Andy Long at NKU

Way to go, AME!: AME bishops sound a battle cry against the Trump administration: 'the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, "the first protestant denomination formed on American soil," has called upon its more than 1 million members in 39 countries, including the United States, to do all they can to see that a host of decisions and actions by the Trump administration, described by the bishops as "clearly demonic acts," "do not last."'

The National Black Church Initiative Will Join With AME Church Leadership, the ACLU, and Other Organizations to Oppose President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration; Say They Will Stand With the President When he Is Right, But Will Not Defend him When he Is Wrong

The Catholics are also raising their voices: "This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history," Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, a top ally of Pope Francis, said on Sunday, expressing a sentiment widely echoed in churches, synagogues and mosques. "The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values."

The Presbyterians are watching: "This is a miscarriage of justice and goes against everything we stand for as a country shaped and formed by people who emanated from other lands....We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee."

"I'm a Leninist," Steve Bannon told a writer for The Daily Beast, in late 2013. "Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment."

Americans, Patriots: does this represent you?

"I'm crazy; I'm a dangerous nut," says Bannon.

Thu Jan 4 08:48:00 EST 2018: Trump now has this to say about Bannon: "Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency," Trump said. "When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating 17 candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party. Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look." Richard Wolffe, for the Guardian. As Wolffe reminds Trump, "...Bannon was chief executive of Trump's presidential campaign and was considered the most influential political adviser inside the West Wing in the first months of Trump's presidency." How soon they forget!

Ted Cruz has forgotten some stuff, too: Ted Cruz unleashed an awesomely honest analysis of the man who would go on to become president, describing his freakishly obvious pattern of projecting his own failings on to others. "This man is a pathological liar," Cruz said. "He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies ... In a pattern that is straight out of a psychology text book, he accuses everyone of lying. Whatever lie he's telling, at that minute he believes it ... The man is utterly amoral.

What does so-called president Donald J. Trump (sad!) not understand about the first amendment to the Constitution?:

Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Keep an eye on Trump: he cares nothing for the Constitution -- nor the truth. As he is fond of saying, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundral -- Donald Trump" (Some people think that Trump and Samuel Johnson were the same person -- I read it on the internet.) The Emperor has no clothes, folks. Trump "lies without thinking", to quote Trump's co-author on The Art of the Deal.

Trump did say, in his inaudible address, that "When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice." Actually, patriotism and prejudice are pretty good friends. "America first!" Trump said, again and again. In other words, "We're focused on our own needs, and will only worry about yours if your needs don't get in the way of ours." (So to hell with you, World.)

Trump's "America First!" is just an extension of his "Me First!" philosophy. It's no longer "American Exceptionalism", but rather "Trumpian Exceptionalism." It's greed and self-centeredness that he promotes as our national identity. Resist.

The United States committed torture. Dick Cheney says he'd do it all again. He's a torturer. Torture is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Torturers should be prosecuted. Dick Cheney should be brought up on war crimes.

It is irrelevant whether "useful intelligence" was obtained. There are only two important questions we must ask:

  • did we, the American people, commit torture, and
  • should we, the American people, commit torture?

The Senate report on the CIA's Use of Torture answers the first question, and the answer is clearly "yes"; the answer to the second is clearly "no". Torture is illegal. We signed the Geneva convention: it mustn't be done. It's a crime, and must be prosecuted as a crime. This last point is not optional: torturers must be prosecuted under the Geneva Convention.

So-called President Donald Trump (sad!) endorsed torture during his campaign (and has since as So-called President (sad!)): "I would bring it back, yes," the Republican said. And this didn't faze other Republican candidates. I would have thought that saying that would have been enough to derail his candidacy... but I never thought that he could be elected.

He's a torturer.

More bile from Trump: "And I would approve more than that. Don't kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn't work." [Hey Donald: it doesn't work.] But he continued! He can't stop himself! "Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway, for what they're doing." [Is he being stupid for wondering if it might not work? Maybe he understands that it simply makes the torturer "feel better", if we can call those "feelings".]

