“…one of those people…to whom lies and truth were all the same and who eventually was not always certain in his own mind when he was lying and when he was telling the truth. When it was alleged that he paid a teammate $25 after the teammate had lost a game he said it was just a gift. And me made people believe that.”
Bill James on Hal Chase the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 1985 edition
There are those who having seen Donald Trump change his positions on abortion and transgenderism and the Michelle Fields incident, sometimes in as little as 24 hours, who might come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is as much of a liar as Hillary Clinton.
They are incorrect.
Those who have come to that conclusion are missing an important nuance that can be explained quite easily:
Hillary Clinton IS a liar because she will KNOWINGLY tell you something she knows isn’t true to your face for her own purposes.
Donald Trump on the other hand IS NOT a liar because he absolutely believes every word that he says at the moment he says it, even if it completely contradicts something that came out of his mouth the day before.
Evelyn and Rocky were homeless for three years before being discovered living in a tent in the woods by a Floridian police officer.
Since marriage licenses in Florida cost almost a hundred dollars, the couple had been unable to arrange for an official wedding for years.
Sympathetic to the couple who was down on their luck, the officer placed them on a waiting list for permanent housing–and raised $20,000 for a donated dream wedding.
Complete with wedding photographer, flowers, lights, rings, and video, the results were a sight to “have and to hold.”
On my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I often post positive stories—not because I’m a goody-two-shoes, but
for humanitarian reasons, nonetheless. Since reading them makes me feel less misanthropic, I figure that these will have the same effect on others.
This one did bring up a political angle, along with a personal angle in my mind; I had recently been involved in a Twitter discussion about federal and state governments’ mostly dubious role in the sanctioning of marriage…and most know that I was homeless for the better part of last year.
Mostly, however, I find it uplifting that two people still want to promise to spend the rest of their lives with each other under such circumstances. God bless these fine people.
John Adams:I must study politics and war so my sons will have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy and my sons must study navigation, commerce and agriculture so their children will have the right to study painting poetry and music.
John Adams Episode 3 Don’t Thread on me 2008
Over the last few days it seems nothing has been on the MSM other than the death of pop star Prince at the age of 58. In fact when I turned on CNN’s the Lead with Jake Thursday it was all about Prince. When I tweeted about this Jake Replied thus:
@DaTechGuyblog I’ll alert you before our 90 minute retrospective on Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky
Now I will happily concede that with his Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky quip Jake won Twitter with that reply and I’ll also concede that as it was breaking news concerning the unexpected death of a public figure its something that would naturally demand attention.
But my broader point still stands. On every network every single person talked about Prince, his music, the various songs and that kind of thing and how admirable and important it was but in the end what he did was sing songs and provide entertainment.
Or to put it another way the AP has a photo list up of notable deaths of 2016 you can see it here:
The list is dominated by musicians and actors. To be sure Antonin Scalia made the cut but where on the list is Ray Tomlinson?
Raymond Tomlinson, widely credited as the inventor of modern email, died Saturday.
Raytheon Co., his employer, on Sunday confirmed his death.
Email existed in a limited capacity before Tomlinson in that electronic messages could be shared amid multiple people within a limited framework. But until his invention in 1971 of the first network person-to-person email there was no way to send something to a specific person at a specific address.
With the possible exception of Antonin Scalia there is nobody on that list who can even pretend to have made an equal contribution to the world we live in than contribution to than Tomlinson. Hundreds of millions of people if not billions would not be able to function today without his contributions yet who remembers him?
Or consider Joe Medicine Crow who died earlier this month at the age of 102.
Joseph Medicine Crow, a Native American historian and the last war chief of the Crow Tribe in Montana, died Sunday in a hospice, the Billings Gazette reported. He was 102.
Medicine Crow, or “High Bird” in the Crow language, was known for his works on Native American history, including his own documentation of his tribe’s firsthand accounts of reservation life. The National Park Service also credited Medicine Crow as the last surviving person to have heard oral accounts of the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn, including stories from his grandmother’s brother, White Man Runs Him, who served as a scout for Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.
“I always told people, when you meet Joe Medicine Crow, you’re shaking hands with the 19th century,” Herman Viola, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, once said of Medicine Crow.
I suspect a year from now people will talk about the anniversary of Prince’s death and what his life meant, but in January did we talk about the anniversary of the death of Charles Townsend, the inventor of the Laser? Did you even know he died or that he even lived?
What’s the point, simply this.
There was a time when are heroes where people who actually did things of consequence or led great causes, George Washington, Eli Whitney, Clara Barton, Henry Ford, US Grant, George Washington Carver, Cyrus McCormick, Thomas Edison, Frederick Douglas To be sure we celebrated cultural celebrities as well, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Joe DiMaggio but we kept it in perspective. Today do we celebrate the great inventors, the great thinkers, the great DOers or do we only celebrate the great celebrities?
A closing thought, I stated this piece, as I do many others with a quote. But I didn’t use the actual quote from John Adams which come from his letter to Abigail Adams dated May 12th 1780 from Paris that I quote from the Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/:
To take a Walk in the Gardens of the Palace of the Tuilleries, and describe the Statues there, all in marble, in which the ancient Divinities and Heroes are represented with exquisite Art, would be a very pleasant Amusement, and instructive Entertainment, improving in History, Mythology, Poetry, as well as in Statuary. Another Walk in the Gardens of Versailles, would be usefull and agreable. But to observe these Objects with Taste and describe them so as to be understood, would require more time and thought than I can possibly Spare. It is not indeed the fine Arts, which our Country requires. The Usefull, the mechanic Arts, are those which We have occasion for in a young Country, as yet simple and not far advanced in Luxury, altho perhaps much too far for her Age and Character.
I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c. — if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty. The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Studies Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
Adams warning is apt, it’s good that we have reached the point that we as a nation and culture are rich and secure enough to produce “Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine” and arts (like filmmaking) that Adams couldn’t have dreamed of and it’s right that we celebrate them. After all it’s no coincidence that I used the HBO quote at the top. It’s fair to say that thanks to the HBO series millions more people know about John Adams contributions that would have known otherwise, just as we know the story of Chief Joe Medicine Crow thanks to Ken Burns documentary and we celebrate Richard Winters and the men who served with him as the heroes because of HBO’s Band of Brothers.
But it’s also true that if we celebrate and make heroic arts and those who produce them to the exclusion of those who study as Adams mentioned Mathematics, Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce, Agriculture Politics, War and a host of new sciences that actually produce the practical matter that allows our country to function we will fall to the point where all of these other diversions are a luxury that we can’t afford and our culture, like Prince, will die before it’s time due to the bad choices we made.