Quotes, Rabbi Burns Day Edition
-- El Torsalo, Raw Story, comments
I lost my dad to an accident when I was 10. I learned a lot from dealing with the consequences of that event. I can’t tell you how much I’d rather have foregone that education. You know what I’m saying?
-- Tom Levenson, “Getting Harder to Watch,” Balloon Juice
My first job, in the stockroom of a brand name mall clothing store, paid $1.05. After withholding, it came to 92 cents an hour. Come tax time, of course I found out he hadn't been reporting it, so he was stealing 13 cents an hour from his young employee. A lesson that has stayed with me to this day.
-- Alan Lewis, Alicublog, comments
The Patriarchy is ever vigilant to ensure each new generation of girls and women are properly equipped for their proper role. It's all so "natural" that they have to pound it into everyone's heads (female and male) that this is the only acceptable way to be. I know I've always tried to make sure my daughter didn't get exposed to these messages, but they are so pervasive I'm sure she picked up plenty of this crap along the way. Sadly. Each generation of women gets a little closer to the ideal of equality, and then each falls embarrassingly short...
-- Mike Ess, Pandagon, comments
When the truth is truly stranger than fiction; take fiction’s side.
-- wynota skunk, TBogg, comments
When you can see a wave on the horizon 37 miles away, it's time to beat feet.
-- Montag, First Draft, comments
Two whole days’ worth of training and they’re qualified to carry firearms in the midst of children. I had to spend a few weeks in training before the military allowed me to carry a firearm in the Mekong Delta. Fucking brilliant.
-- Higgs Boson's Mate, Balloon Juice, comments
I gotta go with the people who just want to piss on me instead of the ones who want to render my corpse to grease the wheel bearings of their Bentleys.
-- Major Kong, Sadly, No!, comments
A few years ago there was a big divorce case in England which just floored the remnants of the aristocracy in which the wife took half of everything and they kept bleating "but it was in custody for the next generation!" and "that serving dish is 20 generations old!" Too bad. So sad.
-- aimai, Alicublog, comments
Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored. I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals.
If we take honor out of the equation, rape will still be horrible, but it will be a personal, and not a societal, horror. We will be able to give women who have been assaulted what they truly need: not a load of rubbish about how they should feel guilty or ashamed, but empathy for going through a terrible trauma.
-- Sohaila Abdulali, “I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t,” The New York Times
Since two of the most recently created “religions” were founded by staggering drunks, L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith, how is it that Foster Brooks never had a massive, spiritual following? Or myself, for that matter? Ahhh, the mysteries of the universe.
-- Hatmandu, TBogg, comments
I’ve been following CTE for a few years because it interests me. And then last year, I suffered a concussion. The after-affects, short term, were astonishingly awful. I was called by my work that night (I was a computer programmer) and the person I talked to, and had talked to many times before, was frightened for me because I was talking gibberish. He wasn’t sure if I was drunk or crazy. The short-term (months) affects were so frightening to me (memory loss, confusion, change in diet and anxiety) that I retired. I was of retirement age, but I hadn’t planned on leaving at that time. I was head programmer, the ‘big brain’ of the office, but didn’t trust myself. I asked my Dr to give me a dementia test. Really. I retired, I’m okay, but I still have some memory problems that I didn’t have before, never mind my age. Concussions are a serious business.
-- Karen, Balloon Juice, comments
[F]or the tiniest minority communities, the worst thing is the complete invisibility. The way people’s brows react in much the same way as they would to the information that unicorns exist when you tell them about yourself. As such, almost all the activism ends up being visibility, visibility, visibility. The moment when that visibility succeeds to the point where Gomer’s dimmer cousin finds out you exist and is horrified enough to hold a poorly-spelled sign and rant about you on sites like American Thinker is the crucial step where a minority community’s struggle really gets to begin. The moment where ignorance leads to backlash might herald a more annoying era, but it also means the beginning of actual growth and actual acknowledgment of social issues vital to one’s community and the first shape of things to actually struggle against rather than having to explain why it sucks that nobody bothers to care enough about you to hate you.
-- Cerberus, “Poly People Just Got an Oppression Level Up!”, Sadly, No!
Also, too, please refer all complaints about how women are not womanly enough for chivalry these days to India, rape of women in because that's exactly the argument of the pro-boy's club. That if the woman in question had maintained her feminine modesty and prayed a little harder she wouldn't have been killed.
-- aimai, Alicublog, comments
When I see [Sununu] after the president’s first debate, where he didn’t do very well, says that the President was ‘lazy’ — he didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well — he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is ‘shiftless’ and there’s a third word that goes along with it.
-- Colin Powell, quoted at Raw Story
When I say “we”, note that I am specifically excluding you.
-- WilliamLawrenceUtridge, Science-Based Medicine, comments
It’s weird, because I feel like there’s the consensus in the conservative sphere that liberals had success in the 60s by just saying some magic words. And that those words were utterly divorced from reality, but they tugged at people’s heart strings and won them over. And now, if conservatives can just say those same magic words, they too can win the day and swing the simple-minded mushy low-information independents to their cause. Because if you just say “Oppression! Rosa Parks! Black People!” everyone will smile stupidly and think you’re MLK and vote for you.
-- Zifnab25, Balloon Juice, comments
When Glenn fucking Beck calls you crazy? You’re off the charts.
-- Southern Beale, Southern Beale, comments
I live about 30 miles south of Newtown. A friend of ours is neighbors with a volunteer firefighter who was unfortunate enough to be a first responder that day. This guy is a dad; a part-time fireman who loves his community and selflessly gives to it, never dreaming in a million years he'd ever have to witness what he did. He'll never be the same. He'll never unsee it. And to suggest that he's somehow making it up to fit some insane, impossibly big cover story to achieve a goal that countless other mass shootings didn't, while otherwise quietly living as community volunteer with a wife and kids in small-town USA...really. Really? You're not valiantly standing up to or attacking the big, bad government with this bullshit. You're attacking your fellow citizens; the ones who shelter terrified kids and walk into bloodbaths without being paid for it. Fuck you a million times over if you perpetuate this shit.
-- Felyx Leiter, Pandagon, comments
To conservatives, there are no such things as options. There is only the uncomfortable and unnatural box you destroy yourself trying to fit. If someone ever tries and create a new option because the sight of you mangling yourself into a twisted knot of broken bones and rotted flesh tugs on every strand of their empathy, they aren’t providing an option, they are trying to destroy the old box you’re used to and force you into a new mandatory box that’s not at all familiar. The notion that there could be a box that actually fits them is inconceivable. The notion that a box that fits better for people who are not them and they can just stay in their misery box if they really want to is sacrilege.
-- Cerberus, “Poly People Just Got an Oppression Level Up!”, Sadly, No!
A couple years of enforced non-socialization will mess you up.
-- Promethean Sky, BoingBoing, comments
I can’t get over the amount of *energy* it must take to be so angry and paranoid all the time. I have some acquaintances like this, and I feel like asking, jeez, don’t you get *tired* being this amped up about imaginary stuff 24×7?
-- Gin & Tonic, Balloon Juice, comments
They don't SEE the people who make their pleasant lives possible: the waiters and waitresses, the grocery store clerks and stockers and bakers and butchers. They don't really SEE the man who mows their lawn and picks up their leaves, or plows the snow. Those workers are not "people" to them, their just an extension of whatever machine they use, cheap and easily replaceable. The lady who came to clean my house a few days ago arrived early, while I was at my daughter's school arranging for "home schooling". I left the meeting and went home to let her in. She told me she was early for me because she was 20 minutes late for her first appt., and the employer **refused to allow her in the house** Sickening.
-- KatWillow, Alicublog, comments
Oh yea the good days when you could get arrested for not having three feminine items on you or face arrest and then the boys would rape the lesbian out of you.. These were grandparents maybe your parents, committing these crimes.. Not so long ago.
-- lynn, Retronaut, comments
The same assholes that claim you need an AR-15 because someone will laugh at your .38 special will also argue that banning assault rifles will do little to curb gun deaths because the puny .22 lr round is the one involved in the most murders.
-- Alex, Whiskey Fire, comments
Yay broken planet! Famines for everyone! Refugee camps for the displaced! What’s not to love about ignoring the causes of, and accelerating the process of global climate change? Ever wanted to go surfing in Richmond Va? Ever wanted to recreate the dust bowl? Just wait and you can! Welcome to the future, hope you brought enough food and water for everyone.
