“The average net worth of a Senator is more than $14 million, and the average net worth of a member of the House of Representatives is nearly $6 million.”
Though this information is a few years old, the numbers are likely to have gotten worse, such is the corruption and cronyism within our government.
The Power of Compound Words
“The German language
is sufficiently copious
for any idea
that can be expressed at all.”
— Charles Follen in A Practical Grammar of the German Language (1835)
“Henry hates John. John abhors Henry. Andrew can’t stand Henry or John—and neither of them have any use for Andrew.”
Henry is Henry Clay, Speaker of the House for decades. John is John C. Calhoun, a proud southerner who developed the idea of nullification. And Andrew is Andrew Jackson, war hero and eventual president of the United States.
I discovered this incredible summation of affairs in the book Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults by a man named Schnakenberg.
can the dead
be truly dead
when they still live
in the souls
— Carson McCullers in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
“Art is moral, in that it awakens. But what if it were to do the opposite? If it were to numb us, to put us asleep, counteract all activity and progress? And music can do that as well.”
— Thomas Mann in The Magic Mountain, 1924
At Trinity College in Dublin
“Being fascinated by history, I read as much as I can. It just reminds me of the late 20s, the 30s … reading about how these things could have happened at that time. It’s a scary time.”
So is Trump Hitler? Is that what you are claiming, Mr. Scorsese? It’s so unoriginal, that it’s actually boring.
Referring to the rise of global terrorism, Scorsese says that the Iraq invasion “had created thousands and thousands of Travis Bickles.”
This reference to Bickles is much more interesting to me. But. maddeningly, Scorsese does not make it clear what he means.
Bickles, portrayed by Robert De Niro, is the depressed loner who is the focus of his 1976 film Taxi Driver, which I consider vastly overrated. Bickles is drawn to violence in his disgust against the decadence and sleaze around him.
“They say they have nothing to lose.”
Just what is Scorsese getting at?
Google Books is a terrific resource. Today, I learned a few more details about my great-great grandparents, John Conner and Ellen Lint.
I didn’t know that my great-great grandfather lived in Missouri before marrying Ellen and that he came to Iowa in 1873, the year of a
financial panic and the beginning of a depression. And he was still farming at the age of 66.
I’ve been skimming through a review of William F. Buckley’s book on his campaign for mayor of New York City in 1965, a year after Barry Goldwater’s trouncing by LBJ.
“Buckley breaks all the campaign rules and conducts the kind of authentic, daring campaign that Donald Trump might run if Trump had style, wit, and a keen political intelligence.”
There are always lessons for us to learn. Learning never stops, or at least shouldn’t. I wish Trump had that intellectual curiosity. But, alas, he doesn’t and never will.
I’VE BEEN WATCHING
A Walk in the Woods with Redford and Nolte. The scene where they are reminiscing while stuck on a cliff edge got me to thinking about my aunt.
Aunt Carol died a few years back, in 2012. She was special, a terrific human being. Thank God I had the pleasure of knowing her.
I should write a book about her.
I’VE BEEN READING
a kids’ book about how dirty and messy life was during colonial times in America. One of the tidbits I came away with is this quote from a woman.
“I bore it rather well, not having been wet all over for 28 years.” — an American colonist, a woman, after finally succumbing to a bath
Hygiene as we know it is a modern invention.