Saturday, March 24, 2007

(3089/898) Quayle eggs

  • I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.

  • Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.

  • Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.

  • We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world. (9/21/88)

  • What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

  • Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it. (5/20/92)

  • Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things. (11/30/88)

  • I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change. (5/22/89)

  • We have a firm commitment to NATO. We are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.

  • The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century. (9/15/88)

  • The future will be better tomorrow.

  • I have made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the Future.

  • Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.

  • For NASA, space is still a high priority. (9/5/90)

  • Mars is essentially in the same orbit [...] Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe. (8/11/89)

  • [It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system.

  • People that are really weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.

  • I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix.

  • When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.

  • We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur. (9/22/90)

  • *May our nation continue to be the beakon [sic] of hope to the world. (Quayle family 1989 Christmas card)

  • One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is "to be prepared". (12/6/89)

  • I stand by all the misstatements that I've made. (8/17/89)

J. Danforth Quayle
[UL] (* not verified by Snopes)
posted by Steve Cutchen [UAQ] (4/25/95)
[Note: All-in-all, having a malaprop-prone relatively powerless Vice President is a considerably better situation than having a malaprop-prone President, even if the President's control over the Administration is suspect.]


[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup
[UL] - Snopes: Urban Legends Reference Pages

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 667 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/24/2007 10:16:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Photography: Brooklyn Bridge

click to enlarge
Daryl Samuel

Location: New York, New York

Previous: Hands With Softball / On Alcatraz / Cameras / Lighthouse / Photographer At Work / Patio Chairs / Greek Church / Santa Fe Mailboxes / Rocking Horse / Sunset Sandpiper / Hands / Bird of Paradise / Feeding the Pelican / Sunset Silhouette / Staircase / Mallards / Masts / Greek Column / Paddlewheel / Olive Trees / Madison Square Park in the Snow / Pagoda / Ferry / Sand Tracks / General Store / Taverna Tables / Finger Piano / Bridge at Sunset / Snowfall in Cambridge / Boats / Grandma in Motion / Museum Silhouette

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/23/2007 01:47:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Standing on the shoulders

799) We are like dwarfs standing upon the shoulders of giants, and so able to see more and see farther than the ancients.
Bernard of Chartres (c.1130)
quoted by John of Salisbury in
The Matalogicon (1159)

800) If I have seen farther than [others] it is by was standing on the shoulders of Giants.
Sir Isaac Newton
letter to Robert Hooke (2/5/1675) [B16]
[Note: Bernard of Chartres appears to be the first known use of this metaphor, and Isaac Newton's is the most famous, but it's was used with some frequency by savants of the Middle Ages and Renaissance:

Dwarfs on the shoulders of giants see further than the giants themselves.
Didacus Stella
Eximii verbi divini Concionatoris Ordinnis Minorum Regularis Observantiae (1622)
I say with Didacus Stella, a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself.
Robert Burton
The Anatomy of Melancholy 1621-1651
A dwarf on a giant's shoulders sees farther of the two.
George Herbert Jacula Prudentum (1651)
Further information can be found at this website, on Wikipedia, and in On The Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript (1965) by Robert K. Merton]

801) In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Gerald Holton (widely attributed)
posted by Todd E. Van Hoosear [UAQ] (4/25/95)

802) If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.
Jeff Goll
(usually attributed to mathematician Hal Abelson,
Goll's roommate in college) [WP]

803) [O]ne of my major complaints about the computer field is that whereas Newton could say, "If I have seen a little farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants," I am forced to say, "Today we stand on each other's feet." Perhaps the central problem we face in all of computer science is how we are to get to the situation where we build on top of the work of others rather than redoing so much of it in a trivially different way. Science is supposed to be cumulative, not almost endless duplication of the same kind of things.
Richard Hamming
"One Man's View of Computer Science"
Turing Award lecture (1968) [WP]

804) No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
Terry Pratchett
Reaper Man
posted by Todd E. Van Hoosear [UAQ] (4/25/95)

805) There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
James Thurber (widely attributed)
posted by Todd E. Van Hoosear [UAQ] (4/25/95)


[B16] - Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition (1993)
[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup
[WQ] - Wikipedia

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 668 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/23/2007 01:36:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Thursday, March 22, 2007

(3089/898) Fine and homespun

789) Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstance. [...] Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Worship" in
The Conduct of Life (1860)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)

790) He's no failure. He's not dead yet.
William Lloyd George (widely attributed)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)

791) Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.
Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard (attributed)
probably from "Abe Martin of Brown County"
(comic strip, 1904-1930)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)

792) It's no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.
Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard
Abe Martin's Sayings and Sketches (1915) [B16]

793) When a fellow says it hain't the money but the principle o' the thing, it's the money.
Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard
Hoss Sense and Nonsense (1926) [B16]

794) Nobody ever fergits where he buried a hatchet.
Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard
Abe Martin's Broadcast (1930) [B16]

795) Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature.
Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard
saying [B16]

796) Nature provides exceptions to every rule.
Margaret Fuller
The Dial (7/1843)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)

