“STAR TRENDS” by Robert McEwen, H.W., M.

Scorpio lends itself to visions of the mystical.  The ways of Shamanism. Time to explore this for a year!

Also, finances expand in Scorpio.  So does passion and exploring the mystical secrets of ontological principles.

The invisible nature of beingness is very relevant starting October.  Debts get paid off, or new debt is accumulated.

Watch that passion and if you are buying as an investment that is sound, or just ego desires?

Thank you for your attention to this, and do note “healing” is sped up with this on all levels: psychological, physical, spiritual, and mundane daily life decisions.  We can talk much more about how it affects your life if you decide to get your chart done, and see where it is transiting in your chart. Knowing where this falls in your natal horoscope is advantageous at this time.

For your private astrological consultation contact me with your birth, date, time, and place.

You can text it to my phone at:  503-706-0396.  Email: robbystarman@aol.com.  I am on Face Book as well: Robert McEwen.

I have 35 years professional experience and served over 5,000 clients with their astrological understanding and application in their lives.

1 Hour session:  $75
30 minutes is:    $50

“Important Lessons From Orwell and Churchill for Resisting Authoritarian Rule in Trump’s America” by Steven Rosenfeld

George Orwell (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images) | Winston Churchill (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

This post first appeared at AlterNet.

Thomas Ricks’ book is the latest offering history’s lessons for our dangerous time.

September 27, 2017 (BillMoyers.com)

Donald Trump’s reactionary presidency and Silicon Valley’s spying on online users is pushing the nation and world in dangerous directions comparable to past eras, during which authoritarian rule and totalitarian belief held sway. A handful of writers have urged Americans to heed history’s lessons on resisting tyranny in all of its forms.

One of the most recent is Thomas Ricks, who for the past two decades has been among the most prominent journalists covering the military and war. His newest book compares and contrasts Winston Churchill and George Orwell, tracing how both came to recognize and resist abuses of power and political propaganda to side with individual dignity.

AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld interviewed Ricks, who recounted those lessons and their critical relevance today in an era dominated by fake news politics and predatory high-tech.











Steven Rosenfeld: Your book, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, is remarkable in many ways. You tell how both men shaped the 20th century and remain relevant. You describe how they evolved, held their own against their day’s political conformists and ideologues, both left and right; and how they came to understand how authoritarian and totalitarian regimes operate.

The takeaways are resonate today, whether we’re talking about an executive branch that lies, erases and revises history, or the tech sector that spies on citizens and sells its files. What prompted these men, especially Orwell, to reject herd mentalities in private and in public?

Thomas Ricks: Oddly enough, I suspect for Orwell, it began with his love of personal observation. Even as a child, he loved observing nature, and that continued throughout his life. If you read his diaries, he had a habit of just writing down what he physically sees around him, what he’s thinking about, what he’s hearing people talk about — just basic observation. I think for Orwell, that becomes a point of departure — that human freedom begins with the right to perceive and to trust your own perceptions.

Of course, Orwell as an adult bangs up against Stalinism, which says, “No, we will tell you what to think. If you’re a good member of the Communist Party, you will believe what we tell you to think. We will decide what is right and what is wrong. We will decide what the facts of the matter are.”

That’s where Orwell breaks with Stalinism, but he doesn’t break with the left. He remains a socialist all his life.

SR: That’s what’s so interesting about this, at least in more recent modern America. The political right has lionized Orwell, and not the left, which you point out.

That’s one thing I was trying to do in this book — to kind of recover both these guys for liberalism, and even progressivism. Churchill was not always a conservative, and Orwell was always the socialist. Yet both have been claimed by the American right, in ways that I dislike.


TR: That’s one thing I was trying to do in this book — to kind of recover both these guys for liberalism, and even progressivism. Churchill was not always a conservative, and Orwell was always the socialist. Yet both have been claimed by the American right, in ways that I dislike. I was trying to say [that] Churchill is a more complex political figure than he’s seen as today, and Orwell should be seen properly as a member of the left throughout his life — delivering a leftist critique of Western capitalist democratic society all his life.

SR: When you say you want to recover their legacy for liberalism, what you’re talking about is they both, and particularly Orwell, rejected political ideologues of their day based on personal experience. They came to understand how authoritarian and totalitarian systems work, and how propaganda works. Can you describe that arc?

