Saturday, April 6, 2013

holds the key............................

Blind Faith..................Can't Find My Way Home

Plan better............................

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

From the hour of his birth, Tom Paine felt the deathly hand of the English state.  Some called him a child of state violence, for the thatched cottage where he came crying into the world in Thetford, England, in the winter of 1737, stood near an execution site, on the slopes of a low, windswept hill known locally as the Wilderness.  Townspeople favored this name because of its wretched soil and winter winds, but also because each year, with the arrival of spring, convicted criminals were herded through the area from the borough gaol, a quarter of a mile away, up to a nearby chalk ridge resembling Golgotha.  There, on Gallows Hill, within plain sight of Paine's cottage within the Wilderness, the gaol governors and town constable arranged hangings, watched by wide-eyed crowds.
-John Keane, Tom Paine:  A Political Life

Tom Paine..................................

     A historical study of the eighteenth century Europe and America, without the study of Tom Paine, would be no study at all.  While not casting a judgement on the old saw "the pen is mightier than the sword,"  without Paine's writings many swords would not have been drawn.  Not sure that I would call him a radical, but certainly his thinking lay outside of the mainstream of western thought of his (or any other?) day, and he was a fearless writer of his thoughts.  Paine's most famous work, Common Sense, inflamed the Colonies towards the path of independence.  Later works, The Rights of Man, written in defense of the French Revolution, and The Age of Reason, a written assault on the organized church, and Agrarian Justice, conveying Paine's ideas about property, were no less inflammatory - just with different targets.  His works deserve to be read in any age; just prepare to be inflamed.  (It strikes me as amazing that all four of these pamphlets/books can be acquired via a few keystrokes and the exchange of only a few dollars via Kindle.)
     Here are a few of Paine's written thoughts:

The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property

Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime.

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one;  for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Men did not make the earth... It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.

for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles; he can only discover them, and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.

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

The Miracles..........................Mickey's Monkey

Smokey & company cracked the Billboard Top 10 with this little Holland-Dozier-Holland tune in 1963.



Fortune has often been blamed for her blindness; but fortune is not so blind as men are.  Those who look into practical life will find that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious, as the winds and waves are on the side of the best navigators. 
-Samuel Smiles, as excerpted from Self  help

image via

Missing Roger Ebert already...........................

Noted film critic Roger Ebert died this week.  More information here, including his list of picks for the best picture of the year for every year between 1967 and 2012.  Here are a few quotes attributed to him:

It is human nature to look away from illness. We don't enjoy a reminder of our own fragile mortality.

There are no guarantees. But there is also nothing to fear. We come from oblivion when we are born. We return to oblivion when we die. The astonishing thing is this period of in-between.

Of what use is freedom of speech to those who fear to offend?

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.

“What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.”

I was instructed long ago by a wise editor, "If you understand something you can explain it so that almost anyone can understand it. If you don't, you won't be able to understand your own explanation." That is why 90% of academic film theory is bullshit. Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Some of these reviews were written in joyous zeal. Others with glee. Some in sorrow, some in anger, and a precious few with venom, of which I have a closely guarded supply. When I am asked, all too frequently, if I really sit all the way through these movies, my answer is inevitably: Yes, because I want to write the review.

Life always has an unhappy ending, but you can have a lot of fun along the way, and everything doesn't have to be dripping in deep significance.

And now a few words from Walter Russell Mead

Ruminating about the growing problem of student loans - here

" a college’s financial aid office can’t really be trusted any more than a used car salesman can be trusted to explain the credit products his company offers.
"Nanny staters worry about what size sodas we are drinking and how much salt a restaurant is putting on our fries, but nobody seems to care much about a generation of young people signing their futures away based on limited information."
Celebrating a typically American response to the rising cost of doctor's visits - here
Walgreens just became the first chain store to offer diagnosis and treatment services for chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.......Care at places like Walgreens and CVS is as much as 30-40 percent cheaper than the same care at traditional doctors’ offices and 80 percent cheaper than an emergency room visits. And it’s not only cheaper; it will also help to expand access to care as the demand on doctors’ time grows under Obamacare. 
Observing Pope Francis, the miracle worker - here
Jesus began his ministry by turning water into wine. Pope Francis has started his with an equally astounding feat: winning over the editors of the New York Times, who have published a raft of fawning stories highlighting Francis’s papal humility.


thanks Todd

Friday, April 5, 2013

This one is for Skip..........well ok, Jetboy too..........

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

For the finest in music, do visit Jetboy and His Dog Skip

Hey, I resemble that remark....................

thanks jonco

Rick Platt............................

If some future administration creates The Chief Manufacturing Evangelist position, I will be nominating Rick Platt for the job.  An Ohio guy through and through (ok, he's a Steelers fan.  Nobody 's perfect), no one understands the positive role of manufacturing in Ohio's past and future better than Rick. No one advocates more for the expansion of  STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education in our schools.  No one is more into public/private partnerships to make the right things happen.   His performance in his current role as President and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority has been exemplary.  Our whole community has benefited from his labors.  Father of tripletts and an advocate for Black Hand Gorge, Rick also finds the time to run a must-read blog.   Here, here, here and here are some of his recent posts on manufacturing.

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

Jan Bradley..............................Mama Didn't Lie

If only I had known this then...............

"The problem is that the world world doesn’t revolve around your grades. The world world relies on the same skills boys have been developing the whole time they have been getting sent to the principal’s office."

A wee excerpt from a very interesting Penelope Trunk post about -among other things - gender differences, differing definitions of housework, and re-aligning educational expectations.  Do read it.

Accepting the win-win only............................

Cultural Offering shows how it is done.   Sometimes you just have to change those silly rules.

Ed. Note:  I've added a new "label," creating a category for "Hall of Fame posts" found around the Blogoshpere.  This is my first entry.  Feel free to send suggestions.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

With Paul Desmond on sax...............

Dave Brubeck.....................Take The "A" Train

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

On the morning of March 12, 1970, in Hialeah, Florida, Harry F. Guggenheim set his signature on his last will and testament.  Two months later, in New York City, he altered the will with a first codicil.  With these two documents he provided for the distribution after his death of his share of the largest fortune ever amassed by a Jewish family in America, and the largest family fortune ever made from mining and metallurgy in history.
-John H. Davis, The Guggenheims:  An American Epic


"Leadership requires great aristocratic families with long traditions of administration and rule; old ancestral lines that guarantee for many generations the duration of the necessary will and the necessary instincts."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

This quote is a frontispiece quote used by John Davis in his book The Guggenheims: An American Epic.  The Oracle Google is unwilling to divulge the quote's origin.  I am neither a Nietzsche expert nor a fan.  It just doesn't sound like something I would have thought he would say.  Wikipedia says Nietzsche enjoyed using "irony."  Maybe that's it.  Regardless, it has been a long, long time since I've posted a quote I disagree with more than this one.  Just saying.  Makes me want to replay Buster Kilrain's scene from Killer Angels, where his is talking with my hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain:


Walter Russell Mead notices the true up-side to hydraulic fracking:

The sweet scent of cheap gas is luring manufacturing back to the United States. 

American government got out of the way of innovative drilling companies and allowed the shale boom to take off. Europe took the opposite tack, choosing to stick to its green policies and snub shale. As a result, natural gas prices in the US are a quarter of what they are in Europe. And as industry departs, unemployment in the Euro zone is hitting a record high. That’s yet another failure that can be laid at the feet of Europe’s greens.

Full post is here.  Other recent Mead fracking posts here, here, and here.  Now if they can just figure out a way to recycle and clean the waste water.........

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

Beach Boys...........................Surfin USA

You purists out there obviously noticed that the video dates to 1964.  The song landed as #2 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1963.  The audio isn't great on this one, but I liked the video.  For better sound, go here.


Business looks good for the hard-working Guanciale Group.  Get the full picture here.

You're gooder 'n that..............

This path leads to awesome. 17.5+ million views can't be wrong.

thanks maggie

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

keep the dime.............................

Jim Croce....................................Operator

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

William Ewart Gladstone was born in Liverpool at the end of 1809.  When, just over half a century later, he had introduced the pattern-setting budget of 1860, Walter Bagehot recorded this description of him: 'Ah, Oxford on the surface, but Liverpool below.'  Bagehot, founder of the Economist, was in many ways the nineteenth century's best substitute for Dr Johnson.  He could aphorize at the drop of a hat, and often with wisdom.  But was he right on this occasion?  Gladstone undoubtedly became a great Oxonian, an accomplished scholar in his youth, a member of Parliament for the University for seventeen years in middle age, and towards the end of his life its most famous ornament.  The town of his birth, on the other hand, faded into the background while he was still a very young man.  Did he nonetheless remain 'Liverpool below'?
-Roy Jenkins, Gladstone:  A Biography

Now, a few words from Mr. Gladstone......

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) was a scholar, author, orator, economist, free-trade advocate, and a first rate politician.  Over a sixty year career, he served as as Britain's Chancellor or the Exchequer four times and as Prime Minister an unequaled four separate times.  To quote Joseph Schumpeter,  "there was one man who not only united high ability with unparalleled opportunity but also knew how to turn budgets into political triumphs and who stands in history as the greatest English financier of economic liberalism, Gladstone..".   You can read more about him here.  A few of his quotes are here:

I am certain, from experience, of the immense advantage of strict account-keeping in early life. It is just like learning the grammar then, which when once learned need not be referred to afterwards.

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome. 

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.

As the British Constitution is the most subtile organism which has proceeded from the womb and the long gestation of progressive history, so the American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off by the brain and purpose of man.

Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.

National injustice is the surest road to national downfall.

It is the duty of government to make it difficult for people to do wrong, easy to do right.

The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all the physicians of all the countries in the world.

A rational reaction against the irrational excesses and vagaries of scepticism may, I admit, readily degenerate into the rival folly of credulity.   To be engaged in opposing wrong affords, under the conditions of our mental constitution, but a slender guarantee for being right.

Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home.

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.

Just a wee bit more from Gladstone.......

As excerpted from Wikipedia, so you know it is true:
At a speech at Blackheath on 28 October 1871, Gladstone warned his constituents against social reformers:
...they are not your friends, but they are your enemies in fact, though not in intention, who teach you to look to the Legislature for the radical removal of the evils that afflict human life...It is the individual mind and conscience, it is the individual character, on which mainly human happiness or misery depends. (Cheers.) The social problems that confront us are many and formidable. Let the Government labour to its utmost, let the Legislature labour days and nights in your service; but, after the very best has been attained and achieved, the question whether the English father is to be the father of a happy family and the centre of a united home is a question which must depend mainly upon himself. (Cheers.) And those who...promise to the dwellers in towns that every one of them shall have a house and garden in free air, with ample space; those who tell you that there shall be markets for selling at wholesale prices retail quantities—I won't say are imposters, because I have no doubt they are sincere; but I will say they are quacks (cheers); they are deluded and beguiled by a spurious philanthropy, and when they ought to give you substantial, even if they are humble and modest boons, they are endeavouring, perhaps without their own consciousness, to delude you with fanaticism, and offering to you a fruit which, when you attempt to taste it, will prove to be but ashes in your mouths. (Cheers.)[47]

And just in case you thought Gladstone was infallible, here is a beauty:

 We may be for or against the South. But there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an Army; they are making, it appears, a Navy; and they have made — what is more than either — they have made a Nation... We may anticipate with certainty the success of the Southern States so far as regards their separation from the North.

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

The Chiffons........................He's So Fine


Nicholas Bate, with his Seven S Spring Clean, offers the wonders of serendipity.  Sent me off to see what else I could (quickly) find.

"3. Serendipity: boost the number of great but unexpected things happening in your life. Work hard, do great things, build your network, listen to-but do not bow to-your critics, stay off the easily and well trodden tracks, help others. And serendipity will support you."
-Nicholas Bate

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, 
and realize that what you've found is more suited to 
your needs than what you thought you were looking for.
-Lawrence Block

Self-sown flowers provide a lot of serendipity, which is 
one of the reasons people garden. When they come up,
 it's a delight.
-Renee Shepherd

Vital lives are about action. You can't feel warmth unless 
you create it, can't feel delight until you play,can't know 
serendipity unless you risk.
-Joan Erickson

Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. 
Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear 
creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises.
-Rita Golden Gelman

Life is full of surprises and and serendipity. Being open to un-
expected turns in the road is an important part of success. If
you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful
twists and turns. Just find your next adventure-do it well,
enjoy it - and then, not now, think about what comes next.
Condoleeza Rice

Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked.
-Elizabeth Berg

When love feels like magic, you call it destiny. When destiny
has a sense of humor, you call it serendipity.

If there are no miracles then we need to find another word
for the existence of life – the existence of you and me – on
earth. Call it a gift from spirit (God or god in whatever
form works for you), serendipity, happenstance or plain good
fortune. I invite you to look at your life as if it were a miracle.
To treat your life in any other way seems to me to be a
terrible waste of your unique presence on this planet.

-Robert White

Serendipity is when you find things you weren't looking for
because finding what you are looking for is so damned

Erin McKean

Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and
discovering a farmer's daughter.

-Julius Comroe Jr. 

Well, OK..........................


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

love you so...............

Chicago Transit Authority.....................I'm A Man

The wonder of it all...................

So, I'm reading Chapter 5 in Paul Johnson's Darwin: Portrait of a Genius.  It opens  with the November 22, 1859 publication of  The Origin of Species, and therein Johnson mentions two other books, published earlier in 1859, that helped smooth the way for Origin.  The first was John Stuart Mill's Essay on Liberty.  The second - "Samuel Smiles's Self-Help, a bestseller that soon was to winch up a record sale of 220,000 copies, was a salutary tale of how able, industrious, and dedicated people rose to wealth and fame:  how the fittest not only survived but prospered."
     Having more than a few "self-help" books on the shelves, I admit surprise over never having heard of Samuel Smiles.  The Oracle Google immediately corrected that deficiency.  The Wonder That Is Amazon soon thereafter sent me, free - via Kindle, my very own copy of Self-Help.  Amazing.

Samuel Smiles   by Sir George Reid circa 1875

So says Samuel Smiles...............

Samuel Smiles             by   George Reid  1891

"Mere political reform will not cure the manifold evils which now afflict society. There requires a social reform, a domestic reform, an individual reform."

"The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted."

"'Heaven helps those who help themselves' is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigour and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless."

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."

"No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober."

"Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step."

"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery."

"Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever."

"Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side. Dr. Johnson has said that the habit of looking at the best side of a thing is worth more to a man than a thousand pounds a year. And we possess the power, to a great extent, of so exercising the will as to direct the thoughts upon objects calculated to yield happiness and improvement rather than their opposites."

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

Steve Lawrence........................Walking Proud

A manifesto for my generation............

It is warming up here in Ohio..............

Getting close to golfing season.  Even non-golfers can enjoy this one.  My two favorites happen around 1:30-1:32 mark.  I suspect injuries occurred in the making of this film.   Enjoy

Monday, April 1, 2013

Carry on..........................

Blood, Sweat & Tears...........And When I Die

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

In the spring of 1987, not long after celebrating by seventy-third birthday, I took my helicopter out to follow the scenes of my childhood.  I went by myself, the way I often fly when there is something I want to see.  Helicopters are noisy and sometimes hard to handle, but they can take you exactly where you feel like going.  You can land on a flat rock only ten feet by ten feet far out in the sea, or tuck into a garden behind the house of a friend.  On that spring day I wanted to learn what remained of the world in which I was raised.
-Thomas J. Watson, Jr., Father Son & Co:  My Life at IBM and Beyond

Fun with helicopters.....................

A few quotes attributed to Thomas Watson, Jr...

“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.” 

"The little things we do - or fail to do - often testify louder than the loudest statements of our intentions."

“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost. ” 

“The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm.” 

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It'­s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn'­t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that'­s where you will find success."

“Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use. ” 

"Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time."

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”

Wiki on Thomas Watson the son is here.
Wiki on Thomas Watson the father is here.
Wiki on IBM is here.
(Time Magazine cover is from March 28, 1955)

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

Ruby & The Romantics..............Our Day Will Come

A special message from the Mighty E............

We interrupt your day, and ask you to click on this link.

Eclecticity, where the whimsical is routine.  Just remember - a day without E. is like a day without sunshine.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Yvonne Elliman................I Don't Know How To Love Him

An Easter Verse.......................

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 

3  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

4  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

5  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

The Holy Bible
King James Version
Luke 24: 1-5

photo via 

Exercising the highlighter.................

Just picked up a copy of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile:  Things That Gain from Disorder.   At first glance, I thought he was talking about my desk.  You mean it's not about me? Oh.  Anyway, just reading the prologue made me reach for the yellow highlighter.  Here is a sample of eye-catchers:

"we are largely better at doing than we are at thinking"

"This is the tragedy of modernity:  as with neurotically overprotective parents, those trying to help are often hurting us the most."

"...the largest fragilizer of society, and the greatest generator of crises, absence of  'skin in the game.' "

"Life is more, a lot more, labyrinthine than shown in our memory - our minds are in the business of turning history into something smooth and linear, which makes us underestimate randomness."

"You get pseudo-order when you seek order; you only get a measure of order and control when you embrace randomness."

"It is of great help that Mother Nature - thanks to antifragility - is the best expert at rare events, and the best manager of Black Swans; in its billions of years it succeeded in getting here without much command-and-control instruction from an Ivy League-educated director nominated by a search committee."

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

Bob Dylan...................Man of Constant Sorrow

This little tune is known as an "American folk song."  It is suggested that maybe it was written in the early 1900's or maybe the late 1880's.  Dylan first recorded it in 1961.  I was not watching, but the folks at YouTube suggest that this video is from Dylan's first TV appearance.  The year is 1963.  The venue is not stated.

He was scheduled to perform first on the Ed Sullivan show but, according to Wikipedia:

Bob Dylan was slated to make his first nationwide television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 12, 1963, and intended to perform "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", a song he wrote lampooning the John Birch Society and the red-hunting paranoia associated with it. During the afternoon rehearsal that day, CBS officials told Dylan they had deemed the song unacceptable for broadcast and wanted him to substitute another. "No; this is what I want to do", Dylan responded. "If I can't play my song, I'd rather not appear on the show." He then left the studio, rather than altering the act.

According to this source:

18. Dylan's first major U.S. TV appearance was on "The Steve Allen Show" in early '64.

Who knows?