Archive for February, 2010

Yet more quotes

| February 28, 2010 | 2 Replies
Yet more quotes

I’ve been finding a lot of new quotes (new to me) these days. Here is another batch of my favorites:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. – Hanlon’s Razor

A woman approached a virtuoso piano player after a particularly brilliant performance and said, ‘I’d give anything to play like that.’ He replied, ‘No, you wouldn’t.’
Attributed to Artur Rubenstein

What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Christopher Hitchens

If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on. Terrance McKenna

If the minimum wasn’t acceptable, it wouldn’t be called the minimum.
Anon

No matter how good she looks, some guy is sick of her shit
Anon

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. \Robert Heinlein (through Lazarus Long)

America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
Hunter S. Thompson

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
Douglas Adams

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.
Voltaire

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Dr. Seuss

If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein

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Fundamentalist meteorologist

| February 28, 2010 | Reply
Fundamentalist meteorologist

Bill Maher presents the weather, from the point of view of a fundamentalist:

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The rot at the center

| February 28, 2010 | Reply
The rot at the center

Robert Reich has noticed how the democratic base is demoralized. Who is to blame?

A growing portion of the public, fed by the right, blames our problems on “big government.” Much of the reason for the Democrats’ astonishing reluctance to place blame where it belongs rests with big business’s and Wall Street’s generous flows of campaign donations to Democrats, coupled with their implicit promise of high-paying jobs once Democratic officials retire from government. This is the rot at the center of the system. And unless or until it’s remedied, it will be difficult for the President to achieve any “change you can believe in.

And if you are looking for America by the numbers, you’ll find the sad up to date statistics right here, in this Alternet post by David DeGraw.

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Women should shut up.

| February 28, 2010 | 5 Replies
Women should shut up.

According to 1 Timothy 11-12, woman should be silent. They should not teach or lecture to men:

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

I personally think that this is absurd advice, but when I hear female neocons and fundamentalists (e.g., Sarah Palin) lecturing to the country on “family values,” morals or anything political, I’m going to be pulling out the above quote from the New Testament. It’s a simple two-step to deal with woman who get on the national stage to tell the rest of us that we must continue being an aggressive, war-mongering nation, or that we shouldn’t teach real science in biology classes, or that we can’t provide instruction and medicine and devices to prevent pregnancies:

A) Do you believe the Bible to be inerrant?

B) If so, then you most be silent. It is the Word of your God.

Note further, that braided hair, gold, pearls and expensive clothing are absolutely banned.

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Climate: OJ and the Haystack

| February 27, 2010 | 5 Replies
Climate: OJ and the Haystack

Why Climate Change Denial Is Like the O.J. Trial is an interesting article. The essence is that the climate denialists are using the same techniques as the OJ defense team: Find anything resembling a needle in a vast haystack of data, then claim that the presence of the needle casts doubt on the character of the haystack itself.

Because there is an overwhelming pile of evidence in support of anthropogenic global warming, there are bound to be occasional pieces of data that can appear to contradict the mass of affirmative information. The pile is overwhelming, especially to non-scientists. Therefore few have the patience to understand the whole thing.

Those who want to spin the counter argument claim that, because the two sides are both represented, therefore the issue is in doubt. And, as in the OJ trial, if there is cause for doubt, then no action is to be taken.

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And now it’s Kirk Cameron’s turn . . .

| February 27, 2010 | 14 Replies
And now it’s Kirk Cameron’s turn . . .

Jenny McCarthy, a famous non-scientist who has toured the country warning that vaccines caused her son’s autism, now says that her son doesn’t actually have autism and that vaccines might not actually cause autism.

You see, real science doesn’t make things up. Real science is a self-critical activity . . .

Now it’s time for Kirk Cameron to see the light.

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What passes for ethics in DC

| February 27, 2010 | Reply
What passes for ethics in DC

What do they want in order to make a finding that a politician was politically corrupt? Apparently a signed confession, based on an article in the Washington Post:

The House ethics committee ruled Friday that seven lawmakers who steered hundreds of millions of dollars in largely no-bid contracts to clients of a lobbying firm had not violated any rules or laws by also collecting large campaign donations from those contractors.

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News story pet peeve

| February 26, 2010 | Reply
News story pet peeve

Here’s an example of a type of news story that really bugs me, and it happens every so often. Someone gets fired for saying something, and the entire story revolves around the thing that was said. Should the guy who said it resign? Should he be suspended? Did he have a right to say it? Intense story, right?

But wait a minute! What, exactly did the guy say? In stories like this, you never learn what he said. Nope, viewers are little babies and the news media must protect our ears from such potentially vile/rude/inappropriate language.

Or should they? It all depends on what he said, and we’ll never know. But it was rude and he deserved what he got, or maybe not.

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More of my favorite quotes

| February 25, 2010 | Reply
More of my favorite quotes

I collect lots of quotes. Lots of bang for the buck. There’s a novel in every good quote. Here’s my most recent batch of favorites:

“Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we would have people standing in the corners of our rooms.”
Alan Corenk

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Plato

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Aristotle

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
Aaron Levenstein (Professor of
Management at Baruch College, City University of New York)

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky

“Some people are called to build the piano, some to carry the piano, and some are called to play the piano”
Darrin Patrick

“One of the most powerful teachings of the Buddhist tradition is that as long as you are wishing for things to change, they never will.”
Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are

“None of us are as smart as all of us”
Japanese proverb

“The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe”
H.L. Mencken

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose
Bill Gates

Atheism is a religion like off is a TV channel.
The Godless Blogger

“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.”
William Jennings Bryan at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1896.

“[T]he life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Thomas Hobbes

“Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”
Bob Thaves, “Frank and Ernest”, 1982

“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 blind-folded fear.”
Thomas Jefferson

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