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Opinion | Mike Pompeo: Last in His Class at West Point in Integrity
Nov. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

....Pompeo has just violated one of the cardinal rules of American military ethics and command: You look out for your soldiers, you don’t leave your wounded on the battlefield and you certainly don’t stand mute when you know a junior officer is being railroaded by a more senior commander, if not outright shot in her back.........Pompeo instead let his ambassador to Ukraine — who depended on him for protection — be stabbed in her back with a Twitter knife, wielded by the president, rather than tell Trump: “Sorry, Mr. President, if you fire her, I will resign. Because to do otherwise would be unjust and against my values and character — and because I would lose the loyalty of all my diplomats if I silently went along with such a travesty of justice against a distinguished 33-year veteran of the foreign service.”............“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” — Mark 8:36......As two now retired, longtime State Department diplomats, Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, wrote on CNN.com on Saturday, “At the very least, Pompeo enabled the smear campaign to go unchallenged, acquiesced in the Giuliani back-channel effort with Ukraine and failed to say a word in defense of Bill Taylor, George Kent or Marie Yovanovitch. These are breathtaking acts of craven political cowardice and beneath the dignity of any secretary of state.”

Mike Pompeo: Last in his class at West Point on ethics in leadership.........Reporters and columnists need to ask Pompeo every chance they get: “What moral code are you operating by that would justify such behavior?’’.....it’s now clear that Pompeo had not taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution. He took an oath to defend and protect Donald J. Trump and Pompeo’s own future political career — above all else — and that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Shame on him.
character_traits  conspiracies  cowardice  diplomacy  disinformation  Donald_Trump  ethics  integrity  leadership  Michael_Pompeo  political_expediency  scriptures  Tom_Friedman  Ukraine  U.S._State_Department  U.S.foreign_policy  values  West_Point 
november 2019 by jerryking
Success in academia is as much about grit as talent - Daily chart
May 10th 2019 | Economist |

St. Matthew (Chapter 13, verse 12)
For whosoever hath, to him shall be be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

IN 1968 ROBERT MERTON, a sociologist at Columbia University, identified a feature of academic life that he called the Matthew effect. The most talented scientists, he observed, tend to have access to the most resources and the best opportunities, and receive a disproportionate amount of credit for their work, thus amplifying their already enhanced reputations and careers. Less brilliant ones, meanwhile, are often left scrambling for money and recognition.

....... success in the sciences does not always breed more success, and that scientists who fail early in their careers may benefit from the experience. .......While some of this can be explained by the weakest scientists in the no-grant group giving up, the three researchers showed that other, unobservable, characteristics such as “effort” or “grit” are also at work. Overall, the authors conclude, the findings are consistent with the concept that “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”.
academia  grit  Matthew_effect  scriptures  talent  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
august 2019 by jerryking
Turn! Turn! Turn! — The Byrds’ 1965 hit used lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years — FT.com
Nick Keppler OCTOBER 30, 2018

The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” has been used in films and TV shows to evoke collective memories of the 1960s — starting in 1970, when Homer, one of the first coming-of-age films about a Vietnam war soldier, featured the song on its soundtrack. Since then, the unmistakable chord progression and chorus have ceaselessly popped up in 1960s period pieces: More American Graffiti, Heart Like a Wheel, Forrest Gump, TV’s The Wonder Years (in three episodes) and Ken Burns’s documentary series The Vietnam War.

The song reached number one in the US in December 1965. That year, American ground troops arrived in Vietnam, men on campuses burned their draft cards, black civil rights activists withstood fire hoses and police dogs, and President Lyndon Johnson promoted his “great society” reforms. A chorus of shaggy-haired young men pressed the nation to “turn, turn, turn” and accept that change is inevitable, history is a cycle, strife is temporary, and to everything there is a season.

The song also carries the sonic imprints of the era: Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn once called the chord structure “Beatley” and said they borrowed the drum beat from Phil Spector. But the song itself was concocted by the leader of American folk music’s old guard using lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years.

Pete Seeger composed “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in 1959 in response to a letter from his publisher. “Pete,” it read, “can’t you write another song like ‘Goodnight, Irene'? I can’t sell or promote these protest songs.” ("Goodnight, Irene” was actually written/adapted by Lead Belly, but Seeger had popularised it with The Weavers.) The response from the rabble-rousing troubadour was predictably defiant. “You better find another songwriter,” Seeger wrote. “This is the only kind of song I know how to write.”

He turned to his pocket notebook, where he jotted down pieces of text for recycling. He found parts of the Bible he had copied, “verses by a bearded fellow with sandals, a tough-minded fellow called Ecclesiastes”, Seeger recalled.

