Copyright Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved. Powered by Blogger.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Republicans to wreak havoc with civil liberties

Republican Party state legislators held a mock Constitutional convention over September 12-15 in Phoenix, Arizona; the practice topic was balancing the budget, but a real convention could add or delete any number of anti-worker, pro-fascist, anti-human rights, pro-discrimination changes to the U.S. Constitution.

Republicans control 32 of the country's state legislatures, two more would give them the leverage needed to call for such a convention, under Article V of the Constitution – and wreak havoc with American liberties.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Sunday, October 01, 2017

News Factoids for Third Quarter 2017

Facebook hit 2 billion users in June 2017 – their traffic has doubled since they hit 1 billion users in October 2012.

This year’s Social Security report projects that in 2017 Social Security will run an annual surplus of roughly $58.6 billion, bringing the accumulated surplus to about $2.9 trillion by the end of the year.

Dust isn’t the only thing your Roomba is sucking up. It’s also gathering maps of your house.

"The Great Recession never fully ended."
– Ryan Cooper, in The Week Magazine, July 2017

The Republican Party of Nevada is so intolerant of democracy that in August 2017 they launched three recall campaigns against three female members of the Nevada state legislature. Their first target is Nevada Democratic Senator Joyce Woodhouse; the second is Democrat-leaning Independent Patricia Farley; the third is new Nevada Democratic Senator Nicole Cannizzaro. The recall petitions do not specify any cause, the citizen signers did so on the simplistic basis that Democrats are not fascist Republicans.

According to a study by nearly 500 scientists from over 60 countries, 2016 was the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping. It replaced 2015 as the warmest year on record.

Coffee consumption in China tripled from 2012 to 2016. Starbucks Coffee already has 600 stores in Shanghai plus they are opening over 500 stores per year around China.

Nine billion tons of plastic has been produced since the 1930s - 7 billion tons were thrown away: 9% is recycled, 12% incinerated, leaving 79% in landfills, litter, and floating in the oceans. Europe recycles 30% of plastics, China recycles 25%, the U.S.A only 9%.

Hollywood had the worst summer box office results in 25 years: revenue fell 16%, attendance hit a 25-year low – analysts blamed the many 'really bad' sequels.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


The island of Puerto Rico is, they say, obliterated by Hurricane Maria. Electrical power and other utilities will be unavailable in some areas for six months.

Lots of people have prayed that the people of Puerto Rico would be safe from each new hurricane. Doesn't help: the hurricane goes where it wants and survival is very much a matter of luck.

Most of the church buildings are gone, also. Can't light candles if there aren't any.

Politics in America has become a divisive and hostile affair, largely caused by the fascist Oligarchy and their manipulation of the Republican Party.

But back in 1948, Americans were proud of our success in World War II, and already clear that Russia was a threat to democracy. So when East Germany closed all access to Berlin, the Western allies organized an airlift, sending 278,228 flights to Berlin from June 1948 to September 1949. The cost of the airlift was shared between the U.S.A., U.K., and Germany and is estimated at $225M to $500M (which would be $2¼B to $5B in today's inflated economy).

It actually doesn't matter how much a modern airlift might cost, we have got to do something or we will know that who this country is is Trump's not-very-great America.

The population of Berlin in 1948 was 2.4 million; the Puerto Rico population pre-hurricane was roughly 3.5 million. The United States is moving too slow while real lives - American lives - are in the balance.

You know the drill: Call both Senators and your Congressperson.
Say anything, but include the phrase 'Puerto Rico Airlift'.

And also call your local television and newspaper companies to let them know that this solution should be covered by them. And pre-emptively, tell your backward Republican in-laws that it is their party's fault that action has not been taken in Congress.

American lives are in the balance.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, September 09, 2017

September 2017 Quotations (56)

"An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress."
~~ Mark Zuckerberg

"The purpose of any company should be to make people's lives better. Otherwise, they shouldn't exist."
~~ Bill Ford, chair of Ford Motor Company

“When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now . . . “
~~ Hans Christian Anderson [1805-75]

"Cinema begins with D.W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami."
~~ Jean-Luc Godard

"Success isn’t everything but it makes a man stand straight."
~~ playwright Lillian Hellman [1905-84]

“I don't know if I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want someone who made it interesting.”
~~ Edith Wharton [1862-1937]

“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”
~~ Langston Hughes [1902-67]

"Abundance is not something [that] we acquire. It is something [that] we tune into."
~~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer [1940-2015]

"Life’s meaning has always eluded me and I guess it always will. But I love it just the same."
~~ E.B. White [1899-1985]

"Science fiction, outside of poetry, is the only literary field which has no limits, no parameters whatsoever. You can go not only into the future, but into that wonderful place called other, which is simply another universe, another planet, another species."
~~ Theodore Sturgeon [1918-85]

"We all change. When you think about it, we're all different people all through our lives, and that's good. You gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be."
~~ 11th Doctor Who

“I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”
~~ Virginia Woolf [1882-1941], from her diary (entry dated October 2, 1932)

"Leadersip is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that this impact lasts in your absence."
~~ Harvard Business School

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination, and hard work."
~~ Colin Powell

"I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health."
~~ Voltaire [1694-1778]

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts [that] you are thinking."
~~ Eckhart Tolle

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
~~ Hindu goddess Chandi

"The best education comes from action; the most memorable lesson is a mistake."
~~ Tim Fargo

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!"
~~ Haruki Murakami

"History has shown that democracies are healthy when the principles that bind people together are stronger than those that divide them."
~~ investor Ray Dalio

"People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision."
~~ John C. Maxwell

"The first step to becoming bold is to stop believing that boldness is meant for other, better leaders."
~~ Dan Pallotta

"Find something that makes you happy. And think about it a lot."
~~ Esther Hicks

"Fox News is a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue."
~~ actor Jim Carrey

"Success is never so interesting as struggle."
~~ Willa Cather [1873-1947]

"Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused, this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate, and the abusers will be eliminated. Things come full circle, back to where they started. That's revolution."
~~ Native American activist Russell Means [1939-2012]

"Live the full life of the mind, exhilirated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet."
~~ Jhumpa Lahiri

"One always tends to over-praise a long book because one has got through it."
~~ British author E.M. Forster [1879-1970]

"There was no answer except the usual answer [that] life gives to the most complicated and insoluble questions. This answer is: Carry on with your everyday affairs, that is to say, put it out of your mind."
~~ Count Leo Tolstoy [1828-1910]

"The answer is that there is no good answer. So as parents, as doctors, as judges, and as a society, we fumble through and make decisions that allow us to sleep at night – because morals are more important than ethics, and love is more important than law."
~~ Jodi Picoult

"The trouble with life isn't that there is no answer, it's that there are so many answers."
~~ anthropologist Ruth Benedict [1887-1948]

"There is no answer, only a question."
~~ Derek Rydall

"Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power."
~~ actress Shirley MacLaine

"To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself."
~~ George Orwell [1903-50]

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."
~~ Dr. Maya Angelou [1928-2014]

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again there is no use reading it at all."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Walking is the perfect way of moving if you want to see into the life of things. It is one way of freedom."
~~ Elizabeth von Arnim [1866-1941]

"Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders."
~~ Thomas J. 'Tom' Peters III

"Without water we are nothing. Even an emperor, denied water, would swiftly turn to dust. Water is the real monarch and we are all its slaves."
~~ Salman Rushdie

"I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive – nor will we deserve to."
~~ Native American activist Leonard Peltier

"I would like to see every single soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle your kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, nope, I ain't gonna kill nobody. Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns."
~~ folksinger-activist Woody Guthrie [1912-67]

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'."
~~ Isaac Asimov [1920-92]

"If you don't see the book [that] you want on the shelf, write it."
~~ children's author Beverly Cleary

"All great changes are preceded by chaos."
~~ Deepak Chopra

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
~~ physicist Stephen W. Hawking

"The further [that] a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
~~ George Orwell [1903-50]

"The first mistake of art is to assume that it is serious."
~~ music critic Lester Bangs [1948-82]

"If you don't become the ocean, you'll be seasick every day."
~~ Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen [1934-2016]

"Hold fast to your vision and do something every day to bring it into manifestation."
~~ Michael Bernard Beckwith

"All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
~~ Federico Fellini [1920-93]

"After one look at this planet, any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager'."
~~ beat poet Wm. S. Burroughs [1914-97]

"Money lost, something lost. Honor lost, much lost. Courage lost, everything lost – better [that] you were never born."
~~ {Johann Wolfgang von} Goethe [1749-1832]

"What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?"
~~ Anthony Trollope [1815-82]

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Friday, September 01, 2017

Superstorm Solution

Harvey is just the first Superstorm this year. Hurricane Irma is already forming. We can expect many more, due to Republican Party failure to deal with what is now called the Global Climate Crisis.

Texas and the Gulf Coast are now waterlogged. There will be mosquitos. So the solution for preventing malaria epidemics in America from each storm is to reverse the ban on the pesticide D.D.T – temporarily, say for one year (and same after each record-breaking storm cycle.) Such a reversal should also be limited by geography, such as to the Gulf Coast or Florida or New York City.

Eco-activist Rachel Carson [1907-64] was right about the dangers of D.D.T. yet it remains the most effective preventive, and the current practice of NOT using D.D.T. in Africa is the cause of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Carson always said that carefully managed use of pesticides was an important option. Let's give it a try.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 2017 Quotations (54)

"He who allows oppression, shares the crime."
~~ Erasmus Darwin [1731-1802], British physician, scientist, reformer & poet, and grandfather of Charles Darwin [1809-82]

"The Great Recession never fully ended."
~~ Ryan Cooper, in "The Week Magazine", July 2017

"If you're looking for rainbows look up to the sky / You'll never find rainbows if you're looking down."
~~ Charlie Chaplin [1889-1977], sung in the opening credits for"The circus" [1928] sound re-release in 1969

"If you are silent you are dead, / And if you speak you are dead, / So speak and die.”
~~ assassinated Algerian writer Tahar Djaout [1954-93]

"People change and forget to tell each other."
~~ playwright Lillian Hellman [1905-84]

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Live out of your imagination, not your history."
~~ Stephen Covey [1932-2012]

"When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel."
~~ book blurb

"Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves."
~~ William Arthur Ward [1921-94]

“Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair.”
~~ Edith Wharton [1862-1937]

"Wake up! The Class War has already begun."
~~ John R. Talbott, in 2004

"Life is a game. In order to have a game, something has to be more important than something else. If what already is, is more important than what isn’t, the game is over. So, life is a game in which what isn’t, is more important than what is. Let the good times roll."
~~ Werner Erhard

"Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is poverty. Ignorance is devastation. Ignorance is tragedy. And ignorance is illness. It all stems from ignorance."
~~ motivational speaker Jim Rohn [1930-2009]

"Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string."
~~ Pelé, retired soccer star

"If Trump must start a nuclear war, let us finish 'Game of Thrones' first."
~~ Vincent Lee, on LinkedIn

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.”
~~ Thomas Watson, Jr. [1914-93], longtime CEO of I.B.M.

"Being President doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are."
~~ Michelle Obama

"America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights."
~~ joint statement in August 2017 by former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise [that] they make as they go by."
~~ Douglas Adams [1952-2001]

"Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself."
~~ Thomas J. Watson, Sr. [1874-1956], founder of I.B.M.

"The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people."
~~ Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919]

"There are no good Nazis."
~~ James Murdoch, executive at Fox & News Corp.

"Fear is like a disease. When it moves, it moves like wildfire. But what happens when, even in the face of that fear, you do what you've got to do? That's called courage. And just like fear, courage is contagious."
~~ Damon Davis

"We're leaving [Congress] to people who either were born with a silver spoon in their mouth . . . or couldn't get better jobs in the first place."
~~ Jerry Lewis [1926-2017]

"He's at that awkward age – too old to be cute and not dead yet."
~~ cartoonist Zanhart, in The New Yorker

"It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so [that] they can tell us what to do."
~~ Steve Jobs [1955-2011]

“A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual, and only the individual reader is important to me."
~~ Vladimir Nabokov [1899-1977], in a 1964 ‘Playboy Magazine’ Interview

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.“
~~ Dorothy Day [1897-1980]

“We do not grow old. We become old by not growing.“
~~ Ida Fisher Davidoff [1903-2001], expert on aging

"A man loves a thing, that don't mean it's got to love him back. You love a thing, you got to be grateful."
~~ character Robert E. Lee Prewitt, in "From Here To Eternity" [1951 novel] by James Jones [1921-77]

“We live in exile from the best part of ourselves.“
~~ Paul Zweig [1935-84]

"Zen meditation is a trickily simple affair, for it consists only in watching everything that is happening, including your own thoughts & breathing, without comment . . . you find that there is no self other than everything that is going on, both inside & outside the skin. ... The trick, which cannot be forced, is to be in this state of consciousness all the time.“
~~ Allan W. Watts [1915-73], in a Playboy Magazine article "Sound of Rain"

"Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation, must the unclouded face of truth suffer harm."
~~ C.P. Scott [1846-1932], editor of the Manchester Guardian newspaper

"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
~~ Eddie Cantor [1892-1964]

"Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology."
~~ actor Bruce Willis

"Art is meant to disturb, science reassures."
~~ French artist George Braques [1882-1963]

"If you want to truly bear a burden, deal with reality. If you want to know true joy, succeed at dealing with reality."
~~ Sam Cottrell

"If there is no laughter inside you, there's nothing."
~~ Louis-Ferdinand Céline [1894-1961]

"The subconscious is not a grave; it is a cistern."
~~ author Rex Stout [1886-1975]

"Political correctness is merely the intellectual McCarthyism that's currently in season ... and a pernicious poison in the well of Reason."
~~ mystery author James D. Doss [1939-2012]

"Most business meetings are staged to supply people who would rather talk than work with people who would rather listen than work."
~~ columnist L.M. Boyd [1927-2007]

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.“
~~ Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, Inc.

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.“
~~ Chinese philosopher Confucius [551-479 B.C.E.]

“A man does not show his greatness by being at one extremity, but rather by touching both at once.“
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62]

“Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.“
~~ physicist & astronomer Galileo Galilei [1564-1642]

“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out - it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.“
~~ writer Robert W. Service [1874-1958]

“The man who is denied the opportunity of making decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to make.“
~~ Cyril Northcote Parkinson [1909-93]

“Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one.“
~~ Thomas Carlyle [1795-1881]

"The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement."
~~ investor Charles Schwab

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you."
~~ John E. Southard [1915-93]

"Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone."
~~ Gertrude Stein [1874-1946]

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity . . . it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~~ Melody Beattie

"The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it."
~~ Michael Josephson

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Friday, August 25, 2017

Replacing Statues of Confederate Generals

Some of the conversation about tearing down statues of Confederate generals is about what to do with the pedestals.

Here’s an idea: Erect statues honoring America’s progressive heroes.

The choices are many:
eco-activist Edward Abbey [1927-89]
eco-activist Rachel Carson [1907–64]
labor leader César E. Chávez [1927-1993]
labor leader Eugene V. Debs [1855–1926]
labor leader Joe Hill [1879-1915]
Dolores Huerta
labor leader Mary Harris 'Mother' Jones [1837-1930]
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929–68]
politician Robert M. 'Fighting Bob' La Follette [1855-1925]
Justice Thurgood Marshall [1908–93]
eco-activist John Muir [1838-1914]
civil rights leader Rosa Parks [1913-2005]
muckraker journalist Ida M. Tarbell [1857-1944]
U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone [1944-2002]

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Kindle Book Contest

Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing has announced a contest for English-language books newly-published on their website. The deadline is November 2017. The contest is open to authors residing in India, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States (excluding the territories of Quebec and Tasmania).

The main prize is 10 lakh rupees (that's one million in India); today the volatile Indian rupee is trading at 64 to the U.S. dollar, so the prize converts to roughly US$16,000. Secondarily, the winner will be considered for book publication in India.

Well, there is only one winner, out of thousands or millions of applicants, but the idea got me thinking. I already have two books available in Kindle format, so what might I create as a potential entry? What I came up with is a collection of my Working Minds Philosophy essays, which I could call "Working Minds: The First 100 Essays". I could convert the essays, make a cover, tweak this and that, many hours of work, but do-able by, say, October. If completed by deadline, I could enter the contest.

But is it worth it? That is where you, the reader, comes in. Will you buy such a book? (Probably priced at eight to ten dollars.)

I am posting this survey here on my blog, on my Facebook page, and on my LinkedIn page.

Click on this email link to vote 'yes' (you can add a comment).

I will report the results at the same three places.

G.E. Nordell
author • philosopher • revolutionary
Rio Communities, New Mexico USA

ADDED August 23: It has now been three weeks, and The People have spoken:
NOT ONE SINGLE REPLY - not from this blog, not from Facebook, not from LinkedIn.
THEREFORE: The matter is closed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 2017 Quotations (56)

"No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else."
~~ line from the P.T. Barnum [1810-91] musical film - coming in December 2017

"[Los Angeles] is a big garage."
~~ cinema auteur Jean-Luc Godard of France

“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
~~ Nepalese poet Santosh Kalwar

"[Donald Trump's] sociopathic narcissim knows no bounds."
~~ Ruth Conniff, editor-in-chief at The Progressive Magazine [est. 1909]

“Courage is feeling fear, not getting rid of fear, and taking action in the face of fear.”
~~ Roy T. Bennett

"It is worth waking up in the morning to see what might happen."
~~ children's author Cynthia Rylant

"We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great."
~~ L.M. {Lucy Maud} Montgomery [1874-1942]

"Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them."
~~ children's author Lloyd Alexander [1924-2007]

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”
~~ Vince Lombardi [1913-70], coached the Green Bay Packers ()

"I was never concerned about second-hand smoke – far worse is second-hand stupidity. Same with trickle-down economics – never happened and never will. But now we have an epidemic of trickle-down ignorance."
~~ G.E. Nordell

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”
~~ Allan W. Watts [1915-73]

"The greed of the drug companies is boundless."
~~ Michael Phelan, deputy director at Social Security Works

“It's such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.”
~~ Mitch Albom

"Sorry, the internet is not the future. The internet is the present, interwoven into every aspect of modern culture."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Vote, write, speak, work, march, sue, organize, fight, struggle – whatever it takes to secure the blessings of liberty."
~~ journalist & columnist Molly Ivins [1944-2007]

“Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”
~~ motivational speaker Jim Rohn [1930-2009]

"The steady resistance to the unnecessary is the secret of success."
~~ guru Nisargadatta Maharaj [1897-1981] of India

"Learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you."
~~ Dwight D. Eisenhower [1890-1969]

"People do not decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures."
~~ F.M. Alexander [1869-1955]

"People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps."
~~ Mary Kay Wagner Ash [1918-2001], founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

"After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over."
~~ railroad tycoon Alfred E. Perlman [1902-83]

"In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible."
~~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel [1907-72]

“If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.”
~~ Amy Tan

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right."
~~ author Isaac Asimov [1920-92]

"Chance favors the connected mind."
~~ author Steven Johnson

"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight."
~~ Sun Tzu [544?-496? B.C.E.] & 'The Art of War'

"Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop."
~~ Persian poet & mystic Rumi [1207-73]

"Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box."
~~ Deepak Chopra

"I love walking into a bookstore. It's like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me."
~~ Iranian-American author Tahereh Mafi

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."
~~ John Quincy Adams [1767-1848]

"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."
~~ John Steinbeck [1902-68]

