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Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category

mattis-and-tillerson

James Mattis and Rex Tillerson

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the adults in the room of Trump.

I don’t necessarily agree with the political orientation of the two men, and their agendas, but I sense that they are men of principle and character. They are the adults in the current administration and it gives me some degree of comfort to know these two men are in the positions they are in, Defense and State.

They will not do anything stupid just because “the boss said so.” They will stand up to Trump when necessary. They will not be the lackeys of Trump or anyone else.

They are now working for a petulant, puerile, self-obsessed and basically ignorant president.

The only question I have is: How long will they last?

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trump-rambling

— from Colin Taylor, Occupy Democrats

Obviously, our president cannot form a clear thought in answer to a question and communicate that thought. He an embarrassment to our nation every time he speaks.

On the good side, we’re going to see a lot of love. Okay?

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New Words

  • Gaslighting
  • Narcissism
  • Bigly
  • Emoluments
  • Terrific
  • Nepotism
  • Alternative Facts
  • Breitbart

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Obama 2016

national-prayer-breakfast-obama-2016

Trump 2017

national-prayer-breakfast-trump-2017

For search purposes:

And on this occasion, I always enjoy reflecting on a piece of scripture that’s been meaningful to me or otherwise sustained me throughout the year. And lately, I’ve been thinking and praying on a verse from Second Timothy: ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’

— President Obama

 

Thank you as well to Senate Chaplain Barry Black, for his moving words. And I don’t know Chaplain whether or not that’s an appointed position — is that an appointed position? I don’t even know if you’re Democrat or if you’re Republican, but I’m appointing you for another year, the hell with it — we had tremendous success on The Apprentice … and they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster … and I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings, OK?

— President Trump

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Twenty sixteen is nearly gone
Good riddance, I can’t wait for new
It’s really time that we move on
Of happy thoughts there were just few.

We’re stuck in endless war and strife
With no way out anytime soon
The world needs help and cherish life
But we elected a buffoon.

Let there be hope, we now need light
And thoughts that we look forward to
Let our days ahead be bright
Start twenty seventeen anew!

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The US Horror-Clown

For those of you who are able to read German, here is a column from a paper (Taz) in Germany, musing about Christmas, terror, the world’s problems and an outlook for a better future on a gray, cold and foggy morning in Berlin. I have underlined one sentence for you:

Despair over the US Horror-Clown

Take a wild guess.

horror-clown

[click to enlarge]

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Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms such as you have named…but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.

— Robert Heinlein

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Wisdom on Our Democracy

The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

— Henry Louis Mencken, a prominent newspaperman and political commentator, Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

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Cracks

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

— Leonard Cohen

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What This Means

trump2

Here is a great article in Current Affairs.

text

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After You Lose

You know the feeling after the home team is eliminated from going into the finals: “Well, we’ll do better next season.”

So it is with me.

Bernie Sanders would have won. I was a Bernie supporter and donor. He was forced out by Clinton. The country is the worse for it now. Hindsight is 2020.

Speaking of 2020:

Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders is already 75 years old. He’ll be 79 in 2020. I don’t think he’ll be able to do a successful run for the presidency then.

But then there is Elizabeth Warren. A woman. Squeaky clean, sharp as a razor, gutsy as a bulldog, and motivated.

Maybe I’ll see a woman president in my lifetime after all. Warren 2020. Where do I send my money?

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There are 42 immigrants on the Forbes 400 list. That’s just over 10%. Most of them have a very high “self-made score.”

For instance, Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, is 40 years old and worth over $8.8 billion. That’s more than twice the net worth of Donald Trump, at $3.7 billion.

Koum immigrated from the Ukraine with his mother in 1992 due to the political and anti-Semitic environment there. His mom worked as a babysitter. Koum was 16 years old and he got a job as a cleaner in a grocery store. They got an apartment through government assistance, and bought groceries with food stamps. Then Koum went to San Jose State, definitely not ivy league, and then got a job at Yahoo! where he worked for nine years before he started WhatsApp.

