Saturday, July 9, 2016

Never forgetting that.............................


.................normalcy is the psychosis of the majority, I'm pretty sure this quote is correct.

What is my purpose in life...............?


“Your problem is that you equate purpose with goal-based achievement. God or the Universe or morality isn’t interested in your achievements… just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further.”

-as culled from here

Speaking of the 60's.....................


From Woodstock............................Country Joe McDonald


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

At the movies...................The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Friday, July 8, 2016

Dreamers...................




"They say I dream too big.  I say they think too small."
-anon

image via

A sign of the times.......................


............................................Suspecting business may pick up.


via
 

Says the economist.....................


"Economics is not rocket science – it is much harder than rocket science."

-John Kay, as excerpted from this interesting post about Juno, the mechanics of planetary motion, Laplace's omniscient demon, and more.

Quite the list........................


Fairly certain the law of unintended consequences would trump and chaos would reign, but it that's your thing and you are grounded in the 1960s, you might want to check out this list of demands.  Just one sample:

8. A society which works toward and actively promotes the concept of “full unemployment.” A society in which people are free from the drudgery of work. Adoption of the concept “Let the Machines do it.”

Truth...............................


"Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it."
- H.L.Mencken

via

The right shot..................


     Watson had questions about Nicklaus's play:  Why did he hit that shot?  Why did he use that club?  Why didn't he go for the birdie?  What Watson noticed most was how often Nicklaus would hit conservative shots.  This was exactly the thing that turned him off as a youngster, when he preferred the risk-taking brilliance of Palmer.  But once he reached the PGA Tour, he saw golf - and Nicklaus - in a whole different way.
     Nicklaus told him, "More golfers lose golf tournaments than win them."
     This fascinated Watson.  Nicklaus was not thinking about great shots  most of the time; he was thinking about avoiding big mistakes.  It seemed counterintuitive to Watson;  he had always played the game fast and loose and full of aggression.  But watching Nicklaus changed the way he thought.  He began to take fewer chances.  He began to look for the widest part of the fairway and aim for it.  He hit away from bunkers.  He would try for the heroic shot only when none of the safer options made sense.
     "No golfer hit the right shot more often that Jack Nicklaus,"  Watson would say, and yes, that's the secret of golf.

-Joe Posnanski,  The Secret of Golf:  The Story of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus

The question for our age.......................


"Can you set aside your worldview, at least for a few minutes, to consider an alternative way to look at the situation?"

-Seth Godin, excerpted from here

Cold, hard truth.....................


"If you think yourself unlucky, you'll have bad luck.  There's no scientific explanation for it, but it's a cold, hard truth in golf.  That's one reason why bad bounces never bothered me as much as they did some people.  The second you start thinking of yourself as a victim, you've had it."

-Tom Watson

Wisdom...............................


"Yes you can do anything, but you can't do everything."
-Nicholas Bate

Don't blame me..................................



.......the Mighty E started this.  Good stuff, through and through.


War..........................................................City, Country, City



Fifty years ago..............."imaginative realism"



At the movies.....................................One Million Years B.C.



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Secrets of success.......................


"Rise early.  Work late.  Strike oil."
-John Paul Getty

"Underpromise;  overdeliver."
-Tom Peters

"Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do - anything that improves your own talents."
-Warren Buffett

"Eighty percent of success is showing up."
-Woody Allen

"A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up."
-Albert Schweitzer

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."
-Mark Twain

"Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs."
-Barack Obama

"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."
-Jean Giraudoux

“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.” 
-Charlie Munger

Just wondering how or where...............


.............................Marcus Aurelius would fit in our culture today.

32.  Let no one have the right to say truthfully that you are without integrity or goodness;  should any thing such thoughts, see that they are without foundation.  This all depends upon yourself, for who else can hinder you from obtaining goodness and integrity?  If you cannot live so, you need only resolve to live not longer; for in that case not even reason itself could require your continuance.  

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book X

Until this year............................


     And yet even as the candidates comported themselves in public according to the code of ethics inherited from the Founding Fathers, the nation's real political culture had changed radically.  Looking back no further than 1812, which was the last time there had been a serious contest for the presidency, the number of states had increased from eighteen to twenty-four;  the population of the country had almost doubled, to about 11 million; and the West, where five of the six new states were located, had gained vastly in power.  The 1812 contest had pitted a  Republican incumbent, James Madison, against a Federalist, DeWitt Clinton; now there would be neither and incumbent nor a party nor even an obvious favorite, since Monroe chose not to indicate one.  The 1824 election would thus be a strange hybrid: structurally, or organizationally, it bore the marks of an old-fashioned contest among political elites, but the traditional institutions were now subject to influences from new men and new places.  And the collapse of the party system had created a vacuum that would be filled by representatives of regional or economic or cultural interests, all in search of suitable candidate.  For all these reasons, the election of 1824 was the most confused and wide-open national political contest America had ever seen.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

When I become King........................


.......................................Scott Adams will be my Grand Vizier.

"Comey might have saved the country. He sacrificed his reputation and his career to keep the nation’s government credible."

Read all about it here.

On remembering our history............


     The America of 1824 was recognizably a republic, in the sense that ultimate sovereignty lay with the people, but much less so a democracy, in which the people engage directly in the political process.  Of the twenty-four states, six, including New York, the biggest of them, left the choice of president to the legislature, which chose the state's presidential electors.  In the others, legislators set the terms of the statewide or district-by-district ballot that determined the outcome.  While most states had eliminated property qualifications for the franchise, only adult white males, who constituted about 18 percent of the population, were eligible to vote.  (A few states gave the franchise to free blacks.)  Fewer than 350,000 Americans, out of a population of 11 million, would vote in the election of 1824.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It is always a great day...................



.................when I feel like I understand the cartoon at xkcd:


I wish that pesky climate change..................


..........................................thing would make up its mind.  Story here.

Your continuing education requirement:


....................Obtain (and read) the biographies of the folks on this list.  I need to go buy at least six more books, which is always a good thing.

Hegemony is a risky game..........................


To what extent the great flow of “outbound investment” is strategic investment rather than capital flight is also murky. Even the People’s Bank of China is warning about complex economic risks.

-as excerpted from here

Make a blind man see......................


The Rascals........................................People Got To Be Free jam



All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
Listen, please listen, that's the way it should be
Peace in the valley, people got to be free
You should see, what a lovely, lovely world this would be
If everyone learned to live together
It seems to me such an easy, easy thing this would be
Why can't you and me learn to love one another
All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
I can't understand it, so simple to me
People everywhere just got to be free
Ah, ah, yeah . . . ah, ah, yeah
If there's a man who is down and needs a helping hand
All it takes is you to understand and to see him through
Seems to me, we got to solve it individually
And I'll do unto you what you do to me
There'll be shoutin' from the mountains on out to sea
(out to the sea)
No two ways about it, people have to be free
(they got to be free)
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
(ah-ha)
It's a natural situation for a man to be free
Oh, what a feelin's just come over me
Enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see
Everybody's dancin', come on, let's go see
Peace in the valley, now they want to be free

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


On the TV................................................................Felony Squad


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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


     When I broached the subject with my father, when I worked up the nerve to speak to him about my Crazy Idea, I made sure it was in the early evening.  That was always the best time with Dad.  He was relaxed then, well fed, stretched out in his vinyl recliner in the TV nook.  I can still tilt my head back and close my eyes and hear the sound of the audience laughing, the tinny theme songs of his favorite shows, Wagon Train and Rawhide.

-Phil Knight,  Shoe Dog:  A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

A bad bargain..................................


Transcribing his train of thought as it cam to him, Adams wrote that the practice of slavery "taints the very sources of moral principle ... It perverts human reason, and reduces men endowed with logical powers to maintain that Slavery is sanctioned by the Christian religion .., The impression produced upon my mind by the progress of this discussion is that the bargain between Freedom and Slavery in the Constitution of the United States is morally and politically vicious."
     He had said it.  Adams had long comforted himself with the fact that slavery, whatever its evils, had been enshrined in the Constitution, which he revered as the secular equivalent of Holy Writ.  But now he saw that he had no right to that comfort.  The constitutional bargain was morally intolerable.

-James Traub,  John Quincy Adams:  Militant Spirit

Do it anyway.........................




"Success cannot be guaranteed.  There are no safe battles."

-attributed to Winston Churchill

Cultivate and nurture...................


     Wisdom is a trait and a virtue that all of us can have.  It's not a rare attribute, and it's not something you either have or don't have.  Rather, you can cultivate it and nurture it.  You start this process in reflection, by asking the prudent question and by broadening your perspective by considering others' interests and long-term outcomes.  Both a kind of knowledge and a way of thinking, wisdom is acquired and molded through life experience.

-Mark A. Reinecke,  Little Ways To Keep Calm and Carry On:  Twenty Lessons for Managing Worry, Anxiety, and Fear

Taxation.............................

   
        Friends, says he,  and Neighbours, the Taxes are indeed very heavy, and, if those laid on by the Government were the only Ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them;  but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.  We are taxed twice as much by our Idleness, three times as much by our Pride, and four times as much by our Folly; and from these Taxes the Commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an Abatement.  However, let us harken to good Advice, and something may be done for us;  God helps them that helps themselves, as Poor Richard says, in his Almanack of 1733.

-Benjamin Franklin

With an interesting introduction..............


John Denver and Mama Cass...............Leaving On A Jet Plane


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


At the movies............................................................Georgy Girl


Monday, July 4, 2016

Reflection............................


30.  When another's fault offends you, turn to yourself and consider what similar shortcomings are found in you.  Do you, too, find your good in riches, pleasure, reputation, or such like?  Think of this, and your anger will soon be forgotten in the reflection that he is only acting under pressure; what else could he do?  Alternatively, if you are able, contrive his release from that pressure.

-Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations,  Book X

The history major in me thinks this is true....


The globalist elites have a problem they must continually solve: there are a lot more of us then there are of them, and they have to keep us from noticing that.

A tried-and-true strategy for doing this is divide and conquer: if they can convince half of the poor and lower middle-class population that their real problem is the other half of the poor and lower middle-class population, and vice a versa, they are good to go.


-Gene Callahan

The glory that is human nature..............


Because we specialize in production, our well-being is much more affected by changes in the market for what we produce than it is by changes in the market for any one of the many goods and services that we consume.  That makes us strongly disposed to favor restrictions that restrict competition in the market where we produce.  Although we have a preference for free trade in the markets where we consume, that preference is less focused and less intense.  As a consequence, political lobbyists representing producer interests are more heavily engaged that are lobbyists for consumer interests.  In turn, that difference can lead to a regulatory process that favors incumbent producers to the detriment of consumers and new would-be producers.

-Arnold Kling,  Specialization and Trade:  A Re-Introduction to Economics

A mixed blessing......................................?


"A million in the hands of a single banker is a great power;  he can at once lend it where he will, and borrowers can come to him, because they know or believe that he has it.  But the same sum scattered in tens and fifties through a whole nation is no power at all:  no one knows where to find it or whom to ask for it."

-Walter Bagehot,  Lombard Street:  A Description of the Money Market

Small town, big heart...................


Celebrating the 4th of July in Central Ohio:

On the evening of the 3rd, as a lead-up to the wondrous local fireworks display, the Heisey Wind Ensemble plays patriotic music at the Ohio State University at Newark campus's Martha Grace Reese Amphitheatre



The "Mile Long Parade" kicks off in Granville on the morning of the 4th.  Much fun:







video

Rain or shine, it doesn't get much better.....


The hit of any parade:  The Licking County 4-H  Band

video
 

Invisible Sustenance...........................


.........................................................................Get some here.

The Great Rebellion..................


Its expressions range from Brexit to the Trump phenomena and includes neo-nationalist and unconventional insurgent movement around the world. It shares no single leader, party or ideology. Its very incoherence, combined with the blindness of its elite opposition, has made it hard for the established parties across what’s left of the democratic world to contain it.
 
What holds the rebels together is a single idea: the rejection of the neo-liberal crony capitalist order that has arisen since the fall of the Soviet Union. For two decades, this new ruling class could boast of great successes: rising living standards, limited warfare, rapid technological change and an optimism about the future spread of liberal democracy. Now, that’s all fading or failing.
Living standards are stagnating, vicious wars raging, poverty-stricken migrants pouring across borders and class chasms growing. Amidst this, the crony capitalists and their bureaucratic allies have only grown more arrogant and demanding. But the failures of those who occupy what Lenin called “the commanding heights” are obvious to most of the citizens on whose behalf they claim to speak and act.

-Joel Kotkin, as they say, read the whole thing
 

Happy Birthday to the Grand Experiment...




O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The law of unintended consequences......


....................works so well, one wonders if the consequences were truly unintended:

"While diversity programs have not worked for minority students or employees, they have worked out quite well for a small subset of the population: The lawyers, bureaucrats, managers, and consultants who make up the burgeoning diversity industry. This industry is powerful and connected, in the private sector, in academia, and in government. Don’t expect it to be knocked out of its lucrative perch anytime soon."

-as culled from this The American Interest blog post

Side effects.......................


"The cardinal maxim is, that any aid to a present bad Bank is the surest mode of preventing the establishment of a future good Bank."

-Walter Bagehot, from his 1873 Lombard Street:  A Description of the Money Market

Fortunately, history is not where we live...


"World history is not the soil of happiness."

-G.W.F. Hegel, as taken from Lectures on the Philosophy of History

Complex and evolving........................


     Scarcity and choice are certainly important concepts, but making them the central focus can lead to economic analysis that is simplistic and mechanistic.  In fact, the approach to economics that took hold after World War II treats the economy as a machine governed by equations.  Textbooks using that approach purport to offer a repair manual, with policy tools to fix the economic machine when something goes wrong.

     The mechanistic metaphor is inappropriate and even dangerous.  A better metaphor would be that of a rainforest.  The economy is a complex, evolving system.

     Another metaphor would be the Internet, which is also a complex, evolving system.  Although the Internet requires hardware, its value lies in its software.  The same is true for economies.  Economists used to focus on the hardware of the economy, such as factories and equipment.  More recently, we have come to realize that intangible factors, such as social norms and cumulative innovation are the important determinants of economic outcomes.

-Arnold Kling,  Specialization and Trade:  A Re-Introduction To Economics