Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011


To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance.

Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade.

What may be necessary for those countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed.

On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mother o' Mine

    by Rudyard Kipling
If I were hanged on the highest hill, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose love would follow me still, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were damned of body and soul, 
I know whose prayers would make me whole, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Would Anyone Be Upset?

After A Death

 translated by Robert Bly
Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.

from: The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations. Copyright 2004. 

If That is Indeed What it's All About, Then I'd Better Practice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This is Actually A Repost From Last Year Titled: BEWARE THE PINK RIBBON

I think it bears repeating.

I know. I know. You think I am a horrible person. But before you throw rotten eggs at my blog, please listen. I have something that I need to get off my chest.

I am a woman who lost her mother a while ago to breast cancer. My mom had buried her own mother after a similar battle. That puts me next in line. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. But I have a sister, I have a daughter, and I have two granddaughters. That is what haunts me.

I don't mean to offend, but I look in their beautiful faces and my thoughts echo *Jeanne Sather, cancer survivor and blogger, who says:

t shirt slogan; f awareness, find a cure. with pink ribbon as the U.(From a T-shirt)

I felt guilty when I was rankled by the pink Stepford like haze that surrounds cancer patients, including my mother. Sometimes it threatened to suffocate her and silence her real voice. Mother felt it keenly. When she spoke about her anger and frustration she was treated like a pariah by those who should have understood her feelings best. She nursed her mother then later set about nursing herself - without peer support. After we read Welcome to Cancerland by Barbara Ehrenreich,we found we both agreed with her, and I understood that we weren't crazy - or alone.

Think Before You Pink details the many ways "supporting breast cancer awareness" can turn out to be an illusion or worse. There are many good people and trustworthy companies, but when advertising and capital loom large in the picture, it is important to be aware and educated.

Here is a link with some important questions you should ask before buying a pink ribbon product to 'support the fight against breast cancer.' It leads to a pdf file.

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone any thing that comforts and supports them in such a time of need. But, by the same token, those who don't share the same ways should never be made to feel wrong, as they often are, as my mother was.

My mother found comfort in the words of Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light. . . .

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night.

Although she bought every colored ribbon produced for a disease or cause, she found the idea of a pink teddy bear, or many of the other pink offerings for 'survivors,' demoralizing. She was a grown woman, proud of the experience and scars accumulated along the way, and she refused to accept the submissive role of child - even symbolically.  And she hated pink; blue was her favorite color.

Though she never met her grandbabies, she died peacefully in her sleep after having fought to retain her independence, identity, and sense of humor. I miss her terribly. And my favorite color is red.

multiple strand neclace in earth tome varied beads with pewter elephant charm.

*Jeanne Sather has two blogs, The Assertive Cancer Patient, where she continues her work as an outspoken advocate for the cancer patient’s point of view, and Charmed Bracelets, a new blog launched in May of 2009 to sell her handmade jewelry. An example of her beautiful work is pictured above.

Monday, October 24, 2011


There is simply a limit beyond which economic inequality threatens democratic life, when the majority suspect that a tiny minority has fixed the system beyond repair through the existing institutions, and when the powerful minority begins to think of its own interests as distinct from the interests of its compatriots.

That moment is one of real danger, especially when those elites can move themselves and their money more easily across the planet than ever before, and it is a sign of responsibility, not irresponsibility, to focus on it.

Wall Street Was ALREADY Occupied, and as You Can See, its Original Occupants are NOT Happy.

New Yorker cover pictures millionaires picketing the Wall street protestors

Late Autumn Wasp

    by James Hoch 

close up black and white photo of a wasp
One must admire the desperate way 
                it flings
itself through air amid winter’s slow 

and clings to shriveled fruit, dropped
                Coke bottle, 
any sugary residue, any unctuous

and slug-drunk grows stiff, its joints 
wings stale and oar-still, like a heart;
                yes, almost 

too easily like a heart the way, cudgeled,  
                it lies 
waiting for shift of season, light, a thing 
                to drink down, 

gnaw on, or, failing that, leaves half of
                itself torn
willingly, ever-quivering, in some 
                larger figure.

from: Miscreants. Copyright 2007. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Always on the Train

    by Ruth Stone
black and white drawing of birds sitting on power lines
Writing poems about writing poems
is like rolling bales of hay in Texas.
Nothing but the horizon to stop you.

But consider the railroad's edge of metal trash;
bird perches, miles of telephone wires.
What is so innocent as grazing cattle?
If you think about it, it turns into words.

