Saturday, July 11, 2015

As birds take wing...................................

R.E.M.............................................................I'll Take The Rain

A ministry of presence..............

We are all called at certain moments to comfort people who are enduring some trauma.  Many of us don't know how to react in such situations, but others do.  In the first place, they show up.  they provide a ministry of presence.  Next, they don't compare.  the sensitive person understands the each person's ordeal is unique and should not be compared to anyone else's.  Next, they do practical things - making lunch, dusting the room, washing the towels.  Finally, they don't try to minimize what is going on.  They don't attempt to reassure with false, saccharine sentiments.  They don't say that the pain is all for the best.  They don't search for silver linings.  They do what wise souls do in the presence of tragedy and trauma.  They practice a passive activism.  They don't bustle about trying to solve something that cannot be solved.  The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process.  She lets the sufferer define the meaning of what is going on.  She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.
-David Brooks, The Road to Character

Beach art.........................................




















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

Marvin Gaye...............................................Ain't That Peculiar

"17 things keeping you from getting rich.......

......................................according to a journalist who spent his career studying millionaires."  So blares the headline of this Business Insider post.  Little did I suspect that said journalist was Napoleon Hill and that the 17 things were culled from his classic, Think and Grow Rich.   Needless to say, it is a pretty fair list.

One step beyond................................

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.” 
-Napoleon Hill

Character......................................

Character, James Davison Hunter has written, does not require religious faith.  "But it does require a conviction of truth made sacred, abiding as an authoritative presence within consciousness and life, reinforced by habits institutionalized within a moral community.  Character, therefore, resists expedience;  it defies hasty acquisition.  This is undoubtedly why Soren Kierkegaard spoke of character as 'engraved,' deeply etched."
-David Brooks,  The Road to Character

Beauty...........................................


Friday, July 10, 2015

Traditions........................

As annual traditions go, this is a pretty good one.  My Sweetie and I are in the habit of spending a week on Hilton Head Island during the summer.  For the fourth (or maybe the fifth - who can remember these things) year in a row, one evening was reserved for a rendezvous with Aiken/Augusta based Intertunnel friends, Doug Eclecticity Fine and Ray the not-so-simple-Village Undertaker Visotski.  Previous meetings were held at the now defunct Lobster House in Allendale, S.C.  A new venue was sought - and found.  We now have a favorite hangout in Hampton, S.C.  Do visit Will's if you ever pass through Hampton.
      Once-a-year meetings are interesting.  Just enough time to catch up on work, family, pets, our latest music and readings, favorite blog posts, and life its ownself;  sharing a brief snapshot of our lives, and renewing friendships.  It is a blessing.

A new venue

Nobody knew our names, but they were friendly anyway

Ray gritted his teeth for a photo under a Clemson banner

Doug sucked it up for a picture under a USC banner.  Rivalries are great.
















Hampton is about half way.  The longest part of the trip was
getting off the Island in heavy traffic.

Greater than the whole...........................

R.E.M......................................................She Just Wants To Be

Could you repeat that..............................?

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.  Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.” 
-Daniel Kahneman

History, paintings, and..............................


.............................the tax code can make for an interesting story.

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

Roy Head......................................................Treat Her Right

Damn........................................

"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we can't be wise with other men's wisdom."
-attributed to Michel de Montaigne

Life is good..........................................very good.


Inner triumphs..................................

Self-respect is not the same as self-confidence or self-esteem.  Self-respect is not based on IQ or any of the mental or physical gives that help get you into a competitive college.  It is not comparative.  It is not earned by being better than other people at something.  It is earned by being better than you used to be, be being dependable in times of testing, straight in times of temptation.  It emerges in one who is morally dependable.  Self-respect is produced by inner triumphs, not external ones.  It can only be earned by a person who has endured some internal temptation, who has confronted their own weaknesses and who knows, "Well, if worse comes to worst, I can endure that.  I can overcome that."
-David Brooks,  The Road to Character

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sell the sky........................................

R.E.M......................................................................Fall On Me

The important difference between.............

...................................................................anecdote and antidote.

 Paul Johnson is one smart guy (and a mighty fine writer too).

Representation...................................

“Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent 'the people'. Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth” 
-Paul Johnson

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

Jay & The Americans...............................................Cara Mia

Beauty.........................


Back from his family's gathering.............

.....................The Mighty E. is on a hot streak.  Do go take a peek.

Heh...................................

What do all these pieces have in common — apart, that is, from that insufferable tone of unearned moral superiority that comes with publication in the Times? Yes, that’s right, they all grandly recommend that someone else fork over the truckloads of cash that Greece wants. Everyone knows Margaret Thatcher’s quip about socialism: sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. Sooner or later, and it is looking more and more like it might be sooner, the Germans are going to run out of money to pay for the Greeks’ lavish pension plans and retirement schemes.
But all is not lost. The sums Greece wants are quite large, it is true, but every little bit can make a difference. And, as Mr. Krugman & Co. would be the first to insist, this a moral imperative. There’s bleeding going on. It must be stopped. People have to take a stand. So here’s my modest proposal.
The New York Times should shift their entire pension portfolio into Greek bonds,
-Roger Kimball, as excerpted from here

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Singer sing me a song..............................

R.E.M................................................................King of Birds

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


Did I tell you I was on vacation....................?













via

UOGB vs UKUO.................................


When ukulele bands fight........................................really?

via

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

Marvin Gaye.....................How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

Just because the headline doesn't.....................

.........make sense in light of the article that follows, doesn't mean that the article isn't read worthy.  The headline reads, "Greece just taught capitalists a lesson about what capitalism really means."  The author then takes pains to explain who really takes the risk when debt is involved.  As a side note, his conclusion about borrowing and lending does not match my experience, but then the people we borrow from have this thing about wanting "collateral" and lots of it.  Your experiences may vary.
     Where the author runs off the rails is assuming that it was the capitalists who got taught a lesson.  He reports:
There is another key fact that the Greeks are keenly aware of (but that everyone else has forgotten). This debt was initially owed to private-investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs. But the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB) made the suicidal decision to let those private banks transfer that debt to EU institutions and the IMF to "rescue" Greece.
      Reasonable people paying attention to the state of Europe may be hard-pressed to consider the ECB and the IMF as "capitalist."  Looks to me like the real capitalists skated, and the "statists" trapped themselves.

A common human failing...................

Their ideological blinkers often prevent them from even conceiving that there are people who see the world well outside the confines of their accepted ways.
-via

Tea...............................................?

via

No..........................................

via

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Take your instincts by the reins..................

R.E.M.......................................................Finest Worksong

Ever-developing................................

A quick review of Joseph J. Ellis's The Quartet: Orchestrating The Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 can be found here:

There are a lot worse ways to spend some of your free time than learning more about your history, particularly at this trying time in the ever-developing story of America.
-Bilbo

Just in case you forgot............................

A brief tale about quantitative easing...............................



via

Not packaged....................................



























Presidential candidate Trump is supposedly enjoying a bump in the polls. How could that be, given his plutocratic hubris, his flamboyance and his often sloppy rhetoric? Again the answer is predictable. He is blunt — and uncouth; while the Left is sly and uncouth. The public sometimes prefers their exaggerations as bold and not packaged in nasal whines.
-Victor Davis Hanson, as excerpted from this essay

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

Dave Clark Five.......................................................Come Home

In praise of inefficiency......................

But therein lies the beauty of the non-profit world. Because the best charities—and the best charitable work—are intensely local, they are a bulwark against the ravages of efficiency. Aided by knowledgeable donors who insist upon touching where their money went, small charities are resistant to the consolidations that feed off the profit world. While the Street and the Valley slowly disembowel the middle class in the name of progress, charities and non-profits employ more than ten million people and provide millions more the joy of volunteering for a good cause.
-Jeff McNellis, as excerpted from here

Are you sure......................................?

via

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blind eye that turns to see....................

R.E.M.................................................Half A World Away

A little slice of Americana........................

A brief glimpse of the "mile long" 4th of July Parade, as it works its way through Granville, Ohio; featuring the pride of Licking County - the 4H Band:


now fixed, sorry.

If Bible verses were.............................

............................ever rationed, this is the one I would ask for:

 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
-John 14:12
King James Version
The Holy Bible

True this......................................

"I think of myself as anti-elitist. But I am even more anti-mobist. When the mob emerges, I cease to be libertarian and instead become ultra-conservative. There is no phenomenon more barbaric than the mob."
-Arnold Kling

We have all heard...............................

..............the quote that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," but how many of us have taken the time to think about what being a "patriot" really means?  John E. Smith has.  Do go visit him.  It is worth pondering on this special weekend.

source of the scoundrel quote is here

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

Len Barry.........................................................................1-2-3

That's what I thought............................









via
  1. Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure of an experience is its intentionality, its being directed toward something, as it is an experience of or about some object.Nov 16, 2003
  2. via google, if you type in Phenomenology

It is next to impossible.....................

...............to name the 100 top lines from movies.  However, here is a good start.

Here are a few they missed.  Maybe it's just me, but I would have thought Animal House or Blazing Saddles might have a worthy line or two.

"Could John Roberts be the sneakiest GOP partisan ever?"............................

So asks The American Interest blog, as they note some significant Obamacare insurance price increases are moving through the pipeline.