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Quote Of The Day, O'Rourke Edition

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Quote Of The Day, Tolstoy Edition

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him. - Leo Tolstoy

Album Review: Neither Fish Nor Flesh

It's been a while since I did an album review (or any review, to be honest) so the time has come. The album will be Terence Trent D'Arby's 1989 sophomore effort, Neither Fish Nor Flesh, a Soundtrack of Love, Faith, Hope & Destruction.

I know what you're thinking: why is Mark reviewing a thirty year old album that was considered a failure, even by D'Arby himself? The answer is simple: I enjoy listening to it. I'll go so far as to say I love the album in all its sprawling glory.

In 1987, D'Arby made his infamous debut with "Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby," with the claim that "my album is better than Sgt. Pepper." This, in the twentieth anniversary of said Beatles album, caused a huge controversy, as one might imagine. And he was right; I enjoy Introducing The Hardline... more than Sgt. Pepper while remaining a fan of both bands.

All this attention caused great expectations for a follow up, but Neither …

Quote Of The Day, Labor Day Edition

Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and fallen and bruised itself, and risen again; been seized by the throat and choked and clubbed into insensibility; enjoined by courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, shot down by regulars, traduced by the press, frowned upon by public opinion, deceived by politicians, threatened by priests, repudiated by renegades, preyed upon by grafters, infested by spies, deserted by cowards, betrayed by traitors, bled by leeches, and sold out by leaders, but notwithstanding all this, and all these, it is today the most vital and potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission of emancipating the workers of the world from the thraldom of the ages is as certain of ultimate realization as is the setting of the sun. - Eugene Debs, borrowed from the infinitely informative The Chequer-Board Of Nights And Days blog. Happy Labor Day, ye laborers.

The World In Which We Live: Praetorian Edition

Serial child rapist and all around weird guy has died while in custody. Alleged cause of death is suicide by hanging, but needless to say, not everyone is buying it. And by "not everyone," I mean a great many people, some famous and well-respected in their fields, who preface their opinions with "I'm not a conspiracy theorist but...". Go to Twitter in you need further evidence.

The question of how did a man on suicide watch (with one failed attempt under his belt) successfully commit suicide in one of the most secure holding units in America?

As has happened so many times throughout history, the parties responsible for protecting were off duty or stood down. I call this the Praetorian Pattern.

The Praetorian Guard was a unit responsible for guarding the Roman emperor. Formed by Augustus to act as personal protection, the unit lasted for three centuries, during which time it developed a pattern of intrigue and interference with Roman politics, capable of underm…

Quote Of The Day, Hicks Edition

Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. - Bill Hicks

The World In Which We Live: Fun And Easy To Win Edition

I had hoped that by summer's end there would be no more trade war posts to write but there appears to be no end to the ongoing struggle. Fears of a recession are increasing, so much so that
Bank Of America is offering advice on how to navigate the impending slow down, the price of everything continues to march upwards, retailers are failing in droves, and even a Republican lawmaker is calling for a tax cut due to tariffs. This last point should prove once again that a tariff is a tax passed on to consumers, but try to explain that to the true believers who support the fun and easy to win economic policies of the current administration.

At least things aren't boring. The market reaction to the Fed's announced rate cut (which flies in the face of all logic) followed almost immediately by a tweet announcing more tariffs on Chinese products sent the VIX off the charts and VIX traders into a rapture or rupture, depending on which side of the trade they were on.

And yet, somehow…