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Quotes of the day: Larry Niven

Published Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 12:41 AM EDT
Apr 30 2014

Laurence van Cott Niven (b. April 30, 1938) is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. It also often includes elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. His fantasy includes the series The Magic Goes Away, rational fantasy dealing with magic as a non-renewable resource. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A civilization has the ethics it can afford.

Any damn fool can predict the past.

Anything you don't understand is dangerous until you do understand it.

Ethics change with technology.

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.

Fear is the brother of hate.

Forget the infinities: Concentrate on detail.

Half of wisdom is learning what to unlearn.

I do suspect that privacy was a passing fad.

Mother Nature doesn't care if you're having fun.

Never tell a computer to forget it.

No cause is so noble that it won't attract fuggheads.

No technique works if it isn't used.

One mark of a good officer... was the ability to make quick decisions. If they happen to be right, so much the better.

Psi and/or magical powers, if real, are nearly useless.

Sometimes there's no point in giving up.

Stupidity is always a capital crime.

The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!

The gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools.

The perversity of the universe tends towards a maximum. The universe is hostile.

The Unexpected always comes at the most awkward times.

There is never no hope left. Remember.

There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.

We learn only to ask more questions.

Categories: Larry Niven, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Rod McKuen

Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014 @ 4:46 AM EDT
Apr 29 2014

(Photo from rodmckuen.com)

Rod McKuen (b. April 29, 1933, Oakland, California) is an American poet, songwriter, composer, and singer. He was one of the best-selling poets in the United States during the late 1960s. Throughout his career, McKuen produced a wide range of recordings, which included popular music, spoken word poetry, film soundtracks, and classical music. He earned two Oscar nominations and one Pulitzer nomination for his serious music compositions. McKuen's translations and adaptations of the songs of Jacques Brel were instrumental in bringing the Belgian songwriter to prominence in the English-speaking world. His poetry dealt with themes of love, the natural world, and spirituality, and his 30 books of poetry sold millions of copies. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Age is proof you got from there to here.

Always I glance both ways. Why chance missing love wherever she or he may lurk?

Cats have it all- admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.

Crowded rooms and lonesome tunes and very little sky.

Eternity sneaks in her arms full of wild promises.

I have fallen in love with the world and I am aware that I have chosen the most dangerous lover of them all.

I was rich in those days, for a week I had everything. I wish I'd known you then.

It happens just because we need to want and to be wanted too, when love is here or gone to lie down in the darkness and listen to the warm.

It's nice sometimes to open up the heart a little and let some hurt come in. It proves you're still alive.

Laws and machines are shaped to fit the classes.

Love is a sweet thing caught a moment and held in a golden eye.

Loving is the only sure road out of darkness, the only serum known that cures self-centeredness.

No window opens on a better world than what we have within each other's arms.

Now is next to nothing compared to where I've been.

Reagan's Homeless kept getting in the way of downtown southern California traffic.

So I've been young and I've been old and have determined old is better.

Sorry no one could see how beautifully happy we were.

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

Thank you for the sun you brought this morning even though the sky was full of clouds.

The gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.

The journey back is always longer than the forward run.

There are no dragons anymore only windmills
Nothing left to slay except the clock that goes on stealing time from us.

There's no misery in not being loved, only in not loving.

These long years later it is worse for I remember what it was as well as what it might have been.

This is the way it was while I was waiting for your eyes to find me.

Time may make us rugged, ragged round the edges, but know and understand that love is still the safest place to land.

Unless you call attention to your presence who will know you're there? Even a country has to weave and wave a flag as proof of its existence.

We will all wake up semi-angels,
If we wake at all.

While I was waiting, I was hoping you might pass by and in your quiet voice again say, stay.

You have to make the good times yourself take the little times and make them into big times and save the times that are all right for the ones that aren't so good.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Rod McKuen

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Quotes of the day: Jay Leno

Published Monday, April 28, 2014 @ 5:19 AM EDT
Apr 28 2014

James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno (b. April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, writer, producer and television host. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A new book lists all the countries that hate the United States. It's called The World Atlas.

Being a comedian is like being a hooker- it's humiliating and degrading, but it only lasts 20 minutes, and you do get a hundred dollars.

Cloning is the scariest use of the egg since the Denny's Grand Slam Breakfast.

Do you know what White House correspondents call actors who pose as reporters? Anchors.

Every time I think I'm a Republican they do something greedy, and every time I think I'm a Democrat, they do something stupid.

Exhaustion is a rich man's disease. If you have time to complain, you don't have enough work to do.

Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances.

I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good. Maybe you're not the best, so you should work a little harder.

If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

If God had wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.

If you kill someone in Los Angeles, you're going to have to pay a really stiff fine.

In America, we like everyone to know about the good work we're doing anonymously.

It was sort of a fair trade. We gave the Native Americans deadly diseases, and they gave us tobacco.

It's kind of ironic. The only time you can be really be sure that a politician is telling the truth is when he's admitting that he's a crook.

New Year's Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.

People don't mind if you have a lot of money if they know you're working for it.

Show business pays you a lot of money, because eventually you're gonna get screwed.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that nine out of ten doctors agree that one out of ten doctors is an idiot.

The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver.

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, DC. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.

There's something wrong with a society that puts aspirin in childproof containers and bullets in cardboard boxes.

When you make the kind of money you make in show business, just shut up. Don't complain.

You cannot stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.

You're not famous until my mother has heard of you.

Categories: Jay Leno, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, April 27, 2014 @ 8:05 AM EDT
Apr 27 2014

From TL;DR Wikipedia:

A jacuzzi is a brand of whirlpool bathtub containing underwater jets designed to therapeutically massage the user with warm streams of bacteria.

Pandora is an internet radio website that allows users to listen to everything but the song they actually want to hear.

Greece is Europe's Detroit

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (O.C.D) is getting really upset that there's no period after the D in the first part of this sentence.

Pennsylvania is the space between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

1040EZ is an IRS form that sums up how alone, childless, and poor you are in one easy document.

The Watergate Scandal was a major political scandal wherein President Richard Nixon had the audacity to wiretap fellow politicians instead of regular U.S. citizens.



There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.
-Jodi Picoult



If the key to her heart is 128 bits or greater, you're probably wasting your time.
-The Covert Comic



Why history is important:


Note to self: When I'm writing with voice recognition software, DO NOT TALK TO THE CATS.



New Georgia state slogan: "We make Florida look safe!"
-Andy Borowitz



There's a young rabbit in our back yard who has decided to nest in the stand of tall grass. But he also wanders around in the open. Before I can let the dogs out, I have to check that he's not visible; and if he is, I have to scare him into a secure location. The shelties don't pick up on his scent, but Pixie, the small dog-like creature (aka Shih Tzu) goes immediately to the tall grass and starts tracking. I have to watch her so I can call them back in just before she picks up the scent of his current hiding place.

I hope that dumb bunny develops some smarts, and soon. There are hawks and other raptors about, and one of these days they're going to spot him sunning himself.


Why spelling is important:


AOL email has been hacked, so if anyone from 1994 gets this tweet, change your password.


Sometimes unconditional love goes both ways.
Nice boots, too.


Conservatives don’t like safety nets because they allegedly make people lazy and careless. But what about safety nets for top executives who fail? Yahoo's recent decision to pay its chief operating officer $96 million for 15 months of work before firing him is just the latest example of handsome rewards for failure in corporate suites.

At least safety nets for the poor help those in need. Safety nets for corporate executives give them no reason to work hard because even when they fail they can vastly increase their wealth. One way to discourage these is to prevent corporations from deducting generous executive severance payments from their taxable incomes.
-Robert Reich



It's an accepted fact that hot dogs contain insects and rodent hair, but Kraft is recalling 96,000 lbs. because they have cheese in them.



Ironically, "Cliven Bundy" is what Jerry Lewis yells when he's startled by a black person.

At this point, we're all just waiting for Cliven Bundy to yell "Kansas City faggots!" and ride an A-bomb into the sun.


Granddaughter Leanna is a straight A student, loves math, is a compulsive reader, studies martial arts and archery. I think she's going to be a superhero when she grows up.


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Miscellany

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Quotes of the day: Ulysses S. Grant

Published Sunday, April 27, 2014 @ 8:03 AM EDT
Apr 27 2014

Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th president of the United States (1869–1877) following his success as military commander in the American Civil War. Under Grant, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military; the war, and secession, ended with the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox Court House. As president, Grant led the Radical Republicans in their effort to eliminate vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, protect African American citizenship, and defeat the Ku Klux Klan. In foreign policy, Grant sought to increase American trade and influence, while remaining at peace with the world. Although his Republican Party split in 1872 as reformers denounced him, Grant was easily reelected. During his second term the country's economy was devastated by the Panic of 1873, while investigations exposed corruption scandals in the administration. The conservative white Southerners regained control of Southern state governments and Democrats took control of the federal House of Representatives. By the time Grant left the White House in 1877, his Reconstruction policies were being undone. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self- government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation,

But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.

God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both.

I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world, in His own good time, to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required.

I don't underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency.

I only know two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't.

I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers. (Grant's 'perfect speech')

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.

It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service.

It is not with the religion of the self-styled Saints that we are now dealing, but with their practices. They will be protected in the worship of God according to the dictates of their consciences, but they will not be permitted to violate the laws under the cloak of religion. (re: Mormon polygamy)

It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies.

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men disgrace labor.

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the State forever separate.

Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.

The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.

The will of the people is the best law.

Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.

Two commanders on the same field are always one too many.

Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Ulysses S. Grant

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Quotes of the day: Bernard Malamud

Published Saturday, April 26, 2014 @ 12:58 PM EDT
Apr 26 2014

Bernard Malamud (April 26, 1914 – March 18, 1986) was an American author of novels and short stories. Along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, he was one of the best known American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel, The Natural, was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about antisemitism in Tsarist Russia, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man is an island in the only sense that matters, not an easy way to be. We live in mystery, a cosmos of separate lonely bodies, men, insects, stars. It is all loneliness and men know it best.

A writer is a spectator, looking at everything with a highly critical eye.

Charity you can give even when you haven't got.

His worst fault is he thinks his brains entitle him to certain privileges.

I don't think you can do anything for anyone without giving up something of your own.

If you ever forget you are a Jew a goy will remind you.

Life is a tragedy full of joy.

Mourning is a hard business... If people knew there'd be less death.

One can't make pure clay of time's mud. There is no life that can be recaptured wholly; as it was. Which is to say that all biography is ultimately fiction.

Suffering is what brings us toward happiness.

Teach yourself to work in uncertainty.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.

The wild begins where you least expect it, one step off your normal course.

There are no wrong books. What's wrong is the fear of them.

There comes a time in a man's life when to get where he has to- if there are no doors or windows- he walks through a wall.

They say God appeared in history and used it for his purposes, but if that was so he had no pity for men.

Those who write about life, reflect about life... you see in others who you are.

We have two lives... the life we learn with and the life we live with after that.

What suffering has taught me is the uselessness of suffering.

Without heroes, we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go.

You could not pity anything if you weren't a man; pity was a surprise to God. It was not his invention.

Categories: Bernard Malamud, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: William J. Brennan, Jr.

Published Friday, April 25, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Apr 25 2014

William Joseph Brennan, Jr. (April 25, 1906 - July 24, 1997) was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1956 to 1990. As the seventh longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, he was known for his outspoken progressive views, including opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights. He authored several landmark case opinions, including Baker v. Carr, establishing the "one person, one vote" principle, and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which required "actual malice" in a libel suit against those deemed "public figures". Due to his ability to shape a wide variety of opinions and "bargain" for votes in many cases, he was considered to be among the Court's most influential members. Justice Antonin Scalia called Brennan "probably the most influential Justice of the (20th) century." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of Edward R. Murrow)


All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance- unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees (of the First Amendment).

Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment.

Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide- open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.

Even the most vile murderer does not release the state from its constitutional obligation to respect human dignity, for the state does not honor the victim by emulating the murderer who took his life. The fatal infirmity of capital punishment is that it treats members of the human race as non-humans, as objects to be toyed with and discarded.

I cannot accept the notion that lawyers are one of the punishments a person receives merely for being accused of a crime.

If our free society is to endure, and I know it will, those who govern must recognize that the Framers of the Constitution limited their power in order to preserve human dignity and the air of freedom which is our proudest heritage.

If the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted government intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or begat a child.

If there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.

It is difficult to understand precisely what the state hopes to achieve by promoting the creation and perpetuation of a subclass of illiterates within our boundaries, surely adding to the problems and costs of unemployment, welfare and crime.

Law cannot stand aside from the social changes around it.

No longer is the female destined solely for the home and the rearing of the family and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas.

Our Nation has had a long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination, rationalized by an attitude of 'romantic paternalism' which, in practical effect, put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage.

Religious conflict can be the bloodiest and cruelest conflicts that turn people into fanatics.

Sex and obscenity are not synonymous.

The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security 'necessities' to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.

The Constitution was framed fundamentally as a bulwark against governmental power, and preventing the arbitrary administration of punishment is a basic ideal of any society that purports to be governed by the rule of law.

The constitutional vision of human dignity rejects the possibility of political orthodoxy imposed from above; it respects the right of each individual to form and to express political judgments, however far they may deviate from the mainstream and however unsettling they might be to the powerful or the elite.

The dissemination of ideas can accomplish nothing if otherwise willing addressees are not free to receive and consider them. It would be a barren marketplace of ideas that had only sellers and no buyers.

The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to create rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.

The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs.

The machinery chugs on unabated, belching out its dehumanizing product. It is distressing. But I refuse to despair. I know, one day, the Supreme Court will outlaw the death penalty. Permanently.

The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end.

There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.

There can be no impairment of executive power, whether on the state or federal level, where actions pursuant to that power are impermissible under the Constitution. Where there is no power, there can be no impairment of power.

We are not an assimilative, homogeneous society, but a facilitative, pluralistic one, in which we must be willing to abide someone else's unfamiliar or even repellent practice because the same tolerant impulse protects our own idiosyncrasies.

We cannot let colorblindness become myopia which masks the reality that many 'created equal' have been treated within our lifetimes as inferior both by the law and by their fellow citizens.

We current justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as 20th-century Americans.

We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents.

We look to the history of the time of framing and to the intervening history of interpretation. But the ultimate question must be, what do the words of the text mean in our time.

We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.

Categories: Quotes of the day, William J. Brennan, Jr.

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Quotes of the day: Robert Penn Warren

Published Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 4:11 AM EDT
Apr 24 2014

Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905 - September 15, 1989) was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks in 1935. He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the King's Men (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979. He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of Anthony Trollope)


A young man's ambition- to get along in the world and make a place for himself- half your life goes that way, till you're 45 or 50. Then, if you're lucky, you make terms with life, you get released.

And the testicles of the fathers hang down like old lace.

And what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost.

But if anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn't the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.

Everything seems an echo of something else.

For either killing or creating may be a crime punishable by death, and the death always comes by the criminal's own hand and every man is suicide. If a man knew how to live he would never die.

For God and Nothing have a lot in common. You look either one of Them straight in the eye for a second and the immediate effect on the human constitution is the same.

For the truth is a terrible thing. You dabble your foot in it and it is nothing. But you walk a little farther and you feel it pull you like an undertow or a whirlpool. First there is the slow pull so steady and gradual you scarcely notice it, then the acceleration, then the dizzy whirl and plunge into darkness. For there is a blackness of truth, too. They say it is a terrible thing to fall into the Grace of God. I am prepared to believe that.

For whatever you live is life.

Goodness... You got to make it out of badness... Because there isn't anything else to make it out of.

Here is the shadow of truth, for only the shadow is true.

History is not melodrama, even if it usually reads like that. It was real blood, not tomato catsup or the pale ectoplasm of statistics, that wet the ground at Bloody Angle and darkened the waters of Bloody Pond.

If you could not accept the past and its burden there was no future, for without one there cannot be the other.

In separateness only does love learn definition.

It is a human defect- to try to know one's self by the self of another.

Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.

Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good.

Poets, we know, are terribly sensitive people, and in my observation one of the things they are most sensitive about is money.

Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself. And there is always a price to make a choice. You know that. You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you. There is always a price.

She lifted her sewing and bit off the thread in the way women do to make your flesh crawl.

Sometimes sleep gets to be a serious and complete thing. You stop going to sleep in order that you may be able to get up, but get up in order that you may be able to go back to sleep.

Storytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South. They're inexpensive and easy to procure.

The best luck always happens to people who don't need it.

The end of man is knowledge but there's one thing he can't know. He can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can't know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn't got and which if he had it would save him.

The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.

The past is always a rebuke to the present.

There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain.

They say you are not you except in terms of relation to other people. If there weren't any other people there wouldn't be any you because what you do, which is what you are, only has meaning in relation to other people.

When you get born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a ham trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can't get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Robert Penn Warren

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Exchange of the day

Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 9:59 AM EDT
Apr 23 2014

Conservative pundit and author George Will was plugging his new book about Wrigley Field on The Colbert Report last night, and jokingly made the claim that the Chicago Cubs won the Cold War.

George Will: In 1919, William Wrigley bought Catalina Island off Southern California. In 1921 the Cubs began to do spring training there. In 1937 a Des Moines, Iowa radio broadcaster named Dutch Reagan decided he would go out and cover spring training for his radio station. He took a movie test with Warner Brothers, became an actor, became President of the United States, and won the Cold War... therefore, the Cubs get credit for winning the Cold War.

Stephen Colbert: By that same logic, did not the Chicago Cubs also sell arms to Iran?

Categories: Colbert Report, Exchange of the day, George F. Will, Politics, Sports, Stephen Colbert

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Quotes of the day: J.P. Donleavy

Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 1:36 AM EDT
Apr 23 2014

James Patrick Donleavy (born April 23, 1926) is an Irish American novelist, playwright and author whose work includes The Ginger Man and A Fairy Tale of New York. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


(Today is also the birthday of William Shakespeare.)


And money is one of the motives for becoming a writer. The others are leisure and money, women and money, and sometimes just money all alone by itself.

Electronic books are a bad thing because they cannot be accumulated on shelves to remind you of your past, to impress your neighbors and colleagues, and to help prevent divorces thanks to the sheer bother of arguing over who owns what.

Every madman thinks everyone else mad.

Five years ago I had a plan to straighten myself out. Here I am thousands of dollars later with one more insight. That you grow older faster staying in the same place.

How when one is able to indulge the luxury of beginning one's life again. All one thinks to do Is end it.

I got disappointed in human nature as well and gave it up because I found it too much like my own.

I've always been prepared to stand up and fight for my beliefs. I'm prepared to die for them. Of course, the risk always is that someone will come along and kill you.

If you're going to love somebody, love somebody who needs it.

It's not nice (growing old) but take comfort that you won't stay that way forever.

My dear, if you really have to, only clean, very clean rest rooms will do.

Never underestimate your adversary, not even in a snowball fight.

Revenge is what I want. Nothing but pure unadulterated revenge. But my mother brought me up to be a lady.

Rid the mind of knowledge when looking for pleasure. Or start thinking and find a lot of pain.

See all the women seated, youth in their face lifts, old age in their hands.

Take deeds away. Play music please.

The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you.

To marry the Irish is to look for poverty.

When I die I want to decompose in a barrel of porter and have it served in all the pubs in Dublin.

When I'm dead, I hope it may be said: his sins were scarlet, but his books were read.

When you don't have any money, the problem is food. When you have money, it's sex. When you have both, it's health. If everything is simply jake, then you're frightened of death.

Whenever anyone says, 'theoretically,' they really mean 'not really'.

Writing is turning one's worst moments into money.

You know, there must be happiness somewhere, when a lawyer dies.

Categories: J.P. Donleavy, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Jack Nicholson

Published Tuesday, April 22, 2014 @ 1:00 AM EDT
Apr 22 2014

John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (b. April 22, 1937) is an American actor, film director, producer, and writer. Nicholson's 12 Oscar nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the history of the Academy Awards. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A girlfriend once told me never to fight with anybody you don't love.

