The real Duck Dynasty.
Observations by and for the vaguely disenchanted.
Risking the wrath of the whatever
from high atop the thing.
[Lecturing to college students] was like being in a house with a whole
set of very bright baboons. You expected them to burst into human speech
at any minute, but they never did.
-Katherine Anne Porter
A good indignation makes an excellent speech.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
A speech is made great, not from the words used, but from the ideas
conveyed. If the ideas, principles and values and substance of the
speech are great, then it's going to be a great speech, even if the
words are pedestrian. The words can be soaring, beautiful and eloquent
but if the ideas are flat, empty or mean, it's not a great speech.
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen
Anyone wishing to communicate with Americans should do so by e-mail,
which has been specially invented for the purpose, involving neither
physical proximity nor speech.
Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing
college students should never be released into the world until they have
been properly sedated.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
except to encourage attendance in Christian churches; or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof, except to require prayer in schools; or abridging
the freedom of speech, except for those questioning the Bush
administration; or of the press, except that not owned by Rupert
Murdoch; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, except those
protesting pre-emptive wars; and to petition the government for a
redress of grievance, except those we don't like.
During an election campaign the air is full of speeches and vice versa.
Election year is that period when politicians get free speech mixed up
with cheap talk.
Freedom of speech in no way guarantees freedom from hearing.
I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the
economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal
freedom that America used to believe in.
I want to be American. America is the coolest place on the face of the
Earth. You've got freedom of speech. You've got McDonalds.
If figures of speech based on sport and fornication were suddenly
banned, American corporate communication would be reduced to pure
If you want free speech, walk in a closet and talk to yourself.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three
unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either of them.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It is not enough to "have" free speech. People must learn to speak
Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.
Look wise, say nothing, and grunt: speech was given to conceal thought.
Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It
seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.
-Lyndon B. Johnson
Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then
mount the stump for a speech on conservation.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II
Of what use is freedom of speech to those who fear to offend?
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of
thought which they seldom use.
Politically popular speech has always been protected: even the Jews were
free to say "Heil Hitler."
Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.
Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory
word, preserves contact- it is silence which isolates.
Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where
it often substitutes for both.
-John Andrew Holmes
Speech is not free if it costs people their jobs.
-Henry A. Wallace
Speeches easy to young speakers are generally very difficult to old
The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.
The best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance.
The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the
point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation
to tolerate speech.
The First Amendment was designed to protect offensive speech, because
nobody ever tries to ban the other kind.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in
falsely shouting "fire" in a theater and causing a panic.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that
we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
-Justice Robert Jackson
The price of liberty is, in addition to eternal vigilance, eternal
patience with the vacuous blather occasionally expressed from behind the
shield of free speech.
The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not
the power of speech.
-George Bernard Shaw
Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial
in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead
to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.
Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books,
and there is some evidence that they can't read them, either.
We are so proud of our guarantees of freedom in thought and speech and
worship, that, unconsciously, we are guilty of one of the greatest
errors that ignorance can make- we assume our standard of values is
shared by all other humans in the world.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have to go forth and crush every world view that doesn't believe in
tolerance and free speech.
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
-Hansell B. Duckett
Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when
driven to speech by something outside himself-like, for instance, he
can't find any clean socks.
You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to
actually try it.
Hey, t-shirt person.
If the "loving" god who demands your worship isn't bright enough to correctly interpret the establishment clause of the United States Constitution, and is so petty and vindictive as to turn his back and allow the slaughter of 20 innocent babies, then I have no use for either of you.
If you don't think teachers should be unionized but they should be
armed, cancel basic cable.
If more guns made things safer America would have the lowest murder rate
The NRA reminds you their right to shoot more clay pigeons without reloading is just a bit more important than your life.
Welcome to America, where some of you will have an easier time buying an assault rifle than marrying who you love.
Once, millions of Americans correctly argued the Constitution gave them
the right to own other human beings, too. We changed.
If the reason to have a thing is to protect yourself against people with
the same thing, maybe that thing is a bad thing.
It took two minutes, between 9:36am to 9:38am to kill 26 children and
their teachers. How many hunters encounter 26 deer in two minutes?
Too many conservatives refuse to regulate assault rifles, but they're
fine with regulating the female reproductive organs. Because liberty.
Sorry, but prayers and giving your kids hugs fix nothing; only having
the balls to stand up to our insane selfish gun culture will.
Happy Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the ratification of the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution on this day in 1791. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first declared its annual observance on December 15, 1941.
Should unfortunate circumstances place you in the presence of someone pontificating on the manner in which the first and especially the second amendment really should be interpreted, do what I do. Ask the delusional pedant to recite all ten Amendments.
"You can't? Gee, a real Constitutional scholar, ain'tcha Skippy?"
"Now go away, before I taunt you a second time."
Quotes of the day- Arthur Miller:
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), and A View from the Bridge (one-act, 1955; revised two-act, 1956).
Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Prince of Asturias Award, and was married to Marilyn Monroe. (Click for full article)
A character is defined by the kinds of challenges he cannot walk away from. And by those he has walked away from that cause him remorse.
A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.
A suicide kills two people... that's what it's for.
An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted.
Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
Few of us can surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that The State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.
He's liked, but he's not well liked.
I believe in work. If somebody doesn't create something, however small it may be, he gets sick. An awful lot of people feel that they're treading water- that if they vanished in smoke, it wouldn't mean anything at all in this world. And that's a despairing and destructive feeling. It'll kill you.
I figure I've done what I could do, more or less, and now I'm going back to being a chemical; all we are is a lot of talking nitrogen, you know...
I love her too, but our neuroses just don't match.
If a person measures his spiritual fulfillment in terms of cosmic visions, surpassing peace of mind, or ecstasy, then he is not likely to know much spiritual fulfillment. If, however, he measures it in terms of enjoying a sunrise, being warmed by a child's smile, or being able to help someone have a better day, then he is likely to know much spiritual fulfillment.
If I have to be alone I want to be by myself.
Immortality is like trying to carve your initials in a block of ice in the middle of July.
It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our time- the heart and spirit of the average man.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less.
The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
The enemy is within, and within stays within, and we can’t get out of within.
The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.
The wedding of Christianity or Judaism with nationalism is lethal.
The world is an oyster but you don't crack it open on a mattress.
There might be a dragon with five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it.
Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.
When any creativity becomes useful, it is sucked into the vortex of commercialism, and when a thing becomes commercial, it becomes the enemy of man.
When the guns roar, the arts die.
Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends, for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose this action?
Why is betrayal the only truth that sticks?
Without alienation, there can be no politics.
Work a lifetime to pay off a house- You finally own it and there's nobody to live in it.
You can quicker get back a million dollars that was stolen than a word that you gave away.
You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away- a man is not a piece of fruit.
You specialize in something until one day you find it is specializing in you.
|Column A||Column B|
|I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.||Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.|
|I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.||Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.|
|I am being forced to use birth control.||I am unable to force others to not use birth control.|
|I am not allowed to pray privately.||I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.|
|Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.||I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.|
|I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.||Others are allowed to have access to books, movies and websites that I do not like.|
|My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.||My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.|
|Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.||My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.|
|My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.||A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.|
|I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.||Public school science classes are teaching science.|
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions in column A, perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law. But just remember this one little, constitutional, concept: this means you can fight for your equality- not your superiority.
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions in column B, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others. Please review the tenets of your faith, especially the ones about your neighbors.
Rev. Emily C. Heath
Clergy, United Church of Christ
The First Amendment was designed to protect offensive speech, because
nobody ever tries to ban the other kind.
Categories: First Amendment
The Daily Show remembers 9/13... the day we started forgetting...
Again, one must ask- why are the clearest, most direct interviews performed by a comedian on a fake news show?
Stewart probes Huckabee's support of radical evangelical minister and discredited historian David Barton, who claims- despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary- that the Founders intended the United States to be a Christian theocracy. Stewart also questions why Huckabee- who is always reasonable and self-effacing during his Daily Show interviews- promotes Barton's extreme ideas when addressing his conservative base.
This is part three of three of the interview; consider watching them all. It's one of Stewart's- and Huckabee's- best efforts.
It also features two Stewart observations that made it to my quote database:
"As someone who is not Christian, it is hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America... maybe, God willing, one of you will rise up and get to be President of this country; or maybe 44 in a row."
"We need religion to give grace and comfort to a world torn apart by religion."
Sarah Palin knows now is not the time to determine ground elevation. (Might Lead To High Road)
Outrage over Atheist's Plans to Build Vacant Lot in Jerusalem
(posting in reddit.com's self.atheism forum)
"Fox (News) tells us the terrible thing about this Kingdom Foundation... it's a very bad guy, but they never mention this fella's name. And they never showed this fella's picture. And they certainly never mentioned the fella they're talking about is part owner- of their company! Did the gang at Fox and Friends genuinely not know the head of the Kingdom Foundation's name and the fact that he is one of their part owners, or were they purposely covering it up because it did not help their fear-driven narrative?"-Jon Stewart
"If they're not as stupid as I believe them to be, they are really ******* evil."
"And if they're not as evil as I think they are, they are stupid."
"We're talking potatoes with mouths."
In principle, at least:
"Tragedy has been and will always be with us. Somewhere right now, evil people are planning to do evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do to prevent it. But each horrible act can't become an ax for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us. America must stop this predictable pattern of reaction. When an isolated, terrible event occurs, our phones ring, demanding that the NRA explain the inexplicable. Why us? Because their story needs a villain... That is not our role in American society, and we will not be forced to play it. If you disagree, that's your right. I respect that. But we will not relinquish it, or be silenced about it, or be told 'Do not come here, your are unwelcome in your own land.' "-Charlton Heston
"Thank you, Charlton Heston. Of course, he was speaking out after another tragedy, when people on the left had demanded that the NRA, out of respect to the recent victims of Columbine, not hold their scheduled NRA convention in Denver, near the site of the tragedy. And by the way, I'm sure that I would have been one of those people: painting too narrow a picture, connecting irresponsibly the actions of two psychotics to an entire group of reasonable people expressing their Constitutional rights... the point is, I was wrong and Heston was right. And if you replace NRA with Muslim community and second amendment with first amendment, he's still right."-Jon Stewart, on The Daily Show, which is, inexplicably, still the best source of unbiased news and cogent commentary on cable.
The Daily Show clip above reminds me of what I wrote when Heston died two years ago.
Charlton Heston initially made his mark portraying Moses and Ben Hur. Most recently, he's remembered for his tenure as NRA president and the comment about prying his rifle from his cold, dead hands.
Heston was a man who did not wear his beliefs like seasonal sportswear. He did not parrot the official party line or mindlessly repeat the neocon talking points du jour. His famous sound bite overshadows his true legacy: a conservative whose dedication to dignity, manners and reasoned discourse should be adopted by those of all ideological leanings.
Whenever I heard him speak at length- not the snippets pulled out of context for cable news, but in full conversations with qualified interviewers- he accomplished something that very few conservatives have been able to do. He made me think about my position, review the logic that he used to arrive at his different viewpoint and- in some cases- reconsider my stance. He rarely, if ever, actually changed my mind. But in eloquently stating the opposing view, he made me respect it and seek potential areas of compromise.
He didn't accomplish this with ad hominem attacks, alliterative or rhyming jingoism, macho bluster, or any of the other quasi-intellectual blunt instruments typically employed in what passes as discourse these days. And no one would have been better at it. Who else but Heston, True Lies director James Cameron noted, could play someone "who can plausibly intimidate Arnold Schwarzenegger?"
Read and listen to Heston's famous Winning The Cultural War address to the Harvard Law School Forum. While you may not agree with everything he says, you must agree it is a quintessential example of what free speech and political discourse should be in this country."
I don't know whether he would have backed the Tea Party movement given the suspect nature of its "grassroots" support. But I suspect the group would gain a lot more credibility if it followed Heston's advice:
"Well, the answer's been here all along. I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.
"You simply disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely. But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey the social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom."
Heston was a gentleman and an American. We've lost a great guy.
"Political correctness is just tyranny with manners. I wish for you the
courage to be unpopular. Popularity is history's pocket change. Courage
is history's true currency."