The American system has supported this immigrant in the beginning, yes. Cynics will lament that our tax dollars paid for penniless immigrants. They did. However, Koum created American jobs and American wealth, for himself, and for many others. He made many people millionaires.

The fact that 10% of the Forbes 400 are immigrants, and that many of them came to this country with a single suitcase, no money, two hands to work menial jobs, and an indomitable belief in themselves and the American Dream, attests to the value of immigrants in America.

Nothing can be more misguided than the nonsense we’re hearing spouted every day now. Go get the Forbes 400 edition of 2016. It provides many inspiring stories.

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The Final Box

Yesterday I was asked to fill out a survey, I guess for the first time since I turned 60 a couple of months ago.

the-final-box

For the first time I had to check “the final box.”

 

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showerhead1

The shower at our house is “unsatisfying” so I went online and searched for shower heads. Finally I found one, I ordered it, paid for it, and waited.

And waited.

When I contacted the company they said there was some “mixup with my address.”

It turns out, they were not allowed to ship this item to California.

I had to have it shipped to our company office in New York, and then had my colleagues forward it to me in California.

I got it today. It’s a 2.5 gallons per minute shower head. The old “unsatisfying” one is also a 2.5 gallons per minute. But this one is disallowed.

I wonder if the bathroom-appliance-police will knock on my door now when they read this?

Regulation in California is ludicrous. Private citizens can’t buy the shower heads they want. They are trying to force us to conserve water. Yet, for months, I had noticed that at 10:00pm there was this loud splashing going on a couple of houses down the road. After I heard it a few times, I went out with a flashlight and checked. One of the sprinkler heads was broken and it shot a stream of water as thick as my thumb some 30 feet into the air and then down on the road. This fountain went off for months, until I finally broke down and reported it to the association. It’s been fixed, but there is another one in the bushes across the street that I have noticed goes off at about 3:30am on a regular basis.

Nobody seems to care about the enormous waste of water in our automated sprinklers.

But I have to use contraband to take a satisfying shower.

Screwed up, this is.

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Hitler is often credited with the saying that if you say a big enough lie, and you repeat it frequently, it will be believed.

Die Große Lüge ist eine Propagandatechnik, die in der Propagierung einer Lüge besteht, die aufgrund ihrer Größe und Unverschämtheit von vielen geglaubt wird, da „an die Möglichkeit einer so ungeheuren Frechheit der infamsten Verdrehung“[ nicht geglaubt werden kann.

— Metapedia

Here is the original source of this statement from Mein Kampf. For those of you that can’t read German, it’s rambling and convoluted.

„[…] daß in der Größe der Lüge immer ein gewisser Faktor des Geglaubtwerdens liegt, da die breite Masse eines Volkes im tiefsten Grunde ihres Herzens leichter verdorben als bewußt und absichtlich schlecht sein wird, mithin bei der primitiven Einfalt ihres Gemütes einer großen Lüge leichter zum Opfer fällt als einer kleinen, da sie selber ja wohl manchmal im kleinen lügt, jedoch vor zu großen Lügen sich doch zu sehr schämen würde. Eine solche Unwahrheit wird ihr gar nicht in den Kopf kommen, und sie wird an die Möglichkeit einer so ungeheuren Frechheit der infamsten Verdrehung auch bei anderen nicht glauben können, ja selbst bei Aufklärung darüber noch lange zweifeln und schwanken und wenigstens irgendeine Ursache doch noch als wahr annehmen; daher denn auch von der frechsten Lüge immer noch etwas übrig und hängen bleiben wird – eine Tatsache, die alle großen Lügenkünstler und Lügenvereine dieser Welt nur zu genau kennen und deshalb auch niederträchtig zur Anwendung bringen.“

— Metapedia

It says: Make your lie big, and bold, and repeat it often, and people will believe it, because they can’t fathom that you might just make it all up.

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