Saturday, February 20, 2016

Have a heart.........................


B.B. King..........................................................Help The Poor




from this album

Paradox...............................


     Nature is dynamic and haphazard, and so are we - not a serene combo.  Maybe it's one that's best described in paradoxes such as organized chaos, but we're not beings who feel comfortable with paradox.  Paradox tugs the brain in opposite directions, confounds our quest for simple truths, and throws a monkey wrench into the delight of habit.  Faced with paradox, our brain automatically slaves to solve or squash it.  And so here we find ourselves, disorderly beings, blessed or cursed with order-craving minds, in a disorderly universe we're fully capable of bringing increased order to - but not absolute order, and not forever.

-Diane Ackerman,  The Human Age:  The World Shaped By Us

Speaking of paradox




























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


The Shadows of Night........................................................Gloria

On order.................................


      In the spring of 1918, she volunteered as a nurse at King's County Hospital as a deadly flu epidemic spread through the city and the world.  (More than 50 million people died of it between March 1918 and June 1920.)   She began work at six each morning and worked twelve-hour days, changing linens, emptying bedpans, administering shots, enemas, and douches.  The hospital was run like a military unit.  When the head nurse entered the ward, the junior nurses stood at attention.  "I like the order of life and the discipline.  By contrast the life that I had been leading seemed disorderly and futile," she recalled.  "One of the things that this year in the hospital made me realize is that one of the hardest things in the world is to organize ourselves and discipline ourselves."

-David Brooks,  from his chapter Struggle, about Dorothy Day, in The Road To Character

Just in case...........................


..............................you needed reminding:


















Thanks Kurt

A dangerous age..................


      "We're at a dangerous age in our evolution as a species:  clever, headstrong, impulsive, and far better at tampering with nature than understanding it."

-Diane Ackerman:  The Human Age:  The World Shaped By Us

Friday, February 19, 2016

Just a dream..........................


R.E.M.......................................................Losing My Religion

From your keyboard..................


...........................................to God's ears:

"In a world where the government is not empowered to micro-manage our lives, a Supreme Court nomination would be as interesting as naming the postmaster general."

One can only hope.  Full post here.

The ever risky....................


..........confusion of correlation and causation.

Barron’s cover story this weekend asked, “Trump and Sanders: Are They Killing the Stock Market?” 

If your preferred answer is "nope,"  read this.

Inside out...................................
























There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Seek nothing outside of yourself.

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


Lou Rawls..........................................Love Is A Hurtin' Thing

Good advice...................


"Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love."
-Brene Brown

A man after my own heart...........


"Meanwhile, here is a quote from the middle of the last chapter (I started reading the book at the last chapter, and then I’ll go back and read the rest)."

Full post, previewing a review of The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism, is here

Optical fun.............................























via

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Speaking of summertime...............


Janis Joplin.......................................................Summertime

I'm a doctor................................

























cartoon via




















photo(enlargeable with explanation)  via APOD

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







































James Robert Parrish,  It's Good To Be The King:  The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks


To accomplish................................


"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream;  not only plan, but also believe."
-Anatole France

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


Bob Lind.......................................................Elusive Butterfly

Some days it's a toss-up..................


1.  At day's first light have in readiness, against disinclination to leave your bed, the thought that 'I am rising for the work of man.'  Must I grumble at setting out to do what I was born for, and for the sake of which I have been brought into the world?  Is this the purpose of my creation, to be here under the blankets and keep myself warm? 'Ah, but it is a great deal more pleasant!'  Was it for pleasure, then, that you were born, and not for work, not for effort?  Look at the plants, the sparrows, ants, spiders, bees, all busy at their own tasks, each doing his part towards a coherent world-order;  and will you refuse man's share of the work, instead of being prompt to carry out Nature's bidding?

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations, Book Five

Confidence building................

According to the latest data from the Bank for International Settlements, the central bankers’ central bank, the total amount of outstanding derivative contracts has declined from a 2012 peak of $700tn to about $550tn. To put this into perspective, the figure has fallen from just under three times the value of all the assets in the world to a little over twice the value.

