Friday, August 18, 2017

William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Read by Oliver Álain Christie


“As You Like It” 2/7
by William Shakespeare 

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”


Read by Oliver Álain Christie

Chet Raymo, “In The Morning Of The World”

“In The Morning Of The World” 
by Chet Raymo

“We knew the morning was special when we saw the blue meadow. Oh, yes, we knew - Bailey, Greg and I - that the grass in the meadow beyond the trees was green, but on that particular morning, with sunlight streaming aslant through honey-colored leaves, the meadow was indisputably, undeniably, stop-in-your-tracks-and-take-a-deep-breath blue. And in some corner of our minds - as happens to all who attend the world and write - we scribbled mental notes: morning light, honey dew, blue meadow.

I've introduced Greg and Bailey on this site before, two exceptional young people, seniors at the college, who love to write, and who asked last spring if they might join me in a semester-long exploration of the natural world. The implicit deal was this: I might bring to them something of my long experience putting words to paper, and they would share with me youth, enthusiasm, and senses not yet dulled by what the writer Virginia Woolf called the gray, nondescript "cotton wool" of everyday life.

So there we were, after a week of dull rain and cloudiness, walking the early morning trails of Borderlands State Park, watching the sun breathe color into fall foliage. At that early hour we had the place mostly to ourselves, except for an artist who had set up her easel by the side of the path to catch on canvas a world transformed by morning tricks of radiance. We followed the artist's gaze, along the split rail fence, past fields so green they were blue, to the old caretaker's house half hidden in a pool of light. "It's an Andrew Weyth sort of morning," said Bailey, and we looked again and saw that she was right.

Each of us, as we walked, daubed onto the canvases of our imaginations the things we saw: sunlight cascading through the trees, casting zebra stripes of gold across the path; the red berries of the matrimony bush hanging like tiny lanterns beneath the locust tree; the trickling murmur of the brook growing louder as we made our way across the dam that holds back its flow; the great beech tree and glacial boulder - things that manage to stand alone.

In an essay published after her death, Virginia Woolf wrote about the special "moments of being" that sometimes interrupt the cotton wool of everyday life. One of those moments occurred as she was looking at a flower in a garden at St. Ives, in England. It was an ordinary plant with a spread of green leaves. She looked at the flower and said, "That is the whole." It had suddenly occurred to her that the flower was part of the earth, part of everything else that was. The realization came, she said, as a hammer blow, and from it emerged a philosophy: Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern. The whole world is a work of art and we are part of it.

It would be easy to dismiss this revelation as so much sentimentality, but Virginia Woolf was anything but sentimental. Many of her moments of being brought with them a peculiar horror and physical collapse. For her, the recognition that we are at one with the world could be a source of both exhilaration and despair.

Which is why it was so important for me to be there with Greg and Bailey, two young people in the morning of the world. It's not that they don't understand as well as I that every dawn contains a shadow of those hours of darkest night when we lay awake and sift through shades and specters - the grim scaffolding of sorrow and death that nature uses to construct all that is beautiful and good. But for them the shadows are as insubstantial as the wind that whispers in the trees, or so it seems to me. Which is why I latch onto their optimism, their joy, their conviction with Thoreau that "only that day dawns to which we are awake."

Virginia Woolf's interest in the connectedness of things was not that of a mystic, but of a writer. "We are the words," she wrote, describing the experience of the flower. "We are the music; we are the thing itself." And that was what we sought, three writers walking there in that Weyth sort of morning - the music, the thing itself, the connectedness. We live in a world that sometimes seems shattered into isolated parts, a shrapnel of incoherence. We seek wholeness. We thrive on those moments of being when the cotton wool melts away and we sense the completeness of things. Wholeness, wrote Woolf, means that the world has lost its power to hurt."

(In this essay I have drawn upon words, phrases and insights from Greg's and Bailey's notes, made shortly after our walk, which they were kind enough to share with me. It is a collaborative effort. - Chet)

The Daily "Near You?"

Aarhus, Midtjyllen, Denmark. Thanks for stopping by!

"How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble”

"How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble”
by Scott Adams

"History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for. I’ll teach you what to look for.