"When love is deep, much can be accomplished."
~~ violinist Shinichi Suzuki [1898-1998]

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."
~~ blues legend B.B. King [1925-2015]

"The answer to '1984' is 1776."
~~ radio host Alex Jones

"My truth – what I believe – is that there are no answers here and, if you are looking for answers, you'd better choose the question carefully."
~~ Spanish actor Javier Bardem

"When somebody asks, 'What's the answer to all of these questions?' that's absurd. There is no answer, there are answers, along the way."
~~ futurist Jacque Fresco [1916-2017]

"There is no answer if there is no question."
~~ Larry Dowell

"There is no question that love is not the answer to."
~~ motivational speaker Marshall Sylver

"There are no answers, only choices."
~~ science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem [1921-2006]

"The answer is [that] there is no answer."
~~ journalist Chuck Palahniuk

"The spiritual journey is over and over finding out that we were wrong."
~~ Adyashanti (nee Steven Gray)

"It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize [that] there is always a way to solve problems without violence."
~~ old Chinese proverb (maybe)

"If there's even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, RISK IT. Life's too short and happiness is too rare."
~~ a.r. lucas

"Honor is better than honors."
~~ Belgian proverb

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
~~ Dr. Maya Angelou [1928-2014]

"Home is the best place [to be] when life begins to wobble."
~~ Countess Elizabeth von Arnim [1866-1941]

"Do not tolerate brilliant jerks. The cost to teamwork is too high."
~~ Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

"I have a scheme for stopping war. It's this – no nation is allowed to enter a war until they've paid for the last one!"
~~ American humorist Will Rogers [1879-1935]

"As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or to hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome."
~~ philosopher-activist Noam Chomsky

"If you don't want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying [that] you want a country based on Christian values, because you don't."
~~ Jimmy Carter

"Innovation is saying 'no' to a thousand things."
~~ Steven Jobs [1955-2011]

"Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge."
~~ motivational speaker Simon Sinek

"Quiet people have the loudest minds."
~~ physicist Stephen W. Hawking

"Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it."
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

"The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental."
~~ futurist Robert Anton Wilson [1932-2007]

"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."
~~ Steven Wright

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Friday, June 30, 2017

News Factoids for Second Quarter 2017

The U.S. Census Bureau reported another low birth rate in the United States for 2016, for the tenth straight year.

It takes 270 Electoral College votes to pick a president; states representing 165 Electoral College votes have already joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

RUMOR? or TRUE?: A proposed 'COVFEFE Act' in Congress would preserve Emperor Trump’s tweets as presidential records. (June 2017)

The creators of the "South Park" TV show say that they'll no longer satirize Donald Trump because he is no longer funny. (Feb 2017)

Netflix now has more subscribers than all the other cable TV providers combined: Netflix has 50.9 million, the others have 48.0 million.

Beginning with Columbine in 1999, more than 135,000 students attending at least 164 primary or secondary schools in the U.S.A. have experienced a shooting on campus.
~~ per story in the Washington Post

People of color purchased 45% of movie tickets in USA in 2015.

The Japanese word for stress is 'stress'.

There are 30 openings for machinists at Zimmer Biomet in Warsaw, Indiana.
~~ per story in the Washington Post

There were 13 billionaires on the list when Forbes Magazine debuted their Forbes 400 Richest Americans issue in 1982; today, all 400 are billionaires.

U.S. hiring slowed in March as employers added only 98,000 jobs (while 250,000 jobs per month are needed to keep up with population growth).

Mumps infections in the U.S. spiked from 229 in 2012 to over four thousand in 2016.

Obesity rates have doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, with major blame attributed to exportation of the Western fast food diet.

Nearly half of Americans between 18 and 59 years of age have one of 40 types of H.P.V. (human papilloma virus), with 25% of men and 20% of women having a high-risk (for cancer) strain.
~~ per C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

On June 22, the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate revealed their written-in-secret 'Trump Doesn't Care' health bill.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren said:
"I’ll fight this mean, scary, reckless, shameful, heartless Senate G.O.P. health care bill every way I can."
Sen. Bernie Sanders said:
"Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law."
Barack Obama said:
"Simply put, if there’s a chance [that] you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm."

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 2017 Quotations (53)

"More than forty years after the nightmare of Watergate, our national tragedy is being repeated as farce."
~~ Peter Rothberg, publisher at The Nation Magazine

"Laughter really is carbonated holiness."
~~ Anne Lamott

"When all is said and done, we're really just walking each other home."
~~ Ram Dass

"Our task is no longer to make political films, but to make films politically."
~~ French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, in April 1970

"Let the wine of love flow through your veins."
~~ Persian poet & mystic Rumi [1207-73]

"Even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet [that] we've got."
~~ Barack Obama on 1 June 2017

"If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
~~ author Toni Morrison

"[Anne of Green Gables is] the dearest, most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

“Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing.”
~~ Brasilian author Paulo Coelho

“I don't care what you say to me. I care what you share with me.”
~~ Nepalese poet Santosh Kalwar

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”
~~ author E.A. Bucchianeri lives in Portugal

“Instructions for living a life. / Pay attention. / Be astonished. / Tell about it.”
~~ Mary Oliver

“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.”
~~ Allan W. Watts [1915-73]

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
~~ Roy T. Bennett

“The trouble is if you don’t spend your life yourself, other people spend it for you.”
~~ British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer [1926-2016]

"If we don’t have a healthy land we won’t have a healthy people."
~~ Carleton Bowekaty, Tribal Councilman at Zuni Pueblo

“When your toil has been a pleasure, you have not earned money merely, but money, health, delight, and moral profit, all in one.”
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-94]

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.”
~~ T. Alan Armstrong, band teacher in Georgia USA

"I'm always sorry when pleasant things end. Something still pleasanter may come after, but you can never be sure."
~~ L.M. {Lucy Maud} Montgomery [1874-1942]

"Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will get you everywhere."
~~ recent popular quote, NOT by Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water."
~~ Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore [1861-1941]

"I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free."
~~ painter Georgia O'Keeffe [1887-1986]

"When the sun shines, it shines for everyone."
~~ Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley

"The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog."
~~ Ambrose Bierce [1842-1914]

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."
~~ Don Marquis [1878-1937]

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard because if it isn't there, I never lost it to begin with."
~~ author L. Frank Baum [1856-1919]

"Our culture is about choosing an identity and sticking with it so [that] people can market [crap] to you. Anything that switches that around is completely the antithesis of what our culture implores us to do."
~~ entertainer RuPaul Charles

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be."
~~ NOT said by Yogi Berra, but by Peter De Vries [1910-93], in his 1959 novel "The Tent of Wickedness"

“Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.”
~~ Hans Christian Anderson [1805-75]

“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”
~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [1922-2007]

“Something will be offensive to someone in every book, so you've got to fight it.”
~~ Judy Blume

“In all my life, I have never been free. I have never been able to do anything with freedom, except in the field of my writing.”
~~ Langston Hughes [1902-67]

"Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world."
~~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer [1940-2015]

"Safety is all well and good: I prefer freedom."
~~ writer E.B. White [1899-1985] in "The Trumpet of The Swan" [1970]

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”
~~ British author Virginia Woolf [1882-1941], in her seminal 1929 essay “A Room of One’s Own”

"I am not a good man, and I'm not a bad man. I am not a hero. And I'm definitely not a president. And, no, I'm not an officer. Do you know what I am? I am an idiot with a box and a screwdriver."
~~ 12th Doctor Who

"The Pacific Northwest has its year-long 'Rain Festival' and Washington, DC continues celebrating its year-long 'Festival of Stupid'."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
~~ Zen proverb

"I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I'll go to jail, so what? We've been in jail for 400 years."
~~ boxing great Muhammad Ali [1942-2016]

"In the old battle between the public interest and private greed . . . private greed is winning, personified by President Donald Trump."
~~ Ruth Conniff, editor-in-chief at The Progressive Magazine [est. 1909]

"Rick Perry puts the 'goober' back in gubernatorial."
~~ progressive activist Jim Hightower

"At times like these in which we live, it will not do to be overscrupulous."
~~ Alexander Hamilton [1757-1804], in 1800

"What if the fourth time's the charm and we've just been settling thus far?"
~~ "Frazz" syndicated comic strip [est. 2001] by Jef Mallett

"The good society is one in which virtue pays. "
~~ Abraham Maslow [1908-70]

"Leaks are illegal and hated by those in power (and their followers) precisely because political officials want to be able to lie to the public with impunity and without detection."
~~ journalist Glenn Greenwald

"Lying is the message. It's not just that Putin and Trump lie, it is that they lie in the same way and for the same purpose: blatantly to assert power over truth itself."
~~ Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen

"Ni Pravda b Tass, ni Tass b Pravda (No truth in The News, no news in The Truth)"
~~ longtime Russian saying . . . the humor here is that Pravda (truth) is the Communist Party newspaper and Tass (news) is the official government news agency

"Hillary Clinton carried only 472 counties in America out of more than 3,000, but those 472 were predominately urban and accounted for nearly two-thirds of the country's economic output."
~~ political theorist Yascha Mounk

"Donald Trump and the Republicans are creating a tribe of 'Me and Mine' while no longer even recognizing a democratic society of 'Us and Ours'."
~~ John Kircher of Washington, DC (letter in May 2017 The Atlantic Magazine [est. 1857])

"The consequences of our not thinking are great . . . People who aren't thinking are capable of anything."
~~ George E. Minnich, CFO & multiple board member

"There is no partial commitment to justice. You are either in or you're out."
~~ 1968 Olympic athlete Dr. John Carlos

"The supreme issue [is] the encroachment of the powerful few on the rights of the many."
~~ Robert M. La Follette [1855-1925]

"The next few years are going to be hell."
~~ feminist Gloria Steinem, in November 2016

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Saturday, June 24, 2017

U.S. Fascists Attack Healthcare

On June 22nd, the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate revealed their written-in-secret 'Trump Doesn't Care' health bill.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said:
"I’ll fight this mean, scary, reckless, shameful, heartless Senate G.O.P. health care bill every way [that] I can."

Sen. Bernie Sanders said:
"Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law."

Barack Obama said:
"Simply put, if there’s a chance [that] you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Working Minds Essay #113: No More July Fourth For Me

I am an American and I love the country that I was born in. But that country no longer exists.

All three branches of the U.S. federal government are now controlled by fascists. Congress is controlled by Republicans who sold out to the Koch Brothers and A.L.E.C., to Wall Street banks, to Southern (and Northern) racists and hatemongers, to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Channel and its fake news propaganda, to religious fanatics, and to climate change-denying polluters. The U.S. Supreme Court is controlled by fascists (5 to 4): all five are members of the Federalist Society and signatories of P.N.A.C. (the latter being a violation of their oath of office, if not both). Loose cannon billionaire sex offender Emperor Donald Trump violated his oath of office as President the moment that he spoke it and is still in violation of the Constitution's Emolument Clauses. His entire administration believes that lying alters reality. And there is now enough evidence of the crime of obstruction of justice to impeach Emperor Trump – whenever the U.S. Constitution gets revived.

The U.S. Constitution is a hollow shell; it was placed on life support (metaphorically) in January 2010 when Justice John Roberts issued the ludicrous Citizens United v. F.E.C. decision declaring the United States to be a fascist government. The U.S. Constitution was finally killed when Emperor Trump took over the White House and the Executive Branch with the help of (per evidence since revealed) dictator Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Fascism was defined by Benito Mussolini in 1926 as when "the corporations and the military take the government away from the people". He later said that he should have called it corporatism, because that is what it is. Everyone in Emperor Trump's cabinet is either a general officer in the military (active or retired) or a right wing billionaire. Other officials in the Trump White House include failed TV reporters, incompetent members of the Trump family, and lobbyists and politicians sworn to dismantle the very department or bureau that they now head.

* *          * *          * *          * *

I long ago gave up celebrating 'pagan holidays' – Hallowe'en is the obvious one, but so are New Years Day, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. That leaves Memorial Day and Veterans Day and Labor Day, which no longer have cultural meaning and are basically excuses for three-day weekends. M.L.K. Day, Gay Pride Day, Mothers Day, and Fathers Day are irrelevant to my situation, so that left only Independence Day on July Fourth as a holiday that mattered to me.

A group of wealthy white males signed the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth in 1776, and their defiance of the British monarchy and business interests put each of them at great risk. The last phrase of that immortal document states that they "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."

Today's United States government has no honor. None.

Emperor Trump decreed withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement so that our corporations can freely pollute and thus increase profits. Congress is slashing Head Start and Medicare and Medicaid and cutting $5B from public education and cutting further billions from the budgets of the E.P.A. and the I.R.S. and the C.D.C and the S.E.C., and from the Departments of Health & Human Services and Housing & Urban Development so that corporations can wreak havoc without regulation. The Department of the Interior will be selling federal land and mineral rights to the LOWEST-bidding polluter. And there will be no job creation programs through infra-structure repair or renewable energy or economic stimulous – better to keep the peasants living in fear.

Here is a clue for the clueless: Privatization is fascism. Every time. Period.

