Wednesday, February 17, 2016

To Quit or Not to Quit, That is the Question

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.
— Anton Chekhov, born in 1860
“As smoking gives us something to do with our hands when we aren’t using them, Time gives us something to do with our minds when we aren’t thinking,” Dwight Macdonald wrote in 1957. With smartphones, the issue never arises. Hands and mind are continuously occupied texting, e-mailing, liking, tweeting, watching YouTube videos, and playing Candy Crush
To Quit or Not to Quit, That is the Question | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Hillary, the Banksters Committed “Fraud” not “Shenanigans” Bill Black, Huffington Post

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Brawl Over His “Insinuation” That She’s Corrupt Intercept 

Australia appoints ‘digital transformation’ Minister
GovInsider, 15/2/16. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed a new Minister for digital transformation and cities in a Cabinet reshuffle this weekend. “Angus Taylor will serve as the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister with special responsibility for Cities and Digital Transformation,” he announced.

“No one cuts their wrists in one clean slice. It takes a few goes before the natural instinct for self-preservation is completely overcome. Henry didn’t commit suicide, he was murdered.” 

Pools of Cold Rivers on the Road to the Never Never
To work for KGB, CIA and ASIO ... All at once

The Australian Taxation Office spent a total of $7.84 million on advertising, media planning and market research in 2014-15, most of which was focused on improving its perception among small business and individuals. The spending on external consultants - which was slightly down on the year before when the agency spent $7.4 million in total - comes amid thousands of job lossesATO marketing spending hits $7.84m redundancies almost triple

It's three and a half, at least on Facebook 
Tout n’est pas si facile,
Les destins se séparent, l’amitié c’est fragile
Pour nous la vie ne fut jamais un long fleuve tranquille

Nothing is so easy,
Destinies separate us, friendship is fragile
For us life was never a long tranquil river
Milan Kundera ...and his celebration of the navel: from the Boston Globe

Munich Security Conference “Where lots of creeps assemble.”

Sydney School Girls Preparing for the Office Fighting with Knives etc 

Procopius, History of the Wars, tr. H. B. Dewing, Vol. II (London: William Heinemann, 1916), pp. 13-16:
Among the youths in the army whose beards had not yet grown, but who had just come of age, he [Alaric] chose out three hundred whom he knew to be of good birth and possessed of valour beyond their years, and told them secretly that he was about to make a present of them to certain of the patricians in Rome, pretending that they were slaves. And he instructed them that, as soon as they got inside the houses of those men, they should display much gentleness and moderation and serve them eagerly in whatever tasks should be laid upon them by their owners; and he further directed them that not long afterwards, on an appointed day at about midday, when all those who were to be their masters would most likely be already asleep after their meal, they should all come to the gate called Salarian and with a sudden rush kill the guards, who would have no previous knowledge of the plot, and open the gates as quickly as possible.
cf. Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV (Oxford: D. A. Talboys, 1827), p. 130:
But they [the Romans] were unable to guard against the secret conspiracy of their slaves and domestics, who either from birth or interest were attached to the cause of the enemy. At the hour of midnight the Salarian gate was silently opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial city, which had subdued and civilised so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia.