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Posts Tagged ‘On History’

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
    —    Aldous Huxley
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On This Day In:
2015 Goals
2014 Switch To Dogs…
2013 Times Change
2012 Ashes Not Dust
2011 A Handful From Saudi
None Of This Happened
Take Responsibility

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I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
    ―    Thomas Jefferson
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On This Day In:
2015 Importance
2014 Unearned Humility
2013 Science Is Trial And Error
2012 Franklin’s Creed
2011 First Steps
2010 Home Ill…

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History shows us how to behave.  History teaches, reinforces what we believe in, what we stand for…  History is — or should be — the bedrock of patriotism.  Not the chest-pounding kind of patriotism, but the real thing: love of country.
At their core, the lessons of history are largely lessons in appreciation.  Everything we have, all our great institutions, hospitals, universities, libraries, this city, our laws, our music, art, poetry, our freedoms, everything is because somebody went before us and did the hard work, provided the creative energy, provided the money, provided the belief.  Do we disregard that?
Indifference to history isn’t just ignorant, it’s rude.  It’s a form of ingratitude.
I’m convinced that history encourages, as nothing else does, a sense of proportion about life, and gives us a sense of the relative scale of our own time on earth and how valuable it is.
What history teaches it teaches mainly by example.  It inspires courage and tolerance.  It encourages a sense of humor.  It is an aid to navigation in perilous times…  Think how tough our predecessors were.  Think what they had been through.  There’s no one in this room who hasn’t an ancestor who went through some form of hell.  Churchill in his great speech in the darkest hours of the Second World War, when he crossed the Atlantic, reminded us, ‘We haven’t journeyed this far because we are made of sugar candy.'[…]
But, I think, what it really comes down to is that history is an extension of life.  It both enlarges and intensifies the experience of being alive.  It’s like poetry and art.  Or music.  And it’s ours, to enjoy.  If we deny our children that enjoyment, that adventure in the larger part of the human experience, we’re cheating them out of a full life.
There’s no secret to making history come alive.  Barbara Tuchman said it perfectly: ‘Tell stories.’  The pull, the appeal is irresistible, because history is about two of the greatest of all mysteries — time and human nature.
How lucky we are.  How lucky we are to enjoy in our work and in our lives, the possibilities, the precision and reach, the glories of the English language.  How lucky we are, how very lucky we are, to live in this great country, to be Americans — Americans all.
   —    David McCullough
Speaking at the 1995 National Book Awards.
[This quote was fount at one of the blogs I follow: “The Bully Pulpit
The specific post can be found at: http://jrbenjamin.com/2014/07/12/why-history/
The site is well worth a visit…   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Future Envy
2013 We Do Not Want To Learn That
2012 Social Inhibition
2011 Studying Chinese Food
Are You Bored, Too?
2010 Rant, Pant, Deep Breath – Reality

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Much of the population is desperately trying to educate its way out of a terrifying cycle of downward mobility.  But students are fighting strong structural shifts in the economy.  While technology-driven productivity used to be what economists said would save us from jobless recoveries, technology these days removes jobs from the economy.
     —    Rana Foroohar
From her editorial / commentary column (“The Curious Capitalist“):  “The 3% Economy
In Time Magazine,  dtd:  October 6, 2014
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On This Day In:
2014 Rights
2013 Do Bold Things
2012 Seven Causes
2011 I Feel A Tingle Coming On

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The most fundamental problem of politics is not the control of wickedness but the limitation of righteousness.
To seek to achieve [American values] by military occupation in a part of the world where they had no historical roots, imbued the American endeavor in Iraq with a Sisyphean quality.
Long ago, in youth, I was brash enough to think myself able to pronounce on ‘The Meaning of History‘.  I now know that history’s meaning is a matter to be discovered, not declared.
  —  Henry Kissinger
The three quotes are from the article “The Lion in Winter
Written by:  Walter Isaacson
In Time Magazine, September 22, 2014
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On This Day In:
2014 Be R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T
2013 Lacking
2012 So Small A Thing
2011 Is Your Time Valuable?

