Saturday, June 15, 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

As Poor Richard says............................


They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, he proceeded as follows: "'Friends,' says he, '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 hearken to good advice and something may be done for us; 'God helps them that helps themselves,' as Poor Richard says."

Benjamin Franklin,  The Way To Wealth

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


The Pentagon is the world's largest office building, six and a half million square feet, thirty thousand people, more than seventeen miles of corridors, but it was built with just three street doors, each one of them opening into a guarded pedestrian lobby.  I chose the southeast option, the main concourse entrance, the one nearest the Metro and the bus station, because it was the busiest and most popular with civilian workers, and I wanted plenty of civilian workers around, preferably a whole long unending stream of them, for insurance purposes, mostly against getting shot on sight.  Arrests go bad all the time, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose, so I wanted witnesses.  I wanted independent eyeballs on me, at least in the beginning.  I remember the date, of course.  It was Tuesday, the eleventh of March, 1997, and it was the last day I walked into that place as a legal employee of the people who built it.

-Lee Child,  The Affair

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


It's A Beautiful Day............................................Hot Summer Day

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

On biglification..........................



We had this problem licked more than a century ago, when the overwhelming majority never went anywhere except on foot, and those with a need to travel grand distances could take the railway — which, incidentally, had baggage cars. Taking this Province for my example, and my wanderings through it for my research, I am constantly impressed to discover evidence of how well it was served by the railroads, back when it had a fraction of its present population, and incomes were much lower. One could get from almost any little place to almost any other along them.
The obliteration of our railroads did not happen by chance. Starting with Roosevelt, on this side of the Atlantic, and Hitler, on the other side, a grand concerted effort was made to promote the automotive and paving industries, and build autobahns, specifically at the expense of rail. Cars had already become too numerous by the 1920s, but the idea of what Trump and I might call “biglification” — the totalitarian impulse — was to choke the planet with “people’s” cars, trucks, and buses. It became the one big economic pseudo vision, as the Depression wore on. What had been fairly useful vehicles — very local extensions from the train stations — became the most awkward and wasteful mass-transport system imaginable. The intention of the captains and politicians of industry was, from the beginning, to compel everyone to buy and drive these voracious machines, and become permanently indebted thereby.

Why drive when you can take the train?


At 1:55, "I bought the Red Car so I could dismantle it."

Always................................











thanks David

Mesmerising............................


With the right perspective, there is very little difference between chaos and order:

via

Hmmm...........................







On the unsettling of science...............



So if the lakes’ huge fluctuations in the past weren’t caused by mankind’s burning fossil fuels, why are scientists so convinced that the far more minor changes happening today are?


The reason is simple. Climate scientists can blame anything they want on global warming. The climate models are imprecise enough that no matter what is happening they can point to it as proof that man-made climate change is happening. Too much rain, too little rain, bitterly cold winters, mild winters, more snow, less snow, rising water levels, falling water levels — they can attribute “climate change” as a cause of it all.


But if nothing can disprove a theory, and every event, no matter how contradictory, is proof that the theory is valid, is that really science? Sounds more like a religion to us


-from this Issues & Insights post


via

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


The Band...........................The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Monday, June 10, 2019

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Thirty-nine years ago...................


The year was 1980...................................................

Michael Stanley Band.............................I'll Never Need Anyone
                                                      More (Than I Need You Tonight)

Words matter.................................


..............................Use them kindly, because they really matter.

All your questions.............................


....................................................................answered here.

Orwell or Huxley...................


...........................It almost feels like a perfect storm of both.

via

The view.............................


.......................................from Planet Earth:


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


The Grass Roots.......................................I'd Wait A Million Years

Thursday, June 6, 2019

This is me................................


..............................................................waving the white flag of surrender.  Michael Stanley's Stagepass makes my all-time great list.  While Making Movies is not my favorite Dire Straits album (Brothers in Arms is), it is pretty darn good.  Ditto U2's Boy.  1980 will no longer be found in the "so-so music" file.  There may be two lessons here:  first, don't argue music with Kurt Harden unless you're prepared to lose; second, if do you want to argue with Kurt, make sure bourbon and cigars are at hand - it makes the losing easier.

