Posted by: slartibartifast | November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama

     I’ll be damned!! He made it!! Over a year ago I wouldn’t have bet 50 cents that Barack could have actually pulled off winning the Presidency of the U.S. Not because I didn’t believe in him or that he wasn’t the right guy for the job, but because of all the forces aligned against him…good and bad.

     Not the least of which was, at that time, Hillary Clinton and the other well qualified Democratic candidates. The other forces, the bad, were tough Republican candidates and the closed minds of a significant fraction of the American population, meaning bigotry and ignorance.

     Well, I am hugely happy about the outcome and excited about the future for the first time in a L-O-N-G time!! Almost eight years, in fact.

     As for all you insane ignoramuses who believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, or wasn’t born in the United States, or is a Socialist, or “pals around with terrorists,” or is an elitist, or is going to “Black up” America, or eats live puppies for breakfast, or whatever other profoundly stupid bullshit you’ve had passed around to you via viral e-mail messages for the last year I have this advice: smarten up or sober up, whichever applies to your case.

     Despite massive election fraud by Republican controlled voting machines and purging and caging of legally registered voters by local Republican elected state officials HE WON ANYWAY!!

     If the election was completely fair in every precinct in America the margin of victory would have been even more crushing!

     If this doesn’t drive a stake through the heart of the miserably failed policies and ideologies of the past 25 years of Republican rule, not governing, but RULE, by a mandate from the majority of American voters, then I don’t know what does.

     If you are blind angry, or scared shitless, or even just uneasy about the result of this election, then get over it. Pull that big stick out of your butt and relax. Try and forget all the lies you’ve been fed by the Republican Fear Drumbeat of the campaign season and use your head, if you can.

     That’s one thing I like about Democrats- after you calm down and become reasonable again we will take you into our clan, NOT drive you out and try to isolate you from the process of government and citizenship.

     Give President Obama (damn, I like the sound of that) a chance to put out the flaming bag of shit that the Bush Administration hands over to him in January and I think you’ll be surprised how well things can run again.

     We all won tonight!

Posted by: slartibartifast | October 7, 2008

Politics 1A, part 3

     As I said for parts 1 and 2, I am not an expert in politics, specifically American politics; no degree in it, no experience in elected office, not even any relatives who are in it. But I have been paying attention for the last 4-5 years, at least more than most Americans can afford, to political events in this country; way more attention than I did in the previous 50 years of my prior life. And this summary is what I have come to believe:

    John McCain- back in the Republican primary season of 2000 I liked John McCain. If I had voted that year (I sat it out with a “none of the above” protest vote) I probably would have voted for him if he had survived the primaries, where Karl Rove, working for George Bush, slandered him so badly that he lost out to Shrub. Now, I’m retroactively embarrassed to admit that. McCain has sold out his principles and ethics more than any other politician I can remember in my lifetime. I’m embarrassed for him to see this kind of disgraceful behavior. He’s a whore of the worst kind; practically running around on hands and knees to kiss Pat Robertson’s ass during this year’s primary season, after calling Robertson an “agent of intolerance” in 2000. Now in the 2008 election he’s so out of ideas and tactics that he has nothing left but to pound that Fear Drum that the Republicans love so much. He’s turned into an ass clown. Sad.

     Sarah “Bible Spice” Palin– you gotta be kidding me! When I first heard of her nomination by McCain and did some research of her online I thought it was an April Fool’s joke. If the McCain campaign wasn’t seriously running her I would think this was hilarious. A woman who got a Broadcast Journalism degree (at FOUR colleges over SIX years). For those of you who don’t know, that degree is what she wanted so that she could become a Sports Caster!!!!! Her lofty goal was to work on ESPN!! For anybody who thinks she has the experience, credentials, talent, or temperament to be VP, much less President, I have only one question: What the fuck’s the matter with you? Get serious.

     Barack Obama– to be honest he wasn’t my first choice during the Democratic primaries; John Edwards was, with Dennis Kucinich my second choice. But Barack is doing OK with me now. I don’t agree with everything he says or does, but he’s a damn site better than the laughable McCain/Palin choice. I think he’s sincere in his desire to stand up for, and to change the political system for, the middle class. If he’s elected I’ll be tougher on him than any Republican would be to do what he said he’d do in office. To me that’s the biggest difference between Democrats and Republicans; Democrats don’t become delusional morons when their guy leaves the Right Path.

     Joe Biden– to be perfectly honest, I wish the ticket were reversed to a Biden/Obama ticket. Joe has tremendous experience and judgement from his years as a Senator. I respect him very much. It would also be four years to give Obama the right experience he needs to be an even better President in 2012, after Biden retired. Oh well.

     The Media– the funniest canard I’ve ever heard is the one of “The Liberal Media.” This is an invention of the Republican Propaganda Machine to sucker ignorant and emotional people into believing it. Try this simple test in your area: run down the dial of AM radio stations you can hear and compare how many stations carry crap like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael “Wiener” Savage as opposed to how many carry an Air American affiliate or even somebody like Ed Schultz. It’s typically about 2 or 3 to one (if you can even FIND an Air American affiliate or Ed Schultz in your area). Second test: watch virtually ANY TV news show or analysis show (like Meet the Press) and notice how many Republican or Conservative analysts they have on compared to Democratic or Progressive ones. It’s typically 2 or 3 or even 4 to one. Does this seem like a Liberal bias to you?? Not to me.

    Alternative sources of information– assuming that you’ve gotten this far into this many words, then you might be worthy to do some fairly easy online research into the facts rather than blindly believing stupid propaganda crap. If this is so then go to these sites for some additional enlightenment:, MediaMatters for America,,, and You can also do the most basic education possible by using GOOGLE and just typing the words of anything you don’t understand, or would like to know more about, in the search field and then reading the results of the search hits. Use your head for something other than growing hair.

     Summary– I can’t put it any better than Jon Stewart did on The Daily Show about the way Barack Obama was being labeled as “elitist”: “I want the President to be an elitist. I want the President to be the smartest person in the country. Here is a job where, if you do it right, they carve your face into the side of a fucking mountain!” Well said.

Posted by: slartibartifast | September 16, 2008

Politics 1A, part 2

As I said for part 1, I am not an expert in politics, specifically American politics; no degree in it, no experience in elected office, not even any relatives who are in it. But I have been paying attention for the last 4-5 years, at least more than most Americans can afford, to political events in this country; way more attention than I did in the previous 50 years of my prior life. And this summary is what I have come to believe:

Democratic party- they drive me crazy. They’re the only viable alternative to stolen Republican elections and atrocious government and they are like watching someone trying to herd a thousand cats. If there’s a way for them to lose an election, they will find it. Even if they do get into office they still get bitch-slapped around by the Republicans. And they always seem so genuinely surprised that this is always the outcome.

I nearly have a nervous breakdown every general election, hoping for some miniscule glimmer of hope that affairs can get back into the normal range again by the Democrats gaining enough ground to get out of the clutches of the Republican’s bullying behavior.

At times the Democrats actually do remind me of Battered Wife Syndrome.

Here’s the crux of the matter: stop acting like pussies!! I can’t think of a more neutral way of saying it.

Nearly every Republican I know well enough to reason with is more aggressive than most of the Democrats I know. Dems keep falling into the same trap time after time after time after time. And it’s this- they think that if people know the Truth then they will arrive at the same rational decision I did. They don’t understand that it’s almost never about issues. It’s about having to tell some voters what to do. Way more people than I think want to be told what to do, how to vote, what to think. Once the Dems understand…I mean really understand this fact…they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. The intelligent, informed Dems will understand this and play along, while the people looking for a commanding leader will fall into place like good voters.

If the Republicans have proven anything since Jimmie Carter was voted out of office (because of a shady deal between the Reagan campaign’s backchannel forces to arrange to have the American hostages released from Iran if he won the election) it is that it’s almost impossible to underestimate the American public’s capacity for ignorance, gullibility, and denial. I’m not sure which depresses me more, the fact that this is true or that the Republicans learned to exploit it first. Like it or not, you have to live with it.

The one twinkle of hope I have gleaned in the last couple of years is that, given the state I describe in the previous paragraph, people are finally, with glacial slowness, starting to come around to a more informed point of view. This is evident in the popularity polls of George Bush and his Administration. Of course, look at how bad things had to get to rouse them from their sloth.

I lay a lot of the blame for people’s apathy and laziness at the feet of an almost useless Corporate Media environment. Once great news organizations, like CBS and it’s wonderful cadre of investigative reporters, or The Washington Post reporting the Watergate Break-in and cover-up story, have left the building to hand the reins over to the Infotainment creeps. They have traded access for independence, transcribing what the Administration Press Secretary says for investigation, an invitation to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner for that probing second question.

I don’t blame the reporters here, but the editors and owners who “filter” the stories for us.

But every time a door is shut a window is opened. Now we have the Internet, where we can guide our own path to the end of that information rainbow. Use it to clean up the bullshit spread through viral e-mail messages with Check on the veracity of media propaganda with Media Matters for America and If you want to know more on a topic of history or politics that you don’t know do a simple GOOGLE search and learn about it.

We have truly outstanding documentaries such as Iraq for Sale, Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room, and Who Killed the Electric Car?.

There are newer, better, sources of alternative information like the Daily Show on Comedy Central, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

On the radio there is Thom Hartmann in many markets on the AirAmerica network. Daily replays on the Web here. Past shows here.

All of these sources are better than some 20 second report in the Corporate Media Evening News anyway.

BTW, if you want to see comedic genius you have to watch Steven Colbert’s address to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2006. I honestly don’t know how he had the nerve to show up there that night, much less say the things he did to the people in that audience. A high water mark performance.

In the continuing spirit of lightening up a little after some serious stuff here are some political season slogans I’ve heard lately:

Republicans do it TO you. Democrats do it FOR you.

About Sarah Palin’s affiliation with the Alaska Independence Party- If at first you don’t secede, try, try again.

And one I made up (or subconsciously stole from somewhere else)- Republicans believe in the Corporation. Democrats believe in the Constitution.

Posted by: slartibartifast | September 15, 2008

Politics 1A, part 1

     I am not an expert in politics, specifically American politics; no degree in it, no experience in elected office, not even any relatives who are in it. But I have been paying attention for the last 4-5 years, at least more than most Americans can afford, to political events in this country; way more attention than I did in the previous 50 years of my prior life. And this summary is what I have come to believe:

     Republican party– As currently configured it is a patchwork of groups run by the NeoConservatives. The main groups are large corporations and their board members, fundamentalist Christians, and well meaning, but mostly ignorant, people who know little of the people who run their party or why they are Republicans. They are like cheerleaders at a local high-school football game- they know little of the actual game itself, but are way gung-ho for the outcome…which is their team winning…at any cost.

     Republicans are only good at one thing, winning elections, by whatever methods necessary. Once they are in office they want to show Americans that government is bad for you, so they go about making sure that the political positions are staffed by nothing but unqualified ass-kissers, so that they will do a bad job, thereby proving their point (think “you’re doing a heck of a job Brownie” during the Katrina mess).

     Republicans currently have only two goals: 1) stay in power and 2) transfer as many billions of dollars to their millionaire and billionaire friends from American middle class taxpayers as they can before being kicked out of office.

     The goal of the Republicans and the Bush Administration for the last 7.5 years has been to establish a “unitary executive” (see below). This is code-speak for an unlimited and unchecked ability of the President to do whatever he wants. This is also known as a dictatorship.

     For the last 7.5 years Republicans and the Bush Administration had control of the Senate, House of Representatives, Presidency, and (most of the time) the Supreme Court. They have acted like alcoholics running a liquor store; not allowing any oversight to their violations of the Constitution and plundering of deregulation and privatization of nearly everything they could get their hands on- an unnecessary war in Iraq, massive illegal eavesdropping on communications, outing senior covert CIA officer Valerie Plame (this should be called what it is- treason), torturing prisoners, doing away with habeas corpus for Gitmo detainees, unfairly prosecuted Democratic officials (Don Siegelman) and appointees while ignoring Republican crimes, fired 9 U.S. Attorneys who wouldn’t prosecute Democrats unfairly, tried to get rid of all opposition in the press and lobbying companies, stated in writing George Bush’s intension to ignore laws passed by the Congress (see Signing Statements below), and removed safeguards and regulations on sub-prime mortgages and oil futures trading (the “Enron Loophole“) thereby causing the sub prime mortgage crisis (why your home value is now dropping) and a gallon of gas costing nearly $4 (after being over $4 a gallon recently). BTW, these last two items are both thanks to Phil Gramm, John McCain’s lead economic advisor.

     What all this leads to is a Fascist State. That’s what they really want to set up.

     And keep in mind that “Maverick” Sen. John McCain voted with the Bush Administration over 90% of the time.


     Topics for further reading:

     Unitary Executive Theory #1  #2 

     George W. Bush’s signing statements #1  #2

     Stolen presidential elections in 2000 and 2004  #1  #2  #3

Posted by: slartibartifast | August 18, 2008


     I’d be willing to bet that the concept of Happiness, specifically the question “Are you happy?”, is responsible for more spontaneous unhappiness than any other word.

     When asked this question people have to stop and consider if they are, or not, indeed, Happy. This starts a mental cascade effect of self-examination which, probably all too often, ends with the answer- “No.” Then the depth charge goes off in their head of “Why?” That’s the Gotcha. “Why?”

     In the meantime they will probably answer the asked question with a non-committal “Yeah, I suppose” or “As happy as anybody.” It’s that second option answer that gives me pause.

     When people stop to examine their lives and where they’re at they have to ponder topics like goals, degrees, raises, possessions, debt, health, relationships with others, and invariably…success. This territory is the middle of minefield. Smart, well balanced, motivated people will take this dangerous territory as a challenge to do better. Most people will become more unhappy and neurotic.

     Inspiration comes from some of the most unlikely places. Back in about 1996 I was watching an interview with a drag racer named Eddie Hill and he related a story from his own life. He described how he and his wife were at the drag race track working on his fuel dragster in the pits and a spectator kid said to his parents, “It doesn’t look like they’re happy.” Eddie heard the comment and talked to his wife about it later. They decided that they could be doing much, much worse in life and that they were going to try and change their lives to be happier.

     In the process of trying to obtain this state they decided that they were going to find some small joys in small things, such as eating what they liked at every meal, and see if these small changes added up to more overall Happiness. The interviewer asked Eddie if it worked. Eddie answered “Surprisingly, yes.”

     I try to make Eddie’s method work, and to some extent it does. It would work a lot better if reality didn’t keep impinging on me.

Posted by: slartibartifast | August 5, 2008

Gramps’ Intruder

    In San Diego I knew several law enforcement officers and one of them responded to a late-night call one time that says a lot about shotguns.

    Some local gun dealer had convinced an 80+ year old man to get himself a pump 12-gauge and buy some 00 buck magnum loads for it. When my friend got the call the dispatcher said “man injured during  a burglary attempt.” Well, he got there and the guy was injured alright, but by the shotgun, not a burglar.

    The guy “heard something” late at night and grabbed his new toy and went to investigate. When he got to the kitchen area he was startled by “the burglar” and lifted the scattergun and let one fly. It knocked him on his ass, after breaking his shoulder. When my friend arrived and assessed the damage he was trying not to laugh at the poor old geezer.

    The kitchen was a shambles. There were 00 buckshot holes (9 .30 caliber pellets, as I remember) in the ruined refrigerator, ruined countertop, ruined toaster, ruined wall, and what was left of the owner’s cat- aka “the burglar.” 

    As the old adage goes, “Know your target BEFORE pulling the trigger.” Gramps had a little too much gun for the job. Just ask Mr. Jingles…oops, too late!

Posted by: slartibartifast | August 1, 2008

Photo & Music

    This is what I do now:


A leaf in my front yard

A leaf in my front yard


I took this shot while sitting on my front deck yesterday and composed a little minute long tune to celebrate The Leaf. Enjoy.

Posted by: slartibartifast | July 2, 2008


     I consider my personal high bar for humor to be when I had the chance to “meet” a celeb in the Air Force in 1973. We had just opened up a new dispensary at Peterson Field (now Peterson AFB) and I, as a medic working in the Emergency Room, was part of the privileged few who were invited to meet & greet Angel Tompkins, a then-famous Playboy Playmate, who was there to dedicate the dispensary. They let us know a couple of days prior to her distinguished visit that she’d be chatting with us during a photo op.

     Well, she was being towed around by the dispensary commander (Col. Story) and the commander of the medics (Capt. Meathead, as we so affectionately referred to him) and a photog. When she came in with her entourage she walked around touring the Emergency Room for about 10 minutes and then stopped on her way out and shook our hands (there were three of us of duty).

     After that she asked in a very sincere voice if “there was anything we’d like to ask her?” As my wife will testify to, this is never a good lead-in for me. Nobody else spoke up, so I asked her if “she believed in pre-natal sex?” She tightened her lips and thought for about 5 seconds before she launched off into a minute long explanation of “since these were modern times and men and women were liberated from past sexual taboos she thought it would be fine.”

     I could feel both of the officers trying to burn a hole through my head with their glares, but as she went on and on Col. Story busted up first and just howled with laughter and about a beat later even Capt. Meathead did, too. She, of course, was as confused as a deer on the freeway, which made it all that much more hilarious.

     The only reason I wasn’t laughing was because I knew that I was going to be transferred to Minot, North Dakota, the following day for this stunt. As they walked out Col. Story came up close to me and put his hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear “don’t EVER do that again…but thanks.”

     Actually, the final scene of this little play Col. Story never knew. After they left, the other two medics grabbed me and asked me “what the hell just happened?!” I just carefully said “pre-NATAL sex.” Neither of them got it still and I started to laugh…and laugh…and laugh. My sides hurt for all that day and the next.

     I was not transferred to North Dakota.

     Another true life story.

Posted by: slartibartifast | June 4, 2008

Addors & Detractors

When I lived in La Jolla, California, in about 1977, and was a student at UCSD I lived three blocks from the Comedy Store, a great place to hear stand-up comedians. I used to go as often as I could afford to.  One night I heard a comedian (wish I could remember who, although it sounds like a line that Gary Muledeer would use) say something that has stayed with me since then: “There are two groups of people in the world- those that divide people into two groups and those that don’t.”

The two groups of people I divide them into are- Addors and Detractors.

Addors are people who consistently add something to your existence, even if in small ways. You’re glad to see or hear them. If they add enough, either in one shot or over time, you admire them.

Detractors are people who lessen some intangible part of your life. Jerks, liars, or worse. They are as welcome as loud drunks at a church service.

I briefly considered the existence of a third category of people who are neither, just neutral. But that negates my clever opening paragraph…so it’s out. Besides, if you keep splitting that hair finer and finer you realize that everybody can fit into one category or the other. We don’t usually have entirely neutral feelings when we see or hear anybody. So there.

A natural consequence of having formalized this observation into a blog entry is that I list some people of each category. So here:

Some conspicuous Addors in my life- Dr. Eldon Stevens. During my first two years of college I took two classes from him, Introduction to Logic and History of Modern Philosophy. Easily the best professor I ever had in school. It’s not an overstatement to say that he taught me how to think. It’s a rare week that passes where I don’t think about a joke he made, some example of a difficult point he made easier to understand, or the look on his face at the end of a lecture when he realized that he had stretched our brains with a new concept. If not for him and his effect on me I never would have made it through college.

Leo Kottke. My favorite musician.  Guitar player and story teller…if you could turn up the meanings of those words by 1200%. I’ve seen him live probably 12-13 times. Endlessly entertaining.

Ralph Nader. He has done more to make Americans lives better than anyone. I’ve heard him speak three times in my life and met him and talked with him once. He has an astounding memory and grasp of historical and political facts. Most impressive person I know of.

Nigel Mansell. The most exciting and phenomenally talented Formula 1 racing driver I’ve seen in my life. At the 1984 U.S. Grand Prix, held in Dallas that year, he drove for Lotus and when his transmission broke on the last lap, within sight of the finish line, he climbed out of his car and, AFTER driving for two hours in 104 degree heat, he PUSHED his Lotus to the finish line to get ONE championship point for sixth place. That’s desire!

Thom Hartmann. I am awed every time I listen to him, which is every day at , with his knowledge of history, science, politics, psychology, and people.

Dr. Dennis Rohatyn. A former colleague, lunch buddy, and friend. The smartest and most well read person I ever met. I never had a conversation with him I didn’t love.

Joey Garcia. I initially hired him to work for me at the university we were both at. After he left we became better friends. He was nice to me when he didn’t have to be. Now a former mortal. I miss him greatly.

General Chuck Yeager. His exploits seem superhuman to me. Read his autobiography Yeager. You won’t be bored.

Musicians. Anybody who takes the time to learn an instrument, the talent to play it well enough to entertain people, and survive doing it for a living (usually for little fame or money) gets my respect automatically. Some of the best I like (and who disprove the fame/money point): Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan (Walter Becker & Donald Fagan), Michael Hedges, Larry Fast (Synergy), Nat King Cole, Patrick O’Hearn, Don Harriss, Boris Blank (Yello), Vangelis, ZZ Top, The Moody Blues, Firefall, Boston, Van Halen, Toto, Little River Band, Rush, Saga, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Tangerine Dream, Dean Martin, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jimmie Spheeris, Head East, Starcastle, Tommy Bolin, The Who, Phil Collins, and Erasure.

Added 6/24/08- George Carlin. I debated whether to add him here when I first wrote this blog, but left him out because it seemed a little too long as it was. Now I can say that he was one of my personal heros for 40 years. 71 years wasn’t long enough for him. The world was a better place for him being in it and a worse one now that he has left it. So long George. Thanks for the laughs and thought.

Addors make life worthwhile…period

Some egregious Detractors- George W. Bush. A chuckling chimp who can’t navigate to the end of a coherent sentence, much less lead a country. If it weren’t for Dick Cheney’s hand up his ass controlling him like a butt puppet and Karl Rove whispering in his ear he couldn’t order lunch. Not satisfied to be just a national embarrassment, he took his show on the road so that he could “be more famous” by fucking up Iraq. To the rest of the world: I am appallingly sorry we inflicted this potato-head on you.

Michael Jackson. How the hell is this guy (if you choose to use that word) not in jail??? Because there is a separate, but not equal, kind of justice for the rich and famous.

Paris Hilton. Notorious for being notorious, I guess. There’s no other reason I can see for her to be mentioned…anywhere…ever. If people would just stop noticing her she would dissipate like a raunchy fart.

Ann Coulter. I could carve a better person out of a bar of soap. She casts no shadow.

Ayrton Senna. He proves the proposition that talent doesn’t necessarily make you great. In 1993, having already won the World Driver’s Championship three times in Formula 1, at the Japanese Grand Prix a rookie driver, Eddie Irvine, passed Senna, who was currently in 2nd place, late in the race to unlap himself. The great Senna was so incensed at this insult to his bloated ego that he went over to the rookie’s pit garage after the race and punched him. Real classy guy.

Phil Hellmuth. Poker player. Braying Jackass.

Rush Limbaugh. Semi-ambulatory turd.

I had originally intended to put the names of a couple of people from my life in here, but I chickened out. Much like invoking a demon by saying their names out loud I didn’t want to risk even the smallest chance of recalling these demons to my life.

Detractors, especially bad ones, should be not seen nor listened to. My belief is that stupidity and asshole behavior might be catching. Why tempt The Fates?

I wish that I could say that I have encountered more Addors than Detractors, but it would be a lie. If there is any kind of afterlife and if that afterlife has any justice or reward I want to know the answer to only one question: Why did I have to meet every stupid, lying, asshole on Earth before I died?

Posted by: slartibartifast | May 15, 2008


     There are a handful of sayings that I have collected over the years and used to illuminate my path through life. The best ones are easy to recognize because they have an immediate glow of Truth to them and, if I have been paying ANY attention to life at all, they embody that Truth in as few simple words as possible.

     I discovered that, try as often as I do, I just don’t have the time to make all of the mistakes of the people who came before me and that there are tiny doses of wisdom to be found in terse aphorisms that can save me another “D’oh!” moment.

     Some of my favorites:

     When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you put former oil executives and defense contractor CEOs in charge of a government you shouldn’t be surprised when you get a war, necessary or not.

     You never ask a barber if you need a haircut. While apparently similar to the above example there is a subtle difference- this one makes you part of the process. Try and use some intelligence and discernment in your travails.

     A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. Often gathering more information does not help judgement.

     A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are made for. I would add the corollary But neither are they made for hurricanes.

     You can’t un-ring a bell. A basic tenet taught in law schools. It’s even more appropriate in Life. There are things you can say or do that can never be undone, with any amount of apologies and/or lawsuits. When in doubt err on the side of being nice.

     Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. Attributed to Joseph Stalin. That says it all.

     Imagination is more important than knowledge. Attributed to Albert Einstein. That also says it all.

     There are no facts, only interpretations. Attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the human race’s greatest thinkers.

     Ability is of little account without opportunity. Attributed to Napolean. He had lots of opportunities.

     Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. Attributed to Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert. My all-time favorite saying.

     I don’t collect these to make people laugh, although they do that, I collect them to make people think. I wish they did more of that.

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