Category Archives: coffee muses

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thoreau’s Journal: 22-Jun-1851
As I walk the railroad causeway, I notice that the fields and meadows have acquired various tinges as the season advances, the sun gradually using all his paints. There is the rosaceous evening red tinge of red clover,—like an evening sky gone down under the grass,—the whiteweed tinge, the white clover tinge, which reminds me how sweet it smells. The tall buttercup stars the meadow on another side, telling of the wealth of dairies. The blue-eyed grass, so beautiful near at hand, imparts a kind of slate or clay blue tinge to the meads.

What a great idea…go be inspired.

Saturday, June 17, 2006
Thoreau’s Journal: 17-Jun-1854
Another remarkably hazy day: our view is confined, the horizon near, no mountains; as you look off only four or five miles, you see a succession of dark wooded ridges and vales filled with mist. It is dry, hazy June weather. We are more of the earth, farther from heaven, these days. We live in a grosser element. We [are] getting deeper into the mists of earth. Even the birds sing with less vigor and vivacity. The season of hope and promise is past; already the season of small fruits has arrived. The Indians marked the midsummer as the season when berries were ripe. We are a little saddened, because we begin to see the interval between our hopes and their fulfillment. The prospect of the heavens is taken away, and we are presented with a few small berries.

Lawmakers’ Profits Are Scrutinized

Lawmakers’ Profits Are Scrutinized: House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) made a $2 million profit last year on the sale of land 5 1/2 miles from a highway project that he helped to finance with targeted federal funds.

A Republican House member from California, meanwhile, received nearly double what he paid for a four-acre parcel near an Air Force base after securing $8 million for a planned freeway interchange 16 miles away. And another California GOP congressman obtained funding in last year’s highway bill for street improvements near a planned residential and commercial development that he co-owns.

In all three cases, Hastert and Reps. Ken Calvert and Gary Miller say that they were securing funds their home districts wanted badly, and that in no way did the earmarks have any impact on the land values of their investments. But for watchdog groups, the cases have opened a fresh avenue for investigation and a new wrinkle in the ongoing controversy over earmarks — home-district projects funded through narrowly written legislative language.

It really makes you wonder where we got off track. Politics has always had the smell of the nefarious, now with campaign funds and earmarks and an attitude that everyone is doing it so it must be ok, but, just in case we wont work the ethics committee too hard in case they do find something. Oh, and while we are at it lets ply with the districts to make sure no one can beat us until we are vested in that retirement fund we set up (you know you can’t count on social security…We’ve been spending the money for years).

What the hell happened to leadership in this country? Since when did vested self interest win out over doing the work of the American People. Come on you guys, you went in to politics to make a difference, where did your ideals go?

I think this is the same mentality in leadership that allows for the minimum wage in this country to be worth 25% less than it was in 1968 and yet bumps their own salary by $30K per year…Almost 3 times the fulltime minimum wage.

America, our leaders suck!

Late addendu…Even Molly Ivins is pissed.

Minimum Wage / Maximum Pissed

The Carpetbagger Report: “It hasn’t generated a great deal of attention, but congressional Dems are keeping Republicans on the defensive over a minimum-wage increase. At this point, the GOP leadership looks a little flustered.
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $2.10-an-hour increase to the minimum wage, despite the demands of Republican leaders, when the committee took up a spending bill for labor, health, and education programs. Seven House Republicans joined the Dems on the increase, but House Speaker Dennis Hastert responded by indefinitely putting the appropriations bill on hold.”
Seems to me if the Republicants don’t want to see the minimum wage raised to a livable wage, maybe what we need in this country is a “maximum wage” law. Let’s lock the maximum a person can see his wage increase to the same percentage as the minimum wage increase each year. And just for the fun of it let’s lock congress into a wage increase at half of the minimum increase…

Our Stories, Mythology in the Making

Wandering through the blogs I read regularly today led to another interesting discovery…
via Colleen thru her sister Kathy to Christina Baldwin and her book “Storycatcher”. Now it looks like I need to make another trip to the Amazon site. In reading at the site a couple of things caught my eye…

Story is really all we leave each other. Even the most precious heirlooms, including the ones I tend in my own home, will not last: someday they’ll end up in an estate sale or a house will burn down or they will simply lose meaning. What has the most lasting value is the story of who we are, who we come from, where we aspire to go.

And then there is this:

Story has a beginning, middle and end that makes a point, delivers an insight or shares an experience. This is called narrative… Narrative is how we remember, how we communicate, and how we assign meaning to events.

It looks like this may be what it is that is driving all of our blogging. The need to put the narrative back into the structure of our life. Without the stories of our life, can it really be said that we have left anything of us behind?

This will require more study…

“(Let us) make our own story in the world. (May) our grandchildren say about us that there was a time when many things looked dark, when people felt separated from each other … and people were distracted and busy, driven along in the deterioration of many things they held dearly. But then, in the nick of time, something that no one could see, and no one could stop began to restore hope and instill them with wisdom and action: people began to remember the sweetness of story.”