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Monday, April 28, 2014

April 2014 Quotations [66]

"I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil."
~~ Robert F. Kennedy [1925-68]

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
~~ Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826]

"The power of imagination makes us infinite."
~~ John Muir [1838-1914]

"An artist is a man who digests his own subjective impressions and knows how to find a general objective meaning in them, and how to express them in a convincing form."
~~ Maxim Gorky [1868-1936]

"The best way to cheer yourself [up] is to try to cheer somebody else up."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war."
~~ Dr. Maria Montessori [1870-1952]

"Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig."
~~ Marcus Aurelius [121-180 C.E.]

“Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families."
~~ Charles Dickens [1812-70]

"Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth."
~~ Blaise Pascal [1623-62]

"Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men."
~~ Mortimer J. Adler [1902-2001]

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
~~ Greek philosopher Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

"Football: A sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture."
~~ Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"
~~ Audrey Hepburn [1929-93]

"Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me."
~~ Immanuel Kant [1724-1804]

"The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction."
~~ Wm. Blake [1757–1827]

"Action expresses priorities."
~~ 'Mahatma' Gandhi [1869-1948]

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone."
~~ poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox [1850-1919]

"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry."
~~ Thomas Fuller [1608-61]

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
~~ John Steinbeck [1902-68]

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded."
~~ Terry Pratchett

"I don't intend to be the richest person in the cemetary; my wealth is the legacy [that] I leave behind."
~~ Amanda Okoli

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough."
~~ anonymous

"follow your inner moonlight / don't hide the madness"
~~ poet Allen Ginsberg [1926-97]

"We make our discoveries thru our mistakes; we watch one another's success, and where there is freedom to experiment there is hope to improve."
~~ Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch [1863-1944]

"Amateurs write when they are inspired. Professionals are inspired when they write. This is a subtle but important distinction."
~~ Michael Hyatt

"Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed."
~~ Ray Bradbury [1920-2012]

"Let us both small and great push forward in this work, in this pursuit, if to our country, if to ourselves we would live dear."
~~ Quintus Horatius Flaccus [65 B.C.E.-8 B.C.E.] known as Horace

"The US Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ... continued its drive to give Americans a government of, by and for big money."
~~ Viki Harrison

"Forget all the reasons why it won't work and believe the one reason why it will."
~~ anonymous

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
~~ Bill Cosby

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."
~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [1922-2007]

"Are you sure you want to empty the Spam folder?"
~~ modern Eternal Question

"Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God."
~~ Lenny Bruce [1925-66]

"Nothing can be beautiful which is not true."
~~ art critic John Ruskin [1819-1900]

"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word."
~~ Margaret Atwood

“A quart of Ale is a dish for a king."
~~ WilliamShakespeare [1564-1616], in "The Winter’s Tale" [circa 1610-11]

“The philosophy of one century becomes the common sense of the next."
~~ Henry Ward Beecher [1813-87]

"The Purpose of Life Is To Live A Life of Purpose"
~~ Richard Leider

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"Elections should be held on April 16th - the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders."
~~ Thomas Sowell

"Go confidently . . . Live the life [that] you imagined."
~~ Henry David Thoreau [1817-62]

"Never stay awake at night asking yourself questions you can't answer."
~~ Charlie Brown character, as drawn by Charles M. Schulz [1922-2000]

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem."
~~ handyman humor

"All fishermen are liars, but not all liars are fishermen."
~~ anonymous

"I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"I have a plan: RUUUNNN!"
~~ Scarecrow in animated Oz movie

"The answers [that] you get from literature depend on the questions [that] you pose."
~~ Margaret Atwood

"A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."
~~ Henry Ford [1863-1947]

"I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion. I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyred for my religion. Love is my religion. I could die for that."
~~ John Keats [1795-1821]

"Every time [that] you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world [that] you want."
~~ Anna Lappé

"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me."
~~ Dudley Field Malone [1882-1950]

"If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score."
~~ Bill Copeland [1946-2010]

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
~~ George Eliot [1819-80]

"If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door."
~~ Milton Berle [1908-2002]

"Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."
~~ John F. Kennedy [1917-63]

"I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."
~~ Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

"It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark."
~~ Howard J. Ruff

"It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up."
~~ Vince Lombardi [1913-70]

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
~~ Sun Tzu [544?-496? B.C.E.]

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
~~ Albert Einstein [1879-1955]

"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."
~~ Benjamin Franklin [1706-90]

"Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em."
~~ William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

"That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger."
~~ Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

"The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket."
~~ humorist Will Rogers [1879-1935]

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

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

News Factoids for First Quarter 2014

The White House website contains the following statement:
"President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible Administration in history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the American people, through our website."


In January, a national propane shortage caused declared emergencies in 31 states.

"Thus far in 2014, truly bizarre weather has been the norm. Blizzards buried Birmingham, Alabama and Tokyo, Japan while it hit 62° in Alaska in January. California suffered thru its worst drought in more than a century, while the wettest winter since 1766 submerged much of New England in a biblical flood. Australia was so hot – 110 degrees for days at a time – that 1,000 bats fell out of the trees, dead of heat stroke." — William Falk, The Week Magazine


Back in January, I noticed that the bear claw pastries at the bakery of my local Albertsons supermarket had no almond slices on the top. I asked the clerk who called the baker from the back, who explained that the price of almonds in the five-pound box has tripled! and that he has been unable to find a cheaper source, so his choice was to remove the decorative nuts rather than raise the price. The crop for 2013 was average, but the drought in California is expected to reduce the size of the nuts and of the crop, so the agribusiness quasi-monopoly is raising prices NOW because their profits must be protected. (And then the further increase in price later this year won't look so huge.)

Major article in the newspaper here last week about bartenders cutting back on limes, especially on margarita cocktails. Because of weather changes and a crop disease and theft by organized crime, Mexico's lime crop is seriously down this year. So producers have raised the price of a carton from $18 to $100. Expect more of the same for other food crops.

As the shortage of fresh limes continues, airlines are no longer bringing them on board for alcoholic cocktails, not even on vodka tonics.

A virus that originated in China has killed millions of U.S. baby pigs in the last year across 27 states. The F.D.A. is still trying to track how the disease entered the country, and expect that production this year will decline by seven percent. So of course greedy meatpackers are already charging a 13% higher price for bacon.

As the prices of food ingredient crops keep rising, be aware that the annual C.O.L.A. (Cost of Living Adjustment) on Social Security will NOT be increased: the Social Security C.O.L.A. formula is based on C.P.I. (the Consumer Price Index) which does not include changes in costs of food or energy, as well as incorporating a below-reality factor for healthcare for the elderly.


Somebody is going to make a fortune building a smartphone app for the growing number of automobile recall repairs, or maybe AAA or Carfax will do it. Set up a big database from all the manufacturers, searchable by make/model/year and-or VIN, with data about whether and when the recall repair got installed on each vehicle. The economic model would be long-term license for new & used auto dealers, short term (six month?) license for individuals shopping for a new or used vehicle.
Copyright 2014 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved