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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Working Minds March 2020 Quotations (51)

"Hard to say which is the worst infection: the Trump coronavirus or endemic stupidity."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"The point is not to wish for these adversities, but for the virtue that makes adversities bearable."
~~ Seneca the Younger [4? B.C.E. - 65 A.D.]

“Cruelty is not wit.”
~~ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

'found' t-shirt text: no artificial preservatives

"God is easy to please but hard to satisfy."
~~ British author C.S. Lewis [1898-1963]

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts . . . For support rather than illumination."
~~ Andrew Lang [1844-1912]

"Rape and pillage and pollution is all that these fascist Republicans know."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Sarcasm and reality have become one."
~~ cartoonist Scott Adams (in the "Dilbert" comic strip, 2020)

"Remember kid: With great power comes zero accountability."
~~ cartoonist Dan Piraro (in the "Bizarro" daily panel, 1/2020)

"One of the primary roots of wealth inequality: the richest Americans get to live by a different set of rules than everyone else."
~~ Tom Steyer, op-ed in USA Today in October 2018

"Equality is the soul of liberty; there is in fact no liberty without it."
~~ reformer Frances Wright [1795-1852]

"Unexplained joy is always so keen that . . . it seems to hold enought to reconcile one to the inevitable."
~~ Jessie Benton Frémont [1824-1902]

"No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars."
~~ Congresswoman Alexandria 'A.O.C.' Ocasio-Cortez [Dem NY-14]

"It is in the shelter of each other that the people live."
~~ Irish Proverb

"The many, many fascist trolls on Facebook and elsewhere epitomize ignorance & stupidity. Education will fix that: the purpose of true education is to make the population more and more progressive (which is why Republicans are opposed to education). But first these trolls have to give up being hate-mongers."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"The federal budget deficit will hit $1.02 trillion this year, and it's shameful that the next Democratic president let this happen."
~~ Teresa Hanafin, Boston Globe staff writer {sarcasm 1/2020}

"States are not great except as men may make them; men are not great, except they do and dare."
~~ Eugene Fitch Ware [1841-1911]

"The next pandemic is coming. We’re not prepared for it."
~~ Washington Post article headline

"We can't expect the world to get better by itself."
~~ television journalist Gwen Ifill [1955-2016]

"Republicans are essentially 14 year olds."
~~ Kritter Metimbers, on Facebook

"All glory comes from daring to begin."
~~ Eugene Fitch Ware [1841-1911]

"[Donald Trump] shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech."
~~ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

"Nancy Pelosi has nine grandchildren, so she knows exactly how to deal with somebody like Donald Trump."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"There are none so blind as those who watch the Fox Faux News Propaganda Channel."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Ignorance per se is not nearly as dangerous as ignorance of ignorance."
~~ Chicago columnist Sydney J. Harris [1917-86]

"He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"The purpose of life is eating donuts."
~~ cartoonist Stephan Pastis (in the "Pearls Before Swine" daily strip, 3/2020)

"One big problem these days is that so many former Americans, now fascist Trumpies, are suffering from stage four Limp Rushbaugh."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"This Administration is out of control."
~~ Congresswoman Deb Haaland [Dem NM-01]

"In coming months, the place [that] one would be most likely to be infected with the coronavirus will be one of Trump's own Make America Sick Again campaign rallies."
~~ the team at The People's Email Network [est. 2004]

“No. I don’t take responsibility at all.”
~~ Emperor Trump, March 2020

"If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present."
~~ Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu [IVth Century B.C.E.]

"We are always as safe as the least-insured person in America."
~~ Sen. Bernie Sanders, 13 March 2020

"A mentor in broadcast journalism once told me, 'To find the real story, sometimes you have to turn your back on the fire, and look around'.”
~~ Eric Pearson, president/CEO, El Paso [TX] Community Foundation

"Everyone's a socialist in a pandemic."
~~ journalist Farhad Manjoo

"We tried to find some non-coronavirus news, honest we did."
~~ MovieMaker Magazine [est. 1993] email newsletter, 13 March 2020

"Quality is not an [action], it is a habit."
~~ Greek philosopher Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

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

"You think [that] a life is built of dreams when, really, a life is made up of daily to-do lists."
~~ novelist Susan Henderson

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
~~ Groucho Marx [1890-1977]

"The older I get, the more I realize that the ultimate luxury is time."
~~ fashion designer Michael Kors

"You cannot teach anything to a person who knows it all."
~~ Zeno of Citium [334?-262? B.C.E.]

excited ten-year-old schoolchild in America: "We don't have to worry about getting shot at school for three weeks!"

"If I start to hear of chocolate shortages, I have no problem hoarding."
~~ Teresa Hanafin, Boston Globe staff writer

"The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, 'I was wrong'."
~~ Chicago columnist Sydney J. Harris [1917-86]

"Je divague fort, j'y retourne (I ramble hard, I'm going back)."
~~ essayist (Michel Eyquem de) Montaigne [1533-92]

"Stupidity is not the lack of knowledge, it is the illusion of having it."
~~ Grigore Lilian

"A pack of jackasses led by a lion is superior to a pack of lions led by a jackass."
~~ George Washington [1732-99]

"Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance."
~~ Anthony de Mello [1931-87]

"To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through – that is to be a nurse."
~~ Rawsi Williams

"Some of the stuff going on in the world is only there to put a smile on your face, there's no other reasonable explanation for it."
~~ folksinger Arlo Guthrie, in 2010

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

Monday, March 16, 2020

Working Minds Essay #117: We Are At War

Rather like during World War II, the United States is at war on two fronts: one is the coronavirus epidemic and the other is retaining the ability to elect a President that We The People choose.

World War II began in September 1939 when Germany's Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler invaded Poland; the U.S. tried to stay neutral, but the attack by Japan at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 dragged us into the fray. The Germans were beaten, and surrendered in May 1945; the U.S dropped two small atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, and the war was over.

Current worldwide casualty estimates for World War II list about 20 million military personnel and 40 million civilians. At a time when the U.S. population was 131,028,000, military & civilian deaths from the war (all causes) were 419,400 Americans, and the total of Americans wounded was 671,800.

This 'novel' Wuhan 2019-nCoV coronavirus first appeared in China in November 2019; President Trump intentionally fumbled the ball in January and February and March of 2020, and already schools, entertainment venues, restaurants & bars, and retail stores are being shut down, state by state (since federal leadership is absent). The statistics presented by W.H.O. and the C.D.C. are that we should expect 70% to 90% of the U.S. population to be exposed to the disease; their statistics also say that about 3.4% of people who contract the virus will die from it. The estimated U.S. population is currently 332 million; multiply that by 70%, the result is 23¼ million infected, and multiply that by 3.4% and the likely deaths figure comes out to 790,000.

So look at the numbers: 790,000 expected to die from the Wuhan 2019-nCoV coronavirus vs. 419,400 American soldiers & civilians killed in World War II.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hard to say which of the two fronts is a distraction from the other. The coronavirus now exists in almost 100 countries, we all will be dealing with the health crisis as best we can. American scientists are working to exchange information with other governments, but the American federal government - specifically the fascist Republican Party - is unashamed in their blocking of all funding and aid at the federal level.

So state governments have stepped into that vacuum. Basically, gatherings of fifty or more people must be cancelled or postponed. Bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other public spaces are shut down: events also to be cancelled or postponed. K-12 schools are shut down for three weeks or longer; many colleges are converting to online classes only, some are closing their dorms. The games of basketball's March Madness continue, but there is no one in the stands.

We are in a war for our lives and the fascist media continue to convince their kool-aid drinking sheeple that the incompetent Orange Imbecile has everything under control - go ahead and sneeze on your family and friends and co-workers, there is no problem.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At the same time, the fascist Republican Party is building a huge infrastructure on social media that is already skewing voting results. They are being helped by the Russians, and to a smaller extent by the North Koreans, the Saudis, and the Chinese. Journalists report full details in magazines and newspapers and online, and yet the masses are ignorant.

Joe Biden's win in South Carolina was largely caused by deceit: lies from Biden himself, efforts of fascist GOP bots, and hard work from the same foreign actors as were cited for their crimes in the Mueller Report.

Joe Biden lied several times during the debate last night with Bernie Sanders, and none of the so-called journalists (nor the crew of people behind them) called Joe on his avoidance of the truth.

This damage to your right for a fair election is intentional; state legislatures are corrupted by the Koch Brothers-funded A.L.E.C. group. GOP/red states fight for their crooked gerrymandering all the way to the Supreme Court; the majority of justices there are members of the Federalist Society and thus are traitors to the U.S. Constitution, so such cheating of voters repeatedly gets their approval.

The antidote for this debacle is to emulate our only four-term President: ask the question 'What would F.D.R. do ?'

The stock market crashed in Oct-Nov 1929 and hit bottom in July 1932. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the U.S. in November 1932 and immediately got to work. Glass-Steagal prevented further banking crises, Social Security began a program to alleviate poverty in old age, and many jobs programs gave paychecks and meaning to millions of desparate workers. He also improved working conditions for labor, and created the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. After Pearl Harbor, he built an army that invaded Europe and conquered the Nazis. The war in the Pacific was largely fought by Navy, Marine, and Air Force units.

We won that war because of excellent leadership, including Winston Churchill of Britain. The United States does not today have competent leadership, the fascists intentionally make the worst choice whenever they can.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We are in a war, on two fronts, and some of us may not survive. Small businesses may not survive, BIG businesses may not survive, including banks. The stock market casino has lost trillions of dollars in inflationary value, and the Federal Reserve has 'emptied its quiver', except to hand cash to the banks, which disappears in a day. And if citizens have no jobs, they cannot pay their rent, and the inflated housing market will just crash, taking Goldman Sachs and Wall Street with it. The name of the third crisis will be Trump's Great Depression.

There is a lot of this that none of us can avoid - shortages, closures, job loss, infection - so we need to work together, stay informed, take proper precautions, and not panic. If we can manage that, then F.D.R.'s most famous saying will prevail: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Copyright 2020 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved