August 31, 2009
August 30, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 26, 2009
This is such a good column by David Brooks. I tried to find an accompanying photo to further define dignity. I find there are so many kinds of dignity, personal dignity, public dignity to begin with. Brooks explanation of dignity is so exactly right with examples to boot. That might explain why he writes for the Times and is a frequent guest on talk shows. He is so intelligent that his columns are crystal clear and succinct even to a schmuck like me. He is, as a matter of fact, a good example of dignity in how he conducts his business. If you, the reader, could direct me where to look for that elusive picture that defines dignity, I would be grateful.
Op-Ed Columnist - In Search of Dignity - NYTimes.com
August 25, 2009
WSJ Cultural Conversation -- Pat Conroy on His New Novel, South of Broad - WSJ.com
August 24, 2009
August 23, 2009
In 1949 radio relinquished its hold on the American public as it turned to television and most of the radio personalities could not make the switch.
The public harbors no sentiment when it comes to their entertainment likes and dislikes, or loyalties. By the end of 1949 television was king and radio was out.
August 22, 2009
Puccini's classic opera of a trusting woman and how her love was tragically betrayed. In the 19th century, an American sailor named Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton arrives in Japan and meets a 15-year-old girl named Cio-Cio-San , whom he calls Butterfly. Butterfly falls in love with Pinkerton, but he regards their romance as a temporary fling and blithely asks for her hand even though he has no intention of bringing her with him when he returns to the States. As I recall, this piece of music is sung (or in this case, hummed) while Cio-Cio-San is waiting for him to return from sea.
August 21, 2009
August 20, 2009
August 19, 2009
During my days in the military I spent some time in Japan. Like most young men (I was young once) I wasted most of my free time, but not all. I remember I visited the Nagara river near Gifu Japan where I was stationed. I thought it quite exotic, but being young I never really thought about the history of the event. Turns out to be 1300 years of history to be exact. Check out these photographs.
August 18, 2009
It is so great when you find world class talent that grew up in the same town you call your hometown. That is the case with E.J. PEIKER who travels the world in his role as NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER. He calls Chandler, Arizona his home town now, but he occasionally visits his old haunts and breaks out his camera and snaps off a few. He has given me permission to post a few that are familiar to the locals. I wish the rest of the town had held up so well but we like most towns are undergoing bad times. Oh well that's old news now isn't it. Take a look at these photos that show the best of us, and the talent of EJ. Check out his webpage, he's been around the world seeking out locations to film. Click here to see my hometown.
August 17, 2009
August 16, 2009
Roy C. Andrews was a schoolteacher and administrator in Michigan, Texas, Arkansas, Washington and Oregon. He was a chemistry instructor at the University of Oregon from 1935 until his retirement in 1950. Andrews is noted for his photographs of one-room schoolhouses in southern Lane County, 1911-1913. The collection consists of photographs.
Image shown: The image shown is "Dixie Queens" (two schoolgirls at lunch from Hadleyville, Oregon, circa 1911), Roy C. Andrews collection, PH003-P954, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1299.
August 15, 2009
Film Noir would not be complete without the saloon singer belting out a torch song, or in my example a man out late at night, alone and sad from a love affair gone wrong needing someone to tell his troubles to, and who better than the bartender.
Back in the film noir days the songs told stories. I think they were mostly sad songs, not designed to make you feel better, but to tell you that at least the singer was as miserable as you were. It could help.
August 14, 2009
As a follow up to the poem above I have written my own poem to post my vote against the futility of war, the result usually of failed programs of politicians.
War, damnable war.
how many lives unlived but a while
have been sacrificed to someones
obscene thoughts of conquest vile,
lives cut short in youth and promise
by soldiers in the trench, by soldiers
who in times fast forward and anonymity
will not know whom it was they slew
or cause they followed. In the end who is
the winner when unlived lives are lost
for reasons unknown.
This photo was shown previously on Shorpy, but in black and white. I am a fan of black and white photography, but in this case the strategicly placed color is very nice I think. I am including the remarks that came with the picture (not mine).
A splash of color added to Ester Bubley's 1943 photograph of a Washington, D. C. working girl as enjoyed on Shorpy. What were her dreams and aspirations? Was she married or hoping to be married soon? Was her husband or boy friend in the military? What happened to her life after the war? Too many questions, too few answers.