A lot of people can't remember things because they weren't actually there to begin with- they don't take it all in.

A lot of times, you gotta be there even if you don't wanna be.

A man needs a private life. With no ability to have a private life, one thing leads to another, and before you know it we have Bill and Monica. We need to get real about things. Humans are humans. Why should we expect more?

All these millions of simple household behaviors make for a better life. We can't live in constant rebellion against our parents- it's just silly.

Almost everybody's happy to be a fool for love.

Beer, it's the best damn drink in the world.

Children give your life a resonance that it can't have without them.

Do unto others: How much deeper into religion do we really need to go?

I always tell young men there are three rules (re:women): They hate us, we hate them; they're stronger, they're smarter; and most important: they don't play fair.

I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye. But I can't look into the eyes of everyone who wants to look into mine; I can't emotionally cope with that kind of volume. Sunglasses are part of my armor.

I don't know if this is a true statistic, but I heard somewhere that there are three times as many single women over forty as single men. That's what we got from the women's movement. The chickens have come home to roost.

I hate advice unless I'm giving it. I hate giving advice, because people won't take it.

I just want to do something good before I die.

I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself.

I only take Viagra when I'm with more than one woman.

I resist all established beliefs. My religion basically is to be immediate, to live in the now. It's an old cliché, I know, but it's mine.

I think the Greeks invented sports as an antidote to philosophy. In sports there are absolute rules. It's not, What about this? What about that? Either you're safe or you're out. It's ten yards or it's not. It's in the hoop or out of the hoop. It's certain

I used to think that one of the great signs of security was the ability to just walk away.

I'm Irish. I think about death all the time.

If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women.

If you think you're attractive, you're always attractive.

In my last year of school, I was voted Class Optimist and Class Pessimist. Looking back, I realize I was only half right.

It's very easy to go down, so always live up. Incline yourself upward.

Liberalism is the right to question without being called a heretic. That's what America did for the world.

Men dominate because of physicality, and thus they have mercy where women do not.

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.

Never rub another man's rhubarb.

Once you've been really bad in a movie, there's a certain kind of fearlessness you develop.

Our generation are the new old. I remember what someone of 60 looked like when I was a kid. They didn't look like me.

People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch.

The minute that you're not learning I believe you're dead.

There's a tacit agreement in the nation today that the white male is the only legitimate target for any and all satire, criticism, and so forth. And we pretty much just accept it.

There's so much darn porn out there, I never got out of the house. (re: why he avoids the Internet)

We are going as fast as we can as soon as we can. We're in a race against time, until we run out of money.

When I turned 70 it was the first time I felt young for my age. Fifty dropped on me like a ton of bricks- there is something about that number- but when 70 came along I felt good about it.

When it's over for a woman, it's over. You're not getting an appeal.

Why can't somebody use modern intelligence and relate it to traffic?

With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and old.

You only lie to two people in your life: your girlfriend and the police. Everybody else you tell the truth to.

Categories: Jack Nicholson, Quotes of the day

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First Easter

Published Monday, April 21, 2014 @ 4:24 PM EDT
Apr 21 2014

Granddaughter Joelle nailed it.

Categories: Holidays, KGB Family

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Quotes of the day: Rollo May

Published Monday, April 21, 2014 @ 3:46 AM EDT
Apr 21 2014

Rollo Reece May (April 21, 1909 - October 22, 1994) was an American existential psychologist. He was the author of the influential book Love and Will, and is often associated with both humanistic psychology and existentialist philosophy. He was a major proponent of "existential psychotherapy," which seeks to analyze the structure of human existence with the aim of understanding the reality underlying all situations of humans in crises. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person can meet anxiety to the extent that his values are stronger than the threat.

Art is a substitute for violence.

Artists are generally soft-spoken persons who are concerned with their inner visions and images. But that is precisely what makes them feared by any coercive society.

Courage is not a virtue of value among other personal values like love or fidelity. It is the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all other virtues and personal values.

Depression is the inability to construct a future.

Every human being must have a point at which he stands against the culture, where he says, 'This is me and the world be damned!'

Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.

However it may be confounded or covered up or counterfeited, this elemental capacity to fight against injustice remains the distinguishing characteristic of human beings.

Human freedom involves our capacity to pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight.

If we wish the death of our enemies, we cannot talk about the community of man. In the losing of the chance for dialogue with our enemies, we are the poorer.

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings.

Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about.

Many people feel they are powerless to do anything effective with their lives. It takes courage to break out of the settled mold, but most find conformity more comfortable. This is why the opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it's conformity.

Memory is not just the imprint of the past time upon us; it is the keeper of what is meaningful for our deepest hopes and fears.

Now it is no longer a matter of deciding what to do, but of deciding how to decide.

o love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive- to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before.

Our passion for form expresses our yearning to make the world adequate to our needs and desires, and, more important, to experience ourselves as having significance.

Physical courage in whatever scene... seems to hinge on whether the individual can feel he is fighting for others as well as himself.

Reason works better when emotions are present; the person sees sharper and more accurately when his emotions are engaged.

The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary.

The constructive schizoid person stands against the spiritual emptiness of encroaching technology and does not let himself be emptied by it. He lives and works with the machine without becoming a machine.

The past has meaning as it lights up the present, and the future as it makes the present richer and more profound.

The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt.

There is no meaningful 'yes' unless the individual could also have said 'no.'

There is nobody who totally lacks the courage to change.

Vanity and narcissism- the compulsive need to be admired and praised- undermine one's courage, for one then fights on someone else's conviction rather than one's own.

When people feel their insignificance as individual persons, they also suffer an undermining of their sense of human responsibility.

You can live without a father who accepts you, but you cannot live without a world that makes some sense to you.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Rollo May

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 12:20 PM EDT
Apr 20 2014

Upon reflection, is was kind of obvious Lex Luthor was in the bunny suit.


This year's Easter Sunday happens to fall on the same day as the marijuana holiday, 4/20. Which means no matter what your religion, this Sunday you're probably going to see a giant bunny.
–Conan O'Brien



You can run from your problems. Unless your problem is a cheetah.



I judge how safe an area is by the number of lit letters on the Waffle House sign.



Note to self: Telling your Facebook friends that their auras are actually invisible because they don't exist makes them not like you.


An example of Facebook's state-of-the-art subject matching software.


50 years ago, America's biggest employer was General Motors, where workers made the modern equivalent of $50 dollars an hour. Today, America's biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is $8 dollars an hour...And Walmart released their annual report this month, and in it was the fact that most of what Walmart sells is food. And most of their customers need food stamps to pay for it. Meanwhile, Walmart's owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, 500 miles away from the nearest person who ever would want to look at art. And she said about it, 'For years I've been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.' How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit?
–Bill Maher


I can never tell if CNN is engaging in self parody or if they're just dumb.


Last month, over 200,000 jobs were created in the United States. And that doesn't count this one.
–David Letterman


People should announce they'll be a grandma the old-fashioned way-- by leaking that their teen daughter is pregnant the night before the RNC.



Plot idea: 97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.


70% of our planet is covered in water, the other 30% is covered in idiots.


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cleaning off the desktop, Miscellany

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70 observations about Heaven

Published Sunday, April 20, 2014 @ 12:04 AM EDT
Apr 20 2014

(by Charles Barsotti in the New Yorker)

A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.
-H.L. Mencken

At an early age I decided that living a life of pious misery in the hope of going to heaven when it's over is a lot like keeping your eyes shut all through a movie in the hope of getting your money back at the end.
-A. Whitney Brown

Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.
-John Milton

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.
-Adolf Hitler

Clergyman: a ticket speculator outside the gates of heaven.
-H.L. Mencken

Do not ask God the way to heaven; he will show you the hardest way.
-Stanislaw J. Lec

Either heaven or hell will have continuous background music. Which one you think it will be tells a lot about you.
-Bill Vaughan

Even a band of angels can turn ugly and start looting if enough angels are unemployed and hanging around the Pearly Gates convinced that all the succubi own all the liquor stores in Heaven.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Every man is as Heaven made him, and sometimes a great deal worse.
-Miguel de Cervantes

Every politician we have, liberal or conservative, who gets caught drinking or chasing women is thrown out of office. It's backwards. It's more dangerous to have a clean-living President with his finger on the button. He thinks he's going right to heaven. You want to feel safe with a leader? Give me a guy who fights in bars and cheats on his wife. This is a man who wants to put off Judgment Day as long as possible.
-Larry Miller

God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.
-Rev. Billy Graham

Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.
-Helen Gurley Brown

Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
-David Hume

Heaven for climate, hell for society.
-Mark Twain

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
-Mark Twain

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
-William Congreve

Heaven have mercy on us all- Presbyterians and Pagans alike- for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
-Herman Melville

Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.
-Edward Abbey

Heaven is like Scotland without the midges... and the Scots, of course.
-From Old Harry's Game, BBC Radio

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
-Henry David Thoreau

Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy.
-William Wordsworth

Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.
-Dante Alighieri

Heaven-A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound your own.
-Ambrose Bierce

Hell is in Heaven and Heaven is in Hell. But angels see only the light, and devils only the darkness.
-Jacob Boehme

How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.
-Robert A. Heinlein

How you gonna go to heaven unless you've danced in hell? I mean how are you gonna know it? How you gonna feel good unless you feel bad?
-Charles Manson

I desire to go to Hell, not to Heaven. In Hell I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, but in Heaven are only beggars, monks, hermits and apostles.
-Niccolò Machiavelli

I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation so much as the mystery of the social order. It introduces into the thought of heaven an idea of equalization, which saves the rich from being massacred by the poor.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell- you see, I have friends in both places.
-Mark Twain

I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I have faith in the universe, for it is rational. Law underlies each happening. And I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell. I'm concerned with this time- here and now.
-Albert Einstein

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
-James Thurber

If there are no dogs in heaven, when I die I want to go where they go.
-Will Rogers

In Heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
-George Bernard Shaw

It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it's not the sort of comfort they supply there.
-C.S. Lewis

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.
-C.S. Lewis

Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
-Paulo Coelho

Men, at most, differ as heaven and earth; But women, worst and best, as heaven and hell.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

No one wants to die. Even people who wanna go to heaven don't wanna die to get there.
-Steve Jobs

Of all the inventions of man I doubt whether any was more easily accomplished than that of a Heaven.
-G.C. Lichtenberg

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.
-Jules Renard

Order is heaven's first law.
-Alexander Pope

People with too much heaven in them are hell to live with.
-Tony Larsen

Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
-John Adams

Retire when the work is done. This is the way of heaven.
-Tao Te Ching

Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So trust is not a matter of probabilities. Statistics can't handle a sample of one. Trust is an act of faith. Trust is the gateway to either heaven or hell-and the gate is unmarked. Damn few have gone through.
-Donald Kingsbury

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
-H.L. Mencken

Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.
-Washington Irving

That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing real succeeds.
-John Updike

The bottom line is in heaven.
-Edwin H. Land

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
-Mark Twain

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.
-Evelyn Waugh

The intellect of the wise is like glass; it admits the light of heaven and reflects it.
-Augustus William Hare

The intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to Heaven, not how Heaven goes.
-Cesare Baronio

The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.
-John Milton

The only place different social types can genuinely get along with each other is in heaven.
-Daniel Waters (from the film Heathers)

The outside world doesn't have a lot to offer. You have to make your own heaven in your own home.
-Bette Midler

The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
-Mark Twain

The two universal languages on earth are music and silence. They are also the two primary languages of heaven.
-Peter Kreeft

There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is.
-Thomas Carlyle

To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To scale great heights, we must come out of the lowest depths. The way to heaven is through hell.
-Herman Melville

Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.
-Arthur Miller

We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
-George Eliot

What a man misses mostly in heaven is company.
-Mark Twain

When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don't see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.
-Joseph Heller

You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.
-Jimi Hendrix

You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Categories: Heaven, Quotes on a topic

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70 observations about Hell

Published Saturday, April 19, 2014 @ 5:19 AM EDT
Apr 19 2014

A lapsed Catholic is someone who no longer believes in Hell but knows he's still going there.
-Sean Kelly

A man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open- but even the Devil can't fool a dog.
-Earl Hammer, Jr.

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
-George Bernard Shaw

A Christian telling an atheist they're going to hell is as scary as a child telling an adult they're not getting any presents from Santa.
-Ricky Gervais

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.
-Victor Hugo

Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.
-John Milton

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.
-Adolf Hitler

Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.
-Frank Borman

Communists worship the Devil himself. Socialists believe damnation is a good system run by bad people. And liberals want to send everyone to hell because it's warm there in the winter.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Don't tell a man to go to Hell unless you can send him there.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

Easy is the slope to hell.

Either heaven or hell will have continuous background music. Which one you think it will be tells a lot about you.
-Bill Vaughan

Everybody's Hell is different; its not all fire and pain. The real Hell is your life gone wrong.
-Richard Matheson

For each time you say the phrases 'touch base,' 'networking,' or 'bottom line,' you will spend one month in hell.

He who has money can eat sherbet in hell.
-Lebanese proverb

Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
-David Hume

Heaven for climate, hell for society.
-Mark Twain

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
-William Congreve

Hell has no terrors for pagans.
-Arthur Rimbaud

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
-Milton Friedman

Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent.
-Frank Sinatra

Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.
-Dick Gregory

Hell hath no fury like a woman. Why add extraneous details?
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned.

Hell is a half-filled auditorium.
-Robert Frost

Hell is full of good meanings and wishings.
-George Herbert

Hell is in Heaven and Heaven is in Hell. But angels see only the light, and devils only the darkness.
-Jacob Boehme

Hell is other people.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Hell is other people. And those people are French.
-Neal Pollack

How could I have died and gone to hell without noticing the transition?
-Lois McMaster Bujold

I am an Agnostic because I am not afraid to think. I am not afraid of any god in the universe who would send me or any other man or woman to hell. If there were such a being, he would not be a god; he would be a devil.
-Clarence Darrow

I desire to go to Hell, not to Heaven. In Hell I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, but in Heaven are only beggars, monks, hermits and apostles.
-Niccolò Machiavelli

I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell- you see, I have friends in both places.
-Mark Twain

I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell.
-Isaac Asimov

I have faith in the universe, for it is rational. Law underlies each happening. And I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell. I'm concerned with this time- here and now.
-Albert Einstein

I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.
-Robert Frost

If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell.
-Phillip Henry Sheridan

If there is a hell, it is modeled after junior high.
-Lewis Black

If there is no hell, a good many preachers are obtaining money under false pretenses.
-Billy Sunday

If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell.
-Thomas Merton

If you're going through hell, keep going.
-Winston Churchill

In southern Nevada, there's only a screen door between you and hell.

Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
-Paulo Coelho

Maybe there is no actual place called Hell. Maybe Hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they're eating sandwiches.
-Jim Carrey

Maybe this world is another planet's Hell.
-Aldous Huxley

My principal objections to orthodox religion are two- slavery here and hell hereafter.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

New York has always been going to hell but somehow it never gets there.
-Robert Pirsig

Religion is for those who believe in Hell. Spirituality is for those who have been there.

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
-H.L. Mencken

The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.
-John Milton

The pride of dying rich raises the loudest laugh in hell.
-John Foster

The way to Hell is paved with good intentions.
-Karl Marx

There's a truism that the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions. The corollary is that evil is best known not by its motives but by its methods.
-Eric S. Raymond

The road to Hell is paved with good Samaritans.
-Robert Herrick

The road to Hell is paved with works in progress.
-Philip Roth

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
-C.S. Lewis

There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is.
-Thomas Carlyle

There is no hell. There is only France.
-Frank Zappa

To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.
-Thomas Merton

To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To scale great heights, we must come out of the lowest depths. The way to heaven is through hell.
-Herman Melville

Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been upon the point of breaking out, 'This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!' But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell.
-John Adams

We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
-Oscar Wilde

What fresh hell can this be?
-Dorothy Parker

What if God's a woman? Not only am I going to hell, I'll never know why!
-Adam Ferrara

What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?
-Stephen Hawking

When we preach on hell, we might at least do it with tears in our eyes.
-Dwight L. Moody

Whoever is in control of the hell in your life, is your devil.
-John Henrik Clarke

You won't burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
-Ricky Gervais

Categories: Hell, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Published Friday, April 18, 2014 @ 1:38 AM EDT
Apr 18 2014

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (March 6, 1927 – April 17, 2014) was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.

A person doesn't die when he should but when he can.

All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.

All I need in life is someone who understands me.

An early-rising man is a good spouse but a bad husband.

Because for you, quitting smoking would be like killing someone you love.

Before adolescence, memory is more interested in the future than the past...

Children's lies are signs of great talent.

Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.

He who awaits much can expect little.

I believe without any doubt at all that our greatest good fortune was that even in the most extreme difficulties we might lose our patience but never our sense of humor.

I can't think of any one film that improved on a good novel, but I can think of many good films that came from very bad novels.

I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him.

I would like for my books to have been recognized posthumously, at least in capitalist countries, where they turn you into a kind of merchandise.

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.

Necessity has the face of a dog.

No medicine cures what happiness cannot.

No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing.

Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.

Nostalgia, as always, had wiped away bad memories and magnified the good ones.

One minute of reconciliation is worth more than a whole life of friendship.

The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry.

Until I discovered the miracle that all things that sound are music, including dishes and silverware in the dishwasher, as long as they fulfill the illusion of showing us where life is heading.

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.

Categories: Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Conan O'Brien

Published Friday, April 18, 2014 @ 12:03 AM EDT
Apr 18 2014

Conan Christopher O'Brien (born April 18, 1963) is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, musician, and voice actor. He is best known for hosting several late-night talk shows, the most recent of which, Conan, premiered on American cable television station TBS in 2010. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Americans now read Facebook more than the Bible. I guess nobody wants to read about a guy who could only come up with 12 friends.

At Microsoft a minority employee is one who has a girlfriend.

Auld Lang Syne is actually Scottish for 'God, this haggis sucks.'

Fish recognize a bad leader.

I miss Harvard Square. Nowhere (else) in the world will you find a man in a turban wearing a Red Sox jacket working in a lesbian bookstore.

I'll say I'm happy doing my thing. No one says 'no comment' anymore.

I've dreamed of being a talk show host on basic cable ever since I was 46.

If life gives you lemons, make some kind of fruity juice.

If you can laugh at yourself loud and hard every time you fall, people will think you're drunk.

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.

It's a good thing I was born in this century, when superfluous television seems to be part of the economy.

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen.

Queen Elizabeth is in financial trouble. How do you go broke when your face is on the money?

Starbucks says they are going to start putting religious quotes on cups. The very first one will say, 'Jesus! This cup is expensive!'

Terrible climate, centuries of oppression, and the gene for alcoholism. Or as I call it, 'The luck of the Irish.'

The nightmare is you spend the rest of your life being funny at parties and then people say, 'Why didn't you do that when you were on television?'

There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.

There's good random, and there's bad random. There's good silly and there's bad silly, and you've gotta know the difference.

When all else fails there's always delusion.

When someone calls me pretentious, the white gloves come off.

Why can't they make meth with fluoride?

Categories: Conan O'Brien, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Isak Dinesen

Published Thursday, April 17, 2014 @ 1:32 AM EDT
Apr 17 2014

Karen von Blixen-Finecke (April 17, 1885 - September 7, 1962), née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen is best known for Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya, and Babette's Feast, both adapted into Academy Award-winning motion pictures. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.

A great artist is never poor.

I think these difficult times have helped me to realize how infinitely rich and beautiful life is. And that so many things one worries about are of no importance whatsoever.

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?

Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.

All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

The entire being of a woman is a secret which should be kept.

Love, with very young people, is a heartless business. We drink at that age from thirst, or to get drunk; it is only later in life that we occupy ourselves with the individuality of our wine.

Who tells a finer tale than any of us. Silence does.

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.

When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.