-- Helmut Monotreme, Sadly, No!, comments
[T]hat dog is so old that his great grandpup is on dialysis.
-- Fred Fnord, Balloon Juice, comments
[R]ape is not inevitable, like the weather. We need to shelve all the gibberish about honor and virtue and did-she-lead-him-on and could-he-help-himself. We need to put responsibility where it lies: on men who violate women, and on all of us who let them get away with it while we point accusing fingers at their victims.
-- Sohaila Abdulali, “I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t,” The New York Times
It's really hard to justify not hitting a bully who's screaming, inches from your face, when your "punishment" will be sitting alone, unmolested, for a whole day, surrounded by books.
-- Anonymous, “Pedagogy of the Depressed: my experiences as a special ed student in the 1990s,” BoingBoing
Jonathan Weiner noted in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Beak of the Finch, that today every mosquito on Earth carries at least a few copies of the alleles that allow mosquitoes to digest DDT as if it were a nutrient.
-- Ed Darrell, “Heritage Foundation urges that Africa be poisoned,” Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub
There was little room in the 1950s for the advocates of the slow, thoughtful approach in any portion of life—business, science, or politics. The country was so firmly in control of itself and had tied technology so tightly to patriotism that to be skeptical, to be Robert Oppenheimer working to “retard” the hydrogen bomb program or an “alarmist” scientist warning of potential dangers of radioactive fallout, was to be a traitor. Nationwide publicity linking cigarettes to heart disease for the first time in 1954 was countered by advertisements that pointed out reassuringly that “More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette.” “The deadliest sin was to be controversial,” observed William Manchester in describing a generation that wanted “the good, sensible life” and that was “proud to be conservative, prosperous, conformist and vigilant defenders of the American way of life.” The largest group of college undergraduates were business majors, and industry leaders were lionized (General Motors president Harlow Curtice was Time’s Man of the Year in 1956). A free market, left to its own devices, was thought to be the most efficient path to productivity. In 1957 the Soviets simultaneously launched Sputnik 1 and the space race by taunting Americans with the specter of Russian superiority. Obeisance to technocracy took on patriotic as well as religious overtones.
-- Cathy Trost, quoted at Pop History Dig
… I know too many chemists to be able to understand what people mean when they say “organic”. As far as I can tell, all my foods contain carbon.
-- eyelessgame, Balloon Juice, comments
What the hell's going on with all these old white guys? It's like, everything bad in the country right now, you pick up a rock and there's a nasty old white guy squinting up at you in the sunlight, ranting and cursing and spraying spittle. I can't take it no more. Scary. Maybe it's a virus, or something.
-- Dolmance, Raw Story, comments
I see the same logical flaw in church charities that I do in all private charities – they’re voluntary. Which means that when the economy goes south, the rich people who were happy to feed the poor (tuppence a bag) during the good years are suddenly going to clam up because they “can’t” “afford” indulge that old pastime anymore and they have to think about their own fortunes first. So the supply of money feeding charities dries up exactly when the need for it skyrockets.
-- Chris, Sadly, No!, comments
Minnesotan Lutherans are the only people who would view dissociation from people who dislike you as social dysfunction.
-- tré, BoingBoing, comments
[Commissioner of Baseball Happy] Chandler, in fact, had stated that if African Americans could fight and die on Okinawa, Guadalcanal, and in the South Pacific during WWII, they could play ball in America.
-- Jack Doyle, “Reese & Robbie, 1945-2005,” Pop History Dig
One of the interesting things I have found out working on my PhD is that when my dissertation gets published – if I ever make it that far – I will not own it. It will belong to the company that publishes it, of whose name I have completely forgotten, something rather academic sounding. In order for me to use the work somewhere else, I have to get their permission.
-- Belafon (formerly anonevent), Balloon Juice, comments
Orwell says this very well in 1984, that true mind control isn't somebody else controlling your mind. It's you controlling your own mind, and that's what a cult does. It teaches you thought-stopping patterns and black-and-white thinking that hampers your ability to objectively evaluate the world.
-- Jeff Hawkins, quoted in the Tampa Bay Times
According to these bozos, the whites need guns to protect themselves against the day when hordes of black looters come pouring into the suburbs, the blacks need guns to protect themselves against paranoid whites who think every black person they see is the lead element of a horde of looters, and the police need guns to maintain order in a world of heavily-armed, paranoid citizens with little or no combat weapons training. I can see how gun dealers and ammunition sellers will profit from that situation. For the rest of us, it reminds me of how World War 1 started: once one country mobilized its reserves, everyone else had to mobilize as well, in a circle of escalation that lead to endless suffering.
-- RepubAnon, Whiskey Fire, comments
In response to a pending resolution that would have honored the 100th anniversary in the state of Indiana, Rep. Bob Morris informed his colleagues via hilarious letter that, based on some "internet research," he'd concluded that those Girl Scouts were up to no good. But thankfully, anti GSA bullshittery lends itself well to rebuttal. In response to Marshall's letter, Republican Speaker of the Indiana House Brian Bosma bought 278 boxes of Thin Mints and spent the next day eating them while presiding over the legislature, occasionally offering cookies to his colleagues.
-- Erin Gloria Ryan, “10 Badass Moments in Girl Scout History,” Jezebel
She strikes me as a woman who could sell autographed Bibles to a used-car dealer.
-- Cienna Madrid, “The Lying Disease,” The Stranger
I’d like to be able to comment on the ads posted online. They’d be newsier that way. So the next time I get a video ad that makes me wait 20 seconds to load and other 20 seconds to play before I can cancel it, I’d like to leave a message like “Your product sucks and you’re wasting my time.” Or “Use of this product killed my Aunt in a horrible way.”
-- Suffern Ace, Balloon Juice, comments
Questioning what you’re told in the media is always a good thing to do, but if you ask a question, you should actually try to find the answer to it, instead of letting someone else tell you an answer.
-- Badtux, “Sandy Hook never occurred,” Badtux the Snarky Penguin
On meds, I don't seem to have what psychologists refer to as self-talk. It's just not there. It's quiet and I like it that way. When I go off meds, I'm bombarded with impulses and transitory emotions that I can't trace. It's hard to explain, maybe like, I'm a radio, but I can't tune into a single station, or if I can, I'm constantly getting bleed-over from all the other stations up and down the dial. Before I started treatment, it was normal, and I had a wonderful associative memory. Something would get mentioned and I'd almost immediately mention that it's connected to something totally random, but none the less connected through a spiders web of tenuous relations. A chain of mnemonics as it were. I can't even come up with a real example anymore. My new normal is entirely dependent on and facilitated by a drug now. And the worst part is that I'm really frightened of the old me, who comes back when I stop treatment, because that old me is out of control, and can't tell good ideas from bad ones.
-- Idobe, BoingBoing, comments
I think this whole vast subject of pollution, of which this gypsy moth business is just a small part, if of the utmost interest and concern to everybody. It starts in the kitchen and extends to Jupiter and Mars. Always some special group or interest is represented, never the earth itself.
-- E.B. White, in correspondence to Rachel Carson, February, 1958, quoted at Pop History Dig
My Diet Coke can nearly became a neti pot when I read it.
-- Edith Prickly, Respectful Insolence, comments
[P]eople like this [make] me question renewing my humankind membership.
-- trollhattan, Balloon Juice, comments
I was so looking forward to seeing a bunch of malcontent knuckleheads, seething with resentment and armed to the teeth, in a remote location with restricted ingress (and egress). With nothing but patience and some well-placed cameras and mikes, we’d have what would undoubtedly become the bloodiest reality show of all time.
-- Bitter Scribe, Sadly, No!, comments
In the instantaneous news cycle that is the Blogosphere, the old saying that "a lie is halfway around the world before the truth even gets its boots on" is amply demonstrated. This is why Drudge can actually even exist: he prints a lie, makes gobs of money, and no one pays attention to the debunking.
-- actor212, Whiskey Fire, comments
God looks after his children who were tardy on brain day.
-- Richard Ben Cramer, from Rolling Stone, 1 March 1984
I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a … zebra, I’m the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What’s more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.
-- Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher, on Jackie Robinson, quoted at Pop History Dig
I realized the other day that shooting a young girl in the head because she wants to go to school, and preventing women from getting the health care they need.. is just a matter of DEGREE. Same fucking thing.
