Monthly Archives: November 2016

Gravy Sweat

First Scrabble, then the Pierce family took nice walks in the hills and then at the water. Lots of gravy to burn off . . .


Lots of neighbors

Nine hundred fifty-nine quintillion seven hundred ninety-nine quadrillion one hundred one trillion one hundred three billion one hundred five million one hundred seven thousand one hundred and nine units here at the Meadows condo complex.

The mailman is in REALLY good shape.



The Little Virtues

“As far as the education of children is concerned I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones.  Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt of danger; nor shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but love for one’s neighbour and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.

Usually we do just the opposite; we rush to teach them a respect for the little virtues, on which we build our whole system of education.  In doing this we are choosing the easiest way, because the little virtues do not involve any actual dangers, indeed they provide shelter from Fortune’s blows.

That is from Nathalie Ginzburg, from her book The Little Virtues.  Here is a copy of the essay (pdf).

Election Wrap-up

On Tuesday America held its Presidential election. For Robert and everyone he knows, the results were disastrous. A reality TV show clown is now our leader.  That Donald Trump is not qualified and dangerous is clear.  But Trump is not the focus of this post.  Robert is thinking more about how to evaluate the folks who voted for Trump.

Initially Robert was inclined to think that everyone who voted for Trump must have had either evil intent or a loose screw.  After some soul searching, he’s decided that he needs to think otherwise.

Robert is sure that many folks who voted for Trump were very conflicted in their vote. They are Republicans who object to a Hillary Clinton presidency and who were let down by the system. They were given no sane alternative to Hillary. We use a two-party system in our politics, which generates a team-mentality that is intensified every cycle.

Robert’s own experience was similar. For two years leading up to the election Robert stated that in no event would he vote for Hillary Clinton.  To him, she was a defective candidate. He strongly disagrees with any form of dynastic rule (he criticizes the Bush II presidency this reason, among others). He also believes that Bill Clinton’s severe character flaws and the fact that Hillary defended him  disqualifies her from the Presidency. Perhaps out of mere circumstance, Hillary is tainted.

All that said, Robert ended up voting for Hillary Clinton.  He had no viable choice.  Robert was manhandled by a system that gave him no satisfactory option and that made him a hypocrite.

He now sees that he was not alone. There were, no doubt, many people who voted for Donald Trump for morally offensive reasons.  But Robert is equally sure that what won Trump the presidency were the numbers of voters who saw no choice than to vote for what they know to be a terribly flawed and objectionable person. These voters are not immoral (although, they are, undoubtedly, severely misguided).

There are many many people in this country who are qualified to be President, and the system should serve up much better candidates. It should not be so difficult.

Robert’s Best Guess for the Future: Trump will be a one-term President. Our next President will be neither Democrat or Republican. Any strong candidate in either of those parties needs to formally dump his/her party soon.

School Photos Are Here 2016