people drink less beer, the beer’s froth will produce less CO2, and less CO2 will make the weather colder, which will cause people to drink even less beer.  It is a vicious cycle which, like a mere pebble starting the mighty avalanche, could freeze our socks off, with the onset of glaciers and an ice age which will plow Boston and Taxachusetts right off the face of the map.

The problem..........................

"I used to say, 'Things cost too much.'  Then my teacher straightened me out on that by saying, 'The problem isn't that things cost too much.  The problem is that you can't afford it.'  That's when I finally understood that the problem wasn't 'it' - the problem was 'me'!"
-Jim Rohn

Kids home from college this weekend......

This is a conversation we will not be having.  It was hard enough figuring out what I wanted to do...........


















via

Fairly irrelevant..........................

















thanks will

Friday, May 3, 2013

The kids are doing just fine....................................

Faithful viewers will know that I am a fan of Unorganized Hancock, the house band at Sippican Cottage.  Here is their latest, a cover of a Wes Montgomery tune from 1959.  As a bonus, Wes hisownself.

Unorganized Hancock.................................Yesterdays



Wes Montgomery........................................Yesterdays

The satire of philosophizers....................




















"Philosophers conceive of the passions which harass us as vices into which men fall by their own fault, and, therefore, generally deride, bewail, or blame them, or execrate them, if they wish to seem unusually pious. And so they think they are doing something wonderful, and reaching the pinnacle of learning, when they are clever enough to bestow manifold praise on such human nature, as is nowhere to be found, and to make verbal attacks on that which, in fact, exists. For they conceive of men, not as they are, but as they themselves would like them to be. Whence it has come to pass that, instead of ethics, they have generally written satire, and that they have never conceived a theory of politics, which could be turned to use, but such as might be taken for a chimera, or might have been formed in Utopia, or in that golden age of the poets when, to be sure, there was least need of it. Accordingly, as in all sciences, which have a useful application, so especially in that of politics, theory is supposed to be at variance with practice; and no men are esteemed less fit to direct public affairs than theorists or philosophers."
-Benedictus de (Baruch) Spinoza, Tractatus Politicus (Political Treatise) as translated by A. H. Gosset

It does get confusing out there...............

I'm sensing that Walter Russell Mead, who is wiser than most, is frustrated by the theatre of the absurd that is our government.  Post is here.  Excerpt is here

Apparently, according to the US judicial system, 15 (or 14, or 13) year old girls who are too young under the law to consent to sexual activity should be able to buy morning after birth control pills without a prescription, while adults can’t use their smart phones to get cabs. No doubt this makes sense to somebody, but to us, it is the kind of absurdity to which massive regulation and an unhinged system of judicial review naturally lead.

About that passion thing...............

Did I mention my recent addiction to the grilled
pecan rolls at Sharona's?  M R good.



















with apologies to Scott Adams for cherry-picking this cartoon

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

Bobby "Blue" Bland......................That's The Way Love Is

Happy belated Anniversary...................

Near as I can tell, and judging from his latest blog header, the Mighty E. opened for blogging business on May 1, 2006.  Happy 7th Anniversary Doug.  As all faithful readers know:  A day without Eclecticity is like a day without sunshine.


Not me............................






















via

Something to aspire to....................

















via

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Walking hand-in-hand...............

Mark Knopfler.................True Love Will Never Fade

Opening paragraphs...............................


















Many remedies are suggested for the avoidance of worry and mental overstrain by persons who, over prolonged periods, have to bear exceptional responsibilities and discharge duties upon a very large scale.  Some advise exercise, and others, repose.  Some counsel travel, and others, retreat.  Some praise solitude, and others, gaiety.  No doubt all these may play their part according to the individual temperament.  But the element which is constant and common in all of them is Change.
-Winston Churchill, Painting As A Pastime

image via

Giving capitalism a bad name.................

Dow Chemical publishes this letter suggesting we should stop "unchecked exports" of natural gas.

Mark Perry posts this response as he opts to "re-nominate Dow Chemical for corporate rent-seeker and crony capitalist of the decade century award."

The old books............................

Victor Davis Hanson suggests that we should dust off the classics and refresh our memory about the timeless lessons they contain again.  A few examples:

"In the tragic world, thousands of personal agendas, governed by predictable human nature, ensure that things do not always quite work the way they should. We can learn from classics that most of us are more likely to resent superiority than to reward it, to distrust talent than to develop it."