Ted Cruz called for "carpet bombing" ISIS: "We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion." Carpet-bombing is a war-crime. These guys are nuts. And one of them is the So-called President (sad!). Trump also approves stealing a country's oil as a "spoil of war". You guessed it: war crime. The So-called President is advocating war crimes: hold him accountable.

Remember Eric Garner

Remember Michael Brown
Sad to see you go, President Barack Obama.

You did a great job of repairing all the damage done by the Cheney/Bush A-team. For a short time we were able to rely on you to rule by reason and the science as we know it.

For American scientists, life in the gulag ended November 4, 2008, with the election of President Barack Obama. Jeff Goodell, in How to Cool the Planet. Life's about to return to the gulag under the Trumpster.

The GOP is back! Watch out, science!

Now Trump has gagged scientists at the EPA, USDA, and other government agencies. Trump is showing more and more fascistic tendencies. We need to resist him. Scientists, speak out!

Close Guantanamo.

End America's sad experiment with torture. "U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes" (NYTimes, 4/16/2013)

End Mountaintop Removal.

KY Sen. Rand Paul thinks it "enhances the land."

Appalachia Rising

End the "Global Gag Rule." (DONE! 2009 -- but watch it -- it will likely rise again under Trumpster). Yep: heard today, Jan 24, that the idiot had restored the gag. Next on to torture....

Restart our efforts to help with family planning world-wide, and so reduce the world's population.

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds (the original NASA link).
With all this talk about the economy, and the "fiscal cliff",

(Boycott the Koch brothers)

Eastern Kentucky, in its natural endowments of timber and minerals, is the wealthiest region of our state, and it has now experienced more than a century of intense corporate "free enterprise," with the result that it is more impoverished and has suffered more ecological damage than any other region. The worst inflictor of poverty and ecological damage has been the coal industry, which has taken from the region a wealth probably incalculable, and has imposed the highest and most burdening "costs of production" upon the land and the people.

Wendell Berry: from Not a Vision of Our Future, But of Ourselves

The world is full of mysteries, and I love mysteries.
Freeman J. Dyson
Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and
sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
Arthur C. Clarke
I'm now a little more alone:
My dad's obituary and other links.
Home Address:
Anna, Tchapo, and I - and Thad, and now Rosemanie!
Kpandja too... and the extended gang
495 Rossford Ave.
Ft. Thomas, KY 41075-1264
Planet Earth
phone: 859-781-3916
Work Address:
443 MEP -- Math, Ed, Psych
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099-1700

Phone: 859-572-5794
Fax: 859-572-6097
Campus Map

(when I had hair, 9/64)
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Quotes and Thoughts:

Ancient Native American Proverb (thanks Dick Durtsche):
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.
Buckminster Fuller:
The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done.
Robert A. Heinlein:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Henry David Thoreau:
"Mathematics should be mixed not only with physics but with ethics."

Senator Bernie Sanders (Senator, VT: presidential candidate, 2016):
Citizens United: "... that money is speech, that corporations are people, and that giving huge piles of undisclosed cash in support of politicians in exchange for influence does not constitute corruption."

James R. Schlesinger (U.S. Secretary of Energy, Time Magazine, 4/25/1977, p. 27):
"In the energy crisis, ``we have a classic case of exponential growth against a finite resource.''"

Rachel Carson (naturalist extraordinaire, from a CBS documentary about Silent Spring shortly before her death from breast cancer in 1964):
"But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself."

Stephen Colbert (on Republican climate-change denialism: "We're not scientists.")
"Yes, everyone who denies man-made climate change has the same stirring message: we don't know what the fuck we're talking about. And I hope that these conservative leaders can inspire all the children out there watching to think to themselves 'hey, maybe someday I could grow up to be not-a-scientist.' Well kids, now there's a fun way to explore your lack of curiousity at home: it's time for my educational series 'Professor Not-a-Scientist'."

Edward Snowden (interviewed by John Oliver -- lots of fun!)
"It's a real challenge to figure out how do we communicate things that require sort of years and years of technical understanding and compress that into seconds of speech. So I'm sympathetic to the problem there." [ael: reminds me of explaining climate change.]

William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006):
"Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race," he declared, adding: "Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country, but pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora and fauna and human life that supports it one planet indivisible, with clean air, soil and water; with liberty, justice and peace for all." (World Communion Sunday, Riverside Church, NY: Fall of 2003)

Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736-1813), "natural philospher":
When Lavoisier was executed during the French Revolution, [Lagrange] said: "It took them but a moment to lay low that head; yet a hundred years will not suffice perhaps to produce its like again." Lectures on elementary mathematics (1901)

Chris Smithers (musician):
"Evolution isn't something you believe in: evolution is either something you know about or you don't."

George Polya (mathematician):
"An idea which can be used only once is a trick. If you can use it more than once it is a method."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (justice):
"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

Noam Chomsky (linguist and philosopher):
"Citizens of the democratic societies should undertake a course of intellectual self-defense to protect themselves from manipulation and control, and to lay the basis for meaningful democracy." [Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, South End Press, 1989, 422 pp.]

Abraham Lincoln (quoted in the Washington Spectator, 25, #8, 1999 -- disputed by
"[The Civil War] has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic, but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." [Maybe Mr. Lincoln can entice you to read Corporate Predators.]

Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

"...the strongest predictor of earnings nine years after graduation from high school is the number of mathematics courses taken (after having taken into account demographic factors) (NCTM, 1992, 3)." (source, and a a local copy)

William Shakespeare (from As You Like It):
"All the world's a stage,
And the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...."

Theodosius Dobzanski (from Mankind Evolving, p. xii):
"Any scientist worthy of his salt labors to bring about the obsolescence of his own work."

W. Somerset Maugham:
"It is a great nuisance that knowledge can only be obtained by hard work."

G. H. Hardy:
"A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas."

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"

Albert Einstein
"Never memorize what you can look up in books." (I heard it, then looked it up and found it quoted on a Library of Congress website -- figured that was good enough.)

Henry Kissinger
"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's just too much fraternizing with the enemy."

Alexander Tyler: (source -- suspicions about authenticity)
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th US President:
"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad."

Donald Myers (my Ph.D. advisor):
"If you are happy where you are I don't blame you for staying: sometimes the bigger pond turns out to be filled with hot water."

Thomas Friedman (New York Times, May 4, 2008)
We are not as powerful as we used to be because over the past three decades, the Asian values of our parents generation -- work hard, study, save, invest, live within your means -- have given way to subprime values: "You can have the American dream -- a house -- with no money down and no payments for two years."

Aldo Leopold:
Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to to the howl of a wolf. (source)

Paracelsus, sometimes called the father of toxicology, wrote:
German: Alle Ding' sind Gift, und nichts ohn' Gift; allein die Dosis macht, da ein Ding kein Gift ist.
"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."

Or, more commonly,

"The dose makes the poison."

That is to say, substances considered toxic are harmless in small doses, and conversely an ordinarily harmless substance can be deadly if over-consumed.

Nancy Newhall (quoted in John McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid, 1971)
The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.

Epictetus (on Desire and Physics):
"Under no circumstances ever say 'I have lost something,' only 'I returned it.' Did a child of yours die? No, it was returned. Your wife died? No, she was returned. 'My land was confiscated.' No, it too was returned."

Martin Luther King Jr.:
"For here on either side of the wall are God's children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact." (September of 1964, during a visit to Germany, Martin Luther King Jr. thrilled audiences in both East and West Berlin with his talk of the need for brotherhood to a people divided by the Berlin Wall.)

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