But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us–to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves–
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress’d.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well–but ’tis not true!
And then we will no more be rack’d
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Matthew Arnold, The Buried Life
I think it is because I do what I want and I do what I believe in.
This is not always the easiest route, not always the path of least resistance, but it is the only path I allow myself to take. I have refused to sacrifice my integrity as a person or the integrity of my art to appease anyone, and incidentally, have had story-book success because of it.
I find it a travesty that I am compelling because of this – that it is rare and therefore inspiring to come across stories of success (and I don’t just mean money) from following one’s own road. Such choices should be cultivated, honored, and rewarded wherever and whenever they are made!
Yet instead, our society seems to prefer the oppression of individual spirit; prefers fear-mongering by those in power, whether that power comes in the form of a boss or a military unit or a parent; prefers insecurity masquerading as ‘informed intelligence’ over talent or originality.
It is our right and our duty as individuals to stand up to all that – to stand up as the most honorable and most powerful version of ourselves and LIVE.
Live right, live true, live now, and help anyone and everyone to do this as well, alongside us.
Happy New Year.
President Andrew Jackson warned the American people:
“The bold efforts the present bank has made to control the government, the distress it has wantonly caused, are but premonitions of the fate which awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment like it.
“You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out and by the eternal God I will rout you out.
“If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
The German people have taken a much more serious and suspicious tack toward the economic crash of 2009.
Dirk Kurbjuweit at Spiegel calls it The Broken Pact with the People:
Trust capitalism and shun government interference we were told.
But irresponsible bankers saw a chance to get rich quick and went for it.
Their failure has become ours — and the promise of a common good has evaporated along with faith in democratic capitalism.
This now routine equivalence between ‘Jew’ and ‘Israeli’.
Local government will see its revenues wither and eventually insolvency will force a radical re-thinking of government revenues, expenses and services.
Soon the wailing of states, cities and towns will be deafening. It’s already begun.
We must be very careful.
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski offered his expertise on the conflict in Gaza. During the interview he said to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough,
“You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it’s almost embarrassing to listen to you.“
The video is here. The quote is near the end of the interview.
American economic growth before Bush, the last 135 years.
About today, “the graph offers no information about the bewildering circumstances that contrived this mess.”
Here is a rare piece about meetings in the White House and the emergency session that took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on the day after the credit markets shut down.
The most important thing to remember is this, says David Lebovitz on the trials and comforts of Paris.
“Whenever someone approaches you, act like they’re bothering you.
“It’s a fine line and there’s a little dance you do in shops when you need assistance. First, you have to bother them, so they have to act bothered back.
“Then if they ask you a follow-up question, you need to act bothered back. Most of the time, even more so than they looked when you bothered them. You don’t want them to think you’re more important than they are, do you?
“So then they think that you being bothered by them is more important than them being bothered by you.
Of course, a “sky-high, billowy Vanilla Soufflé served with a warm pitcher of salted butter caramel” is no bother whatsoever. Seems to be out and out bribery. You think?
Found at Purposive Drift:
If there was a single service that the news media could perform right now, it would be to take a more responsible and balanced approach rather than adopting scare tactics and sensationalist headlines.
The less people live in fear the more they will be able to achieve.
“I’ve never known an election to create so much interest and transform people’s view of America again in a positive way.”
“Young people out in the middle of nowhere in Palestine have said to me, ‘They wouldn’t really elect a black man to the presidency,’ and I’ve said, ‘Well, I think they would.’ But they’ve been taught for so long that America is … what it actually isn’t. And that’s why this is an enormous moment. It thrills America’s friends and sort of confuses its enemies.”
“What matters is what matters to us.”
By the time I left work I had pages upon pages of ideas, notes and references; most of them scribbled down during sleepless nights, idle periods at my desk and on the train travelling to and from London. I also had a very simple idea – something so simple that it just had to be right:
In essence, it means that unless we are able to consciously experience something, then it doesn’t matter. That seems reckless, at best, but there was a mirror to this: because – and it became increasingly clear as I was writing the first part of the book – humans are being adversely affected, directly and indirectly by the actions of humanity.
If it could be made clear that it really was ourselves who matter most of all to us, it would be incontrovertible that we have to do something about the problems we have created.
It would entirely go against what it means to be human if we knowingly ignored what was happening.
In order to make it totally obvious that there was a lot more unsettling stuff going on than most of us realised, I then had to look into all sorts of different areas for evidence of the effects of our activities upon human beings: forget, for a moment, that species are being wiped out every day and that habitats are being destroyed; what was most astonishing of all was that almost everything we were doing was affecting something else at some scale or another, and it was coming back to bite us.
Whatever I read about, at every scale imaginable – bacteria, insects, birds, fish, trees, entire global ecosystems – it kept coming back with the same answer: we were causing our own demise.
The title was born: A Matter Of Scale.
Police informants had already infiltrated. A hidden camera and a microphone had already recorded meetings. Her phones were tapped early in Sarah Palin’s run for office. The mother of Bristol Palin’s beau sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after Sarah Palin was nominated.
The case involves 179 OxyContin tablets. A trooper’s affidavit reveals, as it’s said in the Washington Post, that Sarah Palin’s candidacy factored into the investigation with state officials delaying execution of a search warrant.
Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston were expecting their child December 18.
Growing list of Republicans charged with criminal activity.
Graft. Perjury. Voter fraud. At least 60 are charged as pedophiles.
Outright mania excluded.
Familiar with many many things, she can be elected merely because she will scorn our media.
The New York Times interviewers asked,
“Could you, for the sake of storytelling, could you tell us a little bit about that moment, like, where you were, what you said to [your husband] about your decision, how that played out?”
NYT: “What do you have against women’s magazines?”
CK: “Nothing at all, but I thought you were the crack political team here.”
interview transcript here
As costly and as dominant as it has become, is there one division of government not damaged?
More people in this country are getting away with murder.
FBI figures show that the homicide clearance rate, as detectives call it, dropped from 91 percent in 1963 — the first year records were kept in the manner they are now — to 61 percent in 2007.
It’s difficult to get a sense of scale with mere numbers. TVA is surveying the damage of more than 5 million tons of burnt coal and mud spilled over 3000 acres.
Notice how near to streams and wetland these pond levee were first built. Drinking water is an immediate concern but the damage will remain for decades and spread into dozens of jurisdictions.
Notice how far the mud flood has traveled from the power plant.
Notice how deep.
These photos are part of a thorough slide show at the Knoxville News Sentinel.
An aerial video is here that will also be surprising.
If there’s a chain gang needed, we can collect the crews on Wall Street.
Authorities are taking the conventional approach. Knoxville activists were detained by the Tennessee Valley Authority police for photographing the site, although it’s said they were scuttled off private ground.
Poison is never private.
Jonathan Kozol, way back in his first or second book, in the ’60s, noted that that those who believe USA schools are failures do not understand the true purpose of the schools. American schools function to ensure that as few children as humanly possible are able to escape the socio-economic niches for which they were born.
The true purpose of schooling in America is to imbue students with ‘virtues’ of obedience and passivity, while uprooting as completely as possible any inclination toward critique, skepticism or even mild curiosity.
As another noted education scholar, Joel Spring, put it (albeit somewhat harshly or indelicately) around the same time, USA schools are part of a national sorting system by which children are assessed according to their abilities to meet the needs of elites for manpower.
There’s a world of literature about ‘drop-outs’, but that term blames the victim.
Only 3 percent of kids’ meals served at fast-food restaurants meet federal guidelines.
Twenty-five percent of children aged 4 to 8 years consume fast food on a typical day. This is the first study to examine the nutrient quality of fast food meals in a major U.S. metropolitan market.
Fast-food companies are not required to sell nutritious meals. More than 65 percent sell too much fat. More than 75 percent are deficient in calcium, iron and vitamins.
“My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”
Carl Schurz was our 13th Secretary of the Interior.
“The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to “loving and faithfully serving his country,” at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.”
He fought to stop political appointments in government. Positions and promotions were based on merit, not politics and patronage, not ideology and lobbying. He propelled requiring a cause to be fired. He also pioneered forest preservation.
Speaking about a rule of honor in America, Carl Schurz said in 1898 [wiki]:
“But, surely, it should not, as our boyish jingoes wish it to do, swagger about among the nations of the world, with a chip on its shoulder, shaking its fist in everybody’s face.
“Of course, it should not tamely submit to real encroachments upon its rights.
“But, surely, it should not, whenever its own notions of right or interest collide with the notions of others, fall into hysterics and act as if it really feared for its own security and its very independence.
“As a true gentleman, conscious of his strength and his dignity, it should be slow to take offense.
“In its dealings with other nations it should have scrupulous regard, not only for their rights, but also for their self-respect.
“With all its latent resources for war, it should be the great peace power of the world. It should never forget what a proud privilege and what an inestimable blessing it is not to need and not to have big armies or navies to support.
“It should seek to influence mankind, not by heavy artillery, but by good example and wise counsel.
“It should see its highest glory, not in battles won, but in wars prevented.
“It should be so invariably just and fair, so trustworthy, so good tempered, so conciliatory, that other nations would instinctively turn to it as their mutual friend and the natural adjuster of their differences, thus making it the greatest preserver of the world’s peace.
“This is not a mere idealistic fancy. It is the natural position of this great republic among the nations of the earth.
“It is its noblest vocation, and it will be a glorious day for the United States when the good sense and the self-respect of the American people see in this their “manifest destiny.”
“It all rests upon peace.
“Is not this peace with honor? There has, of late, been much loose speech about ‘Americanism’. Is not this good Americanism? It is surely today the Americanism of those who love their country most. And I fervently hope that it will be and ever remain the Americanism of our children and our children’s children.”
Basically, there is some amount of irrationality in the system, but over time, as more and more people seem to be making money against the irrationality, more and more explanations are made for why that irrationality is actually rational. And since the irrational activity goes on for so long, it becomes nearly impossible for most people to really believe that things are so irrational. So, it’s not that there’s anyone who did anything wrong that needs to be blamed, so much as we need to blame ourselves, for not taking enough time to recognize that what seems irrational in the beginning actually is irrational.
I can hear the whispers at next year’s neighborhood holiday gathering now. “Oh, yes, that’s Nakedjen. And her seven husbands. Yes, seven husbands. I hear they spend all day wandering the house naked! She never allows them to wear clothes unless they’re going outside and sometimes not even then. Betty told me that she’s seen them over the back fence having a naked BBQ! I mean, really. Who does she think she is?”
Hello, I’m Nakedjen. I believe that relationships should be defined by the adults who actually participate in them.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
Current ways of doing business have contributed to climate change, resource depletion, habitat destruction, and increasing rates of cancer and other diseases. In contrast, clean technologies are products, services, and production processes that greatly reduce or eliminate negative environmental and health impacts, and use resources more responsibly. They reduce our exposures to toxins in our work, homes, and environment; reduce pollution, waste, energy, and water use; and provide good jobs, from entry level to executive.
Santa’s looking for all the help he can get and has outsourced the entire North Pole operation to Bangalore.
In an economic slump and a subprime mortgage crisis, it’s expensive caring for a workforce of elves and a herd of magical reindeer. “Dashing through the snow appears wasteful,” wrote Jon Methvan, “Certainly not a prudent act in uncertain times.”
The Bangalore work for one-quarter the cost of North Pole elves. The real cost savings is replacing the reindeer, but water buffalo won’t fly or dash or prance so Santa is mostly herding them down the street.
Now Amar, now Kalik, now Lakshmin and Dharmesh
On Vishnu, on Sandeep, on Rajiv and Mukesh
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall
Now go eat some hay. But not too much.
“You’d better watch out, get ready to cry, You’d better go hide, I’m telling you why ‘cuz Santa Claus will take you to hell. He is your favorite idol, you worship at his feet, but when you stand before your God He won’t help you take the heat. So get this fact straight: you’re feeling God’s hate, Santa’s to blame for the economy’s fate, Santa Claus will take you to hell.” – Westboro Baptist Church