So there is really nothing to celebrate on July Fourth this year. We The People are displaced, no longer free and independent individuals basking in a world of choice and prosperity. We are peasants living under the control of the same divine right aristocracy that we broke with in 1776.

And at least half of the people in America (and in New Mexico and in my Valencia County) have been brainwashed into believing that that is a good thing.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Elizabeth Warren says Trump’s budget is obscene

an email from Senator Elizabeth Warren today contained the following:

Trump’s budget will be devastating for working families.
It’s obscene:
• $5 billion in cuts to public education
• $73 billion in cuts to Social Security
• $191 billion in cuts to food stamps
• $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid (and that's in addition to the $880 billion that House Republicans are slashing in their so-called 'health care' bill)

== 30 ==

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 2017 Quotations (57)

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
~~ Marcus Aurelius [121-180 C.E.]

"Democracy must not be a spectator sport. The right to protest, the right to assemble freely, the right to petition one's government - these are not just rights ... these are obligations."
~~ Anthony D. Romero, May 2017 TED Talk 'This is what democracy looks like'

"The class struggle is not going to go away. Unless you abandon it, and say: Okay, [the oppressors] win."
~~ Noam Chomsky

"Action is the clearest revelation of the individual, of his temperament as well as his aims – what a man is at bottom and in his inmost being comes into actuality only by his action."
~~ 'famous dictum' of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [1770-1831], in the posthumous "Aesthetics, Volume 1"

"Go for it now. The future is promised to no one."
~~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer [1940-2015]

"One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy."
~~ E.B. White [1899-1985]

"Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art."
~~ Susan Sontag [1933-2004]

"Witchcraft is one of the most baseless, absurd, disgusting, and silly of all the humbugs.”
~~ American showman Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum [1810-91]

"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living. And above all, all those who live without love."
~~ character Professor Albus Dumbledore, in "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows"

“Looking back, I guess I used to play-act all the time. For one thing, it meant I could live in a more interesting world than the one around me.”
~~ Marilyn Monroe [1926-62]

"Be a voice not an echo."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer."
~~ Gertrude Stein [1874-1946]

"Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."
~~ sci-fi author Terry Pratchett [1948-2015]

"Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many."
~~ Alexander Hamilton [1757-1804]

"How can fear disturb me when love has dissolved me?"
~~ Persian poet & mystic Rumi [1207-73]

"The rich man is not the one who has the most, he is the one who needs the least.”
~~ Arab saying

"A guilty conscience is like a room with wall-to-wall carpeting ... You can't sweep anything under the rug."
~~ Ziggy cartoon panel 5/2017

t-shirt idea: "Some features not available in all states"

"[This is the] first administration to have top people taking the Fifth in the first 100 days. Let Trump brag about that one."
~~ The Pen at Peace Team activism website

"Data is the new oil."
~~ Jonathan Taplin, in "Move Fast and Break Things" [2017]

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."
~~ Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore [1861-1941]

"The disastrous Trumpcare plan [that] Republicans pushed through the House last week makes being a woman a pre-existing condition."
~~ Congressman Ben Ray Lujan [Dem NM-03] in May 2017

"The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it."
~~ William James [1842-1910]

"Real poverty is lack of books."
~~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette [1873-1954]

"The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see."
~~ Alexandra K. Trenfor of Bogotá, Colombia

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."
~~ Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."
~~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love."
~~ {Johann Wolfgang von} Goethe [1749-1832]

"Creativity is contagious. Pass it on."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire."
~~ Irish poet William Butler Yeats [1865-1939]

"Our job is to teach the students [that] we have. Not the ones [that] we would like to have. Not the ones [that] we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them."
~~ Dr. Kevin Maxwell

"Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives if their students."
~~ Solomon P. Ortiz

"I am not a teacher, but an awakener."
~~ poet Robert Frost [1874-1963]

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation."
~~ U.C.L.A. coach John R. Wooden [1910-2010]
“Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
~~ Dale Carnegie [1888-1965]

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh no, it's curved like a road through mountains."
~~ playwright Tennessee Williams [1911-83], in 'A Streetcar named Desire", 1947

“Every crowd has a silver lining.”
~~ American showman Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum [1810-91]

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
~~ Salman Rushdie

“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

“Every assault on freedom has begun with an assault on reason and every assault on reason has begun by attacking man’s confidence that his mind, operating on the basis of sense perception, is capable of grasping reality objectively."
~~ Dr. David Kelley

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

“The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job.”
~~ salesman & speaker Zig Ziglar [1926-2012]

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
~~ Napoleon Hill [1883-1970]

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
~~ Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu [IVth Century B.C.E.]
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one tank.”
~~ ad for gasoline, 2017

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.“
~~ Immanuel Kant [1724-1804]

“An obstacle is often a stepping stone.”
~~ Col. William Prescott [1726-95]

“The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it's so accidental. It's so much like life.“
~~ playwright Arthur Miller [1915-2005]

"Hungry man, reach for a book, it is a weapon."
~~ Bertolt Brecht [1898-1956]

“Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales.“
~~ Byron J. Langenfeld [1909-96]

“There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally.“
~~ Judge Learned Hand [1872-1961]

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.“
~~ Joseph Addison [1672-1719]

“Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men.“
~~ columnist Sydney J. Harris [1917-86]

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
~~ {Johann Wolfgang von} Goethe [1749-1832]

“Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.“
~~ philosopher Voltaire [1694-1778]

“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder'.”
~~ Aldous Huxley [1894-1963]

“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.“
~~ philosopher Robert M. Pirsig [1928-2017]

“There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.“
~~ writer James Thurber [1894-1961]

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 2017 Quotations (63)

"I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live."
~~ philosopher Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"The truth is that the insurance and pharmaceutical companies in this country are bribing the United States Congress."
~~ Sen. Bernie Sanders

"Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it's not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago."
~~ Will Rogers [1879-1935]

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62]

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

“Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.”
~~ Jorge Luis Borges [1899-1986]

“Joy shared is twice the joy. Sorrow shared is half the sorrow.”
~~ Swedish proverb

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
~~ Bertrand Russell [1872-1970]

“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
~~ Roy T. Bennett

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
~~ C. JoyBell C.

"For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start."
~~ American capitalist Warren Buffett

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”
~~ Jane Austen [1775-1817]

"When the other is lacking in fidelity in any and all of its forms, loyalty is foolish and as such speaks to vice, not virtue."
~~ Prof. Elly Pirocacos of Greece & Canada

"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."
~~ Norman Vincent Peale [1898-1993]

"All that is worth cherishing begins in the heart, not the head."
~~ Prof. Suzanne Chapin of Boston University

“Without property rights, no other rights are possible.”
~~ philosopher Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The mind can make substance, and people planets of its own with beings brighter than have been, and give a breath to forms which can outlive all flesh."
~~ George Gordon, Lord Byron [1788-1824]

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope."
~~ Dr. Seuss {Theodor Geisel 1904-91}

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one."
~~ Terry Pratchett [1948-2015]

“I have too many fantasies to be a housewife . . . I guess I am a fantasy.”
~~ Marilyn Monroe [1926-62]

"All good stories deserve embellishment."
~~ character Gandalf, as written by J.R.R. Tolkien [1892-1973], in "The Hobbit" [1937]

“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”
~~ Jean-Paul Sartre [1905-80]

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
~~ Chinese philosopher Confucius [551-479 B.C.E.]

"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."
~~ character Professor Albus Dumbledore, as written by J.K. Rowling

"You got to do something they don't got'em in the world."
~~ Simon Rodia [1879-1965], builder of the Watts Towers, 1921-1954

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall."
~~ Nadine Stair {based on a 1953 poem by Don Herold [1889-1966]}

"I don't believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."
~~ J.K. Rowling

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.”
~~ Aldous Huxley [1894-1963]

“The whole world is a series of miracles . . . but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.”
~~ Hans Christian Anderson [1805-75]

“We accept and welcome . . . as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.”
~~ Andrew Carnegie [1835-1919]

“There’s a certain part of the contented majority who love anybody who is worth a billion dollars.”
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

“Money is in some respects life's fire: it is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.”
~~ showman Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum [1810-91]

"My favorite literary heroine is Jo March. It is hard to overstate what she meant to a small, plain girl called Jo, who had a hot temper and a burning ambition to be a writer."
~~ J.K. Rowling

“Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.”
~~ Charles Dickens [1812-70]

"I have always felt that if you know in advance what you are doing, then you are not going to do it."
~~ architect Frank Gehry

"You cannot change things by fighting existing reality: To change things you must build a new model to make the existing model obsolete."
~~ R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

"At the end of the day, cinema is an art form being, at the same time, a circus, a voyage to our souls, a mirage, and an illusion of life itself."
~~ Federico Fellini [1920-93]

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
~~ Margaret Mead [1901-78]

"The difference between coffee and your opinion is that I asked for coffee."
~~ anonymous

"The logic of facts is always superior to any other logic."
~~ Sri Aurobindo [1872-1950]

"Don't run after this world thinking this is paradise when Adam was sent here as a punishment."
~~ Islamic proverb

"My friends tell me [that] I have an intimacy problem. But they don't really know me."
~~ Gary Shandling [ 1949-2016]

"Don't let the negatives of life control you. Rise above them. Use them as your stepping stones to go higher than you ever dreamed possible."
~~ cosmetics tycoon Mary Kay Ash [1918-2001]

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
~~ C.S. Lewis [1898-1963]

"You know that you're a book geek when you still get upset thinking about the Library of Alexandria."
~~ internet meme (with other variations)

"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is Man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
~~ U.C.L.A. coach John R. Wooden [1910-2010]

"The secret of all great undertakings is hard work and self-reliance."
~~ meat-packing baron Gustavus Franklin Swift [1839-1903]

"Welders are always in heat" ~~ bumper sticker

"If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"
~~ Joel Salatin

"I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass."
~~ David Lee Roth

"Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think."
~~ Steve Jobs [1955-2011], co-founder of Apple, Inc. [est. 1975]

"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter and became Picasso."
~~ Pablo Picasso [1881-1973]

"Quality means do it right when no one is looking."
~~ Henry Ford [1863-1947]

"I always start writing with a clean sheet of paper and a dirty mind."
~~ Patrick Dennis [1921-76], creator of "Auntie Mame" [1955]

"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."
~~ Gautama Buddha [5th Century BCE]

"Love and work, work and love . . . that's all there is."
~~ Sigmund Freud [1856-1939]

"Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing."
~~ Robert Benchley [1889-1945]

"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people."
~~ TV character Gregory House, MD

"Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success."
~~ Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}

Friday, April 21, 2017

Alternate Facts?

Only reality is real.

The concept of an alternate reality is held only by propagandists and the fools who believe them.

False realities are very common and is the source of great havoc among humans.

Individuals have true power only to the extent that their worldview is consistent with objective reality.

Groups have pseudo-power by use of the force inherent in their large numbers.

The failure of these groups derives from the use of that force, which is proof of the absence of Reason.
Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, April 10, 2017

Emperor Trump's Fake Missile Attack In Syria

On April 6, Emperor Trump faked a missile attack on Syria's Shayrat airfield as retaliation for the illegal chemical bombing attacks by Syrian military on civilians on April 4th. Two U.S. Navy warships were ordered to fire Tomahawk missiles at the airfield; per officials, 59 missiles were launched (one fell into the sea). Russian military later said that only 23 missiles reached their target.

So here's the math: each Tomahawk missile costs $1.87M x 59 launched, so that was $110.33 million of taxpayer money on the surface (plus costs for ships & personnel, etc.) – for no purpose other than a P/R boost for Trump.

So what's fake about this? According to several reports, Emperor Trump called his hero dictator Vladimir Putin to warn of the pending attack; Putin called his sidekick dictator Assad of Syria to warn him; Assad ordered all planes parked in their bunkers; and finally, not one missile landed on the runways, which would be the objective in a real military action. One pundit describes the event as 'Trump's fireworks show'.

While the middle steps are composed of rumor and conjecture, the White House confirmed that 'more than two dozen' members of Congress were notified in advance of the strike; the U.S. also notified several countries in advance of the strike thru international channels, including Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Russia ('to minimize any chance of Russian casualties').

The final factoid has a basis in fact: Syrian air forces launched further bombing raids from the targeted airbase the very next day: i.e. no damage to the runways.

(ADDED: Went to an appointment at the V.A. hospital the next day after posting this and an employee pointed out that Trump owns stock in Raytheon, the main manufacturer of Tomahawk missiles; not surprisingly, shares of Raytheon have spiked, meaning Trump is directly profiting from his Syria 'attack'.)

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Friday, April 07, 2017

The G.O.P. Economic Meltdown Continues . . .

You thought that the G.O.P. Economic Meltdown of 2008 was over?

