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Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 2009 Quotations

"Technology keeps changing, but the minute any technology appears it becomes indespensible."
~~ E.L. Doctorow

"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction."
~~ Pablo Picasso [1981-1973]

"A good story cannot be devised, it has to be distilled."
~~ Raymond Chandler [1888-1959]

"In the reality-TV era, unstable behavior [has] become a valid career choice."
~~ James Poniewozick

"There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California."
~~ Edward Abbey [1927-89]

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the second-best time is now."
~~ African proverb

"The most beautiful thing [that] we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The human ability to innovate out of a jam is profound. That's why Darwin will always be right and Malthus will always be wrong."
~~ K.R. Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy

"Be well-ordered in your life, and as ordinary as a bourgeois, in order to be violent and original in your work."
~~ Gustave Flaubert [1821-80], in 1876

"The world is a fine place and worth fighting for."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"Your mother has to be there when you are born, but nobody has to be there when you die."
~~ William Campbell Gault [1910-95]

"If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself."
~~ Martin Heidegger [1889-1976]

"If you look at the suffering around you, you can't be happy."
~~ Austrian film director Michael Haneke

"Contradictions are what make a writer interesting; consistency is for cooking."
~~ critic James Wood

"It has so happened in all the ages of the world that some have laboured and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82], in 1838

"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."
~~ Dwight D. Eisenhower [1890-1969]

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
~~ Theodosius Dobzhansky [1900-75]

"History isn't what happened. History is just what historians tell us."
~~ Julian Barnes

"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out."
~~ Anton Checkov [1860-1904]

"There are worlds of money wasted, at this [Holiday Season] time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got."
~~ Harriet Beecher Stowe [1811-96], in 1850

"When nothing is tried nothing will happen."
~~ Joost van Steenis

"The measure of a man is how he deals with tragedy."
~~ Troy Duffy

"Somebody always has to be the n*gger."
~~ half-Jamaican author Malcolm Gladwell

"These days you don't run into all that many people who make use of a moral compass."
~~ Stephen Greenleaf

"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means."
~~ Calvin Coolidge [1872-1933]

"Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers."
~~ Isaac Asimov [1920-92]

"The map is not the territory / the menu is not the meal / the score is not the music."
~~ Dutch composer George Overmeire

"If a story is in you, it has got to come out."
~~ William Faulkner [1897-1962]

“Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.”
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."
~~ James A. Michener [1907-97]

"The great cause of this [financial] crisis is the incredible greed and selfishness that exist in the ruling elite of America. They have no shame."
~~ Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, in 2009 speech

"Why must the show go on?"
~~ Noël Coward [1899-1973]

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

News Factoids for November 2009

The Christian-fascist right has shown their true colors, now selling bumper stickers and t-shirts calling for President Obama's assassi- nation and citing Psalm 109:8 as their justifying sacred text (also check verse 9).

The feature film "Fair Game", based on the book by Valerie Plame Wilson is scheduled for release in 2010, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts (click for latest info at IMDb).

As-of 2007, 300,000 acres of Colorado aspen trees were dead or damaged, per government aerial surveys, with more in adjacent states.
~~ per Smithsonian Magazine

42 percent of American adults are single nowadays.

When I moved into my new house in New Mexico, one of the toilets had a really bad leak, you could see the water moving. So I emptied the tank and dried it out and put nearly a full tube of sealer in the bottom, and that got 90% of the leak. Then recently, the tiny leak looked like it was growing, so I devised a plan. I went to AutoZone and bought a container of Bar's Leak Radiator Stop Leak, which said 'safe with plastic, rubber, aluminum & metal'. Didn't say porcelain, but I figured that the risk was small. So I poured half the bottle of Bar's Leak into the tank and let it set (using the other bathroom for a few days) and sure enough, the toilet leak seems to be gone. I also poured the second half into the tank a couple weeks later, just to be sure, and again waited a couple days. The leak appears to be totally fixed!

Jobless rate reaches 9.8 percent in September, the highest since June 1983.
~~ internet news headline

"Poverty rates rose in 31 states and the District of Columbia to a national high of 13.2 percent (the worst in 11 years) and the number of Americans receiving food stamps rose by 13 percent.
~~ Time Magazine, Sept 2009

"Since March, the dollar has lost about 15 percent of its value against other currencies."
~~ Justin Cox, Time Magazine, November 2009

"There are fewers jobs available today than in 2000, [and] about 12 million additional workers have entered the job market since then."
~~ Jim Hightower

"According to U.S. Conference of Mayors reports, no one in the U.S. can afford a one-bedroom apartment at the current federal minimum wage."
~~ Richard R. Troxell, National Coalition For The Homeless, 2009

"In 1946, one in 17 thousand Americans declared bankruptcy; [in 2008], one in three hundred did."
~~ Jill Lepore, in New Yorker Magazine

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 2009 Quotations

"The problem isn't left versus right, it's up versus down."
~~ Michael Chute of the Second Maine Militia, 2009

"All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise, not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."
~~ President John Adams [1735-1826]

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
~~ Frederic Bastiat [1801-50]

"This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations."
~~ President Rutherford B. Hayes [1822-93]

"Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. It doesn't work."
~~ Allan H. Meltzer

"The balance of power has shifted in recent years from territorially bound governments to companies that can roam the world."
~~ Richard Barnet and John Cavanagh, in the book "Global Dreams" (1994)

"The Federal Reserve [Banks] are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this Nation is run by the International Bankers."
~~ Rep. Louis Thomas McFadden [1876-1936], circa 1933

"History shows that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible to maintain control over governments by controlling the money and the issuance of it."
~~ President James A. Madison [1751-1836]

"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes the laws."
~~ Mayer Amschel Rothschild [1744-1812]

"Give me control over a man's economic actions, and hence over his means of survival, and except for a few occasional heroes, I'll promise to deliver to you men who think and write and behave as I want them to."
~~ Benjamine A. Rooge

"The few who can understand the [Federal Reserve] system will be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class; while on the other hand, the great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests."
~~ Rothschild Brothers of London

"He who has learned to die has unlearned how to be a slave."
~~ Montaigne [1533-92]

"Experience is just another word for losing hope."
~~ Scott Adams (in "Dilbert" Sunday strip, 2009)

"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."
~~ Thomas Mann [1875-1955]

"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, sh*t detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"The possible ranks higher than the actual."
~~ Martin Heidegger [1889-1976]

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
~~ Frederic Bastiat [1801-50]

“It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought.”
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

"Finance is the art of passing money from hand to hand until it finally disappears."
~~ Robert W. Sarnoff [1919-97]

"The stock broker services his clients in the same way that Bonnie & Clyde serviced banks."
~~ William Bernstein

"What is robbing a bank compared to the founding of a bank?"
~~ Bertolt Brecht 1898-1956]

"With an evening coat and a white tie, even a stockbroker can gain a reputation for being civilized."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"I spent my youth worrying about corporate power. Now I worry about corporate incompetence."
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"The best way to rob a bank is to own one."
~~ William Crawford

"What we have in this country is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor."
~~ Gore Vidal

"Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father's store or farm."
~~ C. Wright Mills [1916-62]

"Finance is the art or science of managing revebnues or resources for the best advantage of the manager."
~~ Ambrose Bierce [1842–1914?]

"The business of government is to keep government out of business – that is, unless business needs government aid."
~~ Will Rogers [1879-1935]

"It's a good thing that aliens have not abducted Limp Rushbaugh or Sean Vannity or Karl Rove or Glenn Beck. If they ever do, they will find sufficient justification to incinerate Planet Earth."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"A photograph doesn't have to be pretty to be true. But if it's true, it's beautiful."
~~ photographer Roy DeCarava [1919-2009]

"We should be worrying about Wall Street-run health care."
~~ Wendell Potter

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 2009 Quotations

"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life."
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

"In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."
~~ Paul Harvey [1918-2009]

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."
~~ Charles M. Schultz [1922-2000]

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."
~~ John Lennon [1940-80]

"Where there is no consideration nor use of reason, the is no Liberty at all."
~~ John Bramhall [1594—1663]

"I've been on a calendar, but never on time."
~~ Marilyn Monroe [1926-62]

"Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"The human species ... has outlived the name homo sapiens."
~~ Wendell Berry

"Language is the house of the truth of Being."
~~ Martin Heidegger [1889-1976]

“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists”
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"Discussion in America means dissent."
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

"Immanuel Kant is the real villain of our age."
~~ philosopher Ayn Rand [1905-82], in 1979

"This strange economy produces in the ordinary course of business products that are destructive or fraudulent or unnecessary or useless, or all four at once,"
~~ Wendell Berry

"Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one."
~~ Martin Heidegger [1889-1976]

"That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"In the general course of human nature, A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will."
~~ Alexander Hamilton [1755?-1804], in 'Federalist Paper 79'

"A generation which ignores history has no past - and no future."
~~ Robert A. Heinlein [1907-88]

"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other."
~~ Voltaire [1694-1778], in 1764

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
~~ English philosopher Herbert Spencer [1820-1903]

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep, voting on what to eat for dinner; Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote."
~~ Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826]

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it."
~~ Henry Ford [1863-1947]

"Life is so much more meaningful if you take the time to hunt down and strangle twits who post blather to inappropriate newsgroups."
~~ Henry Spencer

"An unbiased person is someone who has the same bias as we have."
~~ Mason City [Iowa] Globe-Gazette, in 1998

"They [corporations] cannot commit treason ... for they have no souls."
~~ Sir Edward Coke [1552-1634]

"Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important."
~~ T.S. Eliot [1888-1965]

"It's not ... how you play the game, but how you design the playing field."
~~ Trevor Marshall, in 1988

"I worry about my judgment when anything I believe in or do regularly begins to be accepted by the American public."
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

"Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"A camel is a horse designed by a committee and an elephant is a mouse built to military specifications."
~~ Caxton C. Foster

"The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one."
~~ William Shenstone [1714-63]

"No man is competent unless he can stalk alone and armed in the wilderness."
~~ Townsend Whelen [1877-1961]

"There are only three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder 'What happened?'."
~~ Zig Ziglar

"It is force, not opinion, that queens its way over the world, but it is opinion that looses the force."
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62], in 1670

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
~~ H.L. Mencken [1880-1956]

"I have lived some thirty years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors."
~~ Henry David Thoreau [1817-62]

"A newspaper is not just for reporting the news, it's to get people mad enough to do something about it."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"At times like the present, when the evils of unsound finance threaten us, the speculator may anticipate a harvest gathered from the misfortune of others, the capitalist may protect himself by hoarding or may even find profit from the fluctuations of values, but the wage earner – the first to be injured by a depreciated currency – is practically defenseless."
~~ Grover Cleveland [1837-1908]

"It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value of gold. Interest is the invention of Satan."
~~ Thomas A. Edison [1847-1931]

"Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the 'hidden' confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights."
~~ Alan Greenspan, in 1966

"If you can't stand solitude, perhaps others find you boring as well."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

News Factoids for September 2009


467,000 jobs cut in June; jobless rate at 9.5 percent
== internet news headline, July 2009

"In December [2008] Detroit's jobless rate was 21 percent."
== Richard Florida

"Between 1975 and 2007, the real wages of the average production worker ... decreased by 18 percent."
== Les Leopold

"The number of Americans receiving food stamps increased 22 percent over the previous summer."
== Time Magazine, September 2009

The Walgreen's Drugstore chain is cutting employees. They dropped a percentage of management at headquarters, and are dropping higher-level positions at each store. My local Walgreen's was already understaffed, and in July cut or combined three supervisor positions.

Salaries in the U.S. are up only two percent, the worst in 27 years
== Fox Radio News, July 2009

"Since 1950, the US manufacturing sector has shrunk from 32 percent of non-farm employment to just 10 percent."
== Richard Florida

The Bush fiscal year 2009 federal budget asks for almost 100 times more to regulate labor unions than to make emmployers comply with labor laws.
== per Economicv Policy Institute

"Productivity in coal mines has tripled, but the wages of coal miners has dropped 20%."
== Jeff Goodell


"Foreclosures rise 15% in first half of 2009"
== internet news headline, July 2009

"[In 2008] imposing consumer fees became the main business of banks, totaling 53 percent of the industry's income."
== Jim Hightower

"The share of homes purchased with 100 percent financing went from 3 percent in 2003 to 33 percent in 2006."
== Dean Baker

"In 1970, the ratio of the top 100 corporate CEOs and the average worker's pay was 40 to one. By 2007, it was 1,723 to one."
== Les Leopold

"In 1970, the top one percent received 8 percent of the national income. By 2007, [the Oligarchy] was gobbling up 28 percent of the national income."
== Les Leopold

Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid NO federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005. About 68 percent of foreign corporations doing business in the U.S. paid no federal income taxes over the same period.
== per AP News and the General Accounting Office

"Between 1940 and 1960, the [U.S.] homeownership rate rose from 44 percent to 62 percent ... By 2004, a record 69.2 percent of American families owned their home."
== Richard Florida


"In the first half of 2009, 123 TV news shows were cancelled, 106 newspapers folded, 110 bureaus closed, 556 magazines died, and 12,000 [U.S.] journalists lost their jobs."
== Mother Jones Magazine

"Americans buy more than $57 billion worth of lottery tickets a year, or $500 per household, [which is] more than is spent on movies, music and books combined."
== Mother Jones Magazine, March 2009


"A century ago, there were 15,000 kinds of apples in America; now there are 1500. Among the varieties that have disappeared are 96 percent of corn, 95 percent of cabbages, and 81 percent of tomatoes, Today, four giant suppliers (Monsanto, Syngenta, Limagrain & DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred) control more than half of the seed market."
== Novella Carpenter, in Mother Jones Magazine

"Climate change has shortened the New England timber [harvest] season from six months to four."
== Mother Jones Magazine, March 2009

The mining industry produces one-third of all toxic waste released to the U.S. environment.


Have you noticed that a half gallon isn't, anymore? What used to be a half-gallon container of ice cream was shrunk some time ago to 1.75 quarts. Recently, ALL of the local supermarkets have switched to 1.5 quart containers of ice cream, without notice or fanfare – nor reduction in price. By 'all local', I mean the Smith's/Kroger's and Albertson's national chains, the Lowe's grocery chain out of Texas, the Breyer's & Dreyer's & Kemp's national brands, and even the local Creamland Dairy brand. Given that the change was industry-wide, how can this not be a conspiracy?

In Afghanistann in May 2009, there were 38,000 troops, with 21,000 more being sent there, while the same overpaid mercenaries used in Iraq numbered 71,000.

Roughly 40 percent of imported U.S. consumer goods come from China. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall for Chinese manufacturers was 69 percent in 2007, and 53 percent in 2008.
== per 'The Progressive' Magazine and Reuters

In less than 24 hours after Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouted his rude "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's historic healthcare speech on September 9th, concerned Americans donated $400,000 to Democratic opponent Rob Miller, with more expected. The one-day campaign funding deluge amounted to more than the entire pharmaceutical industry gave to Rep. Wilson during the last election cycle.

On 5 September 2009, the Valencia County News-Bulletin local newspaper printed a very nice article on my solar generation hardware (and about me) with two photos , in which the reporter anointed me with the title 'microcosmic energy mogul'. Text and both photos posted on my website.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 2009 Quotations

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"Here's a new internet acronym: BOO! (Blame it on Obama!)".
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Let Wall Street have a nightmare and the whole country has to help them back to bed again."
~~ Will Rogers [1879-1935]

"Empire is the only way to honor avarice and morality, the only way to be good and wealthy."
~~ William Appleman Williams [1921-90]

"One of [Reagan's] great gifts to America was the public rebirth of bigotry."
~~ Jonathan Valin

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then applying the wrong remedies."
~~ Groucho Marx [1890-1977]

"One cannot weep for the entire world. It is beyond human strength. One must choose."
~~ Jean Anouilh [1910-87], in the stageplay "Cecile" (1954)

"There are more fools in the world than there are people."
~~ Heinrich Heine [1797-1856]

"Half of knowing what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it."
~~ Sidney Howard [1891-1939] {not Calvin Coolidge}

"The God worth worshipping is the one who pays us the compliment of self-regulation, and we might return it by minding our own business."
~~ Roger Rosenblatt (Time Magazine essay 12/2001)

"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
~~ Will Rogers [1879-1935]

"Nothing in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come."
~~ Victor Hugo [1802-85]

"There can be no progress if people have no faith in tomorrow."
~~ John F. Kennedy [1917-63]

"All the world over I'll back the masses against the classes."
~~ William Gladstone [1809-98]

"Our age ... needs people capable of real heroism – not the kind of heroism which ends up in glory – but the kind which ends up bringing out and making available the truth, what works, what is honest and real."
~~ Werner Erhard

"Getting down to the bottom of things, this is a pretty raw civilization of ours – pretty wasteful, pretty cruel ... And in a lot of respects we Americans are the rawest and crudest of all. Our production, our factory laws, our charities, our relations between capital and labor, our distribution – all wrong, out of gear. We've stumbled along for a while, trying to run a new civilization in old ways, but we've got to start to make this world over."
~~ Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931], in 1912

"We need to fix the climate, and we need to start yesterday."
~~ Kevin Drum

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend; and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
~~ Groucho Marx [1890-1977]

"Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
~~ Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

"New Orleans isn't a city, it's an outdoor mental asylum located on top of a giant sponge."
~~ James Lee Burke

"It is time [that] men allowed their imaginations to infect their intellect."
~~ E.B. White [1899-1985], in 1956

"Republicans are worried about voter fraud – [it] seems there is not enough of it."
~~ Kate Clinton

"All we want is to be completely human and in each other's company."
~~ Joseph Campbell [1904-87]

"Friendship is like peeing in your pants – everyone can see it, but only YOU can feel its true warmth."
~~ viral email, 2009

"To me, philosophy is everything. It is the way [that] one lives."
~~ Jean-Paul Sartre [1905-80]

"Here's a new and useful word: 'Re(publi)tard'."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"They is a very vague term."
~~ Agatha Christie [1890-1976]

"Familiarity breeds contempt only among [movie] critics."
~~ Richard Corliss, in Time Magazine

"The gullibilty of the public [has become] an economic resource."
~~ Wendell Berry

"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence"
~~ H.L. Mencken [1880-1956]

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Modern conservatism has decayed from the positive, pragmatic force [that] its founders envisioned into a bitter resistance movement that's given up on fresh ideas."
~~ Randy James, in Time Magazine

"Edison is the new Gutenberg. He has invented the new printing."
~~ Vachel Lindsay [1879-1931], in 1915

"The economy is so bad that Baskin Robbins is down to 22 flavors."
~~ G.E. Nordell

“There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.”
~~ J. Robert Oppenheimer [1904-67]

"I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. ... Not this time. Not now."
~~ President Barack Obama, on 9 September 2009

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking."
~~ Martin Heidegger [1889-1976]

“Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

“Why do you have to be a non-conformist like everybody else?“
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 2009 Quotations

"Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write".
~~ John Adams [1735-1826]

"The future ain't what it used to be."
~~ Yogi Berra

"Wine is bottled poetry."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-94]

"A good traveller has no fixed plans."
~~ Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu [IVth Century B.C.E.]

"We live in the world as it is and dream of the world that might one day be and consider ourselves fortunate to have reduced, even modestly, the distance between the two."
~~ Peter Beinart

"Old, in America, is not a good thing to be."
~~ Katha Pollitt

"Even if you cannot fool all of the people all of the time, you can fool enough people long enough to do irreversible damage."
~~ Joseph Schumpeter [1883-1950]

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
~~ Marcel Proust [1871-1922]

"These days it is not 'the economy, stupid' but the stupid economy."
~~ motto of the Green Festival Project

"The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe."
~~ Gustave Flaubert [1821-80]

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”
~~ Rachel Carson ]1907-64]

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."
~~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68]

"When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing."
~~ Tennessee Williams [1911-83]

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
~~ Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826]

"Liberty is not the means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end."
~~ Lord Acton [1834-1902]

"It is not for honor or glory or wealth that we fight, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life."
~~ Declaration of Arbroath by Scottish leaders, 1320 A.D.

"The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize [that] they can bribe the people with their own money."
~~ Alexis de Tocqueville [1805-59]

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65] in 1838

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"Live Free or die; death is not the worst of evils."
~~ Gen. John Stark [1728-1822]

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
~~ Justice William O. Douglas [1898-1980]

"The only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets."
~~ Lysander Spooner [1808-87]

"There is no such thing as an achieved liberty; like electricity, there can be no substantial storage and it must be generated as it is enjoyed, or the lights go out."
~~ Justice Robert H. Jackson [1892-1954] in 1953

"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical."
~~ Yogi Berra

"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation."
~~ Woodrow Wilson [1856-1924]

"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but with tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will be certainly be lost."
~~ William Lloyd Garrison [1805-79]

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences."
~~ C.S. Lewis [1898-1963]

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
~~ James Madison [1751-1836] in 1822

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
~~ Patrick Henry [1736-99]

"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action."
~~ Goethe [1749-1832]

"Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance."
~~ Oprah Winfrey

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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WM Essay #91: "Meaning & Purpose"

        Virtually nothing that most people do is from Free Choice. The Culture-Structure has pre-programmed you all since birth to be a mindless cog in the machinery of Consumerism. Your primary desires are Materialistic or Hedonistic, collapsed into a false merger with Survival.
        Like over-populated lemmings, the societies of Planet Earth charge toward the precipice, never stopping to Reason, to Choose, to seek the guidance of one's Self – much less guidance from Silence. If you do attempt any such contemplation, you will be pushed aside or trampled by the mindless mob behind you.

        The Universe is Existential; the Culture-Structure of Mankind is not. A plethora (love that word!) of False Meaning is crammed into every subservient individual, which is the supreme False Purpose of each and every local segment of the Culture-Structure. This False Purpose is to keep you running the proverbial treadmill, the Rat Race. And as Lily Tomlin has pointed out: "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."

        The first requirement of becoming a Free Individual is setting aside ALL of the (False) Meaning that was forced upon you by the Culture-Structure, of the Culture-Structure and for the Culture-Structure. All of it, each and every, one at a time, now and forever.

        This is not to say that you should reject all such meaning, for that is merely knee-jerk resistance. Refusing to pay taxes, refusing to marry and-or propagate, refusing to participate in the marketplace or the election process – these are negative actions and such re-action merely gives the same power away as does blindly obeying the dictates of the Culture-Structure. You play the game by refusing to play the game: switching to 'not that' is not any different.

        What has to take place is giving up Meaning itself. All Meaning. The existential act of choosing 'No Meaning' is the eye of the needle thru which you – all Mankind – must go. Not easy, but Life is not easy, nor standing as an Individual against the (False) Meaning machine that is the Culture-Structure.
        Besides, how easy is your life now, going along with the Culture-Structure? You have no Self, no Choice, no Satisfaction in life, Life is empty of real Meaning while you agree to and settle for the False Meaning that the Culture-Structure is built on.

v                    v

        A simple methodology for setting aside all False Meaning is to live from the context of Empowerment. When you stand on Empowerment, you cannot act from False Meaning, the two realms are mutually exclusive – just as the self-generated context of Love displaces Hatred, and just as the self-generated context of Purpose displaces Hope.
        For some of you, this can be a memorable day, The Day when you threw off the shackles of False Meaning. For others, it will be an on-going struggle to discover another damn False Meaning and turn loose of it – by standing in Empowerment and maintaining each new opening, and then searching for another False Meaning, an on-going search.
        What becomes available after the commitment to existential Self-hood [No Meaning] is that you can then begin to construct Freely-Chosen Meaning and Purpose. You will then call the shots in your Life as an Individual using Reason, which to the extent that you invoke it, will displace the silly and dis-empowering anti-Reason [False] Meaning provided by the Culture-Structure.

v                    v

        The Universe provides no a priori inherent Meaning for Life. The quest for the Official Meaning of Life is a distraction, so that you and all Mankind have no access to Power.
        All this False Meaning that you inherited was made up. If some Official Meaning actually existed, then why has the Culture-Structure not located it? Folks have been pretending to look for the Official Meaning of Life since Mankind first walked upright, so where the hell is it??
        The good news and the bad news is that no such Official Meaning of Life exists. Bad news for the Oligarchy when this knowledge becomes widespread, because all the meaningless crap – the treadmill, the rat race – that drives ancient & modern societies becomes visibly meaning-LESS!
        The good news is that Meaning, like Wealth, can only be created by the Individual. Meaning exists only because you say so: If you parrot some inherited False Meaning, then nothing is created. But notice the pressure from the Culture-Structure to lend credence to 'benefits' of you committing to their False Meanings: if you had no inherent Power, then why would they brainwash you to do their bidding?
        ONLY an Individual can create Meaning, and it is as simple as speaking that Meaning into existence.
        The other good news is that you surrendered your natural right to create Meaning by parroting all those empty False Meanings of the Culture-Structure – money, fame, 'fun', status, security – none of which have or will produce a satisfying Life. But if you once surrendered it, all you have to do to regain your Power is to say "No more!".

        You all have no idea how to create Meaning. What is required to create Meaning is giving up all the inherited False Meaning and stand in existential Nothing, or 'No Meaning'. From there, the Individual Self can invent Created Meaning – Freely-Chosen Meaning and Purpose.
        One way to clarify this process is to choose freely to create Empowerment. Standing in Empowerment, the Meaning that you create will not be False.

        So even if what you create seems to appear the same as before, you will be in an entirely different ballgame. Take 'family', for example: the inherited False Meaning of 'family' has no Power, things don't work, grudges persist, the concept comes with a ton of baggage – mothers are such a way, fathers & sons & daughters are this way, relatives are like this or that. What the Culture-Structure provides as Family is a messy soap opera – surf across the cable channels and the news – or some pseudo-deal like "Father Knows Best" which is delivered in the context 'not real'.
        But the Freely-Chosen Meaning of Family is fresh and clean when invented from No-Meaning. What you create from there has no baggage, you can create Family as it should be: Family as Love, as Communication, as Warmth, as Laughter, as Contribution – down the generations past & present.

        The other good news is that once you invent yourself as a Free Individual, nobody can take it away from you. They can kill you for it, but they can never take it from you. In point of fact, the Culture-Structure is designed so that you all surrender Meaning & Power on-goingly: Stop giving it away, halt the surrender of the Self, and you will retain all the inherent Natural Power that you can possibly need. While you create and maintain Freely-Chosen Meaning and Purpose, nobody can take it away – no way, no how!
        Your Self-hood cannot be taken away. The only reason that you lost it was because the Culture-Structure cheated you by offering their False Meaning in its place. All you had to do in return was to surrender your Power . . .
        All that is necessary to recover your Power as an Individual is to Stand AS an Individual from this time forth. The Individual can then throw off the shackles of False Meaning by the mere existential Act of Will of saying so, and then inventing freely: creating bright and shiny new Meaning, which cannot be taken away.

v                    v

        During the Summer this essay was created, I was party to a one-on-one conversation on this subject (in the context of homework from a Landmark Education seminar). And when the other person asked "Why bother?", my ad hoc response went over quite well. In writing it down later to append to this essay, it evolved into a poem. (I don't try to be a poet, but I never argue with my muse.)

the world takes no notice
as I strap on my rusty armor
(that chafes at every joint)
and clamber up to sit upon
the skittish steed
that is my Purpose

the windmill takes no notice
as I lower my wobbly lance
and jab my spurs against the flanks
of my tired and wheezing mount
and point myself hell-bent toward the looming giant

the world may take no notice
or if it sees, not care
but for a moment or two
my Purpose is my Self

and for a moment or two
my Life is such
that I feel the wind upon my face

v                    v

        How you will know that you got this done, that you have chosen a Meaning that is sufficiently challenging, is that your new Freely-Chosen Meaning sings in your veins, and when you are In Action per your Stand In The Matter, you will experience the sharp thrill of the wind upon your face – and experience that you are empowered.

        How you will know that your new Freely-Chosen Meaning will provide Power is that only YOU can get this job done, and that the outcome is not certain, that if you do not take this on, to completion, then it will not happen.
        Save the whales? World peace? Other people are doing something about these matters, though much more needs to happen. But what about that book or invention that you've been thinking about for years, that you 'put on the back burner', what about that? Or what about doubling the reading scores at the school that your kids go to? Or what about organizing your neighborhood to replace the blight of poverty with the presence of Pride – those are big enough Meanings that you will have to generate Power, by empowering others.
        Said another way, your new Freely-Chosen Meaning isn't big enough unless it requires you to give it away to others.
        The bigger your commitment, and the more daunting it may seem at first, the more that will be required of you, the more empowerment your commitment will generate, and the less you need care about the rancid, not-working False Values of the Culture-Structure – standing in Empowerment, your choices will empower others, and the satisfaction in your accomplishment increases accordingly.

        This Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment thing is what I have taken on, and it won't get done unless I generate a far greater reach, get a huge conversation started, put billboards along the freeways here and there, get written up in Time Magazine or be interviewed by Oprah – like that.
        The central Meaning and Purpose of the Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment is the Fulfillment of Mankind's Potential; in order to do anything about that I must ongoingly get off my butt and fulfill MY potential, which automatically requires that I enroll legions of others in fulfilling THEIR potential. Tough job, but there is no better Life than living into a Future that requires your Self to push the proverbial envelope, to expand beyond your comfort zone, to risk possible failure, to Put Your Life On The Line for a Freely-Chosen Meaning and Purpose.

        Once you generate and maintain momentum in such empowering activities – in each and every area of your Life – then there can be no turning back.
        Your Life has Freely-Chosen Meaning!, and the Oligarchy has lost another mindless minion – you are free!

        Once you are empowered – once you empower your Self – nobody can take it away.

        Just step off the treadmill of the Culture-Structure and you will be free.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

News Factoids for June 2009

"Only 21% of registered voters now identify themselves as Republicans"
~~ Washington Post / ABC News poll of April 2009

"Marijuana accounts for 47% of all U.S. drug arrests."
~~ Time Magazine

Japan’s economy contracted by a record 4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year, as domestic demand declined and an export deficit continued.
~~ Financial Times sub-headline, May /2009

The next American military quagmire will be in Turkey, most likely in the Kurdish region in the south, which abuts northern Iraq. Second choice: Africa.

Had my old Maytag washer repaired recently and the local appliance repair guy told me that his business has increased a lot lately, because people are getting household gadgets repaired rather than tossing them and replacing them with new units, which are often seen as being of lesser quality. {Hooray!}

A doctor at the V.A. hospital told me that vitamin D is now considered the best treatment for 'bone pain', which is the common vague soreness of feet and ankles in older people. Daily vitamins usually have 400 units or so of vitamin D, assuming that at least another 400 units will be gotten from actual food. The new theory is that after a certain age (50 or 60), the body needs 2000 units per day of vitamin D, which is readily available as capsules at your local drugstore. I was told that 'you cannot overdose on vitamin D'; for example, the theorists on this are treating patients who need to catch up with an injection of 50,000 units of vitamin D per week, for 6-8 weeks.

Americans spent 83% more time on social-networking websites in April 2009, as compared with the same time in the prior year.
~~ Time Magazine

Theaters are already showing trailers (previews) for the Robert Downey, Jr. version of "Sherlock Holmes" [due in December 2009], directed by Guy Ritchie. In researching that film for my Sherlock Holmes Film Festival Page, I discovered that there is a real listing on Internet Movie Database for an "Untitled Sherlock Holmes Project" designated 'in development' with Sacha Baron Cohen set to play Holmes and Will Ferrell set to play Watson – Hollywood, have you no shame?

Prohibition in the U.S. lasted 14 years. At the end (1933), arrests for drunk & disorderly were up 41% and the prison population was up 366%.
~~ Mother Jones Magazine, June 2009

"It is unsafe to swim or fish in nearly 40% of U.S. rivers and streams."
~~ Mother Jones Magazine, June 2009

The new motto around recycling is "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink"

U.S. building permits are at the lowest since 1960.
~~ A.P. Radio News

Home prices fell 19% in the first quarter of 2009.
~~ Schiller Index

DVD sales for April 2009 were down 11% over the same period in the prior year.

Forty percent of 2007 births in U.S. were out of wedlock.

122 million movie tockets are sold each month in the U.S.A.
~~ on-screen ad June 2009

"I don't think [corn-based ethanol] has proven itself of any value except to Archer Daniels Midland."
~~ Michael Pollan

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 2009 Quotations

"We must know what we are, before we can know and use what we inherently possess."
~~ C. Larson

"Every artist was first an amateur."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-1882]

"I like myself better when I'm writing regularly."
~~ Willie Nelson

“It isn't what they say about you, it's what they whisper.”
~~ Errol Flynn [1909-59]

"Courage is grace under pressure."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"Amateurs hope. Professionals work."
~~ Garson Kanin [1912-99]

"A firm grip on reality is not a critical component of happiness."
~~ David Hempy

"Count [the minutes] by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day and the race a life."
~~ Benjamin Disraeli [1804-81]

"Reach high, think big, work hard, and have fun!"
~~ motto of Disney Channel's "Imagination Movers" children's TV program

"The future is already here, it is just unevenly distyributed."
~~ William Gibson

"A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt."
~~ old saying

"The trouble with the motion-picture art was (and is) that it is too much an industry; and the trouble with the motion picture industry is that it is too much an art. It is out of this basic contradiction that most of the ills of the form arise."
~~ Garson Kanin [1912-99]

"You can fool too many of the people too much of the time."
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

"It's no fun being a century ahead of the times."
~~ L. Frank Baum [1856-1919]

"There is a constant struggle between the spirit of free inquiry and the spirit of fundamentalist dogma."
~~ Adam Gopnick

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it."
~~ Walt Disney [1901-66]

"All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl."
~~ Jean-Luc Godard

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world."
~~ Jean-Luc Godard

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
~~ Woody Allen

"If a person is to get the meaning of life he must learn to like the facts about himself – ugly as they may seem to his sentimental vanity – before he can learn the truth behind the facts. And the truth is never ugly."
~~ Eugene O'Neill [1888-1953]

"If my films make one more person miserable, I'll feel I have done my job."
~~ Woody Allen

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

“Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.”
~~ Eugene O'Neill [1888-1953]

"Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common."
~~ Satchel Paige [1906-82]

"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained."
~~ Walt Disney [1901-66]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Essay #90: "The Festival of Stupid"

        Stupid, as a commodity, is not in short supply.
        Stupid is quite plentiful, much like the kudzu vine of the American South, as both are ever attempting to take over Civilization.

        George W. Bush is not as stupid as he appears. It isn’t so much that he IS stupid, but that he does stupid. The entire premise of the Bush 43 Administration was to wreck the economy, to really screw it up worse than Reagan-Bush did, so that the political takeover of America by the Robber Barons and the Fascists would be easier (for them).
        But Dubya screwed that up! The economic crisis was scheduled to happen after the Democrats got control of the Executive and Legislative branches, so that the Oligarchs could then blame the Democrats – those terrifying Liberals – for the mess.
        But Dubya screwed up the intentional screw-up, and the People woke up and Barack Obama won by a landslide in many precincts and states, and Dubya gets the blame by present and future historians for the Recession, Depression, Meltdown that is the current and future economic plight of America and the world.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        While a significant portion of the U.S. population were infected by the sleep-inducing propaganda of the Culture-Structure, the sheeple let the Party of Stupidity run the country using obvious strategies of stealth, plunder, Mafia-style ethics, talk-show alarmists, and an insane disregard for the consequences that always arise from such actions.
        (And the Tea-Bagger sheeple even mindlessly protested President Obama’s tax CUTS for the Middle Class!)
        The Corporatists and Fascists and Oligarchs and Conservatives and Religionists and bigots and Federalists have continued to work in concert, with the full intention of producing a mess just like the one that we are in. The anti-Reason gangsters always move in the same direction – to benefit from the exploitation and degradation of We The People.
        And the sheeple let them.
        And it never works. The mess gets dire and the People rise up and re-establish Progressive programs, and clean up the mess from the new Festival of Stupid.
        And the Master Class sits back and complains about taxes – taxes that had to be raised to pay down their recent fiscal crimes – and the Master Class bides their time. And when the economy and civil rights are restored, or at least repaired, then the Master Class invents some new imaginary monster to make afraid those infected with Stupid, and here we go again.

        Freedom is the result of Reason. Locke and Hume and Tom Paine and Tom Jefferson and the American Revolution set in motion a Progressive ideology that will eventually prevail.
        But it is tough work keeping Freedom alive. There are indeed those who oppose Freedom, who cannot tolerate rule by The People. They seek a return to feudalism, where in their view the Master Class (aristocracy) owns the peasants and is entitled to anything that it wants.
        So Stupid exists in two places: the Master Class thrives on doing harm, and the sheeple suffer the consequences of their obliviousness.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        To be truly free from something is to not need it. I cared that the First Amendment was torn to shreds by the Bush Administration, but those freedoms still were alive where I was anyway because I do not need a piece of paper behind glass in Washington, DC to give me those freedoms. I am free to exercise my rights at all times because living from those Unalienable Rights ensures their existence. I am free, the Constitution says so, and that is a matter that is worth risking one’s life for.
        Reason gives Progress. Action creates opportunity. Persistence delivers results.
        Meanwhile, Stupid just creates more Stupid: messes to clean up, lives ruined, a planet despoiled, mindless waste, perpetual violence, and pain for everyone involved.

        Reason is the antidote for Stupid. The Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand [1905-82], the Existentialist philosophies of Albert Camus [1913-60] and Jean-Paul Sartre [1905-80], transformative education – all are based on Reason and lead to solutions that benefit Mankind as a whole.
        We are all in this together. (Except for the Stupid, who are not IN anything, except failure.)
        Reason has a person seek Progress; Stupidity can be defined as the lack of seeking or striving or thinking.
        Reason is an act of Free Will; Stupid is based on a want or a wish, often for some fantasy, such as An End To Fear.
        Reason seeks Progress; Stupid makes a mess. The act of cleaning something up is always a result of a cause that was sourced by Stupid.

  • Federal cleanup sites are the result of Stupid behavior: atomic radiation, mining poisons, industrial pollution, the Texas-sized (literally) mega-pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Economic rescues (bailouts) are the result of Stupid behavior, and the bailouts themselves are Stupid behavior.
  • The conflation of gambling and finance is the result of Stupid behavior: commodities futures, money market funds, indexes on indexes, convoluted ‘instruments’ – none truly exist (have equity) and are therefore sold only to suckers (stupid people with money).
  • Economic failure or meltdown is the result of Stupid behavior: when hardworking regular folk find themselves homeless from tidal changes in The Market which they do not understand and had no hand in, and when their 401K or pension is now worthless after being touted as foolproof.
  • Corporatism, which is based on the Stupid value of Growth For Growth’s Sake, which like pond scum will eventually suck all the oxygen out of the system.
  • Ill health is the result of Stupid behavior: Reason-based healthcare prevents breakdown, as a boon to all, for a smoothly-running society and economy; single-payer healthcare makes prevention affordable. The economics of Stupid makes healthcare hard to get, with their proffered ‘solutions’ overpriced and with unwanted side-effects.
  • Crime is Stupid, and not in any way Progressive. Crime is quite costly: lost equity, lost time, and waste of resources – the chase, the meting out of justice, the incarceration, the restoration of plundered goods, the parole system. Crime is an industry in America, and that fact is the result of Stupid behavior.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The very fact that a cleanup is required means that a crime or assault on Liberty, or a crime of simple greed or survival has been committed.
        The evidence of that dis-empowering act is whatever needs to be cleaned up.
  • Poisoned eco-systems
  • Poisoned social systems, like healthcare and the military and police and justice systems, and the election system
  • New Orleans
  • The Rust Belt
  • Chernobyl
  • North Korea and Darfur and Somalia
  • Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and the rest of the $25 trillion Republican National Debt
  • America’s labor unions
  • America’s automobile industry
  • America’s housing industry
  • America’s healthcare industry
        The internet is contaminated but not yet poisoned. Attempts were and will be made to mess it up, to remove the {small D) democratic elements, the We The People freedoms that exist in cyberspace, and are hard to come by in other venues.

        Politics is revitalized by Barack Obama’s campaign and his landslide victory. We the People did some cleaning up, got the election system working again, and President Obama has eight years to implement his planned repairs and improvements, his Vision For America.
        What the Obama Administration will leave behind is a better world, even for the sheeple contaminated with Stupid. That Progressive agenda (hated by the pro-feudalism talk-show gasbag pundits) includes better healthcare for Americans, better education, more jobs and more union activity (better jobs), Reason-based taxation, and a reduction in death by warfare on the planet.

        War is stupid. Feudalism is stupid. Hunger and starvation are stupid. Pollution is stupid. A frenzied life is stupid.

        But the pathogen of Stupid bides its time and looks for chinks in the armor of the Progressive Life Force. No matter that Obama won in 2008, the Bad Guys are still loose and making their Stupid-based plans.
        Stupid causes pain and death and suffering.

        Empower whoever you can, wherever and whenever you can.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, June 01, 2009

Essay #89: “The Evil of Dick Cheney”

The most evil person in America today is Dick Cheney. So that there is no mistake, I mean Richard Bruce Cheney, the former Vice President.

He is more evil than the idiot George Dubya Bush, cowardly slime-bucket Karl Rove, and p*ssant Alberto Gonzales combined.

(Limp Rushbaugh & Sean Vannity and their pack don’t count because they are the political equivalent of the old Chatty Cathy doll – push the button and hear pre-recorded clichés.)

* *          * *          * *          * *

As preface to Dubya’s first speech as a former President, at a private event in Calgary (Alberta, Canada), he stated that he would not criticize President Obama, and that “President Obama deserves my silence.”

There is room for conjecture here.

President-elect Obama met privately several times with then-President Bush as part of the transition, and it looks like Obama offered Bush a ‘cease-fire’ treaty: that if Dubya kept his mouth shut and did not attack the Obama administration in the press, then the Obama administration would not attack Bush in the press.

You will notice that statements from the Obama administration might talk of mismanagement and failures of the ‘previous administration’, but Bush has not been blamed by name during these several months by any major figure of the White House or of the Cabinet. (Congress can say what they want; the accusations need to get stronger, such as with subpoenas to testify and with criminal indictments.)

* *          * *          * *          * *

Whether any such offer was made to Cheney is more than conjecture. In any case, evil Dick Cheney has no intention of halting his assault on the U.S. Constitution, now that being out of office hampers his ability to give direct orders to frightened underlings. Dick Cheney has not gotten that the People voted his gang out of office, because the People have never mattered to Dick Cheney. That a former U.S. Vice President is pumping the airwaves to attack the new administration has never occurred before; most VPs have just faded away to write their memoirs.

But evil Dick Cheney has an agenda to fulfill, so what if the damage already done to the country will take years, even decades to correct, that damage is not enough for him. There are so many evil tenets of the Federalist Society and of P.N.A.C. {Project For The New American Century} that need to be implemented and re-implemented so that the fascist Oligarchy can reign over a feudal America. It is as if every progressive movement and law since the Magna Carta just has to be repealed, so that the Oligarchs can restore their tradition of taxing the poor, making wars for easy profit, and torturing anyone that gets in their way.

Dick Cheney is a traitor to the U.S. Constitution. There are many incidents where he did so, but the key one is the Valerie Plame affair. For those with lousy memories, the Scooter Libby defense team put into evidence a memo in Dick Cheney’s handwriting telling Libby that ‘The Pres’ approved the public disclosure of C.I.A. agent Plame’s covert identity. (Brilliant move: Libby’s prison sentence was commuted by Dubya.)

Even if the content of that memo was untrue, that still leaves Dick Cheney as the person who authorized the undoing of twenty years of C.I.A. intelligence work, an event which got several foreign agents killed and ruined America’s future chances of recruiting new ‘intell’ sources in foreign lands.

That single matter requires that Dick Cheney be called to testify under oath before Congress and put on trial in Federal court and sentenced to hard time in prison.

* *          * *          * *          * *

But Dick Cheney's evil nature includes the fact that he has no shame. So he breaks precedent and tirelessly appears on the TV faux news shows and hate-talk radio programs upbraiding President Obama for making decisions that endanger America’s military security.

Oh, sure. The same guys who let the bin Laden family fly away on September 11, who let Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora, who dismantled the Osama bin Laden unit of the C.I.A. (until an outcry made them rebuild it), the same guys who started an unnecessary war in Iraq and lost it (i.e. did NOT win it, after more time than it took to defeat Imperialist Japan and Nazi Germany) – these guys, in the person of Cheney, are going to give President Obama advice!

* *          * *          * *          * *

Cheney is guilty of treason and murder, he is guilty of arrogance and self-importance, and then there is a whole list of personal failings. But what keeps him on the airwaves is that none of the so-called journalists that grovel at his feet will call him on his hypocrisy.

The first major action by George Dubya Bush when he took office was to begin illegal wiretaps of American citizens – that was in January of 2001. The first major action by Dick Cheney after he took office was to call meetings with the oil companies to plan the invasion of Iraq – that was in February of 2001.

One of Dick Cheney’s assignments as the new Vice President was as the head of the Counter-Terrorism Task Force. Though he found time to meet and conspire with oil company executives, he held no meeting of the C.T.T.F., ignored hundreds of written warnings about potential attacks by bin Laden and others, and finally called the first meeting of America’s Counter-Terrorism Task Force on 12 September 2001!

Whatta guy!

He is actually getting no pushback for blaming President Obama for the failures of the Bush gang in the specious War on Terror. That the evil Dick Cheney has any traction at all on TV news and radio talk just goes to show whose side the fascist-Federalist propaganda machinery is on.

Congress unfortunately failed its Constitutional responsibility to impeach the traitors of the Bush administration. Congress needs to investigate the long list of obvious crimes against the U.S. Constitution, and then to follow all the evidence as revealed and indict and prosecute any and all who conspired to subvert our precious Constitution.

And Dick Cheney belongs at the top of the list of suspects.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Essay #88: "The Party of No"

Recent writers of letters in the local newspaper avoid certain facts, because objective reality is their enemy.

1) Barack Obama won the election for President in November 2008. That an African-American won the popular vote is a major accomplishment (in this racist country), and the landslide in the electoral college is equally important. The People are now back in power.

2) The Japanese surrendered in 1945, but the permanent opposition to the People did not surrender in November. Those seeking to render the U.S. Constitution worthless continue to spew their propaganda, as regularly appears in local newspapers across the country, as well as on national hate-talk radio and on the faux TV news channels.

The Party of No – no facts, no rights, no healthcare, no accountability, no security, no jobs, no education, no solutions – is made up of the Republicans, fascists, racists, Federalists, Wall Street barons, members of P.N.A.C., all the unindicted traitors and criminals of the Bush Administration, the war profiteers, and just plain demagogues plotting together and separately to reverse the intent of the Constitution and to further destroy the Nation. Their evil job is not done.

3) The Republican National Debt today stands at 25 trillion dollars. If – and that is still a very big IF – Barack Obama and his team saves America and the world from suffering the decade-long Second Republican Depression that looms on our horizon, then he will have done a greater thing than F.D.R. did, because President Obama has only eight years to rescue the country. The matter is extremely urgent.

4) The economy of America and the world has not yet reached bottom. We have yet to go thru the turmoil that awaits from the Credit Card Crisis. If President Obama makes the right choices AND his plans get enacted in time, then the economy won't get too much worse. If what needs to be enacted is faulty or is blocked or watered down by the Party of No, then the Republican Great Depression of 1929 to 1938 will look like a picnic in the park in comparison.

5) A recent national poll by A.B.C. News found that only 21% of American voters will admit to being registered as Republicans. The Party of No has lost power because their lies are both the cause and the result of believing their own propaganda.

* *          * *          * *          * *

Barack Obama and his team are the only chance that America has to restore Constitutional law, to survive the Republican economic meltdown, and with a little luck maybe even prevent your grandchildren from living as slaves to the Oligarchy.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 2009 Quotations

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork."
~~ Peter De Vries [1910-93]

"If you are unhappy before fame, you will probably be unhappy during fame."
~~ Haing S. Ngor [1940-96]

"Part of the loot went for gambling and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly."
~~ actor George Raft [1895-1980]

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"A nation glued to the television screen ... can fill up every 'unforgiving minute' with enough trash and preoccupation to still forever the deeper voices of the soul."
~~ Adlai Stevenson [1900-65], in 1959

"My activism pays the rent on being alive and being here on the planet."
~~ Alice Walker, in 1989

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."
~~ poet Robert Frost [1874-63]

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
~~ Anton Chekhov [1860-1904]

"Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
~~ William Faulkner [1897-1962]

"News is what someone, somewhere, doesn't want you to know. Everything else is advertising."
~~ Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe [1865-1922]

"We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-94]

"Oh! what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive!"
~~ Sir Walter Scott [1771-1832]

"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."
~~ William E. Simon

"To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"All good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy."
~~ Norman Maclean [1902-90]

"[Sociologist C. Wright] Mills is half forgotten -- perhaps because much of what he said is now taken for granted."
~~ Norman Birnbaum

"We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament, and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy."
~~ Cyril Connolly [1903-74]

"This is the worst economy since the Great Depression."
~~ Richard Stengel, Time Magazine

"The problem with 'going with the flow' is that the flow is always downhill."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"The world has been slow to realize that we are in the shadow of one of the greatest economic catastrophes of modern history."
~~ John Maynard Keynes [1883-1946], quoted by James K. Galbraith in written testimony to Congress, February 2009

"Great minds have purposes, others have wishes."
~~ Washington Irving [1783-1859]

"A useless life is an early death."
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [1749-1842]

"There is a purpose to our lives that each day tugs at our sleeve as an annoying distraction."
~~ Robert Brault

"When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind."
~~ Seneca the Younger [4? B.C.E. - 65 A.D.]

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?"
~~ comedian Steven Wright

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the price of a song?"
~~ Lou Reed

"Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valley of silliness."
~~ Ludwig Wittgenstein [1889-1951]

"The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them."
~~ Frank A. Clark

"Higher education in America is designed to fashion plowshares into doorstops."
~~ G.E. Nordell

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

Sunday, April 19, 2009

News Factoids for April 2009


The Pacific Ocean garbage patch is growing ... It's now bigger than the state of Texas.
== AP news headline April 2009

"In 2006, the greenhouse gases produced by U.S. farm animals exceeded the emissions of the iron, steel and cement industries combined."
== Lisa Morgan, The Atlantic September 2008


595,000 jobs lost in January 2009, worst in 35 years
== AP News headline February 2009

Jobless rate jumps to 8.1 percent in February, highest since late 1983; employers cut 651,000 jobs...
== AP News headline March 2009

3.6 million jobs lost since the beginning of the recession

The nation's unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since late 1983, as a wide range of employers eliminated a net total of 663,000 jobs.
== AP news 3 April 2009
{double that number for the real figure of 17% unemployemnt}

Americans lost 742,000 jobs in March 2009.
== Air America Radio newsletter


"17% fewer dot-com and other standard web addresses were registered in the fourth quarter of 2008 than in the same period in 2007."
== Time Magazine

Chinese exports dropped 17.5% in January 2009 compared to a year earlier
== Time Magazine

Household debt in the U.S. soared from 60% of income in 1982 to 130% in 2007.
== Time Magazine


"Over the past twenty years, the elite 1 percent [of U.S. taxpayers] saw their share of the nation's income double, from 11.3& to 22.1%, but their tax burden shrank by about one third [from 33.1 percent to 22.8% percent]."
{ **emphasis added } == The Nation Magazine

"From 1973 to 1985, the [U.S.] financial sector never earned more than 16 prcent of domestic corporate profits ... [During the Bush Administration] it reached 41 percent."
== Simon Johnson, in The Atlantic

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Essay #87: "The 2012 Hoax"

        This whole thing about The World Is Gonna End! on 12 December or 21 December of 2012 is just another manipulation to instill more fear into the population.
        The purpose? A population that lives in fear – about anything, and especially when the fear is about everything – is to that extent paralyzed and diverted from addressing the very real dangers that continually threaten the existence of Mankind here on the Blue Planet.
        War, pestilence, famine, death, cancer, droughts and floods, hurricanes, Chinese toys, exploding auto tires, vampires, unions and-or management, white supremacists, Muslim extremists, Christian extremists, atheist extremists, illegal aliens here to take your job, environmentalists here to take your job, Democrats who want to take your guns, rednecks who carry guns to the grocery store, wolves who eat your stock, deer who eat your crops, homeless people who just want something to eat, bankers who want to foreclose your home, a ‘healthcare’ industry that makes people sick – the list goes on and on.

* *          * *          * *          * *
        Remember the Y2K phenomenon? At least that non-event got a few retired COBOL programmers put back to work updating software badly designed so as not to handle the four-digit year and-or the rollover to first digit of 2. Other than that, what actually happened? A peak in sales of bottled water, camping supplies, and Meals Ready To Eat. Lots and lots of fear that ended in a gigantic fizzle.

        And the big frenzy about Jesus Is Coming, soon swept aside by celebu-tart news stories. (My favorite from back then was the “Jesus is coming – and boy is He p*ssed!” bumper stickers.)
        At one company where I worked in the 1990s, some of the Christians spent their weekends up in the mountains training for the End Times; what was most amazing to me was that one of my Jewish co-workers was training with them.
        Nothing really happened, Jesus is still missing, it was all simply another fear-based ruckus in the media about nothing, as will be the increasing hooferaw about the 2012 farce.

        Each of these media-driven programs of fear-mongering will often run for years. The Y2K thing was lengthened by the silly furor over when exactly the Millennium changed. The big Millennium parties were held in Las Vegas and Tokyo and elsewhere on 31 December 1999 (the False Millennium) and then the B Team held further parties on 31 December 2000 – because they could. (The facts are simple: the artificial First Millennium began 1 January in Year One, therefore the Second Millennium began on 1 January of the year 2001. Duh!)

* *          * *          * *          * *
        And let us not forget the decades-long Baby On Board fad. This spread to the U.S from Germany about the time that Reagan was running for President, and still flourishes in the U.K. It began during the same time period that the unthinking religionist sheeple masses were first organizing their political shenanigans, and the very unconscious meaning behind the whole deal was connected to the ‘Jesus Is Returning At The Millennium’ myth.
        Using no logic whatsoever, if Jesus returns in 2000 or 2001, then he’d have to be twenty or so, so he’d have to be born anywhere from 1978 to maybe 1980, or if by 1982 then he’d be 18 years old, that could work. So any child of a Christian family could be very, very special, there’s no way to know, so for a couple years, let’s not kill babies and let’s all drive real carefully, because anyone could be the proud parent of a kid who survives being a teenager in America and is revealed by hosts of angels to be the Son of the Christian God-head. (Film at eleven!)
        Logic? What if Jesus comes back as a girl? Or even better, someone born into the LGBT community? And the arrogance of us Americans: we are 6% of the overpopulated planet, any such godling is three times more likely to be Chinese.
        Well, those yellow diamond-shaped signs that were stuck inside millions of car windows got old after a while, but the kitsch-dealers kept it going. ‘Pet on board’ and other variations, then ‘Driver carries no cash’ (as if robbers and car-jackers might obey the sign), which eventually evolved into ‘Baby carries no cash’, which was kind of the end of the silliness here in America.
        We protected all those babies and then none of them grew up to be Jesus. Bummer!

* *          * *          * *          * *
        This whole Mayan calendar 2012 myth is just more of the same, a waste of time designed to distract and divert the populace from Reality.
        Forests will be cut down to report opinions for and against this Mayan myth from dozens of uninformed opinion-mongers who will promote their worthless books on the boob-tube and will draw millions of dollars out of the pockets of the ever-eager fools and idiots that live right in your neighborhood.
        Nothing much can be done to prevent the meaningless frenzy, as the idiots are too many among us. It will all play out as the previous such phenomena did, including the people with nothing better to do who will buy tickets and take time off work and get happily drunk at End of The World parties around the globe – “Fox News On The Scene, Live!” – and when they wake up on December 15th they will still feel hangover-ish, and in the next week or so will receive the charges for their excesses on their credit card billing statements.

        If you want to have a little fun with these dolts, then any time anyone brings up the subject of 2012 as The End of The World, offer them ten dollars for their automobile or $100 for their house, based on a written & notarized contract that becomes due on, oh, January First of 2013. If they won’t sign such a contract, then they are fools for promoting a mythical event that they don’t really believe in. And if anyone does sign such a contract with you, then they are truly major idiots who deserve to be thinned from the herd, and they truly deserve their comeuppance in 2013 when you show up with the paperwork to collect your new house or car.

Copyright 2009 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved