My own death

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953)

I do not retire. I do not submit.
They sentence me, the doctors do,
To death by cruel disease, tis true.
But I do not surrender, it would not fit
Life that’s been colored by every shade and hue.

Inevitable, inexorable, a universal fate
I hear all the platitudes expressed.
But what a sin, discard this gift; berate
The miracle bestowed.

I stand before you, vocal witness, defiant…
A man battered but not compliant.
I will wring out every drop of sanguinous life,
And declare with final acts…I lived, I loved, I am remembered.

Ancient and Wise

Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions, but those who kindly reprove thy faults.
-Socrates

Even back then they knew.

If a lump of soot falls into the soup and you cannot conveniently get it out, stir it well in and it will give the soup a French taste.

Jonathan Swift

OMG! Are you serious??!!

From a story on ABCNews website:

Body Found Assumed to Be Missing Yale Bride Annie Le

Investigators searching for missing Yale graduate student Annie Le found what they believe to be the girl’s remains in a wall of a Yale laboratory, police said tonight.

"We did locate the remains of a human. … We are assuming that it is her at this time," New Haven assistant police chief Peter Reichard told reporters in a brief press conference. Police are treating the case as a homicide, Reichard said.

( emphasis added by me. DUH!!! No. I supposed she killed herself, and then walled herself in, in the wall of the student laboratory???!!)

We are not “granted” anything…

You Don’t Have a Constitutional Right to Free Speech

by Derek Hunter You’ve undoubtedly heard someone, maybe even yourself, say that you have a Constitutional right to free speech, right? While that seems to make sense, it’s not true, or at least wasn’t before the government got so big that it started intruding into areas of our lives in which it has no business; and it is part of a modern mentality that has the potential to harm our individual liberty.

To understand what I’m talking about, the first thing you have to understand it that the Constitution does NOT grant you rights, it protects the rights you inherently have from government intrusion. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights is this:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "

This comes from a watchdog blog named "Big Government" . It certainly gives one pause. The government is not giving us a thing! These rights, so aptly called "the Bill of Rights" is ours regardless of, and sometimes in spite of any government, whatsoever. This fact is somehow completely overlooked in elementary school civics class, in way to many schools.

If you read that particular blog posting, they go on to say that government is there to protect those rights, not to grant them.

Very good food for thought, in my opinion.

Power Corrupts Word of the Day: despot

The history of this word suggests that the old adage, “power corrupts,” must be true. It started out (in Greek) meaning “master of the house.” Then it denoted a Byzantine emperor or prince. Next, a bishop or patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church; next an Italian hereditary prince or military leader. These days, it’s a person who exercises power tyrannically.

Socialist, despot, criminal

Socialist, despot, criminal

(will our lexicons soon show the face of the one currently residing in the White House? Note: I did NOT use the p-word. He is not MY president!)

Quotes: Heinlein What are the marks of a sick culture?

What are the marks of a sick culture?

It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population.
A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it. Dominance of males over females seems to be one of the symptoms.

Before a revolution can take place, the population must loose faith in both the police and the courts.
High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that’s old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way – even though there are always endless attempts to wish it way by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms.

I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course – but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down. Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial – but those things are obvious; all the histories list them.

I think you have missed the most alarming symptom of all. This one I shall tell you. But go back and search for it. Examine it. Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named… But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is too late to save this culture – this worldwide culture, not just the freak show here in California. Therefore we must now prepare the monasteries for the coming Dark Age. Electronic records are too fragile; we must again have books, of stable inks and resistant paper.
— Friday and Dr. Baldwin in Friday
(Friday is a 1982 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. )