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Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Year-End Bonus Quotations

"One of the good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."
~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [1922-2007]

"All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room."
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62]

"Talent hits a target [that] no one can hit; genius hits a target [that] no one can see."
~~ Arthur Schopenhauer [1788-1860]

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~~ Robin Williams

"The best diet is having to pay for your own groceries."
~~ Aaron Karo

"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
~~ Henry J. Kaiser [1882-1967]

"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?"
~~ Jean Kerr [1922-2003]

"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."
~~ Robert A. Heinlein [1907-88]

"God may have had fun at creation, but he really didn't think things through."
~~ filmmaker Lars von Trier

"It's impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism."
~~ activist Malcolm X [1925-65]

"Equality with whites will not solve the problems of either whites or Negroes if it means equality in a world society stricken by poverty and in a universe doomed to extinction by war."
~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68], from "Where Do We Go From Here", 1968

"In Hollywood, you're as good as your last picture. If you didn't have one in production within the last three months, you're forgotten, no matter what you have achieved [before] this."
~~ Erich von Stroheim [1885-1957]

"Food is an important part of a balanced diet."
~~ Fran Lebowitz

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women."
~~ Margaret Thatcher

"Art is what we do. Culture is what is done to us."
~~ minimalist sculptor Carl Andre

"Circumstances make man, not man circumstances."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"The pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating, and the most intense is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful."
~~ Edgar Allan Poe [1809-49]

"Wanting to meet an author because you like his books is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté."
~~ Margaret Atwood

"Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion."
~~ Franklin Pierce [1804-69]

"He who laughs has not yet heard the terrible news."
~~ Bertolt Brecht [1898-1956]

"Newt Gingrich embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive."
~~ conservative columnist George Will

"Asking a writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp post how it feels about dogs."
~~ Ann Landers {Eppie Lederer 1918-2002}

“In the war of ideas, it's not enough just to be against something; you have to be for something that is sound as well.”
~~ Lech Walesa

"The role of a comedian is to make the audience laugh, at a minimum of once every fifteen seconds."
~~ Lenny Bruce [1925-66]

"Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes."
~~ John Le Carre

"Always make the audience suffer as much as possible."
~~ Alfred Hitchcock [1899-1980]

"I have a foolproof device for judging whether a picture is good or bad. If my fanny squirms, it's bad. If my fanny doesn't squirm, it's good."
~~ Hollywood mogul Harry Cohn [1891-1958]

"Capitalism must be holy because religion is a business."
~~ minimalist sculptor Carl Andre

"Saving is a very fine thing. Especially if your parents have done it for you."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Character is much easier kept than recovered."
~~ Thomas Paine [1737-1809]

"Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides."
~~ Margaret Thatcher

"Intelligence requires that you don't defend an assumption."
~~ physicist David Bohm [1917-92]

"Wishes cost nothing unless you want them to come true."
~~ cartoonist Frank Tyger

"No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the rights of minorities."
~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt [1882-1945]

"The man who does more than he is paid [for] will soon be paid for more than he does."
~~ Napoleon Hill [1883-1970]

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
~~ Virginia Woolf [1882-1941]

"Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give but dreadfully uneasy to take."
~~ Josh Billings [1818-85]

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."
~~ Franz Kafka [1883-1924]

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

Sunday, December 04, 2011

December 2011 Quotations

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
~~ Frederick Douglass [1818-95]

"Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve."
~~ Tehyi Hsieh [1884-1972]

"One person speaking up makes more noise than a thousand people who remain silent."
~~ Thom Hartnett

"Only one letter divides the comic from the cosmic."
~~ Vladimir Nabokov [1899-1977]

"Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?"
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
~~ novelist Cynthia Ozick

"Life doesn't run away from nobody. Life runs at people."
~~ boxing champion Joe Frazier [1944-2011]

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

"It is a miserable thing to live in suspense; it is the life of a spider."
~~ Jonathan Swift [1667-1745]

"When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses."
~~ Shirley Chisolm [1924-2005]

"The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it."
~~ journalist Mignon McLaughlin [1913-83]

"Being a celebrity is probably the closest to being a beautiful woman as you can get."
~~ Kevin Costner

"Our government is in our education."
~~ H.G. Wells [1866-1946]

"If we are to reach real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
~~ Frederick Douglass [1818-95]

"Your silence will not protect you."
~~ Audre Lorde [1934-92]

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
~~ George Orwell [1903-50]

"Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time and your government when it deserves it."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."
~~ Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68]

"As individual fingers we can be broken, but together we make a mighty fist."
~~ Native American leader Sitting Bull [1831?-1890]

"Make cornbread, not war."
~~ Charleston, South Carolina chef Sean Brock

"If people actually knew what was happening, they would be really pissed off. They should be."
~~ activist Barbara A. Brenner

"Old age is not a disease, it is a triumph."
~~ Maggie Kuhn [1905-95], founder of the GrayPanthers

("Anything said in Latin sounds profound")

DIEM DULCEM HABES ("Have a nice day")

"Virtue is necessary for the good life but not sufficient for the good life."
~~ Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]
"Money is necessary for the good life but not sufficient for the good life."
~~ mis-attributed to Aristotle

"We are moving from a world created by privilege to a world created by community ... Global themes are emerging in response to cascading ecological crises and human suffering."
~~ eco-activist Paul Hawken

"The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out."
~~ Voltaire [1694-1778]

"It is better to live rich than to die rich."
~~ Dr. Samuel Johnson [1709-84]

"There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."
~~ explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes

"He who fights for his rights can lose; he who does not fight has lost already."
~~ German labor slogan

"The freedom of Mankind does not lie in the fact that [we] can do what we want, but that we do not have to do that which we do not want."
~~ per Jean-Jacques Rousseau [1712-78]

"You are master of your words, but, once spoken, they control you."
~~ author uncertain

"Life is a four-letter word."
~~ Lenny Bruce [1925-66]

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

News Factoids for November 2011

Due to the small crop (global warming!), U.S. peanuts tripled in price this Fall; expect the price of peanut butter to double or worse before the end of the year.

Use this free online refinance calculator to see what future interest rate will be the optimal one for refinancing your old fixed-rate mortgage:

Last year, total U.S. student loan debt exceeded U.S. credit card debt for the first time ever. — Time Magazine
The cost of college has increased 538 percent over the past 30 years.
Time Magazine

There are around 5,000 privately-owned Bengal tigers in the U.S., more than the 3,600 that are living in the wild in Asia. — Xian Science Monitor

Just 147 interlocking companies control 40 percent of the world economy; the top 25 companies include Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard Group, United Bank of Switzerland, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Walton Enterprises, Bank of New York Mellon, Goldman Sachs, T. Rowe Price Group, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America. — per New Scientist Magazine, Oct 2011

Several U.S. Senators & candidates are promoting a Constitutional amendment that would declare that only humans are 'persons' under U.S. law.
'Reverse Citizens United' Constitutional Amendment

Income for the poor rose 18 percent between 1979 and 2007 (in inflation-adjusted dollars), while middle-class income rose 40 percent and the income of the top one percent rose 275 percent.
— Congressional Budget Office report, October 2011

Commercial helium gas is extracted from natural gas, mostly in Texas and China. At the present rate of consumption, we will reach peak supply in twenty years, after which the supply will drop sharply.

Movie attendance dropped to a 17-year low in Summer 2011, and more viewers chose 2-D tickets over 3-D for expected blockbusters "Pirates of The Caribbean" #4, "Harry Potter" #8, "Green Lantern", and "Kung Fu Panda 2".

Information on the Occupy Movement
Progressivism / 'Occupy Movement' at Working Minds Philosophy website

There are 65 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S.A.; 48 of them are leaking radioactive tritium.
— two federal reports, 2011

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 2011 Quotations

"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt."
~~ President Herbert Hoover [1874-1964]

"Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock."
~~ Ben Hecht [1894-1964]

"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity/"
~~ adventurer Thor Heyerdahl [1914-2002]

"An expert is [someone] who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a narrow field."
~~ physicist Niels Bohr [1885-1962]

"When dealing with people, remember [that] you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity."
~~ Dale Carnegie [1888-1965]

"Finance, like Time, devours its own children."
~~ Honoré de Balzac [1799-1850]

"Story is the shortest distance between people."
~~ Jeffrey Courion

"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things."
~~ Antoine de St-Exupéry [1900-44]

"Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle."
~~ Igor Sikorsky [1889-1972]

"Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes."
~~ Charles A. Lindbergh [1902-74], in 'Autobiography of Values' 1978

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December."
~~ J.M. Barrie [1860-1937]

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
~~ rock legend Jimi Hendrix [1942-70]

"Don't declare victory at halftime."
~~ Stephen Windwalker

"Why should we believe [that] the private sector will take care of poverty? It never has in our history."
~~ Gene Nichol

"Inequality hardens society into a class system. Inequality divides us from one another. ... Inequality undermines democracy."
~~ George Packer, columnist at The New Yorker Magazine

"[The United States is] a dysfunctional plutocracy serving the biggest corporations and the billionaires behind them."
~~ Dave Johnson, Campaign For America's Future blogger

"The creative process is a process of surrender, not control."
~~ Julia Cameron

"Two dangers threaten the universe: order and disorder."
~~ French poet Paul Valéry [1871-1945]

"Everybody wants to save the earth. Nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."
~~ P.J. O'Rourke

"The only true voyage of discovery would not be to visit strange lands but to behold the universe thru the eyes of another."
~~ Marcel Proust [1871-1922]

"We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs."
~~ Will Rogers [1879-1935]

"The key to success isn't much good until one discovers the right lock to insert it [into]."
~~ Chinese author & lecturer Tehyi Hsieh [1884-1972]

"Success is a public affair. Failure is a private funeral."
~~ Rosalind Russell [1907-76]

"All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher."
~~ Ambrose Bierce [1842-1914]

"If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
~~ Charles Dickens [1812-70]

"Don't get it right, just get it written."
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you $50,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul."
~~ Marilyn Monroe [1926-32]

"The clowns have finally taken over the circus ... [The Republican Party] is now overwhelmed by its own nonsense."
~~ Timothy Egan, in The New York Times

"If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize.
~~ Richard P. Feynman [1918-88]

"In this country, everything is possible."
~~ Shakira

"The lure of flying is the lure of beauty."
~~ Amelia Earhart [1897-1937]

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

News Factoids for October 2011

Albertson's and Walgreen's have already put out a row of Xmas decorations, in the middle of October! The Halowe'en candy has been on the shelves for weeks, so long by now that it is probably already stale.

The Film News Briefs free weekday newsletter is full of information that is useful for anyone in the movie or TV business, or wanting to be. There is so much info on new movies and casting deals (I skip the TV deals and the executive hiring announcements) that I am often a day or two behind in updating that data to my various websites.    free signup here

"The average real weekly earnings of a typical [American] blue-collar worker are lower today than in 1964." == Time Magazine

Taxes at the end of the Reagan administration were 18 percent of GDP; today taxes are 15 percent of GDP. Spending under Reagan averaged 22.4 percent of GDP "well above the 1971-2009 average of 20.6 percent", while spending today is 24 percent of GDP. == per Time Magazine, August 2011

The wealth gap between white and black American households doubled in the last two decades, to a ratio of twenty to one. == per a Pew Study, 2011

Internet Explorer’s overall share dropped from 56% in July to 54% in August while Firefox’s market share increased from 19% to 20% and Safari’s share grew one point to 9%. Between July 2010 and July 2011, however, Microsoft’s browser share remained steady at 56%.

The world human population reached 7 billion sometime during the month of October 2011.

Median income of U.S. college graduates declined 9.6 percent since 2000, a difference of more than $4,000 in salary. == per Time Magazine

"The U.S. collects less tax as a percentage of national income than any other leading economy." A graphic showed Denmark at the top with 48 percent and the U.S. at #16, with half that rate. == per Time Magazine

The U.S. Postal Service announced that the price of a basic stamp is going up a penny, to 45¢ on January 22 in 2012.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 2011 Quotations

"The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible."
~~ financier Bernard Baruch [1870–1965]

"It's just amazing how long this country has been going to hell without ever having got there."
~~ TV curmudgeon Andy Rooney

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."
~~ eco-activist Edward Abbey [1927-89]

"You will not become a saint thru other people's sins."
~~ Anton Chekhov [1860-1904]

"A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth."
~~ Thomas Mann [1875-1955]

"The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference."
~~ Bess Myerson

"The expression 'as a matter of fact' precedes many an expression that isn't."
~~ Laurence J. Peter [1919-90]

"You are made in the image of what you desire."
~~ Thomas Merton [1915-68]

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good [that] we often might win, by fearing to attempt."
~~ activist Jane Addams [1860-1935]

"We must try to contribute joy to the world. I didn't always know this and am happy [that] I lived long enough to find it out."
~~ Roger Ebert, in 2011

"Racecar spelled backwards is racecar."
~~ Kevin Kennedy

"I do want to get rich, but I never want to do what there is to do to get rich."
~~ Gertrude Stein [1874-1946]

"History keeps repeating itself. That's one of the things wrong with history."
~~ Clarence Darrow [1857-1938]

"Character is like a tree and a reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
~~ Maya Angelou

"The proper time to influence the character of a child is about 100 years before he is born."
~~ theologian Wm. Ralph Inge [1860-1954]

"Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time."
~~ Malcolm Forbes [1919-90]

"There are some days I practice positive thinking, and other days I'm not positive [that] I am thinking."
~~ John M. Eades

"Age is mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"To have joy one must share it."
~~ George Gordon, Lord Byron [1788-1824]

"An idea that isn't dangerous is hardly worth calling an idea at all."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. / Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world. / ... / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."
~~ W.B. Yeats [1865-1939], in "the Second Coming" 1919

"If someone thinks that he does not live by a philosophy, then what he really lives by are the scraps and tail-ends of other people's broken and discarded philosophies."
~~ G.K. Chesterton [1874-1936]

"The blackest despair that can take hold of any society is the fear that living honestly is futile."
~~ Italian journalist Corrado Alvaro [1895-1956]

"There can be no happiness if the things [that] we believe in are different from the things [that] we do."
~~ Freya Stark [1893-1993]

"The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death."
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62]

Zuckerberg's Law: "The amount of sharing by a Facebook user roughly doubles each year."

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there."
~~ Josh Billings [1818-85]

"[Steve Jobs] revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing."
~~ biographer Walter Isaacson

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
~~ Steve Jobs [1955-2011], in 2005

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.”
~~ Mary Pettibone Poole [?-??]

"Hóka-héy, today is a good day to die!"
~~ Sioux leader Crazy Horse [c. 1840-1877]

"The only good Indian is a dead Indian."
~~ General Phillip Sheridan [1831-88]

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The U.S. Beer Monopoly

The United States ranks 13th in per capita beer consumption at 81.6 liters, and is second in total volume against #1 China.

Beer accounts for roughly 85% of all alcohol volume sold in the United States and annually generates over $91 billion in retail sales. South African Breweries-Miller became the largest brewing company in the world when it acquired Royal Grolsch in 2002; InBev was then the second-largest beer-producing company in the world, and Anheuser-Busch was third.

But when Anheuser-Busch acquired InBev in November 2008, the new Anheuser-Busch InBev company became the largest brewer in the world.