Trash is so cheerful; flying up
like grasshoppers in front of the reaper.
The dust devil whirls it aloft; bronze candy wrappers,
squares of clear plastic--windows on a house of air.

Below the weedy edge in last year's mat,
red and silver beer cans.
In bits blown equally everywhere,
the gaiety of flying paper
and the black high flung patterns of flocking birds.

from: This Art: Poems on Poetry. Copyright 2003.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Welcome to Autumn

close up of brightly colored fallen maple leaves

from: October (section I)

    by Louise Glück
Is it winter again, is it cold again,
didn't Frank just slip on the ice,
didn't he heal, weren't the spring seeds planted

didn't the night end,
didn't the melting ice
flood the narrow gutters

wasn't my body
rescued, wasn't it safe

didn't the scar form, invisible
above the injury

terror and cold,
didn't they just end, wasn't the back garden
harrowed and planted--

I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,
in stiff rows, weren't the seeds planted,
didn't vines climb the south wall

I can't hear your voice
for the wind's cries, whistling over the bare ground

I no longer care
what sound it makes

when was I silenced, when did it first seem
pointless to describe that sound

what it sounds like can't change what it is--

didn't the night end, wasn't the earth
safe when it was planted

didn't we plant the seeds,
weren't we necessary to the earth,

the vines, were they harvested?

from: October. Copyright 2004.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"A Picture is Worth . . .

                               a thousand words.

illustration of elephant holding strings of puppet skeletons dancing in blood

David Gothard, Antiwar Art.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Problems with Hurricanes

    by Victor Hernández Cruz
A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it's not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I'll tell you he said:
it's the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.

How would your family
feel if they had to tell
The generations that you
got killed by a flying

Death by drowning has honor
If the wind picked you up
and slammed you
Against a mountain boulder
This would not carry shame
to suffer a mango smashing
Your skull
or a plantain hitting your
three mangoesTemple at 70 miles per hour
is the ultimate disgrace.

The campesino takes off his hat—
As a sign of respect
toward the fury of the wind
And says:Don't worry about the noise
Don't worry about the water
Don't worry about the wind—
If you are going out
beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things.

from: Maraca: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000. Copyright 2001.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

YES, You Can Help Solve Puzzles For Science

By playing a free video game, you can contribute to important scientific research for HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimers, and more.

If you enjoy game playing, visit the foldit site, and learn more about the project. Lend your time to an exciting and worthwhile endeavor.

This is an example of a puzzle that a human can see the obvious answer to
- fix the sheet that is sticking out!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Things don’t have to change the world to be important."


On Disabilities and Tecnology.

Apple never had a perfect record when it came to user accessibility. No technology company does. But I bought my first iPhone when I broke my arm, because it let me use a computer with one hand. And on Tuesday, when I saw Apple’s demo video for Siri, its new voice-command AI assistant — which ends with a blind woman using Siri to send and receive text messages — knowing that blindness has been the disability least well-served by the touchscreen revolution — I wept. I’m weeping again now.

These frail and fragile bodies don’t always work the way we want them to. Steve Jobs understood that. Steve Jobs succumbed to that. But he also left us things that make that easier, that let us touch people we might not otherwise. That will always touch me.
- Tim Carmody.
universal symbol for disabled with added laptop computer

Saturday, October 15, 2011


There isn’t a magic reading list.  Never was.  Never will be.  The reason what transpired that night was memorable was the wondrous Socratic feel of the exchange. 

Here was a man, a great thinker of our time who has spent his life developing and honing his intellect, challenging the next generation to pick up the mantle. 

What all these books have in common is they demand us to question, search and engage.  They don’t preach, patronize or indoctrinate.  They are joyful expression of the whole of the human experience.  The very best examples of a life fully lived.

Please read the entire article.
You won't be sorry. 

And yes, the list is included.

Friday, October 14, 2011

QUOTE of the DAY

cross section of dna strand looks like stained glass rose window
To all the many practical and pleasurable reasons anyone has to explore the sciences and to be excited and enthralled by science, evangelical Christians can add one more:

It’s God’s world, God’s cosmos. God made it. God is redeeming it. God loves it. Anyone who loves God ought to love the world as well — and to love learning about the world. 

We Christians ought to be famous for our love and devotion to the best, deepest, broadest and most ambitious science. We ought to be known for the same half-goofy, starry-eyed wonderment that the late Carl Sagan showed toward science. But that’s not the case. Perversely, the opposite is true.

Related: Alex Knapp.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


sign on cardboard says I'm so mad I made a sign

A sign from the Occupy Wall Street protest
Hey, it has a Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wedlock: A Satire

Thou tyrant, whom I will not name,
Whom heaven and hell alike disclaim;
Abhorred and shunned, for different ends,
By angels, Jesuits, beasts and fiends!
What terms to curse thee shall I find,
Thou plague peculiar to mankind?
O may my verse excel in spite
The wiliest, wittiest imps of night!
Then lend me for a while your rage,
You maidens old and matrons sage:
So may my terms in railing seem
As vile and hateful as my theme.we all have our bad days
Eternal foe to soft desires,
Inflamer of forbidden fires,
Thou source of discord, pain and care,
Thou sure forerunner of despair,
Thou scorpion with a double face,
Thou lawful plague of human race,
Thou bane of freedom, ease and mirth,
Thou serpent which the angels fly,
Thou monster whom the beasts defy,
Whom wily Jesuits sneer at too;
And Satan (let him have his due)
Was never so confirmed a dunce
To risk damnation more than once.
That wretch, if such a wretch there be,
Who hopes for happiness from thee,
May search successfully as well
For truth in whores and ease in hell.


ARTIST: Nancy Farmer 
WEBSITE: (Definitely worth a visit)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


pinup poster of man posing with drill and pointed toe

The imagery of showcasing the feminine/masculine ideals in one single image just struck me as something that could really work. 

Keep your eyes open.
The calendar will be available on his site in December.

Monday, October 10, 2011

So They Say . . .

autumn leaves in a forest
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Sorry, but trading in your iPhone for a flip cell phone after you read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden—which you read on your iPhone—is really pretentious.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I once stood before a Conservative conference and said it shouldn't matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and another man. You applauded me for that. Five years on, we're consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it's about equality, but it's also about something else: commitment.

wedding band around word commitment in dictionaryConservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative.

- David Cameron in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference
in Manchester. Full transcript.

Season Change

orange mums close up

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. 

Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

 - Steve Jobs,
Commencement Speech at Stanford for the Class of 2005.

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

The Layers

   by Stanley Kunitz
I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.  
from: The Collected Poems. Copyright 1978.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Dream Within A Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There Is Another Sky

by Emily Dickinson
white roses over an arbor entrance to a garden There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So Very Timely

I Found This over at 3QUARKSDAILY.

When the rich rain economic bombs upon ordinary folks, 
that just capitalism.
When ordinary folks point out the bombs, 
that's Class Warfare.
                                                                       —Roshi Bob

A Reporter from New York Asks Edith Mae Chapman,
Age Nine, What Her Daddy Tells her about the Strike

We ain't to go in the company store, mooning
over peppermint sticks, shaming ourselves like a dog
begging under the table. They cut off our account
but we ain't no-account. We ain't to go to school
so's the company teacher can tell us we are.
We ain't going to meeting and bow our heads
for the company preacher, who claims it is the meek
will inherit the coal fields, instead of telling
how the mountains will crumble and rocks
rain down like fire upon the heads
of the operators, like it says in the Bible.
We ain't to talk to no dirtscum scabs
and we ain't to talk to God. My daddy
is very upset with the Lord.

 from: Kettle Bottom

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Since 1986, the United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day. World Habitat Day’s purpose is to call attention to the current global state of the human habitat and push toward adequate housing for all.

We hope that by raising awareness and advocating for universal decent housing we can dismantle and alter the systems that reinforce and entrench poverty housing and make an affordable, decent place to live a reality for all.

Kristina Cummings and her 3-year-old son Kaleb
Kristina Cummings and her 3-year-old son, Kaleb, 
in front of their new home in Birmingham, Alabama.

For one week every year, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, help put poverty housing front and center in the global consciousness and conscience. The Carter Work Project is an annual reminder of the desperate, ongoing need for decent, affordable homes worldwide. But it is also a reminder of the power of hope and the strength in numbers.

© 2010 By Alice Walker

You want to grow old
The Carters;
Curing blindness
Building houses
The Poor;

Making friends of those
Who believe
They must fight.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
You want to grow old
The Carters
Holding hands
With someone
You love
Riding bicycles
Where the ground
Is well known
& perfectly

You want to find
And keep to the path
Laid down
Inside you
Such a long time

You want to grow old
The Carters:
Serene. Eyes
To be accused
Not getting
It right.

Upfront, upright.
Speaking what to you is true.