A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.

But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. They appear to be irrational, but in ways that are hard to define. You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what. It just looks frickin’ crazy.

The reason you can’t easily identify what-the-hell is going on in the country right now is that a powerful mass hysteria is in play. If you see the signs after I point them out, you’re probably not in the hysteria bubble. If you read this and do NOT see the signs, it probably means you’re trapped inside the mass hysteria bubble.

Here are some signs of mass hysteria. This is my own take on it, but I welcome you to fact-check it with experts on mass hysteria.

1. The trigger event for cognitive dissonance: On November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

2. The Ridiculousness of it:  One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis are “fine people.” Crazy stuff. If you think those examples don’t sound crazy - regardless of the reality - you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

3. The Confirmation Bias: If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, you probably interpreted President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville - which was politically imperfect to say the least - as proof-positive he is a damned racist.

If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble you might have noticed that President Trump never campaigned to be our moral leader. He presented himself as - in his own words “no angel” - with a set of skills he offered to use in the public’s interest. He was big on law and order, and equal justice under the law. But he never offered moral leadership. Voters elected him with that knowledge. Evidently, Republicans don’t depend on politicians for moral leadership. That’s probably a good call.

When the horror in Charlottesville shocked the country, citizens instinctively looked to their president for moral leadership. The president instead provided a generic law and order statement. Under pressure, he later named specific groups and disavowed the racists. He was clearly uncomfortable being our moral lighthouse. That’s probably why he never described his moral leadership as an asset when running for office. We observe that he has never been shy about any other skill he brings to the job, so it probably isn’t an accident when he avoids mentioning any ambitions for moral leadership. If he wanted us to know he would provide that service, I think he would have mentioned it by now.

If you already believed President Trump is a racist, his weak statement about Charlottesville seems like confirmation. But if you believe he never offered moral leadership, only equal treatment under the law, that’s what you saw instead. And you made up your own mind about the morality. 

The tricky part here is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.
or…
2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.
or…
3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.
or…
4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

One of those narratives is less crazy-sounding than the others. That doesn’t mean the less-crazy one has to be true. But normal stuff happens far more often than crazy stuff. And critics will frame normal stuff as crazy whenever they get a chance.

4. The Oversized Reaction: It would be hard to overreact to a Nazi murder, or to racists marching in the streets with torches. That stuff demands a strong reaction. But if a Republican agrees with you that Nazis are the worst, and you threaten to punch that Republican for not agreeing with you exactly the right way, that might be an oversized reaction. 

5. The Insult without supporting argument: When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own. 

For the past two days I have been disavowing Nazis on Twitter. The most common response from the people who agree with me is that my comic strip sucks and I am ugly.

The mass hysteria signals I described here are not settled science, or anything like it. This is only my take on the topic, based on personal observation and years of experience with hypnosis and other forms of persuasion. I present this filter on the situation as the first step in dissolving the mass hysteria. It isn’t enough, but more persuasion is coming. If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble, you might see what I am doing in this blog as a valuable public service. If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, I look like a Nazi collaborator. How do I look to you?"

"Life's Funny..."

"Life's funny, chucklehead. You only get one and you don't want to throw it away. But you can't really live it at all unless you're willing to give it up for the things you love. If you're not at least willing to die for something- something that really matters- in the end you die for nothing."
- Andrew Klavan

"Only One Question..."

"There's only one question that matters, and it's the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, and learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It's the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take?"
- Karen Marie Moning

“Total Eclipse”

“Total Eclipse”
by James Howard Kunstler

“First they came for the statues….

What do you know, long about Wednesday, August 16, 2017, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal) discovered that the United States Capitol building was infested with statues of Confederate dignitaries. Thirty years walking those marbled halls and she just noticed? Her startled announcement perked up Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ) who has been navigating those same halls only a few years. He quickly introduced a bill to blackball the offending statues. And, of course, the congressional black caucus also enjoyed a mass epiphany on the bronze and stone delegation of white devils.

