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Archive for November, 2016

Few men are lacking in capacity; they fail because they are lacking in application.
   —  Calvin Coolidge
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On This Day In:
2015 Chip, Chip, Chip
2014 nom de plume
2013 The Real Reason
From The Book
2012 When Young
2011 14 Ways To A Better Judgement

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Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
   —  Henri Bergson
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On This Day In:
2015 Hell Toupée
2014 Corrected And Amended
2013 Too Few
2012 Three Characters
2011 Universal Payment
2010 Privatizing the TSA? (An old – and long – post, but still relevant!!)

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The true purpose of recreation should not be merely to amuse, not merely to afford pleasure, not merely to “kill time”, but to increase our fitness, enhance our usefulness, spur achievement.  Any form of recreation that impairs either our physical or mental efficiency does not recreate.  Real recreation quickens aspirations.
   —  B. C. Forbes
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On This Day In:
2015 One Truth – Done Well
2014 Now In Imagination, On The Other Hand…
2013 No Plan, No Map
2012 Singing About Love
2011 The Awesome Power Of Truth

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To the extent that people are willing to give of themselves, to devote themselves to pursuits beyond their own immediate calculations of self-interest, they tend to be more successful, to contribute more to society and to receive more benefits themselves.
   —  George Gilder
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On This Day In:
2015 Ambition
2014 More Branches To Climb
Just In Time — Happy Thanksgiving (2014)
2013 For And Against
2012 De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum
2011 Similar And Different
2010 Reminiscing
Differences

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I AM!!

When last I looked upon a mirror,
I wondered that indeed,
I do exist.
There I was,
In living color.
Yet, strangely not alive.
A reproduction of the shell
Within which, I am alone.
A prisoner. To my feelings —
Of love,
Of joy,
Of hope,
Of happiness,
and of the pervasive rapture
Of my aloneness;
There are none to share —
to totally understand.
Within my finiteness,
the universe is captured.
Within the universe,
my finiteness is insignificant.
And yet…  I AM!!
Against the scale of all that is,
I AM!!
Though locked within
this fragile shell,
My living consciousness
joyously proclaims
To the farthest reaches
of the void  —
I AM!!!
[The above poem was written back in 1980.  When one has the words, one shouts them to the universe.  You can find more of my poems on my “Poems” tab / page.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 Crab Feed
Happy Thanksgiving (2015)
2014 Beyond Proof
2013 Poor Students Of History
2012 Between Two Worlds
2011 Common Humanity
2010 The Last Two Olympians

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The road to growth, authenticity and empathy is not the road to happiness.  It is a path full of conflict, pain and even suffering.  But to eliminate these from life would be to deny the fullness and richness that life offers.
   —  Arthur Dobrin
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On This Day In:
2015 Go Deeper
2014 Intentional Mapping
2013 The Sweet Path
2012 Living Free And Abolition
Morning Wood
2011 I Resemble That Remark

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It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
   —  John Steinbeck
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On This Day In:
2015 Elections Have Consequences
2014 An Ear Of Happy Accidents
2013 Powerful Substitute
2012 Heroes Restored
2011 As You Should

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One can only grow so much all alone, before the need to say “we” overtakes you.  Yet, one may also only think of others for so long, and then your soul says, “Who really matters?” and you say, “I do!”  The conflict seems endless…  Man is by nature a social beast and yet, to have meaning, a life must be understood and learned from, which rarely happens without contemplation.  How much contemplation can be had during social interaction?
  —  KMAB
From a “Personal Note” in my journal, dtd: 19 Sept. 1980
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On This Day In:
2015 Alone Praying
2014 A Full Man
2013 Off Defending The Universe
Taking Precautions
2012 Never, Never, Never
2011 Testing 1, 2, 3

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This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly.  Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today.  This great Nation will endure, as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.  In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.  And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
From his first inaugural address
[The window of opportunity for national reconciliation on President-elect Trump’s administration is rapidly closing.  He seems, to me, to be making little progress in building a bridge and tremendous progress in expanding the chasm.  The promises (threats) he made to get elected will not be the actions needed to establish a positive historic legacy.  Yet, still I hope…   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 Done What You Could
2014 Impossible To Other Men
2013 Just In Case
2012 Isn’t This Just Pleasant?
2011 No Void In Sight

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The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is to resist the doubt, and the profoundest wisdom to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.
  —  Nathaniel Hawthorne
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On This Day In:
2015 Done What You Could
2014 Impossible To Other Men
2013 Just In Case
2012 Isn’t This Just Pleasant?
2011 No Void In Sight

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The following are my brief reviews of four documentaries I watched on Netflix…
Requiem for the American Dream  (2016)   —  movie / documentary review
This documentary is (more or less) a seminar about the consolidation of wealth in the hands of the few (1%) and the subsequent use of wealth to control the government and thereby use the government to increase their wealth.  The documentary presents the views of Noam Chomsky, an MIT emeritus professor who made his fame in the study of linguistics and philosophy.  Chomsky is a long-time “leftist”, but not in the traditional sense of Communist or Socialist, and more in terms of being pro-democracy, that is supporting the rule of the governed as opposed to the rule of the elite.  More specifically, the people should control the governmental (government and regulations) business environment, not the business’s (or the mega-wealthy).  I didn’t find much which was really new in this documentary, but then I have considered Chomsky’s positions previously and have long agreed with him.  If I have any problems with this film it’s that it is presented in a “relatively” dry (“academic”) format.  So, while I agree with Chomsky, the American public doesn’t seem to mind government of the elite, by the elite and for the elite – hence, the election of Donald Trump.  Final recommendation: highly recommended, particularly if you are angry about the state of the country and / or worried about your job / career and place in our economic class system.
Sneakerheadz  (2015)   —  movie / documentary review
A short (just over an hour long documentary) summary / description of people who obsessively purchase sports shoes.  I agree with one of the commentators – a young lady – who says (in effect): “If you grow up poor and wanting things, like name-brand shoes and clothes, when you grow up and have enough money to buy them, you do.  To excess…“)   As I watched, I recognized myself and realize that except constrained by money, I could / would otherwise fall into this “addition”.  Beyond the simple ego-boost of being able to get something you previously could not afford, there is an underlying message of people seeking a place in society by creating an image of themselves which they can project out to others.  Interestingly, it seems this message is learned at an early age and then becomes the goal of their (the Sneakerheadz) life.  There is also a strong message about societal values and the ability of marketing to influence those values.  Not an original idea, but I still found it interesting to hear it stated so openly in documentary about shoe collectors.  Final recommendation: highly recommended.
A Drummer’s Dream  (2010)  —  movie / documentary review
What happens when you take some of the greatest drummers in the world, put them in an isolated Canadian farmland with a bunch of kids and all the drum kits and money the drummers can bring together?  It seems you get smiles, effervescent passion and irresistible personality. Starring drummers: Nasyr Abdul Al-Khabyyr, Dennis Chambers, Kenwood Dennard, Horacio “El-Negro” Hernadez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mike Mangini and Raul Rekow, the documentary captures you with Rock, jazz, Latin fusion, and soul, but mostly it is about the drummers and their joy in playing…  And, did I mention smiles!  These musicians are driven by the beats of their hearts – full of love and joy of life.  Final recommendation: Highly recommended!  I found myself tapping my hands and feet for days after watching this.  Fortunately, my attention deficit disorder prevents me from becoming obsessive (in this way) or I’d still be drumming and trying to find / share their joy.  Come for the percussion, stay for the smiles…!
The Real Miyagi  (2015)    —  movie / documentary review
Back in the 1960’s, a young Japanese man came to America with little but an expertise in Martial Arts.  He subsequently went on to become an internationally recognized Martial Arts instructor and stunt back-up actor.  That man is Fumio Demura.  If you have seen any of the first four “Karate Kid” movies, you’ve seen sensei Demura in action (probably without realizing it). Pat Morita’s iconic sensei (Mr. Miyagi) in ‘The Karate Kid’ was based on sensei Fumio Demura and Demura was Morita’s stunt double in the action sequences.  I don’t mean based on Demura’s actual life, as Mr. Miyagi was a fictional Japanese-American character who fought in World War II.  Rather, Mr. Miyagi is based on the idea of a man perfecting (improving) himself using art – in Miyagi’s case it is Karate and Bonsai trees.  The documentary traces sensei Demura’s life and offers multiple tributes from his students which offer insight into the man behind the title “sensei”.  Final recommendation: strong if you have only a casual interest in Martial Arts, highly if you have a personal interest in Martial Arts or in historic Martial Artists.
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On This Day In:
2015 Just Like All The Others
2014 In My Own Vanity
2013 Filled With Words
2012 Lectio Auget Existentiae Meae
2011 Lied Lately?
2010 Born To Work At Faux News
Lost Again (Uh, Make That Still)
Qui Genus Humanum Ingenio Superavit
They’re Back… (Part 1)

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The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
  —  Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri
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On This Day In:
2015 Just Like All The Others
2014 In My Own Vanity
2013 Filled With Words
2012 Lectio Auget Existentiae Meae
2011 Lied Lately?
2010 Born To Work At Faux News
Lost Again (Uh, Make That Still)
Qui Genus Humanum Ingenio Superavit
They’re Back… (Part 1)

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The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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On This Day In:
2015 109 And Beyond
2014 Are You Waiting?
2013 Traditional Human Sacrifice
2012 A Division Of Men
2011 Miles, Legends and Superwoman
Got Tragedy?
2010 My Company For A Prince!!
On The Shoulders Of Titans

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Solitude would be an ideal state if one were able to pick the people one avoids.
    —  Karl Kraus
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On This Day In:
2015 Another Limitation On Religion
2014 Enduring
2013 Tell Me More…
2012 Passing…
2011 Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
  ―  Martin Luther King Jr.
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On This Day In:
2015 More Prejudice
2014 Say What?
2013 Daring Errors
2012 Are You Comfortable?
I Just Have To
In Flux
2011 True New
2010 A Job Well Started Is A Job Half Done
I See With My One Good Eye

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