Thursday, July 27, 2017
Number one: the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is both a precious, unfathomably beautiful gift, and it’s impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. It’s been a very bad match for those of us who were born extremely sensitive. It’s so hard and weird that we sometimes wonder if we’re being punked. It’s filled simultaneously with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, desperate poverty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together. I don’t think it’s an ideal system.
-Anne Lamott, by way of View From the Ledge
"One of the puzzling questions about the financial crisis is why none of the executives of the major firms were prosecuted for what some legal experts believe was widespread fraud."
-as culled from here
Wouldn't prosecution of fraud have been a better solution to the problem than Dodd-Frank? Just wondering.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Look deeper through
do not be afraid when the stars
collide towards the darkness,
the most beautiful things
begin in chaos.
Crash and burn.
Let it all fuse into one.
Let it all collide
the way two people exchange
when they meet for the
very first time.
-Robert M. Drake
...........to reclaim the mantle of being the party "for the people," would be to vow to stop civil forfeiture. Megan McArdle weighs in. This whole concept is madness. What is Sessions thinking? I can think of no one I would trust with this sort of power.
But the Founding Fathers were not unaware that bad people would sometimes get away if prosecutors had a high burden of proof to meet. They were not unaware that some of those people would go on to do further bad things. What they understood, and Sessions apparently does not, is that there are even worse things than crime, and one of them is a government that is allowed to steal our liberty like a thief in the night.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The dark-haired man stared at the wall in front of him. His chair, like the rest of the furniture, was pleasing to the eye but not made for comfort. The style was Early American, the theme Spartan, as if those about to be granted an audience with the occupant of the inner office should reflect on their awesome opportunity in stern surroundings.
-Robert Ludlum, The Chancellor Manuscript
John McCain delivers a listen-worth speech. Lots of great quotes. One of my favorites, as he describes Senate deliberations, "they haven't been overburdened by greatness lately." Do give it a listen.
All she needed
was a minute
to fall in love
with all the stars,
With all the night
and all the day.
With the way the world
took her breath,
and the way
her life took a different
and after that night
it all just changed.
that is all she needed.
That night she inspired me.
That night I, too,
-Robert M. Drake
Monday, July 24, 2017
Why am I telling you all this? Because I fear that, except for a few of us remaining graybeards and some immigrants from the world’s manifold tyrannies and anarchies, most Americans are too young to remember, even vicariously, the ills that the world can inflict and the effort it takes to withstand and restrain them. They have studied no history, so not only can they not distinguish Napoleon from Hitler, but also they have no conception of how many ills mankind has suffered or inflicted on itself and how heroic has been the effort of the great, the wise, and the good over the centuries to advance the world’s enlightenment and civilization—efforts that the young have learned to scorn as the self-interested machinations of dead white men to maintain their dominance. While young people are examining their belly buttons for microaggressions, real evil still haunts the world, still inheres in human nature; and those who don’t know this are at risk of being ambushed and crushed by it.
-Myron Magnet, as culled from this essay
........................................Glenn Reynolds weighs in:
In the meantime, Sessions is doing exactly the wrong thing by doubling down on asset seizure. The message it sends is that the feds see the rest of us as prey, not as citizens. The attorney general should be ashamed to take that position. And, really, he should just be gone.
We crave ease, but stimulation is what really makes us happy. We try to subtract at work, do less, check out. These are signs of burnout. We don't need to subtract; we need to add novel challenges to create engagement.
-Eric Barker, Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong
“It has long been recognized that getting an education is effective for bettering oneself and one's chances in the world. But a degree and an education are not necessarily synonymous.”
-Jane Jacobs, Dark Age Ahead
From an Amazon customer review of Dark Age Ahead comes this passage: In her definition, a "dark age" is one in which a culture loses its past knowledge, falling into a mass amnesia in which life grows more miserable and short under the influence of quacks, fear and superstition, with each resulting failure driving people further into desperation, isolation and further self-destructive action.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
While Blaine was determined to keep Stalwarts out of Garfield's administration, he knew that he had to resist the temptation to rush in as Sherman had. Conkling and his men were formidable adversaries. To succeed, an attack would have to be both clever and quiet. "They must not be knocked down with bludgeons," Blaine brooded. "They must have their throats cut with a feather."
-Candice Millard, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President
“our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people’s intolerance, which is intolerable. And, unlikely as it sounds, this has now become the highest, most rarefied form of multiculturalism...."
-Mark Steyn, as quoted here
Although he argued that he should "take the stump and bear a fighting share of the campaign," traveling from town to town and asking for votes was considered undignified for a presidential candidate. Abraham Lincoln had not given a single speech on his own behalf during either of his campaigns, and Rutherford B. Hayes advised Garfield to do the same. "Sit crosslegged," he said, "and look wise."
-Candice Millard, Destiny Of The Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
Ed. Note: History has shown that Lincoln wasn't totally against giving speeches. See also the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
"Mind and heart. Materialistic values cannot give us peace of mind. So we really need to focus on our inner values, our true humanity. Only this way can we have peace of mind - and more peace in the world."
-the Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
Even severed as it was from the rest of the body, the hand was majestic. Sixteen feet tall, with long, tapered fingers holding aloft a twenty-nine-foot torch, it sat on the banks of a small lake in Philadelphia in the summer of 1876. It was all that existed of the Statue of Liberty, and it had been shipped in pieces from France for the United States' Centennial Exhibition, a world's fair celebrating the country's first one hundred years. Ten years later, the complete figure, rising more than a hundred and fifty feet from its pedestal and with a bright skin of copper, would be installed in New York Harbor to the awe and admiration of the world. but in 1876, the Statue of Liberty, like the young country to which it would be given, was still a work in progress. A symbol of promise, perhaps, but not yet of triumph.
-Candice Millard, Destiny Of The Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President