1. "There’s no normal life, Wyatt, it’s just life. Get on with it."
    — - Doc Holliday
     


  2. "We are what we repeatedly do."
    —  Aristotle
     

  3. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

     


  4. Lewis Black on Creation

    Whenever anybody tries to tell me that they believe it took place in 7 days, I reach for a fossil and go, “Fossil.” And if they keep talking, I throw it just over their head.





     


  5. Fight on

    Fight on, my men, I am hurt, but I am not slain; 
    I’ll lay me down and bleed a while, 
    And then I’ll rise and fight again.
     


  6. Einstein on Religion and Ethics

    A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
     


  7. Henry David Thoreau on a good book

    A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
     


  8. Quotes I Want to Remember

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."

    "It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

    - Lincoln

     


  9. Greg Blache Quotes

    [caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”340” caption=”Greg Blache - Defensive Coordinator for the Washington Redskins”]Greg Blache - Defensive Coordinator -Washington Redskins[/caption]

    "We have a talented group, but talent alone is nothing. Prisons are full of talent. You need passion and selflessness"

    "We don’t worry about numbers here. Statistics are for losers. I’m not a stat guy. I’m not interested in them, because you can do anything you want with numbers, you can manipulate them, and work around with them. Look at all the financial [problems] we’re having in Wall Street right now. That’s all those guys lying and playing with numbers. And now all of us are suffering. So I don’t believe in numbers, because any crook can play with numbers….It angers me."

    "…I cringe when I sit in a meeting and I hear coaches spouting off their statistics. To me, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like they’re grading themselves. Our job is to win and lose football games. And on Sunday, you either won it or you lost it. The rest of it’s for you guys to write about. You know? For me, you either win or you lose; you don’t get second place because you had great stats….I’ve been around a ton of guys that will just sit and spout their statistics. Drives me crazy. It’s meaningless."

    "I don’t even know what Fred [Smoot] was saying half the time. We need a real translator for that, from the U.N."

    "We always talk about playing time, and playing time is like a rope. Some guys use it to pull themselves up on a team and some guys use it to hang themselves."

    "As you get older, you learn to realize what you’re supposed to like and what’s best for you is not always equal."

    "We played like the south end of a north bound skunk."


    "We can’t just throw our hat in the ring and expect to win football games… We get up in the morning, we wash our face, we put our makeup on and we comb our hair—or else nobody is going to ask us out. We’re not that good looking"

    "We applied for a job at Giant and couldn’t get it because we couldn’t sack a bag of groceries"

    "I’m sorry that we don’t please you with the stats that you like, but we’ll take the ones that we do have over those. You can continue to beat that dead horse, and we can turn you into to PETA. … Leave that horse alone and just focus on the positive side."

    "I felt the guys needed sort of a spiritual viagra. Something to get their spirits and swagger back up."

    On signing Albert Haynesworth: “I’m going to Disney World.”

    "I’m kind of like Forrest Gump’s Mom, they’re not the smartest guys but I still love them."

     


  10. Thoughts on “Religulous”



    I thought Religulous was fantastic and should be required viewing for anyone who considers himself a person of faith. Some may ask why I would watch something considered blasphemous at its worst and agnostic-proselytism at it’s best. Answer: If a 90-minute documentary based on asking skeptical questions is enough to shake your belief in a particular God, religion or principle, you probably didn’t have much conviction to begin with; in which case, the movie actually did you a favor. Though implied, the movie rarely provided a direct argument as to why faith or religion was wrong or illogical. The agenda was not to impose an argument against belief, simply to question it. Inquiry is not a sin, not in my book, anyway. I thought Maher asked the right questions, the same ones that I struggle with on a daily basis as a believer. He never came across as antagonizing, malicious or even irritated, but his interview subjects definitely did, and that is unfortunate. The movie also chose to interview some of the more extreme and antiquated examples of religious wackos fundamentalists who would eventually trip over their own lack of logic while attempting to answer even the most basic questions regarding their beliefs. In that regard, the film was significantly biased and showed a lack of objectivity in its production. To that point, however, countless numbers of faith-based propoganda do the same thing - decrying/mocking all atheists or agnostics as militant, hateful, dumb, or unhappy. Fighting cheap shots with cheap shots, I suppose.

    I knew Maher had a point when I found myself agreeing with him more often than not, but I wasn’t discouraged by this as I believe systematic theology has run its course in the [post]modern world (gasp!). Yes, I doubt - all the time; it occurs in differing degrees, sometimes bordering on shame or even, blasphemy; but utlimately, it is my doubt that affirms my human-ness and thirst for truth. I embrace the challenge of faith and cherish the committment I’ve made to goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

    Bill Maher, closing monologue of Religulous:

    I agree: “The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big question is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble.”
    In my opinion, doubt is a pre-requisite to faith. Ask the 12 Disciples about that. Ask the father with the long-suffering son, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief."

    I disagree: "… those who consider themselves only moderately religious, really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price"
    One of my favorite quotes from Seventh-day Adventist theologian, David Larson, "The best medicine for bad religion is not no religion but good religion."



    I agree/disagree: "Religion is dangerous, because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do."
    Religion that goes unquestioned and usurps common sense and decency is dangerous. So too is religion that falsely claims to know all and monopolize truth. However, what if religion were to be more malleable than that? A church or doctrine that teaches “we don’t have all the answers, but let’s get there together in love, fellowship and sincerity.” Is that so dangerous?

     


  11. Inaugural Address Transcript






    My fellow citizens:

    I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

    So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

    That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

    These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

    Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

    On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

    On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

    In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

    For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

    For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

    For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

    Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

    This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

    For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

    Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

    What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

    Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

    Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

    We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

    For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

    To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

    To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

    As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

    For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

    Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

    This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

    This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

    This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

    So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

    "Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

    America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
     


  12. Inadvertantly Poignant Quote of the Day

    RollingStone Magazine’s review of AC/DC’s album, High Voltage, included the following:

    "Stupidity bothers me. Calculated stupidity offends me."


    Simple. Effective. Scalable.