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Face the new year with courage...

“Some people give an impression of being militant and therefore not to face the problems, especially if they are the type of problems which are going to make you unpopular.” (Nelson Mandela) Excerpt from Conversations with Myself (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, NYC, 2010) – a conversation with Richard Stengel. “Now this boarding master was a remarkable man… He once gave a sermon [about] a man whose house was haunted by evil spirits. He did everything to drive them out, but he failed. The he decided to leave his kraal [a rural settlement of huts and houses], packed all his things on a wagon and started driving away to settle elsewhere. Along the way, he met a friend and the friend asked, ‘Wher

Consensus isn't science isn't consensus...

"There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period. (Michael Crichton) Excerpt continued below from Michael Crichton's State of Fear: Author's Notes: Read the whole bit here starting on page 49 of the PDF: http://webcontent.harpercollins.com/text/excerpts/pdf/0060820640.pdf "In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases. In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this puerperal fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and tha

They Я Us (we need a process)...

"They Я Us." “Nationalism does not come in two kinds, ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ Mazzini and Mussolini. Nor does it become virtuous through underdog status or wrongs suffered. It operates along a continuum running from the brothers Grimm to Auschwitz, from philology and folklore and poetry in the service of the national idea to the extermination of neighbors. Not all nationalisms reach extremes. Some national mythologies are more explosive than others. Some political cultures offer greater scope for extremism than their fellows. Weakness or defeat teaches limits. But the doctrine’s logic drives all impartiality toward domination and extermination.” (Williamson Murray, The Making of Strategy, Sta

Identity "this, that and the other" is ripping humanity apart...

A recognition of self (edited from a recent school assignment): Identity "this, that, the other" and identity politics are ripping humanity apart...it is completely unnecessary...and most of it coming from every direction is steeped in a false premise of "the other." I was raised in a social eco-system that encourages constant improvement (improvement implies an awareness of self and an acknowledgment that there is room to grow--get better) whether in terms of athletics, academics or simply as a human being. The U.S. Army's first principle of leadership is "Know yourself and seek self-improvement." I lived in this "Army" world for more than 22 years. I don't think in terms of all the categor

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