August 12, 2009
August 11, 2009
It seems to me that the country has awakened from a dream and realized that we have put too much trust in the man we elected to lead us out of the bad dream that was Bush. The Bush years taught us to doubt that our leaders cared about its electorate and were determined to feather their own nests in any way possible. When possible was not available they decided to change laws to make it possible. We the people may be a little slow to catch up to the big league misgovernment we were treated to, but we did and in response to that we elected a man who was fluent and committed to correcting all the missteps of the previous gang and would keep us attuned to the mechanics taken on the road to putting all the promises he made into law; and good days would be here again. In fact we expected too much from the new president.
It now seems that we have awakened and shaking our collective heads begin muttering to ourselves, what does he think he's doing. You can't insure every American a decent health plan, it's too expensive, we're not ready, too fast, too everything, you just can't. Anyways you might not have a birth certificate, and you probably owe your true allegiance to Angola or the Antilles archipelago, you shouldn't even be in that chair. Matter of fact we don't even need a president, don't we believe that less government is better, then why not no government. Let's leave the running of the government to a series of town hall meetings, I understand they work well. If you don't like what is proposed just yell loud, no louder, that'll do it. Or maybe best yet form a junta of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Sean Hannity to handle all the details. Valhalla, indeed.
Good news for BARNES AND NOBLE
Bad news for BOEING in Washington
It looks to me like the maid? has already read the love letter and the mistress of the house? seems a little relunctant to know what's in the letter. Regardless, Jan Vermeer was a great painter.
August 10, 2009
Old Gray Lady Grabs Obama by the Ear - Politics News Briefs | Newser
Shared via AddThis
In Egypt, 43 percent of people think Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks in America, a poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org found last year.
In the United States, six percent of Americans say the moon landing of 40 years ago was staged, according to Gallup.
And in Alaska, the former governor, a woman who was nearly a heartbeat away from the presidency, now tells followers that “Obama death panels” could decide if her parents and her baby, Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome, will live or die.
The United States, like most countries, has long had a lunatic fringe who channel in the flotsam of delusion, half-facts and conspiracy theories. But now, with the light-speed and reach of the Web, “entire virtual crank communities,” as the conservative writer David Frum called them, have sprung up. They are fed, in the case of Sarah Palin, by people who should know better.
For a democracy, which depends on an informed citizenry to balance a permanent lobbying class, this is poison. And it’s one reason why town hall forums on health care, which should be sharp debates about something that affects all of us, have turned into town mauls.
The lies and shouts have had the effect that all crank speech has on free speech — stifling any real exchange. In my state, Representative Brian Baird, a veteran of more than 300 town hall meetings during his 11 years as a Democratic congressman from southwest Washington, has decided not to hold any such forums this recess after receiving death threats.
But is it any wonder that some are moved to violent threats, given the level of misinformation being injected into the system? If you really believed that Obama was going to kill your baby and euthanize your parents, well — why not act in self defense?
Here’s what Palin said on her Facebook page Friday, in her first online comments since quitting as Alaska governor.
“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ whether they are worthy of health care.”
This is pure fantasy, fact-free almost in its entirety. The nonpartisan group FactCheck.org said there was no basis for such a claim in any of the health care bills under consideration in Congress. One House bill would pay for counseling for terminally ill patients — something anyone who has lost an elderly loved one of late, as I have, will find essential.
Palin was given some cover Sunday by the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a master of slipping innuendo into his arguments. Defending the “death panel” post on ABC’s “This Week,” Gingrich said, “you’re asking us to trust the government.” By such reasoning, American foreign policy is not worth its word, the currency is worthless, and the moon landing was indeed a fake.
The last time Gingrich went so far was when he called Justice Sonia Sotomayor a racist. He retracted it then. We’ll see what he does now. As for Palin, she should follow her own advice to the media of a few weeks ago — lay off the kids and “quit makin’ things up.”
About Timothy EganTimothy Egan worked for 18 years as a writer for The New York Times, first as the Pacific Northwest correspondent, then as a national enterprise reporter. In 2006, Mr. Egan won the National Book Award for his history of people who lived through the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time. In 2001, he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of reporters who wrote the series How Race Is Lived in America. Mr. Egan is the author of five books, including "The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest," and "Lasso the Wind, Away to the New West." He lives in Seattle.
This piece was recommended by my wife's long time friend Anne. A recommendation from her is worth a look by my wife and I. Her word is good, the piece is thought provoking and we thank her for it.
If you only watch the first one which is only 10 minutes long it will move you. It is very touching and I am amazed at how this teacher is teaching compassion to ten year olds. Perhaps he can help those who try to end wars. Anne
CHILDREN FULL OF LIFE
In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori. He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.
Capturing the intimate moments of the students' laughter and tears, the film explores one teacher's approach to allowing children the opportunity to discover the value of sharing powerful emotions. Classroom discussions include difficult issues such as the death of a parent or being the victim of bullying. In this "school of life," the simple message is learning to look after one another.
Following Mr. Kanamori's class for a whole school year, the cameras were kept at the children's eye-level, giving their view of the world as they cope with troubled relationships and the loss of loved ones. Through their daily experiences, viewers see how they develop together a spirit of co-operation and compassion.
Children Full of Life was awarded the Global Television Grand Prize at this year's 25th Anniversary Banff Television Festival, the festival's highest honour. It was the first time Japan took the top prize. As well, the documentary won the Rockie Award in the Family and Youth Programs category.
Children Full of Life is directed by Noboru Kaetsu and produced by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NH
Children Full of Life (1 of 5) http://www.youtube.com/
"In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori. He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates."
Children Full of Life (2 of 5) http://www.youtube.com/
"Good teachers connect theory with life..."
Children Full of Life (3 of 5) http://www.youtube.com/
"Project: Raft ... teamwork, self-realizations, class victories...life. You come to school to be happy. If one person is unhappy, everyone will be unhappy."
Children Full of Life (4 of 5) http://www.youtube.com/
"Academics and Life Learning....Death and empathy."
Children Full of Life (5 of 5) http://www.youtube.com/
CHILDREN FULL OF LIFE
August 9, 2009
NEWS ITEM OF THE DAY that caught my interest.
Nagasaki mayor urges worldwide nuclear arms ban
By JAY ALABASTER, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 9, 3:02 am ET
TOKYO – The mayor of Nagasaki called for a global ban on nuclear arms at a ceremony marking the 64th anniversary of the devastating U.S. attack on the Japanese city that killed about 74,000 people.
In a speech given just after 11:02 a.m. — the time when a plutonium American bomb flattened Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945 — Mayor Tomihisa Taue said some progress had been made toward eliminating nuclear weaponry but more needed to be done.
He cited a speech by President Barack Obama in April calling on the world to rid itself of atomic weapons, but also noted a nuclear test blast by North Korea in May.
"We, as human beings, now have two paths before us. While one can lead us to a world without nuclear weapons, the other will carry us toward annihilation, bringing us to suffer once again the destruction experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 64 years ago," he said.
The Japanese government recognizes a total of about 150,000 victims of the atomic attack on Nagasaki, including those who have died from related injuries and illness in the years since.
Nagasaki was attacked three days after an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, in which 140,000 people were killed or died within months. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, ending World War II.
At Sunday's ceremony, a moment of silence was observed at the time of detonation 64 years earlier, while a large bell in the city's Peace Park was rung repeatedly. As Taue finished his speech, doves were released and circled over the park, where hundreds of brightly colored strings of origami cranes had been hung by local residents.
About 5,800, including dignitaries and representatives from 29 countries, attended the ceremony.
Taue had invited leaders of countries possessing nuclear arms, including Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to travel to Nagasaki.
Prime Minister Taro Aso and other dignitaries, as well as local resident Ayako Okumura, who was a child in the city when it was bombed, also spoke at the ceremony.
"To avoid a repeat of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must devote all of our energy in the pursuit of international peace," Aso said.
MY THOUGHTS: Sixty four years later we still have not figured out a way to convince countries that there must be a better way than building bigger and better bombs. If the truth is in the pudding, I guess there isn't. In fact what we have proved this very week is that we, the USA, have gotten better at delivering our missiles. We plunked off a terrorist from the roof of a building in Afghanistan in a selective target success.
I like some of these games you come across on the internet. This is one I encountered this morning. I monkeyed with it for a while then gave up, knowing that I would never figure out how to win the game. I hope you have a better go at it than I did.
