Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm not bound.........................


R.E.M..........................................So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)




#30 on this list

The list of things........................


..........we can get by demanding them is exceedingly small.






















via

The mind..............................


The Pilgrim     Rene Magritte         Oil on Canvass      1966

























"The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.” 
- Rene Magritte

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


Methinks Spengler is not a big fan of The Donald:

"Trumpelstiltskin, meanwhile, has revealed a side of his character that voters hitherto have ignored, or even admired in a perverse way. He inherited wealth and ran a private company the way he wanted to, saying what he wanted and hiring and firing whom he pleased, without answering to partners, shareholders or the general public.
"He is not a particularly good businessman; had he invested his inheritance in a stock-market index fund, his net worth would be double what it is today. But the psychic rewards of unrestricted narcissism more than compensated for the unperformance of his portfolio."

Pretty sure Spengler is rooting for Cruz.  Full post here.

More from the mind........................


......................................of Rene Magritte:

Not To Be Reproduced                     1937

Son of Man                                 1946

The Tomb of the Wrestlers                                      1960

Time Transfixed                                          1938

La Clairvoyance                                   1936

Homesickness                        1940






































































































































More from Magritte here

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


Dean Jackson...................Love Makes The World Go Around

Cool photos.............................





















Neil Armstrong photographed Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 20, 1969.   You might notice Armstrong's reflection on Aldrin's visor.

 "Neil had an optimistic way of using the word 'beautiful'. But when I looked out, it wasn’t beautiful.  It was desolate - totally lifeless. Really, not much except shades of grey and a black horizon.  It was magnificent but it’s not very habitable - very lifeless."

Hey old woman, have you ever danced.......?


.....................................story here.  Moral here:

1 – Never be arrogant.
2 – Don’t waste ammunition.
3 – Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than 

       you are.
4 – Always make sure you know who has the 

       power.
5 – Don’t mess with old people; they didn’t get old 

       by being stupid.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I'll ask the stars above....................


Jeff Healey...........................................................Angel Eyes




Jeff Healey wiki here

thanks jetboy

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









































Ben S. Bernanke,  The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

About commerce.......................


Politics endures, but human action evolves.  We learn.
      And what are we learning?  How to take care of one another, which is the point of what we sometimes call capitalism.  (Don't tell Ayn Rand.)
      It is remarkable that we speak and think about commerce as though competitiveness were its most important feature.  There is, as noted, a certain Darwinian aspect to economic competition - and of course we humans do in fact compete over scarce resources.  But what is remarkable about human action is not its competitiveness but its almost limitless cooperativeness.  Competition is only one of the ways that we learn how best to cooperate with one another - competition is a means to the higher end of social cooperation.

-Kevin D. Williamson,  The End Is Near And It's Going To Be Awesome:  How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure

Raise your hand..................


..................if you have ever "flipped" a Monopoly board because of the "obnoxious" behavior of one of your game mates.  Hmm.  Okay, raise your hand if any of your game mates has ever "flipped" the Monopoly board on you. 

                Interesting post here (Crazy Math Fact #8 out of 9) about whether all spaces on a Monopoly board should be considered "equal".  Note the fine print at the bottom of this slide:

























Spoiler alert (too late):





















thanks Craig

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


The Ray Conniff Singers.......................Somewhere My Love

On random walks..................


Hidden Galaxy IC 342






















"There are very few straight paths in the universe, but an endless supply of random walks."
-Kevin Williamson

 photo, with description, via

We, the people................


Megan McArdle suggests:

The first, most glaring problem is that people complaining about Washington are quite often demanding the impossible.
  1. They want Washington to grow the economy or the job market a lot, which no one in Washington actually knows how to do.
  2. They want Washington to collect less in taxes, without cutting any significant programs or borrowing money. (Or they want more programs, with taxes to stay the same on everyone except “the rich,” conveniently defined as anyone who makes 20 percent more than the person issuing the demands.)
  3. They want Washington make all the other countries in the world behave themselves, without getting any Americans killed in the process.
  4. They want Washington to ignore most of the rest of the country and just concentrate on their problems, and the problems of people they like.
Washingtonians, unlike the people making the demands, actually have to analyze the feasibility of these various sorts of requests. When they do, they quickly see that they are impossible, and set about finding innovative ways to ignore them.
Or, as our old friend Walt Kelly would say:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Too far out to sea..................................


