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Published Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 5:55 PM EDT
Sep 13 2014

I love being 60 years old. It's very liberating. A lot of people asked me if I was going to make a bucket list. I made a bucket list, then I changed the 'b' to an 'f' and I was done with it.
-Jerry Seinfeld

They say power corrupts, but most of the time it's actually faulty storage media.
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

Categories: Covert Comic, Jerry Seinfeld, Observations

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74 Observations on prejudice, racism, and bigotry

Published Friday, August 22, 2014 @ 9:59 PM EDT
Aug 22 2014

America is still mostly xenophobic and racist. That's the nature of America, I think.
-Jerry Garcia

Are you going to cater to the whims and prejudices of people who have no intelligent knowledge of what they condemn?
-Susan B. Anthony

At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice.
-Gore Vidal

Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.
-Eugene O'Neill

Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
-H.L. Mencken

Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice.
-Michael Crichton

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
-James Madison

Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.
-Laurence J. Peter

Even if all parties approach the court's mandate with the best of conscious intentions... that mandate requires them to confront and overcome their own racism on all levels- a challenge I doubt all of them can meet.
-Thurgood Marshall

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices- just recognize them.
-Edward R. Murrow

Except in a few well-publicized instances (enough to lend credence to the iconography painted on the walls of the media), the rigorous practice of rugged individualism usually leads to poverty, ostracism and disgrace. The rugged individualist is too often mistaken for the misfit, the maverick, the spoilsport, the sore thumb.
-Lewis H. Lapham

Faith is a euphemism for prejudice and religion is a euphemism for superstition.
-Paul Keller

Freedom of the press... is freedom to print such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertisers don't object to.
-Robert Smith Surtees

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
-Albert Einstein

He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two.
-Charles Dickens

He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.
-Andrew Carnegie

How it infuriates a bigot, when he is forced to drag out his dark convictions!
-Logan Pearsall Smith

I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.
-Benjamin Disraeli

I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them. The remedy of the majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.
-H.L. Mencken

I don't have prejudice against myself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.
-Bob Marley

I don't like principles. I prefer prejudices.
-Oscar Wilde

I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.
-Margaret Chase Smith

I happen to think that the singular evil of our time is prejudice. It is from this evil that all other evils grow and multiply. In almost everything I've written there is a thread of this: a man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.
-Rod Serling

I have a friend who says the militia have one black helicopter that they fly their one black member around in, simultaneously scaring themselves and proving they aren't racist.
-K. Byington

I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

I think we can agree racial prejudice is stupid. Because if you spend time with someone from another race and really get to know them, you can find other reasons to hate them.
-Bernadette Luckett

I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust... We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
-Thurgood Marshall

If we were to wake up some morning and that everyone was the same race, creed, and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon.
-George Aiken

If you have too many white people at a rally, then your cause is racist. And if you have too many people of color at a rally, you must be asking for something.
-Jon Stewart

If you think about it, there's not a religious group, there's not a nationalistic group, there's not a tribe, there is no grouping of people to my knowledge, of any consequence, who have not, at one or another time, been the object of hatred, racism, or who has not had people against them just because they were them.
-Alex Haley

Ignorance is stubborn and prejudice dies hard.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better.
-Michael Crichton

It appears to be in the nature of religion itself to be prejudiced against those who are different.
-Bishop John Shelby

Law is a reflection and a source of prejudice. It both enforces and suggests forms of bias.
-Diane B. Schulder

Liberalism, above all, means emancipation- emancipation from one's fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination... from poverty.
-Hubert H. Humphrey

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.
-Elie Wiesel

No man can be friendly to another whose personal habits differ materially from his own. Even the trivialities of table manners thus become important. The fact probably explains much of race prejudice, and even more of national prejudice.
-H.L. Mencken

No wise man can have a contempt for the prejudices of others; and he should even stand in a certain awe of his own, as if they were aged parents and monitors. They may in the end prove wiser than he.
-William Hazlitt

Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge's chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view.
-Lillian Hellman

Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see.
-Bernard Baruch

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.
-Bertrand Russell

Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race. Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never.
-William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

Point of view must mean more than mere prejudice; it should express conclusions reached by that painful process known as thinking. And when new facts or factors are presented, free men shoul be as vigilant to change their viewpoints as to confirm them.
-A. Mortimer Astbury

Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.
-Ben Hecht

Prejudice is the child of ignorance...
-William Hazlitt

Prejudice is the reason of fools.
-Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

Prejudice is the sole author of infamies: how many acts are so qualified by an opinion forged out of nought but prejudice!
-Marquis de Sade

Prejudice supports thrones, ignorance altars.
-Marie Ebner von Ebner-Eschenbach

Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic.
-Tryon Edwards

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.
-Charlotte Bronte

Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.
-Alex Haley

Racism isn't born, folks. It's taught. I have a two-year-old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.
-Denis Leary

So few men are really worth knowing, that it seems a shameful waste to let an anthropoid prejudice stand in the way of free association with one who is.
-H.L. Mencken

The best antidote to prejudice is reality.
-Barney Frank

The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.
-Albert Einstein

The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

The food choice of others is becoming more and more heatedly exclusive until it may well turn into one of those forms of bigotry against which gallant little committees are constantly planning campaigns in the cause of justice and decency.
-Cornelia Otis Skinner

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye: the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is no stronger than that against sex. It is produced by the same cause, and manifested very much in the same way. The negro's skin and the woman's sex are both prima facie evidence that they were intended to be in subjection to the white Saxon man.
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The tendency of the casual mind is to pick out or stumble upon a sample which supports or defies its prejudices, and then to make it the representative of a whole class.
-Walter Lippmann

The true barbarian is he who thinks every thing barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices.
-William Hazlitt

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Thinking is what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
-William James

To deny political equality is to rob the ostracised of all self- respect; of credit in the market place; of recompense in the world of work; of a voice among those who make and administer the law; a choice in the jury before whom they are tried, and in the judge who decides their punishment.
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton

To me the earth's most explosive and pernicious evil is racism, the inability of God's creatures to live as One, especially in the Western world.
-Malcolm X

Under our constitutional system, courts stand, against any winds that blow, as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are nonconforming victims of prejudice and public excitement.
-Hugo Black

We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices.
-Oscar Wilde

We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.
-George Washington

We have convinced over one billion members of the Islamic faith that we are prejudiced against their religion, that we would deny them freedom of religion, that we want suppress their culture and invade their governments.
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen

Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists- and nothin' will get you there faster than readin' the damn Bible.
-Penn Jillette

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
-Dale Carnegie

Whom the gods would make bigots, they first deprive of humor.
-Rev. James M. Gillis

With a few exceptions, I'm skeptical of churches. I worry that they can't deal with issues like AIDS. I worry that the most racist places in the world can be places of worship. We have to build our churches in our hearts.
-Stevie Wonder

You would better educate ten women into the practice of liberal principles than to organize a thousand on a platform of intolerance and bigotry.
-Susan B. Anthony

Categories: Observations, Quotes on a topic

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Published Saturday, August 16, 2014 @ 12:57 PM EDT
Aug 16 2014

Sooner or later, most of us die from complications of being ourselves.
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

Categories: Covert Comic, Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Sunday, May 25, 2014 @ 12:45 PM EDT
May 25 2014

On May 25, 1925, John T. Scopes was indicted in Tennessee for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.

Thank heavens all that foolishness is behind us now.

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On this day...

Published Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 4:16 AM EDT
Apr 01 2014

...225 years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives held its first full meeting.

At least they chose an appropriate date on which to begin.

Categories: Observations

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It has nothing to do with you...

Published Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 8:53 AM EDT
Mar 31 2014

When I was a little boy, I was called a nerd all the time because I didn't like sports, I loved to read, I liked math and science, I thought school was really cool, and... it hurt. A lot. Because it's never ok when a person makes fun of you for something like you didn't choose... we don't choose to be nerds. We can't help it that we like these things, and we shouldn't apologize for liking these things.

I wish that I could tell you that there is a really easy way to just... not care. But the truth is it hurts. But here's the thing that you might be able to understand- as a matter of fact, I'm confident you'll be able to understand this, because you asked this question.

When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you... it has nothing to do with you. It's not about what you said, it's not about what you did, it's not about what you love. It's about them feeling bad about themselves. They feel sad. They don't get positive attention from their parents. They don't feel as smart as you. They don't understand the things that you understand.

Maybe one of their parents is really pushing them to be a cheerleader, or a baseball player, or an engineer, or something that they just don't want to do. So they take that out on you, because they can't go and be mean to the person who's actually hurting them.

So, when a person's cruel to you like that- I know that this is hard- but honestly, the kind and best reaction is to pity them. And don't let them make you feel bad because you love a thing. Maybe find out what they love, and talk about it- how they love it. I bet you'll find out that a person who loves tetherball loves tetherball exactly the same way you love Doctor Who. But you just love different things.

And I will tell you this: it absolutely gets better as you get older. I know it's really hard when you're in school and you're surrounded by the same 400 people a day that pick on you and make you feel bad about yourself. But there's fifty thousand people here this weekend who went through the exact same thing- and we're all doing really well.

Don't you ever let persons make you feel bad because you love something they decided is only for nerds. You're loving a thing that's for you.
-Wil Wheaton, responding to a question from a young girl at the 2013 Denver Comic Con.

Categories: Nerds, Observations, Wil Wheaton

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Things to consider, but let's not go overboard, ok?

Published Sunday, March 30, 2014 @ 8:07 AM EDT
Mar 30 2014

"A lot of people I know believe in positive thinking, and so do I. I believe everything positively stinks."
-Lew Col

"I was going to buy a copy of 'The Power of Positive Thinking,' and then I thought: what the hell good would that do?"
-Ronnie Shakes


As a card-carrying cynical curmudgeon, I have little patience for those cheerful "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" pieces of delusional inanity. That said, there are some grains of wheat in the following chaff. Pick away, but use common sense. Don't get "brightsided."

(See the original article here.)

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they'll make room for you. You shouldn't have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it's not the people that stand by your side when you're at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you're at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. Face them head on. No, it won't be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren't supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That's not how we're made. In fact, we're made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that's the whole purpose of living- to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can't lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you're not. One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that's trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free- love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. If you're not happy with who you are on the inside, you won't be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. Don't think too much or you'll create a problem that wasn't even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can't make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you're not ready. Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won't feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. Relationships must be chosen wisely. It's better to be alone than to be in bad company. There's no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen- in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you're ready, not when you're lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn't work. In life you'll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. Don't worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. Jealousy is the art of counting someone else's blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: "What's something I have that everyone wants?"
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Life's curveballs are thrown for a reason- to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You'll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. Don't live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, "What you did to me is okay." It is saying, "I'm not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever." Forgiveness is the answer... let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it's for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. Your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. The time to take a deep breath is when you don't have time for it. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. The real world doesn't reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don't take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn't. It's okay to fall apart for a little while. You don't always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn't be concerned with what other people are thinking either- cry if you need to- it's healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you're going through, you deny responsibility- you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: "Will this matter in one year's time? Three years? Five years?" If not, then it's not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don't want to happen. Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you'll often find that you're right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

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Observation of the day

Published Sunday, March 16, 2014 @ 10:52 PM EDT
Mar 16 2014

I'm now starting to think CNN took the plane.
-Albert Brooks

Categories: Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Monday, December 23, 2013 @ 5:22 PM EST
Dec 23 2013

A few years ago, The Onion ran a piece entitled "Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be." While satire, it underscored an important point: there are many good, sincere people who base their beliefs and principles on what they've been told by persons in positions of false or perceived authority. The problem is the information they're getting is incomplete at best, or, at worst, just plain wrong.

Don't blindly accept what you're told. Read the Constitution. Read the Bible. Read the Tanakh. Read The Book of Mormon. They're all available online.

(Don't bother with Dianetics. Trust me.)

And when someone throws a chapter and verse in your face, go the chapter and read the verse. Then read the verse before and the verse after. Better yet, read the whole chapter. Then read the whole book.

Then think for yourself.

Categories: Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Friday, December 20, 2013 @ 9:48 AM EST
Dec 20 2013

So we're dealing with the "free speech" stuff again.

The First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment guarantees that the government can't control your speech.

It doesn't guarantee you freedom from the consequences of your speech.

The government won't punish you for posting on Facebook that your wife's new Christmas dress makes her ass look fat.

It doesn't have to.


"I'll tell you who I feel sorry for, folks... A&E. With this controversy, they may have just lost Duck Dynasty's massive black and gay audience."
-Stephen Colbert

Categories: Colbert Report, KGB Opinion, Observations, Stephen Colbert, Video

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Observation of the day

Published Saturday, December 07, 2013 @ 11:29 AM EST
Dec 07 2013

The pacifier changes, the sucking remains.
-The Covert Comic

Categories: Covert Comic, Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 2:34 PM EST
Dec 03 2013

Be very, very careful what you put in that head because you will never, ever get it out.
-Thomas Cardinal Wolsey

Categories: Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 4:44 PM EST
Nov 19 2013

Categories: Observations

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Monty Python reference of the day

Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 4:23 PM EDT
Oct 16 2013

Categories: Congress, Monty Python, Observations

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Observations of the day: Shutdown/Debt Ceiling edition

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2013 @ 11:59 AM EDT
Oct 15 2013

Social media on the shutdown:

Andy Borowitz (Facebook):

BREAKING: Most Hated People in U.S. Deciding Fate of World.

Let's put this shutdown behind us so the trials for treason can begin.

Michele Bachmann: "My Health Plan is Rapture."

As the Republicans go from Abraham Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt to Ted Cruz, it's no wonder they don't believe in evolution.

Say what you will about America, it's a place where any child, if he's stupid enough, can grow up to wreck the world economy.

If we default on our debt Miley Cyrus will no longer be the most embarrassing thing about America.

Call me an optimist, but I believe our government will come up with a totally unsatisfactory solution to a completely unnecessary crisis.

The behavior of the Tea Party congressmen is the most glaring indictment of our nation's failure to teach math.

Congress has wasted two weeks on a totally unnecessary crisis of its own creation. It's a good thing our schools and roads are in great shape or I'd be mad.

There are people in Congress I would not trust to look after my plants.

WASHINGTON - After a poll showed 50% of Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown and 30% blame Obama, Rep. Michele Bachmann said, "That means we're winning by 20 percent."

Boehner: "The time has come to end this crisis so we can start planning the next one."

BREAKING: GOP Accuse Obama of Acting Like He Won Election

BREAKING: NRA Defends GOP's Right to Use Metaphorical Gun

Basically, the Republicans want a reward for calling in a bomb threat and then retracting it.

Just bought health insurance online. For some weird reason, the country was not destroyed. Anyone else have this problem?

It bothers me that our country may be pushed into default by people who cannot spell default.

Boehner: "We will continue this shutdown until we find out the reason for it."

WASHINGTON - In an escalation of the stalemate gripping the Capitol, House Republicans voted today to shut down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses

The shutdown could last awhile since the Tea Party is demanding the President not be black anymore.

I wasn't happy about the country being controlled by the richest one percent, but I really hate it being controlled by the dumbest one percent

Boehner: "The President is stubbornly refusing to end this crisis I created."

WASHINGTON - House Republicans reassured the nation today that during the government shutdown they would continue to work hard to cut benefits for the poor and hungry.

A lot of people are asking when this kind of madness in Washington will end. I believe that can be arranged in 2014.


-@LOLGOP (Twitter)

I'm impressed that no one has made the analogy between Ted Cruz and McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

REMINDER: Michele Bachmann's favorite Founding Father is George Jefferson.

FYI: A nuclear bomb is about to blow up the world's economy and the House GOP will let it go off unless we give a tax break to a corporation.

Political party that pretends Donald Trump is a serious candidate for anything isn't a political party anymore, it's a cry for help.

House Republicans. Willing to destroy what's left of the global economy to avoid a primary challenge.

BREAKING: Ted Cruz and House Republicans meet in private to write open letter to Miley Cyrus, plot a global financial crisis.

Columbus discovered America the same way Republicans discovered the deficit when Obama became president.

Republicans waited to wage war on birth control until 50 years after it was invented. Next: Stop the miniskirt!


-@pourmecoffee (Twitter)

Schoolhouse Rock is working on a new "How A Bill Becomes Law" but it's taking a while because not much rhymes with "hostage."

Boehner should just show up in a Hawaiian shirt chomping a cigar and say "whatever" to everything.

The real victim in this is legitimate Kabuki theater.

Maybe if the History Channel showed history instead of pawn shops and alligators less people would carry Confederate flags.

Hi, we're the most powerful nation in all of recorded history, may we please have our allowance?

Congress is going to wait until the very last minute and look up budget deals in Wikipedia.

Ted Cruz: Mr. Obama, tear down these barricades!**
(** Put up because of my 21-hour speech directly leading to this outcome.)

Don't tread on me, except getting me to donate money and vote against my own interests, you can tread on me that way.

I don't think Spock could handle mind-melding with John Boehner, even for a moment. The madness. The sorrow. It would break a mind.


Sarah Reese Jones (Twitter)

John McCain warns Dems not to humiliate GOP as the VP he picked stands near Confederate Flag in front of WH accusing Obama of being Muslim.

Categories: Facebook, Observations, Twitter

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Observation of the day

Published Saturday, October 05, 2013 @ 7:01 AM EDT
Oct 05 2013

If you want to read the fortune, you've got to break the cookie.
-The Covert Comic

Categories: Covert Comic, Observations

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Maybe it was on the fence...

Published Sunday, September 22, 2013 @ 11:52 AM EDT
Sep 22 2013

A non-native English speaking friend of my was complaining about the behavior of relatives whose loyalty was questionable when situations threatened their perceived well-being.

"I can't trust them," he said. "They're playing both sides of the chicken."

My mind decoded the mixed metaphor as a combination of playing chicken and being on both sides of the fence. But I also started giggling, trying to imagine how one would play both sides of a chicken and, more precisely, why you would want to do so.

Giggling still, waiting for a chance to use that phrase during a conversation and see the reaction...

Categories: Observations

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Observation of the day

Published Thursday, September 05, 2013 @ 4:58 PM EDT
Sep 05 2013

Categories: Colbert Report, Observations, Stephen Colbert

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Observation of the day

Published Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:19 PM EDT
Aug 23 2013

News Headline: “Is social media ruining our grammar?”
No. Not at all.
Social media are ruining our grammar.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes

Categories: Observations, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes

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Recommendation of the day

Published Saturday, August 17, 2013 @ 8:49 AM EDT
Aug 17 2013

To build character, use a 4D printer.
The Covert Comic

Categories: Covert Comic, Observations, Quotes of the day

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Observation of the day

Published Monday, August 12, 2013 @ 12:13 AM EDT
Aug 12 2013

Categories: John Oliver, Observations

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Contrast and compare

Published Tuesday, August 06, 2013 @ 12:53 AM EDT
Aug 06 2013

The Science Is Awesome page on Facebook noted in a post that the Curiosity rover has been on Mars for one year. It's measured radiation there, found dried up stream beds which shows Mars once had flowing water, became the first machine to drill into the surface of another planet, and has discovered some of the elements that are essential for life.

Meanwhile on Earth, the US House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare.

Categories: KGB Opinion, NASA, Observations, Politics

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Trick Q&A

Published Friday, August 02, 2013 @ 12:29 AM EDT
Aug 02 2013

Categories: Cartoons, Observations

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Sunday randomness

Published Sunday, July 28, 2013 @ 2:33 AM EDT
Jul 28 2013

Rehab is a failure if you come out of it and you're still a politician.
-Andy Borowitz

Regarding the Boy Scouts, I'm very suspicious of any organization that has a handbook.
-George Carlin


First, we cannot enhance our own security if we place in jeopardy what is most precious to us, namely, the centrality of human rights in our daily lives and in global affairs. Second, we cannot maintain our historic self-confidence as a people if we generate public panic. Third, we cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda that polarizes and divides our country. Next, we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others. And finally, in the world at large, we cannot lead if our leaders mislead.
-Jimmy Carter

Categories: Andy Borowitz, Civil Rights, George Carlin, Jimmy Carter, Miscellany, Observations, Politics, Scouting

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Plain non-talk

Published Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 2:53 AM EDT
Jul 25 2013

Jeff Haden: These Speech Patterns Irritate the $#@* Out of Everyone Around You (from Linked In)

Years ago I worked for the poster child of buzzwords. He loved using terms like "cones of precision" and "silos" and "drill down" and... let's just stop there. (He also bought one of the first Palm Pilots, which meant a roomful of people often sat waiting while he laboriously entered stuff on his calendar. Yep, he was that guy.)

One of my colleagues maintained a running list of this guy's buzzwords. Whenever he whipped out his pad to jot down a new one two things happened: 1) our manager looked smug because he thought he d just said something so insightful my colleague wanted to capture it for posterity, and 2) the rest of us tried not to laugh because we knew what was really going on.

Unfortunately, Palm Pilot aside, we all have a little of that guy in us. We use the same words too often. Or we use irritating speech patterns. Or we simply fall in love with certain expressions (I once conducted an all-too-public affair with the phrase, "That's neither here nor there.") When we do, whatever we hoped to say gets lost in the noise of cliche or extreme repetition.

See if you're guilty of any of these:

1. The Double Name: Using a person's name twice (worst case using your own name twice) in the same sentence as a way to justify unusual or unacceptable behavior.

Typical usage: "What can I say?" Shrug. "That's just Joe being Joe." (Worse, "Hey, that's just me being me.")

Whenever you use the double name you're actually excusing behavior you would not tolerate from someone else.

And everyone knows it.

2. The Fake Agreement: Pretending to agree while expressing the opposite point of view.

Typical usage: "I'm with you... but I just don't think we should take on that project."

In reality you aren't really with me because then you would agree with what I'm saying. (Plus beginning a sentence with something like, "I hear you..." is like a condescending pat on the head.)

Don't try to couch a different opinion inside a warm and fuzzy Fake Agreement. If you disagree, just say so professionally.

3. The Unsupported Closure: Ending a discussion or a decision without backup or solid justification.

Typical usage: "At the end of the day, we're here to sell products."

Really? I had no idea we're supposed to sell products!

The Unsupported Closure is the go-to move for people who want something a certain way and cannot or do not feel like explaining why. Whenever you feel one coming on, take a deep breath and start over; otherwise you'll spout inane platitudes instead of objective reasons that may actually help your employees get behind your decision.

Quick note: A Fake Agreement combines nicely with an Unjustified Closure: "I hear what you're saying, but at the end of the day revenue concerns must come first." Win-win!

4. The False Uncertainty: Pretending you're not sure when in fact you really are.

Typical usage: "You know, when I think about it... I'm not so sure shutting down that facility isn't the best option after all."

Oh, you're sure; you're just trying to create buy-in or a sense of inclusion by pretending you still have an open mind... or you're planting seeds for something you know you will eventually do.

Never say you aren't sure unless you really aren't sure... and are truly willing to consider other viewpoints.

5. The First Person Theoretical: Pretending to be another person in order to explore different points of view.

Typical usage: "Let's say I'm the average customer and I walk in your store and want to buy a shirt..."

You can get away with this one occasionally, but more than that is really irritating.

Don't believe me? Let's say I'm the average reader and I know someone who uses the First Person Theoretical to pretend he's putting himself in another person's shoes. And let's say I'm thinking it's really irritating. And let's say I'm...

Let's just say I'm thinking we should move on.

6. The Favorite Phrase: Using a phrase so often that word is all anyone can hear.

Typical usage: Any phrase that gets hammered to death. Here's an example.

I knew someone who never met a sentence he couldn't find a way to shoehorn in a random "in other words," "as it relates to," or "in general." Often he could cram all three into the same sentence multiple times.

Fall in love with a word or expression and not only do other people hear it, they start to hear nothing else. Then whatever you hoped to get across gets lost as they think, "Oh jeez, for once could he leave out the 'that's neither here nor there'?"

Ask someone if you overuse a word, phrase, or figure of speech. At first they'll look uncomfortable and try to avoid answering. Insist.

Eventually they'll tell you, and I guarantee you'll never do it again. Trust me: Been there, been told that.

(Mr. Haden also writes for Inc.com.)

Categories: Inc.com, Jeff Haden, Linked In, Observations

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