Sean Spicer quotes Trump on jobs growth: “The reports may have phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”


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I’ve mentioned this several times before, but for the past eight years, one of the corporate events I’ve photographed is a summit in Chicago aimed at luxury architects, interior designers, builders and real estate agents. These people are the creme de la creme of local business.

At this event, I get an insider perspective on what these local business gurus are learning about. Much of it is privileged information regarding their very distinct markets. At this event, I’ve listened to all kinds of writers, professors and economics pros speak on all sorts of topics. I’ve heard high end bankers speak about how the economy has grown since the repression/depression in 2009/2010. Every year, I’ve listened in on how well the US economy has become since it tanked thanks to George W.

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Genghis Khan’s take on religion


Over at TYWKIWDBI, Minnesotastan posted that he’s reading a book titled Gengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and quoted the following from the book (emphasis is Stan’s):

“Eyewitnesses report that upon reaching the center of Bukhara, Genghis Khan rode up to the large mosque and asked if, since it was the largest building in the city, it was the home of the sultan. When informed that it was the house of God, not the sultan, he said nothing. For the Mongols, the one God was the Eternal Blue Sky that stretched from horizon to horizon in all directions.  God presided over the whole earth; he could not be cooped up in a house of stone like a prisoner or a caged animal, nor as the city people claimed, could his words be captured and confined inside the covers of a book. In his own experience, Genghis Khan had often felt the presence and heard the voice of God speaking directly to him in the vast open air of the mountains in his homeland, and by following those words, he had become the conqueror of great cities and huge nations.”

I don’t agree with Genghis Khan’s perspective completely, as I’m unsure of an actual supreme being. Hearing the voice of a god or gods is unprovable and likely some kind of hyperbole. But I certainly admire his perspective.

My most authentic “spiritual” experiences are during my morning meditations, during long runs outside in which the brain can do nothing but unfocus and focus at the same time (also happens during long swims) and while at large outdoor music festivals in which the entirety of thousands upon thousands of fans are deep in the fabric of shared experiences that are idiosyncratic at the same time.

That contrasts to those of the church, which I found, even as a child and teenager, to be contrived and not authentic.

I don’t believe in a god or gods (for many many reasons, but) because the existence of god is completely unknowable. One can assume a god exists, but all the evidence to it via biblical or even all around earthly experience, does not lead one to a place of “Yep, there’s an all-powerful, all-knowing dude in charge of it all.” The information the collective “we” of humanity have written in books and have stuffed into the confines of a church experience is too confining for a concept as large as something called “god”.

This is something a religious person will also agree with and explain they too look to nature for their answer, while maintaining that this mystery known as god must be worshiped or believed in. They’re also ignoring the parts of nature that do not indicate a god or gods. The message that belief in said being (or beings) would provide anyone with a reward in afterlife is surely not spending enough time experiencing life to its fullest. And is therefore limited by beliefs.

Once the unknowable is “knowable,” one tends to give up on searching out other unknowns and becomes static in so-called knowledge.

It’s sad. It causes a lack of sympathy and empathy for anyone except those with shared values.

 

 

A letter just arrived for the United States from 1920


“As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the white house will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.” – H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore evening Sun. July 26, 1920.

Via TYWKIWDBI

Minnesotastan explains: “Snopes confirms that Mencken did make such a pronouncement in 1920 (using the term “downright moron”).”

Go to the TYWKIWDBI link above or Snopes for more information.

The avalanche starts with a whistling wind through the trees on a quiet mountain top


I am a lifelong Republican. I voted for every Republican presidential candidate from 1968 to 2004. But I have watched what once was a sane, center-right party go off the rails, first to the extreme right, then to wherever Trump is, which is in another universe.

It’s tough, but we must end this dangerous presidency. Trump must be impeached and removed with all haste. But only Congress can initiate the process.

Our congressman, Steve Chabot, has been busy defending Trump from the media, which is simply reporting Trump’s machinations. It’s time for him to man-up and start drafting the articles of impeachment. As I remember, he did it for Clinton for far less than Trump has already done.

After the election, many hoped that Trump would “grow up” into the job – that he couldn’t possibly be as bad as some thought. Well, it’s gone the other way. The bully has become a more entitled bully. Anyone disagreeing is attacked. Policy is announced in illiterate tweets.

Read the rest here.

“This piece, written by Mark P. Painter, was posted on Cincinnati.com Tuesday. Painter is a lifelong Cincinnatian, and served as a judge for 30 years.”