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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category


It’s time to say goodbye.

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Correction: In trying for brevity, I made the third paragraph of the blog post below misleading, as Dave pointed out and as is clear from some of the many reader comments. Dave is NOT de-emphasizing politics in the magazine or on the website in general.

What he actually said was that the overabundance of politics on our Facebook page does not reflect what the content of BHM is about and that it made BHM look like a political magazine, which we are not. As a result, he wanted to stop posting politically-oriented blog updates on Facebook. Clearly, I should have said, “de-emphasize politics on Facebook.”

Further, his decision was in no way responsible for my ending this blog. It was merely something I chose to interpret as a coincidental message that reinforced what I was already thinking.

My apologies to Dave and to any readers who were misled.


It’s strange how things happen.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been thinking that the hour or two I devote each day to reading for and writing my blog post could really be better spent on other things.

Then yesterday, Dave called and said he’s decided to de-emphasize politics and since politics and current events are what I most enjoy writing about, it seemed like the universe, through Dave, was telling me to listen to myself and call it quits, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I think I’ll use those hours to do a bit of non-political writing, get things done around the house, and to spend time with my new grandson. After all, someone has to teach him the really important English words like liberty, freedom, rights, libertarian, honor, justice, commitment, character, and responsibility and what they really mean.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read my various scribblings, especially those of you who visited daily. I very much appreciate the time you gave me and the many comments you left, even the ones that disagreed with me or took me to task.

Some final thoughts, or rather, quotes I hope you’ll think about:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. ~Thomas Jefferson

The first duty of a man is to think for himself. ~José Martí

When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison

Revolution is just another word for “nothing left to lose.” ~Me

It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~George Eliot

And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make. ~Paul McCartney




Truth in ‘Toons

Sunday, October 9th, 2011


Eleven very short lessons for politicians, and one for guys, from Albert Einstein!

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Albert Einstein was surely a man ahead of his time. What other conclusion may be drawn from the the quote below, eleven of which are directly applicable to the current state in which we find ourselves politically, economically, and socially. And the twelfth contains an import life lesson for all of us, especially guys.

Which three do you think most relevant?


1. A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

2. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

3. The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal.

4. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

5. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.

6. No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

7. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

8. Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.

9. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

10. Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

11. An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

12. Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.


An inspiring speech. Why aren’t there more like it?

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

“The free enterprise system has lifted more people out of poverty than all the government anti-poverty programs combined”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

“I know that it’s popular in my party to blame the President, the current President, but the truth is, the only thing this President has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail. All he is doing through his policies is making the day or reckoning come faster. But was coming nonetheless. What we have now is not sustainable. The role of government and the role government plays now in America cannot be sustained the way it is.”

“The issue is not whether the role that government now plays in America will change. The question is how will it change. Will it change because we make the changes necessary? Or will it change because our creditors force us to make these changes?”

“Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about allowing people to catch up.”

Those are a few of the many quotable moments from a speech Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave Tuesday at the Reagan Library.

It’s worth investing twenty-three minutes to listen to the whole thing.

If you’re a liberal, it will help you to better understand what conservatism and the Tea Party movement are all about and that what you’ve been fed by the media about both are the wild distortions of frightened sycophants.

And if you’re already a “Tea-bagger,” you’ll likely feel a little better about America and wonder why we don’t hear speeches like this every day from every member of Congress.

Or maybe I’m delusional.

Watch the video and then tell me what you think.


Misquoting the bible appears to be pretty common

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

God helps those that help themselves, right?

Says so in the Bible, right?

Actually, that’s not in the Bible
By John Blake, CNN

NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches – all types of people  – quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.

These phantom passages include:

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

And there is this often-cited paraphrase: Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.

None of those passages appear in the Bible, and one is actually anti-biblical, scholars say.

But people rarely challenge them because biblical ignorance is so pervasive that it even reaches groups of people who should know better, says Steve Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

“In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3 (‘There are no internal combustion engines in heaven’),” Bouma-Prediger says. “I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible and therefore no such verse.

“Only a few catch on.”

Few catch on because they don’t want to – people prefer knowing biblical passages that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs, a Bible professor says.

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” says Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who once had to persuade a student in his Bible class at Middle Tennessee State University that the saying “this dog won’t hunt” doesn’t appear in the Book of Proverbs.

“They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in,” he says, “but they ignore the vast majority of the text.”

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Were any of the sayings in the article among those you thought were straight from the bible?

Are there other quotes you’ve heard folks use which you know are not bible-based?

And can you think of any passages that have been mis- or re-interpreted by anyone to justify his or her actions or beliefs? (No last names, please, unless they’re public figures.)


Obama is not the problem. We are.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The following quote was posted in our Forum. It has been making the email rounds and is generally attributed to an unnamed person in the Czeck Republic. I’ve not been able to determine if that is true or false, but then I didn’t spend much time trying.

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

While I cannot argue with a word of it, as far as it goes, I don’t believe it goes far enough.

The election to the presidency of a person with no leadership or management experience, who had never served in the military or run a business or had to make his way in the real world, a man who spent twenty years at the feet of and learning from a racist preacher, a man whose two main qualifications were that he looked pretty and could read well from a teleprompter, was just another chapter in a thick book filled with the names of  Presidents and Senators and Congresspersons of all political persuasions who have ignored their oaths of office and, piece by piece, sold out America’s heart and soul.

Perhaps it’s true that it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. Perhaps we American voters are simply unable or unwilling to look in the mirror and recognize that we are the problem. If so, then America is truly lost and will never be able to find it’s way back to the fertile field of freedom.

What do you think about the quote?

Are we really lost or is there still a chance to regain prosperity and freedom?

And if there is a chance, can it still be achieved politically, or will Americans have to take to the streets as we’ve seen recently in the middle east?


The best (and funniest) fantasy series I’ve ever read

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I’ve mentioned before how much I’m enjoying Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of fantasy (and SO much more!) novels. I just finished Going Postal, #30 in the main series.

Sadly for his millions of fans, there are but four more titles in the main Discworld Series, counting the one to be published later this year, and it’s unclear because of illness whether any more will be forthcoming. Still, there are half a dozen titles in the Discworld youth series, plus many other non-Discworld titles he’s written.

If you enjoy clever, entertaining, thought-provoking writing, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better craftsman than Pratchett.

Here are some quotes from the titles I’ve read. I hope one or more will move you to want to discover more about Pratchett and the world he created. You won’t be disappointed.

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. ~Equal Rites

People don’t alter history any more than birds alter the sky, they just make brief patterns on it. ~Mort

‘And what would humans be without love?’
‘RARE,’ said Death. ~Sourcery

Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages. ~Wyrd Sisters

Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn’t believing. It’s where belief stops, because it isn’t needed any more. ~Pyramids

It was amazing, this mystic business. You tell them a lie, and then when you don’t need it any more you tell them another lie and tell them they’re progressing along the road to wisdom. Then instead of laughing they follow you even more, hoping that at the heart of all the lies they’ll find the truth. And bit by bit they accept the unacceptable. ~Guards! Guards!

Demons have existed on the Discworld for at least as long as the gods, who in many ways they closely resemble. The difference is basically the same as between terrorists and freedom fighters. ~Faust Eric

The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues. ~Moving Pictures

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it’s wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it. ~Reaper Man

Gods don’t like people not doing much work. People who aren’t busy all the time might start to think. ~Small Gods

Humans are always slightly lost. It’s a basic characteristic. It explains a lot about them. ~Lords and Ladies

I am not the postmaster, I’m some poor bastard who’s the victim of some stupid…experiment. What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter. ~Going Postal


Spiders, comics, and health care fraud

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

File this under odd:

Mazda is recalling more than 50,000 cars. No, not because of some mechanical defect; because of spiders.

It seems they’ve been spinning webs in a fuel system vent that could block it and ultimately cause a fuel leak and/or fire.

Seriously!  Here’s the story.


From the Truth in Comics file:


You’ve heard the House voted to kill an unpopular provision in the Obamacare bill that would have required businesses, including one man, independent contractors like myself, to file 1099 forms for every business where they spend more than $600. For me, it would be another in a long line of annoyances from government. For most businesses, it would have been a nightmare.

That the people who foisted the Obamacare bill on a nation that clearly did not want it could include such a stupid, shortsighted provision again demonstrates why the whole kit and caboodle should be shredded and turned into something useful…like toilet paper.

If they really wanted to reform health care, they’d get government out of it.


Speaking of Obamacare, Republicans want Our Dear leader to withdraw the nomination of the guy chosen to force the scam on us.

What is wrong with these people? They have the majority. Just kill funding for the whole thing. Period. End of story.

Or is it?

Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann called on President Poser to apologize for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care fraud. What fraud? I’ll let her tell you:

I guess the three stooges were more devious than we imagined.

Bachman has vowed to vote against any spending bill that does not strip funding from Obamacare. I hope all the newly elected Reps and Senators and those incumbents who’d prefer to have Tea Movement people on their side rather than helping their opponent will join her.

And while they’re at it, maybe they can defund the White House.


Quotes, guns, and pipe dreams

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Usually, when I offer a quote, it’s one that conveys a message I think is important, or interesting. Today, I’d like to share one with which I disagree:

The unit of civilization is the city.

~Guy Davenport

I understand what Davenport meant, but he’s wrong. Instead I offer:

The unit of civilization is the libertarian individual.

~Oliver Del Signore


The unit of government control of the individual is the city.

~Oliver Del Signore


Good news from Texas. The state is poised to join Utah in treating students and professors like adults. The legislature is close to requiring that concealed handguns be permitted on college campuses statewide.

While I share the concern of University of Texas President William Powers that mixing guns and campus parties can be a recipe for disaster, rights are rights, and with them come responsibilities and consequences if the rights are abused. That is the message I hope Powers and every educator statewide will take great pains to impress upon the attending students.

Once again, we see why we should be teaching and training our children in the proper use and respect of firearms.


The Boston Globe published an excellent opinion piece by former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu. He talks about the billions government has wasted on alternative energy pipe dreams.

Government should not be transferring taxpayer dollars to any private concern in the pursuit or support of new technology or anything else. Rather, it should be up to individuals and groups of investors to risk their own money on new ideas and to reap the rewards if the ideas pan out or suffer the losses if they do not.

Government’s role in business is to preserve and protect liberty and the right of individuals to compete and cooperate in the free market as they see fit. Once it steps beyond that, it can only be to favor one person or group over another.


Tears, whoopie pies, unions, & modern art

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Belles of the bawl

Many, perhaps most men have experienced the libido-quashing effect of a woman crying.

It may well turn out that it’s not the act of crying that’s the turn-off but pheromones in the tears, according to this recent article.

If confirmed, it may be small comfort for some men, especially if she’s crying at the thought of having to get busy with him.



You may have heard that the push by some folks in Maine to have the whoopie pie declared the state dessert has riled some folks in Pennsylvania who want to claim the dessert as their own.

What interests me most about this story is that, which all the economic and social problems confronting us these days, why is it that lawmakers are wasting the public’s time and money on baked goods?

And why do we keep re-electing the people who do it?


Just a thought

Unions are about fairness in the workplace, right? If that’s the case, and unions can have “closed shops” where all non-salary workers are required to join, or at least to pay dues to the union, why can’t management have “open shops” where workers are required not to join unions or, if they join, not to pay dues?

Seems fair to me.


Quote of the day

The artwork labors to create itself; one must only not interfere.  ~ Joyce Carol Oates

I guess that explains the surfeit of trash and refrigerator-quality creations that have been passing for art for so many decades.



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