Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why do we NEVER learn?

Yesterday my Blog mentioned World War Two. Wouldn't you think a War that killed an estimated at least 40 million people would have said "never war no more more" even more than the "Ban the Bomb" movement of my day. But no, war continues to be our favorite pastime.

On another note, the Depression of 1929 followed a time of no restrictions, regulations or controls on Big Banks and Wall Street. And what are Republicans calling for now? Removing all controls and regulations on Big Banks and Wall Street. They refuse to vote for the new regulator, even though a new law that they voted in just last year requires a regulator. Every day that the Republicans delay means thousands of people are vulnerable to unrestricted banks and loan agencies that are charging as much as 25% a MONTH in interest! That's 300% a year! And with no regulator in place there is no one to stop it.

Talk about not learning from past mistakes, here we are struggling to come out of a financial disaster caused by unregulated banks that were allowed to gamble with OUR money and the Republicans are trying to get even the weak regulations that are in place now, removed. What are they thinking? Do they think that banks will regulate themselves? Or are they so much in the pockets of the Big Banks and Wall Street that they think they have no choice but to do their bidding?

I give up - which doubtless is what the greed mongers want.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7 th, a day that will live in infamy.

NPR - National Public Radio did a wonderful program today on the attack on Pearl Harbor, the events leading up to and following it. They also discussed Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt and it included a lot of things that I had not known before - I am 70 years old and consider myself well read - as I like to say, "You learn something new every day."

I urge all Americans, and indeed all non-Americans to read about World War Two, as well as any other things that might interest them. In fact I even suggest reading books and stories that may not seem of interest to you - you might be surprised at what you learn. You can never learn too much. Knowledge is its own reward and its own escape from, and into, the World at large.

I have never regretted reading or learning anything. You just cannot know too much, but you can definitely know too little. Many, many people know too little - it is known as ignorance and ignorance is a blight suffered by far too many of us. To be Ignorant is to be Unaware and Incompetent.

Ben Franklin said "If you think Education is expensive, try Ignorance." and Mark Twain said, "If you have Ignorance and Confidence, success is sure." (Don't quote me here but doesn't that seem to describe several of the Republican candidates today?)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why I don't take sugar in my tea or coffee.

Isn't that a strange title? I am sure that it really grabs your attention! Not! Anyway, if anyone has read this far possibly they are interested enough to read the "rest of the story", as someone famous once said.

When I was about 17 years old and an apprentice in the British Admiralty we drank tea at the two tea breaks each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

We`all contributed a very small amount of money each week to cover the cost of the tea, sugar and milk. One day I was there to pick up my mug of tea, and the "Tea Waller" as we called him, asked if I took sugar. I did, and said I so, whereupon he put the spoon into the bowl to get some sugar for me. I glanced into the bowl and seeing some black spots asked what they were. looking in, Ted the Tea Waller said matter of factly, "Mouse droppings". He then took the spoon, removed most of them and dumped them unceremoniously onto the floor.

I have not taken sugar in my tea or coffee ever since - over 50 years! I was going to take my own sugar in to use, but never did get around to it and found that I quite liked my tea without sugar.

A teaspoon of sugar is about 25 calories. I think I probably took 2 teaspoons, so 50 calories. I drink between four and six cups of tea or coffee a day, lets say five. Five times 50 equals 250 calories a day saved. Times 365 days equals 91,250 calories a year. Times 50 years equals 45,625,000 calories.

Aren't figures fun? So, it is generally considered that a pound of fat is 3500 calories. If I divide my 45,625,000 calories by 3500 I come up with one thousand three hundred and three and a half pounds! Now, I weigh 160 pounds, so if I had taken sugar in my tea and coffee for the last 50 years I would now weigh 1463 pounds! (I took off the extra half a pound - for that time I was sick and would have had less cups of tea.) A sobering thought!

Talking about sobering, how many calories are in a beer or a glass of Scotch . . . . .