Friday, February 7, 2014

Fish for Friday

Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

One of the songs at the "Goodnite, Pete" concert tonight here in Berkeley was a Woody Guthrie song about migrant farmworkers, "Pastures of Plenty" here's Pete [Seeger]'s version:

    KPFA's link to the recording of the "Good-bye Pete" event: Almost everyone in the Bay Area Folk Music community came and performed. "Wasn't That a Time" indeed!

Ask people to name politicians with careers launched from California, and they will probably start with former U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. They may even think of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown. They probably won't come up with the name Henry Waxman, even though his 40-year legislative legacy arguably outweighs the combined resumes of the others.
    Nixon gave us Watergate, and in 1974 Waxman ("Rep. Waxman Leaves Behind A Legacy Of Health Laws") was one of the many liberal Democrats elected in a tidal wave reaction to the scandal. In the 1980s, while Reagan was slashing social program budgets and somehow selling the country on a "trickle-down" type of economics that bizarrely combined aspects of socialism and elitism and blatantly favored big business and the rich, Waxman somehow managed to expand the Medicaid program and teamed with Republican Orrin Hatch to introduce a bill that would allow the sale of generic prescription drugs. Most reports say the Hatch-Waxman law has so far saved consumers $1.5 trillion, and will ultimately save them trillions of dollars more.
    Even though most people have never heard of him, Waxman's career achievements are so voluminous as to seem like something made up to fit a fictitious TV politician, rather than someone with a stellar real-world 40-year career: "U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Minority Staff: Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s Record of Accomplishment."
    Unfortunately, Waxman is retiring at the end of his current term. Why? Basically he feels Congress has reached a point where he can no longer get much accomplished. Here is how he explained it in an NPR interview:

It's very difficult when the party that's in control is dominated by a group of extremists from the Tea Party that think along the lines of compromise [as] being a dirty word, and working with the other party, the Democrats, as complicity with the enemy.
The article about "How Music Hijacks Our Perception of Time" is FASCINATING: Excerpt:
Perhaps the clearest evidence of musical hijacking is this: In 2004, the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring deemed Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyrie the most dangerous music to listen to while driving. It is not so much the distraction, but the substitution of the frenzied tempo of the music that challenges drivers’ normal sense of speed—and the objective cue of the speedometer—and causes them to speed.
In his letter to 1 percenter Tom Perkins, Leonard Pitts has raised the bar for satirical writing: "Letter on behalf of the 99 percent." Excerpt:
I’m writing to apologize...on behalf of the 99 percent of us who are not multimillionaires. You, of course, are, having made a pile as a venture capitalist and co-founder of the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers....
    [B]efore you wrote that tear-jerking Jan. 24 letter to The Wall Street Journal revealing the pain, the oppression, the abject sense of vulnerability and fear, that go with having a net worth equal to the GNP of some developing nations...I confess to having been blind to the suffering of the Affluent-American community. But you’ve opened my eyes. How awful it must be, forced to live in segregated neighborhoods like Brentwood and Star Island in constant fear of metaphorical beatings and rhetorical lynching if you dare get out of your place and whine about the travails of your life of vulgar excess....
As I told friends Super Bowl Weekend, the real Super Bowl was the 49ers at the Seahawks. This year the two best teams in football are not only in the same conference they are also in the same division. There is a mathematical flaw in the structure of the NFL which results in the Super Bowl is represented by the two best teams in football only half the time.
    The Super Bowl's outcome was not surprising to a long-time Seahawks fan who is also a 49ers fan. The blowout result would have been the same had San Francisco won at Seattle in the conference championship game.

The 49ers and Seahawks are both really good teams, but to discount the entire AFC seems a bit extreme. The Broncos had a good season. Anyway, the Super Bowl is what it is, American Football Conference vs National Football Conference.

Faith in God is nontangible. As the man in the Bible was once asked if Jesus were real, he answered that all he knew was... that once he was blind, but now he could see. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you....God is listening and He does know you....He put us into contact after all these years, didn't He...and I promise to be your prayer partner. [Editor's Note: I will be a silent partner, my silence to counterbalance the deafness of God.]

What does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac spend most of his time doing? Staying up all night wondering if there really is a dog.

I was thrilled to hear President Obama speak so passionately in his State of the Union address about the devastating rise of income inequality across our country. But we know that the words of the president alone won't be enough to change Washington.
    It's up to us to push for action to build an economy that works for all Americans—not just the 1%.
    As President Obama proclaimed recently, income inequality is the "defining challenge of our time." I don't know if the president has seen my film—"Inequality for All"—but I know the ideas in it are influencing policymakers from Congress to City Councils. In the months since this Sundance award-winning documentary was released, income inequality has surged to the top of the national discussion.

You kids! Get off my Lawn! "Why old people complain about Millennials" & "Congrats, Millennials. Now It’s Your Turn to Be Vilified"

Do not know who all to send this too without creating problems, but the story creates a problem for me: "Its Great Lake Shriveled, Iran Confronts Crisis of Water Supply." How in the world could this have happened? And what does it mean for the country of Iran?

Marvels of the Human Body:
    The three things pregnant women dream most of during their first trimester are frogs, worms, and potted plants. Scientists have no idea why this is so, but attribute it to the growing imbalance of hormones in the body during pregnancy.
    The life span of a human hair is 3 to 7 years on average. Every day the average person loses 60-100 strands of hair. But don't worry, you must Lose over 50% of your scalp hairs before it is apparent to anyone.
    The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as an encyclopedia. Your brain uses 20% of the oxygen that enters your bloodstream, and is itself made up of 80% water. Though it interprets pain signals from the rest of the body, the brain itself cannot feel pain.
    The tooth is the only part of the human body that can't repair itself.
    Your eyes are always the same size from birth but your nose and ears never stop growing.

A photon checks into a hotel and the porter asks him if he has any luggage. The photon replies: “No, I’m travelling light.”

“Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?”

Limerick of the Week:
We know you keenly rue it,
your wife acts like a shrew bit—
    she commands you
    what all to do,
and when and how to do it.
Background. Sorry, I'm not at liberty to divulge the story behind this week's limerick.
Copyright © 2014 by Morris Dean

Comment box is located below


  1. Thanks for all the fish! Goodnight, resume, music & time, satire, Soup or Bowl, prayer partners, dog exist?, all unequal, generations, Iran dried up, snow, human body, traveling light, art, shrewd bit

  2. Internet has been down since yesterday so just getting to the fish. It took a while to get to the bottom as I kept linking to Seeger videos. I started looking for my bell-bottom pants with the joint hid in the watch pocket. Good fish to day.