Sunday, February 26, 2017

Paul Valery on the future

The future is like everything else, no longer what it used to be."

          - Paul Valery


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A line from the Greek poet Callimachus

"The dead do not rest but travel over the sea like gulls."

That is an image I can live with.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Please! Save it for the end.

The end of the year just past brought forth a number of ways by which Americans could save for their retirement.  Commercials and advertisements for this task flooded the  various media.  People were advised to 'have a plan.'

They  were told to decide if they wanted to maintain  the life style they have now  when they retire. Formulas were provided for determining  how many millions of dollars one would need to  achieve that goal.

Americans were told to think small.  "Start early and put away 1% of your wages or salary."

  401k's.  Hedge funds.  The stock market.  On and on it went.

I have a suggestion, a better idea (I  think) that will assist in this task.

Don't buy  what  you don't need.  Save  and invest every  dollar you saved from not buying  what you don't need. 

You will have more money saved than you thought possible.  You will definitely retire into the same life style you  enjoyed  throughout your life.

Royalty, long dead, did not have the wealth that average Americans earn today.

Walking through Walmart this Christmas, looking at the  piles in  the aisles and the  stock on the  shelves, I  couldn't help but wonder who buys all this stuff and why?  Most of  what I  saw I wouldn't take home if it  was free.

Here is a simple rule to help you.  Lord Falkland had a quote which I  have  admired ever since I  read it.  He wrote : "If it is not  necessary  to make a decision, it is  necessary not to make  a decision."

That aphorism is useful in many  different situations.  I alter the  saying when required.

For  the subject of  this  post, I think:  "If it is not  necessary to buy,  it is  necessary  not  to buy"

Try it.  You might like it.


Friday, November 11, 2016

In the Wrong Hands

When the Patriot Act was created shortly after 9/11,  and when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was enacted somewhat later, serious concern was  expressed about  the danger these bills presented to our liberties.

Our concerns were mollified by statements  that we had nothing to fear unless these powers fell "into the wrong hands."


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dylan Thomas (expressing my feelings on 2016 American election)

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I  have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
From there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode,
Out of the old lie burning on the ground.
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention, half lie.


Dylan Thomas on Power

The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The  hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five  kings count the  dead but  do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the  brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.