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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Video: Want to makes movies you need to watch: The Making of "Goodfellas"

Barry Clifford: Reflections: Yes Dear

Aquilla, aged 99, and his wife Catherine Brant, 95, both from England, have been married for 72 years. The secret to their marriage is getting along and their bywords for it is simply: “Yes dear.”  Catherine also adds that it is better not to hate your enemies but to get along with them, adding you would be surprised at the results. 

It is better also to get along too in most other matters than wanting to be right for no one has any answers that really matter in furthering argument. Letting it go quickly ends argument, any argument. Compromise is always best and a compliment meant goes much further while truly listening to others goes better than both; it is the art of conversation itself. 

The ‘yes dear’ factor really does work as long as it is underlined with respect for other people’s point of view irrespective of whether you love them or just about tolerate what they have to say. They will try harder to meet you halfway as well when they are assured you are at least listening which is the perhaps one of the best compliments of all that most people do not receive.  

By Barry Clifford

Photo Minute: Sad Cats

Barry Clifford: The Little People

In almost every major tabloid medium across the United States and which since has gone global is a story about a person that sought to have sex with a 14 year old girl that he met online while not knowing that he was being ensnared in a sting operation. The term disgusting and perverted is appropriate to describe his actions but that was not the case alone, and the word prejudiced perhaps is better used to describe the media’s actions in reporting the story of those that are different in physical ways too. In this case we are talking about the pervert.

The main thrust of the media reporting was to concentrate on the fact that he was a dwarf, a derogatory term that people who have this condition reject, to describe his physical condition, and not what he was been accused of, and in case there was confusion they also published his height, that varied from time to time depending on the glee being enjoyed by that particular media outlet. The age of the girl that he was supposed to meet shifted a few years here and there too just to add to the fire of revulsion that the audience was intended to feel, a revulsion that was fueled only by physical prejudice.

And so it was that the good people were reporting on the bad person when it really was the big people reporting about the little people literally. The smell inside the car when this ‘little’ man was arrested also ‘shocked’ the attending police officers, which is surprising considering the smell of urine in a car on a drunken wild Saturday night might not be all that surprising; again the intent here was to demean this little man even further.

And then the media circus focused on more of the man’s physical appearance replete with unkempt and unshaven appearance, and it took off into cyber space and not once did anyone question anymore what they were really reporting about.

By Barry Clifford        

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Photo Minute: In the line of sight

Photo Minute: Enjoy

Book Smart; seven of some of the best

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”
The Wealth Of Nations By Adam Smith

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles… It faced–or seemed to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.”
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

“From this arise an argument: whether it is better to be loved than feared. I reply that one should like to be both one and the other; but since it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.”
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

“So then I understand. It was war that made her so angry. She didn’t want her babies or anybody’s babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies.”
Slaughterhouse five by Kurt Vonnegut

“ By this, he seemed to mean, not only that the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril, but that an utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.”
Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“No man can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”
The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”

All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Photo Minute: From Just Beneath The Clouds

The Libraries of Great Men: Frederick Douglass

“Don’t follow your mentors; follow your mentors’ mentors.”

By Jeremy Anderberg

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. Before him, many white men didn’t think it was possible for a black man to have any intellectual rigor; for a black man to be able to think for himself in an intelligent way. When Douglass was around 20, he escaped his shackles and began life anew as a free man. From that point on, he gave his full attentions to educating himself, which he believed was a necessary component of all individual achievements and the ability to create real change in the world. It was a truth he understood from his own personal, hard-fought struggle: up from slavery, he rose to become one the foremost leaders in America in the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, as well as one of the most celebrated orators and writers of his era.
None of that would have been possible without his personal library.
Douglass was taught to read around the age of 12 by Sophia Auld, the wife of one of his masters. Mrs. Auld did this in spite of a Maryland law that prohibited teaching reading skills to slaves. Mr. Hugh Auld strongly disapproved, believing that if a slave learned to read, he would become dissatisfied with his condition and would begin to desire freedom. Even a slave owner, or perhaps especially a slave owner, understood that knowledge equaled power and will. Eventually, Mrs. Auld gave in to her husband’s admonitions and resigned herself to the idea that slavery and education were incompatible. Her tutoring came to an abrupt end one day when she snatched away a newspaper Douglass was trying to read.
Undaunted, Douglass continued to hone his reading skills on his own, in secret. He read anything he could get his hands on — newspapers, political pamphlets, novels, textbooks. He even credits one particular collection, The Columbian Orator, with clarifying and defining his views on freedom and human rights.

Douglass wished to rise in the world, and he fervently believed the path of self-reliance was the only way up. It was not luck or circumstances that determined man’s success, he argued, but how hard and how consistently he worked. Nothing valuable could ever be gotten for nothing or from waiting around for others to make things happen for you. “The man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down,” he preached. He understood that no one else could shovel knowledge into his brain; it was up to him to pry it out of as many books as he could. Whatever knowledge he secured to himself, could never be taken away by another.

