Came across this interesting poem by William Wordsworth today:

The Tables Turned
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

The next to last stanza of this poem is the one often quoted, or maybe just the last sentence of that stanza: We murder to dissect. In other words by analyzing something too much we obscure (or murder) its real meaning. This is the romantic attack on scientific reductionism.

Here’s what I wrote on that day, mis-spellings and all:
“This is one of those days I shall always remember — D Day. The invasion of western Europe has finally begun between the towns of Le Harve, Cherbourg and extending down the penninsula. This day marks the most terrific and the most men used in one attact in the history of the World!! Thousands of airoplanes were used and it is said that more bombs were dropped today than in the entire 6 months of bombing by the Germans on London.”

RLS is a trusted commenter Virginia 11 hours ago

Here’s my list, Charles: We are running out of time on dealing with global warming. We need fair trade, not so-called free trade. We need to join the rest of the civilized world and guarantee health care as a right. We need to expand Social Security. We are undermining public education with the Race to the Top initiative. We need to rein in the NSA and the military-industrial complex. We need more stimulus, not austerity. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage ($15). We need to strengthen labor rights legislation. We need to return to a progressive tax code and end corporate tax loopholes. We need to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel companies, agribusiness, and other corporate welfare. We will have another financial crisis if Wall Street reforms are not strengthened. We need a financial transaction tax to curb speculation; the new revenue should be used to fund valuable public investments in infrastructure, clean energy, research and education, creating millions of jobs. We need to close Guantanamo Bay. We need to end the drone attacks that are killing innocent civilians and creating a new generation of terrorists. And on and on and on.

When candidates in both parties are raising big sums of money it is clear that their allegiance lies with the wealthy donors who fund their campaigns. We will not solve the many problems that the country faces unless we elect more progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and move to public financing of elections.

Matthew Carnicelli is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, New York

“If it’s politically impossible to do what’s needed, Democrats should at least make the case for stimulus and indulge no illusions that there is some other way to turn conditions around. ”

Exactly. Make the case forcefully – even if they have to buy blocks of time on prime time network television, the way Ross Perot did in the early-mid 1990s.

Hammer your point home again, and again, and again – taking great pains to systematically demolish the talking points of the austerity hawks and the misinformation machine that fuels them.

And then make the mid-term elections a referendum on the kind of nation we want to become – a neo-feudal banana republic, dominated by corrupt, decaying elites like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson; or an economically vibrant democratic republic, in which social and economic mobility is not some fading dream, but a promise to be realized by every new generation of Americans.

I can’t make up my mind as to whether to use the Windows 7 computer I bought for $200, or just get an iMac for $1299. On cost alone the choice should be obvious! But going back a number of years I’ve dreamed of getting a Mac some day. The wonderful Windows XP (SP3) operating system I’ve had for many years is going to be abandoned by Microsoft in April so I have to make a decision. Some say one can keep Windows XP and protect it by using Sandboxie. I read this on Bleeping Computer. But I’m not sure I should go that route. Well, perhaps I should look into it. But I’d still be stuck with my $200 Windows 7 computer, keyboard and mouse. I’d need to get a monitor but that would be less than $100 for a 17 inch. Just can’t make up my mind.

This morning I read the opinion piece in the New York Times by Charles M. Blow, and then I read the most recommended comments to his article. The two comments which really say it all, in my opinion, are the following:

Karen Garcia New Paltz, NY
Verified
FLAG
Lost in the circular blame game media hype of the GOP vs the White House vs. the contractors vs. HHS are an estimated 30 million people who’ll still be uninsured even if the website worked like a charm from Day One. This includes the 8 million desperately poor people deliberately barred from expanded Medicaid in GOP-controlled states.

These same 30 million are joining nearly 20 million others who, starting Friday, will have their SNAP benefits cut by an average of $32 a month for a family of three. That’s a week’s worth of thrifty meals. And since most Food Stamp households contain children, it kind of does bring the political malpractice up to the level of felony-grade child abuse.

The looming cuts don’t even factor in the $4 billion already agreed to by the full Senate. That’s peanuts, compared to the $40 billion the clinical sadists of the House GOP want to inflict, just to hold up poor people as Old Testament pariahs deserving of scorn.

So where’s the outrage over the deliberate slow starvation of a fifth of the population? Where’s the anger over the fact that half of all public school children now live below the poverty line, and that a third of all adults are deemed officially poor in the “one exceptional nation?” How about the insanity of both parties even discussing chained CPI for retirees when the level of extreme elder poverty jumped another 16% in the last year alone?

A website glitch is the least of it. Where are the jobs? Where’s the humanity?
Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.REPLY

gemli Boston
Verified
FLAG
Obamacare may have had some start-up woes and missteps, but I don’t know of any major government initiative that was devoid of implementation problems, or that depended so heavily on a complex Web roll-out. Whatever this says about assigning blame and the subsequent hazing of Mr. Obama, it says one thing very clearly about Republicans: they can attack this plan with impunity because they had absolutely nothing to do with it. Their contribution to the health care discussion has been to obstruct it, and to say that the American people don’t want affordable health care.

Republicans have used this false austerity mantra for the last 5 years, and not because it will grow the economy. We can’t cut our way to prosperity any more than we can starve our way to full bellies. But the intention is to starve the government of revenue, close or seriously constrict social safety net programs, and obstruct any and all legislation that might reflect favorably on Mr. Obama. Hence the glee with which they pounce on the problems.

They have tried to abort Obamacare, and, failing that, have turned its birth into a breech delivery, intending to cause pain rather than pave the way for uninsured families to get health insurance. I’d like to say that they just don’t care about American families, but that would not be accurate. Their lack of care would be welcomed. What they’re doing is actively hurting millions of people for their own selfish motives.
Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:22 p.m.REPLY

Take a look at this movie by Christine Rabette:
Merci! by Christine Rabette
It’s in French. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Except there are no words, only laughter.
(Thank you Phyllis!)

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Here’s the link.

There are a lot of good comments on this announcement in the New York Times.

Here’s a couple:


boygabe Brooklyn, NY

If the USPS were a company, they wouldn’t have to adhere to an idiotic law requiring them to pay into future retiree benefits at such high amounts. No private company is subject to such financial burdens.

However, Republicans seek to destroy the USPS, so they enacted these laws specifically to bankrupt the USPS.

It’s working exactly as they wanted.

Yet another public service slowly being destroyed by Congress.

In reply to Eduardo Angel Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:46 a.m.
You recommended this 76


Rosa H……….. Tarrytown

This is just the beginning of what the Republicans would like to do to government. The idea that the richest country in the world can’t afford postal service is absurd. The problem the postal service faces is easily resolved. Congressional legislation forced it to fund its retiree pension shortfall within three years. (Private companies get 20-30 years). As a result of the billions that “reform” cost, the USPS is broke. If our so-called representatives took a tiny step out of their ideological straitjackets and used common sense, the USPS would not be running a deficit, and our postal service would not be slowly disappearing.

Just guess what will happen to prices and service when FedEx and UPS end up in control of the market. For starters, watch to see how much FedEx Saturday delivery prices go up.

Feb. 6, 2013 at 10:08 a.m. You recommended this 48

These comments say it better than I could. The bottom line is that if this country doesn’t wake up and vote the Republicans out of office, this country will become a third world country, and it may be this already! You can see that I’m mad….. Right?

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Taken from the NYT comments on Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed of Jan. 18, 2013.
Note that she’s just my age. So I thought it would be interesting to give her point of view.


Maggie, Brattleboro, VT

I am an 84 year old retiree, still independent. I am a retired internist who has cared for thousands of people. What can we old people do to help our national economic situation? Increasing numbers will live beyond 65 and depend on Medicare and Social Security. How many die after age 65?
Someone knows.
I have made personal decisions to reduce health care costs for myself and the nation. The last year of life is the most costly for Medicare and other simultaneous insurers.
1. I have eliminated all unnecessary drugs, taken to excess by most seniors.
2. At 84, in the twilight of an interesting life, I do not want to die in an expensive hospital, with “interventions.”
3. If I suddenly become unresponsive or seemingly in distress, I want NO CPR, no paramedics, no hospitalization, no life sustaining measures such as CPR, dialysis, respiratory assist, feeding tubes and the like. My advanced directives say this.
4. While not a religious person, I trust that God would agree with my choices for a great way to go: painless, low cost, and quiet. What a relief to me and the family and the economy. I hope that others respect my wishes.
Maggie
Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.REPLY You recommended this 25

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Here it is, Pearl Harbor day again. I looked up Dec. 7 in my mother’s diary for 1941 and found this:

Sun. Dec 7th — WAR –

We turned on Kaltenborn on the radio at 3:15 and found that Honolulu and Pearl Harbor and the Philippines had been attacked by the Japanese. Right when Roosevelt was trying his best to bring about peace. It was an infamous and a dastardly attack, a blow in the dark. The whole nation will be behind the President now.


I was a mere lad of 12 at the time, going on 13, too young to go off to war. So, instead I started high school (Westford Academy) the next June.

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