TR: Sure. Orwell goes into the 1930s a pretty typical leftist of his time. He believes left is good, right is bad. So socialism and communism are good, and capitalism and fascism, bad. Then he goes to Spain late in 1936. There, he has the great political education of his life. He is a member of a small political splinter group fighting in the Spanish Civil War — anarchist Trotskyites. They are part of the left, but they are not mainstream left in Spain.

Now the problem was [that] at the time, Stalin of Russia could not stand the idea of a competing leader of world communism. With Trotsky having been a comrade of Stalin’s, and then [having] fled Russia, what was coming? So the first enemy of Stalin was non-Stalinists on the left — these are the people he really went after. As the Soviet Union became more and more influential in the Spanish Civil War, one of the things it did was use its security apparatus, the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB. The NKVD runs the security forces, the police and the secret police of the Spanish Republic, the left-wing government. It goes after the non-Stalinist parts of the left in Spain.

“Forgiving the Unforgivable” by Conan Milner

Beyond resentment, the power and freedom of forgiveness

The Epoch Times–September 22, 2017

Everyone makes mistakes, but some deeds are so hideous that forgiveness seems impossible. How do you forgive greed, violence, and cruelty without compromising your values and self-worth?

The worse the offense, the more justified our hatred for our tormentors seems. But no matter how much pain and loss they cause us, we only add to our suffering by holding hatred for them. According to writer Anita Sanchez, Ph.D., unless we learn to forgive the unforgivable, we risk being paralyzed by our resentment.

In her new book, “The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times,” Sanchez examines what it means to forgive the unforgivable. The inspiration for the book came from a ceremony in 1995 involving more than two dozen elders from indigenous communities around the world. The elders called on four virtues to bring humanity together: healing, hope, unity, and forgiving the unforgivable.

Healing, hope, and unity are ideas everyone can grasp. But Sanchez says forgiving the unforgivable always triggers resistance, because it conjures painful memories that people can’t let go of.

“Most people’s first reaction is, ‘I don’t want to do that,’” Sanchez told The Epoch Times. “Whatever they’re holding on to comes up for them.”

It’s an impulse Sanchez knows intimately. In her teens, she remembers the emotional armor she wore to protect herself from getting hurt again after experiencing trauma. It worked, but inside she paid dearly for it.

“It began constraining my heart. It started to suffocate me,” she said. “It gave the illusion that I was safe, but in reality, it was killing me.”

Sanchez’s armor grew from experience. From the time she was 4 years old, her father sexually abused her. The incest continued until Sanchez was 13. It abruptly ended when her father was murdered at a bar.
















In a case of mistaken identity, a white man saw her father’s dark-brown skin, mistook him for a black man he had fought with earlier that day, and shot him twice.

Throughout her teens, Sanchez mourned the loss of her father with the rest of her family, but kept his abuse a secret. She felt isolated and angry—at her father, at her mother for not protecting her, at her father’s killer, and at herself, because she believed she may have somehow contributed to her father’s death.

“When he was murdered, it was horrific. But in a 13-year-old girl’s mind, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. I wished him to leave and even him dead sometimes, and then he was gone,”‘ she said.

Illusion of  Separation

Sanchez spent years working through the incest and murder, but something was still missing. She says the four virtues the indigenous elders talked about made things clear.

“I could see that I was still holding on to the pain and the hurt,” she said.

Forgiving the unforgivable is a familiar topic among many indigenous communities, because their history is often haunted by memories of genocide, forced sterilization programs, and other strategies of eradication and abuse.

Sanchez says that what keeps indigenous people and their traditions going is a strong sense of togetherness—with the earth and each other. Back when people relied on the natural world and their community for survival, they understood that a sense of connection was vital to well-being. Some cultures managed to keep this idea alive.

“The original knowledge is our connection to the earth,” Sanchez said.

The laws of nature haven’t changed, but the cultural shift away from these laws has been huge. According to Sanchez, the fundamental conflict of the modern world is a false assumption that we live separate, disconnected lives.

“If our mindset is still that we are separate, and we think of the earth and other people just as a resource to be used and thrown away without any concern but our comfort, that causes suffering,” she said.

There is also a great temptation to distance ourselves from the rest of the world if we’ve been victimized. When we’re hurt, separation ensures that we won’t get hurt again. Unfortunately, this leaves us with nothing and no one to turn to.

Over time, our bitterness and grievances can become part of our identity. Sanchez says the first step toward letting go of this illusion of separateness is to focus inward. Going inside allows us a moment to differentiate between our pain and our true selves.

“If we can quiet ourselves enough, that wisdom is going to come through,” she said.

The next step is reaching toward something larger. Look to whomever you can trust—family, friends, a therapist, or even nature—to realize that you’re not alone.

“I’m really grateful to nature,” Sanchez said. “Even when I was a little girl, it was the trees and the sunshine. I’d feel the sunshine and think, ‘I’ve got another day.”‘

Forgive and Remember

The opposite of forgiveness—revenge—deepens our sense of separation. And considering the level of tension and hostility that exists in the world today, we couldn’t be any further apart.

But even if we restrain ourselves from retaliating, holding hatred still keeps us from connecting with the world around us. The anger is directed at our enemy, but we’re only hurting ourselves.

Forgiving is a process, and for major violations, it can be painfully slow. But avoiding common obstacles makes the journey a little smoother.

Sanchez says the old adage “forgive and forget” is where many people get stuck.


“Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting,” she said. “It means that you love yourself enough to take the energy that you use to punish yourself and use it to create what you want in the world.”

Psychologist David Stoop agrees. In his book “Forgiving the Unforgivable,” Stoop says that while the Bible talks of both forgiving and forgetting, humans are only expected to forgive. Forgetting is the domain of God.

“We need to forgive and remember, because you know the person has a problem and you need to protect yourself. God can forgive and forget, because there is nothing he needs to learn from the process,” he writes.

Ideally, our abusers wake up and mend their ways. But our happiness can’t hinge on whether they change. This is why, instead of forgetting, Stoop says the real aim of forgiveness is relinquishing resentment.

“The mark of forgiveness is that we no longer feel ill will toward the other person. We may not trust them anymore. We may not like them. But we don’t wish them harm,” he writes.

Casting the Net of Blame

In the drama of trauma, it can be hard to tell how far to cast the blame. When we’ve been violated, our sense of trust can break beyond our relationship with the individual perpetrator and spread to an entire race, nationality, or gender.

Sanchez learned this lesson soon after her father was murdered, when the wife of his killer came to the Sanchez home with her young son. The woman apologized, saying that her husband had killed their father because he thought he was black, and began spouting racial slurs about black people.

“My mom just screamed, ‘Stop! You don’t even know what you’re saying. You don’t even know what you’re teaching your son,’” Sanchez recalled. Her mother then told the woman to leave immediately, but also that she would pray for her.

Soon after, the Sanchez family were shocked to find that the local paper featured a picture of her father’s bleeding body sprawled on the floor. Her mother was disgusted at the lack of respect. The news would never have shown a white man’s dead body like that, she said.

Sanchez remembers her mother gathering all six children (then aged 9 to 19), and showing them the picture. “This is the racism. These are the things we need to stop. But don’t forget that not every white person killed your father,” Sanchez recalled her saying. “You kids need to understand that a white man killed your father, not the white race.”

Sanchez is thankful her mom made that distinction, because it provided a moment of clarity within an experience already so traumatic and confusing. Without that explanation, her heart could have closed even more.

“What we need to do is change systems, not add more violence and hatred. That’s where I think forgiveness is really important,” she said.

“The First White President” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

Jesse Draxler; Photo: David Hume Kennerly / Getty

IT IS INSUFFICIENT TO STATE the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness—that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.

Listen to the audio version of this article:
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His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers.

It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican “rapists,” only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.” The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy—the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuckcasts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.

In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own. Only grudgingly did Trump denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, one of its former grand wizards—and after the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Duke in turn praised Trump’s contentious claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence.

To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a “piece of ass.” The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (“When you’re a star, they let you do it”), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.

For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.

THE SCOPE OF TRUMP’S commitment to whiteness is matched only by the depth of popular disbelief in the power of whiteness. We are now being told that support for Trump’s “Muslim ban,” his scapegoating of immigrants, his defenses of police brutality are somehow the natural outgrowth of the cultural and economic gap between Lena Dunham’s America and Jeff Foxworthy’s. The collective verdict holds that the Democratic Party lost its way when it abandoned everyday economic issues like job creation for the softer fare of social justice. The indictment continues: To their neoliberal economics, Democrats and liberals have married a condescending elitist affect that sneers at blue-collar culture and mocks the white man as history’s greatest monster and prime-time television’s biggest doofus. In this rendition, Donald Trump is not the product of white supremacy so much as the product of a backlash against contempt for white working-class people.

“We so obviously despise them, we so obviously condescend to them,” the conservative social scientist Charles Murray, who co-wrote The Bell Curverecently told The New Yorker, speaking of the white working class. “The only slur you can use at a dinner party and get away with is to call somebody a redneck—that won’t give you any problems in Manhattan.”

“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes,” charged the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, “is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.”

That black people, who have lived for centuries under such derision and condescension, have not yet been driven into the arms of Trump does not trouble these theoreticians. After all, in this analysis, Trump’s racism and the racism of his supporters are incidental to his rise. Indeed, the alleged glee with which liberals call out Trump’s bigotry is assigned even more power than the bigotry itself. Ostensibly assaulted by campus protests, battered by arguments about intersectionality, and oppressed by new bathroom rights, a blameless white working class did the only thing any reasonable polity might: elect an orcish reality-television star who insists on taking his intelligence briefings in picture-book form.

Continue reading “The First White President” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“A Culture of Poverty” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In 2008, I was sent out to the Democratic convention to work on a piece for this magazine about Michelle Obama. I had just been hired on as a contributing editor, and was ecstatic. There was a community of young bloggers out there–Chris Bodenner, Alyssa Rosenberg, Dayo Olapade etc. Just a lot of good folks. But most of the week, I’d either been blogging, following Michelle Obama, or exploring Denver’s beautiful trails.

Toward the end of the week, Alyssa invited me over to the National Journal tent where a lot of the reporters were watching some speeches, and having a few drinks. I had a couple myself and was generally having a good time. Also out there was my old buddy David Carr who, a few media tents over, was covering the convention for the Times. I was supposed to meet Carr after the speeches and grab dinner. But while I was in the National Journal area a person who I’d written about (not an employee of Atlantic Media) came into the tent and aggressively challenged me on something I’d written about him.

We spent ten frankly embarrassing minutes jawing back and forth. That’s fine. People should aggressively challenge you. Toward the end, Carr, wondering where I was, came in and saw me in mid-argument, which by this point had gotten heated. He gave me that “you damn fool” look and said “I’m going to be there, [whatever the restaurant was] either you’re coming or not. But this is stupid.” He left, and shortly thereafter I started walking away with Alyssa and few of the other bloggers who were hanging out. The gentleman kept after me, even following me out the tent, and by this point, taunting.

At the door of the tent, and I looked at him and said, “You really need to back off.”

He looked back and said, “Or what.”

I closed in on him, and quietly but seriously, responded, “You really want to find out?”

He walked back inside.

I think as a younger man, I would have been proud of that moment. For surely, I had adhered to Article 2 of the Code Of The Streets–“Thou Shalt Not Be Found A Punk.” Had the gentleman stepped outside, I had already made the decision that I was going to swing. I didn’t believe in threatening people and then not following through. Perhaps as 14 year old, on the streets of West Baltimore, back at Mondawmin Mall, the response would have been correct. In fact, I was a 33-year old contributing editor at a well-regarded magazine who’d just implicitly threatened someone on the property of my brand new employer.

I had thought as far as the dude stepping outside–but I hadn’t thought any further. I hadn’t thought about getting arrested. I hadn’t thought about the implications of a 6’4 260 pound black dude assaulting a 5’11 (maybe?) white dude. I hadn’t thought about all of this playing out against the backdrop of Obama’s nomination. I hadn’t thought about losing my job. And, most criminally, I hadn’t thought about my family , who were depending on that job.

A few minutes later, I caught up with Carr. He is a man who’s seen more of the streets than almost (almost) anyone I know. He’s also great at getting to the point. When I told him the rest of what happened, his response was not, “You showed him.” It was “You dumb motherfucker.” By then the full horror of what had almost happened was dawning on me. We went to dinner that night with some of Carr’s old music buddies from Minnesota, and the great Tom Morello who wore an awesome Dungeons & Dragons tee-shirt. Toward the end, Boots from The Coup showed up. But I wasn’t there. I spent that night wondering how I could be so foolish, and almost ruin what I knew then, and what I know now, to be my big break.

I thought about all of this yesterday while reading this Times’ piece on return of the culture of poverty. When we talk “culture,” as it relates to African-Americans, we assume a kind of exclusivity and suspension of logic. Stats are whipped out (70 percent of black babies born out of wedlock) and then claims are tossed around cavalierly, (black culture doesn’t value marriage.) The problem isn’t that “culture” doesn’t exist, nor is it that elements of that “culture” might impair upward mobility

It defies logic to think that any group, in a generationaly entrenched position, would not develop codes and mores for how to survive in that position. African-Americans, themselves, from poor to bourgeois, are the harshest critics of the street mentality. Of course, most white people only pay attention when Bill Cosby or Barack Obama are making that criticism. The problem is that rarely do such critiques ask  why anyone would embrace such values. Moreover, they tend to assume that there’s something uniquely “black” about those values, and their the embrace.

If you are a young person living in an environment where violence is frequent and random, the willingness to meet any hint of violence with yet more violence is a shield. Some people take to this lesson easier than others. As a kid, I hated fighting–not simply the incurring of pain, but the actual dishing it out. (If you follow my style of argument, you can actually see that that’s still true.) But once I learned the lesson, once I was acculturated to the notion that often the quickest way to forestall more fighting, is to fight, I was a believer. And maybe it’s wrong to say this, but it made my the rest of my time in Baltimore a lot easier, because the willingness to fight isn’t just about yourself, it’s a signal to your peer group.

To the young people in my neighborhood, friendship was defined by having each other’s back. And in that way, the personal shields, the personal willingness to meet violence with violence, combined and became a collective, neighborhood shield–a neighborhood rep. And so it was known in my time, for instance, that “North and Pulaski” or “Walbrook Junction” or “Cherry Hill” were not to be fucked with.

I think one can safely call that an element of a kind of street culture. It’s also an element which–once one leaves the streets–is a great impediment. “I ain’t no punk” may shield you from neighborhood violence. But it can not shield you from algebra, when your teacher tries to correct you. It can not shield you from losing hours, when your supervisor corrects your work. And it would not have shielded me from unemployment, after I cold-cocked a guy over a blog post.

I suspect that a large part of the problem, when we talk about culture, is an inability to code-switch, to understand that the language of Rohan is not the language of Mordor. I don’t say this to minimize culture, to the contrary, I say it to point how difficult it is to get people to discard practices which were essential to them in one world, but hinder their advancement into another. And then there’s the fear of that other world, that sense that if you discard those practices, you have discarded some of yourself, and done it in pursuit of a world, that you may not master.

The streets are like any other world–we all assume an armor, a garment to suit that world. And indeed, in every world, some people wear the armor better than others, and thus reap considerable social reward. In the main, it’s been easy for me to discard the armor of West Baltimore, because I wore it so poorly. I was never, as they say, truly built for the streets. And still, even I struggled to take it off. But I know others who were masters. (My own brother, for instance.) Inducing them, and those in between, to change class, to trade their plate for robes, to trade the broad-sword for a spell-book, is the real work.

(Submitted by Bruce King.)

Spem In Alium (Thomas Tallis) – Tallis Scholars

Spem in alium nunquam habui
Praeter in te, Deus Israel
Qui irasceris et propitius eris
et omnia peccata hominum
in tribulatione dimittis
Domine Deus
Creator caeli et terrae
respice humilitatem nostram.

(I have never put my hope in any other
but in You, O God of Israel
who can show both anger and graciousness,
and who absolves all the sins
of suffering man
Lord God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth
be mindful of our lowliness.)

Book: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.


Bird Wouldn’t Have Landed On Ledge If It Had Known Everyone Would Make It Into Whole Big Thing (theonion.com)

WARWICK, RI—Saying it wished it had touched down to rest its wings somewhere a bit less visible, a local bird told reporters Tuesday that it wouldn’t have landed on a ledge had it known everyone would make it into a whole big thing. “God, if I’d realized all these people would lose their goddamn minds, I never would have done it,” said the eastern bluebird, adding that there was no way it could preen its feathers in peace when it was being gawked at “like some kind of freak.” “I can’t just pretend people aren’t pressing their faces against the window and staring at me. Seriously, what’s the big deal? Like they’ve never seen a bluebird before?” At press time, the bluebird had discreetly perched on a tree limb high above the ground and reportedly could not believe how much attention a stupid cardinal on the ledge was getting.

Jimmy Dore on politics

I’ve got news for you.  You can’t remove yourself from politics.  Politics is life. If you’re gay and you want to marry your lover, that’s politics.  Okay?  If you get sick and you want to see a doctor without going bankrupt, that’s politics.  If you want to get a higher education so you can get a job without ending up in a mountain of debt, that’s politics.  If you want to get the pothole fixed in front of your goddamned house, that’s politics.  You want to get the snow plowed?  That’s politics.  You want to fund education?  That’s politics.  You want to stop wars?  That’s politics.  Everything’s politics.  What isn’t politics?  Every position is politics.

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