Ultimately, then, for Frederick Douglass reading meant freedom.
His ability to read a text, to synthesize that information, and then let it change his thoughts and compel him to action directly led to his fight against slavery, both as an individual man seeking his own freedom, and later as a statesman, fighting for the rights of his fellow man. A single man’s desire to read and attain knowledge changed the landscape of America forever.
Throughout his life, Douglass’s library would grow, and it now serves as a great insight into his thoughts and beliefs. In reading through the list, you get an idea of how incredibly wide-read Douglass was. We see everything from classic Christian pieces, to abolitionist texts, to popular novels of the time, to history and science textbooks, and even seemingly random works on subjects like the dental arts and knitting(!).
If you don’t recognize the name of an author you see below, I encourage you to do some Googling (like I did!) in order to find out more about these works that are contained to this day in Douglass’s library. This list is a fascinating trove of knowledge that played a crucial part in the history of this nation.
You can view his library by visiting Cedar Hill in Washington, D.C., which was Douglass’s home for the final 20 years of his life, and was turned over to the National Park Service in 1962. This list below features about 85 books of the thousands listed in his library’s register.
Before you dig in, I’ll leave you with a quote from Douglass’s incredibly inspiring “Self-Made Men” speech, that attests to the value he put in reading. To read, and simply forget, is to have never read at all. Let the reading you do change you for the better, and let it compel you to action to make the world a better place. If you do so, you’ll make ol’d Douglass proud.
“We have all met a class of men, very remarkable for their activity, and who yet make but little headway in life; men who, in their noisy and impulsive pursuit of knowledge, never get beyond the outer bark of an idea, from a lack of patience and perseverance to dig to the core; men who begin everything and complete nothing; who see, but do not perceive; who read, but forget what they read, and are as if they had not read; who travel but go nowhere in particular, and have nothing of value to impart when they return.”
A Selection of Books from Frederick Douglass’s Personal Library

Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe
Alexander von Humboldt
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A Thousand and One Nights

Henrietta Temple: A Love Story
Benjamin Disraeli
Bleak House
Charles Dickens
Cricket on the Hearth
Charles Dickens
‘Three Score Years and Ten’ Life-Long Memories of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and Other Parts of the West
Charlotte Van Cleve
Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa
David Livingstone
Hesiod and Theognis
(Davies translation)
The Steam Engine Explained & Illustrated
Dionysius Lardner
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian 1863 Plantation
Frances Anne Kemble
A Journey Through Texas
Frederick Law Olmsted
Mary Stuart: A Tragedy
Friedrich Schiller
An Egyptian Princess
Georg Ebers
Memorial Address on the Life of Abraham Lincoln
George Bancroft
George Eliot
The Journal of George Fox
George Fox
An Overland Journey Round the World
George Simpson
Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Harriet Jacobs
Complete Works of Henry Fielding
Henry Fielding
History of Civilization in England
Henry Thomas Buckle
Notes from Plymouth Pulpit
Henry Ward Beecher
History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America
Henry Wilson
The Study of History in American Colleges and Universities
Herbert Adams
The Iliad
The Odyssey
The American Conflict
Horace Greeley
Natural History of Enthusiasm
Isaac Taylor
Music and Some Highly Musical People
James Trotter
Napoleon: His Army and His Generals
Jean Charles Dominique De Lacretelle
The Confessions
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Farm and the Fireside; Or the Romance of Agriculture.
John Blake
Works of John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
Poetical Works of John Keats
John Keats
The Rise of the Dutch Republic
John Lothrop Motley
The Life of Rev. John Wesley
John Whitehead
Journal of John Woolman
John Woolman
The Science of Government
Joseph Alden
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin
Levi Coffin
Don Juan
Lord George Byron
Works of Lord Byron
Lord George Byron
Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth
Lucy Aikin
The Essence of Christianity
Ludwig Feuerbach
Marcus Aurelius
A Popular Treatise on the Teeth: Containing a History of the Dental Art
Mayo Smith
Plain Truths About Stock Speculation: How to Avoid Losses in Wall Street
Moses Smith
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Vicar of Wakefield
Oliver Goldsmith
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Pushing to the Front, Or Success Under Difficulties
Orisen Swett Marden
The Life and Letters of Washington Irving
Pierre Irving
Pictorial Guide to Chicago
Rand McNally
The Farmer’s Boy: A Rural Poem
Robert Bloomfield
Poems and Songs
Robert Burns
The Life of William Wilberforce
Robert Isaac Wilberforce
Knitting Work: A Web of Many Textures
Ruth Partington
Complete Works of Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott
Narrative of Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth
Twelve Years A Slave
Solomon Northup
History of Woman Suffrage
Susan B. Anthony
History of Frederick the Great
Thomas Carlyle
The African Slave Trade and Its Remedy
Thomas Fowell Buxton
The Modern British Essayists
Thomas Macaulay
Les Miserables
Victor Hugo
The Age of Louis XIV
The Life and Voyages of Columbus
Washington Irving
Brigham’s Destroying Angel
Wild Bill Hickman
Slave Songs of the United States
William Francis Allen
Exlporation of the Valley of the Amazon
William Lewis Herndon
The Words of Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
History of Pendennis
William Makepeace Thackeray
Roundabout Papers
William Makepeace Thackeray
Autobiography of William Seward
William Seward
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Narrative of William Brown, A Fugitive Slave
William Wells Brown
Selected Poems
William Wordsworth
Constitution of the United States

Encyclopedia Britannica

English Bible