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Quotes of the day: JFK

Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 4:49 AM EDT
May 29 2013

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his death in 1963. Click for full Wikipedia article.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.

Domestic policy can only lose elections. Foreign policy can kill us.

Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it.

For those to whom much is given, much is required.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.

I don't think the intelligence reports are all that hot. Some days I get more out of The New York Times.

If a nation cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.

If we are strong, our character will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.

If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

In politics you have no friends, only allies.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President but they don't want them to become politicians in the process.

My brother Bob doesn't want to be in government- he promised Dad he'd go straight.

My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now.

The basis of effective government is public confidence and that confidence is endangered when ethical standards falter, or appear to falter.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

The mere absence of war is not peace.

The state is the servant of the citizen, and not his master.

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

Unless liberty flourishes in all lands, it cannot flourish in one.

War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.

Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

We celebrate the past to awaken the future.

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.

It's also the birthday of G.K. Chesterton.

Categories: John F. Kennedy, Quotes of the day


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Uneasy lies the head...

Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 4:44 AM EDT
May 29 2013


I just had the most bizarre, vivid dream of my life. Seriously.

Sufficiently vivid to send me catapulting out of bed to the keyboard- wide awake, 100% alert, and without an intervening stop at the bathroom and coffeemaker- and sufficiently bizarre that I really can't write about it in detail.

It involves a trip to a Los Angeles barber shop, a dead celebrity, hospital waiting rooms, appearing on a television show, cab rides, botched airline reservations- a sequence of events as lucid as any I've experienced in real life, but that are, upon reflection, a spectacular collection of somnambular non-sequiturs.

I usually don't have dreams of such preternatural quality. I also don't subscribe to the belief that dreams have any deep meaning. Still, when you're wide awake at four a.m., asking yourself "Where the hell did that come from?", you find yourself replaying the previous day's events in your memory, looking for potential triggers.

Right before going to bed, we watched the last episode of the second season of The West Wing, in which a major character dies. Although the dream wasn't about that character or actor, it did involve a deceased performer I greatly admired. Los Angeles? That's where the series was filmed and the celebrity lived. Barber shop? I need a haircut and have been trying to work out the logistics of getting to the barber within the next week. Hospital waiting rooms- clearing out some old files yesterday, I encountered the discharge instructions from my inpatient treatment for pneumonia last year. Appearing on television and cab rides- the last time I was in New York, I stopped by ABC World News Now in the middle of the night, and when leaving the city to go to my next stop, a business trip to Germany, my cabbie nearly got into a fistfight with a driver who cut him off. During that trip to Germany, Jimmy Doohan- the actor who played Scotty on Star Trek- passed away. Not the celebrity in my dream, but another dead performer. Botched airline reservations- checked the balance information on an airline-branded credit card account yesterday.

I guess there is a loose thread connecting the events in my dream; the weirdness comes from my subconscious mind shoehorning them into a narrative that makes about as much sense as the script to Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Oh well. It's 5 am and I'm up. I'll get a head start on the day.

Maybe I can squeeze in that haircut.

Categories: KGB, WTF?


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