“Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one.”
– Robert Brault
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.
I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a 6-year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple – a time when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you because you didn’t know what you didn’t know, and you didn’t care that you didn’t know things. All you cared about was being happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to believe that the world is fair, that everyone is honest and good.
I want to believe that anything is possible.
I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want things to be simple.
I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, worrying about how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So, here’s my checkbook, my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements, oh, and my stock options for my 2 year award. I am officially resigning from adulthood and if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first.
Stop giving me that pop-up ad for Classmates.com! There’s a reason you don’t talk to people for 25 years. Because you don’t particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.
Don’t eat anything that’s served to you out a window unless you’re a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy’s chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout? Luckily, it was only a finger! If it was a whole hand, Congress would have voted to keep it alive.
Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.
If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you’re gay. If you’re a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you’re a grown man, they’re pictures of men.
Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here’s how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we’re done.
There’s no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That’s your flavored water.
Stop fucking with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that’s square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.
The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a “decaf grande, half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” ooh, you’re a huge asshole.
Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn’t make you spiritual. It’s right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to “beef with broccoli.” The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren’t pregnant. You’re not spiritual. You’re just high.
Competitive eating isn’t a sport. It’s one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What’s next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They’re already doing that. It’s called “The Howard Stern Show.”
I don’t need a bigger mega M&M. If I’m extra hungry for M&Ms, I’ll go nuts and eat two.
If you’re going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what’s playing on the other screens. Let’s remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is the idea wasn’t good enough to be a movie.
No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it’s for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking up the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn’t gift giving, it’s the white people version of looting.
This one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can’t even tell if he’s supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don’t want to be on your web cam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.
When I ask how old your toddler is, I don’t need to know in months. “27 Months.” “He’s two,” will do just fine. He’s not a cheese. And I didn’t care in the first place.
The following, completely non-PC rant, has been attributed to George Carlin, but he says he didn’t write it. So far no one seems to know who actually wrote it, may have just been the first guy to post it! To me it sounds very Bill Maher-ish, but who knows? (George Carlin offers this bit of wisdom: “Nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website.”)
Been sitting here with my ass in a wad, wanting to speak out about what’s going on in New Orleans. For the people of New Orleans… First I would like to say, Sorry for your loss.
Unlike an earthquake, we know when a hurricane is coming. With that said, Let’s go through a few hurricane rules:
#1. A mandatory evacuation means just that. Get the hell out. Don’t blame the Government after they tell you to go. If they hadn’t said anything, I can see the argument. They said get out. If you didn’t, it’s your fault, not theirs. Even if you don’t have a car, you can get out.
#2. If there is an emergency, stock up on water and non-perishables. If you didn’t do this, it’s not the government’s fault you’re starving.
#3. If you run out of food and water, find a store that has some. Remember, shoes, TVs, DVDs and CDs are not edible. Leave them alone.
#4. If the local store is too looted of food or water, leave your neighbor’s TV and stereo alone (See #3). They worked hard to get their stuff. Just because they were smart enough to leave during a mandatory evacuation, doesn’t give you the right to take their stuff; it’s theirs, not yours.
#5. If someone comes in to help you, don’t shoot at them and then complain no one is helping you. I’m not getting shot to help save some dumbass who didn’t leave when told to do so.
#6. If you are in your house that is completely under water, your belongings are probably too far gone for anyone to want them. If someone does want them, let them have them and hopefully they’ll die in the filth. Just leave! (It’s New Orleans, find a voodoo warrior and put a curse on them.)
#7. My tax money shouldn’t go to rebuild a city that is under sea level. Why build your house on quicksand a second time? My tax money should not pay to rebuild a 2 million dollar house, a sports stadium or a floating casino either. You want to live below sea-level, join the Navy.
#8. Regardless what the Poverty Pimps want you to believe, The U.S. Government didn’t create the Hurricane as a way to eradicate the black people of New Orleans. The U.S. Government didn’t cause global warming that caused the hurricane, either. We’ve been coming out of an ice age for over 10,000 years.
#9. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. The government isn’t responsible for giving you anything. You gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Walmart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living.
President Kennedy said it best… “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Thank you for allowing me to rant.
