Archive for the On [Traits/Characteristics] Category

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.

“Titters” v. “Self-Unemployed” (September 1, 2014)

Posted in Entitlements, Judicial Arrogance, On [Traits/Characteristics], Pensions, Work on September 1, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

Q          “If you plan to attract an academic clique, you need to concoct your own hip lingo.  Those who are in the know need to believe they are in a selective and exclusive circle.”

P          “I also call them ‘9-to-5ers’.  That is just not as much fun . . . or as facetious.”

. . .

P          “‘Class’ is a telling factor even though we profess to live in a class-free society.  And of course ‘Earnings’ or ‘Income’ however defined are salient traits.”

Q          “Social scientists have it covered with the more antiseptic academic catch-all phrase ‘Socioeconomic Status’.  ‘Race’ is also intertwined with ‘Socioeconomic Status’.”

P          “‘Education’ also impacts and is impacted by ‘Socioeconomic Status’.”

Q          “‘Religion.’  ‘Religion’ and ‘Race’ are related.  Some say that the most segregated hour of the week is every Sunday morning in the houses of worship.”

P          “And one’s ‘Political Party’ is one’s defining clan and secular religion.  Some hypothesize that the Red Clan hates the Blue Clan; the Blue Clan hates the Red Clan.”

. . .

P          “A nuanced understanding of ‘Employment Status’ is also revealing.  The differences between those who are employed and those who are unemployed refine the analysis.  When I poll people who are among the employed cohort, the most defining trait is the difference between those who are ‘Titters’ versus those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’.  Is someone working for the government or working for himself or herself?  The analysis can be expanded to cover anyone getting a regular pay check, yet someone working for a corporation does have an almost certain guarantee of lifetime government employment.  The distinction between ‘Titters’ versus the ‘Self-Unemployed’ is more telling and tells you as much as the other conventional traits.”

Q          “One’s employment circumstance may be even more revealing than whether one is a devotee of the Designated Hitter Rule or not.”

P          “Exactly.  The ‘Titters’ feel entitled to every single penny and will fight for every single penny.  And they are tight with every penny.  ‘I earned it.’  The ‘Titters’ do not feel that they should pay the ‘Self-Unemployed’ for their services.”

. . .

P          “When ‘Titters’ talk about the mission of their bureau, almost without fail they preface the discussion by stating that they cannot get the job done without even more money and even more personnel.  The ‘Self-Unemployed’ admit that they don’t have enough money and personnel, but they soldier on within their limited means.”

Q          “I know one guy who spends his work days twisting paper clips into animal figures and complains that the bureau can’t get the job done without even more money and even more personnel.”

. . .

P          “Those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’ recognize that money is ‘Hard come, easy go’ and are often willing to throw a few dollars into the pot even though they do not know whether the next dollar will arrive.”

Q          “I’ve notice that those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’ also may deduct a few meals that are only quasi business-related and thus spread the costs of their pinching with other citizens.  They may also a slip a few dollars in their pocket without accounting to the Great Uncle.”

P          “Pinching pennies by pinching pennies.  Not a great surprise.”

. . .

P          “Those who work for the government eat.  Those who work for themselves eat . . . what they kill . . . if they kill.”

. . .

P          “Republican Judges and Democratic Judges share one conviction – they will protect their pensions uber alles.  One judge did not have any problem with the plight of a group of new employees who were forced to fund the retirement of an earlier group of retirees even though the new employees could not participate in the retirement fund under any circumstances.”

Q          “Raw naked amoral power, the currency in courts today.  And the judge surely participates in the old plan.  Bankruptcy Judges will be increasingly deciding the issue and rarely are able to repudiate one hard reality.  Resources of a debtor are finite.  Almost all pensions today are actuarially unsound.  If the money is not there in a bankruptcy case, it is not there.”

P          “Judges other than Bankruptcy Judges will find some legal hook to order, adjudge and decree that their pensions shall be paid under any and all circumstances.”

Q          “The new employees are a generation younger than the old employees. The conflict is both intra-generational and inter-generational.”

. . .