We are reliant on their risk modelling but these models break down in precisely the extreme situations they are designed to protect us against.

Accounting practices provide an appearance of precision that may be a poor guide to a world characterised by multiple risks and radical uncertainty.

-John Kay, as culled from here

The suspense is killing me.........................


Voted yesterday.  One simply must love the early voting option in Ohio.  The only downside is the wait until March 15th to find out exactly how far out-of-step I am with my fellow Ohioans.

The only selfie I ever take



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Go ahead. You know you want to...........


Maurice Ravel.............................................................Bolero

Nan.........................


...............................at the Jade Page Press has been on a Joni Mitchell kick here of late.  It's good stuff.   For instance:  Summertime

Reconciliation..................




















"We live in an era where human activity is overwhelming...I think we can reconcile nature and man to a much greater degree."
-Patrick Blanc

more photos of Blanc's vertical gardens at the Quay Branly Museum may be found here.

Some people will............................


.......................................never be happy.

Contrary.............................


I am something of a contrarian, I suppose. I feel less comfortable when everybody agrees with me. I say, “I better reexamine my position!” I probably believe that the worst opinions in my court have been unanimous. Because there’s nobody on the other side pointing out all the flaws.

-Antonin Scalia, as extracted from this excellent interview

thanks craig

Checking in with Seth...................


"We've created a culture where taking responsibility is one of the last sure ways to make a difference."

"Pick yourself, and keep making art until someone can't ignore you any longer."

"We need a compass and a place to go. But the road to that place is rarely straight and never absolute."

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


Tommy Roe.....................................................Sweet Pea

Sufficiency........................


68.  Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds 
       sufficiency too little.

71.  We must put the following question to each of 
       our desires: What will happen to me if the 
       object of my desire is achieved?   What will 
       happen if it is not?

77.   The most important consequence of self-
        sufficiency is freedom.

-Epicurus,  Aphorisms as excerpted from here

Lacking...............................


.............................19 ways we self-sabotage.


Brainy................................


     In Aesop's fable "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse," two cousins exchange visits, during which the city mouse turns down his nose at humble country fare, and the country mouse discovers that city life, while richer, is unbearably dangerous.  I'd rather gnaw a bean that be gnawed by continual fear, he wisely opines.  But thanks to us, today's city mice are growing big brains to outwit the ambient dangers.  Not just mice.  According to researchers at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, we've caused at least ten urban species - including voles, bats, shrews, and gophers - to grow brains that are 6% larger than those of their county cousins.  Heavens, smarter rats!  That's a scary thought.  As we felled and planted over their woods and meadows, only the cleverest animals survived, by tailoring their diet and behavior to the human-dominated landscape.  Those who did passed  big-brained genes on to resourceful offspring.  And they were the lucky ones.  Not all plants and animals can evade us or evolve:  only the most flexible endure.

-Diane Ackerman,  The Human Age:  The World Shaped By Us

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Happy Anniversary Sweetie


Rascal Flatts...........................................................Broken Road



I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

[Chorus:]
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
(Yes He did)

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true.

[Chorus]

Yeah.

Now I'm just rolling home
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

The right place.........................


It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

-Robert Frost, Birches

The world in a snow globe..............


      A warmer world won't be terrible for everyone, and it's bound to inspire new technologies and good surprises, not just tragedy.  Change is the byword everywhere, and if there's one unchanging fact about humans it's that we loathe change in nature, perhaps because we feel we cannot control it.  We may thrive on changes in technology and local, but we want nature to be permanent and predictable, even when shaken, like the world in a snow globe.  We yearn for continuity, and yet we live in a wildly changing world.  We love life fiercely, and yet we're creatures who die.  These aren't reconcilable paradoxes.

-Diane Ackerman,  The Human Age:  The World Shaped By Us

A very good run.......................


The real cost of government is always opportunity cost, but that is difficult to calculate, because free societies and free people are unpredictable.  The fact that we are several centuries into a very good run of making people better, richer, freer, healthier, and longer-lived suggest that we free people have some pretty good ideas about how to deploy our resources, and that wagering on our continuing to do so is the smart bet.

-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

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


The Turtles...............................................................You Baby

Pleasantly..............................


3.   It is impossible to live the pleasant life without also living sensibly, nobly, and justly and conversely it is impossible to live sensibly, nobly, and justly without living pleasantly.

-Epicurus, from his letter to Menoeceus

Manufactured landscapes...............


The photography of Edward Burtynsky:


























more fun here and here

A path to travel...................


"To be strong and true; to be generous in praise and appreciation of others; to impute worthy motives even to enemies;  to give without expectation of return;  to practice humility, tolerance and self-restraint; to make the best use of time and opportunity; to keep the mind pure and the judgment charitable;  to extend intelligent sympathy to those in distress;  to cultivate quietness and non-resistance;  to seek truth and righteousness;  to work, love, pray and serve daily;  to aspire greatly, labor cheerfully, and take God at His word - this is to travel heavenward."

-Grenville Kleiser

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








































Robert M. Gates,   A Passion For Leadership:  Lessons On Change And Reform From Fifty Years Of Public Service

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dance as a contact sport..............


Hooked on swing dancing.................................................

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








































Robert M. Gates,  A Passion For Leadership:  Lessons On Change And Reform From Fifty Years Of Public Service

The Stand-up Economist.................


Yoram Bauman offers the 2016 American Economic Association Funny Papers.  Making the unfunny funny.  Do watch it.  A few screen shots:















paper here.

















paper by Paul Krugman here

via

Morphed........................


"The modern vision of the presidency couldn’t be further from the Framers’ view of the chief executive’s role. In an age long before distrust of power was condemned as cynicism, the Founding Fathers designed a presidency of modest authority and limited responsibilities. The Constitution’s architects never conceived of the president as the man in charge of national destiny. They worked amid the living memory of monarchy, and for them the very notion of “national leadership” raised the possibility of authoritarian rule by a demagogue ready to create an atmosphere of crisis in order to enhance his power."

Interestingly enough,  this (The Cult of the Presidency) was penned in the spring of 2008.  Apparently, we are getting what we asked for.  More here:

"The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He — or she — is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America’s shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He’s also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth."

Tough job.  Shouldn't exist.  Read the whole essay.




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


Roger Williams...................................................Born Free

Comprehensive.......................
























thanks gerard

Transfers...........................


"The continuing plunge in the price of oil from $115 a barrel in mid-2014 to $30 today is really, really good news. I know just about every economic commentator says otherwise, predicting bankruptcies, stock market crashes, deflation, political turmoil and a return to gas guzzling. But that is because they are mostly paid to see the world from the point of view of producers, not consumers. Yes, some plutocrats and autocrats won’t like it, but for the rest of us this is a big cut in the cost of living. Worldwide, the fall in the oil price since 2014 has transferred $2 trillion from oil producers to oil consumers."

-Matt Ridley, as excerpted from here.

All's well..............................


..........................................that ends well.

Seven steps to ending your day that will most likely make of you a happier person.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day.....................


Unorganized Hancock..................................All My Loving



more news on the house band at Sippican Cottage here

Happy Valentine's Day...................









Verse......................


36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38  This is the first and great commandment.
39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mathew 22: 36-39
The Holy Bible
King James Version

Stuff to remember................





























see them all, here

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


Gary Lewis & The Playboys..........................She's Just My Style

When he is right...........................


...........................................he is right.

The Mighty E. wishes the Execupundit a very happy belated 10th anniversary.  May we all join in.  Michael is the Gold Standard in our corner of the blogosphere.  Go here to read his opening salvo.

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


Say it ain't so.............................


































James Robert Parish,  It's Good To Be The King:  The Seriously Funny Life Of Mel Brooks

Less and More...................................