I think it will be truly glorious when women become real people and have the whole world open to them.

I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.

Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17- to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90.

Real art must always involve some witchcraft.

The best of my nature reveals itself in play, and play is sacred.

Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows that they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.

I have been told that lions, trapped and shut up in cages, grieve from shame more than from hunger.

People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not.

Tragedy should remain the right of human beings, subject, in their conditions or in their own nature, to the dire law of necessity. To them it is salvation and beatification.

Human talk is a centrifugal function, ever in flight outwards from what is on the talker's mind.

Man and woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other.

It never has happened, and it never will happen, and that is why it is told.

Categories: Isak Dinesen, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Charlie Chaplin

Published Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 4:17 AM EDT
Apr 16 2014

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (April 16, 1889 – December 25, 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an Emperor- that's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible- Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another; human beings are like that.

We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there's room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me I say, "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers: Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel; who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate; only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers: Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written, "the kingdom of God is within man"- not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men, in you, you the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers: In the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Categories: Charlie Chaplin, Quotes of the day

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90 quotes about taxes

Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 @ 5:37 AM EDT
Apr 15 2014

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

A dog who thinks he is a man's best friend is a dog who obviously has never met a tax lawyer.
-Fran Lebowitz

A fine is a tax for doing wrong; a tax is a fine for doing well.

A person doesn't know how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay taxes on it.
-Ann Landers

A society which turns so many of its best and brightest into tax lawyers may be doing something wrong.
-Hoffman F. Fuller

A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness.
-George W. Bush

A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform.
-Russell B. Long

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy.
-Daniel Webster

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 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.
-George McGovern

Anybody has a right to evade taxes if he can get away with it. No citizen has a moral obligation to assist in maintaining the government.
-J.P. Morgan

Bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.
-Oscar Wilde

Behind every man who achieves success,
Stands a mother, a wife and the IRS.
-Ethel Jacobson

Being audited by the IRS is like having an autopsy without the benefit of dying.

Death and taxes are unsolved engineering problems.
-Romana Machado

Democracy is mob rule, but with income taxes.

Doing your taxes is a great way to be reminded that you are unsuccessful, unmarried and childless without having to talk to your mother.
-Bryan Donaldson

Every advantage has its tax.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good software leads to more work. Bad software leads to more work. If there's any time left over from fiddling with software, people spend it on making the tax and legal systems more complicated.
-Bill Westfield

Governments last as long as the undertaxed can defend themselves against the overtaxed.
-Bernard Berenson

Gradually, without noticing it, you turn into a Republican and judge everything on the basis of whether or not it will increase your taxes.
-Dave Barry

I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene.
-Dave Barry

I guess I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged.
-Roger Jones

I hate paying taxes. But I love the civilization they give me.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.
-George Bernard Shaw

I owed the government $3,400 in taxes. So I sent them two hammers and a toilet seat.
-Sue Murphy

I prefer liquor store robbers with hungry kids to companies that locate offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.
-Warren Buffett

I want to find a voracious, small-minded predator and name it after the IRS.
-Robert Bakker (Mr. Bakker is a paleontologist)

I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.
-Edith Sitwell

I wouldn't mind paying taxes if I knew they were going to a friendly country.
-Dick Gregory

If I have sex, I know my quarterly estimated taxes must be due. And if it's oral sex, I know it's time to renew my driver's license.
-Ray Romano

If Patrick Henry thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
-The Farmer's Almanac

If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous.
-Will Durant

If the Lord had meant us to pay income taxes, he'd have made us smart enough to prepare the return.
-Kirk Kirkpatrick

In case you didn't know, ethanol is made by mixing corn with your tax dollars.
-Paul A. Gigot

Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
-Milton Friedman

Interesting thing about being rich is once you pay your taxes, you're still rich.
-Lewis Black

IRS: We've got what it takes to take what you've got.

-Unattributed (Bumper Sticker)

It's a game. We (tax lawyers) teach the rich how to play it so they can stay rich- and the IRS keeps changing the rules so we can keep getting rich teaching them.
-John Grisham

It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.
-Dave Barry

Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.
-Lord Bramwell

My uncle claims that if he files his income tax wrong he'll go to jail, and if he files it right he'll go to the poor house.
-Nonnee Coan

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is as satisfying as an income tax refund.
-F.J. Raymond

Nonprofit status is what created the Bible Belt. The tax code brought religion back to this country.
-Gore Vidal

On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.
-Tom Lehrer

On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes.
-Molly Ivins

Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.
-Benjamin Franklin

Owning your own home is America's unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home 'owners' deduct mortgage interest payments.
-Florence King

Passive activity income does not include the following: Income from an activity that is not a passive activity.
-(Instructions to IRS Form 8582, Passive Activity Loss Limitations)

People want just taxes more than they want lower taxes. They want to know that every man is paying his proportionate share according to his wealth.
-Will Rogers

Political figures who talk a lot about liberty and freedom invariably turn out to mean the freedom to not pay taxes and discriminate based on race; freedom to hold different ideas and express them, not so much.
-Paul Krugman

Politics is very much like taxes- everybody is against them, or everybody is for them as long as they don't apply to him.
-Fiorello LaGuardia

Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.
-Dan Bennett

Tax reform is taking the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on things that haven't been taxed before.
-Art Buchwald

Taxes and golf are alike: you drive your heart out for the green, and then end up in the hole.

The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward.
-John Maynard Keynes

The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations... But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes.

The First Rule of Practicing Tax Law: If someone has to go to jail, make sure it's the client.
-Fred Drasner

The Government cannot afford to have a country made up entirely of rich people, because rich people pay so little tax that the Government would quickly go bankrupt. This is why Government men always tell us that labor is man's noblest calling. Government needs labor to pay its upkeep.
-Russell Baker

The government is mainly an expensive organization to regulate evildoers and tax those who behave.
-E.W. Howe

The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.
-Albert Einstein

The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.
-Barry M. Goldwater

The IRS may take some solace in the fact that Matthew was a tax collector before he became a saint.
-Donald C. Alexander

The moral of the story of the Pilgrims is that if you work hard all your life and behave yourself every minute and take no time out for fun you will break practically even, if you can borrow enough money to pay your taxes.
-Will Cuppy

The one thing that hurts more than having to pay income tax is not having to pay income tax.
-Thomas R. Dewar

The only civilized country is one in which no man is afraid of the tax collector.
-Juan de Mariana

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.
-Will Rogers

The only things in life that you can't avoid are death and taxes. And an occasional pedestrian.
-Perry Friedman

The trick is to stop thinking of it as 'your' money.
(On dealing with the IRS)

The United States has a system of taxation by confession.
-Hugo Black

The United States is the only country where it takes more brains to figure your tax than to earn the money to pay it.
-Edward J. Gurney

The wages of sin are death, but after taxes are taken out, it's just a tired feeling.
-Paula Poundstone

The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love.
-Joe E. Lewis

There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer space program: your tax dollars will go farther.
-Wernher von Braun

There is untold wealth in America, especially at tax time.
-(Cartoon caption in The Wall Street Journal)

There's always somebody who is paid too much, and taxed too little- and it's always somebody else.
-Cullen Hightower

This year I'm going to deduct last year's taxes as a bad investment.

To steal from one person is theft. To steal from many is taxation.
-Jeff Daiell

To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection: it is plunder.
-Benjamin Disraeli

True, everyone lies, but there's a difference between 'No, those pants don't make your ass look fat, and 'No, there's nothing incriminating in those unreleased tax returns.'
-Kevin G. Barkes

War- after all, what is it that the people get? Why- widows, taxes, wooden legs and debt.
-Samuel B. Pettengill

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.
-Mark Twain

What we should have fought for was representation without taxation.
-Sam Levenson

When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.
-H.L. Mencken

When Barbary Pirates demand a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'tribute money.' When the Mafia demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'the protection racket.' When the State demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'sales tax.'
-Jeff Daiell

When everybody has got money they cut taxes, and when they're broke they raise 'em. That's statesmanship of the highest order.
-Will Rogers

When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.
-Mae West

When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.

When you come into the world you have nothing... when you leave you have nothing... and in between there's the IRS.
-Bob Thaves

Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?
-Peg Bracken

Categories: Quotes on a topic, Taxes

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It's palidrome week

Published Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 7:17 AM EDT
Apr 14 2014

Every date this week is the same backward:


You're welcome.

Categories: WTF?

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Quotes of the day: Arnold J. Toynbee

Published Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 2:49 AM EDT
Apr 14 2014

Arnold Joseph Toynbee CH (April 14, 1889 - October 22 1975) was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934–1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global perspective. A religious outlook permeates the Study and made it especially popular in the United States, for Toynbee rejected Greek humanism, the Enlightenment belief in humanity's essential goodness, and the "false god" of modern nationalism. Toynbee in the 1918–1950 period was a leading specialist on international affairs, especially regarding the Middle East. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)


A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man.

A life which does not go into action is a failure.

America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

Anxiety and conscience are a powerful pair of dynamos. Between them, they have ensured that I shall work hard, but they cannot ensure that one shall work at anything worthwhile.

As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility.

Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.

Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.

Civilizations in decline are consistently characterized by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.

Civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet.

Compassion is the desire that moves the individual self to widen the scope of its self-concern to embrace the whole of the universal self.

I can not think of any circumstances in which advertising would not be an evil.

I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills.

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.

Militarism has been by far the commonest cause of the breakdown of civilizations. The single art of war makes progress at the expense of all the arts of peace.

Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.

The art of handling university students is to make oneself appear, and this almost ostentatiously, to be treating them as adults...

The human race's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves.

The immense cities lie basking on the beaches of the continent like whales that have taken to the land.

The only real struggle in the history of the world... is between the vested interest and social justice.

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.

We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domesticated plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned breeding of ourselves.

There is a kind of intellectual provincialism in the dogma that 'life is just one damned thing after another.' Human affairs do not become intelligible until they are seen as a whole.

History not used is nothing, for all intellectual life is action, like practical life, and if you don't use the stuff well, it might as well be dead.

Material power that is not counterbalanced by adequate spiritual power, that is, by love and wisdom, is a curse.

Nothing fails like success when you rely on it too much.

The value of the goal lies in the goal itself; and therefore the goal cannot be attained unless it is pursued for its own sake.

We shall have to share out the fruits of technology among the whole of mankind. The notion that the direct and immediate producers of the fruits of technology have a proprietary right to these fruits will have to be forgotten. After all, who is the producer? Man is a social animal, and the immediate producer has been helped to produce by the whole structure of society, beginning with his own education.

Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousands times worse than nothing.

Categories: Arnold J. Toynbee, Quotes of the day

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 6:33 PM EDT
Apr 13 2014

"Maybe once, in clown college..."


'I never thought I would retire. I always assumed I would be impeached."
–David Letterman



It was so weird to see the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and realize that fifty years ago Congress accomplished something.
-Andy Borowitz



As an only child, I didn't feel in the least excluded by last week's "Siblings Day."

By the way, I'm off tomorrow in observance of "My Parents Realized They Couldn't Improve Upon Perfection Day."



The difference between your gun and your vote is someone is actually coming for your vote.



I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.
-Stephen Colbert


Random observations:

If I were Piers Morgan, I'd find that plane just to spite CNN.

When one door closes, another opens. Also, you can open the closed door. That’s how doors work. How do you know so little about doors?

You're supposed to get old WITH someone, not BECAUSE of them.
-Carrie Fisher

Balloons are so weird, it's like, happy birthday here’s a plastic sack of my breath.

Newly-released FBI documents allege Al Sharpton was a mob informant. He must have joined MSNBC as part of the Witness Protection Program.
-Stephen Colbert

Standardized tests get an update: reading comprehension will now be limited to 140 characters.
-Stephen Colbert

N. and S. Korea are trading fire at this moment. I go to CNN. Some guy is talking about the battery in the black box. STOP IT.

REMINDER: The leaders of the least productive House of Representatives in recorded history think you're lazy.

The largest number in the universe is the number of separate wads of cotton that can be removed from a torn stuffed animal by a dog.

What the Internet has done is let us know how many millions of Americans can afford a computer, but haven't yet mastered that tricky "your-you're" thing.
-John Fugelsang

You spend one hour in the right WalMart and you'll stop believing in Darwin, too.
-John Fugelsang

Our greatest domestic threat is not foreign terrorists but local morons.
-John Fugelsang

When God said be fruitful and multiply, there were two people. There are now seven billion. Mission accomplished.
-John Fugelsang

We actually don't have slavery any more. We outsource it to China.
-John Fugelsang


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cleaning off the desktop

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Quotes of the day: Thomas Jefferson

Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 9:30 PM EDT
Apr 12 2014

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was a spokesman for democracy, embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of man with worldwide influence. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Christian creeds and doctrines, the clergy's own fatal inventions, through all the ages has made of Christendom a slaughterhouse, and divided it into sects of inextinguishable hatred for one another.

Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment: but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.

Delay is preferable to error.

Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

Do not be too severe upon the errors of the people, but reclaim them by enlightening them.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Experience has already shown that the impeachment the Constitution has provided is not even a scarecrow.

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without a rebellion.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it.

I have not observed men's honesty to increase with their riches.

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should all want bread.

In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Information is the currency of democracy.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is as useless to argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason as to administer medication to the dead.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is not by the consolidation, or concentration, of powers, but by their distribution that good government is effected.

It is part of the American character to consider nothing desperate.

Merchants have no country.

No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.

On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human.

Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember it, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

The art of governing consists simply of being honest, exercising common sense, following principle, and doing what is right and just.

The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehood and errors.

The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.

The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

The possession of facts is knowledge, the use of them is wisdom.

The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The way to silence religious disputes is to take no notice of them.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

We hold these truths to be self-evident- that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.

We must be contented to amuse, when we cannot inform.

We should consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.

Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which have never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take place.

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

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Quotes of the day: Tom Clancy

Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 10:03 AM EDT
Apr 12 2014

Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 - October 1, 2013) was an American novelist and historian best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, and for video games that bear his name for licensing and promotional purposes. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


America is a country with a First Amendment, and you're allowed to publish just about anything you want, as long as it's not real secret information. Of course, nobody really does that except for, you know, you guys in the media.

America is the most inventive country in the world because everybody has access to information.

Beware the fury of a patient man.

Courage is being the only one who knows how terrified you are.

Fighting wars is not so much about killing people as it is about finding things out. The more you know, the more likely you are to win a battle.

Helicopters don't fly, they vibrate so badly the ground rejects them.

I've been telling people for 12 years that if you want to get a nuclear device into the United States, just bring it through the port of Miami disguised as cocaine.

I've made up stuff that's turned out to be real, that's the spooky part.

It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly.

Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.

Look, technology is another word for tool. There was a time when nails were high-tech. There was a time when people had to be told how to use a telephone. We got past that. Technology is just a tool. People use tools to improve their lives.

Man is a creature of hope and invention, both of which believe the idea that things cannot be changed.

Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?

Remember, for every shot you fire, someone, somewhere, is making money.

Success will ruin your life.

That's the ultimate pornography... There's nothing more pornographic than glorifying war.

The army recognized early on that, you know, black people are pretty much the same as white people, they just tend to be a little bit darker. They make just as good soldiers.

The good old days are now. OK? The human condition today is better than it's ever been, and technology is one of the reasons for that.

The thing you have to understand about fighter pilots is they never quite grow past the stage of little boys buzzing past girls on their bicycles.

There are people in government who don't want other people to know what they know. It's just another example of elitism. And I spit on elitism. Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser.

There's two kinds of people in the world, the ones who need to be told and the ones who figure it out all by themselves.

Things rarely happen for a single reason. Even the cleverest and most skilled manipulators recognize that their real art lies in making use of that which they cannot predict.

Victory comes only to those prepared to make it, and take it.

Wars are begun by frightened men.

What do I know about sex? I'm a married man.

What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else.

Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there's somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, 'Oh, you can't do that...'

You'd better not kick a tiger in the ass unless you have a plan for dealing with his teeth.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Tom Clancy

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Quotes of the day: Ellen Goodman

Published Friday, April 11, 2014 @ 5:44 AM EDT
Apr 11 2014

Ellen Goodman (b. April 11, 1941) is an American journalist and syndicated columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980. She is also a speaker and commentator, and was one of the first women in the United States to discuss women's rights openly. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


At times it seems that the media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it.

Civility, it is said, means obeying the unenforceable.

I began to realize that life is a growth stage I'm going through.

I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people who are convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another.

I regard this novel as a work without redeeming social value, unless it can be recycled as a cardboard box.

If women can sleep their way to the top, how come they aren't there?

In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.

It's not just that American families have less time with their kids; it's that we have to spend more of this time doing battle with our own culture.

Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience- unless they are still up.

My generation of women thought the women's movement would advance on two legs. With one, we would kick down the doors closed to us. With the other, we would walk through changing society for men and women. It turned out that it was easier to kick down the doors than to change society.

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for- in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

Once upon a time we were just plain people. But that was before we began having relationships with mechanical systems. Get involved with a machine and sooner or later you are reduced to a factor.

The average parent may, for example, plant an artist or fertilize a ballet dancer and end up with a certified public accountant. We cannot train children along chicken wire to make them grow in the right direction. Tying them to stakes is frowned upon, even in Massachusetts.

The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears.

The people often slandered as greedy geezers seem to have a perspective from their place in history. The elders in my family remember the Depression. The baby boomers remember dot-com boom and bust. We all have albums of best laid plans.

The things we hate about ourselves aren't more real than things we like about ourselves.

There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over- and to let go. It means leaving what's over without denying its value.

Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of.

Values are not trendy items that are casually traded in.

We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck... But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.

When speech is divorced from speaker and word from meaning, what is left is just ritual, language as ritual.

When we describe what the other person is really like, I suppose we often picture what we want. We look through the prism of our need.

When you live alone, you can be sure that the person who squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle wasn't committing a hostile act.

Years ago, during a wave of crimes against women in Israel, a council of men asked Golda Meir to put a nighttime curfew on females. Meir said no. If men were the problem, she answered, let the council enforce a curfew against men.

You can fire your secretary, divorce your spouse, abandon your children. But they remain your co-authors forever.

You can teach someone who cares to write columns, but you can't teach someone who writes columns to care.

Categories: Ellen Goodman, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Evelyn Waugh

Published Thursday, April 10, 2014 @ 1:08 AM EDT
Apr 10 2014

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (October 28, 1903 – April 10, 1966), known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer. His best-known works include his early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and his trilogy of Second World War novels collectively known as Sword of Honour (1952–61). Waugh is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Aesthetic value is often the by-product of the artist striving to do something else.

Don't hold your parents up to contempt. After all, you are their son, and it is just possible that you may take after them.

He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.

How ungenerously in later life we disclaim the virtuous moods of our youth, living in retrospect long, summer days of unreflecting dissipation.

I don't believe that people would ever fall in love or want to be married if they hadn't been told about it. It's like abroad: no one would want to go there if they hadn't been told it existed.

I don't like Norwegians at all. The sun never sets, the bar never opens, and the whole country smells of kippers.

I have never learned French well, and I never learned any other language at all; I’ve forgotten most of my classics; I can’t often remember people’s faces in the streets; and I don’t like music. Those are very grave failings.

If politicians and scientists were lazier, how much happier we should all be.

It is a curious thing... that every creed promises a paradise that will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.

Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.

My children weary me. I can only see them as defective adults: feckless, destructive, frivolous, sensual, humorless.

Of children as of procreation— the pleasure momentary, the posture ridiculous, the expense damnable.

One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.

Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.

Other nations use 'force;' we Britons alone use 'Might.'

Perhaps host and guest is really the happiest relation for a father and son.

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.

The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant they are.

To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.

We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them- a diminishing number in my case.

We possess nothing certainly except the past.

We schoolmasters must temper discretion with deceit.

When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.

You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.

Categories: Evelyn Waugh, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Sam Harris

Published Wednesday, April 09, 2014 @ 4:31 AM EDT
Apr 09 2014

Samuel B. Harris (b. April 9, 1967) is an American author, philosopher and neuroscientist, and is a contemporary critic of religion and proponent of scientific skepticism and the "New Atheism". He is also an advocate for the separation of church and state, freedom of religion, and the liberty to criticize religion. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Today is also Tom Lehrer's birthday. Mr. Lehrer, who always gives his age in Celsius, is 30. (That's 86F.)


Atheism is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a 'non-astrologer' or a 'non-alchemist.' We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle.

Atheism is just a way of clearing the space for better conversations.

Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation.

Faith is what credulity becomes when it finally achieves escape velocity from the constraints of terrestrial discourse.

Faith is, really, the permission that religious people give one another to believe things strongly when reasons fail. There is no other area in our discourse where we consider this to be an acceptable practice.

From my point of view, compatibilism is a little like saying: a puppet is free so long as it loves its strings.

I've read the books. God is not a moderate. There's no place in the books where God says, 'You know, when you get to the New World and you develop your three branches of government and you have a civil society, you can just jettison all the barbarism I recommended in the first books.'

If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn't value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?

If we expect God to subscribe to one religion at the exclusion of all the others, then we should expect damnation as a matter of chance. This should give Christians pause when expounding their religious beliefs, but it does not.

Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows. Could anything- anything- be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in.

It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window.

It is time we recognized that those who claim the "right not to be offended" have also announced their hatred of civil society.

Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: 'Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.' Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept.

Nothing is more sacred than the facts.

Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.

Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.

The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology.

The deity who stalked the deserts of the Middle East millennia ago- and who seems to have abandoned them to bloodshed in his name ever since- is no one to consult on questions of ethics.

The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate unwillingness to do so.

The moral truth here is obvious: anyone who feels that the interests of a blastocyst just might supersede the interests of a child with a spinal cord injury has had his moral sense blinded by religious metaphysics.

The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil's masterpiece.

The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.

The problem is that religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism in the way that it has been, allows people- perfectly sane, perfectly intelligent people- to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.

Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings.

We are now in the 21st century: all books, including the Koran, should be fair game for flushing down the toilet without fear of violent reprisal.

We have Christians against Muslims against Jews. They're making incompatible claims on real estate in the Middle East as though God were some kind of omniscient real estate broker parsing out parcels of land to his chosen flock. People are literally dying over ancient literature.

When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.

You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm.

You are not in control of your mind- because you, as a conscious agent, are only part of your mind, living at the mercy of other parts.

You don't get anything worth getting by pretending to know things you don't know.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Sam Harris

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Published Tuesday, April 08, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Apr 08 2014


In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
-Laurence J. Peter

All useful work is done by individuals who haven't yet reached their level of incompetence.
-Laurence J. Peter

Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent.
-Laurence J. Peter

The incompetent with nothing to do can still make a mess of it.
-Laurence J. Peter

Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.
-Laurence J. Peter

In most hierarchies, super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence.
-Laurence J. Peter

An incompetent attorney can delay a trail for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
-Evelle J. Younger

Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.
-Marge Piercy

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
-George Bernard Shaw

Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.
-John Maynard Keynes

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
-H.L. Mencken

I don't have time to distinguish between the unfortunate and the incompetent.
-General Curtis LeMay

I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
-John Cleese

I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.
-Maureen Reagan

I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.
-Edith Sitwell

Incompetence is a double-edged banana.
-John Perry Barlow

Laziness has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing incompetence.
-Kingsley Amis

Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, who can't, and those in cemeteries.
-Everett Dirksen

Maybe a vague president and an incompetent and somewhat corrupt administration is what the nation needs.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
-Robert J. Hanlon

Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.
-Robert A. Heinlein

One of the chief features of incompetence is an inability to see it in oneself.
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Only the incompetent wait until the last extremity to use force, and by then, it is usually too late to use anything, even prayer.
-H. Beam Piper

Our citizens have the right to protection from the incompetency of public employees who hold their places solely as the reward of partisan service. (1885)
-Grover Cleveland

Public office is the last refuge of the incompetent.
-Boies Penrose

The English think incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.
-Quentin Crisp

The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence.
-Elbert Hubbard

The supreme crime of the church today is that everywhere and in all its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of mind; that it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence.
-Upton Sinclair

The two-party system has given this country the war of Lyndon Johnson, the Watergate of Nixon and the incompetence of Carter. Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts.
-Eugene McCarthy

There's nothing wrong with being incompetent. It just means you don't have to do as much.
-Charles Manson

Unfortunately there was one thing that the white South feared more than Negro dishonesty, ignorance, and incompetency, and that was Negro honesty, knowledge, and efficiency.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
-Isaac Asimov

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Quotes of the day: William Wordsworth

Published Monday, April 07, 2014 @ 5:26 AM EDT
Apr 07 2014

William Wordsworth (April 6, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor.

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.

Faith is a passionate intuition.

And he is oft the wisest man
Who is not wise at all.

For I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes the still, sad music of humanity.

Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness.

Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting. Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come.

Suffering is permanent, obscure and dark,
And shares the nature of infinity.

That best portion of a man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.

And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what age takes away
Than what it leaves behind.

What is pride?- a whizzing rocket
That would emulate a star.

Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

Men do not make their homes unhappy because they have genius, but because they have not enough genius; a mind and sentiments of a higher order would render them capable of seeing and feeling all the beauty of domestic ties.

Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide
Into a Lover's head!

To the solid ground Of Nature trusts the mind which builds for aye.

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Wordsworth

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, April 06, 2014 @ 7:31 PM EDT
Apr 06 2014


McDonalds closes in Crimea. Actually, this is serious. The United States has never gone to war with a country that had an operating McDonalds.



You can't legally own a hedgehog in Pennsylvania.



REMINDER: Though the Supreme Court says there is no difference, your servers prefer you tip in actual money rather than "speech."



Saturday Night Live's parody of Fox and Friends included "a list of corrections from our first hour":
-Captain America was never a U.S. President.
-Lifesavers aren't medicine.
-The periodic table is not about "lady stuff."
-You can not abbreviate the Supreme Court to spell SCROTUM.
-Hong Kong is a region in China. Not a video game from Nintendo.
-Malaysia is not the female version of Asia.
-Chicklets do not grow up to be roosters.
-Chris Christie was never in the show "Three's Company."
-Infinity pools have a limited amount of water.
-Garfunkel is not Garfield's black cousin. -The Chile Earthquake is not a bold new product from Dairy Queen.
-Captain Phillips is not a brand of rum.
-Marvin Gaye liked women.
-Nancy Pelosi is a human woman.
-God loves figs.
-Noah is not "found footage."



All the great buzz about Captain America has convinced me that I need to drop everything and watch it on cable next year.


In the spring of 1967, 47(!) years ago, Patricia Pugh, John Krause and I represented Homestead Junior High School in the KDKA/Pittsburgh Press spelling bee.


I have to believe the Supreme Court is working for tips now.


Pixie is an 11 month old Shih Tzu, which supposedly is Mandarin Chinese for "lion," but should be "strange, small, dog-like creature." Sassafras (a corruption of the Latin saxifrage, or "rock-breaker") is a ten year old Shetland Sheepdog. In human years, they're roughly 16 and 60 years old.
"But Dad says we're from the same litter."
"In your dreams, kid."


There's a band called 1023MB. They haven't had any gigs yet.


Pittsburgh radio legend Clarke Ingram noted the above happened 50 years ago this month, and hasn't been duplicated by any other artist or group.


So, Letterman's retiring. Wonder if Leno is available?


Wonderful YouTube video featuring SPCA of Wake County and Queen.


Headline of the week:
"Willie Nelson’s armadillo returned
after being kidnapped in Las Vegas"


And... the desktop is clean.

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Miscellany

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It's about Time

Published Sunday, April 06, 2014 @ 4:35 AM EDT
Apr 06 2014

Time affords us the ability to blame past errors on others while whole heartedly pronouncing our future successes.
-Douglas Adams

Time and space- time to be alone, space to move about- these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow.
-Edwin Way Teale

Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.
-Dorothy Sayers

Time bears away all things, even the mind.

Time cools, time clarifies, no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.
-Thomas Mann

Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.
-Anatole France

Time discovers truth.
-Lucias Annaeus Seneca

Time doesn't go. Time stays. We go.
-Linda Ellerbee

Time flies when you don't know what you're doing.

Time flies when you're on Prozac.
-Bette Midler

Time flies. It's up to you to be the navigator.
-Robert Orben

Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial.
-Richard Ben Sapir

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
-Thomas Mann

Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.
-Leo Buscaglia

Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons.
-Blaise Pascal

Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people.
-William Faulkner

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
-Hector Berlioz

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.
-Marcus Aurelius

Time is both longer and shorter than you think, and usually all at once.
-Joan D. Vinge

Time is but the shadow of the world upon the background of Eternity.
-Jerome K. Jerome

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
-Henry David Thoreau

Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.
-William Faulkner

Time is everything; five minutes make the difference between victory and defeat.
-Horatio Nelson

Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves.
-Jawaharlal Nehru

Time is only linear for engineers and referees.
-Craig Ferguson

Time is our element, not a mistaken invader.
-John Updike

Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-Carl Sandburg

Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.
-Warren Buffett

Time is the great legalizer, even in the field of morals.
-H.L. Mencken

Time is the great physician.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Time is the longest distance between two places.
-Tennessee Williams

Time is the most valuable thing on earth: time to think, time to act, time to extend our fraternal relations, time to become better men, time to become better women, time to become better and more independent citizens.
-Samuel Gompers

Time is the mother and mugger of us all.
-Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Time is the only critic without ambition.
-John Steinbeck

Time is the quality of nature that keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working.

Time is the rider that breaks youth.
-George Herbert

Time is the storyteller you can't shut up.
-Carl Sandburg

Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.
-John Archibald Wheeler

Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once and space is what keeps it all from happening to you.
-David Gerrold

Time marks us while we are marking time.
-Theodore Roethke

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
-Dorothy Parker

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
-William Gibson

Time neither moves nor is stationary. Time changes.
-Paulo Coelho

Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.
-Christopher Hitchens

Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.

Time wounds all heels.
-Jane Sherwood Ace

Time's a strange fellow;
more he gives than takes
(and he takes all)
--E.E. Cummings

Time's fun when you're having flies.
-Kermit the Frog

Time, space, and natural law hold for me suggestions of intolerable bondage, and I can form no picture of emotional satisfaction which does not involve their defeat- especially the defeat of time, so that one may merge oneself with the whole historic stream and be wholly emancipated from the transient and the ephemeral.
-H.P. Lovecraft

Categories: Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Thomas Hobbes

Published Saturday, April 05, 2014 @ 1:16 AM EDT
Apr 05 2014

Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (April 5, 1588 – December 4,1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All crimes are indeed sins, but not all sins crimes. A sin may be in the thought or secret purpose of a man, of which neither a judge, nor a witness, nor any man, can take notice.

Another doctrine repugnant to civil society, is that whatsoever a man does against his conscience, is sin; and it dependeth on the presumption of making himself judge of good and evil. For a man's conscience and his judgement are the same thing, and as the judgement, so also the conscience may be erroneous.

Corporations are may lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man.

Courage may be virtue, where the daring act is extreme; and extreme fear no vice, when the danger is extreme.

Desire to know how and why,-curiosity: so that man is distinguished not only by his reason, but also by this singular passion, from all other animals.

Do not that to another, which thou wouldst not have done to thyself.

During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.

Every man calleth that which pleaseth, and is delightful to himself, good; and that evil which displeaseth him.

Give an inch, he'll take an ell.

I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

Intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness, with mischance; injustice; with violence of enemies; pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; and rebellion, with slaughter.

It is fairer to tax people on what they extract from the economy, as roughly measured by their consumption, than to tax them on what they produce for the economy, as roughly measured by their income.

Leisure is the mother of philosophy.

Man gives indifferent names to one and the same thing from the difference of their own passions; as they that approve a private opinion call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.

Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good, and evil, in the conversation, and society of mankind. Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions; which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men, are different.

No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Such truth as opposeth no man's profit nor pleasure is to all men welcome.

The fault lieth altogether in the dogmatics, that is to say, those that are imperfectly learned, and with passion press to have their opinion pass everywhere for truth.

The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.

The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy of the living.

The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only.

The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame.

The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions.

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfilment of that hope never entirely removes.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Thomas Hobbes

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Quotes of the day: Maya Angelou

Published Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 3:07 AM EDT
Apr 04 2014

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou was best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim. (Updated May 28, 2014) (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.

Because of our routines we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure.

Being a woman is hard work.

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.

Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can't practice any other virtue with consistency. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Effective action is always unjust.

I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life.

I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me 'I love you.' ... There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.

Living a life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you'll end wrong.

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, 'I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.'

Nothing will work unless you do.

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

Tell the truth and not the facts.

The needs of a society determine its ethics.

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.

Categories: Maya Angelou, Quotes of the day

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Samuel L. Jackson is still having way more fun than you.

Published Thursday, April 03, 2014 @ 1:46 PM EDT
Apr 03 2014

(Samuel L. Jackson describes the joy of the Marvel Playground.)

Categories: Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Samuel L. Jackson

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Quotes of the day: Washington Irving

Published Thursday, April 03, 2014 @ 12:11 AM EDT
Apr 03 2014

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 - November 28, 1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th century Spain dealing with Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.

A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.

Enthusiasts soon understand each other.

Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.

He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on spiritual essences until... he had an ideal world of his own around him.

How easy it is for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him; and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles!

I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories.

It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world; and I value this delicious home-feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent can bestow.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes, but great minds rise above them.

Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.

Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the declining sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.

The love of a mother is never exhausted; it never changes, it never tires. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands: but a mother's love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother still loves on, and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.

The man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound, crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place.

There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm that is not to be doubted.

There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams, and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.

They who drink beer will think beer.

Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home.

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

Who ever hears of fat men heading a riot, or herding together in turbulent mobs? ... 'tis your lean, hungry men who are continually worrying society, and setting the whole community by the ears.

With every exertion, the best of men can do but a moderate amount of good; but it seems in the power of the most contemptible individual to do incalculable mischief.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Washington Irving

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Checks and balances?

Published Wednesday, April 02, 2014 @ 6:48 PM EDT
Apr 02 2014

Chief Justice John Marshall

It's time for a Constitutional amendment granting Congress the power to set aside Supreme Court decisions.

The President can veto bills passed by Congress. Congress can override Presidential vetoes. Check and balance.

But the Supreme Court is not similarly limited. There is no appealing its decisions. The only recourse is amending the Constitution, an arduous process that requires the approval of two thirds of each house of Congress, and ratification by three fourths of the states.

The Constitution does not explicitly give the Supreme Court the power to rule on the validity of legislation. It wasn't until 1803, in the Marbury v Madison decision, that Chief Justice John Marshall invented the "doctrine of judicial review;" a principle which gave the courts the authority to strike down laws deemed unconstitutional.

Justice Marshall noted in the decision that "an act of the legislature, repugnant to the Constitution, is void." Unfortunately, repugnancy is not limited to one branch of government, and the Constitution provides no remedy for acts of the courts which are equally repugnant.

The people, through their legislative representatives, should have the right to override the Supreme Court, especially when it appears the Court's actions are based not on prior law, but ideological beliefs or external influence.

This isn't a progressive/conservative issue. It's a fundamental flaw in the implementation of our government.

Vetoing the Court shouldn't be as difficult as passing a constitutional amendment, but it shouldn't be easy, either. In fact, it should require not the two-thirds vote of both houses necessary to pass an amendment, but a three-quarters vote- the same majority as the number of states required to ratify the change.

It would also force legislators to reveal their true positions. Congressmen and senators can often rationalize their vote by pointing to certain provisions of a bill with which they disagree, providing the weasel room necessary when seeking re-election. A straight up or down vote leaves no room for misinterpretation. A three-fourths majority eliminates the taint of partisanship, and could only occur when the Court has acted in a manner truly "repugnant to the Constitution."

Our government is based upon citizens' respect for the rule of law. When that respect is lost, law becomes irrelevant. And a nation without law is a nation that cannot survive.

Categories: KGB Opinion

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Quotes of the day: Casanova

Published Wednesday, April 02, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Apr 02 2014

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (April 2, 1725 -June 4, 1798) was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As for myself, I always willingly acknowledge my own self as the principal cause of every good and of every evil which may befall me; therefore I have always found myself capable of being my own pupil, and ready to love my teacher.

Beauty without wit offers nothing but the enjoyment of its material charms, whilst witty ugliness captivates by the charms of the mind, and at last fulfils all the desires of the man it has captivated.

Economy in pleasure is not to my taste.

Enjoy the present, bid defiance to the future, laugh at all those reasonable beings who exercise their reason to avoid the misfortunes which they fear, destroying at the same time the pleasure that they might enjoy.

Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom.

Heart and head are the constituent parts of character; temperament has almost nothing to do with it, and, therefore, character is dependent upon education, and is susceptible of being corrected and improved.

I don't conquer, I submit.

I hate death; for, happy or miserable, life is the only blessing which man possesses, and those who do not love it are unworthy of it.

I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of first introducing it into minds which were ignorant of its charms.

I have met with some of them- very honest fellows, who, with all their stupidity, had a kind of intelligence and an upright good sense, which cannot be the characteristics of fools.

I saw that everything famous and beautiful in the world, if we judge by the descriptions and drawings of writers and artists, always loses when we go to see it and examine it closely.

If I had married a woman intelligent enough to guide me, to rule me without my feeling that I was ruled, I should have taken good care of my money, I should have had children, and I should not be, as now I am, alone in the world and possessing nothing.

If you have not done things worthy of being written about, at least write things worthy of being read.

Love is three quarters curiosity.

Man is free; yet we must not suppose that he is at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he becomes a slave the moment he allows his actions to be ruled by passion.

Marriage is the tomb of love.

My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good.

Nothing is so catching as the plague; now, fanaticism, no matter of what nature, is only the plague of the human mind.

One of the advantages of a great sorrow is that nothing else seems painful.

The man who forgets does not forgive, he only loses the remembrance of the harm inflicted on him...

The man who has sufficient power over himself to wait until his nature has recovered its even balance is the truly wise man, but such beings are seldom met with.

The mind of a human being is formed only of comparisons made in order to examine analogies, and therefore cannot precede the existence of memory.

The spirit of rebellion is present in every great city, and the great task of wise government is to keep it dormant, for if it wakes it is a torrent which no dam can hold back.

The sweetest pleasures are those which are hardest to be won.

We avenge intellect when we dupe a fool, and it is a victory not to be despised for a fool is covered with steel and it is often very hard to find his vulnerable part.

We ourselves are the authors of almost all our woes and griefs, of which we so unreasonably complain.

When a man is in love very little is enough to throw him into despair and as little to enhance his joy to the utmost.

Categories: Casanova, Quotes of the day

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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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Quotes of the day: Otto von Bismarck

Published Tuesday, April 01, 2014 @ 4:15 AM EDT
Apr 01 2014

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (April 1, 1815 – July 30, 1898), known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. In 1871, after a series of short victorious wars, he unified most of the German states (excluding Austria) into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. He then created a balance of power that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.

A generation that has taken a beating is always followed by a generation that deals one.

A statesman cannot create anything himself. He must wait and listen until he hears the steps of God sounding through events; then leap up and grasp the hem of his garment.

All treaties between great states cease to be binding when they come in conflict with the struggle for existence.

He who has his thumb on the purse has the power.

Hounds follow those who feed them.

I have found that nothing so deceives your adversaries as telling them the truth.

I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

It is said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.

Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.

Politics is not an exact science.

Politics is the art of the possible.

Politics ruins the character.

The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they'll sleep at night.

The nation that has the schools has the future.

The three signs of great men are generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.

There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.

We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world; and it is the fear of God, which lets us love and foster peace.

When a man says he approves of a thing in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.

When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

Categories: Otto von Bismarck, Quotes of the day

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