797) Let us remember that all reforms are interdependent, and that whatever is done to establish one principle on a solid basis, strengthens all. Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea that the truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"Introduction" to
The Women's Bible (1895)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)
[Note: On the other hand, reformers who never compromise frequently find themselves becoming irrelevant.]
798) It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.
Margaret Bonnano (widely attributed)
posted by Jeff Shepherd [IQM] (4/26/95)


[B16] - Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition (1993)
[IQM] - Internet Quotations mailing list

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 669 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/22/2007 01:53:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

(3089/898) Just the perfect blendship

776) Software suppliers are trying to make their software packages more "user-friendly". [...] Their best approach, so far, has been to take all the old brochures, and stamp the words, "user friendly" on the cover.
Bill Gates (attributed)
posted by Cornell Kimball [AUE](4/12/95)
[Note: The irony of this quote, given Microsoft's reputation for making software that's far from ideally "user friendly," leads one to some skepticism about its authenticity.]
777) I have lost friends, some by death [...] others through sheer inability to cross the street.
Virginia Woolf
The Waves (1931)
posted by ballard [IQM] (4/25/95)

778) Real friends are those who, when you've made a fool of yourself, don't think you've done a permanent job.
Erwin T. Randall (attributed)
posted by ballard [IQM] (4/25/95)

779) I have always thought that marriage was a funny sort of institution. Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.
Katherine Hepburn
Esquire (1980)
posted by ballard [IQM] (4/25/95)

780) True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.
Dave Tyson Gentry (widely attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

781) Friendship is an arrangement by which we undertake to exchange small favors for big ones.
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu
(widely attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

782) Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.
Edgar W. Howe (widely attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

783) Love demands infinitely less than friendship.
George Jean Nathan (widely attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

784) Platonic friendship: The interval between the introduction and the first kiss.
Sophie Irene Loeb (attributed)
possibly from The Modern Handbook of Humor (1967)
Ralph L. Woods, editor
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

785) It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
François La Rochefoucauld
Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims (1678) [B16]
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

786) Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighborhood.
Louise Beal (attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

787) There is no stronger bond of friendship than a mutual enemy.
Frankfort Moore (attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)

788) To find a friend one must close one eye - to keep him, two.
Norman Douglas (attributed)
posted by Deven Naniwadekar [IQM] (4/25/95)


[B16] - Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition (1993)
[AUE] - Usenet alt.usage.english newsgroup
[IQM] - Internet Quotations mailing list

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 671 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/20/2007 11:59:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Primitive" vs. "Intelligent"

Sometimes it's interesting when you see blatant prejudices expressed quite unknowingly (but not so much when it's consistent and deliberate, as on Fox News). A case in point: my son and I were watching a National Geographic Channel program on "The First Americans", which dealt with new theories about how and when the Americas were populated. The documentary was, typically for these programs, done in an annoyingly flashy tabloidy-style, and featured actors portraying pre-historic people, but after many months of watching The Science Channel, The History Channel and their related outlets, I've grown used to the overwrought narration and the ginning up of controversy to spice up what would otherwise be rather dry subjects.

What struck me was when the narrator said something to the effect that the people under discussion weren't primitive because they were quite intelligent, which made me wonder: Since when did being primitive have anything to do with intelligence? I live in quite an advanced society, in whatever way you want to define "advanced", and I can assure you that a significant portion of the population is quite unintelligent, in whatever way you want to define that. I'm certain that in every culture, every civilization, if we could look we would find a normal range of intelligence, the usual bell curve, regardless of where that society falls on the scale of advancement. Being "primitive" is a relative term, measured against some ideal of progress, and has everything to do with what's come before to build on, what resources are available, the structure of the society, and so on, and little to do, I would think, with individual or collective intelligence.

Later on in the program, the narrator once again made the case for the culture in question to not be considered primitive, because the people in it cared for their elderly, and believed in an afterlife. Personally, and historically, I'd have to think that belief in an afterlife is, in fact, quite a primitive trait, and not any kind of indication of an advanced cultural status. Just the opposite: it's skepticism about long-held beliefs in life-after-death that is an indication of advancement, not the other way around.

Addendum: As long as I'm bitching about tabloid-style TV "documentaries", let me point out one thing that I've noticed: with some frequency the narrators of these programs mispronounce words. Not common words, and not (as far as I can tell) due to the programs being produced outside the US (most of them that are are re-dubbed with American narration). Words like "scythe" and "damask" -- which happen to be two recent examples that I recall.

The frequency of this kind of error leads me to believe that direction of these voice-overs is minimal, if it exists at all -- the voice artist comes in, does everything in the absolute minimum number of takes (they're professionals, after all), the technicians are there to make sure that the recording is clean, and no one is paying much attention to the content.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/19/2007 01:26:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Influencing the Party

Matt Stoller of MyDD is going to be on C-Span, and has this interesting post about what he plans to say about Presidential politics and blogging:
Here's how I see blogs impacting Presidential politics. It's going to push Democrats to become more progressive, it's going to put the press on the defensive, and it's going to accelerate the Republican Party crack-up.