August 8, 2009
Beatles Fans Swarm Abbey Road on Album Anniversary
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:37 a.m. ET
LONDON (AP) -- Beatles fans mobbed London's Abbey Road on the 40th anniversary of the famous photo that turned this ordinary London street into a musical pilgrimage site.
Hundreds of fans swarmed the site Saturday morning, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Abbey Road cuts through the swish north London neighborhood of St. John's Wood and is where the Fab Four recorded much of their work.
It became a part of music history after the Beatles were featured on the cover of the eponymous album walking on the street's crosswalk.
Tourists flock to the site every day to recreate the iconic scene, much to the annoyance of locals.
August 7, 2009
How many times through our individual lives do we wonder what would have been our destiny if we had taken path B instead of path A. Watching this piece of music recorded at the United Nations, attended by the people from many countries, I wondered back to an opportunity I was offered and declined with the Foreign Service of the State Department many years ago in my young days. I never regretted not taking it, but I would not be human if I did not wonder where we would have ended up. The vision of Paris, London, Rome pops up. The reality probably would have been some place much less exotic. As Rick Blaine tells Ilsa in Casablanca, "We'll always have Paris." I can tell myself I'll always have my guessing game to amuse me for a moment or two.
August 6, 2009
August 5, 2009
Five minutes watching America grow.
I had a factory experience when I was just out of the military, and before I became rich and famous, on an assembly line as my part in the industrial revolution. I lasted three months until they had a layoff and I fell victim to the last in first out procedure. I was never so glad to lose a job. This may have been me as star of candid camera.
Oh Oh, one thing I forgot to mention that might cause a little trouble in years to come.
August 3, 2009
A final warning, if you have a squeamish stomach do not watch this. It is from the Monty Python collection so you know it is ridiculous and funny, but really, really disgustingly gross.
I remember it fondly though because years ago my grandson watched it with me much to his mothers chagrin. We thought perhaps that we were putting something over on his mom, but I don't think we were, I'm sure we were not. I of course relished the thought that maybe we were just as I thought wrongly in my youth that I was doing the same to my mother. Maybe it's in every boy's genes, and in grandfathers sometimes lack of decorum. Turn away or delete and go to something else that may have some modicum of worth.
Why do people go to art museums? Read this article and you will find out that you are not much different than everyone else.
This letter was one of the favorites of the editors and after reading it, I agree. If only because I agree with one of the writers conclusions. Twice now my wife and I went to a beautiful garden and on a walk through a wood in spring. Both times my wife, with a new camera in hand, took many many pictures. Each time thinking about the experience afterward she made mention that sometime we would have to return and she would omit the camera so she could enjoy the scenery more fully. I believe that is what the commenter says in his letter.
August 1, 2009
AND MY ANSWER IS: Fear. Fear of dying. We grow old quickly, we are on this earth for so short a time that we start to panic as we get close to that time and we start rationalizing to take our minds off the inevitable.
Or my second answer is: I haven't the foggiest notion.
Three from Spoon River
Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,
The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
All, all, are sleeping on the hill.
So starts THE SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY. Short tales of folks who were born, and finally buried in Spoon River, each with a story to tell.
No other man, unless it was Doc Hill,
did more for people in this town than I.
And all the weak, the halt, the improvident
and those who could not pay flocked to me.
I was good-hearted, easy Doctor Meyers.
I was healthy, happy, in comfortable fortune,
Blest with a congenial mate, my children raised,
All wedded, doing well in the world.
And then one night, Minerva, the poetess,
came to me in her trouble, crying.
I tried to help her out-she died-
They indicted me, the newspapers disgraced me,
wife perished of a broken heart.
And pneumonia finished me.
He protested all his life long
The newspapers lied about him villainously;
That he was not at fault for Minerva's fall,
But only tried to help her.
Poor soul so sunk in sin he could not see
That even trying to help her, as he called it,
He had broken the law human and divine.
Passers by, an ancient admonition to you:
If your ways would be ways of pleasantness,
And all your pathways peace,
Love God and keep his commandments.
I am Minerva, the village poetess,
hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
for my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
and all the more when "Butch" Weldy
captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
and gather into a book the verses I wrote?-
I thirsted so for love!
I hungered so for life!
Written by Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950) published in 1915. Mr. Masters introduced 214 characters and residence's of the cemetery.