R.E.M.........................................(Don't Go Back To) Rockville



#2 on this list

Designs................................


      What follows is neither a political manifesto nor a plan for building a utopian society.  To the contrary, I will argue, among other things that the desire to design a perfect society in theory is one of the main obstacles to achieving a better society in fact, and that the very desire to design  human communities is itself destructive.  The fundamental political problem is politics itself:  not liberal politics, not conservative politics, not politics corrupted by big money or distorted by special-interest groups, but politics per se - the practice of delivering critical goods and services through the medium of federal, state, and local governments and their obsolete decision-making practices.

-Kevin D. Williamson,  The End Is Near And It's Going To Be Awesome:  How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure

A depersonalized cog..............


     Third, I opposed communism's political totalitarianism.  In communism the individual ends up in subjection to the state.  True, the Marxist would argue that the state is an "interim" reality which is to be eliminated when the classless society emerges; but the state is the end while it lasts, and man only a means to that end.  And if any man's so-called rights or liberties stand in the way of that end, they are simply swept aside.  His liberties of expression, his freedom to vote, his freedom to listen to what news he likes or to choose his books are all restricted.  Man becomes hardly more, in communism, that a depersonalized cog in the turning wheel of the state.

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from here

Aspirations............................


      With apologies to the sainted Thomas Jefferson, there are few if any truths that we may hold to be self-evident.  The words of the Declaration of Independence are both beautiful and inspiring, but to believe that we may find within them the answers to our present difficulties is to be a hostage to sentimentality.  The Declaration of Independence is a statement of our aspirations, not a description of our reality.  Good poetry makes bad politics.

-Kevin D. Williamson,  The End Is Near And It's Going To Be Awesome:  How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure

Lest we forget.....................


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

-Full text of the Declaration of Independence is here

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


Brenda Lee....................................................Coming On Strong

The saint is standing by..................



































Matisse’s Dominique of Vence*
on a postcard from a friend
stands in my window, a presence
in the light, below a bend
of the Kentucky River.
His face is featureless,
yet he stands in character,
a book displaying a cross
held against his heart
by a hand in bare outline,
remade entirely by art.
The falling folds of his gown
are several vertical strokes
signifying to the eye
in black lines quick as looks.
The saint is standing by
in silence while the light
performs its holy work
in colors on the white
wall. After the dark
it is morning in Vence.
Many years ago
I went there, and ever since
have recalled the light, now
replaced by later light,
how it filled the room,
crowding the darkness out,
allowing vision its time.
Behind the pictured saint,
meanwhile, my washed window
is a grid in black paint
rationally ruled, although
admitting sensational light. Beyond
are trees, the river, a dark line of hills,
familiar as hand to mind,
but the prospect fills
no term of human truth,
no form of human thought.
A heron hunched at stream mouth
fishes quietly as he ought.
-Wendell Berry, Sabbaths, 2011  I

Twisted Sifter's...................


....................top 100 "Pictures of the Day" for 2015.   A few samples:






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


It was at Harvard University in 1927 that I first decided to go into politics.
      No, I wasn't a Harvard man.  But I was born and raised in North Cambridge, Massachusetts, a stable, mostly Irish, working-class neighborhood a mile or two from the university.  At the age of fourteen, I landed a summer job as a groundskeeper, cutting the grass and trimming the hedges at Harvard.  It was tough work, and I was paid seventeen cents an hour.
      On a beautiful June day, as I was going about my daily grind, the class of 1927 gathered in a huge canvas tent to celebrate commencement.  Inside, I could see hundreds of young men standing around in their white linen suits, laughing and talking.  The were also drinking champagne, which was illegal in 1927 because of Prohibition.
      I remember the scene like it was yesterday, and I can still feel the anger I felt then, almost sixty years ago, as I write these words.  It was the illegal champagne that really annoyed me.  Who the hell do these people think they are, I said to myself, that the law means nothing to them?

-Tip O'Neill, with William Novak,  The Man Of The House:  The Life and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We don't always post thirty-three minute songs on this blog, but when we do..................


The Allman Brothers......................................Mountain Jam

Complexity as a subsidy..................


"I definitely think the system is designed in a way that benefits rich people (that’s a significant theme of the book I’m working on), but that has not much to do with the preferred policies of a bunch of  mustache-twirling fat cats. Indeed, the whole notion that rich people are ideologically homogenous is little more than the grimy, greasy, stain left behind from Marxism’s departure down the toilet bowl of history. There are rich people -- and some big corporations -- that are for limited government and there are rich people -- and far too many big corporations -- that want to expand the role of government.
"My very short, partial, explanation for why the system seems rigged for the benefit of rich people has to do with the fact that complexity is a subsidy. The more rules and regulations the government creates, the more it creates a society where people with resources -- good educations, good lawyers, good lobbyists, and good connections -- can rise while those without such resources are left to climb hurdles on their own."

-Jonah Goldberg, as excerpted from here

Making it up as he went along................


...Shakespeare  accelerated his pace as his career proceeded.  In plays written during his most productive  and inventive period - Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear - neologisms occur at the fairly astonishing rate of one every two and a half lines.  Hamlet alone gave audiences about six hundred words, that according to all other evidence, they had never heard before.
       Among the words first found in Shakespeare are abstemious, antipathy, critical, frugal, dwindle, extract, horrid, vast, hereditary, excellent, barefaced, assassination, lonely, leapfrog, indistinguishable, well-read, zany, and countless others (including countless).  Where would we be without them?  He was particularly prolific, as David Crystal points out, when it came to attaching un- prefixes to words to make new words that no one had thought of before - unmask, unhand, unlock, untie, unveil, and no fewer that 309 others in a similar vein.  Consider how helplessly prolix the alternatives to any of these terms are and you appreciate how much punch Shakespeare gave English.

-Bill Bryson,  Shakespeare:  The World as Stage

on forever's very now we stand..........


what freedom's not some under's mere above
hot breathing yes which fear will never no?
measureless our pure living complete love
whose doom is beauty and its fate to grow

shall hate confound the wise?doubt blind the brave?
does mask wear face?have singings gone to say?
here youngest selves yet younger selves conceive

are worlds collapsing?any was a glove
but i'm and you are actual either hand
is when for sale?forever is to give
and on forever's very now we stand

nor the first rose explodes but shall increase
whole truthful infinite immediate us

-e. e. cummings       circa 1940

Noise Number 13         e.e. cummings       oil on canvas       1925























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


Robert Parker...................................................Barefootin'

On ends and means.....................


"Constructive ends can never give absolute moral justification to destructive means, because in the final analysis the end is preexisting in the mean."

-Martin Luther King, Jr., as excerpted from here

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







































Ben S. Bernanke,  The Courage To Act:  A Memoir Of A Crisis And Its Aftermath

The perfect dress......................?


.......................we just report.  You decide.

via

Force multiplier.........................



















“Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier.” 
-Colin Powell

Monday, February 1, 2016

40,000 reasons for living..........


R.E.M...................................................................Texarkana



# 11 on this list

A little slice of the human spirit.........


While rooting through a whole passel of old books last weekend,  a "coffee table book", The Best of Life, surfaced.   The Intertunnel has put a dent in the popularity of such publications, but they are fun to thumb through.  Here are few samples:

Arthur Rickerby                    The Browns in better days (1965)

 Edmund Hillary   Tenzig Norkay atop Everest    May 1953

Walter Sanders                        The Berlin Airlift   June, 1948























C. E. Westveer                                Game Face

Joe Munroe                           22 college kids in a phone booth





















































































David Douglas Duncan   Korea   December 1950

Charles Moore    Fire hoses  Birmingham, Alabama   May, 1963

Not successfully (or painlessly) anyway.......


"I don't think you can impose a social order from the top down."
-David Douglas Duncan 

Visit here to see a bunch of Duncan's photographic work

Building on success.....................



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


The Count Five.......................................Psychotic Reaction

Planning my day.................


























thanks gerard