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


The Temptations..........................Run Away Child, Running Wild

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Betting on the rocks..........................


“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.” 

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” 


-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche














cartoon via

Pretty much true of real estate too..............


     Probably the biggest reason it's so hard to outperform the market, other than the fact that competition has heated up so much over the past few decades, is because most portfolio managers either don't have the requisite patience to think and act for the long term or their investors don't (it's kind of a chicken or the egg problem).  Academic research and real world results of many of the great investors of all-time show that there are strategies that beat the market over longer time frames.  It just takes extreme patience and discipline, something not enough investors have.

-Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense:  Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity In Any Investment Plan

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


     For most human beings, what to do with our hands is an issue.  Until we need an opposable thumb to pick something up, our hands have the social utility of an inflamed appendix.  Once upon a time we busied them by smoking.  Bogart and Bacall taught us how to do this with style.  Now that that has been declared unhealthy and a universal stigma, we employ our idle fingers fondling our cell phones.

-Steve Martini, Blood Flag

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


Stevie Wonder........................Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hmmmm..........................
















via

You only get one life...........................


..............................don't waste it comparing yourself to others:

There is one thing that you’re better at than other people: being you. This is the only game you can really win.

Althouse travels........................


............to a place where the times are "morally bewildering."

Is it okay to disagree with Kurt Harden?


....................In my wee corner of the blogosphere this might be considered risky, but I'm going out on the limb and say that 1980 was just a so-so year in the history of music.  Now 1969, that was something special!

Tony Isola..............................


.............................................................................convinces me.
Next time you hear a financial pundit predicting a market crash, depression, or impending armageddon because of some temporary event that’s commonplace in history, take a thoughtful pause.
There’s one constant in the prediction business – they’re almost always wrong.
Trust me, I’m an expert

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


Richie Havens...........................................Minstrel From Gault

Monday, June 3, 2019

There is a price.........................


To a distressed person who came to him for help the Master said, "Do you really want a cure?"

"If I did not, would I bother to come to you?"

"Oh yes.  Most people do."

"What for?"

"Not for a cure.  That's painful.  For relief."

To his disciples the Master said, "People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favor progress, provided they can have it without change."

-Anthony de Mello,  One Minute Wisdom

A key step in the right direction............


     Charles Ellis once said, "Forecasting the future of any variable is difficult, forecasting the interacting futures of many changing variables is even more difficult, and estimating how other expert investors will interpret such complex changes is extraordinarily difficult."  It can make your head hurt just thinking about it, but its true.  No one is ever going to completely understand the exact forces that drive the markets for the simple fact that no one can predict the future.  A willingness to admit what it is that you don't know frees you up from the illusion of certainty in your predictive skills.

-Ben Carlson,  A Wealth of Common Sense

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


Richie Havens....................................It Could Be The First Day

Sunday, June 2, 2019

On Crowds........................


....................................Josh Brown's post is here.  Quick take here:

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Everest in 1953
















"Being special requires taking a risk and doing something unproven – and difficult – before it becomes just another selfie opportunity for everyone else."

The line forms at the rear.  Mount Everest in 2019

Seems true............................




        via

Quite possibly..............................


.....................one day my claim to fame will be that, a long time ago, we were friends at Penn Valley Elementary School. 

The Wonder that is...........................


..........................................................................................Doug.

The great undiscovered ocean..................


The passage from Newton's pen that I like best is:  

          I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to
          myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on
          the seashore and diverting myself in now and then
          finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,
          while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

To me, Newton's pebbles and shells are indeed smooth and pretty because they are so simple.  However, they did not seem simple before he recognized their nature.  Mankind shall find more pebbles and more beauty.
     The ocean of truth now offers a vista of a hundred billion suns clustered in the galaxy Galileo glimpsed with his telescope.  The universe contains billions of galaxies which, having started 15 billion years ago in a small space, now are moving apart at tremendous speeds.  Newton pointed out that the laws that apply to galaxies are the same as the laws that apply to atoms.  Regardless of how different galaxies, atoms and the application of laws may superficially appear, their common consistency is now clearly visible.
      But the simplicity in the structure and origin of the universe has not as yet been fully discovered, and therefore all people can repeat with Newton, the great ocean of truth is still undiscovered.

-Edward Teller,  The Pursuit of Simplicity

On the nature of us humans..................


"Human nature is stronger than any individual, than any institution or technological invention.  It ends up shaping what we create to reflect itself and its primitive roots.  It moves us around like pawns.  Ignore the laws at your peril."

-A cover blurb from Robert Greene's The Laws of Human Nature

One way to change your consciousness.....




"In outer space you develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.  From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty.  You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'"

-Edgar Mitchell, as quoted by Ryan Holiday in today's The Daily Stoic entry

image via

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


      In September 2016, the influential blogger and commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote a 7,000-word essay for New York magazine  titled "I Used to Be a Human Being."  Its subtitle was alarming:  "An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts.  It broke me.  It might break you, too."

-Cal Newport, from the introduction to Digital Minimalism:  Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

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


Lee Marvin............................................................Wand'rin Star




At the movies.....................................................Paint Your Wagon

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Lessons from history.............


Lesson #3: Unsustainable things can last longer than you anticipate.

-Four more lessons here

via

Life is good........................


I doubt any college administrators will ever invite someone like me to give such a speech. In some ways, it is for the best. I would have a hard time telling 20-somethings that the whole world is in dire need of wholesale change.
In fact, I would tell them that while many things could be better, overall, we in the modern world are doing spectacularly well. I would explain just how much better off we are than were our grandparents or even our parents a mere two or three decades ago. Life is good.

Knowing the important stuff..........


15. Tsundoku is the act of acquiring books and not reading them.


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


Booker T. & The M.G.'s.................................Hang 'em High

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Althouse. When she's right.........................


.................................................................shes's right.

"I think there are a LOT of people out there whose idea of truth is what they want to be true."

The University........................


..............................................................................of Bate.

Offering the finest lessons on the art of becoming a valuable human being - on a daily basis.  If you are serious about life its ownself, spend some time with his "popular posts."  Oh, did I tell you it's all free.

Making the most...............................


................................................................of life its ownself.

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


Gary Puckett and The Union Gap.....This Girl Is A Woman Now

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

30 lessons........................


........................................from thirty years.   As incomplete lists go, this one offers much grist for the pondering mill.  Enjoy.  Here's a sample:

25.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BALANCE, ONLY BALANCING INDIVIDUAL MOMENTS

Life is movement, not a perfect or stagnant balance. Rather than striving for balance, we can strive to master the art of balancing, which allows for more flux and change in any given moment.

More...........................


............................................................library porn:


This quote is from Barry Ritholtz.....


.........................................but it certainly applies to many in this wee corner of the blogosphere:

"I have a fairly high purchased-to-read (P/R) ratio, but I don’t let that bother me; just having them handy means I might read them, and at the very least I have a large reference library."

-as taken from this "summer reading list" post.

Well, okay.................



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


Edwin Starr.........................................................................25 Miles

Some things never change.............


"No town has ever taken itself so seriously with so little reason."

-Isaiah Berlin, on Washington, March 30,1943

Monday, May 27, 2019

When answers just create more questions......


......................................How much are we really supposed to know?

































Enlarged photo and best guess at what we're looking at is here

Feelings.....................................




“One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.” 


-Gustave Flaubert

It's that time of the year.........................









courtesy of

Tethered.................................


Affection exchange theory, introduced by Professor Kory Floyd, postulates that affection strengthens bonds, provides access to resources, and communicates your potential as a parent, increasing your pool of potential mates.   I think it goes deeper.  I know a lot of people who, despite their good fortune, are wandering.  Few meaningful relationships, an inability to find reward in their professional lives, too hard on themselves, etc.  It's as if they're not grounded, never convinced of their worth . . . wandering.
     When I look at my own success, it mostly boils down to two things:  being born in America and having someone irrationally passionate about my well-being—my mom. . . .
      Having a good person express how wonderful you are hundreds of times changes everything.  College, professional success, an impressive mate—these were aspirations, not givens for a remarkably unremarkable kid in an upper-lower-middle-class household.  My mom was forty-three, single, and making $15,000 a year as a secretary.  She was also a good person who made me feel connected and, while waiting for our Opel, gave me the confidence that I had value, that I was capable and deserving of all these things.  Holding hands and laughing, I was tethered.

-Scott Galloway,  The Algebra of Happiness:  Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning

Shake yourself free..............................


     Each and every one of us has been born into a given historical reality, ruled by particular norms and values, and managed by a unique economic and political system.  We take this reality for granted, thinking it is natural, inevitable and immutable.  We forget that our world was crated by an accidental chain of events, and that history shaped not only our technology, politics and society, but also our thoughts, fears and dreams.  The cold hand of the past emerges from the graves of our ancestors, grips us by the neck and directs our gaze towards a single future.  We have felt that grip from the moment we were born, so we assume that it is a natural and inescapable part of who we are.  Therefore we seldom try to shake ourselves free, and envision alternative futures.
     Studying history aims to loosen the grip of the past.

-Yuval Noah Harari,  Homo Deus:  A Brief History of Tomorrow

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


Sly & The Family Stone..............Hot Fun In The Summertime

Sunday, May 26, 2019

One can admire his writing.........................


...........................without having to agree with him:

      This is the paradox of historical knowledge.  Knowledge that does not change behavior is useless.  But knowledge that changes behavior quickly loses its relevance.  The more data we have and the better we understand history, the faster history alters its course, and the faster our knowledge becomes outdated.

-Yuval Noah Harari,  Homo Deus:  A Brief History of Tomorrow

Some random selections......................


..........................from Michael Wade's Random Thoughts: Brief Reflections and Moments of Clarity:

"Don't think weakness discourages attacks."

"Listen to fools but don't argue with them."

"Some of the most dangerous people are those who want to save the world."

"One of the challenges of life is overcoming the effects of high school."

"You need to thank someone today."

"On occasion, all of us are dumber than one of us."

"Evaluating a nation by contrasting it with a utopia is a common distortion."

"Never hire anyone who is abusive to the powerless."

"We can do much better than we think we can but first we must think we can."


On thinking....................


     Don't spend much time thinking about what other people think.  Think about what you think.  Think instead about the results, about the impact, about whether it is the right thing to do."

-Ryan Holiday, from today's entry from The Daily Stoic


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


Led Zeppelin.........................................Dazed And Confused



 "I don't listen to Led Zeppelin often, but when I do, so do my neighbors."

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Adding and subtracting....................


Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains. And for every grain of enjoyment you sow in the bosom of another, you shall find a harvest in your own bosom; while every sorrow which you pluck out from the thoughts and feelings of a fellow creature shall be replaced by beautiful peace and joy in the sanctuary of your soul.

-Jeremy Bentham

On love........................................


Love and relationships are the ends—everything else is just the means.  We, as a species, segment love.  When we are young, we take in love—our parents', teachers', caregivers'.  When we enter adulthood, we find transactional love;  we love others in exchange for something in return—their love, security, or intimacy.  Then there's complete love, surrendering to loving someone regardless of whether they love you back, or whether you get anything in return, for that matter.  No conditions, no exchange, just a decision to love this person and focus solely on their well-being.
     Love received is comforting, love reciprocated is rewarding, and love given completely is eternal.

-Scott Gallowy,  The Algebra of Happiness:  Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning

"Milkshaking"..........................





………………………………...is not such a new thing:




Savor the work.........................



…………………………………..by slowing down.

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


The Allman Brothers Band.....................Black Hearted Woman

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

On truth.............................


"A truth is a useful, reliable statement of how the world is. You can ignore it, but it will cost you, because the world won’t work the way you hope it will. You can dislike the truth, but pretending it isn’t true isn’t an effective way to accomplish your goals or to further our culture."

-Seth Godin

Fred Reed, bless his heart.................


....................................gives some thought to Darwin and the state of our universities.   A few wee excerpts:

As an interested layman of lukewarm but engaged intelligence, I would say thusly to the Department of Biology: “If you want to discredit Mr. Behe and persuade the thoughtful public of your views, perhaps you should go beyond assertions of virtue and actually answer some of Mr. Behi’s questions. And mine. The best way to quash dissent is to show it to be wrong. Please do so.”

---------------------------------------------------

Abiogenesis? The fact is (tell me why it is not a fact) that the Biology Department does not know of what the ancient seas consisted, does not know what seas would be necessary for life to appear, bearing in mind that reactions depend crucially on concentrations, pH, reducing or oxidizing atmosphere, temperature, half-life of intermediates, and so on; cannot reproduce the event in the laboratory; cannot draw a reproducing, metabolizing molecule on paper; and cannot show the event to be mathematically probable. What reason, really, is there to believe that it happened, other than that the Biology Department cannot think of another acceptable explanation?
The response of the orthodox is usually “billions and billions of years,” and “lots and lots of seawater.” This is so vague as to embarrass a football player majoring in Breathing for Credit.
-----------------------------------------------

At no risk of making friends in the Department: Darwin’s idea was less scientific than metaphysical, more akin to the elan vital or the will to power than to the Principia Mathematica. Like Communism, Christianity, Islam, and Freudian psychiatry, it was an overarching explanation of vast tracts of existence. These have emotional appeal and attract ardent adherents. Evolution inevitably was interpreted by the common run of men as a sort of biological Coueism, “Every day in every way, we are getting better and better.” as a human progression toward the more advanced and admirable. Of course it said no such thing, but few noticed.

Almost makes me wonder.................


........................................what Bo Derek has been doing lately.

via

Does this strike you as ironic...................?



Every time Democrats look at a problem, they think of a program. And while those programs often point the way forward, they need to focus their energy on convincing the middle class that they share their values more than just their economic interests. There is more to voters than their wallets. To do that, Democrats need to prove to them that they know the difference between right and wrong, and that begins with owning the terms accountability and responsibility. No matter how privileged, Democrats need to be the ones demanding that those who fall short be made to answer for their own decisions. Every one of us should have to live by the same moral and ethical codes. The nation’s elite shouldn’t have any special license to take the easy way out.


-Rahm Emanuel, as extracted from here


via

Color me.................................


....................................................................a winner!


in the familiar fabric of dawn...............




You can
die for it—
an idea,
or the world.  People

have done so, 
brilliantly,
letting
their small bodies be bound

to the stake,
creating
an unforgettable
fury of light.  But 

this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

Of China, 
and India
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun

blazes 
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name
of the breath I would take
over and over
for all of us?  Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter
fire.

-Mary Oliver,  Sunrise

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


The Allman Brothers Band...................................Whipping Post

Monday, May 20, 2019

Tougher than it looks........................


Most people will get much more out of destroying their own wrong ideas than trying to come up with new ones all the time.  Once you get rid of the clutter, all that's left will be the good stuff that you can use to improve your results.

-Ben Carlson, from A Wealth of Common Sense

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


...........................................................Baruch Spinoza:

“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”

“Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but is virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain from our lusts; but on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore we are able to restrain them.” 

“No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.”

“He who seeks to regulate everything by law is more likely to arouse vices than to reform them. It is best to grant what cannot be abolished, even though it be in itself harmful. How many evils spring from luxury, envy, avarice, drunkenness and the like, yet these are tolerated because they cannot be prevented by legal enactments.” 

“Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.” 

"He who seeks equality between unequals seeks an absurdity."

“When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master.”

“The greatest secret of monarchic rule...is to keep men deceived and to cloak in the specious name of religion the fear by which they must be checked, so that they will fight for slavery as they would for salvation, and will think it not shameful, but a most honorable achievement, to give their life and blood that one man may have a ground for boasting.” 

APOD................................


...........................................a reliable source of cool pictures.

Library............................


....................................................................................porn.

via

According to the counting thing...........


...................................on this blog, this is post number 22,222.  Sorry for littering all over the Intertunnel floor.  Hope you've found something of value.

What a country....................................


     Madison's genius was to understand that the best bulwark against tyranny was not virtue—virtue helps, but should never be relied upon—but ambition countering ambition, faction countering faction.
      You see it even in the confirmation process for Neil Gorsuch, Trump's supremely qualified and measured Supreme Court nominee.  He's a slam dunk, yet some factions have scraped together a campaign to block him.  Their ads are plaintive and pathetic.  Yet I find them warmly reassuring.  What a country—where even the vacuous have a voice.
      The anti-Trump opposition flatters itself as "the resistance."  As if this is Vichy France.  It's not.  It's 21st-century America.  And the good news is that the checks and balances are working just fine.

-Charles Krauthammer, from his 3/24/17 essay found in this book

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


The Allman Brothers..............................Every Hungry Woman

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The question is often...................


.....................................more important than the answer:
Several of the readers with whom I correspond are under the immovable impression that I am against making money, or improvements in technology, per se. In fact my outlook is cutting-edge mediaeval Catholic. The moral questions are instead such as, How is the money made? And, for what are the improvements to be used? As I must remind e.g. my Chief Texas Correspondent, I am not against electricity or indoor plumbing. But I am against worshipping such things, or making them the criteria for high civilization.
“Progress” in this kind is an empty achievement. Every supposed “advance” requires the sacrifice of something, that ought to be carefully examined. The real question is not who makes the decisions, but whether the decisions are good. We get lost in technicalities. The ultimate human decision, whether to opt for Heaven or Hell, does not involve statistical analysis.
-David Warren, from this blog post

Searching for just the right background music?


............................................................................Give this a try.

The awesomeness..............................


....................................................................................of books.

About the Constitution.......................


     The makers of the Constitution earned in a manner the full praise that has ever since been bestowed on them.  But they did not, as it has often been suggested they did, create a sort of archetype and pattern for all governments that may hereafter partake of a federal character.  Nor has the curious machine which they devised—the balanced opposition between two legislative chambers, between the whole Legislature and the independent executive power of the President, between the governing power of the moment and the permanent expression of the people's will embodied in certain almost unalterable laws—worked conspicuously better than other political constitutions.  The American Constitution owes its particularities partly to the form which the State governments had naturally taken, and partly to sheer misunderstanding of the British Constitution, but much more to the want at the time of any strong sense of national unity and to the existence of a good deal of dislike to all governments whatsoever.  The sufficient merit of its founders was of patient and skillful diplomatists, who, undeterred by difficulties, found out the most satisfactory settlement that had a chance of being accepted by the States.

-Lord Charnwood,  Abraham Lincoln:  A Complete Biography

A canary in the coal mine...............?


"We now worship at the altar of innovation and youth, versus character or kindness."

-Scott Galloway,  The Algebra of Happiness:  Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning

the actual thing..........................

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


The Allman Brothers Band...............................Trouble No More

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Random photo dump..................


It's about time for another posting of random photos that have found their way onto my computer.  However, the Instapundit pointed the way to this array of photos at the PowerLine blog.  If you can't beat 'em, link to 'em.  Accordingly, this episode of photo dump has been subcontracted out.  Enjoy.

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


The Allman Brothers Band..............It's Not My Cross To Bear

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tell your kids.................................


"Emotional control is far more important than your SAT score."

-Ben Carlson

Like blogging...................


So, yes, work your ass off and get some semblance of economic stability.  But take notes on the things that give you joy and satisfaction, and start investing in those things.  Pay attention to things that bring you joy that don't involve mind-altering substances or a lot of money.

-Scott Galloway,  The Algebra of Happiness:  Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning

God bless..................................


...................................................................................mediocrity?

"We do indeed live in a golden age of mediocrity, as is evident from the people we choose as celebrities."

Some of us history majors remember the day when Richard Nixon nominated G. Harold Carswell for a seat on the Supreme Court.  Some pesky senator suggested that Carswell was "mediocre."  The great Kansan senator, Roman Hruska, replied:  "Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all BrandeisesFrankfurters and Cardozos."   A wonderful moment in American history.

via


The healing power............................


.............................................................................of writing.

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


The Allman Brothers Band................................................Dreams