FRED ASTAIRE PLAYS GOLF

I care nothing at all about golf, but it’s impossible to watch this without being happy. Thanks, Roger.

PAUL KRUGMAN ON INFLATION

Maybe we can print all these trillions of dollars, says Paul Krugman, and not suffer inflation someplace down the line? Well, maybe. (Or – Niall Fergusson – maybe not.)

COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES

My brother Steve: ‘Great speech! Of course, I especially like that Hawken quoted a favorite rabbinic teaching – ‘There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true.’ – even if he shortened it and took it out of context to make his point: the world can be saved if you pitch in now. The version I learned goes like this: ‘If you are planting a tree and someone tells you the Messiah has arrived, first finish planting the tree, then go and greet the Messiah.’ (Based on a teaching attributed to R’ Yochanan ben Zakkai in Avot de Rabbi Natan, Ch 31; I had to look it up). I love the dryness here, leaving the skepticism implied – We’ve been plagued with false messiahs. But the teaching also works without the skepticism What if the Messiah really has arrived? The Messiah wants you to care more about the life in your hand – the sapling – and the work you are doing – repairing the world – than about hurrying to welcome salvation. Either way, a great speech and a great teaching.’

Kevin Kotowski: ‘Just finished reading the Paul Hawken commencement address you posted. Thanks, I needed it today. A wonderful, marvelous, brings-tears-to-my-eyes-every-time-I-read-it (and I read it at least two or three times a year) short story I think you might enjoy – along the same theme as Mr. Hawken’s address: “The Toynbee Convector” by Ray Bradbury. It takes 10 minutes or so to read – and it’ll stick with you forever. Available from Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.’ [Or if you know what bit torrents are (needless to say, I don’t), download and listen here.]

Monty Goolsby:Here is a commencement speech [by conservative talk show host Neil Boortz] that has never been delivered [but very widely read].’

☞ Boortz says liberals ‘care’ while conservatives-and-libertarians ‘think.’ Actually, liberals care AND think. (Well, sometimes.) Meanwhile, conservatives-and-libertarians ‘think’ it’s okay to ‘care’ only about themselves.

That’s a gross overstatement, but rendered in the spirit of Boortz’s own.

 

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