I’d like to hear to hear an argument as to why the Washington Monument should remain dedicated to that vicious slave-driver and rebellious soldier, and indeed the name of the city that is the federal seat of government. Or the District of Columbia (after Columbus, who initiated the genocide of Native Americans). Or America, cribbed out of Amerigo Vespucci, the wicked Florentine cartographer who ascertained that the place called Brazil today was not the east coast of Asia but actually a New World - and so all our troubles began!

Well, there has been a lot of idle chatter the past half-century about the root causes of this-and-that, and it seems that we have located one at last. I expect that scientific studies out of our best universities will soon confirm that occult transmissions from the statue of Jefferson Davis (a double-devil named after an earlier devil) are responsible for the murder rate in Chicago.

Just as empires tend to build their most grandiose monuments prior to collapse, our tottering empire is concocting the most monumentally ludicrous delusions before it slides down the laundry chute of history. It’s as if the Marx Brothers colluded with Alfred Hitchcock to dream up a melodramatic climax to the American Century that would be the most ridiculous and embarrassing to our posterity.

In the meantime, many citizens await Monday’s spectacle of a total solar eclipse in parts of the country. They apparently don’t realize that another eclipse has been underway for months: the total eclipse of reality across the entire landscape of the USA. Now that has been an event to behold, not just some twenty-minute freak of astronomy. What’s being blacked out is the perilously fragile condition of the financial system - a great groaning Rube Goldberg contraption of accounting fraud, grift, statistical deceit, and racketeering that pretends to support the day-to-day activities of our national life.

For months, the recognition of this oncoming financial monster has been blocked by the hallucination of gremlins from the Kremlin infiltrating the recent presidential election. But just as that mirage was dissolving, along comes the treacherous invasion of the Confederate statues. It begins to look like the final piece of the puzzle in the Deep State’s quest to eject Donald Trump from the oval office. His response to the deadly statue situation (“…why not Washington and Jefferson…?”) was deemed so obtuse and unfeeling that even the rodents of his own nominal Republican Party want to jump his ship of state.

So, the set-up could not be more perfect! The country will now get down to the business of a months-long 25th Amendment circle-jerk at the very moment that the financial system flies apart. The damage from the financial clusterf**k will be much more real, and much worse, than anything that might be spun out of the anti-statue crusade hogging the headlines today. It will be interesting to see whether the old legacy media even reports on it as it happens, or whether they will cook up new and more bizarre entertainments to distract the public from what might be the ultimate swindling of a lifetime.”

“Trump Takes a Beating”

“Trump Takes a Beating”
by Bill Bonner

"In professional wrestling, scriptwriters always include what they call a ‘Holy Sh*t!’ moment. That’s when one of the stars takes a hit so brutal or so fantastic that the fans yell: ‘Holy sh*t!’ Donald J Trump, a wrasslin’ fan, took a ‘Holy Sh*t!’ blow on Tuesday.

Jerks and jackasses: We will set the stage as follows: The struggle now breaking out in the US is a battle of the gods. On one side are the gods of the red states. Nationalism, protectionism, cronyism, and ‘conservativism’, with their shock troops and fringe yahoos - the Ku Kluxers, Wallace Democrats, and other almost comic throwbacks (called by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a ‘collection of clowns’) dressed in camouflage and sporting symbols of various Aryan splinter groups so sharp and sinister that even the Nazis couldn’t stand them.

On the other side are the gods of the blue states - globalism, zombiism, diversity, and ‘liberalism’. They, too, have their looney tunes.

Yes, Donald Trump was right: There are jerks and jackasses on ‘many sides’.

On the left are enforcers, too - militant whackos of the ‘Antifa’ (anti-fascist) brigades, dressed in black with masks like the 1930s fascists they say they oppose, radicalized LGBTQQ, Black Lives Matter, man-hating feminists, and tenured professors from the 1960s, who voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein and now cling desperately to Foucault and Botox, loudly chanting in favor of diversity and free speech as they push anyone who disagrees with them off the stage.

Yes, poor Donald is right about a lot of things. He is a skilled street fighter, a practiced brawler, a lusty scrapper. But he is woefully unprepared for the battle now upon him.

Big, brash, and bold: The president spent his entire career building his brand - big, brash, bold…and somewhat buffoonish. Like a professional wrestler, he was able to charm the crowds with his brawling style and winner image. Pick fights. Say outrageous things. Stay in the public eye. Slam his opponents with scurrilous or irrelevant epithets (‘Little Marco’ Rubio… ‘Bleeding From a Facelift’ Mika Brzezinski…etc.).

Substance didn’t really matter. Trump steaks? Trump University? Trump Airlines? How could any human being possibly be good at so many different things? Of course, he couldn’t. He just had to be good at building the Trump brand. And that meant sticking to his swashbuckling, confident style. He was even able to take his brand all the way to the White House, using the same techniques on the campaign trail that he used on his reality TV show.

And once he took office, the plan was simple. He would surround himself with the top guys from the Deep State - the moneymen and the gunmen, the Goldman guys and the generals, and he would go on being Trump. But something went wrong.

Mr Trump seems genuinely perplexed by it. The economy is strong, he says. He claims to have ‘created 1 million new jobs,’ which is certainly a lie. But who cares? Consumer and business confidence are at cyclical highs. The stock market remains near an all-time high, surely a sign that things are as good as they possibly could be…and that the future will be even better.

And he, the president, is doing exactly what he is supposed to do - distracting the crowds while zombies feed upon them and cronies pick their pockets. People should be happy, he thinks. They should be enjoying the show. Instead, the battle of the gods grows more intense and mean.

And the mainstream media - which was supposed to play along by engaging in pointless, showy squabbles with the president - has turned vicious.

Battle of the gods: Then, on Tuesday, Mr Trump seemed to forget his own lines. The president was giving a press conference on infrastructure. It was meant to highlight how his administration was ripping out the regulations that stymie the economy. (No explanation was offered as to how business could be so good even as it labors under such crushing restrictions.) Instead, the press wanted to catch him up in the battle of the gods, and he couldn’t resist the trap.

For the first time, we felt sympathy with the president. He seemed genuinely interested and earnest, trying to explain the recent violence in Charlottesville as he saw it. Yes, he had waited (he claimed) because he thought he should withhold judgment until he had more facts… yes, there were bad people in Charlottesville…but the Unite the Right protesters weren’t all bad… yes, once you start tearing down other people’s statues - along with their heroes, gods, and myths - you are asking for trouble… and yes, there are intolerant provocateurs on the other side, too.

All of those things seem sensible. Probably even true. But the brand suffered. Where was the winner?

On the ropes: ‘The Donald’ was no longer sparring with the press; he was being clobbered by it. He was no longer the fleet-footed impresario, taunting reporters, and his growing list of enemies. Now, he was on the ropes, a cut above the eye and slightly disoriented, trying to protect himself from the blows by digging into the substance of the charges against him.

It was as though he were taking the job seriously - uncharacteristically trying to understand what was going on and resisting facile prejudices rather than just rolling with the punches and letting the press misinform the people according to its professional principles. It was as though he had forgotten the script. He had taken off his wrasslin’ outfit. He had on a suit and tie and was trying to not just act presidential, but be presidential, and to help people understand that there was more going on than the simple narrative coming from the Fourth Estate.

But it was too late for that. Reporters weren’t interested in the facts, or what they really meant. Even New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg was backing away from her own eyewitness account. She had seen the far-left demonstrators who ‘seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right’ and reported that she ‘saw club-wielding Antifa beating white nationalists’. Later, when she realized that she had offended her gods, she amended her story, saying the leftists were ‘standing up to hate’.

By this time, no one, with the apparent exception of the president of the United States, was interested in what really happened. The press was on to a different story - Trump himself. They pummelled him with questions, they jabbed him with accusations, each one trying to deliver the haymaker punch that would land him a job at The Washington Post. The president fought back, sometimes ably. He avoided a knockout…but ‘Holy sh*t!’

More to come…

"How It Really Is"

"Everyone Has A Plan..."

- Mike Tyson

About your plans, ANTIFA... stick around.

"Dear Alt Left ANTIFA"

Hat tip to Jim Quinn,

"America’s Second Civil War"

"America’s Second Civil War"
by Pat Buchanan

“They had found a leader, Robert E. Lee - and what a leader! No military leader since Napoleon has aroused such enthusiastic devotion among troops as did Lee when he reviewed them on his horse Traveller.” So wrote Samuel Eliot Morison in his magisterial “The Oxford History of the American People” in 1965.

First in his class at West Point, hero of the Mexican War, Lee was the man to whom President Lincoln turned to lead his army. But when Virginia seceded, Lee would not lift up his sword against his own people, and chose to defend his home state rather than wage war upon her. This veneration of Lee, wrote Richard Weaver, “appears in the saying attributed to a Confederate soldier, ‘The rest of us may have descended from monkeys, but it took a God to make Marse Robert.'”

Growing up after World War II, this was accepted history. Yet, on the militant left today, the name Lee evokes raw hatred and howls of “racist and traitor.” A clamor has arisen to have all statues of him and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen pulled down from their pedestals and put in museums or tossed onto trash piles.

What has changed since 1965? It is not history. There have been no great new discoveries about Lee. What has changed is America herself. She is not the same country. We have passed through a great social, cultural and moral revolution that has left us irretrievably divided on separate shores. And the politicians are in panic.

Two years ago, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the giant statues of Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson on Richmond’s Monument Avenue “parts of our heritage.” After Charlottesville, New York-born-and-bred McAuliffe, entertaining higher ambitions, went full scalawag, demanding the statues be pulled down as “flashpoints for hatred, division, and violence.”

Who hates the statues, Terry? Who’s going to cause the violence? Answer: The Democratic left whom Terry must now appease. McAuliffe is echoed by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate in November to succeed McAuliffe. GOP nominee Ed Gillespie wants Monument Avenue left alone. The election is the place to decide this, but the left will not wait.

In Durham, North Carolina, our Taliban smashed the statue of a Confederate soldier. Near the entrance of Duke University Chapel, a statue of Lee has been defaced, the nose broken off. Wednesday at dawn, Baltimore carried out a cultural cleansing by taking down statues of Lee and Maryland Chief Justice Roger Taney who wrote the Dred Scott decision and opposed Lincoln’s suspension of the right of habeas corpus.

Like ISIS, which smashed the storied ruins of Palmyra, and the al-Qaida rebels who ravaged the fabled Saharan city of Timbuktu, the new barbarism has come to America. This is going to become a blazing issue, not only between but within the parties.

For there are 10 Confederates in Statuary Hall in the Capitol, among them Lee, Georgia’s Alexander Stephens, vice president to Jefferson Davis, and Davis himself. The Black Caucus wants them gone. Mount Rushmore-sized carvings of Lee, Jackson and Davis are on Stone Mountain, Georgia. Are they to be blasted off?

There are countless universities, colleges and high schools like Washington & Lee named for Confederate statesmen and soldiers. Across the Potomac from D.C. are Jefferson Davis Highway and Leesburg Pike to Leesburg itself, 25 miles north. Are all highways, streets, towns and counties named for Confederates to be renamed? What about Fort Bragg?

On every Civil War battlefield, there are monuments to the Southern fallen. Gettysburg has hundreds of memorials, statues and markers. But if, as the left insists we accept, the Confederates were traitors trying to tear America apart to preserve an evil system, upon what ground do Democrats stand to resist the radical left’s demands? What do we do with those battlefields where Confederates were victorious: Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville?

“Where does this all end?” President Trump asked. It doesn’t. Not until America’s histories and biographies are burned and new texts written to Nazify Lee, Jackson, Davis and all the rest, will a newly indoctrinated generation of Americans accede to this demand to tear down and destroy what their fathers cherished.

And once all the Confederates are gone, one must begin with the explorers, and then the slave owners like Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison, who seceded from slave-free Britain. White supremacists all. Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay of Kentucky and John Calhoun must swiftly follow.

Then there are all those segregationists. From 1865 to 1965, virtually all of the great Southern senators were white supremacists. In the first half of the 20th century, Woodrow Wilson and FDR carried all 11 states of a rigidly segregationist South all six times they ran, and FDR rewarded Dixie by putting a Klansman on the Supreme Court.

