Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.
network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...
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no. we're not that kgb.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
"No religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the
Article VI, U.S. Constitution
Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000
Cruel Site of the Day, 7/15/2000
"a breezy writing style and a cool mix of tidbits"
Our riveting and morally compelling...
Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be- or to be indistinguishable from- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.
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Saturday, January 31, 2009
You don't need to know Italian to appreciate opera.
Especially when it has a good story.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Karmically Balanced Quotes of the Day
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945):
[T]he ultimate failures of dictatorship cost humanity far more than any temporary failures of democracy.
A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
Be sincere, be brief, be seated.
Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough.
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.
It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
The fate of America cannot depend on any one man. The greatness of America is grounded in principles and not on any single personality.
The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
The saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities: a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
Richard Bruce (Dick) Cheney (January 30, 1941):
It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.
The problem is that the Good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratic governments.
Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose.
Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States.
We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Quotes of the day
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest man a century.
A man may be a fool and not know it- but not if he is married.
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Certainly there is something radically wrong with a system which enables a Henry Ford to posture magnificently as one who pays lavish wages, and then, when the pinch comes, to lay of men by tens of thousands and throw them on public charity.
Change is not progress.
Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
During many a single week, I daresay, more money is spent in New York upon useless and evil things than would suffice to run the kingdom of Denmark for a year.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong
The only way to success in American life lies in flattering and kow-towing to the mob.
How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.
If I had my way, any man guilty of golf would be ineligible for any office of trust in the United States.
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later. For another thing, they die earlier.
No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.
No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people.
Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.
The essence of a genuine professional man is that he cannot be bought.
The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack."
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell the truth.
The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.
The only really happy people are married women and single men.
The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.
Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule-and both commonly succeed, and are right.
When the water reaches the upper decks, follow the rats.
-H.L. Mencken (September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Quotes of the day
It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich.
You can lend them your talents, but don't give them your soul.
You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat the help.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
The good thing about being a hypocrite is that you get to keep your values.
My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six.
Don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Laugh at yourself, but don't doubt yourself.
-Alan Alda (b. January 28, 1936)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
You're doing it wrong...
Responding to a recent post in which I complained that throwing employees out on the street solely to maintain profit levels was ethically despicable and a symptom of the short-sightedness and venality that got us into this current economic mess. A friend wrote:
"While I understand completly what you're saying, it's all about making the shareholders happy.
"Our company is the same. We're reducing out headcount by 10% so that "Revenue per Full Time Employee" is either the same or better than the previous year.
"The stupid thing is that we're going to need to bring on contract employees to keep the same level of productivity after the layoffs. And many of the same people laid off will come back as contractors.
"But it doesn't matter on the books, because it's a different reporting/accounting line."
Which means that the company is deceiving itself and its shareholders. "Revenue per Full Time Employee" is an arbitrary metric, unreliable because it is so easily manipulated. When your furnace fails in sub-zero weather, you can breathe on the room thermometer so it continues to report a toasty 72°. But eventually you die from the cold, stop breathing on the thermometer, and the actual temperature of the room will be reported.
I once dealt with a company that was experiencing a less than stellar quarter due to a temporary drop in business caused by several unusual events that just happened to occur at the same time. The company had a history of paying dividends of at least 25 cents a share each quarter.
Projections indicated the company could only issue a ten cents per share dividend for the next period. Rather than explain the situation to its stockholders, it fired five percent of its staff so it could come up with the extra 15 cents a share.
The products the company produced required highly-skilled employees. The people they let go had a total of over 200 years of experience in the business.
The shareholders received their 25 cents per share dividend that quarter. But it was the last quarterly profit the firm reported. Lacking skilled employees, it could no longer produce the quality products customers demanded in a timely manner. Within a year, they were out of business.
Wonder if the shareholders were still happy?
Monday, January 26, 2009
84 year old Angela Lansbury stays in touch with her body.
Quote of the day: "I think femininity and sexuality go hand in hand."
In this video, Ms. Lansbury gives herself a massage and takes a hot bubble bath.
Ms. Lansbury is a year older than my mother.
If you want me, I'll be in a fetal position under my desk. Twitching.
I don't follow professional sports and have no interest in the upcoming Super Bowl. But it's inescapable, of course. And incessant. Local television news, which is usually just annoyingly repetitive and superficial, attains levels of cosmic inanity. I'm avoiding local tv until mid-February; March, if the Steelers win.
I think I now know how an atheist feels at Christmastime.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Happy birthday, Rabbie!
An Englishman is touring a Scottish hospital.
He stumbles upon a ward with patients who have no obvious injuries or illnesses. The first patient he approaches proclaims:
Fair fa' yer honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain e' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, painch tripe or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace as lang's my arm.
The Englishman turns to the next bed, and the patient resting there says:
Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
He turns to find yet another, who stares at him intently while reciting:
Wee sleekit cow'rin tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, wi' bickering brattle.
I wad be laith to run and chase thee, wi' murdering prattle!"
"Is this the psych ward?" the confused Englishman asks a passing Scottish physician.
"Nay, nay," the Scottish doctor replies. "This is the Serious Burns unit."
Copyright © 1987-2014 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
The email@example.com e-mail address is now something other than firstname.lastname@example.org saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used email@example.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that firstname.lastname@example.org was no longer email@example.com but rather firstname.lastname@example.org which is longer than email@example.com and more letters to type than firstname.lastname@example.org and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than email@example.com but actually just as functional as firstname.lastname@example.org? I sent e-mails from the email@example.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used firstname.lastname@example.org in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the email@example.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which firstname.lastname@example.org was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for email@example.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that firstname.lastname@example.org no longer is the email@example.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. firstname.lastname@example.org. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
440 pages, over 11,000 quotations!
get kgb krap!