Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An earlier version...................................

Neil Sedaka..........................................Stairway To Heaven

Mission Impossible................................

"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them."
-Baruch Spinoza

Can't wait to see how it all turns out...........

One of Sunday's posts linked to Walter Russell Mead opining on the "free fall" of American foreign policy in the Middle East.  On the surface, I have difficulty understanding our current foreign policy.  All I believe for certain is that our current president's predecessor's decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam will be looked at by historians fifty years from now as one of the all-time great blunders.  The execution of said decision certainly has led to the Mother of All Unintended Consequences.  What a mess.  The voices raised against the president's treatment with Iran are loud and persuasive.  But, I'm not convinced they offer a better suggestion.  Feel free to call me confused about the Middle East;   I won't be offended.  One of the reasons I just purchased The Fall of the Ottomans was to add some contextual knowledge.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  In the meantime, I'm just going to go along with Roger Cohen in his recent NYT op-ed:

"I like the current inconsistencies in President Obama’s Middle East policy."

A metaphor...........................................?















courtesy of

Reining..........................................

Some paragraphs just make you smile.  Really,  Bill?

We liberals always talk about how the right needs to rein in its crazies but the left has some crazy reining in to do too. Unless you think I am creating a false equivalency, I'm not. Because on the right, unlike the left, they have actually been able to carve out a place for their crazies; unfortunately, that place is elected government.
-Bill Maher, as excerpted from here.

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

The Shangri-Las......................I Can Never Go Home Anymore

A "feel-good tingle"..........................

..............we are in a sharing mood, out here in the Heartland.

Can I get an Amen..................................?

3. Media voices, politicians and others that create panic for a living need to own responsibility for the way their actions dramatically magnify the cost we all pay.

-As excerpted from Seth Godin's post, "The Panic Tax."

She is on a hot streak...................

.............................................................get your aphorisms here.

Speaking of finding a way out............................

....................the whys and wherefores of escape are right here.

stage setting here

On being careful what you wish for...............






















via

Monday, March 30, 2015

Circa 1957, with a dash of Dick Clark.................

The Diamonds......................................................Little Darlin'

the more....................................................























“The more I live, the more I regret how little I know”
-Claude Monet

"I think I've found a way out of here"............





























Understanding the secret formula starts here.

One page at a time....................................


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

Lovin' Spoonful.................................Do You Believe In Magic

The future looks bright.................................

















“Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, 'It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” 
-Attibuted to, but probably not said by, Babe Ruth

More than you might have wanted..................

........................to know about Rube Goldberg can be found here.


















Money quote here:
“I would never let the muddy waters of retirement swallow up my old carcass while my mind was still functioning and my hands were free of the stiffness of arthritis and inertia. I was only eighty years old. I had to keep busy.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No mountain so high.............................

The Sister Act.........................................I Will Follow Him

Something beautiful...................................





















Stained glass depiction of Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

No, but....................................














Walter Russell Mead take a peek at the "free fall in the Middle East" and our "mainstream media."
It still doesn’t want to admit that the “smart diplomacy” crowd has been about as effective at making a foreign policy as the famous emperor’s smooth-talking tailors were at making a new suit of clothes. But it’s getting harder and harder to find anybody willing to gush about how snazzy the President looks in the sharp foreign policy outfit that he’s sporting around town.

Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!........

The History Blog finds a treasure trove from 1957.  Bless their hearts!



The above artwork was part of the creation of this beauty..........


The right questions.............................

Questions, well-phrased and intentional, are golden arrows which fly to the heart of our goals and objectives.
When you ask the right question to the right person at the right time … well, things just seem to go more smoothly then, don’t they




















Oversupply.........................................









via

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

The Byrds....................................................Turn! Turn! Turn!




To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late!

A "refined cornucopia".................................

...............seems like a good description of Cultural Offering.

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

Between 1908 and 1913, the Ottoman Empire faced grave internal and external threats.  Starting with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the political institutions of the centuries-old empire came under unprecedented strain.  Domestic reformers sought to bring the empire into the twentieth century.  European imperial powers and the newly emergent Balkan states went to war with the Turks in pursuit of Ottoman territory.  Armenian and Arab activists sought greater autonomy from the weakened Turkish state.  These issues, which dominated the Ottoman government's agenda in the years leading up to 1914, laid the foundations for the Ottoman Great War.

The aging Sultan Abdulhamid II convened his cabinet in a crisis session on 23 July 1908.  The autocratic monarch faced the greatest domestic threat of his rule in over three decades on the throne.  The Ottoman army in Macedonia - that volatile Balkan region straddling the modern states of Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia - had risen in rebellion, demanding the restoration of the 1876 constitution and a return to parliamentary rule.  The sultan knew the contents of the constitution better than his opponents.  One of his first measures on ascending the Ottoman throne in 1876 had been to promulgate the constitution as  the culmination of four decades of government-led reforms known as the Tanzimat.  In those days he was seen as an enlightened reformer.  But the experience of ruling the Ottoman Empire had hardened Abdulhamid from reformer into absolutist.

-Eugene Rogan,  The Fall Of The Ottomans:  The Great War in the Middle East

Ripened................................................

      No man can learn what he has not preparation for learning, however near to his eyes is the object.  A chemist may tell his most precious secrets to a carpenter, and he shall be never the wiser, - the secrets he would not utter to a chemist for an estate.  God screens us evermore from premature ideas.  Our eyes are holden that we cannot see things that stare us in the face, until the hour arrives when the mind is ripened;  then we behold them, and the time when we saw them not is like a dream.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay Spiritual Laws

Free........................................

... Oh, Lord, save us from the ones who have the answers!  Save us from the righteous!  Save us from the do-gooders!
      Confusion is our salvation.  For the confused, there is hope.  Hang on to your confusion.  In the end it is your best friend, your best defense against the deathliness of others' answers, against being raped by their ideas.  If you are confused, you are still free.
-David Hawkins, Letting Go:  The Pathway of Surrender

Just wondering.......................................

............................................if the blog would help - or hurt?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Help me make the most of freedom...........

Tears For Fears...................Everybody Wants To Rule The World



Welcome to your life; there's no turning back
Even while we sleep we will find
You acting on your best behavior
Turn your back on mother nature
Ev'rybody wants to rule the world
It's my own desire, it's my own remorse
Help me to decide. Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
There's a room where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I'll be right behind you
So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Ev'rybody wants to rule the world
I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world
Say that you'll never, never, never, need it
One headline, why believe it?
Everybody wants…

Forty years ago................................

Grand Funk Railroad........................Some Kind Of Wonderful

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

The Byrds...................................................Mr. Tambourine Man

Sixty years ago.......................................

Frank Sinatra...................................................Learnin' The Blues

Friday, March 27, 2015

Have I taken the time......................................

Robert Cray........................................I Forgot To Be Your Lover



William Bell's original version is here

A worthy goal..............................................

"Other people are trying to act smarter.  I'm just trying to be non-idiotic."
-Attributed to Charlie Munger

The common thread...................................




      Like the Number 1, God is an irreducible and undivided unity, a singularity that is the simplicity behind every complexity.  This oneness is the foundational and undivided mystery within the cosmos, the harmony centering human communities, the common thread uniting diverse cultures and nations, and the interior peace of an undivided mind.
-Timothy Carson,  The Square Root of God

art via Doug

The slippery slope.....................................

The rest of the population should worry about the future too. The politicians, bureaucrats, chief police officers and corporate leaders of tomorrow are at universities which teach that free debate and persuasion by argument are ideas so dangerous they must be banned as a threat to health and safety. Unless we challenge them in the most robust manner imaginable, whatever kind of country they grow up to preside over is unlikely to be a free one.
-as excerpted from this Nick Cohen essay

thanks glenn

Still rings true.............................................

     Society never advances.  It recedes as fast on one side as it grows on the other.  It undergoes continual changes;  it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific;  but this change is not amelioration.  For every thing that is given, something is taken.  Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay Self-Reliance

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

The Impressions............................................People Get Ready

Eventually, hopefully.....................................


A fateful choice...........................................


















“Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.” 
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Some of us schedule it................................


















“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” 
-attributed to Winnie-the-Pooh

Like the Energizer bunny..................

via