Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

An odd coupling..............?

Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton.............Baby It's Cold Outside


A child waiting.......................

“I know what I really want for Christmas.   I want my childhood back.   Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try.  I know it doesn't make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway?  It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now.  In you and me.  Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.” 
-Robert Fulghum

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Peace on earth......................?

“What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?” 

-Salman Rushdie

Shower him with love love love........

Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds.............................Christmas Song


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

     When the name Hilary Clinton popped up on my phone in February 2017, I realized hers was a call I'd stopped waiting to receive.  On Election Day, the tradition in politics is that candidates personally thank the people who helped most in the campaign.  Win or lose, in the days that follow, the candidate extends that circle of gratitude to members of the party and the donors.  Bernie Sanders called me on November 9, 2016, and Joe Biden, too.  The vice president even came to our staff holiday party.  But I never heard from Hilary.

-Donna Brazile,  from her introduction to Hacks:  The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House

Friday, December 8, 2017

On trusting people.......................

..............................................................................over thirty


... not telling people what's really going on so as to protect them from the worries of life is like letting your kids grow into adulthood believing in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

-Ray Dalio,  Principles


8.   How you wish to be in five years starts today.

-from a list of eleven, courtesy of Nicholas Bate


     Your faithful blogger grew up in Philadelphia, the son of the manager of the Union League of Philadelphia.  The League was founded in 1862 to raise money and support both the Union cause and the policies of President Abraham Lincoln.  In many ways, over the years, the League became a shrine to Lincoln.  So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that, to my young eyes, Lincoln was a martyred hero and the Union cause just.  Apparently, that opinion was not held by all.
      Decimus et Ultimus (tenth and last) Barziza, born a Virginian, but raised a Texan, had a different outlook.  We all benefit from reading different outlooks.
      Barziza enlisted in the Confederate army as part of Hood's Brigade in 1861.  He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, spent a spell as a prisoner of war, escaped captivity by jumping from moving train, wandered around the North while making his way to Canada, eventually finding passage from Halifax to the Bermudas, and then finally back to the South.  He wrote a narrative of his experiences.   It is an entertaining tale and I recommend it to you.  Interspersed with his story, he vents a bit and shares his feelings about the war and the North (the story was written and published before the war ended.  The copy pictured above came from our library system).  He had no idea that the Union cause was just.  To wit:

     The desire for power and influence is so strong and influential an incentive, that we need not go beyond this to account for the intense hostility of the democrats of the Administration. The truth is that they all affect a fanatical glorification for the "old flag," and cry out "Union."  And the Southern people would have been much wiser and better off at the outset, if they had made up their minds that neither foreign intervention nor Northern sympathy would ever aid them in their struggle for independence, but upon their own strong arms and stout hearts depended entirely their success.  Resistance, fierce and bloody, has been and ever will be the means of a nation's regeneration from vassalage; and he who lulls himself into inactivity in these vain hopes, will find too late that national and political sympathy and aid are the offsprings of policy and interest.  In this world the strong are ever willing to help the strong;  the rich make the rich richer; and with this feeling of self-interest so intimately blended with our individual selves, we may expect it to be the chief spring of action amongst nations.  There is one other power, however, when it takes possession of the breast, displaces all others, and that is fanaticism;  it raised a Cromwell and deluged a kingdom in blood;  it erected the guillotine and was made drunk with gore;  it pervaded the Northern mind and brought forth war, and is now reveling in a bloody carnival.  Time was when we wished no harm to these Northern people, when all we asked was non-interference with us;  their future prosperity and glory would not even have been displeasing to us.  But for more than three years we have been the objects of their persecution and resentment.  They have at last extinguished every feeling of friendship;  they have provoked our entire population to desperation;  every tie is forever severed, and they have succeeded in turning us into mortal and irreconcilable foes.  There will be no need to make the Southern boy, like Hannibal, swear eternal enmity to the Yankee race.  The blood of their murdered fathers, and the tears of their outraged mothers, will call aloud for vengeance; and whether in our own  national armies or in the ranks of foreigners, defending out own homes or carrying the fires of war in their midst, coming years will yet witness the fruits of the seed they have sown.  Hereafter their honor will be our shame, their prosperity our loss, and in every condition of life, generations yet to come will keep alive those fires of hate they have taken so much pains to kindle.  If we must eventually fall, let us pull down that country and that people in the general wreck.  If ruin must come, let it be universal as regards that nation - loyalist and rebel, friend and foe, "in one red burial blent."    Better, far better sell ourselves to foreign despots, than be conquered provinces of these people.  Let us welcome the bonds of French Empire, or the chains of the Russian Autocrat, rather than bow our necks to the bigoted descendants of the Puritans.  If we fall, America shall fall with us, and rivers of blood shall smoke upon the red altar of Mars.  Let no people have a name and existence who shall stand up and call themselves our conquerors.  And when the worst comes to the worst, welcome destruction, so our foe be strangled in our death-grapple!
   But to my narrative.   During my stay...

The minor fall and the major lift...........

Jennifer Nettles..........................................O Holy Night/Hallelujah


 O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night divine, O night, O night divine.

 Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
All chains shall he break, everyone is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
With all our hearts we praise his Holy name!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On "common sense"........

     People are irrational.  If something feels like it should work, most of us conclude that it does.  We don't have the time or resources to do scientific inquiry on every choice we make.  So we use our "common sense" and our "gut feeling" to get by.  That's the typical worldview.  But the Persuasion Filter says your common sense and gut feelings are little more than magical thinking.
     Most of us believe we have common sense.  And yet we disagree with one another about what that looks like.  That's all you need to know about common sense.  The illusion is that you have this thing called common sense and many others do not.  The Persuasion Filter takes it one step further and says that no one has common sense.  According to the filter, sometimes we make good choices and sometimes we don't.  When things go wrong, we blame the environment or bad luck, or we imagine it was a rare misfire by our common sense.  When things turn our in our favor, we believe it is because we have common sense and it served us well.  In both cases it is no more than rationalization after the fact.

-Scott Adams, as excepted from Win Bigly:  Persuasion In A World Where Facts Don't Matter

Every mother's child.......................

Nat King Cole..................................................The Christmas Song