2010 statistics from Beverage Industry Magazine, March 2011

Anheuser-Busch InBev places first:
#1 Bud Light – 28.5% market share
#2 Budweiser – 11.4% market share
#5 Natural Light – 6.0% market share
#6 Busch Light – 4.0% market share
#7 Busch – 3.6% market share
#10 Natural Ice – 1.9% market share
— for a total of at least 55.4 percent share of the U.S. beer market

Molson Coors places second:
#3 Coors Light – 10.2% market share
#9 Keystone Light – 2.6% market share
— for a total of 12.8 percent share of the U.S. beer market

SAB-Miller places third:
#4 Miller Lite – 9.1% market share
#8 Miller High Life – 2.7% market share
— for a total of 11.8 percent share of the U.S. beer market

... which adds up to three corporations controlling at least 80 percent of the U.S. beer market.
Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Walter T. Foster Story

Walter T. Foster published a series of large-format books about art, such as "How To Draw Horses". The books were priced at a dollar each in the 1940s and 1950s, were displayed on racks at hobby and stationary stores, and were so popular that he became very wealthy. His daughter Margaret was my mother's best friend, and Margaret and her son Lyle lived only a few miles away from us in Culver City, California. (Lyle was the age of my two younger brothers, so he and I never connected.)

Walter Foster was a character. He made his fortune and allowed himself to indulge himself in fun ways. He had a Christmas list, and my mother was on that list. I remember one year Walter sent out a limited edition phonograph record of him singing Christmas carols, backed by something like a 25-piece orchestra. The platter itself had to be 78rpm and was about ten inches across and made of clear red plastic, sorta like ruby glass. (I do not remember any impression of Walter's singing.)

Another year he sent out limited edition prints of a watercolor by one of the artists presented in his art books, mailed in a tube. My father was a cabinet maker and he liked the print, so he framed it under glass and the picture hung in my parents' hallway for many years.

The painted portion is on ecru? paper; measures twenty-one inches wide and 14 inches high; and the signature is in red in the bottom right corner. The subject is a road in India, the trees look like California sycamores, and three oxcarts are moving along the sun-dappled road. Dad scotch-taped a label from 'Walter Foster Art Services' on the back, with the handwritten date 1962.

When I was in the Air Force, my permanent station was Las Vegas, Nevada (with visits to Thailand and VietNam), and when I was discharged, I got a job as the systems programmer for Howard Hughes (the I.B.M. 360 was brand new then). At some point during that two years, the artist of my parents's watercolor print had a one-man showing in Las Vegas, and I went one afternoon. I do not remember where that event was, but I can see the house and the driveway, it was a commercial gallery that appeared to be adobe and was in a residential neighborhood. The artist was there, a medium-size man from India; he was surrounded by art people and I was not very comfortable in that setting, so I did not speak to him. His other paintings on display were very good. That would have been in 1969 or 1970.

Around 1980, Margaret and Walter died close together in time and Lyle inherited the company and hated being an executive, so eventually he sold it to a corporation and moved to Northern California and became a taxidermist.

Fast forward. Mom was changing the decor at the house, one of her hobbies, and she asked me if I wanted the Foster watercolor, and I agreed and that print has been in my possession ever since. After I moved to New Mexico, I hung the framed picture in my hallway; I began to wonder what it is that I have, but cannot decipher the signature, which seems to contain the initial letters G and something and A and R. I began wondering what the picture might be worth during one of my visits to Santa Fe, which is infested with art galleries of all types. (I figure that identifying the artist will shorten the door-to-door hunt up Canyon Road, etc.)

I tried emailing the present company, but got no reply. The official website boasts of their 88-year history, and they are keeping up to date with such products as an iPad app about drawing with digital software. I might also be able to identify the artist by slogging thru the books about watercolor, but I do not have access, nor is the website anywhere near complete in presenting old issues.

I plan to (and did) take a photo of the framed painting and a close-up of the signature, so that there are now two yellowish hotlinks in this sentence.

ADDED May 2017:
One of the very neat things about the internet is that people keep adding stuff. I did some googling today and I seem to have found the answer.

My guess of the signature as g.o. Aversanoj was not far off: the artist is Gideon D. Arulraj who was born in 1925 and died in June 1972 while visiting India. Arul had a studio (and gallery?) in Laguna Beach in the 1960s and 1970s.

Detail from this painting was used for the cover of "From India: Paintings by Arul Raj (Foster How To Series #74)" [1960], which is described as ‘vintage Walter T. Foster 'How to Paint' book by Indian artist Arul Raj’ (several of which are available used on Amazon & eBay & Etsy).

Copyright 2011 & 2017 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 2011 Quotations

"Spouting Tea Party propaganda does not make you a patriot, the same as getting athlete's foot does not make you an athlete."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Privatization is fascism, period."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"There are no rules in filmmaking, only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness."
~~ Frank Capra [1897-1991]

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."
~~ Richard P. Feynman [1918-88]

"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Man is the only animal that plays poker."
~~ Don Herold [1889-1966]

"Politicians are people who, when they see the light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy more tunnel."
~~ London banker Sir John Quinton

"The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts."
~~ John Locke [1632-1704]

"All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear."
~~ beat writer Ambrose Redmoon {real name James Neil Hollingworth} [1933–96]

"The meaning of life is the most urgent of questions."
~~ Albert Camus [1913-60]

"The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas of enthusiasm."
~~ Thomas J. Watson [1874-1956], founder of I.B.M.

"In Art, as in love, instinct is enough."
~~ Anatole France [1844-1924]

"I thought drama was when the actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries."
~~ Frank Capra [1897-1991]

"Thunder is impressive, but it is the lightning that does all the work."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Didn't we settle the question of Divine Right in 1776?"
~~ Susan S. Pastin of Chicago, Illinois (in a Letter to Time Magazine, August 2011)

"Cynicism ... follows whenever malefactors of great wealth escape the consequences of their deeds."
~~ Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor & publisher of The Nation Magazine

"Know the true value of time; snatch, sieze, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
~~ Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield [1694-1773]

"Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly."
~~ playwright Edward Albee, in "Zoo Story", 1958

"I will keep working until every [American] who wants to work has a job."
~~ Congressman Martin Heinrich [Dem-NM01], Labor Day 2011

"When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature."
~~ Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
~~ Jack London [1876-1916]

“At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable.”
~~ Raymond Chandler [1888-1959]

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated."
~~ George Bernard Shaw [1856-1950]

"There is no labor [that] a person does that is undignified, if they do it right."
~~ Bill Cosby

"Confidence is what you have until you understand the problem."
~~ Woody Allen

"What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do."
~~ John Ruskin [1819-1900]

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."
~~ Richard P. Feynman [1918-88] (in 1965)

"I intend to live forever - so far, so good."
~~ comedian Steven Wright

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends."
~~ J.K. Rowling

"If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner."
~~ Red Skelton [1913-97]

"Charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful."
~~ novelist Kathleen Winsor [1919-2003]

"History is not merely what happened. It is what happened in the context of what might have happened."
~~ historian Hugh Trevor-Roper [1914-2003]

"If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime."
~~ Jack Kerouac [1922-69]

"What the American public wants in the theater is a tragedy with a happy ending."
~~ William Dean Howells [1837-1920]

"The drought in New Mexico is so bad that the big-ticket show at the arena in Albuquerque last month was 'Disney On Dirt'."
~~ G.E. Nordell

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

News Factoids for August & September 2011


The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2010 was 15.1 percent, the worst since 1993.
~~ per New York Times, 9/2011

Meanwhile, Rick Perry brags about his policies as Texas governor, and 18.4% of Texans were living below that same poverty line in 2010, up from 17.3% a year earlier – 21.9 percent above the national statistic!

