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Archive for September, 2012

Society is now one polish’d horde
Formed of two mighty tribes,
The Bores and the Bored.
   —    Lord Byron
From: “Don Juan
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A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
   —   Ambrose Bierce
From: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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Not conforming to standard.  In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested.
   —   Ambrose Bierce
From: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labor and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.
   —    Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecœur
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Will it be wiser to take it as it is and help improve it, or to reject and disperse it.
   —    Abraham Lincoln
[A message for those who would seek to reduce the Federal government to a size small enough that they might drown it in a bath tub…
I think they should visit the Lincoln Memorial.  Above the statue of Lincoln the following words are carved in stone: “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.
Lincoln saved the Union for ALL of the PEOPLE of the United States.   —  KMAB]
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If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not,  you don’t
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
   —   by C.W. Longenecker
[I found the above poem on one of the blogs I follow:   amazinglybeautifullife.wordpress.com
posted on:  http://amazinglybeautifullife.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/healing-words/
The poem is actually fairly well known and widely quoted or paraphrased, but I had not seen it in a while.  As usual, if you have time to visit the site I found it at, drop a comment thanking them for the post.  Just remember the little train, “I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.”   —   KMAB]
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What do you see nurses?  What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice, ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice the things that you do.
And forever is losing a sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?  Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse.  You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten, with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now  a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at twenty my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five, now I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.
A man of thirty, my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more, babies play ‘round my knee,
Again, we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me.  My wife is now dead.
I look at the future.  I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years, and the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles.  Grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass,  A young man still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people.  Open and see.
Not a cranky old man.
Look closer …  See …  Me.
[Another of those wonderful poems and inspirational words which end up making it to the internet and touching thousands of people.  I found this on a blog I follow maintained by David Kanigan:  Lead.Learn.Live
http://davidkanigan.com/2012/08/19/cranky-old-man/
If you have a chance, please visit David’s site and thank him for sharing this with us…   —   KMAB]
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A hero is no braver than an ordinary man; but he is braver five minutes longer.
  —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Remembering those who went in to save strangers, when others were leaving in panic…   “Ordinary” police and firemen – public servants all!  —  KMAB]
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Yet, while being a model of consistency, Lincoln was also uncommonly flexible.  He was a leader who would not and did not limit himself.  “My policy is to have no policy,” he’d say.  “I shall not surrender this game leaving any available card unplayed.”  Lincoln would always leave “an opportunity for a change of mind.”
   —  Donald T. Phillips
From his book: “Lincoln On Leadership
[So, our greatest Republican President was ALWAYS ready to be a flip-flopper!   —   KMAB]
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But the really, really big significance of the Working Retired is that, basically, everything we have been predicting for the last decade or so, regarding the collapse of Social Security, was wrong.  There won’t, in fact be ten retirees for every worker, because the retirees will be working, too.  The enormous Social Security burdens we’ve been haranguing about will be reduced, to some degree, by this trend — and largely on the part of people who want to do it.  According to Eugene Steuerle, and economist with the Urban Institute, if everyone worked just one year beyond expected retirement, we’d completely offset the anticipated shortfall between benefits and taxes in the old age insurance portion of Social Security.
  —  Mark J. Penn
From his book: “Microtrends
[Reality Check: What Penn is describing is that more and more older workers are “choosing” to continue working because they can’t afford to retire on Social Security retirement income.
A corollary to this is what we’ve seen over the last 40 years: a vast increase in the numbers of males (particularly white males) applying for Workers Compensation and riding this government program until (and past) retirement age.  Part of this is genuine injury, but the increasing rates correspond with the periods of domestic recessions.  That is when companies lay off older workers to retain those with lower salaries and fewer health issues (normal aging issues, not injury on the job issues).
Over time, the “word” has spread that there is a way to not work and still get some income to see you through until retirement (on Social Security).  That method is to get on Workers Compensation before you get laid-off or as soon as possible after being laid-off.
This trend is most evident in the announcement that the number of claims for Workers Comp exceeded the number of new jobs filled in recent months.  This “excess” is claimed, by the Republicans, to be proof that the Obama Administration is failing on the economy.  In fact, it is a realistic appraisal of the job market by older employees who seek an “income bridge” until retiring on Social Security.
Union pensions no longer exist for a sizeable portion of the work force (only 10% of American workers are in Unions), and corporations have shifted the responsibility for personal pensions from themselves to the individual employee.  That only leaves Social Security for the vast majority of American workers.  But — you have to be old enough to claim eligibility for Social Security.
For older workers facing long term (indefinite) unemployment (due to wage based lay-offs prior to reaching SSA retirement age), the economic pressure to try to get on to Workers Compensation rolls only increases with each year and with each recession.   —  KMAB]
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Honestly, though, can you think of any activity besides sleep deprivation that functions both as a form of torture for enemy prisoners and a badge of honor for super-strivers?
    —    Mark J. Penn
From his book: “Microtrends
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We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases.
   —    Goethe
[And yet a little knowledge is also a dangerous thing…   —   KMAB]
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The leaders of the [conservative] backlash may talk Christ, but they walk corporate.  Values may “matter most” to voters, but they always take a backseat to the needs of money once the elections are won.  This is a basic earmark of the phenomenon, absolutely consistent across its decades-long history.  Abortion is never halted.  Affirmative action is never abolished.  The culture industry is never forced to clean up its act.  Even the greatest culture warrior of them all was a notorious cop-out once it came time to deliver.  “Reagan made himself the champion of ‘traditional values,’ but there is no evidence he regarded their restoration as a high priority,” wrote Christopher Lasch, one of the most astute analysts of the backlash sensibility.  “What he really cared about was the revival of the unregulated capitalism of the twenties: the repeal of the New Deal.”
    —    Thomas Frank
From his book: “What’s The Matter With Kansas?
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How did we get to a place where the companies that profit from our sickness are the ones telling us how to be healthy; where the companies that profit from our food choices are the ones telling us what to eat; where the public’s hard-earned money is being spent by the government to boost the drug industry’s profits; and where there is more distrust than trust of our government’s policies on foods, drugs and health?  How did we get to a place where Americans are so confused about what is healthy that they no longer care?
  —    T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD
From their book:  “The China Study
[Come back tomorrow and I’ll be happy to supply a clue…   —   KMAB]
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Ninety percent of this game is half mental.
  —    Yogi Berra
[Yogi was talking about baseball, but it’s pretty much the same for life in general.  —   KMAB]
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