Saturday, May 25, 2019
Friday, May 24, 2019
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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.
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
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
"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."
....................................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.”
At no risk of making friends in the Department: Darwin’s idea was less scientific than metaphysical, more akin to the or the will to power than to the 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.
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
die for it—
or the world. People
have done so,
their small bodies be bound
to the stake,
fury of light. But
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun
for everyone just
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
-Mary Oliver, Sunrise
Monday, May 20, 2019
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
“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.”
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
Sunday, May 19, 2019
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
"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