Saturday, May 7, 2016

Re-visiting the reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County....


Reason #44:  The Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra.

The Orchestra performed at the fabulous Midland Theatre tonight.  They opened with Rossini's Overture to The Barber of Seville.  Yep, the one made famous by Bugs Bunny:



They closed the show with Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, aka From the New World.  Here is different orchestra's performance of the Allegro con fuoco:



It was a fine evening.   For reference, here is another NGSO post.

Late-stage democracy.................?


 The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — with shame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema. But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.

The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. Patriarchy is also dismantled: “We almost forgot to mention the extent of the law of equality and of freedom in the relations of women with men and men with women.” Family hierarchies are inverted: “A father habituates himself to be like his child and fear his sons, and a son habituates himself to be like his father and to have no shame before or fear of his parents.” In classrooms, “as the teacher ... is frightened of the pupils and fawns on them, so the students make light of their teachers.” Animals are regarded as equal to humans; the rich mingle freely with the poor in the streets and try to blend in. The foreigner is equal to the citizen.

And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.

-Andrew Sullivan, as excerpted from his recent essay, Democracies end when they are too democratic.  And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.

One can agree with many of his points, and admire his thoughtful writing, without having to agree with all his conclusions.   Informed readers may want to enjoy the whole essay.  Sullivan can write.  In case you haven't guessed, Donald Trump is his bogeyman.

the Plush Horses of Plutocracy........


“I’ve got to keep remembering … that Windrip is only the lightest cork on the whirlpool. He didn’t plot all this thing. With all the justified discontent there is against the smart politicians and the Plush Horses of Plutocracy — oh, if it hadn’t been one Windrip, it’d been another … We had it coming, we Respectables.”

-Sinclair Lewis, as excerpted from his 1935 novel, It Can't Happen Here, as quoted by Andrew Sullivan in this essay


Rigidity................................


For the white working class, having had their morals roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated, now find their very gender and race, indeed the very way they talk about reality, described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome. This is just one aspect of what Trump has masterfully signaled as “political correctness” run amok, or what might be better described as the newly rigid progressive passion for racial and sexual equality of outcome, rather than the liberal aspiration to mere equality of opportunity.

-Andrew Sullivan, as culled from here

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


Gary Lewis & The Playboys...................................Green Grass

Friday, May 6, 2016

I have my favorite authors............


.....................and Michael Lewis is one of them.  I tend to read whatever he writes.  This time it is a book review.  The hero of his tale is Mervyn King, both the past governor of the Bank of England and Lewis's tutor at the London School of Economics.  The book King wrote is The End of Alchemy:  Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy.

Two excerpts from Lewis's review:

King’s starting point is that the 2008 crisis wasn’t an anomaly but the natural consequence of bad incentives that are still baked into money and banking -- and so quite likely to create another, possibly even greater, crisis. 

The financial system, King reveals, is still wired so that a handful of well-connected people capture the benefits from risk-taking while the entire society bears the cost. 

An excerpt from The End of Alchemy:

“Regulation has become extraordinarily complex, and in ways that do not go to the heart of the problem. … The objective of detail in regulation is to bring clarity, not to leave regulators and regulated alike uncertain about the current state of the law. Much of the complexity reflects pressure from financial firms. By encouraging a culture in which compliance with detailed regulation is a defense against a charge of wrongdoing, bankers and regulators have colluded in a self-defeating spiral of complexity.”

thanks barry

Secret service.............................



"Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.  I prayed for the willingness to have very mild spiritual well-being.  I didn't have to understand the hypostatic unity of the Trinity;  I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees...


"...Bread is as spiritual as human life gets.  Rumi wrote, "Be a well-baked loaf."  Loaves are made to be eaten, to be buttered, and shared.  Rumi is saying to be of service, to be delicious and give life."


-Anne Lamott,  Plan B:  Further Thoughts on Faith



It is an abundant universe...............................



.............................we should act like it (and be grateful).


"The global oil market is no longer dominated by a psychology of scarcity, but rather one of abundance."

-as excerpted from this The American Interest blog post

Worth defending.....................


Adams saw for himself the madness of the populist passion that Thomas Paine and the Jacobin sympathizers back home had celebrated.  He felt anew America's great fortune in being able to stand apart from Europe's violence and turmoil.  And he recognized that liberty would mean nothing without the force required to repel predators.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

fits of puritanical moralizing...........


      Boston was subject to fits of puritanical moralizing, and when, in late 1795, an ordinance was passed prohibiting theatergoing, Adams stood in opposition.  He loved the theater, and he recoiled at any attempt to impose private morality on the public.  He even defended actors who had mounted a play in defiance of the law, arguing in a published essay that this species of civil disobedience was justifiable when legislation violated individual rights.  Apparently a little bit of Tom Paine was tolerable in a just cause.  Nevertheless, the town council refused to change the law.  Adams later wrote to his father that he ought to keep away from politics, since "my sentiments in general are as unpopular as my conduct relative to the town police or to the theatricals."  He added, in  a touch that must have gladdened his father's heart, "I have no predilection of unpopularity as such, but I hold it much preferable to the popularity of a day which perishes with the transient topic upon which it is grounded."

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

How lucky I am......................................



49.   Be like the headland against which the waves break and break;  it stands firm, until presently the watery tumult around it subsides once more to rest.  "How unlucky I am, that this should have happened to me!"  By no means, say rather, "How lucky I am, that it has left me with not bitterness; unshaken by the present, and undismayed by the future."  The thing could have happened to anyone, but not everyone would have emerged unembittered.  So why put the one down to misfortune, rather than the other to good fortune?  Can a man call anything at all a misfortune, if it is not a contravention of his nature;  and can it be a contravention of his nature if it is not against that nature's will.  Does this thing that has happened hinder you from being just, magnanimous, temperate, judicious, discreet, truthful, self-respecting, independent, and all else by which a man's nature comes to its fulfilment?  So here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter : not, "This is a misfortune," but "To bear this worthily is good fortune."


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IV

A declaration............................


................................................................worth declaring:

Somewhere along the way, privilege went from something to be grateful for to something to be embarrassed about. As I approach 60, I have been doing the stocktaking prompted by such round-number birthdays and have decided to “give back,” as the saying goes, by performing a public service. I hereby declare myself the World’s Most Privileged Person…

-Lou Weiss, as excerpted from this David Kanigan post

As they say, "read the whole thing."

Getting the form of government right........


.........................has, historically, always been a difficult task:

      The Massachusetts convention convened in Boston in January 1788.  Theophilus Parsons was a delegate and a staunch Federalist, as the pro-Constitution faction called itself.  So was John Adams, for the Constitution contained the strong executive he had argued for, as well as an upper house of the legislative branch - the Senate - which would, like the House of Lords, operate as a check on the more rash and populist lower chamber.  John Quincy Adams, for all his father's influence and his years spent in the courts of Europe, worried that a powerful national government would infringe on the rights of the people.  At Harvard, he had always taken the republican side of the debate over the proposed constitution against his aristocratic classmates.  Adams was not a democrat, he had little faith in the wisdom of majorities, and he still abhorred the mob.  But he feared the rise of an English-style hereditary ruling class.  "No branch will represent the people," he wrote to Billy Cranch.  Both houses of Congress, he thought, would represent the interests of the rich.  This principled insistence on the distinction between the interests of the whole people and those of one's own faction prefigured Adams' break with the Federalists twenty years later.

-James Traub, John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit


Some two hundred plus years later, we tend to forget that the framers of the Constitution were trying out a radical enterprise, an experiment in government, if you will.  Whether you call it a representative democracy, a constitutional democracy,  a republic, or something else, it is important to note that the experiment continues - and the outcome is far from certain.

Interesting times........................


      In late August, 1,500 farmers blocked the  Court of Common Pleas in Northampton, and then moved on to Worcester, Taunton, Concord, and Great Barrington.  In several cases, militia conscripts refused a direct order from Governor Nathaniel Bowdoin to disperse the protestors.   The populist insurgency, known as Shays' Rebellion, seemed to threaten the legitimacy of government itself, and turned even the most fiery revolutionaries into defenders of the established order.  Samuel Adams, hero of the Boston Tea Party, helped sponsor the Riot Act, which authorized the suspension of habeas corpus.
      Harvard knew very well where it stood in a battle between merchants and farmers with pitchforks.  Harrison Gray Otis recruited a light infantry from among his friends to be put at the disposal of the governor.  John Quincy Adams had no fortune to protect and no intention of joining a militia, but in this, the first serious political conflict of his adult life, he immediately arrayed himself with the forces of duly constituted order.  He had no sympathy for the protestors' complaints.  "Citizens," he wrote in his journal, "must look to themselves, their idleness, their dissipation and extravagance, for their grievances."