My sense is that blogs are basically part of the political and media landscape at this point, revamping the process and bringing in more public concern and reducing the power of the candidates and various insiders to set the agenda. It's a big shift, and one that's going to damage Republicans, damage the mainstream media, and push the Democrats to become increasingly progressive.
Two of the three outcomes that Matt sees are, of course, unalloyed positives, but I do have some hesitation about activist-generated pressure on the party to become more progressive. That certainly sounds like a good thing, and in general it is, but my concern, which I've expressed here a number of times recently, is that having lived through the debacle of McGovern -- where, to a certain extent (but not to the degree that the right-wing noise machine likes to paint it) activists "captured" the Democratic Party -- I would very much like not to have that particular mistake happen again.

On the other hand, that's hardly the only lesson to be learned from the past, and I don't want to get hung up on it. Just as important (more so, really) is that the personnel infrastructure that's in place for the mainstream Democratic Party -- the consultants, advisors, and gurus that the big candidates go to time and time again -- are really very bad at winning national elections, at least when compared to their competition in the Republican Party (the only comparison that counts). So we have to replace the rotten framework that we've got now, but we have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The problem isn't that the underlying grand strategy -- of attempting to attract enough moderate voters to win -- was wrong, it's that the implementation (the heavily DLC-influenced "Republican Lite" stance) was untenable because it was (and is) fundamentally antithetical to what the Party should be all about. Even worse than that, it didn't work, which is the bottom line.

So, for me, pressure from the blogs and the Netroots on the Party to become better at what they do is much more important than pressure to be progressive. My feeling is that the progressiveness will come naturally with our rising influence, and that we therefore don't need to be too blatant in pushing it.

Update: Well, despite Matt's post being time-stamped on Sunday morning, and his writing "tomorrow", it looks like he was actually on today so I missed him.

[Thanks to Romaine]

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/18/2007 10:53:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) A fluke of the universe

774) Funnily enough, a lot of what I find myself - surreptitiously - doing as a producer is thinking of elaborate diversionary tactics designed to make us leave things alone - at least long enough to listen to them as "audience". I find that when you're listening with a view to some further work, you generally don't hear the totality of something but just the little gaps where you should squeeze in something else. Audiences, I find, almost always appreciate more space and emptiness in a work than the creators of those works would like to tolerate.
Brian Eno
interviewed by Kevin Kelly in
"Eno: Gossip is Philosophy" in
Wired (5/95)
775) Deteriorata

Go placidly amidst the noise and waste,
and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons,
unless you are in need of sleep.

Rotate your tires.

Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself;
and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss - and when.
Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.

Wherever possible, put people on hold.

Be comforted, that in the face of all irridity and disillusionment,
and despite the changing fortunes of time,
there is always a big future in computer maintenance.
(You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
Whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.)
Remember the Pueblo.

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI.

Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
especially with those persons closest to you...
That lemon on your left, for instance.

Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love, therefore, it will stick to your face.

Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
the birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan -
and let not the sands of time get in your lunch.

Hire people with hooks.

For a good time, call 606-4311,
ask for Ken.

Take heart in the deepening
gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot,
it could only be worse in Milwaukee.
(You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
Whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.)
Therefore, make peace with your god,
whatever you perceive him to be:
hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin.
With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
the world continues to deteriorate.

Give up...
Tony Hendra
National Lampoon's Radio Dinner (LP, 1972)
parody of "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann (1927)
as recorded by Les Crane (1971)
posted by Pieter Breitner [AFU] (4/24/95)


[AFU] - Usenet alt.folklore.urban newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 673 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/18/2007 08:51:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Ed Fitzgerald

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am...
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Martin van Creveld - The Transformation of War

Jay Feldman - When the Mississippi Ran Backwards

Martin van Creveld - The Rise and Decline of the State

Alfred W. Crosby - America's Forgotten Pandemic (1989)
bush & company are...
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Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
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J.R.R. Tolkien
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
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09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004
10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004
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03/23/2008 - 03/30/2008
03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008
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09/21/2008 - 09/28/2008

search websearch unfutz

Bullshit, trolling, unthinking knee-jerk dogmatism and the drivel of idiots will be ruthlessly deleted and the posters banned.

Entertaining, interesting, intelligent, informed and informative comments will always be welcome, even when I disagree with them.

I am the sole judge of which of these qualities pertains.

All e-mail received is subject to being published on unfutz without identifying names or addresses.

I correct typos and other simple errors of grammar, syntax, style and presentation in my posts after the fact without necessarily posting notification of the change.

Substantive textual changes, especially reversals or major corrections, will be noted in an "Update" or a footnote.

Also, illustrations may be added to entries after their initial publication.
the story so far
unfutz: toiling in almost complete obscurity for almost 1500 days
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the proud unfutz guarantee
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.

If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.

(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)

Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.

original content
© 2003-2008
Ed Fitzgerald


take all you want
but credit all you take.

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