Category Archives: “quote”

If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Shermer

Nah, probably you won’t.

Skepticblog » Gay Marriage: Stone Them to Death! : “Mark my words. Here is what is going to happen. Within a decade, maybe two, Christians will come around to treating gays no differently than they now treat members of other groups whom they previously persecuted — women, Jews, blacks — but not because of some new interpretation of a biblical passage, or because of a new revelation from God. These changes will come about the same way that they always do: by the oppressed minority fighting for the right to be treated equally, and by a few enlightened members of the oppressing majority supporting their cause.”

— Michael Shermer

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“Senator, I think it hurts you, too, sir.”

American Rhetoric: McCarthy-Welch Exchange During the Army-McCarthy Hearings

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“And sure he is an honorable man.”

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Act 3. Scene 2. The Forum in Rome.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest —
For Brutus is an honorable man,
So are they all, all honorable men —
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me.
But Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill.
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honorable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,
And sure he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause.
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O Judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!

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Biden on his Boss’s “Intellectual Security”

via HuffingtonPost:
“Biden says Obama reminds him of Bill Clinton in his ‘confidence, cognitive ability, judgment’ and intellectual security–that he can listen and absorb advice without having to prove he’s the smartest person in the room, a critical leadership skill. He says he experienced an ‘epiphany’ during a recent conference call on the bailout bill with Bob Rubin, Paul Volcker, Warren Buffett, Paul O’Neill, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers and Laura Tyson. ‘He [Obama] comes on the call and says, ‘Well, folks, sorry I’m late. I’ve got four questions.’ He was in total frigging command! Here’s a 47-year-old guy in one of the most complicated economic dilemmas anyone has had to face since 1929 to ’33. And it was like, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ I called him afterward and said, ‘You sold me, sucker!’ “

Friedman/Rich 9/14/2008


Op-Ed Columnist – Making America Stupid – Op-Ed – “Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin ‘reform’ Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?”


Op-Ed Columnist – The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket – Op-Ed – “The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be? It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

“No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for ‘victory,’ whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.”

If McCain is elected our foreign energy dependence is going to last as long as the culture war. A long, long time.

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Barbara Boxer on McCain’s “fights.”

Daily Kos: Boxer Fights Back: “Last night at the Republican National Convention, John McCain used the word ‘fight’ more than 40 times in his speech.”

In the 16 years that we have served together in the Senate, I have seen John McCain fight.
I have seen him fight against raising the federal minimum wage 14 times.
I have seen him fight against making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work.
I have seen him fight against a women’s right to choose so consistently that he received a zero percent vote rating from pro-choice organizations.
I have seen him fight against helping families gain access to birth control.
I have seen him fight against Social Security, even going so far as to call its current funding system ‘an absolute disgrace.’
And I saw him fight against the new GI Bill of Rights until it became politically untenable for him to do so.
John McCain voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007 and 100 percent of the time in 2008 — that’s no maverick.
We do have two real fighters for change in this election — their names are Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

“The Universe sent you a pasty goblin to welcome you into the world. “

My favorite celebrity blogger (hey, he's read and praised Michael Shea): Patton Oswalt's graduation speech to his old high school is funny and moving.

Gary Hart’s Take

via Huffpo:

It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party’s nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party’s nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.

Fred Rogers is the man!

From Larry Lessig’s Free Culture:

[A] court in California had held that the VCR could be banned because it was a copyright-infringing technology: It enabled consumers to copy films without the permission of the copyright owner. No doubt there were uses of the technology that were legal: Fred Rogers, aka “Mr. Rogers,” for example, had testified in that case that he wanted people to feel free to tape /Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood/.

“Some public stations, as well as commercial stations, program the “Neighborhood” at hours when some children cannot use it. I think that it’s a real service to families to be able to record such programs and show them at appropriate times. I have always felt that with the advent of all of this new technology that allows people to tape the “Neighborhood” off-the-air, and I’m speaking for the “Neighborhood” because that’s what I produce, that they then become much more active in the programming of their family’s television life. Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been “You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions.” Maybe I’m going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important.” [23]

23. /Sony Corporation of America/ v. /Universal City Studios, Inc.,/ 464 U.S. 417, 455 fn. 27 (1984). Rogers never changed his view about the VCR. See James Lardner, /Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese, and the Onslaught of the VCR/ (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987), 270-71.

Vote Fraud in NYC

Mayor Bloomberg thinks so:

New York Post:

February 19, 2008 — Mayor Bloomberg charged yesterday that “fraud” was behind the unofficial results in the New York Democratic presidential primary that produced zero votes for Barack Obama in some districts.

“If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that’s a euphemism for fraud,” said the mayor.

Unofficial tallies on election night gave Obama no votes in 78 out of more than 6,000 election districts.

Obama is close to 1 Million individual donors.

This is an unprecident number of donors. If you want Obama to be your next president would you consider giving a small amount. Even $5.00? It’s easy and will make you feel good.

Here’s part of an email pitch sent around by the Obama campaign (bolding, mine):

We’ve crunched all the numbers and discovered that we are within striking distance of something historic: one million people donating to this campaign.

Think about that … nearly one million people taking ownership of this movement, five dollars or twenty-five dollars at a time.