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
– Edward Abbey, Environmental Activist, 1928-1989
“The only advice I could give is – “Poof, you’re fifty.” So what have you done? Did you have fun? Did you do stuff that you really loved? Did you live a brave life? Were you not afraid? Because mostly I think it’s fear of “am I going to make a mistake?” that holds people back from living their lives. Well, you know what, make a mistake.”
– Geoffrey Frost, Senior Vice President/Chief Managing Officer, Motorola
– Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing”, October 27, 1964
“This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.””
“The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.”
– Ronald Reagan, excerpts from election speech, 1964
– Katherine Hepburn as Traci Samantha Lord, in The Philadelphia Story
“Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me….
You brought another friend….
And then there were 3.
We started our group….
Our circle of friends….
And like that circle….
There is no beginning or end..
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, first-lady
– Dr. Phil McGraw, talk show host
“The private acts of men, while they don’t affect the public moral or order, are exempt from the competence of the judges, and can be only judged by God.”
– Constitution of Argentina, 1853
“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.”
– Margarent Mead (1901-1978), American Anthropologist
– Jenny Sacks (Una Merkel) in Born to Dance, 1936
Gardner Dozois, Editor, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine
“We ain’t what we should be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But thank goodness we ain’t what we was.”
I Can’t Believe We Made It!
According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or even the early 80’s, probably shouldn’t have survived.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking …
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors! We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones. Unthinkable!
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
We had friends! We went outside and found them.
We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors!
Tests were not adjusted for any reason.
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the school or the law. Imagine that!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever.
We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility — and we learned how to deal with it. And you’re one of them! Congratulations.
Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good !!!
“Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.”
“Reasonable people do not seek to alter their surroundings.
Unreasonable people do.
All progress is made by unreasonable people.”
“Vini, Vidi, Visa” (I came, I saw, I did a little shopping)
“Why, really Sir, a play requires so much attention,– it is scarce possible to keep awake if one listens; – for, indeed, by the time it is evening, one has been so fatigued with dining, – or wine, – or the house, – or studying, – that it is – it is perfectly an impossibility.”
– Fanny Burney, Evelina, Letter XX, 1778
– William Archer, The Green Goddess, 1920
Words, Writing, Communication, Art
“It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts.”
– Bill Vaughan, journalist (1915-1977)
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi, 2001
– Miriam Amanda “Ma” Ferguson, 1st woman governor of Texas (and 2nd woman governor in the U.S. by 15 days), in 1920s while seeking to ban the teaching of foreign languages in the public school system. [There is some debate as to whether it was her or someone else who actually said this, but it’s generally attributed to her.]
“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you’ve gotten the fish, you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you’ve gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?
– Chuang-tzu, the “second greatest teacher of the Tao”
“Never argue with a stupid person. First they will bring you down to their level. Then they will beat you with experience.”
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
– Western Union internal memo, 1876
Out with the long
“Short words are best”, said Winston Churchill, “and old words when short are best of all”
And, not for the first time, he was right: short words are best. Plain they may be, but that is their strength. They are clear, sharp and to the point. You can get your tongue round them. You can spell them. Eye, brain and mouth work as one to greet them as friends, not foes. For that is what they are. They do all that you want of them, and they do it well. On a good day, when all is right with the world, they are one more cause for cheer. On a bad day, when the head aches, you can get to grips with them, grasp their drift and take hold of what they mean. And thus they make you want to read on, not turn the page.
Yes, yes, you may say, that all sounds fine. But from time to time good prose needs a change of pace – a burst of speed, a touch of the brake, a slow swoop, a spring, a bound, a stop. Some might say a shaft of light and then a dim glow, some warp as well as weft, both fire and ice, a roll on the drum as much as a toot on the flute. Call it what you will. The point is that to get a range of step, stride and gait means you have to use some long words, some short and some, well, just run of the mill, those whose place is in the mid range. What’s more, though you may find you can write with just short words for a while, in the end don’t you have to give in and reach for one of those terms which, like it or not, is made up of bits, more bits and yet more bits, and that adds up to a word which is long?
Then there is the ban on new words, or at least a puff for the old. Why? Time has moved on. The tongues of yore need help if they are to serve the way we live now. And, come to that, are you sure that the Greeks and Gauls and scribes of Rome were as great as they are cracked up to be? Singe my white head, they could make long words as well as any Hun or Yank or French homme de lettres who plies his trade these days.
Well, yes, some of those old folks’ words were on the long side, but long one were by no means the rule. And though the tongue in which you read this stole words from here and there, and still does, at the start, if there was one, its words were short. Huh, you may say, those first “words” were no more than grunts. Yet soon they grew to be grunts with a gist, and time has shown that, add to the length of your words as you may, it is hard to beat a good grunt with a good gist.
That is why the short words, when old, are still the tops. Tough as boots or soft as silk, sharp as steel or blunt as toast, there are old, short words to fit each need. You want to make love, have a chat, ask the way, thank your stars, curse your luck or swear, scold and rail? Just pluck an old, short word at will. If you doubt that you will find the one you seek, look at what can be done with not much: “To be or not to be?” “And God said, Let there be light; and there was light,” “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” “The year’s at the spring/And day’s at the morn…/The lark’s on the wing;/The snail’s on the thorn.”
It can be done, you see. If you but try, you can write well, and say what you want to say, with short words. And you may not need a lot of them: some words add just length you all the time have to guess, is no less fine if it is short than if it is long; on its own, its length is not good, not bad, just the sum of its two halves. So it is with words. The worth of each lies in the ends to which it is put. Tie your string well, or ill, and its length counts for naught. Make your point well with short words, and you will have no use for long ones. Make it not so well, and you will be glad that you kept them crisp. So, by God, will those who have to read you.
– The Economist, October 9, 2004
“It’s a fact: if someone can’t write well, he/she is probably going to come across as unintelligent, and I’m not going to say that such a perception isn’t warranted. The ability to write well indicates lucidity of thought and cohesiveness of reason better than just about anything else, while poorly written text betrays puerile, fragmented, and/or uncommitted thought processes, particularly without the benefit of other credentials that prove the writer’s intelligence.
Someone who wants to be heard will want to be understood, and that requires structured thought and communication. There’s no way around it. A few mistakes are forgivable, but come to me with excessive slang or insufficient punctuation or egregiously spelled words or inefficiently communicated ideas, and I’ll treat you like the fourth-rate intellectual slob that you are. Then, I’ll go eat my lunch and do it some more.
– Milo D. Cooper, Artist/Game Designer, August 2000 – [edited to remove personal comments]
– John Ray, naturalist (1627-1705)
Working Out, Nutrition, Dieting, etc.
“There’s something irredeemably rude about phoning in your dietary preferences to a social acquaintance, as if you’re about to embark on a trans-Atlantic flight rather than a convivial evening.”
– Alexandra Jacobs, “The Finicky Gourmet”, New York Times Magazine, May 1, 2005
“If athletes, sportspeople and body builders are to attain optimum performance, adequate nutrition is essential. On this basis, many health food shops offer special preparations formulated for such people. I believe that none of these preparations have any beneficial effect on sportspeople that could not be achieved at less than half (often much less than half) the cost by taking ordinary foods such as whole-meal bread or semi-skimmed milk. If the manufacturers or retailers of these foods can show that I am wrong I will issue a public apology, and will pay £500 to the charity of their choice. However, if I am not wrong they should stop making and selling these preparations, since they are in effect defrauding the public.”
– John Garrow MD PhD FRCP, Rank Professor of Human Nutrition, University of London, 1990
Belief, Faith & Superstition
“I believe in God the way I believe in quarks. People whose business it is to know about quantum physics or religion tell me they have good reason to believe that quarks and God exist. And they tell me that if I wanted to devote my life to learning what they’ve learned, I’d find quarks and God just like they did.”
– Mary Doria Russell, author, The Sparrow
“You will go to a very special level of hell. One reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.”
– Ron Glass, actor, in Firefly, Our Mrs. Reynolds
– Susan Clancy, psychologist, in Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens
The university professor challenged his students with this question.
“Did God create everything that exists?”
A student bravely replied “yes, he did!”
“God created everything? The professor asked.
“Yes sir”, the student replied.
The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”.
The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that Christian, Jewish & Muslim faiths are a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question, professor?”
“Of course”, replied the professor.
The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”
“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?”
The students snickered at the young man’s question.
The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.
The student continued. “Professor, does darkness exist?”
The professor responded, “Of course it does”.
The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use a prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You can not measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it.
“How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct ? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”
Finally the young man asked the professor. “Sir, does evil exist?”
Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”
To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”
The professor sat down.
(Note: though I liked this little story, comparing scientifically measurable facts with beliefs is stretching things a bit…)
“If it frightens and torments you to think of childhood and of the simplicity and silence that accompanies it, because you can no longer believe in God, who appears in it everywhere, then ask yourself whether you have really lost God. Isn’t it much truer to say that you have never yet possessed him? For when could that have been? Do you think that a child can hold him, him whom grown men bear only with great effort and whose weight crushes the old? Do you suppose that someone who really has him could lose him like a little stone? Or don’t you think that someone who once had him could only be lost by him? – But if you realize that he did not exist in your childhood, and did not exist previously, if you suspect that Christ was deluded by his yearning and Muhammad deceived by his pride – and if you are terrified to feel that even now he does not exist, even at this moment when we are talking about him – what justifies you then, if he never existed, in missing him like someone who has passed away and in searching for him as though he were lost?”
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (Letter Six, Rome), December 23, 1903
Many people used to believe that the “seat” of the soul was somewhere in the brain. Since brains began to be opened up frequently, no one has seen “the soul”. As a result of this and like revelations, many people do not now believe in the soul.
Who could suppose that angels move the stars, or be so superstitious as to suppose that because one cannot see one’s soul at the end of a microscope it does not exist?”
– R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967
“I am not going to question your opinions. I am not going to meddle with your belief. I am not going to dictate to you mine. All that I say is, examine, inquire. Look into the nature of things. Search out the grounds of your opinions, the for and the against. Know why you believe, understand what you believe, and possess a reason for the faith that is in you.”
– Frances Wright, Divisions of Knowledge, 1828
“The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.”
“Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
– Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction author
“Christianity is an insult to the wisdom of the nineteenth century. To place before its progress and development a leader, ruler, king, savior, god, whose knowledge was less than a modern five-year-old school girl, is an outrage upon humanity.”
– Ella E. Gibson, The Godly Women of the Bible, 1870s
“We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake.”
– Catherine Fahringer
“Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successively. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject.”
– Tom Weller, Science Made Stupid, 1984
“The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect “domestic security.” Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent.
As I read it — and this is my fear — we are saying that the President, on his motion, could declare — name your favorite poison — draft dodgers, Black Muslims, the Ku Klux Klan, or civil rights activists to be a clear and present danger to the structure or existence of the Government.
The price of lawful public dissent must not be a dread of subjection to an unchecked surveillance power. Nor must the fear of unauthorized official eavesdropping deter vigorous citizen dissent and discussion of Government action in private conversation. For private dissent, no less than open public discourse, is essential to our free society.”
– Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court, 1972, United States v. United State District Court (click here to link to whole decision)
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
– John Stuart Mill, The Contest in America, Fraser’s Magazine, February 1862
– H. Rider Haggard, Dawn, 1884
– Salvor Hardin (Isaac Asimov), Foundation, 1951
“Force, he believed, was the last resort of incompetence; he had said so frequently enough since this operation had begun. Of course, he was absolutely right, though not in the way he meant. 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, A Slave is a Slave, 1962
“In class and ideological conflicts, the key question was: “Which side are you on?” and people could and did choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilizations, the question is: “What are you?” That is a given that cannot be changed. And as we know, from Bosnia to the Caucasus to Sudan, the wrong answer to that question can mean a bullet in the head. Even more than ethnicity; religion discriminates sharply and exclusively among people. A person can be half-French and half-Arab and, simultaneously, even a citizen of two countries. It is more difficult to be half-Catholic and half-Muslim.”
– Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations”, 1993
“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends. Conceivably a commander may have been professionally superior. He may have given everything of his heart and mind to meet the spiritual and physical needs of his comrades. He may have written a chapter that will glow forever in the pages of military history. Still, even such a man—if he existed—would sadly face the fact that his honors cannot hide in his memories the crosses marking the resting places of the dead. They cannot soothe the anguish of the widow or the orphan whose husband or father will not return. The only attitude in which a commander may with satisfaction receive the tributes of his friends is in the humble acknowledgment that no matter how unworthy he may be, his position is the symbol of great human forces that have labored arduously and successfully for a righteous cause.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 12, 1945
– Martin Luther King, Jr., January 27, 1965
Sex, Sexuality, etc.
