That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
"I'm happy to learn that after I speak you're going to hear from Ann Coulter. That's a good thing. I think it's important to get the views of moderates." -- Mitt Romney,right before Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot"
"The ruling will, to a significant degree, give control of the political process in the United States to the wealthiest and most powerful institutions in the world and the candidates who support their agenda. Instead of democracy being about one-person one-vote, it will now be about the size of a company’s bank account." - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
I got this from Julie Elkins Watson's FB page and from MoveOn.org.
From the site:
Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.
From what I see, the world could use some more Zach Wahls.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream
"It will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top, and on this side of the fence, I'll have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!" -Herman Cain on his illegal immigration plan.
"America has got to learn to take a joke." - Herman Cain, when asked about his alligator moat to stop immigration.
Minister of Humor Marty Ennis provided these decadent Halloween costumes to demonstrate the utter depravity of Western culture. Such dress would never be tolerated in Campanastan! No words are necessary.
Note that all of the offenders are men.
And while you're trick-or-treating, have something to eat!
While I was chatting with the First-Lady-For-Life last night, she related some stories of locals buried in the verdant forests of Oregon who believe that the UN is behind recent land-use restrictions. These conspiracy theorists give a lot of credit to the UN, who probably couldn't find its own ass with both hands.
But yes, the UN'sblack helicoptersperiodically patrol the skies looking for freedom-loving people to harass. Idaho seems particularly susceptible to BHs - probably because of its great percentage of freedom-loving citizens with huge weapons caches (only Utah comes close).
But our UN BHs for real? Our discussion reminded me that years ago, whole I was working in Vienna in the fall of 2002, I stumbled upon the mother lode of BHs. Below is what I wrote. The first paragraph sets the stage by describing the rampant anti-Ameircanism I experienced at the UN complex.
I have noticed a rise in anti-American sentiments at the UN complex. At first I attributed it to Dubya's Iraq policy, but that was not the cause. The Starbucks invasion? Nope. I then learned that prices were rising in the Commissary and whose fault was it? The USA's! The fact that we have procrastinated in paying our UN dues has finally forced the Commissary commissar to raise prices dramatically, thus fomenting the ill will towards us. Cuban cigars just went up to 75 cents each, and premium single-malt Scotch now goes for $8 per liter. I can barely show my face around here! Please write your elected officials and describe the suffering now rampant here and ask them to fork over the billion or so we owe.
You're all aware of the infamous black helicopters the UN purportedly has in parts of the USA. Many of us attribute these sightings to the fringe elements of American society, but I have news for you: they (the helicopters, that is) exist! While deep in the bowels of the UN parking complex a few weeks ago looking for bicycle parking, I stumbled upon a huge floor with nothing but - you guessed it - black helicopters! Must've been hundreds of them. I actually encountered the man who is in charge of them: the Schwarzkoptermeister himself, Heinrich "Heinie" Assen. He was kind enough to give me a tour of his facility, and it was clear this was a man with pride in his work. He told me that there were actually many more Schwarzkopters, but that most of them were on assignment, although he could not specify where. But I did notice one that had "Idaho or bust!" scribbled on it.
Heinie had an interesting past. He used to be the driver for Kurt Waldheim, the former UN Secretary-General and Austrian President. If you recall, Kurt had some troubles a few years ago -- turned out that was not an old Boy Scout uniform in his closet -- and retired in disgrace. Although Kurt had since left the UN, the powers-that-be decided that they needed to make a statement, so they revoked his lifetime Commissary pass, a coveted privilege granted to all former S-Gs. Legend has it that Kurt was okay until that revocation came through, but that about did the old guy in. For months afterwards, he would stand by the Commissary entrance, hoping to find a friendly face willing to let him slip in behind them. Mala suerte, Kurt!
With that, I should leave. Auf wiedersehen, damen und herren.
"The most popular course at the University of Vienna Law School is Torte Law." - University of Vienna Law School WWW site
"The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?" -- Dennis Miller
"I'd never run for president. I've thought about it, and the only reason I'm not is that I'm scared that no woman would come forward and say she had sex with me." -- Garry Shandling (courtesy of Jon Winokur)
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign? ---Signs, 1971 song performed by the Five Man Electrical Band (written by Les Emmerson)
Below are some of least offensive pictures of 'bad' Barbies. You can see all of them here. Thanks to Dahara.
"I can`t do Los Angeles. I`ve always been the anti-Barbie. I don`t want to be in a place where almost every woman walks around with puffy lips, little noses and breasts large enough to nourish a small country. As a kid I wanted attention, so I started praying for glasses because everyone had ace vision in my family. Then one day my eyes started going bad and never stopped." -- Vera Farmiga
In between the fireworks, auto and furniture sales, and barbecues, take a few minutes today to read the Declaration ofIndependence and the remarkable Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came along 11 years later:
If you are an American citizen, thank your lucky stars for those 56 guys who signed the Declaration in Philadelphia in 1776 and started this thing rolling.
While you are at it, give extra thanks for the First Amendment, which guarantees five fundamental rights, which you can remember with the mnemonic RAPPS: religion, assembly, press, petition, and speech.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two giants in American history - friends, then opponents, and finally friends again - both died on this day in 1826. As I get older, I think less of Jefferson and more of Adams. Both were great men, but the former 'talked the talk' and didn't always 'walk the walk' (e.g., slavery) whereas the latter tried to do both.
Enjoy the day, and enjoy RAPPS!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"...a Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin, at the end of the Constitutional Convention, when asked, "What have you wrought?"
These were posted by someone named 'Leslie' on one of my discussion lists. The original post referred to the following as 'sentences' but they are more like 'principles'. However, I have retained the original post title.
I'll post five more expressing a different perspective in a few days.
1) The objective of society is not to multiply wealth, but to provide a secure and stable place for people to live in harmony with each other.
2) A democratic government exists to serve the common good. Any government that allows the rich to continually get richer at the expense of the poor is not serving its purpose.
3) The poverty of the poor is as much due to systemic inequalities as it is to differences of motivation and willingness to work. The rich are rich, partly due to hard work, and partly due to luck and ability to game the system. (Read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, for a fuller exploration of this topic.)
4) The earth and its bounty belong equally to all – humankind, animalkind, and plantkind; and the health of any affects the health of all. Our responsibility as human beings is to manage our use of resources in a way that safeguards the viability of the resources for us, for all, and for future generations. We have a responsibility to prevent some from monopolizing and destroying the viability of the earth and its resources for their personal gain. Government should function to safeguard and promote this value.
5) Those who prosper have a responsibility to help those who have not prospered. That is the basis of society. This does not mean that everyone must live at the same level; but it does mean that we who have more means have a responsibility to share some of that with those of less means; and to work toward rectifying the systemic injustices that exacerbate differences, until we live in a society that provides a secure and stable place for all people to live.
Comments are welcomed.
"Those who take the elevator to the top have an obligation to send it back down." -- Unknown
Thought I would celebrate the second anniversary of the arrival of our SUSIE students, twenty-three young women and men from Central America (Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago). Most arrived on a Sunday. We were all excited.
Ana Maria Peralta, one of three Dominicanas, who is now pursuing an MBA in Spain, assembled this photograph:
The instructorsare arranged along the left side and top. The picture of Mt. Hood is signifcant because on the day before we all went to Washington, DC, we took them up to a few patches of snow where they all experienced snow for the first time.
Here is a larger picture of all of us in Washington, DC, where we spent a week after five weeks in Oregon:
Giovanni Pellegrino Campana would have been 97 just 13 days prior to this Father's Day. That name is on his birth certificate, but we knew my father as John Pilgrim Campana. Born on 6 June 1914, the son of Italian immigrants Consiglia and Domenico Campana, who arrived on these shores from Naples, Italy, in the late 1890s.
The family settled in Boston, where my father grew up playing baseball, ice hockey, but most of all, studying. He attended Boston Latin School, the oldest and arguably still the best high school in the USA.
After that, it was off to the oldest college in the USA, Harvard, where he graduated with a degree in history in 1936. In those days, Harvard was not a hospitable place for Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, or Jews. Forget about Latinos or African-Americans; it was the bastion of WASPs - White (or Wealthy) Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
He loved playing hockey - he was a right winger - but didn't play for Harvard after his freshman year. He told me that the rich kids on the team would rent one of the indoor arenas for practices that were restricted to themselves and their friends. So while he worked, they practiced and he fell behind. When he told me this, there was nary a trace of bitterness in his voice. That's just the way it was.
But his true sports love was baseball. He played shortstop and pitched on the Harvard team till he graduated in 1936. I have a team ball signed by all players on the 1936 team, with the inscription: Harvard - 3, Yale - 0.
He married 'Southern belle' (North Carolina) Ruth Ellen Emerson in 1943 and they had three children. They first lived in Manhattan, then moved out to Queeens, and finally, headed to the Long Island suburbs in December 1951, where they remained until 1978, when they retired in Mooresville, North Carolina.
He started teaching in the New York City school system in 1938, a career that spanned 36 years, 26 of which were spent at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, the nation's second-oldest high school. He taught history and political science. In those days, EHHS was one of the nation's best. Its top students won scholarships to the USA's finest universities. As I grew up, I remember many visits from former students who would drop by to thank him for all he had done. They told me what a remarkable teacher and man he was and how much he had helped them.
He left EHHS in 1964 to help open Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. He was the Assistant Principal, a position that earned him more money but meant no more teaching. That was a tough call for him.
His time at CHS was difficult - an unreasonable boss and trouble from the start. In those days, the races and ethnicities mixed worse than they do today. On some days scores of NYPD officers patrolled the halls and grounds. When a chair whizzed by his ear during a cafeteria free-for-all, he knew it was time to retire. That was 1974.
The photo was taken a few years before he left CHS.
My father was an inveterate and prolific letter-writer. He would write letters to all kinds of people: political leaders, heads of state, CEOs, editors, sports figures, et al. At the time of his death he was working on a book titled, One Small Voice, a collection of his letters. His favorite target was Tom Yawkey, then the owner of his beloved but then-incompetent Boston Red Sox. He would instruct Yawkey on whom to trade, whom to release, etc. It was a futile exercise, of course, but he enjoyed it. One of my big regrets in life was seeing him die in 1984, before the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. But at least he did not witness the 1986 debacle; that surely would have killed him. My father's devotion to the Sox and their history still have an impression on me: although I am a Yankees fan, there is a soft spot in my heart for the Red Sox.
I often wonder how the Internet would have appeared to him. Given his love for writing and commentary, would he have become a blogger? Somehow I doubt it. He was committed to letters.
He was remarkable man. A student of history, language, politics, sports, chess, and more. He was small in stature and an unlikely athlete. Baseball, hockey, golf, bowling, and tennis were his games.
Whatever my skills are in teaching and education I owe to him. He was so proud when I received my PhD. He had an ABD (all but dissertation) from Fordham - marriage and a family intevened - and he never finished. He would have made quite a professor!
I miss you, Dad; I think of you each day. You're my role model.
But I think the Yankees will beat out your Sox again this year.
"Democracy is like a raft; you're safe, but your feet get wet." -- John P. Campana
In a recent column Jacob Weisberg at Slate wonders if the GOP has permanently moved to Fantasy Island. Perhaps they have, and spend their time shaking their fists and screaming 'Da plane! Da plane!" Or perhaps, "Da climate! Da climate!"
The President-for-Life is a big fan of international airports. The PFL loves to watch people as they scurry from plane to plane, meet loved ones, browse in the infamous duty-free shops, those upscale outlet malls of the skies ("Half off double our regular price."), or simply indulge in the various confections that abound in airports these days.
The PFL regrets that his country's single international airport looks more like an airstrip than anything else. Hardly the type of airport a country of such stature warrants! But we cannot justify more expense, since we have only three flights per week to and from Absurdistan.
At least our ATC people do not fall asleep, but are always vigiliant!
The PFL's favorite international airport in Amsterdam's Schiphol, where there are so many diversions you have to be careful not to miss your flight. It is also free of the shuttles and trains you often need to take at other airports to travel to other terminals - it's all under one roof. There are even a library and and a branch of the Rijksmuseum!
It sometimes seems more like a shopping mall that happens to have one of the world's busiest aiports attached to it.
Factoid: the name 'Schiphol' translates to 'ship grave' since the airport occupies the former site of a large lake upon which storms would suddenly arise and sink ships.
But the PFL just returned from South Korea where he experienced the vauntedIncheon International Aiport, generally considered the world's best. The architecture is striking and there are many passenger-friendly features: efficient operation, free internet and wonderfully helpful people come immediately to mind.It is also well-integrated into South Korea's transportation network. Surprise!
One thing particularly struck the PFL: as he entered the immigration control area, there were long lines at the booths. But six young Koreans in natty uniforms suddenly descended upon us and opened more booths. One young woman apologized as she ran past me to activate her booth. I'm not sure I've seen that happen before. Another thing: as I stopped for barely 10 seconds to examine the departure board a young woman came running up to me with a clipboard and wanted to know if she could help me find my flight.
And plenty of people-watching, as Incheon is one of the world's busiest passenger and cargo airports, like Schiphol.
I suspect that as the PFL visits Incheon more and more, it will eventually supplant Schiphol.
Time will tell.
"Eternal boredom is the price of constant vigilance." -- Johann 'Jack' Adogoff, poet laureate of Campanstan
Welcome to the special Earth Day edition of Campanastan. It is quite special, unless you think that T. Boone Pickens calling for action on global warming is not quite special! And agreeing with Ted Turner no less!
Never thought I would be celebrating Boone Pickens on Earth Day!
I can see those ads now: "T. Boone Pickens, saving the planet." Probably make a buck or two while he's at it.
You go, Boone!
"But when oil reaches $400 a barrel, we'll get action. All candidates say if they are elected they will stop our dependence on foreign oil -- but after their election do nothing." -- T. Boone Pickens, National Press Club, 19 April 2011
Here is the world's most sophisticated country (albeit with a 1950s-era air traffic control system) and it could not prevent its controllers from sleeping on the job!
The PFL used to have this problem in Campanastan. It was difficult to solve; even 'visits' to our 'mountain resort' did not prevent the problem.
Finally, after tolerating this aberrant and dangerous behavior, the PFL enlisted Campanastan's best minds to devise a solution. They did, and it has worked like a charm.
Our top engineers rigged a system whereby if a call from a pilot to the controllers is unanswered within 45 seconds, a klaxon sounds and does not go off until the call is answered. What if the controller is in the bathroom? No problem; there are radios in all bathrooms with the same klaxon.
Is the klaxon loud enough? In a year-long test on 'vacationers' at our 'mountain resort', the klaxon never failed to rouse even the deepest sleeper within 30 seconds.
The system cannot be short-circuited. Any attempt to fool with the system triggers an even louder klaxon and an alarm at the State Secret Police office, which all airports have.
We are proud of our technology, and will gladly help our dear friend and ally, the USA.
"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king." -- Unknown
On Monday night co-owner Bernie Karl gave us a tour of the geothermal power plant, pet goats, and finally, the infamous Ice Museum. Bernie is very happy to point out thatForbes once voted the Ice Museum the world's worst business idea.
At the Museum's ice bar, Bernie got carried away and demonstrated his apple martini ('appletini') prowess, even performing an in situ mix with one of our group members. The young woman was there with some of her co-workers (actually she was their boss), one of whom divulged that the woman had once won a bikini contest by removing her top. The PFL made a comment about 'topless Tuesdays'.
Upon hearing that, Bernie dared her to put her head back on the bar and get an appletini mixed in her mouth. The woman consented, and the appletinis started flowing. Alas, her top remained on, which was good, because Bernie's wife called. After some back-and-forth, she hung up on him. More appletinis!
The President-for-Life was quite appalled at this shameless behavior and almost left! Instead, he settled for another appletini and his picture with Sarah Palin's ice statue. I am pointing to something on the staue.
You could almost see Campanastan from the Ice Museum!
Now I must go speak with the Moldova hockey team, which is wandering around the airport.
"A bikini top in the hand is worth two in the bush. Wait a minute, that didn't come out right!" -- Bernie Karl
Friend and colleague Ken Reid sent me this picture with the accompanying note.
I was very moved by this picture of this soldier in Iraq with his tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. It's heartwarming! Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq , stationed in a big sand box. He asked his wife to send him dirt ( U.S. soil), fertilizer, and some grass seed so that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass grow beneath his feet. When the men of the squadron have a mission that they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them good luck.
If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.
Upon receiving this, say a little prayer for our soldiers that give and give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.
P.S. Let's also keep Japan in our prayers...the devastation and possible loss of an entire town is gut wrenching!
“Blame no one. Expect nothing. Do something.” – sign in the New York Giants’ locker room
When I lived in Cairo I noted that there seemed to be a plethora of streets named after dates. When I would finally ascertain the significance of a particular date, it was usually some lame reason like "That was the day we didn't get our butts kicked by the Israelis as badly as we thought we would" or somesuch nonsense. Didn't seem that modern Egypt had much to celebrate.
Now there is a real reason to name a street after a date. Let's hope that today becomes the namesake of a major boulvevard or a renamed Tahrir Square and that the reason will be "It was the day we deposed a tyrant and started on the road to democracy."
But there is a ways to go yet.
Okay, who's next?
"We won't leave until Mubarak steps down and God willing, today's protest will be peaceful. Everything will turn out good and he will step down for sure." -- Yasmine Mohamed, Egyptian university student, 11 February 2011
"People in the States used to think that if girls were good at sports their sexuality would be affected. Being feminine meant being a cheerleader, not being an athlete. The image of women is changing now. You don't have to be pretty for people to come and see you play. At the same time, if you're a good athlete, it doesn't mean you're not a woman." --Martina Navratilova
Circle of Blue Circle of Blue uses journalism, scientific research, and conversations from around the world to bring the story of the global freshwater crisis to life. Here you’ll find new water reports, news headlines, and hear from leading scientists.
Drink Water For Life The idea is simple. Drink water or other cheap beverages instead of expensive lattes, sodas, and bottled water for a set period of time. A day, a week, a month, Lent, Ramadan, Passover, or some other holiday period.
eFlowNet Newsletter From the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this newsletter has lots of information about environmental flows and related issues.
Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Since 2002, the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (SWRR) has brought together federal, state, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors to advance our understanding of the nation’s water resources and to develop tools for their sustainable management.