Quote of the Day: ‘As Imperceptibly as Grief, The Summer Lapsed Away’


The quote is from an Emily Dickinson poem, and I have been meditating on it for a while now.  Let me share my thoughts.  Like most of Dickinson’s poems, this poem is untitled.  The poems were posthumously numbered when published in the scholarly collection by Thomas H. Johnson in 1955.  Dickinson knew nothing of the numbering.

My Johnson edition reaches 1,775 poems, an incredible opus, all but ten unpublished in Dickenson’s lifetime.  If you are not familiar with Dickinson’s biography, you can read the Wikipedia entry.  In summary, she was a reclusive woman, unmarried, living in Amherst, MA, writing poetry all of her life and saving them in boxes with few people even aware of them.  Like all her untitled poems, which I believe were almost all, the opening line usually serves as the poem’s title.  “As Imperceptibly as Grief” is number 1540, written in 1865 when Emily was about 35 years old.  The numbering does not reflect a chronological ordering.  Here is the poem.

Quote of the Day: Home Defense Edition


I don’t own a gun, but I keep a bag of baseballs near our bed. If someone breaks in they better be wearing a batting helmet because I am going to throw at their head.  – Randy Johnson, Major League Baseball pitcher

Considering Johnson threw a 90mph fastball during his major league career, I’d consider that a credible defense strategy. He is supposed to have said this while he was with the Seattle Mariners in the 1990s, but even today, at age 60, I’ll bet he still has enough heat left to strike out a home invader or two. I will also bet this home defense strategy served him well during stints in gun-averse New York and San Francisco. Someone might get in trouble for being in possession of a handgun in those cities, but deny a MLB pitcher possession of hardballs? It would get laughed out of court.

Ric Grennell on Suburban Women


“…I would point to DeSantis. We’ve got a lot of people in the Republican primary that are dialing back of lot of these really good policies from President Trump. You’ve got DeSantis pushing a six-week abortion ban, you’ve got Desantis with…crossing the line of under the age of 18 on trans issues and really going after gay people. I will have that debate all day long.

What he did in that video was completely homophobic, terrible, dialing us back. And he lost a lot of suburban women. I will remind our party that when you have a problem with suburban women, suburban women, historically, have been wildly supportive of gay conservatives, their gay friends. Forty percent of the Log Cabin membership are straight women. They want to see if you’re kind. They want to see if you can talk about these issues differently.

Log Cabin has an under 18/over 18 policy when it comes to trans: you’re under the age of 18, protect children. Don’t make children get tattoos, or allow children to get tattoos, or surgeries or blockers for their hormones. But if you’re over the age of 18, and you’re an adult, knock yourself out. The reality is is that we have to have a society where we allow adults to live their lives as long as you’re not hurting somebody else.”

Quote of the Day: Doomerism Nonsense


I’m so weary of black pilled doomerism:

Everything sucks. This is the worst it has ever been. Nothing matters. Nothing you do matters. Defeat is inevitable. Failure is inevitable. Everything used to be better. Nothing ever improves. Things only get worse. We can only lose. Winning is impossible.”

Quote of the Day: Politics and Alarmism


“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

Can you say global climate change, boys and girls? Or Covid 19? I knew you could. Both are overblown political crises intended to keep people scared and isolated. As this century-old quote from H. L. Menken shows, it is not a new tactic. It is the whole aim of politics. To convince you the devil is in the chimney and only government intervention can exorcise it.

Quote of the Day: Wealth


“Only coolie can become millionaire.” — C. Northcote Parkinson

C. Northcote Parkinson was a 20th-century British historian. He is best known for Parkinson’s Law (Work expands to fill all time allotted to it). Most don’t realize that is Parkinson’s First Law. He had a slew of them, all useful, collected in a book titled Parkinson’s Law, which can be found at the link. Today’s quote comes from a chapter in the book, examining wealth accumulation titled “Palm Thatch to Packard or a Formula for Success.”

Quote of the Day: Intellectual Privilege


“One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation.” – Thomas Sowell

Sowell’s truth has been demonstrated amply over the years, but during the current administration, it seems to be underlined, italicized, and emphasized. It does not seem to matter what an intellectual does. Even when it blows up in their faces, they walk away with their reputation unharmed and generally a promotion.

Quote of the Day: Censorship


“Any online community that is explicitly pro-free speech will inevitably become right-leaning. This is because in the free market of ideas right-leaning ideas win. Which is why we see these left-wing tech companies censoring. No one is buying their progressive, globalist [CoC] anymore, so it must be force-fed down the throats of users and dissent must be stamped out with the iron fist of censorship.” — Gab CEO Andrew Torba

Personally I don’t think the fight is between political right and left. It is between liberty-loving and authoritarian.  Today the right is the liberty-loving end of the political spectrum while the left favors authoritarianism. The conservatives are trying to conserve freedom and liberty while the progressives are pushing a restoration of feudalism, with them as the feudal lord.  It is the folkmoot versus the palace.

Quote of the Day: Habits


The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The older I grow the more convinced I become old Fyodor had it dead nuts on. I am certainly well into the last half of my life.  Tomorrow is my 67th birthday. Since my grandparents and parents lived into their late 80s and early 90s; I figure 45 was my half-way point.  And, yep, the habits – good and bad – I acquired during my first 45 years pretty well defined my behavior over the next 22, and likely the rest of my life.