– Leela, Futurama
On Wednesday, March 1, 2006, in Annapolis, at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at American University, testified as requested.
At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: “Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?”
Raskin replied: “Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”
The room erupted with applause!
“Among the varieties of American innocence that were lost on September 11, perhaps the most intriguing was the mass discovery of what it feels like to be hated. ‘How can they hate us,’ people asked, ‘just because we’re Americans, when they don’t even know us?’ Well, I thought, welcome to my world. People hate homosexuals all the time, across great distances, from places where they feel threatened by us even though most of us would never contemplate living there.”
– Michael Schwartz, The Gay & Lesbian Review, January-February 2002 issue.
“For me, the top/bottom dichotomy is both too rigid and too exclusive. It implies you’re one or the other, when maybe the real answer is ‘neither’ or ‘never’ or ‘sometimes’ or ‘not tonight.'”
“There’s been a hue and a cry that many of us have an inalienable right to intimacy, which for some of us means exchanging semen. No one would dispute that sex without latex can be much, much more intimate. But how intimate do you need to be, with whom, and when? Does it mean the same to you to not wear condoms with your lover as with the guy you met last Thursday whose name and HIV status you didn’t know, or the guy you’ll trick with tonight? Or with five, ten, or twenty more guys this year? Isn’t taking care of each other also part of intimacy? Gay liberation was about the freedom to have sex, to break rules, to have no limits. And we can have most of that. We don’t have to be prudish — we just need to be prudent.”
– Dan Wohlfeiler, AIDS activist, GayHealth.com, February 16, 2003
“You can’t claim you’re the party of smaller government, and then clamor to make laws about love. If there’s one area I don’t want the US government to add to its list of screw-ups, it’s love. On the occasion of this Valentine’s Day, let’s stop and ask ourselves: What business is it of the state how consenting adults choose to pair off, share expenses, and eventually stop having sex with each other? And why does the Bush administration want a constitutional amendment about weddings? Hey, birthdays are important, too — why not include them in the great document? Let’s make a law that gay people can have birthdays, straight people get more cake — you know, to send the right message to kids. Republicans are always saying we should privatize things, like schools, prison, Social Security — OK, so how about we privatize privacy? If the government forbids gay men from tying the knot, what’s their alternative? They can’t all marry Liza Minnelli. Republicans used to be the party that opposed social engineering, but now they push programs to outlaw marriage for some people, and encourage it for others. If you’re straight, there’s a billion-five in the budget to encourage and promote marriage — including seed money to pay an old Jewish woman to call up people at random and say “So why aren’t you married, Mr. Big Shot?” But when it comes to homosexuals, Republicans sing “I Love You Just the Way You Oughta Be.” They oppose gay marriage because it threatens or mocks – or does something – to the “sanctity of marriage,” as if anything you can do drunk out of your mind in front of an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas could be considered sacred. Half the people who pledge eternal love are doing it because one of them is either knocked-up, rich or desperate, but in George Bush’s mind, marriage is only a beautiful lifetime bond of love and sharing — kind of like what his Dad has with the Saudis. But at least the right wing aren’t hypocrites on this issue — they really believe that homosexuality, because it says so in the Bible, is an “abomination” and a “dysfunction” that’s “curable”: they believe that if a gay man just devotes his life to Jesus, he’ll stop being gay — because the theory worked out so well with the Catholic priests. But the greater shame in this story goes to the Democrats, because they don’t believe homosexuality is an “abomination,” and therefore their refusal to endorse gay marriage is a hypocrisy. The right are true believers, but the Democrats are merely pretending that they believe gays are not entitled to the same state-sanctioned misery as the rest of us. The Democrats’ position doesn’t come from the Bible, it’s ripped right from the latest poll, which says that most Americans are against gay marriage.
Well, you know what: Sometimes “most Americans” are wrong. Where’s the Democrat who will stand up and go beyond the half measures of “civil union” and “hate the sin, love the sinner,” and say loud and clear: ‘There IS no sin, and homosexuality is NOT an abomination’ — although that Boy George musical Rosie O’Donnell put on comes close. The only thing abominable about being gay is the amount of time you have to put in at the gym. But that aside, the law in this country should reflect that some people are just born 100 percent outrageously, fabulously, undeniably Fire-Island gay, and that they don’t need re-programming. They need a man with a slow hand.”