Advice for the Soldier Returning From Iraq

Don’t kill yourself. Don’t beat your wife.

— from the title story of Iraq War vet Phil Klay’s collection Redeployment

Fort William Henry, 1757

The Indians (thousands of them) allied with the French, who assigned each of the three largest tribes a chaplain: “Piquet for the Iroquois, Mathevet for the Nipissings . . . and Roubaud for the Abenakis.” (Montcalm and Wolfe, p. 336)

On the eve of a great battle between the British and the French, the Indians perform war dances and make sacrificial offerings to the Great Manitou, the God of War.

“This greatly embarrassed the three priests, who were about to say Mass, but doubted whether they ought to say it in presence of the sacrifice to the devil . . . ” whereupon Montcalm, their general, advised them: “Better say it so than not at all.” (p. 337)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Advice for the Chronic Worrier, Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal, 28 February 2017

For most people, worrying is a form of problem-solving where you look at challenges in the future and work them out before they happen, which can be constructive . . .  But some people worry too much. Chronic worriers fret all the time, about everything. Pathological worriers are chronic worriers whose apprehension affects their functioning.

— Elizabeth Bernstein (from “You’re A Worrier? Don’t Worry”, p. A13, Wall Street Journal)

First, ask yourself: Are you a “chronic worrier”? Here’s a list of things you can do to end “chronic worrying” and be happy

  1. Start with a reality check. Is the emotion you’re feeling equivalent in intensity to the situation you are worrying about? Usually the answer is no.
  2. Tell yourself a better story rather than focusing on the worst-case scenario. Not only will this help you feel less negative, you will free your mind up to find solutions to your problem.
  3. Make a plan. Write down in detail how you will deal with the situation. It will seem more controllable.
  4. Set a timer. Give yourself 15 minutes to worry as much as you want. Then stop.
  5. Yell “Shred!” (in your head). Picture your worries going through a paper shredder. Visualize them being destroyed.
  6. Distract yourself with music, exercise, a good book or movie. It is hard to focus on the negative when you’re enjoying yourself.

You’re welcome.

Stay tuned.

Against the Odds 2: Books and City Councils

An unexpected victory? A snapshot of an unlikely moment? This week, show us something that defies the odds. 

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

How about books to help you achieve your dreams?

dscn0898

Books to Straighten Your Thinking in 2017

dscn0890

Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo: Filipinos make up a sizable portion of the Daly City population. They struggle against many odds.

dscn0888

At the Most Recent Daly City Council Meeting, Feb. 13, these signs were held by members of the audience.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Andrew Marantz

What exactly is alt-right? Other than an inflammatory hashtag?

Here’s one definition. It’s in an essay called “Trolls for Trump,” by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker, 31 October 2016):

a loose, on-line affiliation of white nationalists, neo-monarchists, masculinists, conspiracists, belligerent nihilists, and social media trolls. The alt-right has no consistent ideology; it is a label, like “snob” or “hipster,” that is often disavowed by people who exemplify it. The term typically applies to conservatives and reactionaries who are active on the Internet and too anti-establishment to feel at home in the Republican Party.

The essay then goes on to show how the alt-right is seeding social media with misinformation.

As if any thinking person didn’t know that already?

She never presses “like” anymore unless she’s vetted the tweeter. Whereas in the old days (pre-Nov. 8), she would just blithely follow back.

Then she’d discover — days, weeks, or even months later — that the person endorses the Muslim Ban and the Muslim Registry. And it fills her with so much shame.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Quote of the Day: Jack Kimmich

“You can never outrun an angry sow.”

— Jack Kimmich, who raises Berkshire pigs in on his farm in Hollister, in an interview with Rosie Parker for edible Monterey Bay, Winter 2016

Hillary

“I think that if you live long enough, you realize that so much of what happens in life is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. That’s what I try to remember.”

Route to Power: Keep It Vague

from Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power, p. 217:

To create a cult you must first attract attention. This you should not do through actions, which are too clear and readable, but through words, which are hazy and deceptive.

(See: BIGLY. Also: YUUUGE. Also: SAD. SO SAD. Also: Anything that can be said in 140 characters)

Your initial speeches, conversations, and interviews must include two elements: on the one hand, the promise of something great and transformative, and on the other a total vagueness.

(See: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN)

This combination will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your listeners, who will make their own connections and see what they want to see.

(At the risk of repeating herself: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN)

To make your vaguness attractive, use words of great resonance but cloudy meaning, words full of heat and enthusiasm.

(See: I AM GOING TO APPOINT THE GREATEST CABINET IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: The Hunter

The hunter does not lay the same trap for a wolf as for a fox.

Even “persons so insignificant and so inconsiderable . . .  may, some time or other, have it in their power to be of use to you; which they certainly will not, if you have once shown them contempt. Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.” (Lord Chesterfield, 1694 – 1773)

— p. 144, The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

2nd Quote of the Day: Will Schwalbe in WSJ, 25 November 2016

We overschedule our days and complain constantly about being too busy. We shop endlessly for stuff we don’t need and then feel oppressed by the clutter that surrounds us. We rarely sleep well or enough. We compare our bodies to the artificial ones we see on television. We watch cooking shows and then eat fast food. We worry ourselves sick and join gyms we don’t visit. We keep up with hundreds of acquaintances but rarely see our best friends.

— Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living is just out from Knopf.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries