Marvin Holt, Attorney, Minneapolis

I miss you Marvin.
You are too not spoken.

You cared if I was livin’.
You cared I might be dead.

Even fathers do that.

For fun, we can always ask,
Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?”

Marvin A. Holt, lawyerMarvin A. Holt passed away 11/07 at age 94.

Survived by his wife of 57 years, Isabel Holt (a skater with Shipstad and Johnson Ice Follies); sons, Bradley Holt & Reed Holt; 5 grandchildren.

Marvin was a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus and William Mitchell College of Law. He crossed the English Channel as Captain for the 1944 Normandy Invasion and then served in the Judge Advocate Office in Naples, Italy, until September 1945.

In 1951 the army ordered him to report for duty for the Korean War. His wife joined him while he was on duty in Japan. In 1952 he returned to his private law practice. He also, with his wife, were members of the U.S.A. Power Squadron. [obit link]

Nude dirt

Soil is rising.
Dirt is near top of the list of how we’ll reduce the effects of global warming.

Browning the Earth
From an earlier post, ‘Earth without dirt‘, it’s undeniable we will not green the earth until we fix brown.

It’s an exciting time to be a soil scientist because we might manage carbon when we learn dirt.

Dust belt of the 1930's, thumbnailIn the industrial north, conventional farms lose soil about 90 times faster than new soil is produced – 24 billion tons of soil blows or washes away each year. The costs and impacts are enormous.

Across the rest of the world, soil exploitation is the primary contributing factor to desertification.

What’s soil exploitation?

Harvesting crop residues for use as [biofuel in cars], fodder for livestock, fuel for cooking and heating, construction material, and other competing uses is a reality in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, China, and other developing countries.

Therefore, it is not surprising that these are also the regions that have been plagued with severe problems of soil degradation.

After a time, soils do not respond, even to fertilizers.

With demand greater than supply, the first problem of all our problems, Philip Small warns, “The temptation is to mine the soil of its vitality…. “

Repairing soils and stopping deforestation,
can retain about
10 times more greenhouse gas
than produced from the burning of fossil fuels.

NYT reports: “In a withering evaluation of the World Bank’s record on African agriculture, the bank’s own internal watchdog concluded in October not only that the removal of subsidies had led to exorbitant fertilizer prices in African countries, but that the bank itself had often failed to recognize that improving Africa’s declining soil quality was essential to lifting food production.”

Mekes me a shirt.

: fix brown :

BTW, not a bad reminder to fix the Republican Party policy too.

The Achilles heel of Facebook

Incisive summary of Facebook:

“It spends my social capital inefficiently, making me look like a doofus. Moreover, it uses up my social capital in ways that don’t benefit me. How long will it take members to figure out that Beacon is a Freudian revelation of a system designed to feed, vampire-like, on your social energy while minimizing the creative latitude you have to grow, add value and collaborate with your peeps?”

Somewhat summarizes, ey?

“In tribal cultures, your identity is completely wrapped up in the question of how people know you,” he says. “When you look at Facebook, you can see the same pattern at work: people projecting their identities by demonstrating their relationships to each other. You define yourself in terms of who your friends are.” – Michael Wesch in the NYTimes, via Susan Mernit

Birth of William Blake

William Blake, a pioneer of persons, was born 250 years ago. A commemoration at The Guardian says Blake was ‘poet, prophet and public activist‘.

“Politics today is largely a question of management and administration. Blake, by contrast, viewed the political as inseparable from art, ethics, sexuality and the imagination. It was about the emancipation of desire, not its manipulation.

“Desire for him was an infinite delight, and his whole project was to rescue it from the repressive regime of priests and kings. His sense of how sexuality can turn pathological through repression is strikingly close to Freud’s. To see the body as it really is, free from illusion and ideology, is to see that its roots run down to eternity.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

“Political states keep power by convincing us of our limitations.

“They do so, too, by persuading us to be “moderate”; Blake, however, was not enamored of the third way.

“He sees that Jesus’ ethics are extravagant, hostile to the calculative spirit of the utilitarians. If they ask for your coat, give them your cloak; if they ask you to walk one mile, walk two.

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, and those who restrain their desires do so because their desires are feeble enough to be restrained.”

“Everything that lives is holy.”

William Blake's Newton
To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

A space for life

Science Daily tells us we may soon lose more than one-quarter of our birds.

I suppose we’ve used the habitat.

This is what the Earth looks like at night

This post is cruel. To birds. To us. The raw helplessness of losing wildlife starkly rises against the realization we carpet the earth in our styled civilization. Neither birds nor we could explain what we’ve done or why.

But let’s face it. Humans have abraded the so-called natural earth, and its air. There will be additional incursion too. Scientific American reports a study of increased population showing we’ll jump from today’s 6.5 billion to 10 billion before rates of growth might stabilize.

Europe at nightThe most valuable behavior for us is to face reality.

Our curiosity can join our relentless ambition as we create new options.

The world we are coming to has changed. Much damage cannot be reversed, but many of our impacts can be adjusted.

We must enjoy our new challenges. The years ahead are the first of an era. We will learn to live sustainably.

Killing us in public

Other than merely you and me, naturally, what kills us?

Over 50 years, there are many causes, more threats, but few studies.

Because there are too few studies, take this analysis with a grain of too few studies, but would you believe violence in our media is #2?

Maybe smoking, but not pollution, not guns.

Media is killing us.

“Exposure to violent electronic media has a larger effect than all but one other well known threat to public health. The only effect slightly larger than the effect of media violence on aggression is that of cigarette smoking on lung cancer.”

Find out for yourself.

AGGRESSION RESEARCH PROGRAM, chart of public health threats

When good isn’t enough

The egg
The egg at McDonalds

sodium acid pyrophosphate
citric acid
monosodium phosphate
soybean oil
partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil
hydrogenated cottonseed oil
soy lecithin
mono- and diglycerides
sodium benzoate
potassium sorbate
artificial flavor
citric acid
vitamin A palmitate
and beta carotene

Cream at McDonalds

sodium phosphate
sodium polyphosphate
Di-Acetyl Tartrate Ester of Monoglyceride
sodium stearoyl lactylate
tetra sodium pyrophosphate
sodium hexametaphosphate
sodium citrate
and carrageenan

Chicken at BurgerKing

Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Spices, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors.), Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphates. Glazed with: Water, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Methylcellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Partially Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil, Modified Potato Starch, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dehydrated Garlic, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavors, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Chicken Fat, Carmel Color, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Turmeric, Smoke Flavor, Annatto Extract, and Artificial Flavors], Soybean Oil.

Rice at Taco Bell

note: optically clear; used in silicone caulk, adhesives, and as an anti-foaming agent.

Article at NewsTarget, with citations.

Numbers That Matter 2

TruthNews reports the suicide rate of our heros: – 17 per day.

Earlier this year, using the clout that only major broadcast networks seem capable of mustering, CBS News contacted the governments of all 50 states requesting their official records of death by suicide going back 12 years. They heard back from 45 of the 50.

From the mountains of gathered information, they sifted out the suicides of those Americans who had served in the armed forces.

What they discovered is that in 2005 alone — and remember, this is just in 45 states — there were at least 6,256 veteran suicides, 120 every week for a year and an average of 17 every day.

The war death rate from violence in Iraq is 25 per week.

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths. [source]

Let’s clear up our spectrum

With no criticism intended, our dilemma is crippled when the solution is enabled.

Here’s an example of a layman question followed by an answer.

Q: I am familiar with WiFi, but am curious regarding how Cellular network operate.

A: The answer you seek would fill volumes. Fundamentally, GSM and CDMA employ different ways of reserving frequencies for users on the network, but both specifications do reserve spectrum. There is no intentional contention, in which manner GSM and CDMA (and their third-generation flavors HSPA and EVDO) are akin to WiMax, which uses OFDMA to reserve data slots (either by time or frequency). GSM uses time division multiple access (TDMA) or multiplexing to reserve periods of time for each receiver; CDMA’s very definition is code division multiple access, which assigns unique codes which allow multiple transmissions over the same frequency at the same time.

People compare their gains to others

Armin Falk, an economist, says, “The fact that we are social beings is a well-known fact.” But we’re happier when others get less and we feel more successful when others fail. reports that there’s “a mountain of survey data collected by modern economists and psychologists that suggests people care very much about keeping up with the Joneses.

A Touh of EnvyMany scholars believe that social comparison helps to explain why, even as much of the world gets ever richer, people today don’t report being happier than people did 50 years ago.

It turns out the negative response to earning less is usually stronger than the positive response to earning more….”

Reality hits US economy

“The splurge is over, folks. As the days of easy money come to an end, what will America look like? Maybe we’ll see a recession in the short term, but more importantly over the long term: the American middle class will have a truer understanding of what it can and cannot afford; a truer sense of what’s really happened to its paychecks; and a more realistic view of where and to whom the economic gains of the last dozen years have actually gone.”

Robert Reich has a blog. Reich was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations.

As the dollar falls, the expert looks to export from the USA. Search for USA product.

To carry the law

Robert A. Levy:

Significantly, the 2nd Amendment refers explicitly to “the right of the people,” not the rights of states or the militia. And the Bill of Rights is the section of our Constitution that deals exclusively with individual liberties.

Media’s dinner

The three letters in the FCC contain three words: compromise, failure, betrayal. But another most important word must be added: easy.

Here’s a brilliant example of Washington Spin.

F.C.C. Chief Forced to Scale Back Cable Plan

“In the face of a lobbying blitzkrieg from cable television executives and their lobbyists, the head of the Federal Communications Commission said this evening that he had struck a compromise to salvage…”


There’s a population of millions being hustled by cable, a pipe that ingeniously drains cash from our homes, but the Washington media finds a way to induce our sympathy because a tiny crew with offices on one D.C. street has stumped a coward on his way to lunch? This might be the blitzkrieg Hitler overlooked.

Cartoons for spaghetti at The PalmHow to speak easy:
The ‘power words’ [wiki] compacted by this brilliant NYTimes powdered wig would sink attendance at a Hudson Valley poetry reading, but for poor Americans these words are merely funding the palm at a piety reading in Washington.

Thomas Jefferson recommended that the capital of the United States must be relocated to a new location with a new staff each generation in order to prevent the lifting of a more dangerous elite than Europe had ever dreamed.

Numbers talking

sobering statistic:

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq .

Think. Add insight. Mature.

One way or another, we go each way.Think for yourself. You are not a copy.

Funny how humans are. There are too many ways we reinforce one part of us by strengthening another.

For example, exercising to increase happiness. That’s not a route to dopamine any junkie will believe. More common and perhaps more complex is when we believe something because we think it might increase our status. For example, Ronald Reagan said:

“I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness, and freedom.”

Will these words help us feel special? Is our nation elevated if we choose to believe these words? Do you feel a mere smidge or an entire allotment of status? Nazis did.

In the iron march that drew millions to serve Hitler, “Gott mitt uns” is a phrase at the foundation [wiki]. Germany was an ‘anointed land‘. Uncommonly, Germany was set apart. Nazi Germany indeed was a land of morality. Nazi pioneers enlisted with a special love for Germany’s divine plan. “Let’s work so hard and fight so fiercely that God cannot refuse to hand the victory palm to Germany.” God was with them. He would work His will. These beliefs thundered into the daily lives of people in every corner of the Earth.

Do these words now revolt us?

Does belief both love and kill? Bob Dylan sang,

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

There’s much to think about.

Renato Guttuso urges us to abandon fascism.Does the world respect what Ronald Reagan said is our “special love of faith and freedom”? What are Europeans saying about America’s love affair with itself?

One says, “I’m seriously afraid that the “Gott mitt uns” idea seems to have caught on in the USA.”

Another says, “We DON’T hate the US, or it’s people, but some of us find the ‘fundagelicals’ only fractionally less scary than the Muslim loonies.”

What happens in America is very much at the heart of God’s purpose for humanity. “A myth.”, says the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams [wiki], “America is no ‘chosen nation’.”

For further reading, piercing insights from PsyBlog.
Why We do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Studies

Fading to Iraq

In Canada, they ask,

“Who is the enemy? Who is the United States fighting in Iraq? And what’s the objective?

“Nearly five years into the war, the answers to these basic questions should be obvious.

“In the Alice in Wonderland-like wilderness of mirrors that is Iraq, though, they’re anything but.”

In Canada, they say,

U.S. should declare victory in Iraq and leave

A tort to see

Among slogans brigands parade to collect our vote,

less government.
but now the most large;
less spending,
but now the greatest of all time;
and shamefully, prosperity
but for the rich,
and laughingly, a renewal of morals,
but an era of corruption and pain;
and not to forget, Tort Reform,
the witty trick to shame our lawyers,
here’s a reminder about how we can use our law:

Where do the blind want to hear?
For more than ten years, a blind lawyer fought a Transit Commission over its refusal to make its staff call out stops. [link] [link]

The bus system fought this case. He won.
Now at every stop the staff will say so.

But he’s going to court again. The Transit managers spent about a half million to fight against telling the blind where they were. He wants to know why???

There’s a new horizon though.

Networks are exploding.

Maybe the transit staff can be mute again.

Things will talk to the blind.

Toothbrush for toddlers

BBC, Rowena Mead wants toddlers to have a good tooth brushShe’s 24 with a two year old daughter, Saskia.

How can she brush Saskia’s teeth?

Rowena Mead invented the Bug Brush, a toothbrush for toddlers and kids.

The Bug Brush has bristles everywhere – a mouthful of bristles.

Can this be? There’s no ‘wrong end’. Like a Gumbi, the brush is soft and ‘bendy’. It’s safer than hard toothbrush handles. If toddlers fall, the Bug Brush is only a millipede mouthful of soft bristles.

A soft bendy millipede of bristles? Exactly.

Rulers are rulers by accident

. . . the enormous size cannot be explained
. . . during wars and between them
. . . already excess

the corporate chiefs have captured the technological innovation, accumulated the existing great fortunes as well as much lesser, scattered wealth, and capitalized the future.

. . . we don’t live in a free market

We simply do not understand the chain of exposure and who owns what.

Many managers are incompetent,
yet the 26 leading managers earned $363 million each.

. . . pilots of a machine
. . . a decadent elite

We have a new type of rule now.
There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

old dead link:

No chaos, no thought

Reading is a pleasure, and chaos too.I first learned of systems when NASA launched Apollo. It was called cybernetics. [wiki]

I’ve not become an expert, I’ve spoken with a few, and grateful for it, and I’ve developed a radar that tells me when Napoleon comes to dinner and we’re not sufficiently pondering.

This is a neat statement:

To think and act differently – to appreciate systemic complexity and act purposefully to improve complex situations is one of the major needs of our times! [my bold]

And this:

‘As an easy solution to a complex problem, this is what targets do. It’s not that they are too ambitious or can’t be made to work, at least temporarily; it’s that optimising the parts is the enemy of the much greater returns that only system reform can deliver.’

Is that too obscure? Of course. On stage during a lecture, Buckminster Fuller leaned heavily into an imaginary wall. He said, “When you go like this, you push the earth.” Does that clear things up?

Can we start back when?

Back when Republicans were drunk but not insane?

Nixon 08

Original link:

“The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.” – Ron Paul

Touch needs a finger

There might be no way to use touchpads on a laptop or use a new fangled iPhone if you don’t have a finger.

Suck UK has a stylus made of ‘special space age’ silicone material that exactly mimics the electrical resistance and dexterity of a human finger. It might work with PDAs, laptops and iPhones. But you need a hand to hold a stylus.

Phone Fingers offers a finger-sleeve that will activate the sensors in a touchpad, but it doesn’t work without inserting a fleshy finger.

I check this blog only twice per year, but this a post that pulls my heart. Any solutions? Pedometer for the iPhone?

About crowded prisons

Vices Are Not Crimes
A Vindication of Moral Liberty

by Lysander Spooner, 1875


Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

In vices, the very essence of crime – that is, the design to injure the person or property of another – is wanting.

It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.

Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding and coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.

For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.

The remainder at DailyGrowler. For example:


We all come into the world in ignorance of ourselves, and of everything around us. By a fundamental law of our natures we are all constantly impelled by the desire of happiness, and the fear of pain. But we have everything to learn, as to what will give us happiness, and save us from pain. No two of us are wholly alike, either physically, mentally, or emotionally; or, consequently, in our physical, mental, or emotional requirements for the acquisition of happiness, and the avoidance of unhappiness. No one of us, therefore can learn this indispensable lesson of happiness and unhappiness, of virtue and vice, for another. Each must learn it for himself.

Worse than any conscience can allow, our prisons fail to intervene either crime or vice. Rarely are cages solutions.

Why age discrimination is illegal

While in my late thirties, a 73 year old business partner said to me,

“Old men do things that young men think there is not enough time for.”

Isn’t that the very best and often true?