Sunday, August 16, 2020

Adin Steinsaltz: May His Memory Be a Blessing

Adin Steinsaltz was a scholar whose works I've discovered in the last couple of years. Although I've only read a handful of his books, his work has already made an indelible mark on what I believe, the way I think, and how I live. His most notable accomplishment is making the Talmud accessible to everyone by translating it into modern Hebrew, then into other languages from there. His book The Thirteen Petalled Rose is essential reading for people who want an introduction to Kabbalah.

I plan on reading the Steinsaltz Talmud every day for the next few years, with gratitude for the man whose motto was, "Let my people know."

Friday, August 14, 2020

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Badass, Superhero, Mensch

Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the world's most popular living composers. Giving the world music is not enough for him. Despite his age, Webber is participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials in order to help humanity and the arts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Libertarians for Biden/Harris

The title says it all. There is no other choice. You are welcome to think that Trump has more to offer the cause of freedom, but you will be just plain wrong.

I'm not going to demean drug users in general by saying that you are acting high to claim that a second execrable Trump/Pence term would advance the ideals of classical liberalism in the USA and around the world more than a Biden/Harris term would.

I will narrow the field a bit and focus on one particular drug and what it does to the mind: I am guessing that you are high on bath salts if you claim that a second execrable Trump/Pence term would advance the ideals of classical liberalism in the USA and around the world more than a Biden/Harris term would.

To be clear, I am not saying that Trump supporters are high on bath salts. People support him for all sorts of reasons, and I have friends who support him. I am saying that people who claim that Trump/Pence is a more libertarian choice than Biden/Harris MIGHT be high on bath salts. Or maybe not. Most libertarians are half-crazy and/or half-baked, so guessing what's happening under the hood is at best half-likely to be in the right epistemological ballpark.

By including Willie, I'm not saying he's a libertarian. But he's usually right about things, so heed his advice.
Always listen to Willie.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Album of the Year Part 2

Still Run The Jewels + Pharrell and Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against the Machine, both at their most politically clever...

Album of the Year: Run the Jewels 4

Song of the year:
walking in the snow
by RUN THE JEWELS

Killer Mike's verse:
The way I see it, you're probably freest from the ages one to four
Around the age of five you're shipped away for your body to be stored
They promise education, but really they give you tests and scores
And they predictin' prison population by who scoring the lowest
And usually the lowest scores the poorest and they look like me
And every day on the evening news, they feed you fear for free
And you so numb, you watch the cops choke out a man like me
Until my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, "I can't breathe"
And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV
The most you give's a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy
But truly the travesty, you've been robbed of your empathy
Replaced it with apathy, I wish I could magically
Fast forward the future so then you can face it
And see how fucked up it'll be
I promise I'm honest
They coming for you the day after they comin' for me
I'm readin' Chomsky, I read Bukowski, I'm layin' low for a week
I said somethin' on behalf of my people and I popped up in Wikileaks
Thank God that I'm covered, the devil come smothered
And you know the evil don't sleep
Dick Gregory told me a couple of secrets before he laid down in his grave
All of us serve the same masters, all of us nothin' but slaves
Never forget in the story of Jesus, the hero was killed by the state