Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Muppets Tonight............................

Linda Ronstadt.....................................The Shoop Shoop Song

At the speed of Dad....................














via

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























via

Knowing and believing...............

"That the weakest soul, knowing its own weakness, and believing this truth - that strength can only be developed by effort and practice, will, thus believing, at once begin to exert itself, and, adding effort to effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength, will never cease to develop, and will at last grow divinely strong."
-James Allen, as excerpted from As A Man Thinketh

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

Betty Everett.....................................Shoop Shoop Song

Belief...........................................























"When we’re thinking of political parties, we shouldn’t confuse position with conviction. As you know, in a political context it’s often hard to tell what someone actually believes."
-Richard Albert Mohler

thanks Dennis      cartoon via

I hate flossing............................























via

Sail...........................


I have................................

"I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say."
-Calvin Coolidge

Friday, April 25, 2014

Everything I know...............................

Linda Ronstadt............................................Long Long Time

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

They heard him before they saw him:  the sound of hooves striking the earth, steady as a heartbeat, urgent as a revolution.  When he emerged from the sun-dappled forest, they could barely make out the figure on the magnificent horse.  He was small, thin.  A black cape fluttering about his shoulders.
-Marie Arana,  Bolivar:  American Liberator

Bolivar..................................










Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios y Blanco (1783-1830) was one amazing person.  Known to us simply as Simon Bolivar, he was the foremost South American patriot.   As a politician and military leader he helped free Bolivia, Columbia (which includes what is now Panama), Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela from Spanish rule.  Cliff notes on his life are here.  He said some things worth pondering:

"A state too expensive in itself, or by virtue of its dependencies, ultimately falls into decay;  its free government is transformed into a tyranny;  it disregards the principles which it should preserve, and finally degenerates into despotism. The distinguishing characteristic of small republics is stability: the character of large republics is mutability."

"Among the popular and representative systems of government I do not approve of the federal system: it is too perfect; and it requires virtues and political talents much superior to our own."

"The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty."

"We have been ruled more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its own destruction. Ambition and intrigue abuses the credulity and experience of men lacking all political, economic, and civic knowledge; they adopt pure illusion as reality; they take license for liberty, treachery for patriotism, and vengeance for justice. If a people, perverted by their training, succeed in achieving their liberty, they will soon lose it, for it would be of no avail to endeavor to explain to them that happiness consists in the practice of virtue; that the rule of law is more powerful than the rule of tyrants, because, as the laws are more inflexible, every one should submit to their beneficent austerity; that proper morals, and not force, are the bases of law; and that to practice justice is to practice liberty."

Persist....................................















"When I thought I couldn't go on, I forced myself to keep going.  My success is based on persistence, not luck."
-Estee Lauder

art from Hugh

Kay on governmental licensing.......................

Full post is here.  Two wee excerpts here:

Taxi licensing illustrates regulatory capture, the phenomenon by which regulation intended to serve the public is hijacked by industry interests. 

Politicians should beware of policies that are easy to implement and costly to reverse.

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

Jackie DeShannon...............................................Oh Boy

Risk...............................................


From the Archives................................























From the Archives

Asking a lot.....................................

.......................................from a bottle of good wine.

Unlike booze, good wine resonates so broadly it draws in the world that surrounds us. The effects of it are slow enough so that you can check yourself, an absolutely vital talent if you drink. As a Zen dictum says, you must find yourself where you already are and the effects of booze make this unlikely. Good wine increases the best aspects of camaraderie and sweetens the tongue for conversation. It softens the world's sharp edges in contrast to the blunting power of booze. In short, you don't become dumb at a blinding pace, and your mood swings from gentle to gentler.
-Jim Harrison, as cut and pasted from here

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Big news....................................

In my wee corner of the Intertunnel, this is BIG news.

I like him too..................................

Michael Franks..............................................When Sly Calls



Ed. Note:  The call that takes place when the music stops at 2:14 is not part of the original song, it was added by the video maker.

Reality is not optional........................

Kevin Williamson pens a fine essay on some basic economic truths.   Read the whole thing, or just enjoy this extended excerpt:

Nothing at work but supply and demand mediated by prices. Everybody seems to get that, until it comes to a commodity that they have a stake in...The United States passed its first sugar tariff in 1789, before Rhode Island got around to ratifying the Constitution. We’ve had some major public-policy changes over the years — abolishing slavery, women’s suffrage, direct election of senators, gay marriage here and there — but the sugar tariff stays and stays, the economic version of drug-resistant syphilis. It is a matter of pure political power: The sugar producers believe that the price that Americans are willing to pay for sugar is not the right price — which is to say, it’s a lower price than the one they would prefer — and so we pay more thanks to the cowardice of Congress and the predictable victory of the producers’ concentrated benefits over the consumers’ dispersed costs. As Willi Schlamm said, the problem with capitalism is capitalists, a motto that should be engraved in marble above the entrance to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Similarly, the United States passed its first minimum-wage law in 1933. It was thrown out as unconstitutional, and then reestablished in 1938, at which point it became constitutional via the magic of the infinitely flexible Commerce Clause. (There’s a reason Supreme Court justices and fairy-tale wizards wear the same outfits, with the nine-member national super-legislature missing only those awesome conical hats, which we, a freedom-loving people, should insist they adopt immediately.) 

thanks craig

A modern dilemma............................























thanks

On choices and risks........................




















A West that prefers debt-subsidized welfarism over economic growth will not offer much in the way of an attractive model for countries in a hurry to modernize. A West that consistently sacrifices efficiency on the altars of regulation, litigation and political consensus will lose the dynamism that makes the risks inherent in free societies seem worthwhile.
-as excepted from this Stuart Schneiderman blog post

cartoon via

Truth in marketing..............................


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

The Lonnie Zamora incident....................UFOs anyone?

Speaking the truth......................

"You can never know what another person is thinking; it's tough enough pinning down your own thoughts."
-Nicholas Bate

Guess I'm not ready to retire......























from the Archives

For climbing...................................

"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher."
-Thomas Henry  Huxley

Kurt's on a roll.........................

Cultural Offering ranks up there with the best the blogosphere has to offer.  Do visit often.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Drive me to drinking...........................

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen.......Hot Rod Lincoln

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

"I'm just a Clay County hillbilly,"  Hugo Black liked to say.  It usually got a chuckle.  But those who had been there smiled knowingly.   Clay County, Alabama, lies sixty miles east of Birmingham and thirty miles west of the Georgia state line.  On one side is the Tallapoosa River, on the other the Talladega National Forest, alongside a range of mountains.  The lush, verdant countryside contrasts with the unyielding red clay soil in the small coves of cleared land.  Isolation has always been the dominant impression.  Early settlers earned a scant living, existing on their own resources, as frontier people always did.  Survival was precarious.
-Roger K. Newman,  Hugo Black:  A Biography

Hugo Black...................................






















Hugo Black (1876-1971) was a Democratic Senator from Alabama when he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Franklin Roosevelt in 1937.  Black remained a Justice until about a week before his death.  If you don't wish to read his whole biography, more about this important American historical figure can be found here.   Below you will find excerpts from his writings while on the Supreme Court:

"No higher duty, or more solemn responsibility rests upon this Court than that of translating into living law and maintaining this constitutional shield deliberately planned and inscribed for the benefit of every human being subject to our Constitution -- of whatever race, creed, or persuasion."

"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State'."

"That Amendment requires the state to be a neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and nonbelievers; it does not require the state to be their adversary. State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them."

The First Amendment's language leaves no room for inference that abridgments of speech and press can be made just because they are slight. That Amendment provides, in simple words, that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." I read "no law . . . abridging" to mean no law abridging.

"An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment."

"It is my belief that there are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes'."

"The layman's Constitutional view is that what he likes is Constitutional and that which he doesn't like is un-Constitutional. That about measures up the Constitutional acumen of the average person."

Yep.

Reminiscent.................................

Political uniformity is certainly in vogue. A remarkable 96 percent of presidential campaign donations from the nation’s Ivy League faculty and staff in 2012 went to Obama, a margin more reminiscent of Soviet Russia than a properly functioning pluralistic academy.
-Joel Kotkin, concluding this essay on the spread of "The Debate Is Over" syndrome.

Walter Russell Mead......................

....................pens an essay on the "Left-Liberal Narrative."

Going back to colonial times, Americans have been deeply influenced by the idea that the special blessings and enormous prosperity we enjoy are the gifts of Almighty God, but the gifts are not free and unconditional. Like the ancient Hebrews, we are in a covenantal relationship with a jealous God. If we do the right thing, and behave in the appropriate ways, the blessings will flow. But if we turn away from the one true God and the demands of true morality, the God who once blessed us will smite and afflict us until we return to the right path.

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

Al Hirt......................................................Cotton Candy

Pursuit.....................................















"The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it.  You have to catch up with it yourself."
-attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Ed. Note:  The "pursuit of happiness" language comes from the Declaration of Independence not the constitution.   Makes one wonder if Franklin actually said this.  Apparently, others wonder as well.  We report, you decide.

Finesse........................

Experience is terrific.  It allows us to make our mistakes with far more finesse the next time around.”     
The rest of the story is to be found at The Strategic Learner blog

Hope they don't mandate that we live forever....

No one likes government mandates these days. But it’s high time the federal government starts to fix this problem by at least leading a voluntary initiative that we know will save many lives.
-as excerpted from this NYT op-ed

Squander......................................

"Life is too short to squander time pondering and re-pondering unchangeable negatives."
-Michael Wade, as excerpted from here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where did she go...............................

The Cowsills..............The Rain, The Park & Other Things




Information on the family Cowsills, the inspiration for TV's Partridge Family,  can be found here

Happy Earth Day.....................................

Where would we be without this stunningly beautiful 4.5 billion (+/-) year old spinning oblate spheroid we call home?























more than you probably want to know about our favorite planet can be found here.

Vital.......................................














"Gratitude conserves the vital energies of a person more than any other attitude tested."
-Hans Selye

Ouch.................................

"Suggesting an actual solution to an environmental problem is a poor way to impress an environmentalist, unless your solution happens to feed his sense of moral superiority."
-as excerpted from this blog post

Gifts......................................


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

The 1964-65 New York World's Fair..........................



You can read more about the New York Worlds Fair here.  I was a seventh grader at Ardmore Junior High School in suburban Philadelphia in 1964.  Harry Donald, the principal of Ardmore Junior High at the time, was an amazingly dedicated and creative man.  He and his staff got the notion that the World's Fair was a once-in-a-generation important and educational event, and that the only right and proper thing was for the whole school to go visit it for a day.  Mind you, there were some 900 kids at Ardmore.  Lesser mortals might have given thought to the cost and logistics involved and said never mind.   Harry Donald looked at it as a worthy challenge.  We had every fund raiser you could imagine that year and I'm sure Harry Donald did some quiet fund raising on the side.  Anyway, very early on one fine spring morning, all 900 students, the teachers and staff, and about 200 parents boarded a special Pennsylvania Railroad train and headed to Flushing Meadows, New York.   It was a beautiful and warm day.  We had lots of fun and I'm sure learned interesting things.  Most importantly, in a feat that defies understanding, everybody safely made it on time to board the train back to Philadelphia.   Can you imagine a principal taking on such a challenge today?

In case you needed it......................................

............................more proof that God loves life.


A non-man-made law.....................................

"God gives everyone certain attributes, circumstances, talents, and then He says. "If you use what you have I'll increase it, but if you don't use it, you'll lose it."  Use it or lose it, it's a law."
-Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

Where's....................................




















cartoon via

Monday, April 21, 2014

A little Dick Clark, by jimmy.........

Santo & Johnny..........................................Sleepwalk



probably more than you want to know about Santo and Johnny can be found here and here.

Aging like a fine wine............................

“If there is one thing I am learning as I age, it is that all of our experiences, good and bad, contribute in ways we never could have imagined to the value we ultimately bring to the world. So I have become more accepting of things that happen because I believe they will improve me in the long run”.
-source, and part of the story, is here.

On advice................................








via

Without.....................................

"To be a reactionary is to understand that man is a problem without a human solution."
-via Don Colacho's Aphorisms

thanks

Calls...............................



















"Problems are nothing but wake up calls for creativity."
-Gerhard Gschwandtner

art via

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

Duane Eddy...............................................Guitar Child

It just might work.........................

"When a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping to go in a straight line."
-Samuel Beckett,  Molloy

It all starts with the ant..........................

















here for a slightly larger view

Another chat with Aesop..........................

                         The Ants and the Grasshopper

The Ants were spending a fine winter's day drying grain collected in the summertime.  A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food.   The Ants inquired of him, "Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?"   He replied, "I had not leisure enough.  I passed the days in singing."   Then they said in derision:  "If you were foolish enough to sing all summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter."
-Aesop's Fables

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Obikhod..................................

Rimsky-Korsakov..........Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op.36



Obikhod

#7 on this list

Sunrise.....................................


Inquiring minds want to know............

............................what's with this Easter bunny and egg thing?





























































via























The real answer is nobody knows for sure.  Here are some good guesses.

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

Billy Graham preaches an Easter service to an integrated crowd of 35,000 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.  Full story here.

Easter...................................



























But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared.

2.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

-Luke 24:1-2

via

Praise...................................























Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name. Praise be to God.
-St. Francis of Assisi

Dilige, et quod vis fac........................

"Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good."
-Saint Augustine of Hippo