We’re already more than 900,000 strong, including over half-a-million donating so far this year. This unprecedented foundation of support has built a campaign that has shaken the status quo and proven that ordinary people can compete in a political process too often dominated by special interests.

Unlike Senator Clinton or Senator McCain, we haven’t taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. Our campaign is responsible to no one but the people.

One million donors would be a remarkable feat — something that’s never been done before in a presidential primary and something no one ever thought would be possible for us. And your generosity made it possible.

But it’s going to take an incredible organizing effort to bring in 100,000 new donors before March 4th.

Be a part of this historic effort. Make a donation as part of our matching program, and you will bring in a first-time donor by doubling the impact of their contribution. You can even choose to exchange notes and let them know why you are part of this movement.

One mandate, pissed away

Matt Taibbi his a strong (and strongly worded) piece in Rolling Stone about the failure of the Democrats to fight for ending the Iraq war. Now evidently, the congress is content with the Bush plan of running out the clock on the current administration.

Quietly, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been inspiring Democrats everywhere with their rolling bitchfest, congressional superduo Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have completed one of the most awesome political collapses since Neville Chamberlain. At long last, the Democratic leaders of Congress have publicly surrendered on the Iraq War, just one year after being swept into power with a firm mandate to end it.

Solidifying his reputation as one of the biggest pussies in U.S. political history, Reid explained his decision to refocus his party’s energies on topics other than ending the war by saying he just couldn’t fit Iraq into his busy schedule. “We have the presidential election,” Reid said recently. “Our time is really squeezed.”

and the money quote:

How much of this bullshit are we going to take? How long are we supposed to give the Reids and Pelosis and Hillarys of the world credit for wanting, deep down in their moldy hearts, to do the right thing?

Look, fuck your hearts, OK? Just get it done. Because if you don’t, sooner or later this con is going to run dry. It may not be in ’08, but it’ll be soon. Even Americans can’t be fooled forever.

Frank Rich’s column today



That both Clintons are capable of fistfighting is beyond doubt, at least on their own behalf in a campaign. But Mrs. Clinton isn’t always a fistfighter when governing. There’s a reason why Robert Kennedy’s children buried the Iraq war in a single clause (and never used the word Iraq) deep in their endorsement. They know that their uncle Teddy, unlike Mrs. Clinton, raised his fists to lead the Senate fight against the Iraq misadventure at the start. They know too that less than six months after “Mission Accomplished,” Senator Kennedy called the war “a fraud” and voted against pouring more money into it. Senator Clinton raised a hand, not a fist, to vote aye.

In what she advertises as 35 years of fighting for Americans, Mrs. Clinton can point to some battles won. But many of them were political campaigns for Bill Clinton: seven even before his 1992 presidential run. The fistfighting required if she is president may also often be political. As Mrs. Clinton herself says, she has been in marathon combat against the Republican attack machine. Its antipathy will be increased exponentially by the co-president who would return to the White House with her on Day One.

Steinem says “A woman is never the front runner,” but it isn’t true. A Clinton is always the front runner.

Since I’ve been following the election non-stop the last 24 hours, and found myself repeatedly posting to the Huffington Post, I figured why not use the same content here as well, and expose how my momentary flirtation with optimism way back on January 3rd and document a gradual return to my usual (since November 2004 anyway) cynicism. I suppose I really should just shut up, as any questioning of Clinton or (heaven forfend) support of a rival candidate, brings with it an accusation of sexism, or — even worse — idealism, from the Clinton faithful, the primary is going to get increasing ugly and divisive in the months to come. The Clinton’s will do anything to win, least of all, alienate old Bill fans like me, who can only look on in disgust at the swift-boat style attacks on Obama. Obama will have to follow suit to stay in the race. I can’t totally blame the Clinton’s, who after all, had their swords forged in the fires of the culture wars, learning from their Republican enemies even as they defeated all comers. I can’t blame them, will probably even end up holding my nose and voting for Senator Clinton in November, but I can’t be proud of them either. Fearmongering, misstating your opponents record, while adopting all his or her winning ideas, casting yourself as the underdog even though you have every advantage, these are time-tested winning strategies in American politics, now for the Democrats as much as the Republicans. Lucky us.

Or maybe it will turn out a little better that I expect, and I can look back on this day and laugh. Yeah.

I’m using kwout here, which is a great page capture program, retaining working weblinks. All links in green are the titles of the original Huffington Post blog entries I commented on. Notice the high number of pro-Clinton posts that accuse the HuffPo of pro-Obama bias. I am guilty of favoring Obama is well, so I guess that is why I like it over there. Older posts appear at the bottom:

And, for the record, I no longer believe that Clinton’s “misty” moment were actually “crocodile tears” as I stated in a weak and vindictive slip in the comment above. I believe her emotion was sincere and not a Nixonian ploy. However, I still retain the impression that she was mourning her own candidacy there, though it was widely interpreted as evidence of how deeply she believes in the stakes of the election. If THAT interpretation is accurate, then she must really believe that Obama and Edwards are as bad as the Republicans.

Larry David, history major …

… provides some perspection on the question of Obama’s so-called lack of experience:

“I’m not sure if I’ll vote for Obama,” a student said. “I’m concerned about his lack of experience.” “Would it help,” said Larry, “if I told you that Lincoln only had two years of experience in Congress before he became president and the times could not have been more turbulent.”

via Huffpo.