September 25, 2011

“A kinder, gentler nation” – or maybe not...


GEORGE’S APPARENTLY IMPOSSIBLE DREAM:

“I want a kinder, gentler nation.”
      
George H. W. Bush  
       Republican politician and 41st President of the United States 
       This is one of three famous quotes from
the speech Bush gave on August 18, 1988 at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, accepting his nomination as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. That address, written by speechwriter Peggy Noonan, also included the memorable phrase “a thousand points of light” and Bush’s infamous pledge: “Read my lips: no new taxes.”
       In the part of the speech that included the soon oft-parodied words “a kinder, gentler nation,” Bush explained:
       “Prosperity with a purpose means taking your idealism and making it concrete by certain acts of goodness. It means helping a child from an unhappy home learn how to read - and I thank my wife Barbara for all her work in literacy. It means teaching troubled children through your presence that there's such a thing as reliable love. Some would say it's soft and insufficiently tough to care about these things. But where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well I am moved. I want a kinder, gentler nation.”


DONALD TRUMP’S RESPONSE:

“I like George Bush very much and support him and always will. But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it's literally going to cease to exist. I think if we had people from the business community — the Carl Icahns, the Ross Perots — negotiating some of our foreign policy, we’d have respect around the world.”
       Donald Trump
       American businessman, reality TV celebrity and unreal presidential candidate
       In
an interview published in the March 1990 issue of Playboy magazine


NEIL YOUNG’S RESPONSE:

“We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler
Machine gun hand...
Keep on rockin’ in the free world.”

      
Neil Young
       Canadian rock musician and songwriter 
       These lyrics come from Young’s popular, politically-charged rock anthem “Rockin’ in the Free World,” released in 1989. He originally wrote the song to express his opinions about the political policies of President George H. W. Bush and what he viewed as an increasingly meaner, harsher America. Young still performs it with great passion today and many of the lyrics seem as relevant as ever. Maybe even more relevant.


DICK CHENEY’S RESPONSE:

“I think they were hoping for a kinder, gentler Dick Cheney, and I listened to what they had to say, and then I ignored their advice.”
       Dick Cheney
       Republican politician and U.S. Vice President under President George W. Bush
       Cheney made this comment in his memoir, In My Time (2011). It describes
his response when campaign consultants working for Bush asked him not to use harsh rhetoric attacking Democrats during his speech at the 2000 Republican convention, due to their concerns that Cheney would alienate moderate swing voters. Of course, the consultants’ concerns were unfounded. Dubya went on to win the 1988 presidential election by a huge landslide over Gore and moderates came to love Cheney. Nah — just kidding.


A MARKET FORCE RESPONSE:

“Market forces are not kinder and gentler to technologies just because we prefer them.”
       Scott L. Montgomery
       Geologist, author and faculty member at the University of Washington, Seattle
       Commenting on renewable energy sources in his book The Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and Beyond (2010)

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading (and listening)…

September 16, 2011

Freedom’s just another word…


KRISTOFFERSON’S FAMOUS OBSERVATION:

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.”

       Kris Kristofferson
       American songwriter, musician and actor 
       Lyrics from the chorus of his song “Me and Bobby McGee” (1969), made even more famous by Janis Joplin’s cover version on her posthumously-released album Pearl (1971)


MAHER’S OBSERVATION ABOUT KRISTOFFERSON:

“We have come to interpret the word ‘freedom’ as meaning ‘without rules or boundaries,’ but that’s not all there is to it. Kris Kristofferson wrote, ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,’ apparently without considering that ‘nothing left to lose’ is not another word at all, but four words. In doing so, he followed the rules of neither math nor grammar. What a loser.”
       Bill Maher
       American comedian, political talk show host and author
       In his book New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer (2005)


WISDOM FROM WALLY:

“Freedom is just another word for people finding out you’re useless.”
       Wally  
       The guru of work avoidance in Scott Adams’ Dilbert comic strip
       Explaining one of his timeless insights to Asok, in the
April 11, 2008 Dilbert comic strip
       Also used by Scott Adams as the title of a book of Dilbert cartoons in 2009


PATTI’S PUNK ROCK VARIATION:

“I wouldn’t go on Dick Clark because I’d be required to lip-synch. I showed armpit hair on the cover of my Easter album, and it was so disturbing to people, which I still don’t understand, so they wouldn’t rack it in the South...To me, those people didn’t understand punk rock at all. Punk rock is just another word for freedom.”
       Patti Smith
       American musician and author
      
In an interview in the January 10, 2010 issue of New York magazine


A RECENT POLITICAL VARIATION:

“For the ascendant, post-9/11, populist right-wing, freedom is just another word for low taxes and an invasive, religiously correct authoritarianism.”
       Wendy Kaminer
       American lawyer, writer and free speech activist
      
In an opinion piece posted on the liberal blog Spiked (September 8, 2011)

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading and listening…

September 10, 2011

No peace (or rest) for the wicked…


THE BIBLICAL ORIGIN:

“There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”
       Isaiah 48:22 (King James version)
      
This Bible verse, and the similar line in Isaiah 57:20, gave rise to the proverbial saying “No rest for the wicked,” which eventually morphed into “No rest for the weary.” The meaning of the Bible verses is that people who do sinful, wicked things will be tormented and won’t be able to find peace in their lives.


HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“In this Kingdom of Evil,
There is no peace for the Righteous.
It is the wicked that inherited
This tortured World, engulfed
In the red, milky, cry-absorbing fog,
Guarding the wilted conscience of man.”
       Holocaust survivor Alexander Kimel
       In his poem
“We Will Never Forget – Auschwitz”


DAREDEVIL’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“They say there’s not rest for the wicked. But what about the good? The battle of Good vs. Evil is never-ending because evil always survives, with the help of evil men.”
       Daredevil (played by Ben Affleck)
       In the movie
Daredevil (2003)


DEEP THINKER’S VARIATION:

“There is no peace for the thinker, unless in some way he learns the wisdom of Professor FE Abbott’s dictum, ‘Either we must cease to think, or we must think more profoundly.’”
       Editorial in The Andover Review (June 1892)


PITY THE POOR POLITICIAN VERSION:

“There is no peace for the politician save in the grave.”
       Augustine Birrell
       In his
biography of William Hazlitt (1902)



PITY THE POOR VAMPIRE VERSION:

“There is no rest for the undead!”
       T-shirt on
Zazzle.com


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.




A book of quotes for Rolling Stones fans:

What Would Keith Richards Do?

by Jessica Pallington West

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