While easy for Republicans to wash their hands of such odious elements as Nazis in Charlottesville, will they take up the defense of the monuments and statues that have defined our history, or capitulate to the icon-smashers?"
"In this Second American Civil War, whose side are you on?”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 8/18/2017"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 8/18/2017"
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

"The propaganda mainstream media and democrats are now trying to paint President Trump as a racist when he clearly is not. The Democrats are out of ideas, and the only thing they have to offer are lies. The Democrats also want to erase our history and attack the Founding Fathers as racists. The Democrat Party, which has all the earmarks of communism, wants to tear up the Constitution because it was written by racists, according to them. It’s one lie after another from the party of liars and cheaters that does not have a single idea to help the average American. This is not going to work either.

If you watch the propaganda media, you would think the only evil people at the recent Charlottesville protest that turned violent were the KKK and Nazis. In fact, the counter protesters, such as Antifa, were equally violent, reckless and evil. Both sides came to this so-called peaceful protest with bats, pepper spray, shields and helmets. There was no way this was going to remain peaceful if both sides are ready to hit one another over the head with a baseball bat. Trump was spot on when he said both sides were to blame, and there is evidence that some of the counter protesters to the KKK were paid by people like George Soros. The media is only reporting one side to try to paint Trump a racist to score political points, which is the definition of propaganda. Don’t fall for the MSM con, they all lie and are approved and paid to do so.

The Fed revealed they are worried about the economy and are very reluctant to raise interest rates. Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net says the Fed knows all too well the economy is much weaker than they would like to admit and is probably not going to raise rates. Mannarino says he thinks they will continue to melt down the dollar and melt up the stock market until it pops. Mannarino says keep an eye on the bond market for signs of trouble. He says that’s where a crash will start."

"Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."

Musical Interlude: Elton John, “Your Starter For”

Elton John, “Your Starter For”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar have a hook-like appearance in wide-field images. But this mosaicked close-up, constructed from Hubble Space Telescope and European Southern Observatory data, follows the galaxy's structure in amazing detail. 
Click image for larger size.
Obscuring dust lanes, young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions surround a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars. The sharp image data also reveal more distant background galaxies seen right through NGC 2442's star clusters and nebulae. The image spans about 75,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2442.”

"You Cannot Run Away..."

"You cannot run away from weakness;
you must some time fight it out or perish;
and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"

- Robert Louis Stevenson

The Poet: gk thomas, “Wretched of the Earth”

“Wretched of the Earth”

“Poor kids,
wretched of the earth,
why should we feed you?
Why shouldn't we empty our sea of
bullets into your swollen bellies or
poison you with toxic chemicals
or depleted uranium?
Why should we care,
we who are living well?

Where is it written in stone
that you deserve better?
Or that we are not animals
subject to the law of nature:
kill or be killed?

You suspect us of being cruel,
but we are kind.
Our god tells us so.
It is yours that lies.

So you cry at night,
shivering in the cold
or sell yourselves
for a slice of bread.
What is that to those of
us who are living well?”

- gk thomas 

"Is the Lost City of Atlantis on Google Maps?"

"Is the Lost City of Atlantis on Google Maps?"
by Nick Eaton


“It's rectangular. It certainly looks man-made. It's off the coast of North Africa. It's deep underwater. And it's on Google Maps. Could it be the ancient lost city of Atlantis? That's what Bernie Bamford, a British aeronautical engineer, wondered after he spotted an unusual pattern of rectangles on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, The Telegraph newspaper reports. About the size of Connecticut, the pattern looks an awful lot like an aerial grid map of a city.
Click image for larger size.
A section of the ocean floor off of North Africa has a curiously man-made look to it. Check the site out on Google Maps. Here's an excerpt from The Telegraph report: “Atlantis experts said that the unexplained grid is located at one of the possible sites of the legendary island, which was described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. According to his account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 B.C.

Dr Charles Orser, curator of historical archaeology at New York State University told The Sun that the find was fascinating and warranted further inspection. You can read more about the intriguing find at The Telegraph's website. Check out the Atlantis Wikipedia page for more info on the mythical city.”

Donovan, “Atlantis”

Free Download: Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger"

"The Mysterious Stranger"
by Mark Twain

"An unfinished novella that Mark Twain worked on periodically from roughly 1890 until his death in 1910. The body of the work is a serious social commentary addressing Twain's ideas of the Moral Sense and the ''damned human race.'' Published posthumously in 1916 by Twain's biographer Albert Bigelow Paine.

“…I must go now, and we shall not see each other any more." “In this life, Satan, but in another? We shall meet in another, surely?” Then, all tranquilly and soberly, he made the strange answer, “There is no other.” A subtle influence blew upon my spirit from his, bringing with it a vague, dim, but blessed and hopeful feeling that the incredible words might be true - even must be true. “Have you never suspected this, Theodor?” “No. How could I? But if it can only be true –” “It is true.”

A gust of thankfulness rose in my breast, but a doubt checked it before it could issue in words, and I said, “But - but - we have seen that future life - seen it in its actuality, and so –” “It was a vision - it had no existence.” I could hardly breathe for the great hope that was struggling in me. “A vision? - a vi –”

“Life itself is only a vision, a dream.” It was electrical. By God! I had had that very thought a thousand times in my musings! “Nothing exists; all is a dream. God - man - the world - the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars - a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space - and you!” “I!”

“And you are not you - you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. I myself have no existence; I am but a dream - your dream, creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me... I am perishing already - I am failing - I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever - for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!"

“Strange! That you should not have suspected years ago - centuries, ages, eons, ago! - for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane - like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented Hell - mouths mercy and invented Hell - mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! 

You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks - in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no Hell. It is all a dream - a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought - a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!" He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true.”

Freely download Mark Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger”, in many formats, here:
- http://www.manybooks.net/titles/twainmaretext02mtmst11.html

The Daily "Near You?"

Marietta, Georgia, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"Those Who Were Seen Dancing..."

“...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be 
insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Nietzsche

"Perception: Making Life Yours"

"Perception: Making Life Yours"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize the hidden potential for fulfillment in every event. There is no secret recipe for happiness and contentment. The individuals who move through life joyously have not necessarily been blessed with lives of abundance, love, success, and prosperity. Such people have, however, been blessed with the ability to take the circumstances they've been handed and make them into something great. Our individual realities are colored by perception--delight and despair come from within rather than without. Situations we regard as fortuitous please us while situations we judge inauspicious cause us no end of grief. Yet if we can look at all we have accomplished without dwelling on our perceived misfortune and make each new circumstance our own, the world as a whole becomes a brighter place. A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize and unearth the hidden potential for personal and outer world fulfillment in every event, every relationship, every
duty, and every setback.

The universe is often an unpredictable and chaotic place, and the human tendency is to focus on the negative and assume the positive will care for itself. But life can be no more or no less than what you make of it. If you are working in a job you dislike, you can concentrate on the positive aspects of the position and approach your work with gusto. What can you do with this job that can turn it around so you do love it. When faced with the prospect of undertaking a task you fear, you can view it as an opportunity to discover what you are truly capable of doing. Similarly, unexpected events, when viewed as surprises, can add flavor to your existence. By choosing to love life no matter what crosses your path, you can create an atmosphere of jubilance that is wonderfully infectious. A change in perspective is all it takes to change your world, but you must be willing to adopt an optimistic, hopeful mind-set.

To make a conscious decision to be happy is not enough. You must learn to observe life's complexities through the eyes of a child seeing everything for the first time. You must furthermore divest yourself of preconceived notions of what is good and what is bad so that you can appreciate the rich insights concealed in each stage of your life's journey. And you must strive to discover the dual joys of wanting what you have. As you gradually shift your perspective, your existence will be imbued with happiness and contentment that will remain with you forever."

"Our Time..."

"How are you going to spend your day today? The key word being spend. Our time is one of the most precious gifts in our lives. Once today is over, that's it. Think about how you really want to spend your day. Tomorrow, today will be history. It's your life, your history. How do you want to write the history of your life today?"
- James A. Murphy