Louis C.K. of the Day

After last Friday’s poll, and a most excellent appearance on Conan that same day, Louis C.K. has been selected as the philosopher of the week. This week will feature clips of Louis CK in his most philosophical moments.

Louis C.K. – “You are lucky to live sad moments.”


About a year ago, it occurred to me that I trust Louis CK as a philosopher the way I trust Jon Stewart as a news anchor. I’d put it to either one of them something like this: “Hey, I know this isn’t what you think you’re doing, but you’re doing it and you’re the only honest guy in the room.”

To relate this clip of Louis to Cynicism remember that a central tenet of the cynics is that virtue is a practice, not a theory. One must train one’s mind and body. Diogenes of Sinope liked to roll in hot sand and cold snow. Louis CK pulls over to stand before a tidal wave of sadness. This is Louis’ point about not giving kids cell phones: it will interfere with the practice of being human and the development of the essential human virtue: empathy.

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Good News for your Good Morning

Good News: This picture exists. I do so love bowler hats.

Let’s start with something that seems like bad news, until you think about it for a minute. Rand Paul, the elvish revolutionary fantasist and junior senator from Kentucky, has said he believes the GOP is winning just like Charlie Sheen was #winning. That’s right, Senator Paul, the GOP is much like Charlie Sheen and your sense of winning is analogous to his. Of course this is because Charlie Sheen was having a public meltdown, which he later regretted, but even at the time everyone else knew he was a disaster. Hey that reminds me, the congressional GOP has a 68% disapproval rating. Congrats on #winning! Now for some actual good news… Continue reading

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Tao of the Day (with digression)

“Words of truth are not high-sounding;
high-sounding words are not the truth.”

These two lines are from Chapter 81 of the Tao teh Ching, as translated by C. Ganson. There are a number of other translations and this is one chapter that reads very differently depending on the translation. So let’s digress on translations of Chapter 81 this morning (RSS readers will need to click for more to see the whole post). Continue reading

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You Decide: Next Featured Philosopher

I’ve been slacking on the Tao of the Day posts. I’m going to get back on that horse next week. Of course, only some weeks do I do the Tao and other weeks I do other quote sources. They’re all relevant to Cynicism or the practice thereof.

So I ask you, dear readers, who should be the next source of daily wisdom?

I swear to abide by your decision. [dude your fingers are so crossed right now]

The poll will close sometime Sunday afternoon. Or sooner. Or later.

Diogenes loves to hear from his readers. Comment to join the conversation.

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Mega Good News, Part III: Benghazi, Rouhani, Equality – Oh My!


“Oh look, it’s time to pay another high-dollar, low-impact fine!”

Welcome to Part III of the Good News Trilogy – everything that wasn’t in Part I: Entertainment News or Part II: Catholicism, WOW!

From the “I’ll take what I can get and call it good news” department, JP Morgan has been fined $920 million by various authorities for the “London Whale” trades. It’s something, but it’s not much: the original incident cost them a combined $57 billion in losses. Then again this was not remotely the biggest of JP Morgan’s crimes, but at least this time they’re not profiting from awfulness.

Yet another investigation into last year’s attack on the Benghazi consulate (or outpost, or whatever), which claimed the lives of four Americans including an ambassador, has conclusively dismantled one of the “Benghazi was a scandal” talking points. This time it’s the myth that military personnel were told to “stand down” during the attack. [omg are you implying that GOP loonies were just making things up to score political hits? I can hardly believe that… …next you’re going to tell me that rain is made out of water.]

Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, has made some comments indicating he might be willing to negotiate with President Obama to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. If President Obama manages to handle Syrian chemical weapons and Iranian nukes without starting any wars, he will have earned that Nobel Peace Prize.

The Labor Department has now said that married gay couples, regardless of the state they live in, are entitled to equal employment benefits. Queerty has the story as well, including this helpful reminder that there is plenty more to do:

There are still some changes that the Labor Department can make to ensure greater equality. Chief among them: rewriting the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees to take time off from work to deal with family emergencies.

Hopefully I’ll get to post a link to a story about that happening soon, too!

30 years after he courageously outed himself at a public hearing to support the city’s gay rights bill, a group of NYPD officers are seeking to honor Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane by naming a street after him. Click the link, the story is worth your time.

Speaking of the NYPD and civil rights, a US District judge has rejected a request by the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg to halt the halt of Stop & Frisk. In other words, the original ruling stands and the NYPD must implement reforms before continuing the program.

Enjoy your night and have eventful dreams! I’ll do my best to get back into the morning news routine tomorrow…

Want to comment or submit your own good news link? Send Diogenes an email or submit a comment online. You can also comment on the Facebook page.

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Mega Good News, Part II: Catholicism, WOW!

Now available with 40% less hate!

Welcome to Part II of today’s Good News trilogy. Click here if you missed Part I: Entertainment News.

The good folks over at The Daily Show recently did a segment on Pope Francis’ remarkable humility and acceptance. [remarkable for a Pope, at least] It can get you all caught up on Pope Francis recent words and deeds that have caught attention (also, it is funny):


And now today we find out that in a recent, in depth interview Pope Francis criticized the Church’s focus on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality and argued that the Church needs to find a “new balance” and be a “home for all.” [wouldn’t it be nice to also post a link to his comments condemning child abuse and promising accountability and reforms? oh wait, that’s never going to happen.]

Desmond Tutu is the hipster of Christian officials supporting equality – he was doing it before it was popular. He is still doing it, most recently saying that supporting equal rights for gays is one of the most pressing issues for Christians.

Wouldn’t it be something to see the Anglican and Catholic churches become forces for equality? [yeah, that’d be something – also, less child abuse would be good]

Enjoy your evening!

Update: This post has been corrected thanks to a reader comment! I’m so excited I got a reader comment! [that’s not sarcasm, folks, he’s really excited!]

Invisible M wrote to let me know that Desmond Tutu is not a Catholic Archbishop as I assumed, but is in fact a retired Anglican Archbishop. As someone who has watched all four seasons of The Tudors, I should remember that the Anglican church also has archbishops. My bad, and thank you again to my reader for pointing out my error.

Update 2: Daily Show video embed has been fixed. Apparently WordPress trusts Hulu, but not Comedy Central, as a source of embedded media.

Want to comment or submit your own good news link? Send Diogenes an email or submit a comment online. You can also comment on the Facebook page.

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Mega Good News, Part I: Entertainment News

Who has an iPad but not a standard leveling tool? Syrian rebels, that’s who. This isn’t good news. I just think the picture is amazing.

Good Afternoon, readers. There is quite a bit of good news to catch up on. I decided to break it into three parts. Entertainment, of course, comes first.

First and foremost, the word is in and it is good: The final episodes of Breaking Bad will be 75 minutes long. Hooray! That’s an extra 30 minutes of “oh my god oh my god what’s s/he going to do next?!?!” [yeah it’s also 30 more minutes of adrenal fatigue, dude]

Be sure to set your DVRs accordingly and feel free to skip commercials, as this judge has ruled is your solemn, constitutionally protect right. [well at least it’s not illegal anyway]

As has been mentioned on this blog before, there is a disconnect between the reticence of old men to make female superhero movies and the eagerness among male and female moviegoers to see female superheroes on screen. Good news: a short film about Agent Peggy Carter is accompanying the Iron Man 3 DVD release. Agent Carter was one of the highlights of the 2011 Captain America movie. Even better news [seriously it took you a paragraph to get to the best part, wtf?] Agent Carter may get her own TV show! If this happens, I sincerely hope Hayley Atwell continues to play the part.

Last two pieces of entertainment news are small, but fun.

First, actor Jeff Bridges said out loud what everyone who saw the trailer thought: R.I.P.D sucked. This is good news because wealthy, white men publicly admitting failure is a rare thing; it needs to be encouraged. Way to go, Lebowski!

Second, actor Patrick Stewart just got married. [It was really hard not to write “Captain Picard just got married,” wasn’t it?] The wedding was private and officiated by actor and Knight of the British Empire, Sir Ian McKellan. Click on that link to see Stewart, the bride, and Magneto all looking very happy. Click the link. Do it now.

Enjoy your afternoon!

Want to comment or submit your own good news link? Send Diogenes an email or submit a comment online. You can also comment on the Facebook page.

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Not much time for blogging today…

…but I do have time to share this with you. It is a video of a cat using a theremin.

I ask you: What finer works could one hope to find on the interwebs? Surely there are none.

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Good News for your Good Morning

Uncle Sam wants YOU … not to die in Syria!


The Syrian Civil War and lack of American military intervention is back in the Good News column. It appears the US and Russia have worked out a plan and made a deal. As Andrew Sullivan points out, this is a big deal:

Obama has managed to insist on his red line on Syria’s chemical weapons, forcing the world to grapple with a new breach of international law, while also avoiding being dragged into Syria’s civil war.

Sullivan goes on to mention how this could be a blueprint for an eventual deal on Iran’s nuclear program. I think it’s a big deal for the very simple reason that the world is once again having to grapple with an American President who knows how to deal without deploying munitions. This is called statecraft, folks.

Continue reading

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Taking the morning off

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday! Today’s Good News will be an afternoon post as I am preoccupied with kids this morning. If you need some good blog action this morning, head over to The Dish.

Enjoy your morning!

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