* January 2016: Barnes and Noble booksellers announced plans to close 197 bookstores over the next five years.
* January 2016: Finish Line, Inc. announced that it is closing the lowest-performing 150 of its 600 name-brand 'athleisure' clothing stores.
* January 2016: Wal-Mart, Inc. announced that it plans to close all of its 102 Wal-Mart Express stores as well as 52 full-size U.S. locations, while stepping up its digital sales efforts.
* March 2016: Sports Authority filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to close 140 stores.
* March 2016: After reporting a 20% drop in fourth quarter profit, the Kohl's department store chain announced that it is closing 18 stores and laying off more than 1,500 employees.
* May 2016: The Aeropostale teen apparel chain filed for bankruptcy and said that it will close 154 stores; the plan was later expanded to closing 570 of its 800 stores.
* May 2016: After failing to find a buyer, Sports Authority announced closing & liquidation of all its 460+ locations in the U.S.
* June 2016: Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren announced plans to cut about 1,000 jobs (8% of its workforce) while closing more than 50 stores. (The retailer's sales fell in every quarter in fiscal 2016, leading to a full-year sales decline of nearly 3%.)
* July 2016: After Hastings Entertainment filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and failed to find a buyer, the seller of books & DVDs decided to liquidate all 126 stores.
* August 2016: After already closing 400 stores during the Office Max - Office Depot merger, Office Depot announced plans to close 300 more stores in the next three years. (The proposed merger with larger Staples was scrapped over antitrust concerns.)
* November 2016: After suffering seven consecutive quarters of declining sales, The Gap's North American operations announced plans to close 65 stores across its Gap, Gap Kids, Old Navy, and Banana Republic retail clothing brands; they already pulled the Old Navy brand out of Japan entirely, closing over 50 stores.

These chains announced closings in December 2016:
* Sears announced that it will close 17 Sears locations and 34 Kmart stores in early 2017 (liquidation sales to begin in January, closings between late March and mid-April). This latest round brings the total number of Sears stores closed this fiscal year to more than 200, and means that the retailer will have fewer than 1,500 stores left by early 2017, down nearly 60% from 2011 when Sears had more than 3,500 stores.
* Clothing retailer Children's Place closed 125 stores in 2016 and plans to close 200 more in 2017; it operates about 1,000 stores throughout the U.S.
* Tailored Brands, which operates the Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks stores, is closing as many as 250 stores.
* Chico’s FAS, which operates the Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma stores, announced that it will cut 240 jobs and close 120 stores by the end of 2017.
* American Eagle Outfitters is continuing its 2014 three-year initiative to close as many as 150 stores.

* January 2017: Macy’s Department Stores announced a plan to cut costs by closing stores and slashing 10,000 jobs.
* January 2017: The Limited women's apparel chain announced plans to close all of its 250 stores, with loss of about 4,000 jobs.
* January 2017: The Wet Seal teen fashions chain of California announced plans to close the last 170 of its stores; two years ago the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closed two-thirds of its locations, and laid off almost 3,700 workers.
* January 2017: Walgreens and Rite Aid revised their proposed merger deal, slashing more than $2 billion from the purchase price and pushing the closing date back six months while they await regulatory approval; the tentative deal is now scheduled to close July 31. Walgreens originally agreed to pay $9 per share for Rite Aid's common stock, but has now agreed to pay $7 per share if 1,000 or fewer stores have to be sold, and $6.50 per share if 1,200 stores must be sold.

* February 2017: J.C. Penney will close up to 140 stores, offering buyouts to many employees.
* March 2017: Staples announced plans to close 70 more stores; the latest store closings come on the heels of 48 closings last year, and a combined 242 stores closed in the two prior years; at the start of the current fiscal year, Staples had 1,255 U.S. stores and 304 Canadian locations.
* March 2017: RadioShack [est. 1921] filed for bankruptcy for the second time and is closing 552 (36 percent) of its stores.
* April 2017: Payless ShoeSource [est. 1956] filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced a restructuring plan that includes the immediate closure of 400 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.
* *          * *          * *          * *
Meanwhile, the stock market continues to expand the inevitable bubble. 2016's year-end numbers were: Dow Jones Industrial Average Index closed at $19,762.60 (its best year since 2013); the Standard & Poor's 500 closed at $2,238.83; and the NASDAQ Composite Index closed at $5,383.12.

Then on January 25, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index rose above $20,000 for the first time, closing for the day at $19,912.71 and the S&P 500 broke above $2,300 for the first time.

But in March, the stock markets suffered a week of selloffs based on the cancellation of the A.H.C.A. 'TrumpCare' vote, then recovered slightly on March 24: the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index closed at $20,596.72, the S&P 500 Index closed at $2,343.98, and the NASDAQ Composite Index closed at $5,828.74 – all still down for the week.
Those levels continued thru April.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, April 03, 2017

New Al Gore Movie "An Inconvenient Sequel"

Notice was sent out a couple days ago about Al Gore, Jr.'s new movie that is called "An Inconvenient Sequel", which is, of course, a follow-up to his 2006 hit film and bestselling book "An Inconvenient Truth". The new movie was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January and received two standing ovations. There will be a companion book; both book & movie will be available in July.

It appears that the film begins with a report on the dire situation regarding climate changes on our planet but ends with hope that the rapidly-expanding renewable energy industry may yet save the day.

Not everyone may know that when Al Gore studied at University of California at San Diego, one of his teachers was Roger Revelle, the first scientist to use the term 'greenhouse effect'. Al Gore has stated that since he had access to the political realm thru his father, a U.S. Congressman and Senator from Tennessee, he decided to enter politics himself in order to battle climate change.

official sequel movie site
sequel movie credits at Internet Movie Database
watch 3/2017 official sequel trailer [2:31] online at YouTube

companion book by Al Gore, Jr. [2017]
Kindle Edition from Rodale Books [DUE July 2017] pre-order for $9.99
Rodale Books pb [DUE July 2017] pre-order for $16.97

Also recently added on YouTube is an Al Gore interview by Amy Goodman at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
watch full 1/2017 segment [11:26] online at YouTube

And lots more info on the Al Gore, Jr. Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Sunday, March 26, 2017

News Factoids for First Quarter 2017

The Republicans' plan will reduce a middle-income 65-year-old’s Social Security benefits by 17% by 2030, without any tax increases to the richest Americans.

"Over the past eight years, the United States has sensibly reduced its nuclear weapons stockpile by 1,255 weapons."
~~ James McKeon, Policy Analyst at Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

U.S. scientists officially declared that 2016 was the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row.
~~ Washington Post, January 2017

Donald Trump is not the first loony to reign as Emperor of The United States: there also was Emperor Norton I [1819-80] who reigned in San Francisco for twenty years.

Elmo gets fired from P.B.S. due to Emperor Trump’s budget cuts
watch video [2:19] online at Facebook/Trending

Emperor Trump’s proposed increase in the U.S. Defense Department budget is roughly equal to EIGHTY PERCENT of Russia’s entire annual military budget.

Copyright 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved