February 22, 2016

If You've Got Your Health...But Not Your Candidate


Saturday's mission, which I decided to accept, was to research the origin of the heretical if understandable saying, “if you've got your health, you've got everything.”

More difficult than I expected as Google didn't provide any easy answers. Even doing a Google book search was futile - large number of hits in the 20th century but nothing pre-20th.

I'd thought the phrase came from Shakespeare or the ancient Romans or the Old Testament - the usual suspects when it comes to proverbs. But no dice. So I searched for parts of the phrase and hit pay dirt with this:

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” So said Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, a Scottish philosopher and essayist and non-believer).

It seems likely his original phrase was truncated for brevity to exclude the hope part, which seems a significant deletion - from heath being a means to hope to health being a means to everything.

Carlyle likely picked it up from an old Arabic proverb; as early as 1830 there is mention of an “old Arab proverb” that says “He who has health should hope, and he who hopes can never remain unhappy”.

Carlyle certainly held up health as a huge. He suffered from dyspepsia and at just 28 years old wrote to his brother: “I want health, health, health! On this subject I am becoming quite furious!”.

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Well it appears it's a Trump v Clinton general election.

You can't win a Democratic primary without black votes and Bernie can't buy them. I knew with perfect foreknowledge that Hillary would win the black vote - I'm envious of the cohesiveness of African-American voting, it's like there is some signal, invisible to outsiders, that allow them to move as one.  I'm so  jealous we Catholics can't do the same with respect to the life issues.  Or that evangelicals weren't monolithically pro-Cruz in the recent SC primary.

And Trump is favored because it would take Rubio or Cruz to bow out, and both of the latter burn with holy ambition.

They say you get the candidate you deserve, but really, Sanders, Clinton, Trump?   One wants to impoverish us, one to lie to us, and one rule over us.

It's interesting that the messiah fetish didn't end with Obama despite Obama's dismal record. Liberals think Bernie is anointed one as Republicans do Trump. The same glory-eye'd looks of power worship.

I don't think in good conscience I can vote for either Trump or Clinton in the general, although I suppose as a representative for the unborn I should think about Trump since there's a better chance he would nominate a pro-life justice.  But giving him the nuclear codes is too shiver-inducing.

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This tidbit from WaPo on the sudden influx of rain to Death Valley reminds me spiritually that similar things happen when God rains grace:
“I’ve lived in Death Valley for 25 years and I’ve seen lots of blooms in Death Valley, and I kept thinking I was seeing incredible blooms,” Van Valkenburg said. “I was always very excited, until I saw one of these super blooms, and then I suddenly realized — there are so many seeds out there just waiting to sprout, just waiting to grow. I had no idea that there was that much out there.”
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Read a depressing NYT story about the "clean hell” of supermax prisons. 23 hours of solitary confinement for inmates, inhumane kind of torture.

But was inspired by the counselors and psychiatrists and doctors who are attempting to help rehabilitate survivors of supermax, and of how slow the road to recovery. “Build anyway,” said Mother Teresa, regarding the seeming futility of the struggle.

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Selections from 19th Century medical journal:



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