Saturday, January 16, 2016

Singing out loud.......................


Bad Company.........................................Rock and Roll Fantasy

But...............................


"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we can't be wise with other men's wisdom."

-Michel de Montaigne

In commendation of age...........


Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appears to be best in four things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.”

-attributed to Francis Bacon

Wine...............................






via

























via

















































final two cartoons via

Jess is on a hot streak.................


..........................................We recommend checking in with Indexed every so often.  To wit:




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


Percy Sledge..............................When A Man Loves A Woman

Highlights..............................



































Montaigne concludes his essay:
"I will conclude this piece with this old line that I think is singularly fine and to the purpose:  Each man's character shapes his forture."

-The Complete Essays of Montaigne
"Of the inequality that is between us"
as translated by Donald M. Frame

full essay may be read here

the hurdles of our wishes.......




















Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless 

    numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.


-Rainer Maria Rilke

image via

Subtle..................................


The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead argued, "Moral education is impossible without the habitual vision of greatness."  In 1943, Richard Winn Livingstone wrote, "One is apt to think of moral failure as due to weakness of character;  more often it is due to an inadequate ideal.  We detect in others, and occasionally in ourselves, the want of courage, of industry, of persistence, which leads to defeat.  But we do not notice the more subtle and disastrous weakness, that our standards are wrong, that we have never learned what is good."

-David Brooks,  The Road To Character, as extracted from his chapter on George C. Marshall

Friday, January 15, 2016

Go make it happen........................


Steppenwolf........................................................Born To Be Wild



Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

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


It was 8:00 p. m. Tuesday, September 16, 2008.  I was exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained, but I could not sit.  Through the windows of my office in the Federal Reserves Eccles Building, I could see the lights of the traffic on Constitution Avenue and the shadowy outlines of American elms lining the National Mall.  Dozens of staff members remained at work, but the corridor immediately outside my door was hushed and empty.  Michelle Smith, the head of our communications office and my chief of staff, sat quietly, the only other person in the room.  She was waiting for me to say something.

Four hours earlier, Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and I had sat side by side in tan leather armchairs in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House, steps from the Oval Office.  A portrait of Teddy Roosevelt as Rough Rider on a rearing horse hung above a fireplace.  Facing Hank and me across the room's polished wood table sat the current occupant of the White House, a somber George W. Bush, with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side.  The president's advisers, Hank's senior aides, and representatives of other financial regulatory agencies filled the remaining dozen seats around the table.
      Usually, the president liked to keep things light at meetings, by opening with a wisecrack or good-naturedly teasing a close adviser.  Not that afternoon.  He asked bluntly, "How did we get to this point."

-Ben S. Bernanke, from the Prologue to The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

The arcane art...................


..............................of home heating (part one).

Counter-intuitive.......................


From the article on the retail sector of the real estate world, titled Back to Normal?, in the January print issue of National Real Estate Investor:

     But Moore isn't concerned about the increase in bankruptcies;  he's reassured by it.

     "The reason we weren't seeing any bankruptcies was because no one new was starting up -- there was an absence of new concepts," he says.  "As the retail sector improved, people decided to jump in with new concepts.  That's why we're seeing bankruptcies:  not everybody is going to win."

Must have something to do with that necessary "creative destruction" part of a capitalistic economic system.

OK...............................



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


The Yardbirds...................................................Shapes of Things

A question for the age.................................


















via

Highlights




































The Complete Essays of Montaigne
"Of the education of children"
as translated by  Donald M. Frame

Predictions are hard............................


...............................................................especially about the future and especially about commodities.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quite enough of.................................


Ben Rector..........................................................More Like Love



I use to think I wanted to be famous
I'd be recognized out in a crowd
But the funny thing is anytime I've gotten what I want
It lets me down

But now I just wanna look more like love
I just wanna look more like love
This whole world is spinning crazy
And I can't quite keep up
It's the one thing around here
That we don't have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
Like love

I used to think I needed all the answers
I used to need to know that I was right
I used to be afraid of things I couldn't cover up
In the lime light

I find the farther that I climb
There's always another line
Of mountain tops
It's never going to stop
And the more of anything I do
The thing that always ends up true
Is getting what I want
Will never be enough

So I just wanna look more like love
I just wanna look more like love
This whole world is spinning crazy
I can't quite keep up
It's the one thing around here
That we don't have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
Like love

Like love


thanks Maggie

Strength undefeatable...............


Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. God Himself is not secure, having given man dominion over His works! Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

-Helen Keller, as culled from Let Us Have Faith

Sustaining the language..............





















via

Parenting............................


      One Halloween evening, when he was about ten, Eisenhower's older brothers received permission to go out trick-or-treating, a more adventurous activity in those days than it is now.  Ike wanted to go with them, but his parents told him he was too young.  He pleaded with them, watched his brothers go, and then became engulfed by uncontrolled rage.  He turned red.  His hair bristled.  Weeping and screaming, he rushed out into the front yard and began pounding his fists against the trunk of an apple tree, scraping the skin off and leaving his hands bloody and torn.
      His father shook him, lashed him with a hickory switch, and sent him up to bed.  About an hour later, with Ike sobbing into his pillow, his mother came up and sat silently rocking in the chair next to his bed.  Eventually she quoted a verse from the Bible:  "He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city."
      As she began to salve and bandage his wounds, she told her son to beware the anger and hatred burning inside.  Hatred is a futile thing, she told him, which only injures the person who harbors it.  Of all her boys, she told him, he had the most to learn about controlling his passions.
      When he was seventy-six, Eisenhower wrote, "I have always looked back on that conversation as one of the most valuable moments of my life...."

-David Brooks, The Road To Character, as extracted from the chapter featuring Dwight David Eisenhower

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


Paul Revere & The Raiders............................................Hungry

The experiment continues..............


..........................we are all rooting for you Scott.

Checking in with Aesop............


              The Lark and Her Young Ones

     A Lark had made her nest in the early spring on the young green wheat.  The brood had almost grown to their full strength and attained the use of their wings and the full plumage of their feathers, when the owner of the field, looking over his ripe crop, said, "The time has come when I must ask all my neighbors to help me with my harvest."  One of the young Larks heard his speech and related it to his mother, inquiring of her to what place they should move for safety. "There is no occasion to move yet, my son," she replied, "the man who only sends to his friends to help him with his harvest is not really in earnest."  The owner of the field came again a few days later and saw the wheat shedding the grain from excess ripeness.  He said, "I will come myself tomorrow with my laborers, and with as many reapers as I can hire, and will get in the harvest."  The Lark on hearing these words said to her brood, "It is time now to be off, my little ones, for the man is in earnest this time;  he no longer trusts his friends, but will reap the field himself."

     Self-help is the best help.

-Aesop,  Aesop's Fables

Even us history majors..............


................................................lost track of this one.

Highlights............................................





































-from The Complete Essays of Montaigne
"That to philosophize is to learn to die"
as translated by Donald M. Frame

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Come and gone......................


Frank Sinatra......................................................Summer Wind



#26 on this list

Seemed..............................


      She also reflected on a distinction that had once seemed unimportant to her.  When a person gives a poor man shoes, does he do it for the poor man or for God?  He should do it for God, she decided.  The poor will often be ungrateful, and you will lose heart if you rely on immediate emotional rewards for your work.  But if you do it for God, you will never grow discouraged.  A person with a deep vocation is not dependent on constant reinforcement.  The job doesn't have to pay off every month, or every year.  The person thus is performing a task because it is intrinsically good, not for what it produces.

-David Brooks,  The Road to Character, as excerpted from the chapter dedicated to Francis Perkins

Confusion reigns.........................


........................Can't decide if this is another sign of the Apocalypse or just a really cool thing.


Occupying prime display space at the Barnes & Noble at Easton


More courage and resolution.......


... but Old Age has no certain Limits;  it may end sooner or later.  All we have to do, is live well while it lasts, and do our best to discharge the respective Duties of our Station, with a just Contempt of Death, that, come when it will, we may without Surprize be prepared for it.  And this will give Old Age more Courage and Resolution, than even Youth itself in its highest Vigour can pretend to. 

-Marcus Tullius Cicero, as extracted from The Cato Major, Or His Discourse Of Old-Age:  With Explanatory Notes

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


The Supremes.........................................You Can't Hurry Love

Had our first real winter weather yesterday...




Picking a nit....................


Arnold Kling points to a speech by J. Christopher Giancarlo (a commissioner of the Commodities Future Trading Commission), and excerpts (in part) this passage:

"At the heart of the 2008 financial crisis was the inability of regulators to assess and quantify the counterparty credit risk of large banks and swap dealers."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis was the inability of the players themselves to assess and quantify the counterparty credit risk of large banks and swap dealer.

But that is just nit-pickery.   Giancarlo also said this (one gets the idea he is not a fan of Dodd-Frank either):

The hue and cry of the ongoing financial market reforms under Dodd-Frank and the FSB leaves market regulators and participants with very little available bandwidth to assess and prepare for the next financial crisis – a crisis that will certainly be unlike the last one.
Just as “peacetime generals are always fighting the last war” and “economists fight the last depression,” so too do financial regulators outlaw past market abuses that are not a looming threat to our financial markets and economies. The Dodd-Frank Act and its unceasing implementation are uniquely positioned to ensure U.S. market regulators stay focused on the past.
Allow me to use a simple analogy. U.S. market regulators are riding together in an automobile on a high-speed interstate highway. The Dodd-Frank Act is an oversized rear-view mirror covering almost the entire windshield. That rear-view mirror directs our attention to the enormous amount of rules and requirements generated over the past five years that need to be completed or reworked to meet Dodd-Frank’s never-ending demands. Meanwhile, financial markets continue to evolve and pass by at remarkable speed. New dangers are coming right at us. As we regulators barrel down the road of 21st century financial markets, we must shed this backwards-looking approach to regulating or we will not be able to see the oncoming traffic and looming dangers ahead.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Entitlement..........................


...................................a first world problem, but a problem nonetheless. 

Full story here.

thanks gerard

Mathiness............................


..............If everybody who bought a lottery ticket for tonight's monster Powerball drawing took the time to read this, our nation would be way smarter, and probably way more prosperous.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Another version of an old favorite.....


Johnny Cash......................................................Ghost Riders



via maggie's farm

On leadership...........................


      "And always keep this in mind:  Nobody will ever come back to you later and say 'thank you' for expecting too little of them."
-Bill Walsh

Checking in with The Savage Chickens...







Presumptuousness........................


The great psychologist Viktor Frankl, survivor of three concentration camps, found presumptuous-ness in the age-old question:  "What is the meaning of life?"  As though it was someone else's responsibility to tell you.  Instead, he said, the world is asking you that question.  And it is your job to answer it with your actions.

-Ryan Holiday, excepted from The Obstacle Is The Way:  The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

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


Question Mark & The Mysterians...........................96 Tears

Sorry for being boring.................


      "I came to understand over my years as an assistant coach that when the audience is bored, it's not their fault."
-Bill Walsh

Persevere.........................


Over the endless dark centuries of its evolution, the human nervous system has become so complex that it is now able to affect its own states, making it to a certain extent functionally independent of its genetic blueprint and of the objective environment.  A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening "outside," just by changing the contents of consciousness.  We all know individuals who can transform hopeless situations into challenges to be overcome, just through the force of their personalities.  This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setback is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so;  it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well.

-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,  Flow:  The Psychology Of Optimal Experience

Patterns.......................



On balance and bearing fruit......


Unless the mind, body, and spirit are
equally developed and fully
integrated, no spiritual peak 
or state of enlightenment
can be sustained.
This is why extremist religions and
ideologies do not bear fruit.

When the mind and spirit are forced into
unnatural austerities or adherence 
to external dogmas, the body
grows sick and weak and
becomes a traitor to 
the whole being.
When the body is emphasized to the
exclusion of the mind and spirit,
they become like trapped snakes:
frantic, explosive, and poisonous
to one's person.
All such imbalances inevitably lead to
exhaustion and expiration
of the life force.

True self-cultivation involves the
holistic integration of
mind, body, and spirit.
Balancing yin and yang through the
various practices of the Integral Way,
one achieves complete unity 
within and without.
This manifest in the world as
perfect equilibrium,
and perfect grace.

-Verse 58
Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
as channeled by Brian Browne Walker

On the importance of a good coach...


"People say there are winners and losers in life.  But typically, it's more like this:  There are winners, and there are people who would like to be winners, but just don't know how.  Intelligent and talented people who are motivated can learn how to become winners if they have someone who will teach them."
-Bill Walsh

Monday, January 11, 2016

If only................................


Francis Sinatra............In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning



#56 on this list

Who knows..........................


..............why this simple post has far and away more page views than any other post on this blog.  There have been other Adler quotes;  most received little traffic.  The subject post as taken from Mortimer J. Alder's essay Duty in his book, Great Ideas:  A Lexicon of Western Thought.  Just for our edification, here are a few more paragraphs from that essay:

      The tragedy of being both rational and animal seems to consist in having to choose between duty and desire rather than in making any particular choice.  It may be significant, however, that the tragic heroes of poetry more frequently abandon duty than desire or love, though seldom without moral punishment, preceded by a deep sense of their transgression. Sometimes, however, they are self-deceived, and cloak desire in the guise of duty.

     There is another source of tragic conflict in the sphere of duty.  Men are torn by competing loyalties, obligations which pull them in opposite directions.  In the basic relationships of family, the duty a  man owes to his parents often cannot be discharged without violating or neglecting obligations to his wife.  When the moral law and the law of the state command contrary actions, duty is weighed against duty in an ordeal of conscience...

     According to the theory of constitutional government, rights and duties are correlative.  Acknowledgment of duties signifies that the holder of rights recognizes their limited or conditional character.  To consider oneself  entirely exempt from duties or obligations is to regard one's rights as absolute.  Can anyone have absolute rights except on condition of being without a superior of any sort?  One implied answer to this question is that neither despot nor state, but only God, is autonomous or without duty.

Highlights...............................









































as extracted from The Score Take Care Of Itself:  My Philosophy of Leadership, by Bill Walsh and Steve Jamison

Speaking of............................


.................................................labors of love ...

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


The Mamas & The Papas.................................Monday, Monday

On working with Time.................

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   ‘Love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

‘The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

‘In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

‘Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver’s brilliant bow.

‘O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you’ve missed.

‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on. 
W. H. Auden, "As I Walked Out One Evening"

On writers.....................................


"...Writers seldom make good leaders. They’re self-employed, for one thing, and they have very little contact with their customers. It’s very easy for a writer to be unrealistic. I have not lost my interest in politics, but I have come to realize that, in cases of social or political injustice, only two things are effective: political action and straight journalistic reportage of the facts. The arts can do nothing. The social and political history of Europe would be what it has been if Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Mozart, et al., had never lived. A poet, qua poet, has only one political duty, namely, in his own writing to set an example of the correct use of his mother tongue which is always being corrupted. When words lose their meaning, physical force takes over. By all means, let a poet, if he wants to, write what is now called an “engagĂ©” poem, so long as he realizes that it is mainly himself who will benefit from it. It will enhance his literary reputation among those who feel the same as he does."

-W. H. Auden, as culled from this interview  published in the Spring, 1974 issue of the Paris Review.

Faithful readers..............................


...........................will attest that this blog is a fan of the song All Along The Watchtower.  Jetboy, a purveyor of mighty fine music,  adds a new version to the mix.  Thanks Jb.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

living rejoicing......................................


Sister Act..........................................................O Happy Day



lyrics here

They just don't listen...................


old age sticks
up Keep
Off
signs)&

youth yanks them
down(old
age
cries No

Tres)&(pas)
youth laughs
(sing
old age

scolds Forbid
den Stop
Must
n't Don't

&)youth goes
right on
gr
owing old

-e. e. cummings, "old age sticks", circa 1958

Jimmy Savo   Oil on canvass board      e.e. cummings























back story on painting here

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


*  A great speech about true American heroes (starts at 5:20).

*  Mark Perry's latest collection of Thomas Sowell quotes.  A taste:

        12. Helping the Poor. It was Thomas Edison who brought us 
        electricity, not the Sierra Club. It was the Wright brothers who 
        got us off the ground, not the Federal Aviation Administration. It 
        was Henry Ford who ended the isolation of millions of Americans 
        by making the automobile affordable, not Ralph Nader.
       Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who 
       have gone around loudly expressing “compassion” for the poor, 
      but those who found ways to make industry more productive and 
      distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford 
      things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.

*  A daily scroll through the posts at David Kanigan's Thrive.

*  Zen Flash on breaking out of the "prison of seriousness:"
      "Break free into joy, bliss, fun, silliness, humor, laughter. Awaken"

*  At the movies:  Took the family to see Concussion this weekend.   
    Great film making.  Will Smith was phenomenal.   Great cast, 
    especially David Morse as Mike Webster. Do go see it.

Hope I don't get kicked..................


..................out of the neighborhood, but I'd rather watch TV than wash the car, shine my shoes, or study a new language.   We're just reporting here.  You get to be the decider here.

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


The Four Tops...................................Reach Out, I'll Be There

If you ever had to buy...................


..................a gift for George Thorogood, this might do the trick:





















with thanks and gratitude to the Mighty E. hisownself.

Highlights............................................





































as extracted from The Score Takes Care Of Itself:  My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh and Steve Jamison

Hate it when......................


..................................................................this happens.

via