-- pat, Balloon Juice, comments
I’ll explain why a randomized study comparing unvaccinated children versus vaccinated children or alternative vaccine schedules in which children are left undervaccinated too long would be completely unethical no matter what you believe. If vaccines are not dangerous and do not cause autism, as science shows and I accept, and the current vaccine schedule is safe and effective then doing a “vaxed versus unvaxed” study in which one group is randomized to receive no vaccines or a schedule that unnecessarily spreads out vaccines is completely unethical because the unvaccinated (or undervaccinated group) would be knowingly and intentionally left unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Now, even if vaccines did cause autism and were a major cause of sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, and all the other diseases that antivaccinationists try to pin on vaccines, and there was compelling evidence to suggest that this was true, then the study would still be of questionable ethics, because the vaccinated group would then be knowingly placed into a group that would be likely to be harmed by the vaccination schedule. In this latter case, if there were truly evidence of harm, then decisions would likely have to be made on the basis of what that evidence is, what the specific harms suspected are, all balanced against the known harm that would come from cutting back on the vaccine schedule. None of this is to say that a randomized controlled trial of different vaccine schedules would always be unethical. The principle of clinical equipoise holds, after all. However, the classic “vaxed versus untaxed” randomized study some of the more clueless antivaccine activists want would indeed be unethical under pretty much any imaginable circumstance.
-- Orac, “Quoth the Institute of Medicine: The current vaccine schedule is safe and effective. Quoth antivaccinationists: Gahhhh!,” Respectful Insolence
Hey, come on. Law abiding gun owners are no threat to anyone. Oh, except themselves, their neighbors, their family, anyone who happens to knock on their door at midnight, the police and the community as a whole. Apart from that they're not the problem.
-- Mark Barrowcliffe, Raw Story, comments
Apparently people in their 20s (or "millenials" as we are termed, with no sense of irony), are refusing to engage in the appropriate social rituals traditional for homo sapiens, and instead of choosing to exchange tedious platitudes over sub-standard Italian food, are skipping straight to the part where they smush their genitals together to their mutual satisfaction.
-- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, “The end of courtship? It's just the US finally catching up with us,” The Guardian
The first time I saw a book of mine on the shelf in a bookstore with my name visible on the cover, I was ecstatic for about 3 seconds, and then suddenly felt great anxiety, as though I was naked in public. Not what I had expected to feel.
-- Michael Cohen, Whatever, comments
Arguing with you is like using a croissant as a dildo. It doesn’t work and it makes a mess!
-- Lac, Balloon Juice, comments
Back in the 1950s, … when people fretted about car-crash deaths, car manufacturers fell back on the fault argument: Cars don’t kill people; bad drivers do, by speeding or driving drunk or blowing through stop signs. So doctors tried a different tactic: assuming that accidents were going to happen and focusing instead on the injuries they caused. It turned out that people were being slammed into non-collapsible steering wheels, lacerated by non-shatterproof windshields, crushed when they ran into trees and lampposts on the sides of roads. Public safety programs — many of them government-imposed — changed the environment in which bad drivers drove. Some required change from car manufacturers: collapsible steering wheels, safety glass on windshields. Some required change from drivers themselves: wearing seat belts, naming designated drivers. There was no single solution. But since 1950, car deaths per mile driven have fallen by 90 percent.
-- Joanna Weiss, “Talk about gun safety, not control,” The Boston Globe
For 47 years, I portrayed the best of all possible worlds – grandfathers, puppy dogs – things like that. That kind of stuff is dead now, and I think it’s about time.
-- Norman Rockwell, quoted at Pop History Dig
That’s the best joke I never wrote.
-- Cerberus, “Wingnuts Take LARPing to Some Weird Places,” Sadly, No!
[I] wish there were more policemen these days, round here we got way too many cops
-- CFH4DMB, imgur, comments
Forget the golden calf, the NRA crowd bows before the steel Colt.
-- PaulW, Balloon Juice, comments
“By their metaphors you shall know them” could be a slogan for examining odd claims.
-- Quill, Science-Based Medicine, comments
Most of the crimes we commit against each other are not illegal.
-- Ruth Evershed, The Stranger, comments
The welfare state is not fucking socialism and only an American could possibly think it was.
-- Martin, "'A Worm in the Well' by Gregory Benford," Everything Is Nice h/t james_nicoll
Listening to Tim Hudak on welfare reform is like going to Kim Kardashian for marriage tips.
-- Community and Social Services Minister (Ontario) John Milloy, quoted in the Toronto Star