Quote of the Day: Democrats


At some point, Democrats became the party of small-town people who think they’re too big for their small towns. It is hard to say how it happened: Perhaps it is that Republicans’ primary appeal is to something small-towners take for granted (tradition), while Democrats’ is to something that small-towners are condemned for lacking (diversity). Both appeals can be effective, but it is only the latter that incites people to repudiate the culture in which they grew up. Perhaps it is that at universities – through which pass all small-town people aiming to climb to a higher social class – Democratic party affiliation is the sine qua non of being taken for a serious, non-hayseed human being.

For these people, liberalism is not a belief at all. No, it’s something more important: a badge of certain social aspirations. That is why the laments of the small-town leftists get voiced with such intemperance and desperation. As if those who voice them are fighting off the nagging thought: If the Republicans aren’t particularly evil, then maybe I’m not particularly special.

Quote of the Day: ‘Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart’


This has been a phrase that comes to mind every time I think on the degeneration—oh what’s the best word? Deterioration? Suppression? Subversion?—of Western civilization and its culture. This is especially true when there are inflection points where the culture takes a turn for the worse.

When they instituted gay marriage, and when I realized we had lost that argument, what I muttered was, “Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.” When schools and universities replace classic Western literature, music, and art in their curriculum with that of feminist or of some alternative culture just to be balanced, and so a student today reads maybe one Shakespeare play instead of a panoply of the greatest writer of the English language, I mutter, “Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.” When I see society enacting legislation or living by some agnostic understanding of “following the science” devoid of values and foundational principles, I mutter, “Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.”

Quote of the Day: Obituaries


I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure. – Mark Twain

Last week gave me an obituary I read with great pleasure: that of Ted Kaczynski. He was the Unabomber, a wacko environmentalist who mailed bombs to random individuals. For me, he has always been the face of the “world is ending because of mankind” environmentalists. You know – the ones who are running the country today intent on eliminating gas stoves and furnaces and cutting back farming to reduce its environmental impact.

Quote of the Day: American Fascism


When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and smiley shirts. Smiley-smiley. – George Carlin

George Carlin died 15 years ago, in 2008. He first made this statement in one of his 1990s nightclub acts. Yet if anything best describes the soft fascism that has emerged since 2020, this statement does. Right down to Nike endorsement of modern fascism as typified by the behavior of Colin Kaepernick.

Quote of the Day: Remembering the Dead


“All gave some. Some gave all.” – Howard William Osterkamp

Osterkamp of Dent, OH, served in the US Army 1951-1953. He fought in Korea as part of C Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team, receiving a Purple Heart. He gave some. Many in his company gave all — their lives.

Quote of the Day: Calvin Coolidge on Memorial Day


Our country does not want war, it wants peace. It has not decreed this memorial season as an honor to war, with its terrible waste and attendant train of suffering and hardship which reaches onward into the years of peace. Yet war is not the worst of evils, and these days have been set apart to do honor to all those, now gone, who made the cause of America their supreme choice. Some fell with the word of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” almost ringing in their ears. Some heard that word across the intervening generations and were still obedient to its call. It is to the spirit of those men, exhibited in all our wars, to the spirit that places the devotion to freedom and truth above the devotion to life, that the nation pays its ever enduring mark of reverence and respect.

It is not that principle that leads to conflict but to tranquillity. It is not that principle which is the cause of war but the only foundation for an enduring peace. There can be no peace with the forces of evil. Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good. That way lies only through sacrifice. It was that the people of our country might live in a knowledge of the truth that these, our countrymen, are dead. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

This spirit is not dead, it is the most vital thing in America. It did not flow from any act of government. It is the spirit of the people themselves. It justifies faith in them and faith in their institutions. Remembering all that it has accomplished from the day of the Puritan and Cavalier to the day of the last, least immigrant, who lives by it no less than they, who shall dare to doubt it, who shall dare to challenge it, who shall venture to rouse it into action? Those who have scoffed at it from the day of the Stuarts and the Bourbons to the day of the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns have seen it rise and prevail over them. Calm, peaceful, puissant, it remains, conscious of its authority, “slow to anger, plenteous in mercy,” seeking not to injure but to serve, the safeguard of the republic, still the guarantee of a broader freedom, the supreme moral power of the world. It is in that spirit that we place our trust. It is to that spirit again, with this returning year, we solemnly pledge the devotion of all that we have and are.

Quote of the Day: The Right Side of History


I get tired of Democrats claiming to be on the “right side of history” when both their past and their present are so utterly sordid and destructive. So, if you are a Democrat, let me tell you about MY side of history and YOUR side of history.

My side of history is Cato the Elder, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Irving Babbitt and William F. Buckley.  Your side of history is Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, Josef Stalin, Mao’s Little Red Book and Noam Chomsky.

Quote of the Day: Luck


“Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work – and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” – Lucille Ball

Your experience might differ, but I find much wisdom in what Lucille Ball says. Good luck is not just chance. Rather it is recognizing and seizing an opportunity for which you are prepared due to prior hard work. Similarly, bad luck is frequently lack of preparation catching up to you.

Quote of the Day: Human Devils


“Christianity was content with a solitary hate figure to explain evil: Satan. But modern secular faiths needed human devils, and whole categories of them. The enemy, to be plausible, had to be an entire class or race.”

– Paul Johnson, Modern Times