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Friday, December 30, 2005

Recycling in New Mexico

in California, I got real used to recycling virtually everything, as I wrote in WMail Issue #28 – golly, three years ago:
"Waste Not, Want Not" [Oct 2002]

but things are different in New Mexico, including recycling being tough or non-existant

— magazines are taken to the library in B-town

— newspapers and heavy cardboard and waste paper get hauled to L-town, whenever I take the 12-mile drive up there for shopping, etc

— there is NO deposit on soda cans in NM, but a commercial operation in a semi-trailer on Highway 314 pays something for aluminum, which gives the homeless and-or indigent a means of earning some cash by picking up roadside litter

— waste plastic & plastic bottles and tin cans and other metals are taken along on trips to Albuquerque (a 30-mile drive); the drop-off is just off the I-25 Freeway at a school parking lot, in a giant bin, the sign says open M-F 8-5

— I've heard that there is some place in Albuquerque that pays for plastic soda bottles, but haven't found it; nor have I found anywhere to take worn-out clothing, like Gospel Army or Goodwill, where really bad items are sold by them as rag-scrap and re-enter the system

— I have no yard waste; the front lawn is brown stubble since August, and a Landmark friend brought me a 'burn barrel' for the tumbleweeds in the back yard, the removal of which is good exercise

the trash pickup here is $45 a month, by the Waste Management monopoly, and I have not signed up with them: I take my little plastic bag – mostly teabags and coffee filters – and drop it in the trash at the gas station every week or ten days

P.S. – saw a sign on the road to B-town for what appears to be a local tradition: drop off your dead Xmas trees for recycle in a dirt lot next to a local auto dealer, and B-town will have them taken away, turned into chips or something; the pile was already as big as a bus

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rites of Passage

both my parents hated their middle names; so they made a pact and when I was born I was given no middle name, and they followed suit with my three later siblings

shortly after I turned twelve, while on a trip 'up home' to the East Bay area (from L.A.), they took me to the county courthouse and got my chosen middle name added to my birth certificate, above a caret-mark

I chose my father's name; brother Tom chose Carl, after his grandfather, brother Richard chose Mom's maiden surname; Melissa was always called 'Melissa Jane', but nowadays she uses 'Melissa Ann'

I always thought this was very cool, a great surprise gift from my parents, and the only 'coming of age' rite in our family

I heard a parallel tale, years ago, possibly out of Readers Digest (one of those little human interest paragraphs)

a father somewhere in the Midwest saved the doctor's bill when each child was born, and it was understood that each kid would repay their father from their first earnings, and then have the receipt for their own birth

it was a ritual for giving them possession of their own life, for providing each of them the 'deed' of their personal sovereignty

not many of us have such 'proof of ownership' paperwork

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Your Tax Dollars At Work

here's a link to detailed info on the BILLIONS of dollars unaccounted for in the early days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq

the corruption continues...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Murrow Quotation

          We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty, We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another.
          We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men – not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend just causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

          — Edward R. Murrow, on "See It Now" [CBS News, 6 April 1954]

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Got Physicians Formula Oil?

many years ago, I discovered a marvelous clear oil that was sold at SavOn & Thrifty Drugs that just made chafed or burned or itchy dry skin get all kinds of better; I used it myself on occasion, and when my father was being treated for cancer, his arms got all messed up - blotchy and dry and bruised - so I loaned him my bottle of Physicians Formula Oil and his arms were better the next day; he was much relieved by the improvement; the same improvement showed when my mother used the Oil on a patch of shingles

when my bottle of Physicians Formula Oil later ran out, I went looking for another, but could find nobody who even knew about the Oil; apparently the Physicians Formula company is now producing only makeup and skin toner (with ginseng & collagen!) and the original, wonderful product is no longer available anywhere

but perhaps the magic of the internet can locate a source elsewhere: I have in mind something like the websites that sell Nehi® sodas or nostalgic candy from Fifties matinees or places in Vermont that sell real maple syrup (from trees)

and if no such source now exists, maybe somebody can arm-wrestle the formula/process for manufacturing the Oil from the mean old corporation, and set up a boutique lab up in the mountains somewhere, and set up a website ...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Warning for Republicans

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
— Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mother Jones Tidbit

the average salary for top U.S. CEOs in 1980 was 42 times that of the average worker

in 1991, CEOs were making 140 times the salary of the average worker

in 2004, the U.S. CEO salary average was $11.8 million, which is 431 times the worker average

in November 2005, General Motors announced 30,000 jobs will be cut, without mentioning that automobile industry CEOs were paid a median income of $4.2 million in 2004, which figure is up 72% from 2003

{mostly based on Mother Jones November 2005 issue}

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dearth of Capitalism

Ayn Rand stated in 1967 that no actual capitalist economy has ever been instituted, and my essay "Paleo-Capitalism" – WMail ezine Issue #40 – redefined capitalism as 'the creation of jobs, products and services'

non-capitalism is evident wherever there is exploitation of natural resources, downsizing, reduction of employee power and benefits, economic slavery & indentured servitude, closing of factories and-or off-shoring of jobs

the only major Paleo-Capitalist in America today is Warren E. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. finds companies, invests in them, reorganizes them for productivity, treats their employees with respect, and makes a ton of money

if Mr. Buffett cared, I would give him an award

those in the also-ran or short-listed category include:

Bill Gates: lucky man, and hard-working, and a sincere philanthropist, but still in the thrall of his stockholders

Ted Turner: a classic entrepreneur, but lately a guilt-ridden member of the Oligarchy {Ted: not your fault what Time-Warner does with your former enterprises}

Robert Redford: low-key filmmaker and environmentalist; he is honorable but silent on most important issues

The Waltons: Sam Walton may have been a good guy, but his descendents/heirs are prime examples of the damage being done in the name of [pseudo-] capitalism these days

George Soros: made a literal 'killing' in the financial markets, now tries to implant democracy & human rights in poor countries whose gross national product is in many cases less than his annual interest income

I say: "The people of the U.S.A. have the unalienable right to take back responsibility for control and management of the American economic system."