Specifically, it was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, from one of the “wisdom books” of the Old Testament, collections of truths and sayings. The words attributed “a season” to a series of opposing actions: “A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal,” etc. Seeger took the text almost verbatim. He added the “turn, turn, turn” to build a chorus and tacked on his own hopeful concluding line for cold war audiences: “A time of peace; I swear it’s not too late.”
'60s  Beatles  biblical  folk  hits  music  opposing_actions  pairs  protest_movements  scriptures  songs  songwriters  sonic  soundtracks 
november 2018 by jerryking
'Black People Will Be Free': How Aretha Lived The Promise Of Detroit : NPR
August 16, 20186:49 PM ET
DREAM HAMPTON

It is important to understand the tradition of black liberation theology, a term coined by James H. Cone, that sought to use scripture to center black self-determination. In Detroit, pastors like C.L. Franklin and Albert Cleage of the Shrine of the Black Madonna used black liberation theology to help a growing black city to imagine itself powerful. They used their churches to launch the campaign of Detroit's black political class, including Coleman Young. At the same time, Rev. Franklin's church remained a touch point for even more radical organizing. He opened New Bethel to black auto workers who were waging a class struggle within a racist United Automobile Workers union. He gave shelter to Black Panthers who were targeted by J. Edgar Hoover's crusade against them. Later leaders of the fractured Black Power movement like the late Jackson, Miss. mayor (and Detroit native) Chokwe Lumumba gathered at New Bethel to form the Republic of New Afrika.
Aretha_Franklin  black_liberation_movement  Black_Panthers  Black_Power  Detroit  obituaries  scriptures  singers  soul  women 
august 2018 by jerryking
Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated - The New York Times
AUG. 24, 2017 | New York Times | Adam Grant.

it’s remarkably hard to engage [important people] unless you’ve already put something valuable out into the world. That’s what piques the curiosity of advisers and sponsors. Achievements show you have something to give, not just something to take........The best way to attract a mentor is to create something worthy of the mentor’s attention. Do something interesting, and instead of having to push your way in, you’ll get pulled in. The network comes to you.

Sociologists call this the Matthew effect, from the Bible: “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance.” If you establish a track record of achievement, advantages tend to accumulate. Who you’ll know tomorrow depends on what you contributed yesterday......Accomplishments can build your network only if other people are aware of them. You have to put your work out there. It shouldn’t be about promoting yourself, but about promoting your ideas. ...People find self-promotion so distasteful that they like you more when you’re praised by someone else — even if they know you’ve hired an agent to promote you.

So stop fretting about networking. Take a page out of the George Lucas and Sara Blakely playbooks: Make an intriguing film, build a useful product.....In life, it certainly helps to know the right people. But how hard they go to bat for you, how far they stick their necks out for you, depends on what you have to offer. Building a powerful network doesn’t require you to be an expert at networking. It just requires you to be an expert at something.

If you make great connections, they might advance your career. If you do great work, those connections will be easier to make. Let your insights and your outputs — not your business cards — do the talking.
Adam_Grant  Communicating_&_Connecting  creating_valuable_content  hard_work  idea_generation  inbound_marketing  insights  Matthew_effect  performance  mentoring  networking  overrated  playbooks  personal_accomplishments  relationships  scriptures  show_your_work  strivers  the_right_people 
august 2017 by jerryking
Babylon Revisited - WSJ.com
March 14, 2003 | WSJ | By DAVID KLINGHOFFER.
With America headed for war, and led by the most Bible-believing White House in modern times, it's no longer an eccentricity to follow the news with a Bible open on your desk. What then are we to make of some odd parallels between current events and biblical history?
Iraq  Bible  history  biblical  scriptures 
july 2012 by jerryking
Take a leaf from the Prophet
February 5, 2002 | Globe & Mail | Irshad Manji.

Well, in the Arab tradition of mediation, please allow a Muslim sister from North America to help. Laugh if you must, but I think I've got the key to a new way of thinking this puzzle through. It starts with a piece of Arab history that most Muslims were never taught at the madrassa: namely, that Jews cultivated the climate in which Prophet Mohammed could survive and spread the word about Islam.

Mecca's pagan Arab population did not exactly welcome the Prophet in the early seventh century. They oppressed him to the point of threatening his life, obliging him to flee north to Medina. As Albert Hourani observed in A History of the Arab Peoples, his escape was helped by traders who needed an arbiter in tribal disputes. "Having lived side by side with Jewish inhabitants of the oasis, they were prepared to accept a teaching expressed in terms of a prophet and a holy book."

Don't you see, Yasser? The groundwork for Mohammed's safety was laid by that gang who embraced earlier prophets and scripture. Say it with me: J-e-w-s.
Irshad_Manji  Palestinian  Yasser_Arafat  Jewish  scriptures  religious_tolerance  tolerance 
june 2012 by jerryking

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