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Archive for March, 2012

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
  —  Reinhold Niebuhr
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No matter how instinctively gregarious one may be there are times when one longs for solitude.  I like people.  I like to be with my family, my friends, my fighting men; and probably just because I am so keen for companionship, I am at times equally keen to be alone.  It is at such times that I can best resolve the knotty problems of government in times of war or peace.  It is then that I can meditate upon all the various aspects of a full life such as I lead; and, being human, I have plenty of mistakes upon which to meditate that I may fortify myself against their recommission.
  —  John Carter (of Mars)
From the book:  “Llana Of Gathol
Written by:  Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Be calm and strong and patient.  Meet failure and disappointment with courage.  Rise superior to the trials of life, and never give in to hopelessness or despair.  In danger, in adversity, cling to your principles and ideals.  Aequanimitas!
  —  Sir William Osler
(the father of modern medicine)
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It is magnificent to grow old, if one keeps young.
  —  Harry Emerson Fosdick
[Happy BD to me!!  —  KMAB]
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Books are information – they remind readers that nothing under the sun is new – so if you cut, or drink, or suffer abuse, you are not the only one.  If you dream of a world where you make a better vampire than you do human, where it’s possible to fly through the galaxy, where exist dragons and villains, and most importantly, allies, you are not alone.  If you live a sheltered life, books are where you can face fear or recognize compassion and true friendship for the first time.  Books allow you to fall in love and to test out feelings that have no outlet outside of literature.  Books are cathartic.  Books are a lifeline.  Books are dear friends when life is mysterious and dark and sad.  Books are information.  They are power.  They are perspective.
Does this mean you have to read every book out there?  No.  You don’t even have to allow your children to read any book that they want; but if you do, or if you have an honest conversation about why a particular book might be less age-appropriate, or more disturbing than another, you’re teaching your children that you value the experience they’re bringing to the table, not just your own.  Maybe it will prompt you to read a book that your child is reading so that you can try to answer questions or concerns they have.  Maybe it will remind you that not every experience is yours, and that the child you’re raising will be far better off equipped with knowledge than they will ignorance.
  —  Maria Mankin
Quoted from her blog site:  “Books, j’adore”
From the blog:  “Censorship in the YA world” dated December 26, 2011
[Every now and then, when I find an interesting blog I go back to the first entry to see how much the person has changed in their writing style.  In this case, not so much change (since Dec ’11).  But when words touch my soul – when I Grok them – I have to include parts on my own site.  Please take a few moments to visit her site and you’ll see what I mean.  It’s not JUST her love of reading; it’s her love of words and ideas. — KMAB]
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One of my favorites from Thom Hartman.  His recital of John Gray’s “Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican“:

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee.  He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.  He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee.  His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.
All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too.  He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day.  Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; his bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.  Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath.  The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.  He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees.  You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.  Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.  If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills.  Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.
Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country.  He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards.  He arrives at his boyhood home.  He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.  The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.  (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)
He is happy to see his dad who is now retired.  His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.  After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good.  (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.
  —  The above was “borrowed” from the Norman Goldman website.
You can find this entry “The Story of Joe!” by clicking here.
This particular posting was done on:  Wednesday, March 07, 2012
[I listen to Norman Goldman most afternoons on my drive home after work.  One day, he read the above.  I enjoyed it so much I went to his website to “borrow” it for re-posting here.  When you hear “conservatives” railing against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), please remember how Social Security was labelled a Communist plot to destroy the average American’s individual initiative and our ability to plan and save for our own future retirement.  Then ask your retired grand-parents, parents, aunts and uncle’s how Social Security has worked out for them so far…  —  KMAB]
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Even though I’ve hunted animals for food as my family has for generations, and have seen more of death in my life than I’d care to; I learned how to cultivate respect and nurture heartfelt compassion for all life that one afternoon so many years ago.  All life is truly precious, and so very fragile.  On the grand scale; every living organism plays a vital role in the fabric of existence, no matter how big or small it is.
Compassion for all life is the key to witnessing creation in all of its beauty.  Learn how to be a steward, not a master.
  —  From the blogsite:  KNOWTHESPHERE
Posted on March 23, 2012
in a blog titled:  “Wise Hamster
[KnowTheSphere is another of the blogs I follow (and read) regularly.  I’m new to following it and the site seems new, but it’s well worth a visit, read, and a few moments of consideration…  Like most things I stumble on to, there’s a background story.  The first book I bought and read about Aikido was titled:  ‘Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere“, and written by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook.  This blog site’s title caught my eye and the rest is history.  —  KMAB]
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First off, Happy Birthday to my younger brother Sean!!
You gave us quite a scare with all this Cancer business back in December and January.   Fortunately, you’ve come through for another BD (and hopefully, many more to come).
As to my own health, I’m still working through gallstones.  I’ve got my gall bladder removal scheduled for early May so (fingers crossed) I can start getting back to working out and losing some weight.
I was doing some random browsing and I stumbled on an article about how few Catholics have actually read the Holy Bible from cover to cover.  Well, I must admit to being one of those who haven’t.  So, I’ve decided to rectify that.  This week I started at page one.  I’ll periodically be posting thoughts and quotes as I go along.  I’m not going off the religious deep end (well, anymore than usual), but I would like to be able to say I’ve read the Bible all the way through at least once in my life.  (Ego rearing it’s ugly head, again.)
As a coincidence, I’m also currently struggling through a book which is an introduction to calculus.  I took analytic geometry / pre-calc when I was in high school, but I never had much of a math requirement when I went through college, so I never had to get stuck into calculus.  I wouldn’t say I’ve regretted it, but calculus has always been one of those topics I’ve never been able to discuss – because I’m ignorant of it.  (Hmmm, I wonder how many will say that’s never stopped me talking about other things I was ignorant of.)  Anyway, I’m slogging through an intro to calculus book, too.
My oldest daughter is off on a business trip to Washington, D.C.  She had a few hours off, so she texted me she was doing some sight-seeing at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.  It brought back memories of my only trip to D.C., back when I was in the Army, and I took a long weekend off to visit.  When I was growing up, I saw a photo of some kids playing in the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  I thought, “I’d like to do that some time…”  Well, I didn’t play, but I did soak my feet.  It was a typical hot, muggy, Washington afternoon and the water was terrifically refreshing!  If you ever get to D.C. in the summer, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, my daughter’s text was that the Cherry blossom’s were out in full force.  I was (am) soooo jealous!!  I’ve always wanted to see the Washington Cherry blossom season.  (Is it a “season“, when it’s only a couple of weeks long?)  Oh, well, some other year…  Another item for the bucket list.
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My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope.
  —  Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
From:  “Heroides
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True goodness springs from a man’s own heart.  All men are born good.
  —  Confucius
From: “Analects
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The greatest good of the mind is the knowledge of God.
   —  Spinoza
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A Washington society woman was siting next to President Coolidge at a party.
Oh, Mr. President,” she said gushingly, “you are so silent.  I made a bet today that I could get more than two words out of you.
You lose,” the President replied.
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I have believed the best of every man,
And find that to believe it is enough
To make a bad man show him at his best,
Or even a good man swing his lantern higher.
   —  William Butler Yeats
From: “Deirdre
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The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
  —  Samuel Johnson
From:  “The Rambler
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Words Of Wisdom

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.
  —  Chief Tecumseh (1768-1813 )
Shawnee Nation
[One of the blogs I follow is Command Performance Leadership.  The blog mentions the above “poem” as being read during the final scene of the movie “Act Of Valor” (which I have not yet seen).  (Click here for the link to the specific blog…)  Because I AM the nerd I am, I researched the poem a little to learn more before posting this blog.  In doing so, I found another interesting site titled: Wisdom Commons.  Enjoy!!
Finally, I believe from the moment of birth we each begin to sing our “death song“.  I only hope my own last notes are sung “like those of a hero going home.”  —  KMAB]
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