Saturday, May 13, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
-Billy Collins, Today, from Nine Horses
Hillary Clinton had a new rendezvous with destiny on her mind. Her motorcade sped toward Roosevelt Island on the morning of June 13, 2015. In a little more than an hour, she would officially kick off what she hoped would be a trailblazing, glass-ceiling-shattering campaign for the presidency. For most of the previous forty-eight hours, she had been trying to give a feel of historic importance to her first major address. It just wasn't there yet.
-Nathan Allen & Amie Parnes, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign
Thursday, May 11, 2017
" ... the real world rarely plays out like the textbook theories say. The human element often invalidates studies or theories that take place in a vacuum."
-Ben Carlson, from this post
"... do two things: 1) Improve everything touched by the problem; turn bad fortune around. It tells the unforeseen not to mess with you; and 2) Push your way back in. Cajole progress. Make things move along without making everyone miserable. If you wait on progress you will only frustrate yourself. "
-Kurt Harden, from here
The day was balmy. That certain magic of Copenhagen and the Tivoli Gardens had Michael Nordstrom all but tranquilized. From his table on the terrace of the Wivex Restaurant he could see the onion dome of the Nimb, saturated with a million light bulbs, and just across the path came a drift of laughter from the outdoor pantomime theater. The walks of the Tivoli were bordered with meticulous set-in flowers which gave out a riot of color.
-Leon Uris, Topaz
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
President Trump’s official reason for the Comey firing has to do with a loss of confidence over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. The beauty of that official explanation (true or not) is that it is making heads explode with Democrats and the Opposition Media. How dare President Trump fire the person we publicly demanded he fire!
-Scott Adams, as taken from this post
Just love his first sentence. Scott Adams is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
................In this wondrous post, Althouse shares Dusty Springfield and the Pet Shop Boys and a whole lot more. Who knew?
.................More from the world of unsettled science: Higher salt intake may be a key to reducing obesity? It gets curiouser and curiouser. Full story here. Wee excerpt (the Mike reference is Bloomberg) here:
Savor this (pardon the pun): salt consumption may be useful in fighting obesity, the current obsession of the nattering class. If Mike has been encouraging people to gain weight by limiting salt consumption, he is undoing the work he did limiting soda servings to 16 ounces.
The fog of war isn't remarkable, moments of clarity are. History is written from those moments, which is why it's impossible to read history without wondering at least once, "how could they have been so stupid?"
-Ol' Remus, as culled from here
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The medium, or process, of our time - electric technology - is reshaping and restructuring patters of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and reevaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted. Everything is changing - you, your family, your neighborhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to "the others." And they're changing dramatically.
-Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is The Massage: An Inventory of Effects
..................................................................Walter Russell Mead.
It is a lot of fun until the music stops.
Monday, May 8, 2017
......................................cosmology of Edgar Allen Poe:
In his final major work, (1848) he took his fascination with nature beyond the human world and crafted a chronicle of the Universe itself. The unique subject matter required an inversion of his usual approach. Instead of imagining a breaking down of regularity into shards, as in many of his famous short stories, Poe envisioned a systematic building up of order from a unitary beginning – a genesis rather than an apocalypse.
Who knew? Full interesting essay on Poe's approach is here
No matter how forgotten and neglected, there is a child in all of us who is not just willing to believe in the possibility that maybe fairy tales are true after all but who is to some degree in touch with that truth.
-Frederick Buechner, as taken from here
Sunday, May 7, 2017
There are times in our lives - scary, unsettling times - when we know that we need help or answers but we're not sure what kind, or even what the problem or question is. We look and look, tearing apart our lives like we're searching for the car keys in our couch, and we come up empty-handed. Then when we're doing something stupid, like staring at the dog's mismatched paws, we stumble across what we needed to find. Or even better, it finds us. It wasn't what we were looking or hoping for, which was usually advice, approval, an advantage, safety, or relief from pain. I was raised to seek or achieve them, but like everyone, I realized at some point that they do not bring lasting peace, relief, or uplift. This does not seem fair, after a lifetime spent in their pursuit. Where, then, do I turn in these increasingly frightening days? Where do I look for answers when I'm afraid, or confused, or numb? To an elegant Japanese sage? A dream-dancing Sioux grandmother with a tinkling laugh? No. More often than not, the North Star that guides me through the darkness is the Old Testament prophet Micah. He must have looked like a complete stoner or a Games of Thrones extra, and smelled like a goat, yet nearly three thousand years ago, he spoke the words that often remind me of my path and purpose. "What doth God require of thee but to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
-Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy
The hour this story begins is known. The minute is known; the exact moment is recorded. To some this might not appear to be remarkable, but when it is considered that there are entire generations in the history of Santa Vittoria about which nothing at all is known, the statement becomes remarkable.
-Robert Crichton, The Secret of Santa Vittoria
But character comes before credentials. If our children are to become real adults, they need to know that difficult tasks are things to be conquered, not avoided.
-Ben Sasse, as culled from here
I got around the WSJ paywall by going here and clicking on Jim Stroup's tweet. Your results may vary.
....................................in losing a bet with Warren Buffett.
"Studies of human behavior repeatedly point to the inability of investors to stay the course through tough times."
-as quoted from this Ted Seides post
Mark Perry posted this chart a week ago. He also wrote, "As Larry Kudlow often reminds us, 'Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity,' and it’s market forces that have lifted more people out of poverty than any government program or initiative from the United Nations, World Bank or International Monetary Fund." All this is most likely both true and a good thing, but what are the odds that declining world poverty has a close relationship to the off-shoring of American manufacturing jobs during that same time period? At the end of the day, "market forces" will always have their say, cheaper labor tends to replace more expensive labor. A necessary ingredient for capitalism to survive (and succeed) is the notion of "creative destruction." We could do a better job of accounting for that.