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The story of History is properly more than a succession of dates and events, of crisis and controversy.  It is illuminated, at its best, by the acts and words of its participants.
    —    Robert F. Kennedy
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On This Day In:
2014 Take Flight
2013 Contributing Joy
2012 More Than A Race
2011 Institutionalized Leadership

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As long as war or threat of war existed, the professional mystique sufficed to provide cohesion within the profession and rationalization for institutional peculiarities and privileges.  But problems emerge when wars cease or when people perceive that wars are unlikely or unnecessary; or when society becomes increasingly egalitarian and democratized – or when all of these occur.  Then the moral and ethical values of society may change and the worship of the military hero ceases.  Society may demand a new justification for the military institution.  It is just such an environment that has emerged in the post-Vietnam era.
    —   Sam C. Sarkesian
From his book: “The Professional Army Officer In A Changing Society
[Or until such time as the cost of retaining a modern fighting force and its surviving veterans overwhelms the price the society is willing to pay.  After two “mostly” successful Gulf wars, the cost of peace has vastly outstripped the cost of battle and American society – at least the top 1% financially – are increasingly unwilling to pay the costs of the later, and seem equally unwilling to pay the costs of the former.  Of course, “mostly successful” refers to the actual military results, and not the political and economic destabilization which has followed our military “victories”.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Returning Time
2013 Gentle Invitation
2012 Pleading The Insanity Defense
2011 Graduations And Conservatives
The Big Sin

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History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
     —    Thurgood Marshall
Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
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On This Day In:
2014 Always Remember To Reach
Have You Registered To Vote Yet?
2013 Ripples From The Water’s Edge
Because I Was Alone
2012 POI vs Reality
Dear And Sacred
2011 Chilled Again

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“Whatever happens – and I know now that this thing can only end one way for me – I think I won, I still think I won.  Because up until all of this, you know, even escape into death was an impossibility for me.  It was like that crazy riddle they ask you in school.  You know the one: ‘If a tree falls in the forest, but nobody’s there to see or hear it happen…  how can anybody know for sure that the tree really fell?
Well, that was sort of the way I felt about dying.
After all, how can you die if nobody knows you’re alive?”
    —    Closing lines from the journal of Lars Colonius
    —    Excerpt from “The Voice of Armageddon
Written by David Lippincott
[This quote is from a book I read back in the 1970’s about a guy (Lars) who decides the way to fame is to commit a “perfect” and well-publicized act of terror.  Very much the “scream at sky” call for help we’ve heard about from so many killers in the last few years.  Killing and suicide as a means of self-expression to “promote” one’s existence in a world which ignores you.  How small and lazy do you have to be to take the lives of others to gain status as a footnote in a news article or history book.  How much better to die (or more correctly, to live) in acts of daily service to others and thereby live on in their memories and in the stories they tell their children.     —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 A Self-Correcting Process
2013 None But He Knows
2012 99% Are Demanding
2011 All In The Family
Take Your Pick

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[On China in 1935…]  No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality.  The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace.
    —   Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage
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On This Day In:
2014 Relax And Lead
2013 Location, Location, Location
2012 Are You Really Good?
2011 Relatively Objective, Anyway

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If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West.
    —    Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Caesar and Christ
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On This Day In:
2014 Hmmm
2013 What’s A Motto With You?
2012 Worthy Companions
2011 Bourne Again
Which Ten Are You In?

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Mathematics is an ancient discipline.  For as long as we can reliably reach into the past, we find its development intimately connected with the development of the whole of our civilization.  For as long as we have a record of man’s curiosity and his quest for understanding, we find mathematics cultivated and cherished, practiced and taught.  Throughout the ages it has stood as an ultimate in rational thought and as a monument to man’s desire to probe the workings of his own mind.
   —    Mark Kac
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On This Day In:
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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Agreed

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
    —    Napoleon Bonaparte
[And normally about greed…     —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Smile From Your Heart!
2012 Like You
2011 Got Days?
2010 K9 Humor – Has Anyone Seen My Setter? (Must read!!)
A Longer Blog Than You Want To Read (Probably)
2009 Back and Forth and Round Again…

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No period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, idealistic motives, and idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it.
    —     Alfred North Whitehead
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On This Day In:
2013 Theft
2012 Cranky Old Man
2011 A Man’s Got To Know His Limitations

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The history of war is the history of warriors; few in number, mighty in influence.  Alexander, not Macedonia conquered the world.  Scipio, not Rome destroyed Carthage.  Marlborough, not the allies defeated France.  Cromwell, not the roundheads dethroned Charles …  Truly in war:  “Men are nothing, a man is everything” …  the leader must be an actor …  he is unconvincing unless he lives his part …  The fixed determination to acquire the warrior soul and having acquired it to conquer or perish with honor is the secret of victory.
    —    General George S. Patton, Jr.
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On This Day In:
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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