How's the economy? Game hardware and software sales were down 26 percent in July over July a year ago, and down 23 percent in August over August 2010.
~~ per Zach Epstein of Boy Genius Report blog and The N.P.D. Group

Here in New Mexico, the Valencia County Building Inspection Department has shut down, due to lack of housing starts this year (less than a dozen, from hundreds per year before Bush); any new permits will be handled by the state, with the regular inspectors (plumbing, electrical) keeping an eye out for non-permit work.

"Between 2004 and 2009 median net worth of white households in America fell 24 percent, [while] median net worth of black households fell 83 percent."
~~ per Economic Policy Institute, in 2011

"Eleven states earned more revenue from lotteries than from corporate income taxes in 2009." ~~ Reuters

"They [the energy industry] claim that the economy is being smothered by regulations designed to keep our air and water safe. No iota of evidence is being offered, and in fact the record profits of big energy companies indicate a spectacular lack of suffering."
~~ Miami Herald journalist Carl Hiaasen

About one-fourth of the world's aluminum is stored in Goldman Sachs warehouses in Detroit, Michigan; the raw materials are being released as a daily trickle that has shortened the supply and driven up the price. Goldman Sach makes $165 million in storage fees per year, as well as profits from trading the essentially-cornered commodity. ~~ per Reuters, July 2011

3-D movies made $6 billion worldwide in 2010, which is 20% of box office revenue.


"U.S. electric utilities [use] seven times more water than all U.S. homes, 1-1/2 times the water used by all the farms in the country. In fact, 49 percent of all water use in the United States is for power plants ... And 16 percent of water pumped into water mains by U.S. utilities simply leaks away, back into the ground."
~~ Charles Fishman


Eric Cantor outlined the Republican vision in a recent memo – they will gut environmental regulations, repeal health care reform, and attack workers.
~~ Guy Cecil

Republican hypocrisy: Newt Gingrich's campaign T-shirts are made in China, and Herman Cain's campaign T-shirts are made in Honduras.

91% of donations to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads this year came from billionaire donors bent on destroying unions and the democratic process: Texas oilman Trevor Rees-Jones, Texas billionaire Robert Rowling, Ohio billionaire Carl Linder, and billionaire TV exec Jerry Perenchio. ~~ per various news sites in June 2011

John Ashcroft, formerly U.S. Attorney general under George W. Bush, was hired in June by Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) as their 'ethics chief'.


Retail bookseller Borders Group filed bankruptcy in February, and began liquidating their stores in July.

Books-A-Million, now the second-largest bookseller, reported an 11 percent decrease in sales in the last quarter.

B&N reported that key indicator 'revenue in stores open at least one year' fell 1.6% at regular stores and 1.8% at college bookstores. ~~ per Reuters

Barnes & Noble's sales of the Nook device rose 140 percent last quarter, and Toys & Games showed large increases, but the overall sales results were still negative.

If on January First you had decided to invest $100 in Amazon, $100 in Barnes & Noble, and $100 in Books-A-Million, your investments would now stand at: Amazon up 14.75%, B&N down 26.20%, and Books-A-Million down 55.63%.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WM Essay #96 "U.S. Corporations Hoarding Profits"

        Capitalism is here defined as the creation of jobs, products, and services. This does not include the anti-capitalism practices of union-busting, off-shoring, asset-stripping, down-sizing, or cash hoarding that is claimed as the Divine Right of the Robber Barons who have the sheeple convinced that feudal economics is capitalism.
        George Dubya Bush's economic Great Recession continues to deplete America's net worth, while increasing the share of the Oligarchs (top one percent) and the Wealthy Class (top twenty percent) and shrinking the net worth of the rapidly-disappearing Middle Class.
        The Revolution is never over, the Class War is perpetual. And the Oligarchs are winning. (Because they lie and cheat, and it works.)
        The Master Class is intentionally hoarding their unearned profits, both within domestic corporations and in foreign bank accounts, because they already make plenty of money churning trades on the Stock Market Casino (40 percent of G.D.P.!). By keeping capital in short supply they can charge higher interest and also prevent the Middle Class small business person from producing anything (thus no profit to them) and also prevent small businesses from hiring fear-driven workers.

        One element of the Reason-Based Taxation proposal is that corporations be taxed at a rate of FIFTY percent for profits in excess of 10 percent of revenue. Reason-Based Taxation encourages actual Capitalism by providing the incentives of raising wages, lowering prices, domestic expansion, or buying treasury shares as simple methods to reduce profits below that 10 percent boundary. What you will see below is the extant of the greed that is today in violation of the Reason-Based Taxation proposal parameters.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        This data is based on a January 2011 Atlantic Monthly article and other sources; revenue and profit figures are a consensus of projections for 2011. Notice that the Top Ten are made up of three banks, three computer companies, two oil companies, one drug company, and Wal-Mart.

Exxon Mobil
Projected 2011 profits of $32.3 billion on revenue of $417.6 billion equals 12.93%
Exxon Mobil also has $35 billion in untaxed foreign profit
Per Fortune Magazine, Exxon Mobil does so much international business that over 80% of its 2009 profit came from overseas. Due to excess profits at the pump, Exxon Mobil, while second to WalMart in total revenue, nonetheless managed a 2010 net profit nearly double that of Walmart's – $30.5 billion to $16.4 billion.

Microsoft, Inc.
Projected 2011 profits of $21 billion on revenue of $73.4 billion equals 28.6%
Microsoft also has $29.5 billion in untaxed foreign profit

Projected 2011 profits of $19.8 billion on revenue of $247.23 billion equals 8%

JPMorgan Chase
Projected 2011 profits of $19.1 billion on revenue of $101.57 billion equals 18.8%

Projected 2011 profits of $18.3 billion on revenue of $66.09 billion equals 27.7%
Pfizer also has $48.2 billion in untaxed foreign profit

Apple, Inc.
Projected 2011 profits of $18.2 billion on revenue of $103.3 billion equals 17.6%

Bank of America
Projected 2011 profits of $16.3 billion on revenue of $109.7 billion equals 14.9%

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Projected 2011 profits of $15.7 billion on revenue of $444.2 billion equals 3.53%

Projected 2011 profits of $15.6 billion on revenue of $103.15 billion equals 15.12%
I.B.M. also has $31.1 billion in untaxed foreign profit

Wells Fargo & Co.
Projected 2011 profits of $15.3 billion on revenue of $84.8 billion equals 18%

* *          * *          * *          * *
There are, of course, large and even smaller corporations that are making huge profits percentage-wise without being on this list. Such companies in the 'also ran' category include:

AT&T had higher net profits than Wal-Mart in 2010
AT&T reported 2010 profits of $19.86 billion on revenue of $124.3 billion equals 16%

Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems is hoarding $31.6 billion in untaxed foreign profit

Citigroup is hoarding $32.1 billion in untaxed foreign profit

General Electric
General Electric paid NO U.S. corporate income tax for 2010 on revenue of $150.2 billion

Goldman Sachs
2010 profits of $8.4 billion on revenue of $39.16 billion equals 21.45%

Merck is hoarding $40.4 billion in untaxed foreign profit

Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is hoarding $30 billion in untaxed foreign profit

* *          * *          * *          * *
        There is right now a gigantic pile of cash stashed away by U.S. corporations in European banks and elsewhere, waiting for another 'free pass' like the Bush Administration set up for them in 2004. Instead of paying the then-current 35% corporate income tax rate, $362 billion was repatriated at a 5¼ percent tax rate, at a loss to tax payers of $70 billion. But, as is typical of shenanigans devised by the fascist Oligarchy, the stated purpose for the special rate of hiring more workers did not happen: virtually the entire low-tax repatriation of 2004 resulted in payouts to executives and shareholders (and a few purchases of treasury shares) - no jobs were created.
        The Oligarchs are singing the same song and dance this time; anyone who believes them is a fool. And since the hoard is much larger – estimated at one trillion dollars of the pharmaceutical industry, one trillion dollars of the banking & finance industry, and one trillion dollars of the insurance industry – the loss to taxpayers could be as much as $900 billion.

[copyright 2011 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Snowjob and The Seven Dwarfs

The debate in Iowa this week between the eight Republican presidential candidates displayed what can only be described as 'Snowjob and The Seven Dwarfs'. On that same day, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he is running for the 2012 G.O.P. nomination – fellow Texans describe him as "dumber than George W. Bush". And Sarah Palin flits around the country, cheerleading for the Tea Party fools. Not one of the bunch can manage a two-year-old, much less a bankrupt country. This does not mean that Barack Obama will win a second term, because there are more idiots in America than there are sentient voters.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 2011 Quotations

"What's the difference between Congress and the Boy Scouts? The Boy Scouts have adult supervision."
~~ variation on an old joke

"The United States has many problems at the moment: a high-and-stubborn unemployment rate, a foreclosure catastrophe, a slowing economy that has not recovered and will not recover from the Great Crisis, and the ongoing challenges of infrastructure, energy and climate change."
~~ James K. Galbraith

"The greatest beauty is organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of the universe."
~~ Robinson Jeffers [1887-1962]

“In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist [that] they be cheerleaders.”
~~ Steve Allen [1921-2000]

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."
~~ John Dewey [1859-1952]

"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet."
~~ Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

"Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas upon which the women paint their dreams."
~~ Rudolph Valentino [1895-1926]

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison."
~~ Victor Hugo [1802-85]

"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
~~ Malcolm Forbes [1919-90]

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"I learned that ruling poor men's hands is nothing. Ruling men's money [is] a wedge in the world. But after I'd split it open a crack I looked in and saw the trick inside it, the filthy nothing, the fooled and rotten faces of rich and successful men."
~~ Robinson Jeffers [1887-1962]

"The only ends for which governments are constituted, and obedience render'd to them, are the obtaining of justice and protection; and they who cannot provide for both give the people a right of taking such ways as best please themselves, in order to [affect] their own safety." ~~ Algernon Sidney [1623-83] in 1672

"A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears."
~~ (Michel Eyquem de) Montaigne [1533-92]

"Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is."
~~ Iris Murdoch [1919-99]

"There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realized."
~~ Conan O'Brien

"Progress is not created by contented people."
~~ cartoonist Frank Tyger

"There are people who want to be everywhere at once, and they get nowhere."
~~ Carl Sandburg [1878-1967]

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
~~ John W. Gardner [1912-2002]

"Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

“I think it’s bad to talk about one's present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension."
~~ Norman Mailer [1923-2007]

“You know who the critics are? The men who have failed in literature and art.”
~~ Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield [1804-81]

"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."
~~ Frank Capra [1897-1991]

"Take the course opposite to custom and you will always do well."
~~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau [1712-78]

"A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself."
~~ columnist Doug Larson

"The value of an idea lies in the using of it."
~~ Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
~~ Martin Buber [1878-1965]

"Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken."
~~ David Hume [1711-76]

"All great innovation is built on rejection."
~~ Louis-Ferdinand Céline [1894-1961]

"All writing is a sin against speechlesssness."
~~ Samuel Beckett [1906-89]

"Corporations are people, my friend. Of course they are." ~~ leading fascist presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in August 2011

"A great deal more is known than has been proved."
~~ Richard P. Feynman [1918-88]

"The only problem with country music is that it kills plants."
~~ former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, trailing presidential candidate

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

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July 2011 Quotations

"There is justice in the truth because they are the same thing."
~~ Ross Macdonald [1915-83] in "The Three Roads", 1948

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."
~~ Warren Buffett

"I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
~~ Gen. William T. Sherman [1820-91] on 5 June 1884

"It's our job to know what people want before they do."
~~ Steve Jobs

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
~~ Maya Angelou

"Film has stopped being central to American life."
~~ Stuart Klawans, The Nation Magazine film critic, in April 2011

"The problem with Fox [News] is not that it's conservative. It's that it lies."
~~ Eric Alterman

"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."
~~ Henry Ford [1863-1947]

"It is really rather pathetic how simple the big things like love and war seem until you start to go into detail."
~~ Ross Macdonald [1915-83] in "The Three Roads", 1948

"Learning makes the wise wiser and the fool more foolish."
~~ English naturalist John Ray [1627-1705]

"No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why."
~~ journalist Mignon McLaughlin

"Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings."
~~ Charlotte Bronté [1816-55]

"The real menace in dealing with a 5-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a 5-year-old."
~~ writer Jean Kerr [1922-2003]

"Sports is the toy department of life."
~~ sportswriter Jimmy Cannon [1909-73]

"It's not enough for journalists and broadcasters to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding and revealing the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it. We ought never to be agents of power, always of the people."
~~ John Pilger, British journalist

"God created man with a penis and a brain, but only gave him enough blood to run one at a time."
~~ Stephen E. Ambrose [1936-2002]

"The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own."
~~ Willa Cather [1873-1947]

"A country without a memory is a country of madmen."
~~ George Santayana [1863-1952]

"The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone else [that] he can blame it on."
~~ author Robert Bloch [1917-94]

"Loneliness is the poverty of self, solitude is the richness of self."
~~ poet May Sarton [1912-95]

"Happiness is a perfume [that] you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on oneself."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"True irreverance is disrespect for another man's god."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"If Jesus is a Jew, why does he have a Mexican name?"
~~ John Lahr

"If you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all."
~~ Ronald Reagan [1911-2004]

"Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species."
~~ W. Somerset Maugham [1874-1965]

"The time [that] you enjoy wasting is not time wasted."
~~ Bertrand Russell [1872-1970]

"Everyone does better when everyone does better."
~~ W.F. Hightower

"No man is ever free, and he couldn't stand it if he were."
~~ William Faulkner [1897-1962]

"Some people see things that are and ask Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that."
~~ George Carlin [1937-2008]

"We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too."
~~ actress Helen Hayes [1900-93]

"Pessimism is an excuse for not trying and a guarantee to a personal failure."
~~ Bill Clinton

"The only way to let your dreams come true is to wake up."
~~ Paul Valéry [1871-1945]

"The strongest argument for religion is not that it is in touch with God but that it puts us in touch with one another."
~~ Adam Gopnik

"We are all fighting for our sanity in this crazy age of the disposable person."
~~ Michael Vansickel of Pontiac, Illinois

"Paul Ryan's ['Path To Prosperity'] plan is both ridiculous and cruel."
~~ Paul Krugman

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [1922-2007], in "Hocus Pocus", 1990

"My life is an ashtray."
~~ Airman Hal London, circa 1968

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."
~~ Anaïs Nin [1903-77]

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

News Factoids for May & June 2011

"Cats kill about 500 million birds each year in the United States – more than 1,000 times the number killed by power-generating wind turbines."
~~ per New York Times

After President Obama announced the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the 'Osama Clock' on this blog's front page was moot (and thus removed). The clock displayed the fact that bin Laden was eliminated 3,513 days (9½ years!) after feckless President George Dubya Bush swore to get bin Laden 'dead or alive'.

In 1961, college students reported studying for an average of 25 hours per week; the average is now 12 to 13 hours per week, with more than a third of the students reporting that nthey spent less than five hours per week studying.
~~ per book by Arun & Roksa

In the first quarter of 2011, the number of 'smart phones' that were sold surpassed for the first time the number of computers sold.
~~ per Time Magazine

On 20 June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck another blow for fascism and against freedom and liberty in the Dukes v Wal-Mart Stores [2000-2011] case by eliminating class action lawsuits against corporations.

The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history and has cost $445 billion (not including debt on money borrowed). 1,400 American soldiers have been killed, and 10,000 were wounded.
~~ per Center For Strategic & International Studies, 3/2011

Got a problem with the mandate for energy-efficient flourescent lightbulbs? First, you can't blame Obama because the bill was signed into law by George Dubya Bush in 2007. Only the 50-watt & 75-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out, gradually over some years. The law requires manufacturers to produce bulbs that are 25% more efficient than currently, so a switch to halogen incandescent technology is solving that problem. Stockpile incandescents if you want, but there really is no need.


Researchers say that Greenland's ice sheet shrank four times faster between 2004 to 2009 than it did in the five years beginning in 1995.

More than 600 tornadoes were reported in the U.S. in April 2011, the most-active month ever recorded, causing 369 deaths, the worst since 1925.

After the Joplin Tornado on May 22nd, it took the Joplin South Post Office three weeks to clean up and reopen. In two days they received 4,000 change of address forms.


Just discovered that the Albertsons grocery chain (at least here in New Mexico) has a new policy giving ten percent discounts to shoppers on certain days: on First Wednesdays the discount is for Seniors, and on First Saturdays the discount is for Veterans (with V.A. etc. ID).


Coal Education Development and Resources foundation, known as CEDAR, offers a video to teachers called "The Greening of Planet Earth", which says that 'our world is deficient in carbon dioxide, and a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is very beneficial'. Mainstream scientists widely dispute that assertion.


In June, The Washington Post revealed that at least 30 new G.O.P. congresspeople are carrying more than $50,000 of personal debt, and at least seven freshmen have credit card debt exceeding $15,000. Politico and C.B.S. News confirmed that pseudo-candidate Newt Gingrich owed Tiffany Jewelers at least $300,000 (as of 2007).


The United States lost 5 percent of jobs from 2007 to mid-2010.
~~ per Mother Jones Magazine graph 6/2011

"Paul Ryan's ['Path To Prosperity'] plan is both ridiculous and cruel."
~~ Nobel-winner Paul Krugman

"The percentage of two-earner families (in which the husband and wife [were] employed in a given year) doubled from 2007 to 2010."
~~ Louis Uchitelle

"The number of millionaire households rose 14 percent worldwide in 2009 to include 11.2 million people, and China alone saw a spike of 31 percent."
~~ per Boston Consulting Group

Median pay for CEOs of large U.S. corporations rose 27% in 2010, per federal data, while pay increases for all workers in private industry averaged 2.1%

During the critical first 100 days of the Republican-led 112th Congress, they neither proposed nor passed a single job-creation bill.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WM Essay #95: “How Bankrupt Is America?”

U.S President George Dubya Bush ran up more debt than any other person in the history of Mankind. The Republican National Debt stands today at 25 TRILLION dollars, which is not being discussed anywhere. The hooferaw about the annual U.S. Budget Deficit is a diversion, so that the population of America has no clue that they are Indentured Servants to the fascist Oligarchy.

* *          * *          * *          * *

The U.S. National Debt stood at $1 trillion dollars when Ronald Reagan became President in 1981. That figure included the entire VietNam War.

At the end of the twelve-year Reagan-Bush Era, the National Debt had been quadrupled, to $4 trillion. (The Republicans complain about imaginary ‘tax and spend’ policies while their actual program is to cut taxes and borrow and spend.)

Bill Clinton’s first term saw the National Debt increase slowing down to only 25 percent, and in his second term, he produced a balanced budget AND a budget surplus.

Republicans cannot get around these facts as facts, so they yell and scream about false ‘smokescreen’ issues such as the annual budget and abortion and gay marriage and Social Security.

When Dubya became President the official Republican National Debt stood at $5.7 trillion. The official U.S. National Debt is today $14.8 trillion. So how is the Republican National Debt up to $25 trillion?

The Reagan-Bush-Bush team stole all the money from Social Security. They stole $2.7 trillion from the very solvent Social Security fund. The reason the Republicans scream (falsely) that Social Security is bankrupt is because they traded the money for Treasury Bills, which must eventually be paid back. Somebody has to pay that debt, and if the Republicans shut down Social Security, then the Oligarchy won’t owe a dime to the U.S. Treasury.

The September 2008 bailout of quasi-governmental mortgage lenders Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac left the U.S. government holding $5.4 trillion in bogus loans. The Republicans’ solution is of course to blame Barack Obama, who wasn’t even elected to be President yet.

So far that makes a mere $22.9 trillion dollars of Republican National Debt.

The bailout of Wall Street of $700 billion became law in October 2008, and helped Obama get elected. The bailout of the U.S. automobile industry was $1 trillion, mostly between Barack Obama’s election and him being sworn in as President. (The Republicans blame him anyway, and that works because the Sheeple are willfully ignorant.)

That makes $24.6 trillion of Republican National Debt on the day that Barack Obama became President. This does not include consumer debt, real mortgage debt, or various off-the-books debt run up by Dubya, such as the cost to bring troops and equipment back from Iraq and Afghanistan, or the $3 trillion that Bush refused to spend to repair U.S. infrastructure. It also does not include the $3 trillion debt of local and state governments, or the $1 trillion in shortfalls on state & local pension funds.

The interest on that $25 trillion Republican National Debt (over-simplified calculation of 4% per year) comes to a minimum of $1 trillion each year, thus $2.5 trillion so far in interest added to the Republican National Debt.

The interest itself is merely extortion money paid to the Oligarchy. Their lobbyists prevent levying the taxes necessary to pay down the Republican National Debt, and we hand the Oligarchy a trillion dollars a year – for nothing in return.

President Bush 43 arrived at the White House with $5.7 trillion in National Debt on the books and when he left the White House he handed debt of at least $24.6 trillion to Barack Obama. That increase of $18.9 trillion is indeed the all-time record.

The total of $25 trillion debt can only be paid down from revenue received by the U.S. Treasury. There is no option to default: The American and Chinese and Saudi oligarchs will not permit any such thing. So the U.S. taxpayer is stuck with ‘paying the piper’.

The ultimate solution is Reason-Based Taxation, but that is not yet in force, and in fact is little known. Which leaves the decimated U.S. Middle Class and-or the U.S. Wealthy Class to pay that bill.

* *          * *          * *          * *
Or how about making the Republicans pay off all that debt racked up by Dubya?

There are just over 300 million people in the United States - men, women, and children; Working Class, Middle Class, Wealthy Class, and Oligarchs.

Simple division results in a figure of $417,000 per Republican voter, $167,000 per Republican citizen, or $83,000 owed by every man, woman and child in America.

Yup, that includes hospitalized seniors, imprisoned felons, toddlers, illegal aliens, Aryan skinheads, members of Congress, and the fascist Oligarchs – and every Libertarian and Communist and Green and Democrat and Republican voter, and every non-voter, too.

Every single resident of the United States is an Indentured Servant, and the Republican National Debt grows by a trillion dollars each year because the real issue of a bankrupt America is getting no attention by our government, nor by our media, nor by We The People.

Your children and your grandchildren today each owe a minimum of $83,000 as their share of the Republican National Debt. Plus accrued interest until the debt is paid off.

Go ahead, tell your kids and grandkids this fact. And be sure to tell them how your vote for Republican candidates pro-duced this legacy. The hard part is going to be telling them how YOU are going to pay off YOUR $83,000 share.

No idea how? Corporations now pay ten percent of the taxes that they paid during the Fifties economic boom. The net worth of the Oligarchs grew by thirty percent since the Bush Tax Cuts began.

Reason-Based Taxation starts from the premise that since the Wealthy Class (of every country) owns 85 percent of everything, they should pay for 85% of the government’s activity.

The Wealthy Class has all the money, so the People have the right to bill them for the Republican National Debt. Republicans whine, but there is no recourse. If the folks with all the money do not pay the debt, how can the folks with no money pay it?

Oh, yeah: Indentured Servitude! A return to feudalism, with the aristocracy getting all the benefits and the peasants working hard their whole lives with no end in sight, no relief – their children and grandchildren doomed to the same and worse.

We already have rollbacks on the right to unionize, roll-backs on health and safety laws, rollbacks on pollution stan-dards, assaults on Medicare and Social Security and health care and pensions, rollbacks of personal bankruptcy law.

The fascist U.S. Supreme Court is cancelling the Bill of Rights and class action lawsuits – there is no way to stop their Federalist & P.N.A.C. agenda short of impeachment. (Revolution is necessary, violence is wrong!)

And the Republican agents of the Oligarchy have plans to cut the minimum wage in half, and to eliminate the Department of Education, shut down the Environmental Protection Agency – pollution is good? – and defund the Food & Drug Administration - E. Coli for all!

Given that the Republican Party ran up all this debt and avoids any possible solution by shouting about their ‘smoke-screen’ issues, the knee-jerk response is to shout back. Not a bad idea, but not enough either. Congress shouts back and forth, delaying official appointments, fiddling with the budget and cutting funds for the starving poor, for returning veterans, for fire & police & libraries – they have earned the label ‘Do Nothing Congress’.

The Republican Party will not listen, their attention is on campaign funding from the Oligarchs, and their shouting drowns out legitimate and fact-based commentary, while the Oligarchy happily racks up more trillions.

* *          * *          * *          * *

The Gross Domestic Product of the United States of America is running just under fifteen trillion dollars per year. Comparing that figure to the 25 trillion of the Republican National Debt gives the outstanding debt as 165% of G.D.P.

The problem? If you have an annual gross income of $50,000, the equivalent would be unsecured debt of $83,000; if you have annual gross income of $100,000, then your equivalent unsecured debt would be $165,000.

In either case, you will never pay that off from your existing income. You can no longer file for bankruptcy. And neither can the U.S. of A. So the U.S. must bring in revenue from new sources – regardless of the annual budget – and the Oligarchy and the Wealthy Class are the folks who have all the money.

We The People have to wake up. We must Speak Truth To Power. The Class War is perpetual, and to do nothing is to surrender.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 04, 2011

June 2011 Quotations

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."
~~ Napolean Bonaparte [1769-1821]

"Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice."
~~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton [1815-1902]

"Screenwriting is no more complicated than old French torture chambers, I think. It’s about as simple as that."
~~ James L. Brooks

"Sex and television are the opium of the people."
~~ Ross Macdonald [1915-83] in "The Barbarous Coast" [1956 novel]

"It isn't that jazz musicians die young, it's that they get older quicker."
~~ Geoff Dyer

"Men change, but seldom do they."
~~ old saying

"Earth provides for every man's need, but not for every man's greed."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"There is a time for work and a time for love. That leaves no other time."
~~ Coco Chanel [1883-1971]

"Those only are happy who have their mind fixed on some object other than their own happiness."
~~ John Stuart Mill [1806-73]

"Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."
~~ Leo Tolstoy [1828-1910]

"A Nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by a commnon hatred of its neighbors."
~~ Wm. Ralph Inge [1860-1954]

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
~~ William Faulkner [1897-1962]

"A healthy adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience."
~~ John Updike [1932-2009]

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage doesn't need to be lived again."
~~ Maya Angelou

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something."
~~ playwright Wilson Mizner [1876-1933]

"Don't judge each day by the harvest [that] you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
~~ Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-94]

"Maybe when Obama gets back from Ireland he can chase the snakes out of Washington, DC."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read."
~~ G.K. Chesterton [1874-1936]

"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy."
~~ broadcast journalist Edward P. Morgan [1910-93]

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
~~ Stephen W. Hawking

"A house without books is like a room without windows."
~~ Heinrich Mann [1871-1950]

"Never judge a book by its movie."
~~ J.W. Eagan

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"What, O Lord, was the point?"
~~ Anthony Lane

"My painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world gives to me."
~~ painter Georgia O'Keeffe [1887-1986]

"It is best to act with confidence no matter how little right you have to it."
~~ playwright Lillian Hellman [1905-84]

"The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little."
~~ Thomas Merton [1915-68]

"Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble."
~~ Dr. Samuel Johnson [1709-84]

"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."
~~ Oprah Winfrey

"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin."
~~ Ivan Turgenev [1818-83]

"The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it's their fault."
~~ Henry Kissinger

"Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe of The Day: Oatmeal Float

Make a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Drop in a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Eat.

Make a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Drop in a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add chocolate syrup. Then eat.

Make a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Drop in a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add chocolate syrup and banana pieces and whipped cream and a cherry. Then eat.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, May 09, 2011

WM Essay #94: Wal-Mart Bad, Local Businesses Good

Radio entertainer and author Garrison Keillor said awhile back that "Wal-Mart kills small towns like we used to kill the buffalo", and Wal-Mart has not stopped.

The imminent closing of the Alco store in Belén, New Mexico is directly related to Wal-Mart's policies. The Alco store in nearby Socorro closed just months after the Wal-Mart opened there in 2005.

We can't blame Wal-Mart for everything, though. The three car dealers in Belén disappeared two years ago – Baca Auto shut down, Auge Brothers sold their showroom and service building to the school district, and Tillery moved from Rio Communities to Los Lunas on the I-25.

But empty store fronts do indeed abound in Valencia County, due to the economic policies of Wal-Mart and the Bush administration. Family-owned businesses teeter as county residents patronize the enemy – to the detriment of their friends and neighbors. And the local stores that are still open rarely have full parking lots.

Why is Wal-Mart under constant attack or resistence by pro-labor, pro-America, and pro-fair deal folks? Here is a sampling:

•• Wal-Mart imports often-shoddy goods from China, made by slave labor, which intentionally eliminates jobs for American workers.

•• Wal-Mart's policy is to play King Kong and demand special incentives from local governments to build facilities. That all took place in Valencia County before I moved here, but whichever city and county officials gave away our local tax revenues should be ashamed.

•• When opening new stores, Wal-Mart policy is to undercut prices until local businesses collapse, then pull their advertising from the local paper so that it too folds, preventing the people from having access to freedom of opinion. (That likely did not happen here simply because there is no local radio and TV media in Valencia County for Wal-Mart to bully by threatening to cancel their ads.)

•• Wal-Mart's labor policies are notorious, and readers here have no doubt heard tales from their neighbors and family of the workers fired for saying the word 'union' or because they had too many raises. (Wal-Mart practice is to fire longtime loyal employees and replace them with untrained and scared new employees at minimum wage and zero benefits.)

•• One Wal-Mart policy that is seldom understood is that each and every Wal-Mart store sucks money out of the local economy. The recent hoohaw about New Mexico Gov. Martinez and film production incentives pointed to the residual effects of movie dollars spent here, with the usual statistic being that each dollar spent repeats thru the economy 10 to 12 times. Wal-Mart policy is that the local economic effect of store revenue repeats zero times.

Every dollar paid at the counter at every Wal-Mart store on all 365 days of the year is sent by pouch to headquarters in Arkansas. Every day, every store, every dollar. Bills like electric and water and taxes are paid from Arkansas. Payroll checks draw on Arkansas banks. (Readers who have paid Wal-Mart by check can read the bank of deposit on the back of each cancelled check.)

The intention is that all revenue is kept out of the local economy. As local businesses dry up, Wal-Mart expects to rule more and more of the economy.

* *          * *          * *          * *

It is always sad to see a local gas station or clothing store or restaurant close, especially if one knows the owners or employees. But the larger problem is that Wal-Mart is only the locally most visible of the robber baron corporations.

The national economy is likewise being sucked dry. The price of gas for every reader's car has given the oil companies record-breaking profits – extortion without representation.

There is a pile of three trillion dollars in cash (likely invested in gold and eurodollars) sitting in European banks, keeping American wages low and keeping loans tight and keeping taxes unpaid.

One trillion belongs to the insurance industry, another trillion belongs to the pharmaceutical industry, the third trillion belongs to the financial industry (banks and Wall Street hooligans.).

The last such 'tax holiday' was in 2004, when U.S corporations were allowed to pay a mere 5¼% levy (instead of 35%) on $362 billion in repatriated foreign profits. The 80% tax reduction cost U.S. tax payers $70 billion.

These trillions of offshore dollars are being held hostage while lobbyists and the fascist U.S. Chamber of Commerce pressure Congress to reduce taxes paid on cash brought to America by corporations. Their record-breaking unearned wealth is swelling on the backs of labor, and all that ill-gotten gain is not enough.

* *          * *          * *          * *

The invisible managers of the Belén Supercenter Store #1414, the Los Lunas Supercenter Store #3596, and Distribution Center No. 6084670 in Los Lunas may choose to rebut this letter (in the local newspaper), but they had better supply verifiable facts. "We never do that" statements are merely public relations spin in the face of cold, hard facts, which we can expect to be supplied by fellow readers.. (What do you want to bet: The newspaper will recieve a P/R letter from Arkansas with no factual content.)

Meanwhile, the best thing that Valencia County residents - and others across America and across the Planet - can do for the local economy is to boycott Wal-Mart – that is, not set foot in their stores – and buy from local businesses. The dollars can then percolate 10 to 12 times thru the local economy and increase tax revenue and create jobs, all of that.

Wouldn't it be cool if Wal-Mart shut down and Alco and Bealls and all the rest re-opened?

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Monday, May 02, 2011

May 2011 Quotations

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."
~~ Marshall McLuhan [1911-80]

"Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing."
~~ Bernard Baruch [1870-65]

"The best form of communication – the most powerful – is Action; the second best form of communication is Telling The Truth; the third best form of communication is Listening."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"The world is governed by far different personages than what is imagined by those not behind the scenes."
~~ Benjamin Disraeli [1804-81]

"For every action there is an equal, and opposite, government program."
~~ David Veal

"A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world – no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government of conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men."
~~ Woodrow Wilson [1856-1924]

"Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."
~~ Ambrose Bierce [1842-1914]

"Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks."
~~ Henri Bergson [1859-1941]

"The rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious."
~~ Joseph Goebbels [1897-1945], Nazi Propaganda Minister

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly . . . it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."
~~ Joseph Goebbels [1897-1945], Nazi Propaganda Minister

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
~~ Wm. Shakespeare [1564-1616]
in "Henry VI", Act IV, Scene II: spoken by Dick the Butcher

"Obviously, a man's judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it. Give him the truth and he may still go wrong when he has the chance to be right, but give him no news or present him only with distorted and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning process, and make him something less than a man."
~~ Arthur Hays Sulzberger [1891-1968], American newspaper publisher

"If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, then you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things."
~~ Adolf Hitler [1889-1945], in "Mein Kampf" [1925-26]

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

"Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them."
~~ Montesquieu [1689-1755]

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired."
~~ Jules Renard [1864-1910]

"Whenever there's chaos, there's ambiguity, and where there's ambiguity, there's fear. And fear gets manipulated."
~~ Robert Redford

Napier's Maxim: "When you have a bottle of champagne, you will have something to celebrate."

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
~~ Michelangelo [1475-1564]

"Is there no place safe from the white man?"
~~ Western author Tabor Evans {real name Harry Whittington} [1915–89]

"To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth."
~~ H.P. Lovecraft [1890-1937]

"God must have loved the plain people, he made so many of them."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."
~~ Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much."
~~ Walter Lippmann [1889-1974]

"It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong."
~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [1807-82]

"I am a believer in punctuality, though it makes me very lonely."
~~ Edward Verrall Lucas [1868-1938]

"The free flow of information is the oxygen of democracy."
~~ Walter Isaacson

"The job that we’re here to do is to learn how to live in a way that we’re not terrified all the time."
~~ David Foster Wallace [1962-2008]

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
~~ Voltaire [1694-1778]

"To succeed in this world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."
~~ Voltaire [1694-1778]

"Maturity of mind is the capacity to endure uncertainty."
~~ John Finley

"Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty."
~~ Jacob Bronowski [1908-74]

"The true engines of economic growth [are] human ingenuity and productivity."
~~ economist George Horwich

"Those who say [that] they give the public what it wants begin by underestimating public taste and end by debauching it."
~~ T.S. Eliot [1888-1965]

"The worst possible outlook is indifference... Behaving like that deprives you of one of the essentials of being human: the capacity and the freedom to be outraged."
~~ Stéphane Hessel [b. 1917]

"To create is to resist. To resist is to create."
~~ Stéphane Hessel [b. 1917]

"Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is."
~~ Nadine Gordimer

"In quantum mechanics, the Universe, at its most elemental level, is random, an idea that tends to upset people."
~~ Rivka Galchen

"Our imagination is stretched to the utmost not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but to comprehend those things which ARE there."
~~ Richard P. Feynman [1918-88]

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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 2011 Quotations

"You may think [that] your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act."
~~ Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"The deterioration of a government begins almost always by a decay of its principles."
~~ Montesquieu [1689-1755]

“The desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption."
~~ William James [1842-1910]

"Self-made men are most always apt to be a little too proud of the job."
~~ Josh Billings [1818-85]

"The last Christian died on the cross."
~~ Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

"Be kind to dumb people."
~~ Don Herold [1889-1966]

“The true law of the race is progress and development. Whenever civilization pauses in the march of conquest, it is overthrown by the barbarian.”
~~ William Gilmore Simms [1806-70]

“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”
~~ Italian Proverb

“At any given moment, life is completely senseless. But viewed over a period, it seems to reveal itself as an organism existing in time, having a purpose, trending in a certain direction.”
~~ Aldous Huxley [1894-1963]

“He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious.”
~~ Sun Tzu [544?-496? B.C.E.]

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
~~ Galileo Galilei [1564-1642]

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”
~~ Orlando A. Battista [1917-95]

“You cannot fashion a wit out of two half-wits.”
~~ Baron Neil Gordon Kinnock

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
~~ Plato [428?-327? B.C.E.]

“The intelligence of the world is a constant. The population is increasing.”
~~ Unknown

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.”
~~ Vince Lombardi [1913-70]

“The meaning of life is that it stops.”
~~ Franz Kafka [1883-1924]

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”
~~ rock legend Jimi Hendrix [1942-70]

(When asked if fascism could come to America) “Yeah, but it’ll come calling itself anti-fascist.”
~~ Huey Pierce Long, Jr. [1893-1935]

“Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together.”
~~ Georg Lichtenberg [1742-99]

“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
~~ comedian Emo Phillips

“When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
~~ R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

“When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.”
~~ Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara [1909-99]

“Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.”
~~ Abba Eban [1915-2002]

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
~~ Sun Tzu [544?-496? B.C.E.]

“Fascism: The conservative notion that killing people makes them work harder.”
~~ Anonymous

"[The U.S.A.] is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the über-rich. Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people ... now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined."
~~ filmmaker Michael Moore, March 2011 speech in Madison, Wisconsin

"[Social Security ] is not in crisis at this stage. Leave Social Security alone. We have a lot of other places we can look that is in crisis. But Social Security is not."
~~ U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [Dem=NV] in March 2011

"Give me a woman who loves beer and I'll conquer the world"
~~ Kaiser Wilhelm I [1797-1888]

"Any salaried employee who works more that forty hours per week is anti-labor and a willing victim of corporate greed."
~~ G.E. Nordell

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.”
~~ Katharine Hepburn [1907-2003]

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.“
~~ John Lennon [1940-80]

"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." ~~ economist Douglas Casey

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
~~ Robert H. Jackson [1892-1954], U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1941-54

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