October 25th, 2004


Manufacturing Consent

Cruising around Wikipedia tonight and for some reason or another reading bios of prominent Nazi leaders, I came across this quote from none other than Hermann Göring, from an interview (perhaps from the Nuremburg trials?):

Göring: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

Gilbert: "There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

Göring: "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Göring, founder of the S.S., was the highest-ranking Nazi leader to be brought to trial. He was sentenced to death but killed himself with a cyanide tablet before the sentence (hanging) was carried out.
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Greaky Guinea Pig

Concluded today that my guinea pig Yin Yang is overweight. This isn't surprising at all given that her entire life, every waking moment, seems to revolve around food. If there was an Overeaters Anonymous for guinea pigs, she would be in it.

The way she responds to food is so different from Abbie. When I walk in to the room, YY's first thought is apparently "Food!" since she runs around, sniffs the air, starts looking for me. And then if I open the fridge or touch anything plastic or even touch some plastic bowls, she starts shrieking for food (e.g. vegetables, since hay and dry food are always there) It's like "Audry II" in Little Shop of Horrors!

Then if I actually give them some food, they will both come over. Abbie is cautious, carefully selecting what she wants to eat, eating one by one, until she's done (ahd enough), at which point she goes back to a shelter and has a nap. YY, on the other hand, tears into the pile and eats whatever she can grab. Often she pulls off more than one thing and takes a nibble of several until she has a "pile" to work with. Sometimes she leaves the pile if she is not "satisfied" with it, but then she'll spend an hour running around the cage looking for more food, nibbling on the remaining food, trying to steal Abbie's food, etc. She finally will lay down but if I show up again, it's the same song and dance. She's just crazy about food!

I guess the main thing I'm going to do about this is be strict about the 2 fresh meals a day thing. There isn't really a rule for that in terms of guinea pig health, but I think it's obvious I give them too much, or a least YY is eating too much. She's becoming a furry soccer ball! Abbie isn't fat at all really, although she's a bigger animal. Anyway, going to go down so it's greens in the morning, something chewy like carrots or yams or cucumber at night. No more giving them snacks in the afternoon and so on. YinYang will probably go through withdrawal and make horrible screaching sounds but I figure it will extend her life.

Meanwhile, speaking of pig screeching, today I heard my birds quite distinctly *imitate* the pigs. I had Abbie out and was brushing her, which as always was eliciting extremely pitiful pig screaming, whining, and yelping. After one such squeal, I heard one of the birds (I'm guessing Pell) imitate the sound. I know it was an imitation since it wasn't a sound that's parts of their vocabulary. Actually I've been thinking that the birds have picked up some other things from the birds, like some whistling they do which I think is them imitating YY's please for food :)
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ice cream


Yesterday Caleb, Daniel and I went for a big trip to DeKalb Farmers Market and I am now well-stocked in the food dept. -- esp. produce and dairy. Wheeeee!

Last night I made a recipe I'd not done before, for cream of zucchini soup, and it turned out great, going on Caleb's list of "Things I Like That Candy Chewie Can Cook" (which he has hidden in my house and updates whenever I cook something that meets his approval, LOL). The recipe is quite simple really, involving sauteeing some onions, adding 2 lbs. of sliced zucchini, a bit of herbs, some water, melt in Monterey Jack cheese, cooking that all a while, then putting it through a blender. When it's all creamy you just add a cup of cream and it's done. Mmm.

Just now I sampled something else I got yesterday: Greek yogurt. I got the no fat kind but it is EXTREMELY creamy and delicious, a lot like what the Germans call quark. Very good stuff. I'm glad it comes in a big bucket!
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I am in the midst of a really lousy hormonal flood, brought to me courtesy of a very tardy Aunt Flo. I think I could be more productive if I had the flu!


Until recently my daily BC pills had eliminated most of this crap but over the past few months my habitual hormonal patterns seem to have overridden even the drugs. I have about as much energy and ethusiasm as a wet Kleenex and my digestive system is on strike.

*Head hits desk*
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Temporary lonely

Decided that what I needed to do for my yucky feelings was at the very least go outside for a bit. So I went and ran some errands. The first one didn't work out (Kinko's didn't get my electronic order) but library, Office Depot, and Starbucks worked out fine. Back home I felt perked up a big and have been able to get some work done, despite the lingering mental fog and great wooziness.

I can tell I must be very emotionally susceptible right now. Half-way through my outing, I found myself waiting for the light to change and my head got filled with all kinds of pathetic, self-pitying mush. By this I mean I started having "I'm so lonely!" type of thoughts, as in "Oh, how I wish when I got home some wonderful person would be cooking me a fabulous dinner, then ready to kiss me and watch classic old movies together curled up together on the couch."

Now mind you, these would probably be normal thoughts for most people, but I generally don't have those sorts of thoughts. I've never tended towards a lot of lonely thoughts; I tend to be pretty darn content on my own and I don't think I really need somebody to "complete" me or make my life "whole." Still, sometimes I get this "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" fantasy in my head. It's all probably just a load of trouble I don't need. I think I'd rather have a maid who could dust and clean up the guinea pig cage than somebody I'd have to deal with in a relationship type of way.

God, I am a grump today.
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Questionairre: Where Are You?

I thought of these questions the other day. I'm really interested in this topic because it's something I think about a lot with regards to myself.

1. Where do you live? (By ths I mean city, town, etc., not address or whether it's a house or apt.)

2. How long have you lived in the area?

3. If you haven't lived there your whole life, how did you wind up there?

4. Whether you are from the area or from somewhere else, what keeps you there?

5. Do you like where you live? If yes, why? If not, why not?

6. Do you have any plans to move somewhere else? (Seriously plans, not "Villa on the Riviera," etc.) If yes, where and why?

7. If there was one thing you could change about your city or town ("magic wand") what would it be?

8. What is the racial/ethnic makeup of your area?

9. What are some of the best things about your area?

10. What are some of the worst things / nuisances of your area?

That's all for now.
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Long lines at the polls

According to the local paper, some of the "early voting" lines here in Georgia have lines so long there've been waits of 2 1/2 hours! That's impressive given that Georgians are generally not at all impressive in the voter turnout department. Personally, I don't really see the point of early voting unless you know you're going to be reallllly busy on "the day." Then again, my polling place is NOT going to be crowded, as basically the only people who vote there are Downtown residents, which isn't exactly a giant group of people. Normally any time I go vote, I'm the only person there, except for the 5-6 poll workers. Although I do remember that for the last presidential election, there were like 20 of us over at the old polling location, voting before work. We'll see. I intend to go up Tuesday morning.
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Steves Gets Poiltical

Those of you who are travel geeks like might are probably familiar with Rick Steves. Well, I'm on his mailing list and today he sent out something rather beyond the usual "Tips for Cheap Eats in Florence" or travel specials:

What the World Thinks of Us:
A Poll with a Clear Message

This article is a summary of a a report by Daniel Yankelovich, chairman of Public Agenda, a nonpartisan opinion research organization. It does not paint an encouraging picture.

RS site is actually featuring a whole ton of other political stuff right now too, like letters from Europeans, European vs. American mores re nudity (will he get in trouble with the FCC if he shows David's pee pee on TV?), global warming, and other stuff.
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