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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}

Friday, April 08, 2011

News Factoids for March & April 2011

Part 1 of the long-awaited movie version of Ayn Rand's classic Objectivist novel "Atlas Shrugged" is due in theaters on April 15th. Further details on the Ayn Rand Film Festival at Magic Lantern.
The outgoing Democratic governor of Wisconsin left a $100+ million budget surplus for fiscal 2011; the new G.O.P. governor used the G.O.P.-controlled legislature to hand over $180 million to the Wealthy Class in three bills in his first month in office -- sound familiar? Then Gov. Walker reported that the $137 million budget shortfall was caused by greedy union members, and refused to enter contract talks with public sector unions, even cancelling the Memo of Agreement that allowed state employees to continue working without a contract.

The G.O.P. legislature forwarded a bill ending state employee pension funding to the State Senate. After 30,000 or more worker and citizen protesters (plus many supporters from out of state) massed in the state capitol of Madison, the Democratic members of the state Senate went into hiding, eliminating the quorum needed to vote on the new anti-union bill. Gov. Wanker has two obvious options: call out the National Guard or concede defeat.

Wisconsin does not allow recall elections until an official has been in office for a year; Gov. Wanker will be recalled next year, but meanwhile, the election for Supreme Court went Democratic, the turnout April 4th set records, and the signatures accrue steadily for the 4 to 8 recalls of legislators (only 3 seats need be turned Democratic to return to constitutional rule).
As a reaction to the idiocy in Wisconsin and Ohio and elsewhere, a new movement has appeared, the 'We Are One' Movement, whose website is the oddly-spelled The group was formed to honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last speech, in which he used the phrase 'we are one' to generate support for the sanitation workers' strike in Memphis, Tennessee; but he was assassinated the next day, on 4 April 1968.

On 4 April 2011, the We Are One organization generated 1,000 rallies held across America in support of all unions (especially beleaguered public unions). The timing is handy: The 2012 election will begin soon enough and We Are One is poised to hold their second annual national rally day amidst caucus fever on 4 April 2012. It will be rather like participating in Earth Day Two, decades ago.

2010 third-quarter U.S. corporate profits of $1.6 trillion represented the biggest one-year jump in history.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, construction of new homes {'housing starts') in February 2011 dropped by 22.5 percent from January; the statistic was also down 20.8 percent from the same period a year prior.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spends more money on political campaigning than the Republican and Democratic National Committees combined, and it spends more money on lobbying than the next five biggest lobbyists combined. == per eco-activist Bill McKibben, March 2011

The all-time high average U.S. gasoline pump price of $4.11 per gallon occured in July 2008; in April 2011, the average U.S. pump price has risen to 3.71 per gallon - for no actual reason and with no end in sight.
Home Depot has changed their policy on the veteran's/military discount: Now the 10% discount on everything at checkout is given only to active duty folks (with ID) and to veteran's with a V.A. card that shows 'service connected'.

Some Congresses deserve their very own name, such as the 80th 'Do Nothing' Congress of 1947-48. The present idiocy of the 112th Congress, with Republican Speaker John Boehner drunk at the helm, should be called the 'Bonehead' Congress.
I am about to celebrate six years living here in rural New Mexico. I am proud to say that I never signed up for trash pickup here, and have recycled 95 percent of all my trash, by driving it to the yard behind Los Lunas City Hall, or even the 40 miles up to Albuquerque, whenever I went up for some other reason (movies, Mensa, Landmark). What I am unable to recycle - avocado peels, egg shells, some packaging - is put in a plastic grocery bag and taken to the trash can where I buy gas for the car, which amounts to a bag smaller than my head every week or two.

Six years times 12 months times $50 per month adds up to $3,600 that did not get paid out of pocket to the Big Green corporation. Many of you can do the same, and should. (However, if you live in an incorporated city, this may not be an option, as most cities and towns who provide trash service either bill each resident or fund from tax receipts).

But then I take it even further: I pick up other people's trash & litter, such as beer & soda cans or bottles in parking lots (tossing'em in the back of my car to avoid D.W.I. problems), or armloads of empty plastic water bottles at the gym, and recycle them, too. With the solar array in my back yard paying me money each month, and being 'Negative To The Landfill' as far as trash (I recycle more than my own stuff), my carbon footprint is almost as tiny as Ed Begley Jr.'s.
Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved