Archive for the On [Traits/Characteristics] Category

Americans Are Just Not That Happy (September 11, 2017)

Posted in Canada, Europe, On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on September 11, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

J          “or even ducky.”

. . .

K          “Do you ask them or observe them?”

J          “Both.  Just engage in idle conversation about anything.  And listen to them reveal themselves.”

K          “Here too.  I hear you and hear them.  They are deeply and profoundly angry to the core.”

J          “The anger is undigested and simmering.  They are stewing and percolating in the toxic brew of hate and fear.”

K          “And intimating even obliquely to one’s neighbor that he or she is disquieted can incite the listener to be defensive.”

J          “And to reveal himself and herself even more.”

. . .

K          “The Constitution is silent regarding ‘happiness,’ yet when declaring independence we as a country aspired to the ‘pursuit of happiness’ as one of our core national aspirations.  ‘Happiness’ is a vexing and elusive thing.”

J          “I am reluctant to proclaim ‘happy new year’ or ‘happy birthday’ or ‘happy groundhog day’ because it is such a hollow and shallow proclamation.  How about ‘have a serene day’ and offer a smile and a nod instead?”

K          “Have a ‘peaceful day’ is a workable declaration.” 

. . .

K          “My poll of foreigners is unscientific and likely accurate.  Look at Canadians.  They are happier.  Look at Europeans.  They are happier.  America is causing much of the chaos in and exporting unhappiness to the world, yet so many fellow members of the planet are . . .  happy.”

J          “In the land of the freeway and the home of the Wave, there is not one American Dream, but rather a variety of American Dreams that are increasingly elusive and may now be unattainable.”

. . .

J          “For so many today, keeping up with the Joneses is not adequate.  Vanquishing the Joneses is the goal.  And the Jones cannot afford to keep up with let alone vanquish their neighbors.”

K          “No one is keeping up.  The populace knows that they are being exploited, but most of them do not recognize the real exploiters.  Some know that their government is a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations.  Both lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity every day.”

J          “That makes me unhappy.” 

. . .

K          “A restive and restless people are not likely to rest.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary on the psychological consequences of unrelenting fear at “The Residue of Unrelenting Fear:  PTSD Afflicts The Populace (August 28, 2006)”, the challenges trying to create community at “On Community (June 3, 2013)”, the diminishing role and relevance of the consumer and citizen at “The ‘Superfluous Consumer’ (July 27, 2015)” and the domestic American battleground described in “Charlottesville . . . Chancellorsville? (August 14, 2017)”.]

[See the e-commentary on this Patriot Day at “World Trade Center Building 7 And The AIA (May 18, 2015)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Yuck Fou

Sick Fucker on Board

Be patient  I’m reloading

Honesty And Efficiency . . . In Life And Law (July 31, 2017)

Posted in Courts, Economics, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty on July 31, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .    

K          “Economists are indifferent to honesty yet revere efficiency as a fetish.  Look at how inefficient the practice and pursuit of dishonesty is in our daily lives.  I have enough experience and am confident that one out of every ten of her statements is false.  Confirming the veracity of her statements consumes resources, both in time and money.  Of her ten statements, which one is false?  The seventh statement?  The second statement?  The fifth statement is the one in the middle and surely must be false.  Surely.  Probably.  Possibly.  Likely.”

J          “If you cannot rely on the veracity of every statement, then you cannot rely on the veracity of any statement.”

K          “The dilemma.  The expensive dilemma.  After nine honest statements, the next statement must be a lie.  Then, if or when it is a lie, can I rely on the next nine statements as truth?  However, the very next statement may be a lie followed perhaps by nine honest statements.”

J          “They are right.  Inefficiency is so inefficient.”

. . .     

K          “I have seen the handiwork of a judge who probably is not a fundamentally dishonest person who nonetheless wrote at least one blatantly dishonest decision.  He could not know.  And I know the truth, the facts and the law.  If that is the only data, is the judge accurately characterized as dishonest?”

J          “If someone is dishonest only ten percent of the time, is the person honest?”

. . .

J          “Joe DiMaggio said ‘There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.’  The judge did not care that you would only be seeing him once.”   

K          “And no camera lights were on him to keep him honest.”

J          “When you get right down to it, someone who is dishonest only ten percent of the time is presumptively dishonest.”

K          “Challenging the presumption is expensive, both in time and money.  Over the decades I have discovered that judges, all on the public payroll in America, are more dishonest more of the time than any other profession except real estate agents and used car salesmen.”   

J          “They are in the private sector and are expected to cant their sales pitch.  Judges may forget that they are in the public sector and are paid by the public.”

K          “Their power is unchecked.  There is no ethos of ethics or honesty in America today.”

. . .   

[See the e-commentary at “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)”, “The Court Of Truth And Justice (CTJ) (August 29, 2016)”, “Assigning Blame:  The Lawyers: 50 Percent; The Non-Lawyer Public: 50 Percent; The Judges: 100 Percent (December 3, 2012)” and “Perjury, the American Way (February 20, 2006).”

Bumper sticker of the week:

If it feels good, do it

Better the crook we know than the crazy man we don’t?  Applying The Conservative Tie Breaker. (June 20, 2016)

Posted in Clinton, Elections, On [Traits/Characteristics], Political Parties, Politics, Presidency, Solstice, Sports, Supreme Court, Trumpi, Wall Street, War, War and Wall Street Party on June 20, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Better the crook we know than the crazy man we don’t?”

J          “You sure?”

. . .

K          “Better the crazy crook we know than the crooked crazy man we don’t?”

J          “You sure?”

K          “Better the war-savoring, crazy crook we know than the xenophobic, crooked, crazy man we don’t?”

J          “You sure?”

K          “Better the war-savoring and Wall Street-favoring, crazy crook we know than the xenophobic, bigoted, crooked, crazy man we don’t?”

J          “You sure?”

K          “Better the lying, war-savoring and Wall Street-favoring, crazy crook we know than the lying, xenophobic, bigoted, crooked, crazy man we don’t?”

J          “You sure?”

. . .

J          “We are now stuck with two presumptuous Presidential nominees and zero hope.”

K          “Clinton is part of the problem; the Donald does not even understand the problem.  Full stop.”

J          “I’m sure that we have a problem.”

. . .

K          “The conservatives resolve these conundrums by resorting to the aphorism:  ‘Better the devil we know than the devil we don’t.’”

J          “I sure don’t know who is the devil we know and who is the devil we don’t?”

K          “In the final analysis, it all comes down to the Supreme Court.”

. . .

K          “The solstice is the sunniest day of the year up here.  Defaulting to the lesser of the two diabolical devils isn’t the most promising ray of sunshine.”

J          “It starts getting darker every day after 22:34 UTC this afternoon.”

K          “There are still some long days in our future.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The First Look At The ‘Second Political Party’ (January 3, 2011).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get . . . a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?”  Hunter S. Thompson

Better the crook we know than the crazy man we don’t?

The other election this week in Britain on the “Brexit” will be revealing.

Cleveland was hot yesterday and may be hot this July.

Ali (June 6, 2016)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Courts, FBI, Judiciary, Justice, Military, Newspapers, NSA, On [Traits/Characteristics], Race, Religion, Society, Sports, Supreme Court, Vietnam, War on June 6, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

3          “Some individuals are known by their first names.  Attila, Twiggy, Cher, Oprah.  ‘Ali’ was his brand after he rejected the name he was branded with at birth.”

5          “Yet the name he repudiated – Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. – reeks of royalty and speaks respect.  Sounds like the name of someone who would sport a repp tie, but he had to elude those who wanted to place a noose around his neck.”

3          “And then he made them place a few medals around his neck.  Have you noted that one hundred percent of those who insist on calling him ‘Cassius Clay’ despise him and despise Blacks.”

5          “Life provides so many revealing tells.”

. . .

5          “Rare is the young American who musters the poise, focus and conviction to change name and religion when the change will be universally and publicly excoriated.”

3          “And then when they tried to muster him into the military and threatened him with conviction, he confronted them with his convictions.”

. . .

5          “The Associated Press photograph of him sporting a tasteful, conservative suit and tie while being escorted through a gauntlet of uniformed soldiers from an armed forces examining station in Houston, Texas after refusing to join the Army is a powerful tableau of conscience confronting power.”

. . .

3          “When his legal case went to the Supreme Court, the Court went to unprecedented lengths and widths and heights and bent over backwards and forwards and sidewards to exonerate him without creating a precedent that would apply to anyone else.  Rare if not unique justice for a rare if not unique man.  If everyone else in America could receive just one one hundredth the judicial attention he received, we would live in a just Republic.”

5          “Courts usually bend over backwards and forwards and sidewards to uphold whatever the government inflicts on an individual.”

3          “In a just Republic, other young men, black and white, etc., would and should be able to cite Clay [(, also known as Muhammad Ali)] v. United States, 403 U.S. 698 (1971), to object to participation in an unconscionable war.”

. . .

5          “In a secret operation code-named “Minaret”, the National Security Agency monitored the communications of Ali and others and provided information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

3          “The time-honored way that America celebrates its heroes.”

. . .

5          “At the time, I was told that we were born to be outwardly reserved and yet inwardly confident.  Ali, I was told, was born into circumstances that forced him to exude bravado because he spoke for millions of oppressed and suppressed people.”

3          “So he may have been too humble and reserved under the circumstances?”

. . .

5          “Unlike most, he had swift hands; like all, he had clay feet.  We can properly eulogize him properly yet not canonize him unequivocally.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The FBI File:  The American Imprimatur Of Success (January 18, 2016)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“I am America.  I am the part you won’t recognize.  But get used to me.  Black, confident, cocky.  My name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

“War is against the teachings of the Qur’an.  I’m not trying to dodge the draft.  We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger.  We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers.”

“Keep asking me, no matter how long,
On the war in Vietnam, 
I sing this song:
I ain’t got no quarrel with no Viet Cong.”

“Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.”

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?      No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.      This is the day when such evils must come to an end.  I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars.  But I have said it once and I will say it again.  The real enemy of my people is here.      I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.  If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.      I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs.  So I’ll go to jail, so what?  We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America.  And shoot them for what?  They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father…  Shoot them for what?  How can I shoot them poor people?  Just take me to jail.”

“At home I am a nice guy, but I don’t want the world to know.  Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

 

On Empathy (December 28, 2015)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, On [Traits/Characteristics], Personal Stories Series, Personal Story on December 28, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

9          “You go to bed at night and at times travel to foreign lands and then return and are born anew . . . in the same body . . . in the same place . . . and the hands of the clock are rearranged.”

3          “Boring.”

9          “When I wake up and discover that things seem to be the same as before the slumber, I vow to inhabit . . . another body . . . in another place . . . at another time.”

3          “Less boring.”

9          “And more promising.  Combine that new perspective with a conviction to search out the steepest learning curve before breakfast.”

3          “Not boring.  From my perspective, I want to pursue more than one life.”

. . .

9          “There are three ways to transport yourself from your current venue to a new venue – via reading or listening, via titrating your chemicals, and via travel to a new venue.”

3          “Liberating your imagination.”

9          “Travel is key.  Changing your locale introduces you to new locals.”

3          “Intriguing.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Slip on someone else’s moccasins

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”  Augustine of Hippo 

Teller Line Withdrawal Notice:  $3000 maximum cash withdrawal per day without advance notice.

 

On Success, Incipient Success And Self-Esteem (August 17, 2015)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics] on August 17, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

P1          “The youngster’s t-shirt questioned:  “What would you try if you knew you could not fail?”

P2          “They say that risk is the handmaiden of reward.”

P1          “At first I thought the sentiment was quaint because failure is indeed always a possibility, yet I wondered whether cultivating some confidence at a young age leads to a sense of possibility and develops reasonable risk taking in later years.”

P2          “I was allowed to fail.  I now try when I am almost certain that I will fail.”

. . .

P1          “Not trying is certain failure.”

P2          “They say that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary on schooling and self-esteem at Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic . . . and Respect . . . and Success (March 14, 2011).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”  Wayne Gretzky

On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)  

Posted in Genius, On [Traits/Characteristics], Society on July 20, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

4          “If I look up and can see the bar, I drop everything and raise the bar until I cannot see it.  Even with a pair of 10 by 40s.  I am not interested in surmounting a bar I can see.  I then move the bar down the field and out of sight.  Outta sight, inna mind.”

. . .

4          “That is true.  They say that if you hold someone to a higher standard, the person may aspire to reach the higher standard.  When I look around, however, at the end of the day the only way others can pass the bar is to drop the bar on the floor.  Maintain even low standards and no one passes.”

8          “So much gross incompetence and ineptitude today.  Perhaps it has always been that way.”

 . . . 

4          “If you hit a target they cannot see, they say that you missed the target they can see.”

. . .

4          “Build a better mouse trap and you may trap a few more mice.  Build it and you will need to buy a riding lawn mower.”

8          “Bloom where you are planted.  You may be able to trap more mice in your nicely manicured field.  Or you may decide to let the mice roam in a wild field.”

. . .

8          “Perhaps nobody cares.”

. . . 

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Talent hits a target that no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.”  Arthur Schopenhauer

“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.”  Joe DiMaggio

“A Thing of Beauty is a Joy For Ever.”  John Keats

Nobody cares.