Wednesday, July 31, 2013

what's something you've been avoiding thinking about?

"What's something you've been avoiding thinking about? It can be anything - a relationship difficulty, a problem at work, something on your todo list you've been avoiding. Call it to mind - despite the pain it brings - and just sort of let it sit there. Acknowledge that thinking about it is painful and feel good about yourself for being able to do it anyway. Feel it becoming less painful as you force yourself to keep thinking about it. See, you're getting stronger!

OK, take a break. But when you're ready, come back to it, and start thinking of concrete things you can do about it. See how it's not as scary as you thought? See how good it feels to actually do something about it?

Next time you start feeling that feeling, that sense of pain from deep in your head that tells you to avoid a subject - ignore it. Lean into the pain instead."

-Aaron Swartz

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Restriction of the Domain of the Snuggle

"Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperization. Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women, others with none. It's what is known as "the law of the market". In an economic system where unfair dismissal is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their place. In a sexual system where adultery is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their bed mate. In a totally liberal economic system certain people accumulate considerable fortunes; others stagnate in unemployment and misery. In a totally liberal sexual system certain people have a varied and exciting erotic life; others are reduced to masturbation and solitude."
- Michel Houellebecq, Whatever

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

                                                                      Ben Katchor

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"To be alone with the as yet unwritten book is still to be in the primal sleep of humanity. That's it. It also means being alone with the writing that is still lying fallow. It means trying not to die. It means being alone in a shelter during the war. But without prayer, without God, with no thought whatsoever except the insane desire to exterminate the German Nation down to the last Nazi"
-Marguerite Duras

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A rich man once came to the maggid of Koznitz. "What are you in the habit of eating?" the maggid asked. "I am modest in my demands," the rich man replied. "Bread and salt, and a drink of water are all I need." "What are you thinking of!" the rabbi reproved him. "You must eat roast meat and drink mead, like all rich people." And he did not let the man go until he had promised him to do as he said. Later the Hasidim asked him the reason for this odd request. "Not until he eats meat," said the maggid, "will he realize that the poor man needs bread. As long as he himself eats bread, he will think the poor man can live on stones."

Years and Years of Crocodile Tears

"No greater calamity could befall the wage earners of the country than to have the legislative power to fix wages upheld. Take from the citizen the right to freely contract and sell his labor for the highest wage which his individual skill and efficiency will command, and the laborer would be reduced to an automaton - a mere creature of the state. It will logically, if persisted in, end in social disorder and revolution."
- D.C. District Court Judge J.A. Van Orsdel, 1923

"The Fair Labor Standards Act constitutes a step in the direction of communism, bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism"
- National Association of Manufacturers, 1937

"The proposed jump from an hourly minimum of 40 to 65 a reckless jolt to the economic system. Living standards instead of being improved, would fall- probably to record lows."
- National Association of Manufacturers, 1945

"Any temporary advantage to our 2 million employees would be more than offset by immediate unemployment within our industry. A national minimum wage within our industry is impractical and dangerous."
- George R. LeSauvage, National Restaurant Association, 1949

-If we were compelled to pay a minimum wage of $1 an hour or more we would have to raise our rates to a level where a very large segment of the population could not afford to eat or sleep in a hotel."
- Arthur J. Packard, American Hotel Association, 1955

"The entire motion-picture industry, even in our largest centers, is balanced so delicately on the knife-edge of survival or destruction that the smallest expense could throw the balance the wrong way."
-A. Julian Brylawski, Theatre Owners of America, 1955

"I think the people who are proposing these things don't know what they are talking about. It means economic chaos for the very people they are trying to help."
- Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), 1956

"Theres is not enough mechanization or automation yet developed to save my business from the minimum wage horror."
- Ernest Kuhn, Kuhn Hotel Corporation, 1961

"Frankly, no company our size can live under such circumstances. Undoubtedly we would have to liquidate."
- Joseph E. Chastain, Lintz Department Stores, 1966

"I've often said that the minimum wage is the most anti-Negro law on the books."
- Milton Friedman, 1973

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Concept of the Circumcised Sandal

After the majority had gone we were left standing with him. He noticed that my shoe was very misshapen. The heel was so twisted it was facing forward. The Rebbe said, "Your shoe has got a face like a slap in the face." Then he was silent for a bit. We certainly believed that nothing he said was simple and all his words contained deep secrets.
He then said: "Our casual talk!"- stressing the word our. "Let some mystic tell me how that comment contains all the mystical intentions of circumcision as well as what is higher than mystical intentions."
With awesome grace and holiness the words began to flow forth from his lips. "There are cases where they slap a person in the face, others where they slap him on the sandal." The Rebbe mentioned the statement of the Rabbis referring to a sandal: "A man should not marry his friend's widow if she is carrying. This is a decree to prevent the embryo from developing a face like a shapeless sandal." He also mentioned other statements of the Rabbis involving the concept of sandals. All these statements point to how the concept of the sandal contains deep Torah secrets.
He then gave over the entire lesson. None of us yet knows how far it reaches. Everything was presented allusively in a succession of flashing sparks. May God grant us the merit of understanding all of this completely.