Magnificent Monday Quotes

I’ve been thinking about doing a post a week that is basically just quotes that I’ve run across over the past week. And since I already had a few saved up and today is Monday, I guess the weekly quote post will be on Mondays. So enjoy “Magnificent Monday Quotes”.

“Is not the fanaticism of your irreligion more absurd and more dangerous than the fanaticism of superstition? Begin by tolerating the faith of your fathers. You talk of nothing but tolerance, and never was a sect more intolerant.” – Elie Catherine Freron

I didn’t know who Freron was when I came across this but, thanks to the magic of the internet, I quickly found out that he was a French philosopher and critic of the French Enlightenment movement of of Voltaire especially.

“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” – Abraham Lincoln

“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.” – General Charles Napier

That’s one of my favorite quotes. Napier is referring to the Indian practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands.

“All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.” – Edmund Burke

I included the above for a co-worker of mine who has the maddening policy of never giving anyone a direct answer to any question. You know who I’m talking about LO III.

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

Since baseball season is right around the corner, I’ll call it a post with two quotes about the Great Game.

“I see great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.” – Walt Whitman

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.” – Dave Barry

Weekly Date With A Liberal = Funny

There’s a blogger over at Big Hollywood that is doing an ongoing project where he will try to date a liberal a week and then do a post about the date. He’s blogging under an assumed name and has set the following criteria for himself:

She has to be a confirmed liberal. I can not tell her I’m a conservative until mid way through the date. I shall report my findings honestly, and in excruciatingly painful detail.

Hilarity ensues.

UN Credibility With Fat Nerds Skyrockets!

Well, the UN’s street-cred with fat nerds that live in their mother’s basement just went way up. Yes, it’s easy to take an international political organization seriously when they are holding such important meetings. It seems like the two lead actors (Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell) from the new Battlestar Galactica show and two of its producers will be meeting with representatives from the UN to discuss “…issues such as human rights, children and armed conflict, and terrorism. Also on the agenda: dialogue among different civilizations and faiths.”

But wait! It gets better: “Whoopi Goldberg, purportedly a big fan, will moderate this historic meeting of minds.” I’m not sure from that sentence if Whoopi is a big fan of the UN, Battlestar Galactica or both but who really cares?

What this does for me, is further solidify my belief that the UN is a joke (and an expensive one a that: US contributions to the UN in 2006 totaled over $2.6 billion) that ceased to be funny long ago.

Style Over Substance

Full Disclosure: I am a conservative Republican. I do not like Barack Obama. Mainly because he supports a lot of liberal policies that I disagree with. So far, on some issues, he’s not as much of a train wreck as I thought he would be (see Iraq, Gitmo – his actions, not the rhetoric – and his education secretary). On others he’s worse (see the Stimulus, the Omnibus bill, his budget and “not letting a crisis go to waste”).

Here’s the thing; all politicians are hypocrites to some extent. They make promises that they know they won’t be able to keep. They say one thing to one group of voters and another to the next group. And sometimes politicians aren’t hypocrites but have to go back on a promise for practical, pragmatic reasons (see George H W Bush on “read my lips” and Obama on upholding a lot of Bush’s War on Terror policies). But Obama seems to pursue hypocrisy in such an outrageous and unapolagetic fashion. Allow me to provide some examples.

Obama says that the country is facing the worst crisis the US has seen since 1932, the Great Depression. We must act now or face the collapse of the US and world economies. Then his advisers take him aside and tell him to cut the doom and gloom rhetoric. Now Obama says that we’ll see 4% growth by the end of this year? That (Is this Obama channeling McCain?) the “fundamentals of the economy are strong”. Hmmm. Sounds like maybe old Rahm wasn’t kidding about that “take advantage of a crisis” thing. Seems like Obama was using fear to drum up for the Stimulus that doesn’t actually stimulate anything so that he could get all his New New Deal shit passed.

Under Obama, the federal deficit will increase in his first two years more than it did in Bush’s eight. And yet we have to hear him pontificate about fiscal responsibility and how we can’t spend money we don’t have anymore.

Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, on Sunday said “we are a country of law, the government can’t simply abrogate the contracts” about AIG handing out bonuses despite the fact that it just took over $170 billion from the taxpayers. And yet apparently the Obama administration has no problem “abrogating” thousands of mortgage contracts with their little mortgage cramdown scheme.

When Obama was Candidate Obama he was all about helping veterans. In fact he said the following:

“When soldiers return from fighting, they deserve nothing but the best in medical care, he said. More needs to be done, he said, to understand the effects of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury on soldiers returning from war. We’ll have to keep our sacred trust with our veterans and fully fund the (Veterans Administration). We’ll have to look after our wounded warriors, whether they’re suffering from wounds seen or unseen.”

Now it appears that part of fulfilling that sacred trust is sticking veterans for the medical expenses on injuries they incurred while defending their country in Iraq. Wow!

The list goes on and on but I won’t. I will mention finally the fact that despite all his campaign rhetoric about a new kind of politics, Obama, when looking for people to appoint to his cabinet and other top government positions, appears never to have met a tax dodger, Washington insider or lobbyist that he didn’t like.

True Genius

For anyone interested Uncommon Knowledge (a web video interview program on National Review Online) is featuring the great Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia. Parts 1 & 2 are up with three more parts to come.

From The Cramer/Stewart Dust-up Emerges…A Great Quote

I was watching the roud table portion of This Week with George Snuffleupagus and they were talking about the Jim Cramer vs. John Stewart catfight, which, if you’re interested, you can see the culmination of here. But George Will, my hero, had a great quote at the end of the discussion. He started off by saying that while he respects business journalism, people who listen to Jim Cramer are not doing their due dilligence and then busted out with –

There are certain rules in life: Don’t play poker with a man named Slim; don’t buy a Rolex from someone who’s out of breath. And here’s a third, which is, don’t take financial advice from people who are shouting.


Top 10 Pop/Rock Songs of the 80’s – 1986

1986 had some big songs. There were a lot of songs that I really wanted to make the list that I just couldn’t include because I liked these better. If you are interested why I started doing these Top 10 lists (and for the top 10 of 1980) check out my 1980 post. For the others click, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985.

10. Election Day, Arcadia – After the massive success of Seven and the Ragged Tiger, the members of Duran Duran took a break from being Duran Duran and started a couple of side projects. John and Andy Taylor hooked up with Robert Palmer to form Power Station and Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor formed Arcadia. While Power Station had a different, harder sound, Arcadia pretty much sounded like Duran Duran. “Election Day” reached #6 on the Billboard charts and has the typical atmospheric, keyboard/electronic driven sound. There’s lots of sampling of what sounds like garbled radio chatter throughout and the chorus has a creepy spoken word part voiced by none other than Grace Jones. I had to check the title of the song twice to make sure I got it right because the chorus actually mentions re-election day rather than election day.

9. Kiss, Prince – This song was about as funky as anything I had ever heard by 1986. Having not grown up listening to pop music I had never had much exposure to Parliament or much of the Disco stuff so this was completely new to me. Prince somehow manages to sing almost the entire song in falsetto and not come off as gay (the only other completely falsetto songs I had heard were by the Bee Gees and they did sound gay), which surprised me. “Kiss” has a very minimalist feel to it with pretty much just guitar (and maybe a keyboard?) and electronic drums accompanying the vocals. The song is a little dated now with lines like “You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude”, but I think it holds up as a cool song. I remember a few years later Tom Jones covering this song but it was nowhere near as cool.

8. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone), Glass Tiger – A straight forward pop/rock song with a great melody, this song was everywhere when it came out. Bryan Adams was huge when this was released and I’m sure that Glass Tiger thought it was a real score that would catapult them to stardom when they got him to contribute backing vocals to the track. Alas, this was was their biggest of two hits (the other was “Someday”). Doing a quick check on Wikipedia, I found that they actually released 4 or 5 other albums and played at the official opening of the Skydome in Toronto. A good song from a spare band.

7. Your Love, The Outfield – Another good song from an essentially one-hit-wonder band (although, like Glass Tiger, The Outfield had two hits although I couldn’t tell you what the other one was). The instrumentation is pretty straight forward pop/rock – gated, flanged guitars, bass drums with some keyboard thrown in for good measure. I didn’t realize until later that the lyrics to this song are really creepy. Basically the song seems to be about a one night stand with an underage girl while the singer’s steady is out of town. It kind of makes you want to take a shower after listening to it.

6. Spies Like Us, Paul McCartney – From the movie of the same name, this is Paul McCartney at one of his coolest post Beatles moments. The vocals are washed in echo and the guitars are really distorted and dirty sounding. I remember I had to go to a specialty record store to get this single (I still have it) because the soundtrack album did not include it.

5. Glory of Love, Peter Cetera – Right after the huge success of Chicago 17, Peter Cetera decided he could probably do just as well on his own as with Chicago (It’s got to be a little annoying splitting royalties 35 ways or however many band members they had at the time). He was pretty much right, as he had a string of hits over the next several years. This song was off of the Karate Kid IIsoundtrack and pretty much sounded like any other Chicago love ballad from the 80’s; which means it had a great melody, great vocals and lots of DX7 keyboard parts in it. The thing that always frustrated me with Peter Cetera and Chicago was that it was impossible to sing along with the songs without shredding your vocal chords. How does he sing that high?

4. Life In A Northern Town, Dream Academy – I love this song. It has such an atmospheric quality to it. It makes me think of winter (I guess because of the Salvation Army reference) although I think the song is set in summer (“The children drunk lemonade”). Everything is airy and laid back during the verses and then gets really big when the choir and drums come in on the chorus. It’s really a well crafted, beautiful song.

3. Amanda, Boston – I actually “dedicated” this song to a girl I liked on the local Top 40 radio station’s Top 10 countdown show. Boston is a band with a distinct sound that they never changed. Even though this song came out in the mid 80’s, it would fit just as well on one of their 70’s albums. “Amanda” has a great melody and classic rock style.

2. Kyrie, Mr. Mister – File this one under “Craziest Misheard Lyrics Ever”. Having no working knowledge of either Roman Catholicism or the Greek language when this song came out, I thought that the first line of the chorus was “Carry a laser”. Inserting that phrase for the actual phrase, “Kyrie eleison” which means “Lord, have mercy”, gives the song an entirely different and surreal meaning. The song itself is drenched in keyboard parts and distorted, effects-driven guitars. It’s got a driving beat, and would have been a straight rock and roll song if not for the aforementioned keyboards. I picked it over the more laid back hit by Mr. Mister, “Broken Wings”.

1. No One Is To Blame, Howard Jones – My band did a cover of this song, using a guitar for the signature opening riff, and it was a crowd pleaser. This is my favorite Howard Jones song and, like most songs I like, has a great, memorable melody. This is probably Jones’ best studio vocal. My favorite version of this song is from the live album Live Acoustic America, which is just Jones on piano with a percussionist. With all of the production stripped away, the song’s beautiful melody is highlighted and you realize what a great song this really is.

Maybe He’s Inhaling Now

Bill Clinton appears to agree with GWB on the stem cell issue. The link will take you to a post that has video of Clinton being interviewed about his thoughts on the embyronic stem cell issue. As hard as it is to believe, it appears that Clinton, former President of the United States and Rhodes Scholar, doesn’t understand that an embryo is in fact a developing child. Throughout the interview he keeps saying that we need to make sure that no embryos that have a chance of being “fertilized” should be used for research. It seems amazing to me that someone that intelligent could be so misinformed about biology that most 9th-graders probably understand (although I realize I may be giving our current educational system too much credit – when I was in high school we all took Biology in 9th grade). Anyway, it makes me wonder about those polls that recently came out with 52% of people being in favor of Obama’s policy change. I wonder how many of that 52% have as poor a grasp on the issue as Clinton…