Flimsy Sanity: October 2005

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hillary Hate

Over the weekend, the CNN show featuring authors talking about their books (I forget the name) had Dick Morris discussing his book Condi vs Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race. He claims that Hilary is guaranteed to be the Democratic nominee and the only way to derail her is to run Condoleeza. He claims that women are in the majority and more women than men vote; hence a woman will be at an advantage over a Republican male candidate to stop the Hillary "menace". He must live in the dust under his bed and not observe any human behavior because (from my observation) women dislike other women in power more than men dislike women in power. The loudest opponents to the Equal Rights Amendment were Phyllis Schlafly and her many female minions. I read a few of the reviews of the book (which ranks 198 on Amazon) and the Hillary hate is unbelievable. I have a theory that thinly veiled misogyny will be a basic tenet of politics, journalism and religion for many more generations.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Of No Importance

I was curious about the song House of the Rising Sun and according to the lyrics, it is a woman lamenting her life. Almost all the renditions feature male singers. See, I told you it was of no importance.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some quotes on war

The problem with sports and war is that God is on everyone's side. -Duane Alan Hahn

Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory. -Norman Vincent Peale

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. -Jeannette Rankin

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. -Dwight D. Eisenhower

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.-David Friedman

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.-Salvor Hardin

Fighting is like champagne. It goes to the heads of cowards as quickly as of heroes. Any fool can be brave on a battlefield when it's be brave or else be killed. -Margaret Mitchell

All war represents a failure of diplomacy.-Tony Benn

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.-Otto Von Bismarck

Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share in the guilt for the dead.-General Omar Bradley

If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or ''our'' country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share. -Virginia Woolf

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Peace is not God's gift to his creatures. It is our gift to each other.-Elie Wiesel

War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.-Desiderius Erasmus

I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars. -Abbie Hoffman

It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace. -Andre Gide

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.-Herbert Clark Hoover

In schools all over the world, little boys learn that their country is the greatest in the world, and the highest honor that could befall them would be to defend it heroically someday. The fact that empathy has traditionally been conditioned out of boys facilitates their obedience to leaders who order them to kill strangers. -Myriam Miedzian

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.-John F. Kennedy

I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.-Douglas MacArthur

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have it's fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.-Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Overheard in the coffee shop

One lady who thinks O'Reilly is "right on" was saying that being a soldier in Iraq is no more dangerous than being a policeman in US. I googled her statement and found out that the statement is Bush inspired and repeated by Republican pundits repeatedly. I went to the US Statistical Abstract and checked on police deaths. The latest figures are for 2002 and in the whole US the number (of police feloniously killed) was 56 and another 76 were killed accidentally (no statistics of car accidents due to high speed chases). There are more than 1 million police (full and part time) employed in the US. I wonder what statistics O'Reilly uses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hurricane Fraud

I was listening to NPR this morning. There was a little piece on fraud after Katrina. There are, of course, people pretending to be victims and there will be shoddy construction at high prices as after every weather disaster. But I thought the following scams were notable - Red Cross employees were giving pin numbers to friends and relatives to make claims for funds and people are posing as FEMA employees to harvest personal information for identity theft. People are poops.

By the way, a couple local frauds I have observed are (1)a checker at K-Mart in Glendive always shorts the customer $1 whenever she needs to make change. (I suppose she just keeps a daily running count and I've no doubt her till comes out correctly and most people don't check their change) (2) a checker at our local grocery store runs just some of the items across the device so that her friends get lots of groceries free (3) a coin dealer misrepresenting the grades of coins by a phony "old" appraisal (4)a car dealer that lies about repairs done (5)all the volunteers at the thrift shop who take home any valuable items. I have no doubt all have reasonable (to their Christian minds) justification for their actions.

Monday, October 17, 2005

All the People Demoted Who Disagree with Bush

Check out this article about all the firings and demotions of people who disagree with Bush. The conclusion:
" Disillusionment with the current state of affairs at FEMA was cited as the major cause for the mass defections. In fact, a February 2004 survey by the American Federation of Government Employees found that 80% of a sample of remaining employees said FEMA had become "a poorer agency" since being shifted into the Bush-created Department of Homeland Security. What happened to FEMA has happened, in ways large and small, to many other federal agencies. In an article by Amanda Griscom in Grist magazine, Jeff Ruch, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, made reference to the "unusually high" rate of replacement of scientists in government agencies during the Bush administration. "If the scientist gives the inconvenient answer they commit career suicide," he said.

However defined, the casualties of the Bush administration are legion. The numbers of government careers wrecked, disrupted, adversely affected, or tossed into turmoil as a result of this administration's wars, budgets, policies, and programs is impossible to determine. Although every administration leaves bodies strewn in its wake, none in recent memory has come close to the Bush administration in producing so many public statements of resignation, dissatisfaction, or anger over treatment or policies. The aforementioned list of casualties includes among the best known of those who have resigned or left the administration under pressure (although not necessarily those who have suffered most from their acts). Perhaps no one knows exactly how many government workers, at all levels, have fallen in the face of the Bush administration. Those mentioned above are just a few of the highest profile members of this as yet uncounted legion, just a few of the names we know."

Bugged by Bush

One of the MANY things that bug me about Bush is how he pronounces the word "to" as "ta". No wonder he has trouble with the two syllable words.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A new approach for telemarketers

I must admit I am a little generous with charities and I have no doubt they sell your name to other charities. I get lots of telephone calls asking for money. From now on, this is what I'm going to say, "She's not here right now. I'm her sister staying here to watch her dogs until she gets out of jail for passing bad checks."

Interesting obit

This obit found via Boing Boing. Check out "in lieu of flowers" request.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Woke up to this Wednesday

Because the trees had still not lost their leaves, the heavy snow broke many limbs. Electricity was out for a good part of the day. Now the slimy work of cleaning garden debris. I told Astrid I would help her and she has this little "grove" of eight foot high cannas that will be a bear to cut up and drag to the alley. Ah the pleasures of northern life.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The 48 Laws of Power

This book is five years old and still selling strong - 222 on Amazon. It makes one worry. Don't waste your money on the book. A brief synopsis is here. For example:
Law 7

Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

A couple true stories pilfered from somewhere

In 1978, several firemen came to the house of an elderly lady to
rescue her cat from a tree. They succeeded and the woman
invited many of them in for tea. After the impromptu get-
together, the firemen left, running over the cat and killing it.
In 1972, Derek Langborne lit a fire in his fireplace. He then
went outside to fill his log bucket. When he returned, he
noticed a flaming log had just rolled out of the fireplace. He
carefully picked it up (it wasn't all flaming) and took it
outside. He unwittingly brushed it against a curtain on the way
out. He deposited the log on his driveway and returned to find
his curtains and door on fire. While calling the Fire Station,
he noticed that the log in the driveway had set fire to his car.
He completed the call, and ran out to douse the car with a
bucket of water. On the way, he tripped over a gas container
and set himself on fire. Mr. Langborne survived with minor
injuries and his house was saved.
In a recent rape trial, the victim was asked to repeat what the
attacker had said to her just before the attack. The language
was coarse and the implications where crude, so she wrote the
statement down due to her embarassment. The paper was passed to
the jury to examine as evidence. One of the jurors had fallen
asleep. The juror beside him, a beautiful young blonde woman,
nudged him awake, and handed him the paper. He looked at it,
smiled and winked at her, and put the paper in his pocket. When
the judge asked for the paper back, he said it was a "personal
In February 1970, a swiss pornograher was taken to court for not
being pornographic enough. His "sexually erotic books"
contained mainly pictures of plants and furniture. He was sued
by many irate customers and given ten months probation by the