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Understanding the Electoral College
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Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 2:41 PM EDT
Oct 21 2012

(Mo Rocca on CBS' Sunday Morning, explaining how the Electoral College works, and a way to fix it without amending the U.S. Constitution.)


Categories: CBS Sunday Morning, Elections, History, Mo Rocca, Video


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October 21, 1977
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Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 1:04 PM EDT
Oct 21 2012

Thirty-five years ago today my daughter was born, and I was offered a job that profoundly changed my destiny. It started my career in typesetting, consulting, technical writing, and computer software.

I was hired as a typesetter at a legal/financial printing company because of my future boss' somewhat unconventional interviewing technique. He recited from memory a random lyric from the libretto of Jesus Christ Superstar; I was to respond with the next line. We did this for about ten minutes.

I nailed it.

I don't recall there actually being any typesetting-related questions during the interview. I don't think he even asked if I could type.

The point of all this is to remember Heinlein's admonition: specialization is for insects. While you should be an expert in at least one field, you should learn as much as you can about as many things as you can. Arcane knowledge can be useful, even though its acquisition can seem pointless. That funny-looking key you picked up a few years ago might eventually unlock a door leading to a totally unexpected opportunity.

PS: If I hadn't been familiar with Superstar, the next category would have been Star Trek.

Even a pragmatic humanist cannot deny destiny.

PPS: I really owe Tim Rice a nice thank you card.


Categories: Jesus Christ Superstar, KGB, KGB Family, Robert A. Heinlein, Star Trek, Tim Rice


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Quotes of the day
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Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 8:40 AM EDT
Oct 21 2012

George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 - October 21, 2012) was an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.

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And above all, above all, honest work must be rewarded by a fair and just tax system. The tax system today does not reward hard work: it’s penalizes it. Inherited or invested wealth frequently multiplies itself while paying no taxes at all. But wages on the assembly line or in farming the land, these hard – earned dollars are taxed to the very last penny.

I am fed up with a system which busts the pot smoker and lets the big dope racketeer go free.

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in. permalink

It is simply untrue that all our institutions are evil,... that all politicians are mere opportunists, that all aspects of university life are corrupt. Having discovered an illness, it's not terribly useful to prescribe death as a cure.

National security includes schools for our children as well as silos for our missiles. It includes the health of our families as much as the size of our bombs, the safety of our streets, and the condition of our cities, and not just the engines of war. If we some day choke on the pollution of our own air, there will be little consolation in leaving behind a dying continent ringed with steel.

National strength includes the credibility of our system in the eyes of our own people as well as the credibility of our deterrent in the eyes of others abroad.

No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public.

Politics is an act of faith; you have to show some kind of confidence in the intellectual and moral capacity of the public.

Richard Nixon would have been better off if I'd beaten him. Then he'd be remembered for the EPA and China instead of Watergate.

So let us stand for justice and jobs and against special privilege.

So, I think that's the centerpiece of morality: Don't lie. But to do that, you have to go a step further and find out what the truth is.

The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plane.

The longer the title, the less important the job.

There is a depletion allowance for oil wells, but no depletion for the farmer who feeds us, or the worker who serves as all.

This is the time for truth, not falsehood. In a Democratic nation, no one likes to say that his inspiration came from secret arrangements by closed doors, but in the sense that is how my candidacy began. I am here as your candidate tonight in large part because during four administrations of both parties, a terrible war has been chartered behind closed doors.

Truth is a habit of integrity, not a strategy of politics.

You know, sometimes, when they say you are ahead of your time, it's just a polite way of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.


Categories: George McGovern, Quotes of the day


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Cartoon of the day
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Published Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Oct 21 2012

(via Tom Cheney in The New Yorker)


Categories: Cartoons, Internet


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