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NauenThen

Armies of the nought

I was impressed when Johnny knew without a pause who has the 4th largest army in the world: North Korea.

And who has the 4th smallest?

Ding ding ding:
It's tiny, tropical, Portuguese-speaking Sao Tome and Principe, with 600 soldiers to guard it's 187,000 people.




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Monday Quote (on Thursday)

I've finished Albright's book, Fascism: A Warning. Here are the last quotes (see also June 18 & June 20).

"When arguing that every age has its own Fascism, Italian writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi added that the critical point can be reached 'not just through the terror of police intimidation, but by denying and  Read More 
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House repairs

Do people who own homes have to spend all their time fixing things?

Saturday the tub backed up with gray greasy water. Two bottles of poison & lots of plungering later, the water ran freely.

Yesterday I got stuck inside my office when the outside door wouldn't open. Tomas came over when I called, pried the pin up & taped it, and someone came from the management company this morning and replaced the whole lock.

Today I changed a light bulb, all by myself.

I can't imagine living where there's no one to call. I can't imagine having to know how to do that stuff.  Read More 
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To Queens go I

Have I ever seen Andrei smiling in a photo before?!
I trekked to Forest Hills for lunch, talk, & collaborative poems with my dear lifelong friend. So happy he is living in New York, but perpetually restless, who knows how long he'll stay.

This is his house in Forest Hills Gardens, a rich area with private roads & actual lawns that are not behind walls. It's like the neighborhood I grew up in in Sioux Falls, but nicer & richer. Much richer.

(It's not really his house.)  Read More 
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Monday Quote

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping old ones.
~ John Maynard Keynes

Up until recently, I felt au courant with the mores of my day—aware, changing as needed, instinctively & through discussion on the side right. I realize when I write this that it can't possibly be true— Read More 
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Girls' championship softball

Con Ed field, 16th & C.
From where we sat, we could barely see, but our 13-year-old granddaughter is out there somewhere, playing some pretty high-level ball!

It was almost as exciting to discover the M9 bus, which goes from 27th & 1st to Battery Park City by way of Avenue C.
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YAI

One of the most rewarding parts of karate is the opportunity to work with students with learning disabilities. I've been doing this for close to 10 years & have gotten to know quite a few of them. The other night one of them invited me to a performance that several turned out to be in, based on a poetry/theater workshop with a group called CoLab, Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries; they work with YAI and similar organizations.

It was great: enthusiastic, welcoming, fun.

They made a little chapbook of poems the students wrote during the workshop. My favorite in a series of four-word poems was by Jen:

Huge cat listens pink.
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Monday Quote (Wednesday edition)

Just 2 months after the Germans surrendered, ending WWII in Europe, President Truman said this to representatives of the brand-new United Nations:

Fascism did not die with Mussolini. Hitler is finished, but the seeds spread by his disordered mind have firm root in too many fanatical brains. It is easier to remove tyrants and destroy concentration camps than to kill the ideas that gave them birth. Read More 
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Soup, beautiful soup

This is B&H's cold cucumber soup, only served in the summer. That's Johnny's hand—we're sharing. Delicious as it is, I can't finish a bowl, & if I ask for a cup, they still give me a bowl.
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Monday Quote

If I could, I would copy out Madeleine Albright's new book, Fascism: A Warning, in its entirety.

If I had to choose, would it be Mussolini vowing to "drain the swamp"? The reminder that both Il Duce and Hitler "arrived in the nation's highest office without ever having won a majority vote, yet by constitutional means"? How about this: "His murderous ambition, avowed racism, and utter immorality were given the thinnest mask, and yet millions of Germans were drawn to Hitler precisely because he seemed authentic."

"... [C]aring about others and about the proposition that we are all created equal is the single most effective antidote to the self-centered moral numbness that allows Fascism to thrive." Read More 
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