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Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013 Quotations

“People always say things like, Oh, well, he was suffering so much that he was better off dying. But that’s not true. You’re always better off living.”
~~ Dashiell Hammett [1894-1961]

“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit — in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever."
~~ Nigerian poet Chinua Achebe [1930-2013]

“There are moments when a man’s imagination, so easily subdued to what it lives in, suddenly rises above its daily level and surveys the long windings of destiny.”
~~ Edith Wharton [1862-1937]

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.”
~~ wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein [1879-1955] {appeared in the 1990s}

"He who fears [that] he shall suffer already suffers what he fears."
~~ Montaigne [1533-92]

"The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Some things are just too coincidental to be a coincidence."
~~ Yogi Berra

"Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention."
~~ Amy Tan

"What experience & history teach us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."
~~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [1770-1831]

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life."
~~ Baruch Spinoza [1632-77]

"The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure [that] anyone has, is his personal dignity."
~~ baseball great Jackie Robinson [1919-72]

"Until conservatives admit [that] their deepest beliefs regarding taxes and deregulation were, at minimum, severely challenged by the failures of the [George W.] Bush presidency, they are going to have a hard time convincing anyone that they know how to run a country."
~~ freelance columnist Bill Scher

"Man will become better when we have shown him to himself as he is."
~~ Anton Checkov [1860-1904]

“To paraphrase the Christian Bible (Matthew 16): For what is a man profited if he shall make beaucoup bucks while transforming the planet into a cesspool.”
~~ G.E. Nordell

“Socializing with alcohol is fun and we should not pretend otherwise.”
~~ blogger Suzy Dean

"Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster."
~~ Elizabeth Murdoch {Freud}

"It's the Twentieth Century . . . no more miracles."
~~ Clifford Odets [1906-63], in stageplay "Golden Boy" 1937

"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet."
~~ Roger Miller [1936-92]

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."
~~ Seneca the Younger [4? B.C.E. - 65 A.D.]

"It should be our care not so much to live a long life as a satisfactory one."
~~ Seneca the Younger [4? B.C.E. - 65 A.D.]

"Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together."
~~ Marilyn Monroe [1926-62]

"The best things in life aren't 'things' at all."
~~ Jim Owen

"All serious art is being destroyed by commerce. Most people don't want art to be disturbing. They want it to be escapist. I don't think art should be escapist. That's a waste of time."
~~ Edward Albee

"You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at."
~~ Tina Fey

"Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes."
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

“If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless.”
~~ Hollywood mogul Darryl F. Zanuck [1902-79]

“I always find that when I do something I like, from the heart, then it works.”
~~ Harvey Weinstein

"In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty."
~~ President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 2013

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are mova+ble, and those that move.”
~~ Benjamin Franklin [1706-90]

"No one wants advice – only corroboration."
~~ John Steinbeck [1902-68]

"Sometimes integrity is the subtlest and most effective strategy of all."
~~ Supreme Court Justice John Marshall [1755-1835]

"The earth has music for those who listen."
~~ George Santayana [1863-1952]

"Oratory [is] the art of making deep noises from the chest sound like important messages from the brain."
~~ composer H.I. Phillips

"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."
~~ Iris Murdoch [1919-99]

"There will come a time when you believe [that] everything is finished. That will be the beginning." ~~ Louis L'Amour [1908-88]

"You can't lead from the crowd."
~~ Margaret Thatcher [1925-2013]

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
~~ John Lennon [1940-80]

"It was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all."
~~ Cormac McCarthy

"Silence is argument carried on by other means."
~~ Ernesto 'Che' Guevara [1928-67]

"The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off."
~~ coach Abe Lemons [1922-2002]

"The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie."
~~ choreographer Agnes de Mille [1905-93]

"Political correctness is tyranny with manners."
~~ Charlton Heston [1923-2008]

"Chaos is the score upon which reality is written."
~~ Henry Miller [1891-1980]

"The only lies for which we are truly punished are those [that] we tell ourselves."
~~ V.S. Naipaul

"There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor."
~~ George Santayana [1863-1952]

"We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story."
~~ Mary McCarthy [1912-89]

"Sophistication is upscale conformity."
~~ poet James Richardson

"What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you."
~~ Nora Ephron [1941-2012]

"Taking on a pet is a contract with sorrow."
~~ Carol Anshaw

"Civilizations die from suicide, not murder."
~~ historian Arnold J. Toynbee [1889-1975]

"The two most important days in your life are the day [that] you are born and the day [that] you find out why."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future."
~~ Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea."
~~ journalist Walter Bagehot [1826-77]

"Friendship is born at the moment [that] one person says to another: What? You too? I thought I was the only one."
~~ C.S. Lewis [1898-1963]

"Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches."
~~ Sigmund Freud [1856-1939]

"Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather. He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop."
~~ journalist Alfred Polgar [1873-1955]

"It is the loose ends with which men hang themselves."
~~ Zelda Fitzgerald [1900-48]

"Obstacles are those frightful things [that] you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
~~ Henry Ford [1863-1947]

"The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest."
~~ John Dewey [1859-1952]

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Essay #104: No Water For You

        The battle to halt global warming, aka ‘climate change’, is over.
        We lost.
        The Republitard fascists and the One Percent (the Oligarchy) have and continue to work hard to ensure that the trajectory of civilization is pointed toward the extinction of homo sapiens in thirty years or so. This is essentially species suicide thru intentional inaction.
* *          * *          * *          * *
        Eco-journalist Bill McKibben learned from climate scientists that there was a ‘tipping point’, a point of no return, that a level of carbon dioxide (CO2) at 350 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere was the maximum safe level; above that the ‘greenhouse effect’ would afterward operate on autopilot, the planet and the biosphere would from there simply get warmer all on its own. The number back in 2007 was 385 ppm of carbon dioxide. So McKibben founded to build grassroots awareness of the problem; the group held major marches and demonstrations in 2009 and 2010 and 2012, but the average citizen heard little news about those efforts. The fascists spent millions on propaganda in recent elections, Oklahoma Sen. Inhofe calls climate change a hoax, and the Kyoto Agreement remains unsigned by the United States.
        The wheels of government spin merrily while the planet heats up.

        Think not? News this month from Hawai’i is that atmospheric scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory have been recording levels of 400 ppm of carbon dioxide. The 11,000 foot elevation and the distance from both Honolulu and Hilo (and everywhere else) makes measurements taken there ‘clean’. The first measurements taken there were around 316 ppm in 1958; readings rose to 385 in 2007, an increase (ballpark) of 70 points in 30 years or 2.3 points average; the increase since 2007 is 15 points, which is 3.0 points per year. Seems like not much, but the rate of increase has gone up by 25 percent. If your paycheck went up 25 percent, that would be good news; such a rate of increase for this factor of climate change is very bad news.
        Greenhouse gases are increasing ever faster and are unlikely to be reversed. Warmer. Then warmer.
* *          * *          * *          * *
        In other news, New Mexico is experiencing ‘severe’ drought in 90% of the state, ‘extreme’ drought in 50%, and ‘exceptional’ drought in 4.3%, which is the eighth worst. The Great Drought is obvious everywhere in the state. Elephant Butte Reservoir is at its lowest level since the dam was completed in 1916. The site is built to hold 2 million acre feet of water; the content at present is 223,000 acre feet – or 11 percent of capacity.
        So no water is leaving Elephant Butte southward.

        The farmers in Hatch Valley realize the situation, and most are planning to plant NO ‘famous Hatch chili’ crop this year. (Well, maybe a few with deep wells will give it a try.) And I heard that farmers in Valencia County will plant only two alfalfa crops this year, instead of three.
        The available water in the Rio Grande River is far below New Mexico’s long-ago negotiated allotment, so no water is leaving New Mexico across the state line to Texas, either. Texas has already filed suit with the U.S. Supreme Court, but that is simple lawyerly due diligence (“We tried!”) – if they win the case, where is any water coming from?
* *          * *          * *          * *
        I was in the U.S. Air Force in the late 1960s, based in Las Vegas, Nevada with temporary assignments to VietNam, and Thailand, and other places. The people of Thailand, especially those ‘up country’ (north of Bangkok) are quite friendly to Europeans, and I took the opportunity to ‘go native’ and paid the weekly rent for a girl there named Vilai and spent nights and weekends off the airbase when I could get away from teaching computer analysis to master sergeants. I was there six weeks or so and truly experienced elements of the local lifestyle, which goes back hundreds of years.
        The bungalow where I stayed was on eight-foot log stilts; there were two rows of housing on a berm between and above the rice paddies, with a foot and bicycle path down the middle. We slept inside mosquito netting, and Vilai cooked or we went out. There was electricity but no television; I read a lot. The back porch (facing the paddy) was fenced to about three feet high, with one section for the kitchen and the other for the bath. The stilts were strong enough to support a large ceramic water cistern, about four feet in diameter and maybe three feet high. The way that things worked there, each resident had to be home between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to turn the faucet on to replenish the cistern, and to turn it off when full. Some days no water came out. There were severe penalties for anybody who turned the faucet on and then left the place unattended.
        I learned to take a bath ‘native style’, by first soaping up (bent low because the fence was designed for shorter people) and then using a tin bowl to rinse the soap off. Not a bad experience in a tropical country (Thailand’s latitude matches that of Central America), but I really do appreciate and prefer a hot shower.
* *          * *          *           * *
        What is going to happen here in New Mexico?
        First, Albuquerque and other towns and cities will outlaw watering of gardens and lawns and filling of swimming pools, even wading pools. I am surprised that restaurants have not already stopped serving water except by request; it will eventually happen, and they may even begin charging for water like any other beverage.
        Next will probably be shutdown of car washes.
        As water becomes scarcer, prices will go up, either at the grocery or c-store or on your monthly water bill. And you better have a large bag of quarters on hand if you wash clothes at the laundromat (or apartment building equivalent).
        Water is a finite resource and a commodity, and the price of each form of water could very well double in the next two years.

        One hopes that the bureaucrats in each New Mexico city or water district are smart enough to set delivery hours of rationed water to match the American lifestyle – how about 6 to 9 in the morning and 5 to 9 in the evening?
        Good idea to start shopping for that in-home water cistern. Ceramic ones can be found at floral nurseries, the plastic barrel kind at nurseries and at construction and industrial supply stores. Get yours before the price goes up.

        Need a job? Ask a Republican why they do nothing about the situation.
        Well gone dry? Ask a Republican why they continue to prevent every solution to overcome climate change.
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five REAL Scandals

Journalist Bill Scher has described 'Five Real Scandals Republicans Might Want To Address' over at the Campaign For America's Future Blog, which are:

1. Carbon dioxide atmospheric levels hovering around 400 parts per million.

2. America's crumbling infrastructure needs $3.6 trillion just to reach a 'state of good repair'.

3. The top 1 percent in America holds 35 percent of the nation’s wealth (although the New York Times has long used the figure 65%).

4. More than 4 million Americans have been jobless for more than half a year.

5. Forty percent of America’s children aged between 3 and 5 are not enrolled in any sort of preschool.

To which I would add the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (caused by Republican cancellation of free condom programs), pollution by fracking, banging on the war drums for intervention in Syria, the sequester charade, and coming food shortages from the national drought.

The Republicans present no solution for any of these problems, which is the larger scandal. Troglodyte Republicans continue to propose 'free market' healthcare (their 'get well or die!' policy), eliminating the minimum wage (a return to feudalism), privatization of everything, including Social Security and education (abject fascism), and 'austerity for workers (only), unregulated extortionist monopolies, and a tax free aristocracy' replacing capitalism – any objective observer can see that these solve nothing.

Again, I say: “If the fascist Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections.”
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Recipe of the Month: Cornbread Dressing

Step 1: Prepare a package of store brand cornbread dressing mix per instructions on box: Boil water in saucepan, add butter, add dry mix from package. Stir. Turn off flame and cover; let sit for five minutes.

The store-brand packages display 'six servings per container', but this is a decent cheap meal for two, or 'serve half now and cover remainder for tomorrow'.

Well, many of you are probably wondering 'Recipe? What the hell?'.

So here is the special recipe function:
OPTION 1: Drain and add 5-ounce can of turkey or chicken meat, after the dry mix.
OPTION 2: Add a package of Buddig™ (or equivalent) turkey deli meat (chopped), also after the dry mix.
OPTION 3: Add half a package (Mariani™ brand is 5 ounces) of sweetened dried cranberries, as the third ingredient, before the dry mix.

For more, similar (past and future) recipes visit The Working Minds Cookbook
Copyright 2013 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved