Saturday, June 28, 2014

A few of my favorite things..............

From Nicholas Bate:   Knowledge of good.

From Seth Godin:   The danger in games.

From David Kanigan:  Looks like he has water on his mind.

From Rob Firchau:   Does it work if you just skip the oysters part?

From Bilbo:   Aren't you glad you can read the cartoons instead of taking Valium to escape the lunacy?

It's 1972. The drugs helped......................

Hot Butter............................................................Popcorn

Wisdom plays a good game of hide and seek....

"Wisdom is often buried somewhere within the fibers of things that seem mundane or obvious, as well as in the puzzling space between two opposites, and in our ability to tolerate the discomfort of this cognitive dissonance."
-as excerpted from this post by Rob Firchau

Three interesting items from Maggie's Farm........


-Taking a peek at the evolving relationship between the individual citizen and the government in Be happy, and have a burger:
       “How should we do x?”   The main problem is not the 
        answer, but the question itself, and the assumptions 
        behind that question, the belief that an answer exists.
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-Everyman's flowchart:



















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-"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."
-Eric Hoffer

It's not that I don't believe him.........................

"At twelve-thirty the doors were opened, and a long line passed by who wished merely to shake hands with the President.  On one occasion I shook hands with nineteen hundred in thirty-four minutes, which is probably my record.  Instead of a burden, it was a pleasure and a relief to meet people in that way and listen to their greeting, which was often a benediction."
-as excerpted from Cultural Offering's excerpt from Calvin Coolidge's autobiography

Reading the entire excerpt, one wishes politicians these days had some of Coolidge's discipline and habits, and that they regularly took time to actually greet the people.  

Not to be nit-picky, but there are 2,040 seconds in thirty-four minutes which means, on his record setting day, he was shaking a new hand every 1.07 seconds.  If he had said "high five" or "fist bump" instead of "shook hands," it might be more believable.

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

The Temptations.................................Baby, Baby I Need You

Something makes me think..............

........that Seth Godin believes most marketing money is wasted.

"It turns out that activating people who already like you is far more productive and profitable than it is to spend time and money yelling at people who are ignoring you."

Asking some difficult questions.....................

................................................and finding some answers.

"I’m beginning to understand that the act of any form of creation has to be taken out of the self. That it does come from somewhere else and not something that can be forced. Yes, we can sit down and write five hundred words a day, or take one hundred photographs of the same object, or use broader and bolder strokes with our colors. But the true essence of something is revealed only when we allow its essence to come through us to see it."
-Jeff Kopito, as excerpted from here

Friday, June 27, 2014

Everything.........................................

Reba McEntire...................................He Gets That From Me

Six simple rules for liberty.............

1.   Don't hurt people.

2.   Don't take people's stuff.

3.   Take responsibility.

4.   Work for it.

5.   Mind your own business.

6.   Fight the power.

-as extracted from Matt Kibbe's Don't Hurt People And Don't Take Their Stuff:   A Libertarian Manifesto

Days.................................

"Intentional living recognizes that, while accidents happen, life is not an accident.  Days are built choice by choice."
-Mary Anne Radmacher

Touchstone.......................................























"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty – a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry."
-Bertrand Russell

Showing much promise.......................
















"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary homeIn a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky."
-Carl Sagan

larger photo and explanation here

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

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.............Save It For Me

I wonder if this is what he meant................?


















"Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to continue to fail, in good spirits."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

cartoon via

On wars and religion.........................

 "Motives are rarely pure, and history is not a seminar in either theology or economics."

Us human types can be fairly complicated.  It is useful to remember that a "true understanding" is often not more than wishful thinking. Like in the Middle East for instance.  In this essay Peter Berger tries to improve our understanding of the Sunni/Shi'a relationship.  Good luck.

Reason.......................................


















“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” 
-Blaise Pascal

cartoon via

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Every once in a while only Jake and Elwood will do

The Blues Brothers................................................Rawhide

Two kinds of people....................................

"...the Iron Law of Bureaucracy: In every organization there are two kinds of people: those committed to the mission of the organization, and those committed to the organization itself. While the mission-committed people pursue the mission, the organization-committed people take over the organization. Then the mission-committed people tend to become discouraged and leave."
-As excerpted from the Coyote Blog's channeling of the Instapundit

On spirituality......................

     "But the game itself is spiritual.  I mean, you're not going for a two-minute run.  There has to be a connection and a trust with the teammates.  Which I think is where the spirituality is."
-Bobby Greacen, as excerpted from here

He wasn't the only one.................................

"Perhaps I was out sick the day they issued the philosophers' stone that allows for the transmutation of good intentions into desirable outcomes..."
-Samuel Wilson, as excerpted from this marvelous post

Fun with parodies...................

There was a time when I believed Gary Trudeau would have done this himself.........

The original:









The update:














courtesy of      thanks kpc

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

The Rolling Stones....................................Time Is On My Side

Random re-runs of animal photos............
























































It's nature's way......................................













via

Re-thinking Ralph Nader............................

TC: When it comes to human nature and human behavior, would you describe yourself as an optimist or a pessimist? 

RN: Pessimism has no function. It’s an indulgence of people who have little stamina to confront the challenges of modern life. And it’s a good way to rationalize their withdrawal from the work of participating in the great work of human beings, which is, as Senator Daniel Webster said, justice.

-as excerpted from here

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

As the sun slowly sets in the west..................

Lorne Greene..........................................................Ringo




Johnny Western................................................Ballad of Paladin

A few of my favorite things.................

From John Kay:   This has to be one of the greatest opening paragraphs to any blog post anywhere.

From Ka-Ching!:   A brief quote about tyranny.

From Marginal Revolution:  Tyler Cowen talks with Ralph Nader and suggests that we buy Ralph's new book:  Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State

Kevin Kelly says we will be amazed at what that next twenty years brings:  Asking the right questions will become more valuable than finding answers.   On the future of technology - here.

From the Execupundit:  When someone you admire greatly says a nice thing about your work it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.  Thank you Michael!

Heard the mournful cry...........

Willie Nelson/Johnny Cash................Ghost Riders (In The Sky)



live version with Willie and Johnny here

Original Burl Ives version here

The classic Outlaws version here

Vaughn Monroe's 1949 version here

Marty Robbins's version here

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

In October 1859, Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee, commanding the Second U. S. Calvary, in Texas, was home on leave, laboring to untangle the affairs of his late father-in-law's estate.  Despite a brilliant military career - many thought him the most capable officer in the U. S. Army - he was a disappointed man.  Nobody understood better than Lee how slowly promotion came in this tiny army, or knew more exactly how many officers were ahead of him in the all-important ranking of seniority and stood between him and the seemingly unreachable step of being made a permanent full colonel.  He did not suppose, given his age, which was fifty-two, that he would ever wear a brigadier general's single star, still less that fame and military glory awaited him, and although he was not the complaining type, he often expressed regret that he had chosen the army as a career.  An engineer of considerable ability - he was credited with making the mighty Mississippi navigable, which among other great benefits turned the sleepy town of Saint Louis into a thriving river port - he could have made his fortune had he resigned from the army to become a civil engineer.  Instead, he commanded a cavalry regiment hunting renegade Indians in a dusty corner of the Texas frontier, and not very successfully at that, and was now home, in his wife's mansion across the Potomac from Washington, methodically uncovering the debts and the problems of her father's estate, which seemed likely to plunge the Lees even further into land-poor misery.  Indeed, the shamefully run-down state of the Arlington mansion, the discontent of the slaves, he and his wife had inherited, and the long neglect of his father-in-law's plantations made it seem only too likely that Lee might have to resign his commission and spend his life as an impoverished country gentleman, trying to put things right for the sake of his wife and children.
-Michael Korda,  from the Preface to Clouds of Glory:  The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee

Is it just me..................................

....................or would the preceding "opening paragraph" benefit from a few more periods and a few less commas?  Just wondering.

Opening paragraphs..........Part Two

     State patriotism in the United States is much diminished in our time in favor of national patriotism, and indeed has been on the decline ever since the end of the Civil War.  Today Americans move quickly and easily over great distances, settle in states far from the one in which they were born without giving the matter much thought, and hardly even notice in which state which they are traveling except for the change in most of the license plates they see on the highway.  Of course this was always a country where tearing up roots and moving farther west to start all over again was a tempting option for those who had failed where they were, or who had greater ambitions, but loyalty to one's "home state" was at one time an important fact of American life.  Robert E. Lee's belief that he was first and foremost a Virginian, and owed to Virginia an allegiance stronger that that which he owed to the United States, may seem to some extreme now, but it was by no means so in his lifetime.
-Michael Korda,  Clouds of Glory:  The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee

Forbearing............................













"The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.   The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly — the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light.  The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.
-Robert E. Lee