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Archive for August, 2013

We cannot say whether the emerging world will be mostly “good” or mostly “evil” because the very definitions of these terms will change, and it is not we, but our children and their children who will do the judging, according to their own values.
  —  Alvin Toffler
From his book: “Future Shock
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On This Day In:
2012 Liar, n.
2011 Freedom To Doubt

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It’s often just enough to be with someone.  I don’t need to touch them.  Not even talk.  A feeling passes between you both.  You’re not alone.
  —  Marilyn Monroe
[This quote was originally found on one of the blogs I follow, maintained by Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate:  Deo Volente  at:  (http://dshenai.wordpress.com/)
The actual post is:  http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/interesting-quotes-by-marilyn-monroe/
Thanks, Deo!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Interviewer: “So Frank, you have long hair.  Does that make you a woman?”
Frank Zappa: “You have a wooden leg.  Does that make you a table?”
  —  Frank Zappa
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On This Day In:
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
   —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2012 The Practical Value of Science
2011 Seize Gladly The Difficult Task
A Constitutional Conversation
2010 The Fierce Urgency Of Now…

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All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively.  Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth.  Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.
  ―  Niccolò Machiavelli
From: “The Prince
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On This Day In:
2012 Seven Causes
2011 I Feel A Tingle Coming On

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A woman, if she hates her husband (and many of them do), can make life so sour and obnoxious to him that even death upon the gallows seems sweet by comparison.  This hatred, of course, is often, and perhaps almost invariably, quite justified.  To be the wife of an ordinary man, indeed, is an experience that must be very hard to bear.  The hollowness and vanity of the fellow, his petty meanness and stupidity, his puling sentimentality and credulity, his bombastic air of a cock on a dunghill, his anaesthesia to all whispers and summonings of the spirit, above all, his loathsome clumsiness in amour — all these things must revolt any woman above the lowest.
 ―  H.L. Mencken
From his book: “In Defense Of Women
[As I mentioned in prior posts, less a defense of women and more an indictment of the “ordinary man”.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Three Words
2011 Know Anyone Like This?
2010 Apoplexy??
When Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
Sibling Awareness

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What I notice is that every adult or child I give a new set of Crayolas to goes a little funny.  The kids smile, get a glazed look on their faces, pour the crayons out, and just look at them for a while….  The adults always get the most wonderful kind of sheepish smile on their faces — a mixture of delight and nostalgia and silliness.  And they immediately start telling you about all their experiences with Crayolas.  …  Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.
  -–  Robert Fulghum
From his book: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
[I, too, loved my boxes of 64!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 An Eagle Has Departed
Ummm
And In My Prayers
2011 Welcome Doubt
2010 Talk, Talk, Talk…
Every Day At Least
Democratic Suicide
Pleasurable Reading
Loose Joy
Do, Er, Write – Whatever
This Glorious Company
Relax With A Good Book
Neither Vice Nor Weakness
That’s Rich!
Man Will Prevail!!!
Frankly Speaking to Arizona
Brother By Another Mother

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Today’s posting is about a book I’ve just completed last night and a movie I saw today.
The book is titled: “Disraeli: A Picture of the Victorian Age“, (1936©) reprinted in 1980, and written by André Maurois.  Maurois is actually the nom de plume for Émile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog, but interesting enough, he legally changed his real name to that for which he was famous.  Maurois was in the French military when he wrote his first book and the military was banned from publishing.
This book is the second I’ve read from the Time-Life Reading Program series which I collected back in the 1980’s.  More specifically, this is the book upon which I based my decision to begin purchasing the series.  I originally read this book in my young teenage years.  I don’t recall if I was in the eighth grade of grammar school or a freshman in high school.  At any rate, it was a fantastic look at another time (Victorian Age) and political system (British Parliament) which combined political maneuvers with a true romantic background story and it captivated me.
After his wife (Mary Anne) dies from old age (and cancer), Disraeli begins going through their effects in preparation for moving out of her ancestral home which must be passed on to its inheritor:
“Every fortnight for thirty-three years, Mary Anne had cut her husband’s hair, and every time the harvest had been garnered in a small sealed packet.  He found hundreds of them.”
This struck me, even as a teen, as such a personal and loving act (both the cutting and the saving of the cuttings) that I believe it set a standard for me to judge male/female relationships.  To this day, when I watch the movie “Phenomenon“, starring John Travolta and Kyra Sedgwick (and Forest Whitaker), I am reminded of this book.  If you’ve never seen the movie, there is a tremendously sensual scene in the movie where Sedgwick shaves Travolta and cuts his hair.  By “sensual” I mean it exudes sexuality without having any “sex” in the scene at all.
By way of contrast, I discussed the above quote with my daughter and she felt is was “creepy” and “like a stalker”.  She felt there was no romance/affection in either act, at all.
Another point, which may be of interest to only me – I’ve been “saving” this book for almost 40 years, knowing I was going to re-read it, but in no hurry, because it was going to be like re-meeting an old friend.  I don’t often re-read books because most of my reading tends to be technical in nature.  I do enjoy re-reading some books – novels in particular.  I assume it is because they engage me without trying to teach me.  (That’s just a guess…)  In this case, I was waiting for the above story, but I did not recall it was told after the wife’s passing.  When Mary Anne died from cancer, I briefly convinced myself that I must have read a different book when I was young and I had purchased the series based on a complete mistake!  Not that it would have mattered so much, but it seemed an irony that I was looking forward to meeting my old friend, only to find out I would be meeting a distant relative (a book about the same topic, but by a different author).  So I got a chuckle (to myself) when I found it was the correct book.
No, I haven’t said much about the book – by way of review, anyway.  Suffice it to say, it’s a very well written book, a fast read, a romanticized biography, and a fascinating story of a man who rises to great stature on the strength of his intelligence, ability and determination.  Highly recommended!!  As an aside, on researching Maurois, I found dozens of great quotes which you will no doubt be seeing over the coming months.
Today’s movie was: “Lee Daniel’s The Butler“, which depicts a fictionalized version of true story about a man (Eugene Allen) who served eight U.S. President’s over a 34 year period of working in the White House.  The story is one of quiet dignity and strength contrasted against a turbulent period of time which covers the “Civil Rights” movement during the latter half of the 20th century.  The main character (Cecil Gaines is the name used in the movie) is played by Forest Whitaker who I feel will almost certainly get a Best Actor nomination, if not win the Oscar, for this performance.  He is brilliant!  Oprah Winfrey does a very good job in playing the spouse and there is an all-star cast filling out many of the other roles.
In a manner similar to “Forrest Gump“, the movie intersperses historical TV footage with acting.  To this extent, the film is certainly not original, but it is no less powerful.  If anything, there is almost too much happening in Civil Rights for one to take it all in.  Young viewers may be surprised to see how far the nation has come in just the single life-times of their parents or grand-parents.  Having grown up and lived through the period, I was profoundly moved by the entire film.
Is this a “made for Oscar” movie?  Yes, blatantly so.  It vividly shows the horrors of racism and contrasts that with the dignity of a working man who only seeks a safe life for his family and a better life for his children.  The cast is strong and the story is accurate chronologically (if not entirely factual to Allen’s life).  More importantly, it touched me as a father, a working man and a family man with similar goals.  I saw this movie with my mother, sister and nephew (Kyle) and my mom and sister were tearing up just as much as me.  This is a MUST see movie and I highly recommend it!!
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On This Day In:
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
 2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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I am wholly devoid of public spirit or moral purpose.  This is incomprehensible to many men, and they seek to remedy the defect by crediting me with purposes of their own.  The only thing I respect is intellectual honesty, of which, of course, intellectual courage is a necessary part.  A Socialist who goes to jail for his opinions seems to me a much finer man than the judge who sends him there, though I disagree with all the ideas of the Socialist and agree with some of those of the judge.  But though he is fine, the Socialist is nevertheless foolish, for he suffers for what is untrue.  If I knew what was true, I’d probably be willing to sweat and strive for it, and maybe even to die for it to the tune of bugle-blasts.  But so far I have not found it.
  ―  H. L. Mencken
From his book: “In Defense Of Women
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On This Day In:
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
 2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.
   —  Senator Everett Dirksen
[Found at one of the blogs I follow: http://everydaypowerblog.com
The specific post is: http://everydaypowerblog.com/2013/08/09/the-formula-to-make-your-dreams-real/  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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Hope is not blind optimism.  It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.  It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight.  Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.  Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
  —  President Barack Obama
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On This Day In:
2012 Minor Gifts
2011 I Love It When A Plan Comes Together…
2010 Eloquence
Cleaning the Chalk Board

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We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion — a lot of us have traded in our beliefs for bitterness and cynicism or for a heavy package of despair, or even a quivering portion of hysteria.  Opinions can be picked up cheap in the market place while such commodities as courage and fortitude and faith are in alarmingly short supply.
  —  Edward R. Murrow
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On This Day In:
2012 Hope And Tears
2011 Just Long Enough
Meaningful Thoughts

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Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
  —  Marilyn Monroe
[This quote was originally found on one of the blogs I follow, maintained by Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate:  Deo Volente   at: (http://dshenai.wordpress.com/)
The actual post is:  http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/interesting-quotes-by-marilyn-monroe/
Thanks, Deo!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 So Small A Thing
2011 Is Your Time Valuable?

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Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt.  But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation.  Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.
 —  Alvin Toffler
From his book: “Future Shock
[I would add they should be read because they are (were) great writers!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 1010
There In The Sunshine
2011 Not Enough Time

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The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.   Beautiful people do not just happen.
  —  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
[Found at a blog I follow.  The specific posting is:  http://deodatusblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/beautiful-people-do-not-just-happen/  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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