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit


By way of background, from the Gospel of Wikipedia:

Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts (mostly in and around Springfield) during 1786 and 1787. Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels (called Shaysites) in rising up against perceived economic injustices and suspension of civil rights (including multiple eviction and foreclosure notices) by Massachusetts, and in a later attempt to capture the United States' national weapons arsenal at the U.S.Armory at Springfield. Although Shays' Rebellion met with defeat militarily against a privately raised militia, it prompted numerous national leaders (including George Washington, who came out of retirement to deal with issues raised by Shays' Rebellion) to call for a stronger national government to suppress future rebellions, resulting in the U.S. Constitutional Convention and according to historian Leonard L. Richards, "fundamentally altering the course of U.S. history."[1]

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


.........................................It's okay, tell us how you really feel.

Once she finally arrives in Cambridge, she will behold the wonders of her inheritance of a future of power and privilege. Harvard and its academic siblings, American culture’s spoiled institutional trust fund children, fully intend to safeguard their position as the conformity factories manufacturing America’s leadership class. They are an assembly line of indoctrination that bolts together elitists out of socialism, amorality and entitlement, and then sets them loose on American society reeking of that new snob smell. 
-as culled from here

The hand that I'm holding............


Brad Paisley.............................................She's Everything

Exactly how many eagles..................


........................................are wind turbines permitted to kill?


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


Gary Lewis & The Playboys....................My Heart's Symphony

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Careful what you wish for............


"La molesse est douce, mais la suite est cruelle"
Ease is delightful, but the consequence is cruel.

-Voltaire, as a 1785 entry into John Quincy Adams's diary

Good advice


"...never to decide a thing in your own mind upon hearsay alone but to examine things yourself and judge for yourself."

-John Quincy Adams, from a letter to Peter Jay Munro

The more things change......................................



Worse, there is retrospective disenchantment with the mood that motivated the effort and set the goals in the first place, back in the 1960s.  There is chagrin at have been too enthusiastic about what could be accomplished.  There is disaffection toward those whose demands are insatiable and whose gratitude is inconspicuous.  Whatever the reason, there is a reexamination of police, especially policy that reflects social obligation.  There is retrenchment in the air and on the ballot. and second thoughts about what we can afford for ourselves and what we owe others.
       It isn't all sour grapes.  Our projection of the possible has shrunk.  Our economy is not behaving.  Growing income no longer promises to make light of our burdens in another decade or two.  We don't know what has been depressing our productivity and can't be sure that, whatever it is, we will recover soon.  Inflation has a mind of its own.  The demographics of the labor force are against us, and at the same time the rules of the game allow endless numbers of people from faraway places, once over the line, to touch base and be safe.


-Thomas C, Schelling, as excerpted from his 1984 book,  Choice and Consequence:  Perspectives of an errant economist

Single.....................................



40.   Always think of the universe as one living organism, with a single substance and a single soul;  and observe how all things are submitted to the single perceptivity of this one whole, all are moved by its single impulse, and all play their part in the causation of every event that happens.  Remark the intricacy of the skein, the complexity of the web.


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IV

Survival.........................................




On the joys of coherency.............................



The Neurologica Blog, in this post, raises some important objections to The Donald. 


"It doesn’t matter if Trump is left, right, liberal, conservative, libertarian, progressive, Democrat or Republican (he seems to be all of those things, sometimes in the same sentence). It doesn’t even matter if he is a Washington insider or outsider.


"What should interest American voters the most is that Trump is an arrogant conspiracy theorist."


Hard choices coming.

A developer's paradise...................................?



High density development in Hong Kong, home to more than seven million folks, as captured by this series of drone-taken photographs.  A sample:






thanks craig



I said, "thanks a lot".....................


Jerry Reed..................................When You're Hot, You're Hot

For once............................























“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

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


On the TV.................Batman and Robin climbing many walls

On change.........................
















“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” 
-Albert Einstein


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” 
-Leo Tolstoy


“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” 
-George Bernard Shaw


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” 
-Rumi


“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.” 
-Katharine Hepburn


“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” 
-Mother Teresa


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Continuing a theme....................






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



Relentless clarity...............................



Mr Buffett’s particular genius is not that he is a great stock picker. His genius lies in the relentless clarity of his appreciation of the nature of business: focus on competitive advantage, find good management, give that management freedom with accountability only for results. And in his creation of a business model that follows those insights.


-John Kay, a visit to Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting

Every once in a while.................................


......one feels the need to post some random cartoons:


















Checking in with Marcus...............................



11.   Do not copy the opinions of the arrogant, or let them dictate your own, but look at things in their true light.


17.   Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you.  Fate is at your elbow;  make yourself good while life and power are still yours.


25.  Test for yourself your capacity for the good man's life;  the life of one content with his allotted part in the universe, who seeks only to be just in his doings and charitable in his ways.


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IV

Adam Smith revisited......................


How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.
-from The Theory of Moral Sentiments

But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.
-from The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith............................


..............................................................would be so proud.

via

Making me glad..............................


...........................................................that I'm not mod.

Take along my love with you..................


Lorrie Morgan & The Beach Boys..............Don't Worry Baby

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


The Beatles...................................................Nowhere Man

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

the rise and fall.................


"Human history, with all its forms of governments, its revolutions, its wars, and in fact the rise and fall of nations, could be written in terms of the rise and fall of ideas implanted in the minds of men."

-Herbert Hoover

Doing business the old-fashioned way.....


In the speeches and writings of his lifetime, Napoleon Hill offered dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different examples of Master Mind Alliances, but none would ever achieve the scope, depth, longevity, and impact of the alliance that he and Stone forged over the ensuing months and decades.  They would never have a contract;  their working agreement would always be based on common goals, and their business relationship was based on trust and a handshake.

Michael J. Ritt, Jr. and Kirk Landers,  A Lifetime of Riches:  The Biography of Napoleon Hill

What does one do..........................


.....................................with a startled masked procyonid?

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

































“Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” 
-Lauren Bacall

I wonder if this is a 'microaggression'...........?



7.  Put away from you the belief that 'I have been wronged,' and with it will go the feeling.  Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.


-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book IV

One day at a time.............................













thanks hugh

Just wondering.........................


.............if this chart has any bearing on the cost of health care?   Could it be a cause, or an effect, or a coincidence, or is it one of those "feedback loop" things?
















source here

Carrying.............................


      Traveling doesn't make a man a doctor or a public speaker;  there isn't a single art which is acquired merely by being in one place rather than another.  Can wisdom, then, the greatest art of all, be picked up in the course of taking a trip?  Take my word for it, the trip doesn't exist that can set you beyond the reach of cravings, fits of temper, or fears.  If it did, the human race would be off there in a body.  So long as you carry the sources of your troubles about with you, those troubles will continue to harass and plague you wherever you wander on land or on sea.  Does it surprise you that running away doesn't do you any good?  The things you are running away from are with you all the time.

-Seneca, Letter CIV, Letters from a Stoic

Try..............................


While there, the older Adams received a message from home reporting that the expenses of war had exhausted the loans he had secured in Amsterdam;  America could no longer pay its bills.  Adams would have to return to Holland.  He was in no condition for an ice-bound passage northward, and he felt there was little chance of success.   Nevertheless, as he wrote in his journal, "no man knows what he can bear until he tries," a sentiment that might have been translated into Latin in order to decorate the family coat of arms.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Still burning...............................


Anita O'Day.............................................That Old Feeling

From the wide, wide world of Shorpy......


Anita O'Day.......................1958
























via Shorpy

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


The Hollies....................................................Stop Stop Stop

Monday, May 2, 2016

Still prefer the old maps..................


Milner also relates how the park rangers in Death Valley National Park have the term “death by GPS.”  It refers to park users who follow their GPS and then die:

"It describes what happens when GPS fails you, not by being wrong, exactly, but often by being too right.  It does such a good job of computing the most direct route from Point A to Point B that it takes you down roads which barely exist, or were used at one time and abandoned, or are not suitable for your car, or which require all kinds of local knowledge that would make you aware that making that turn is bad news."

-as taken from this Tyler Cowen post


Everybody................................


...an ounce of doing things is worth a pound of theorizing.  The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.  You can serve God and man in no more effective way than by getting rich;  that is, if you get rich by the creative method and not by the competitive one.

Beware of the competitive mind!!  No better statement of the principle of creative action can be formulated than the favorite declaration of the late "Golden Rule" Jones of Toledo:  "What I want for myself, I want for everybody."

-Wallace Wattles,  The Science of Getting Rich



without reference.......................


13.  As surgeons keep their lancets and scalpels always at hand for the sudden demands of their craft, so keep your principles constantly in readiness for the understanding of things both human and divine;  never in the most trivial action forgetting how intimately the two are related.  For nothing human can be done aright without reference to the divine, and conversely.

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations, Book III

Severe parenting..........................


      Johnny absorbed from his father not a mixed but a mingled message:  Europe was wonderful but virtue lay elsewhere.  From Abigail, however, the message was more severe.  At times Abigail could be sportive, even whimsical, but her fear of the snares of the old world and the heedlessness of youth - of young men, above all - darkened her already somber tone.  "Improve your understanding," she wrote in her first letter to johnny, but bear in mind that learning "will be of little value and small Estimation, unless Virtue, Honor, Truth and integrity are added to them."  Let yourself be guided by religious sentiments and the precepts of your father, she went on, "for dear as you are to me, I had much rather you should have found your Grave in the ocean you have crossed, or any untimely death crop you in your infant years, rather than see you an immoral profligate or a Graceless child."  This sentiment, shocking to our own ears, might have been stinging even to his.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Ed. Note:  John Quincy Adams would have been eleven-years-old when he received that letter.  Ouch.


What a great idea...................................!
























via

A quick thought on liberty................


"Namque pauci libertatem, pars magna iustos dominos volunt."
"Few men desire freedom, the greater part desire just masters."
-Sallust  (Gaius Sallustius Crispus)

The contemptuous trap...........


“In general, the men of lower intelligence won out. Afraid of their own shortcomings and of the intelligence of their opponents, so that they would not lose out in reasoned argument or be taken by surprise by their quick-witted opponents, they boldly moved into action. Their enemies,on the contrary, contemptuous and confident in their ability to anticipate, thought there was no need to take by action what they could win by their brains.” 
-Thucydides

Curricular core..........................


     If there was a curricular core to the emerging education for citizenship, it was the study of ancient history - Cicero, Tacitus, Plutarch, Sallust, and of course, Thucydides, the great historian of ancient Greece.  "The classics" was not a subject, like geography or history, but rather a lens through which to examine and understand life around you.  Here one could learn of the rise and fall of empires and of republics as well, and learn that they often died not from the outside but from the inside - from corruption and sloth, just as despotic and grasping England had begun to do.  Rome was everything - both the very type of overweening empire (like Great Britain) and the great antecedent to America.  Roman vice was English vice, but Roman patriotism, the love of the republic, was the great model for America.  The Adamses revered Cicero, the brilliant orator, senator, and sage who sacrificed himself for the good of Rome.  They recoiled at the tyrant Caesar and admired the courage of Brutus, his assassin.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Just let me hold you................


Rob Thomas...................................................Ever The Same

A worthy answer to a worthy question.......














Similar exchanges influenced my decision to major in history rather than philosophy.

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


Napoleon XIV.......................They're Coming To Take Me Away



Fifty years later............and it hasn't gotten any less creepy.

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





































via

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Under the heading of good news..........



















Calculated Risk blog offers this chart showing energy costs at a historic low as a percentage of Personal Consumption Expenses.  Quite the boon!

Sacrifices..............................


      John Adams began writing directly to his son in the spring of 1776.  His first letter must have overawed the boy:  "I hope that you will remember how many Losses, dangers, and Inconveniences, that have been borne by your parents, and the inhabitants of Boston in general, for the sake of pursuing freedom for you and Yours."  Johnny probably needed very little reminding about sacrifice:  in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the British had blockaded the port of Boston and placed the city under martial law.  Even the most basic products were unavailable or impossibly expensive.  Abigail, always self-sufficient, laid in her own stores of flax and wool in order to make the family clothes and linen herself.  By the spring of 1775, the Adams family servants had either returned home or joined the militia, leaving Abigail to make the soap, nurse the sick, tend to the animals, and of course for her children virtually on her own.  The battle of Bunker Hill, that June, only offered the most vivid lesson in the sacrifices compelled by the pursuit of freedom.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

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


5.  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.  A person who does not have a pleasant life is not living sensibly, nobly and justly, and conversely the person who does not have these virtues cannot live pleasantly.

-Epicurus, as excerpted from The Art of Happiness

Cheerleading.....................


"American GDP per capita is now about $56,000," he said. "As I mentioned last year that – in real terms – is a staggering six times the amount in 1930, the year I was born, a leap far beyond the wildest dreams of my parents or their contemporaries. U.S. citizens are not intrinsically more intelligent today, nor do they work harder than did Americans in 1930. Rather, they work far more efficiently and thereby produce far more. This all-powerful trend is certain to continue: America’s economic magic remains alive and well."

-Warren Buffett, as culled from here

Not unlike today.......................


       Nostalgic scribes would name it the Gay Nineties, the decade in which Napoleon Hill became aware of a world outside the mountains and valleys of Appalachia and Wise County.  But it was more a decade of growing pain than gaiety for America.  Like Napoleon, the country was lurching toward majority in uncoordinated spurts, different parts of her anatomy growing at different rates.  Like an adolescent, she was fueled with boundless energy and enthusiasm to compensate for a lack of experience.  Thus, through the 1890s and the early years of the twentieth century, America careened breathlessly forward from one unrecognized economic, social, and political barrier to the next dodging and leaping a few, crashing violently into many.

-Michael J. Ritt, Jr. and Kirk Landers,  A Lifetime of Riches:  The Biography of Napoleon Hill

Compelled.................................


“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” 

-Napoleon Hill


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




Beauty............................................part 2






















Clear................................


     "In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective.  For perspective brings calm.  Calm leads to clear thinking.  Clear thinking yields new ideas.  And ideas produce the bloom...of an answer.  Keep your head and heart clear.  Perspective can just as easily be lost as it can be found."

-Jones, as channeled by Andy Andrews, as excerpted from The Noticer:  Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.

Step forth.........................


7.   Never value the advantages from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, insincerity, or the desire for something which has to be veiled or curtained.  One whose chief regard is for his own mind, and for the divinity within him and the service of its goodness, will strike no poses, utter no complaints and crave neither for solitude nor yet for a crowd.   Best of all, his life will be free from continual pursuings and avoidings.  He does not care whether his soul in its mortal frame shall be his to possess for a longer or shorter term of years;  this very moment, if it be the hour of his departure, he will step forth as readily as he performs any other act that can be done in self-respecting and orderly fashion.  No other care has he in life but to keep his mind from straying into paths incompatible with those of an intelligent and social being.

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book III

On open minds and democracy...........


Mike Bloomberg delivers a commencement address to the school up north.  Here is his written version.  It is worth the few moments it will take you to read it.  Almost (but not quite) makes me wish he was running for president.   A few wee excerpts:

"The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations -- not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro. And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views."

"Democracy in action can actually produce a lot of inaction, which we see every day in Washington and other levels of government, too. When governments fail to address the needs of the people, voters in both parties get angry and some politicians exploit that anger by offering scapegoats instead of solutions.
"If we want to stop demagogues, we have to start governing again, and that requires us to be more civil, to support politicians who have the courage to take risks, and to reward those who reach across the aisle in search of compromise."

"Today, when a populist candidate promises free college, free health care and a pony, or another candidate promises to make other countries pay for our needs, remember: Those who promise you a free lunch will invariably eat you for breakfast."

My plea..............................


The Yardbirds..............................................Heart Full of Soul

By all means.......................



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


The Yardbirds...............................Over Under Sideways Down




studio version here

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


I was fourteen.  No clue then.  No clue now.