_          “A substantial cohort of citizens are entering retirement with no possibility of even maintaining a poverty level life style.  The unfunded Social Security obligations dwarf in comparison to this unrecognized and unanticipated financial burden.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 1 (April 14, 2008) and Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 2 (April 28, 2008) and other e-commentary under the Category on “Pensions” at https://e-commentary.org/category/pensions/.%5D

Bumper stickers of the week:

For folks not working for the government, your retirement party is now known as your funeral.

For folks who are “Self-Unemployed,” your last day on the job is also your last day on the planet.

“Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender, Titters and The Self-Unemployed 101” at 9 a.m. M W F at Mr. and Ms. R. Baron Hall taught by Adjunct Professor of Race, Class, Gender, Titters and The Self-Unemployed H. Sebastian . . . .

American Foreign Policy: Amoral or Immoral? (June 9, 2014)

Posted in Foreign Policy, Genius, Hypocrisy, Middle East, On [Traits/Characteristics] on June 9, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Makes you wonder why America threatens to blow up the world when Russia moves into territory within its sphere of influence and then finances additional West Bank settlements without hesitation.”

. . .

2          “The test for genocide turns on whether those in power in America like the people being killed and whether the killers threaten or advance America’s economic interests.”

1          “Makes you wonder why America’s policy toward East Congo is shaped largely by Western bankers.”

. . .

2          “If there is no morality, then too many American foreign policies are amoral.  If there is some moral underpinning, then too many American foreign policies are immoral.”

1          “No wonder why so many in the world are skeptical of American intentions and actions and often respond irascibly.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.” Albert Einstein

Too often in America today, what passes for genius is eleven percent flash and eighty-nine percent fluff.

Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Cyberactivities, Judges, On [Traits/Characteristics], Press/Media, Privacy, Society on May 12, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Brooksley Born and Sheila Bair courageously challenged the kleptocracy in America.  The Committee did not delay too long waiting to gauge their hipness or political correctness.  For good measure, they also awarded themselves the award in 2009.  Yet the award for 2014 is devoid of . . . courage.”

J          “And integrity and vision.  The Committee went craven this year and should receive a special Profile in Cravenness Award.  There is not a scintilla of doubt that Edward Snowden should have won hands down for standing up courageously this past year.”

K          “The Profile in Courage Award suffers from the same myopia as the awards for most Rhodes, some Pulitzers and the Nobel in E-con-omics.  The pool is constricted and confined at the outset to a small number recipients who can be counted on not to do or say anything really imaginative, creative or, with an award ostensibly celebrating courage, . . . courageous.”

J          “Failing to acknowledge true talent is a tremendous lost opportunity and only heightens cynicism.  Society is giving the wrong signals.  Only those connected need apply.”

K          “Those in power candidly admitted that Snowden did not go to the right schools or belong to the right clubs.  Those who make the decisions did not aspire to play squash or go yachting with him.”

. . .

J          “Those who criticize him for departing the United States fail to understand how much courage it took to take a stand in the face of the venal and vindictive federal criminal justice system in America.”

K          “What if the United States gave him asylum from the United States in the United States?  Strength in response to courage.  That will never happen in a nation debilitated by fear and motivated by hatred.”

J          “No matter how things stay the same, they stay the same.”

. . .

[See the article on the impact of political ideology on First Amendment decisions at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/us/politics/in-justices-votes-free-speech-often-means-speech-i-agree-with.html and the commentary at The Supreme Court On Drugs (June 25, 2007) (“The Court’s new First Amendment test is two-fold: 1) who is making the expression and 2) what is being expressed. That is not what the Founding Fathers intended.”)]

[See the commentary on courage and truth at On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Pardon Edward Snowden

Free James Risen

Award James Hansen

Pusillanimity is bad form

“I Hate Obama.” The Trip Hammer Of Hate Tolls Without Toll And With Toll (March 10, 2014)

Posted in Journalism, Newspapers, O'Bama, On [Traits/Characteristics], Presidency, Press/Media, Race on March 10, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

“I hate Obama.”

. . .

1          “That derision foments fifty percent (50%) of the journalistic product and by-product foisted on the public today.” 

2          “The attacks long ago degenerated from puerile to juvenile to infantile.”

1          “The unrelenting trip hammer only tolls between tolls and takes a toll on the security and well-being of the Republic.  The insecurities of the Carpers are actually undermining our national security by making the country look polarized, petulant and petty.”

2          “Some people repeat a statement to convince themselves.  Think about Shakespeare’s frequently quoted observation on protests.  These Haters are convinced and consumed.  Some statements must be repeated five times to convince another person.  The screeching screed is repeated five hundred million times to indoctrinate the populace.”

1          “It is a mantra and a motto and a motivating speech.”

2          “You cannot say ‘I hate Blacks’, so they do the next most effective thing.”

. . .

2          “If Obama offers some positive sentiments on Mother’s Day, the Haters scream that he hates fathers.”

1          “He should satisfy the Carpers because he has promoted national security over personal liberty at every opportunity, yet there is nothing rational or logical about the attacks on him.”

2          “And others who do not congenitally hate him contend that Obama is presiding over the fourth term of the Bush administration.  Talk about being caught between a rock and a rock.”

1          “He is caught between a hard place and a hard place.  The hard truth is that the American people will accept an attack by ‘the terrorists’ while a Republican is in the White House, but the American people will not accept an attack by ‘the terrorists’ while a Democrat is in the White House.”

2          “Especially because a Black is in the White House.”

. . .

1          “Historians trying to make sense of today’s politics need to account for a powerful cabal of politicians, commentators and corporate brigands who exist to hate and harass Obama at every opportunity all the time in every forum.”

2          “The hate is so vile, venal, virulent and visceral.”

1          “I thought that the disdain for the Irish was in remission with the election of the second Irish President, yet the revulsion is there in spades.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled On Respect, Fear, Admiration and Irreverence (December 17, 2007).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I hate myself; I hate Obama

O’Bama:  Fe8Au8?

License plate of the week [You only get six letters and/or numbers on a license plate]:

RSPECT

Artistes And Integrity (July 29, 2013)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury/Dishonesty, Writing on July 29, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “At first, I assumed and hoped that he had been misquoted.  But if the quotation is correct, he is admitting that he devised his writing to satiate his audience and make a buck.  Leaves you wondering if everything he wrote is a sham or just a by-product of a focus group.”

. . .

B          “Written interviews are sketchy at best.  The interviewer is too much of a gatekeeper.  A filmed interview of a person reveals tone, pacing, inflection, visual cues, and other information and insight.”

. . .

A          “I saw it too and wondered if he dismissed the earlier song as too maudlin or unhip, yet he discounted it as pandering at the time.  Perhaps he was candid.  He could have said that he has grown.”

B          “More cynical?  Leaves you wondering if he even really knows what he really thinks.”

. . .

A          “He was not misquoted and does not seem to care.”

B          “I doubt that he will give refunds to those who feel deceived.”

. . .

A          “Every aspiring author seeks to secure that elusive book contract, yet a book contract is essentially a contract for indentured servitude.  The book company owns the author.”

. . .

A          “An enchanting song is a poem that has taken flight.  I am somewhat indifferent to his songs but impressed that everyone who commented about the concert last month was delighted that he gave everything to his audience.  That is commendable and worth commendation.”

. . .   

Bumper sticker of the week:

Ars longa, vita brevis

Armstrong (August 27, 2012)

Posted in On [Traits/Characteristics], Pogo Plight, Sports, Supreme Court, Technology on August 27, 2012 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Legstrong is not sexy.”

2          “Walk on moon, pedal a bike.  More leg than arm.”

1          “Some members of the public will opine that he did not receive a de novo trial before the United States Supreme Court, yet the court of public opinion may do a clearer job of determining truth.  Something did not seem right about him and so many of the other riders who were too superhuman.”

2          “Where is the line?  What is the rule?  Photos can be photo shopped.  Songs can be synthesized.  With the intervention of editors and the involvement of focus groups, a book is about as individual an accomplishment as winning the Tour de France is a singular achievement.  Athletes are as much a product of technology as of training.  Who is the real thing?  What is real?”

1          “Neil was real.  He did it with skill, sang-froid, integrity and humility.”

. . .

(Neil Armstrong – 1930 – 2012)

Bumper stickers of the week:

One small step . . .; one giant leap . . .

Girls like guys on bikes