"The idea of the need for a daily struggle to survive to keep moral balance is best explored in the great tetrad of Roman imperial pessimists — Juvenal, Petronius, Suetonius, and Tacitus. If late republicans like Horace and Livy had hinted that a rich, globalized Roman Mediterranean was destroying the old rural Italian virtue, then the later four chronicled in graphic detail just how — and how fun it was to squander what others far better for seven centuries had bequeathed."

"The world of fourth-century Athens is one of constant squabbling over a shrinking pie: 'Don’t dare raid the free theater fund to build a warship. Pay me to vote. Give me a pension for my bad leg. The rich should pay their fair share. You didn’t build that. That’s my inheritance, not yours. Exile, confiscate, even kill those who have too much power of influence.' It is not that the Athenians cannot grow their economy as in the past, but that they despise those among them who think they still can."

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

Lesley Gore.........................You Don't Own Me



If it wasn't for the Beatles, Lesley Gore would have owned 1963.  Previously featured It's My Party and It's Judy's Turn to Cry both went to the top of the 1963 charts.  You Don't Own Me topped out at #2, stalled behind the Beatles'  I Want to Hold Your Hand.   Gore was 17 in 1963.  This video, live and not lip-synced, is one I've suggested my daughter watch/listen to.

Seeking detachment........................

David Brooks pens an essay for pundits, hacks, and other scribblers on politics, "Engaged or Detached."  Read it here.  Wee excerpt here:

"But the detached writer wants to be a few steps away from the partisans. She is progressive but not Democratic, conservative but not Republican. She fears the team mentality will blinker her views. She wants to remain mentally independent because she sees politics as a competition between partial truths, and she wants the liberty to find the proper balance between them, issue by issue."

On friendship......................

Twisted Sifter offers fifteen famous quotes, along with highly appropriate photos, on "friendship."  A sample:


Don't...............................
















thanks

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Simple.................................

The Rascals...............................People Got To Be Free

Follow....................................























"Let each one of us leave every other kind of knowledge and seek and follow one thing only, if peradventure he may be able to learn and may find someone who will make him able to learn and discern between good and evil, and so to choose always and everywhere the better life as he has opportunity."
-attributed to Socrates,  Book X, The Republic

cartoon via

Hate it when that happens.....................


Probably....................................


































“I put the 'now' in knowledge. Well, I will put it there, probably tomorrow or tomorrow’s tomorrow.
” 
-Jarod Kintz

image via mme scherzo

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

Lesley Gore...........................Judy's Turn To Cry
(Please click through to Youtube)



This follow-up to It's My Party was recorded on May 14th of 1963 and was released in June of 1963.  It reached #5 in the Billboard Top 100 in the US of A in the summer of '63.

That corner is what makes it so special...........























"Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people."
-Carl Sagan

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."
-Aldous Huxley


"No one has a corner on success. It is his who pays the price."
-Orison Swett Marden 


"I definitely feel I do have God in my corner."
-Chuck Norris

image via journal of a nobody

Just a reminder........................
















via gapingvoid

Beware..............................

“Beware the man of a single book.” 
-Saint Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Note for note.....................

Bobby McFerrin............................Don't Worry, Be Happy

Catch.................................














“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

-Ben Franklin

cartoon via

Idea..................................

























“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
-Lev Nicolayevich (Leo) Tolstoy

cartoon via

Fixed.............................
















“Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. The enjoyments of life (such was now my theory) are sufficient to make it a pleasant thing, when they are taken en passant, without being made a principal object. Once make them so, and they are immediately felt to be insufficient. They will not bear a scrutinizing examination. Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so. The only chance is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life. Let your self-consciousness, your scrutiny, your self-interrogation, exhaust themselves on that; and if otherwise fortunately circumstanced you will inhale happiness with the air you breathe, without dwelling on it or thinking about it, without either forestalling it in imagination, or putting it to flight by fatal questioning.”

-John Stuart Mill, as excerpted from his Autobiography

cartoon via

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

Jimmy Soul.....................If You Want To Be Happy

Infinity....................................




















"Happiness is to see the world in a grain of sand, and Heaven in a wild flower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in a single hour."
-William Blake

image via

Arouse......................................




























“He who seeks to regulate everything by law is more likely to arouse vices than to reform them. It is best to grant what cannot be abolished, even though it be in itself harmful. How many evils spring from luxury, envy, avarice, drunkenness and the like, yet these are tolerated because they cannot be prevented by legal enactments.” 
-Baruch Spinoza

cartoon via

ratione gubernet..................























Quod siquis vera vitam ratione gubernet,
divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parvo
aequo animo; neque enim est umquam penuria parvi.


"But if one should guide his life by true principles, man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for a little is never lacking."

also translated as

"Yet were man to steer his life by sounder reasoning, he'd own abounding riches, if with mind content he lived by thrift;  for never, as I guess, is there a lack of little in the world."

-Lucretius, as excerpted from The Nature of Things, Book V

cartoon via

Cultivated.........................


















"Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are most highly cultivated in their mind, and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent, but are deficient in higher qualities."
-Aristotle

cartoon via

Needs.................................

























“The happy man in this life needs friends.” 
-Saint Thomas Aquinas

cartoon via

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ticket.....................................

Al Stewart.................................Time Passages

Miracle...................................

     And greater love hath no man than this:  that of the Washington Male for the Washington Male.  A really pure Washington Male can be wrong about everything he does and says for decades without harboring a single twinge of self-doubt.  (Robert McNamara was probably the platonic ideal here.  You would think that a man who had given the world the Edsel, flexible response, and the war in Vietnam would stop to consider whether he was really  cut out for executive work.  But no, on the World Bank and to building the debt crisis.)  Earlier this year, the playwright Anna Deavere Smith spent a couple of months in Washington observing the locals.  The thing that amazed her, she told me, was her discovery of the habit the Washington Male has, when reaching for a particular bon mot, of literally quoting himself.  "You will be seated next to some man at a dinner party - a reporter, usually - and he will turn to you, and say, 'As I said on Brinkley yesterday,'  and then he will, honestly, repeat word for word what he did say on Brinkley yesterday," she marveled.  "It's the most astonishing thing."  There are women in Washington who have been listening to this sort of stuff every night for thirty years.  It's a miracle the homicide rate is as low as it is.
-Michael Kelly, as excerpted from his essay, A Plea for Diversity, from his collected writings

About the Edsel.........................

For those who care about such things, our friend Michael Kelly casts a shadow of doubt on Robert McNamara by linking him with the failed Edsel from Ford Motors.  Wikipedia, the fount on much knowledge and some disputed accuracy, tells the tale differently.  You can go here to read their version.  If you watch the video below, you may learn more about the Edsel than you ever thought you wanted to.







Something beautiful.........................


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

Lesley Gore......................................It's My Party
(please click on through to YouTube)



Recorded in March of 1963 (produced by Quincy Jones), released in April of 1963, topped the US charts in May of 1963.

Notorious............................

"It cannot be supposed that the half thus elected and who do not even reside among the people at large, can add anything either to the security of the people against the government, or to the knowledge of their circumstances and interests in the legislative councils.  On the contrary it is notorious that they are far more frequently the representatives and instruments of the executive magistrate, than the guardians and advocates of popular rights."
-Publius (James Madison), The Federalist No.56, The Federalist

Ed. Note:  To be fair, the "half thus elected" Madison refers to are members of the British House of Commons.  But still............

































via

Suffrages...........................

     "Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions:   they want to be led, and they wish to remain free.  As they cannot destroy either one or the other of these contradictory propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once.  They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people.  They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; thus giving them a respite:  they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians.  Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or class of persons, but the people at large who hold the end of his chain.
     "By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master and then relapse into it again."

    "It is indeed difficult to conceive how men who have entirely given up the habit of self-government should succeed in making a proper choice of those by whom they are to be governed; and no one will ever believe that a liberal, wise, and energetic government can spring from the suffrages of a subservient people."
-Alexis de Tocqueville,  Democracy In America, Volume II, Fourth Book, Chapter VI

Opening paragraphs........................

Feeling energized by the death that was about to happen, Doug Jacobs adjusted his headset and brightened his computer screen.  The picture was now crystal clear, almost as it he were there.
-David Baldacci,  The Hit

A rallying cry.................................























via

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sleepy little smile............

Joe Nichols..............................Gimmie That Girl
(Just click on through to YouTube, if you please)

Not so true..........................






















thanks bilbo

Pray.........................


Sound waves.............................
















thanks jonco

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

George Jones.....................She's Lonesome Again



Ed. Note:  I didn't grow up a country music fan.  Actually, I never listened to much, if any, of it until my young daughter started obsessing over Joe Nichols's The Impossible.  Turns out I was late to the party; country offers some mighty fine music.  One of the comments on YouTube for this video is a classic:  George Jones voice: a broken heart finding a vocabulary. 

But, it is sooo hard.....................























via

All in favor of liberty, say "aye"...............

















You can find this image all over the intertunnel, but I have not located the original.  Any ideas?

Nope, not ever.....................






















thanks nicole