Tag: 2019 April Quote of the Day

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April was certainly wet for most Ricochet members, but many had posts making the Main Feed. There are only a few open dates left on the Quote of the Day May Signup Sheet. We make it easy to “Start a Conversation” by including tips for finding great quotes. Don’t miss sharing your favorite quote and sign […]

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Quote of the Day: Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight

 

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” — Presidential Oath or Affirmation, United States Constitution

Two-hundred-thirty years ago, on April 30, 1789, those words were spoken in an official capacity for the very first time, as George Washington, the duly elected President of the United States, was sworn into office. There had been a few bumps in his processional route from Mount Vernon to New York, but the swearing-in finally took place on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street, in front of a large crowd of onlookers. Following the ceremony, Washington went indoors to make his inaugural address to the assembled members of Congress. The day concluded after dark with a few fireworks and cannons.

Such a short time ago. Just 72 years after Washington’s inauguration (in 1861), war broke out between the States. Just 72 years after that (1933), Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. One-hundred-fifteen years after Washington’s inauguration (1904) and halfway between then and now, Theodore Roosevelt became the first President to win election in his own right after having been elevated to the position upon the death of his predecessor (McKinley). And now, 115 years further down the road, here we are with President Donald J. Trump.

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I have been re-reading “Soul of a New Machine” by Tracy Kidder.  I first read in not long after it came out in 1981 when it won a National Book Award for Non-Fiction and a Pulitzer prize for General Non-Fiction.  It describes the development of the Data General Eclipse minicomputer.  Data General was an upstart […]

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Quote of the Day: Climate Science

 

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
— Kenneth Watt, Ecologist, Earth Day 1970

Science is settled. All those people talking about global warming are science deniers! Glaciers are coming for us… slowly.

Quote of the Day: Death and Delivery

 

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

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Today’s quote is more lighthearted than my typical one. It’s from the last Naked Gun movie: Faster than you could say spread ’em, I was inside the cold, gray walls of Statesville Prison. I was surrounded by pimps, rapists, and murderers. It was like being in the stands of an LA Raiders game. Preview Open

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George Herbert (1593-1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England, writing poetry in English, Latin, and Greek.  Last year we discussed his poem Easter, split into two parts by composer Ralph Vaughn Williams in his 1911 work Five Mystical Songs. Herbert also wrote Easter Wings, published posthumously in The Temple (1633). As […]

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Quote of the Day: Judicial Perspective

 

“I don’t think I know a single judge who has allowed religion to interfere with their jobs. I think if you start the day on your knees, you approach your job differently from when you start thinking that someone anointed you to impose your will on others.” Justice Clarence Thomas

I once wrote a story featuring a monarchy in the far future. In it, the main character spoke at length about the vital nature of religion in such a society. Without faith, the king answers to no one in life or death. There is no law above him, no judgment.

Quotes of the Day: Kill the Individual or Communism in a Socialist Utopia

 

“Socialism is a house and clothes all set for you, a carpenter’s plane to round rough faces, to make everyone identical.” — Victims of the Khmer Rouge

Since ancient times, Khmers have taken a keen interest in moral guidance and counsel of their elders. The Khmers also prided themselves as being clever and they took great pleasure in cleverly composed discourses. The use of words and witticism, rhyming, riddles and rapidly formed punning and spoonerisms was and still is considered to be the Khmer national habit. And the Khmer Rouge made use of this deeply rooted Khmer tradition to indoctrinate, control, and terrorize the people during their reign of terror, in the form of slogans, sayings, and songs.

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Let a thousand flowers bloom. Who said that? Lots of people have repeated this saying over the decades, but it is a misquote. The original quote, from Mao Zedong (Tse-tung), in 1956, was: Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. Preview Open

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La Révolution est comme Saturne : elle dévore ses propres enfants. Translation: The revolution is like Saturn: It devours its own children.  Pierre Vergniaud, French revolutionary These were the last word of a French revolutionary, a talented orator and advocate of liberty, equality, and fraternity.   He, like many other revolutionaries, ended up having a date with […]

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Quote of the Day: When We Fail to Protest

 

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” — Elie Wiesel

As our Constitution and our rights are continually challenged, Elie Wiesel’s words ring truer than ever. Our protests against infringement on the First and Second Amendments are passionate and ongoing. We must speak out for our right to be heard, or we will be silenced by those who hate what we say and believe. We must fight for our right to bear arms, or those who resent us will remove our ability to defend ourselves. Every day the media broadcasts stories of people who want to rewrite the Constitution to push their own power and agenda and disempower the rest of us.

Quote of the Day: Computers

 

“On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’…I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864), p. 67

Computers. When designed properly, they do precisely what they are told. They do not interpret, they need to be explicitly instructed on what exactly to do. However, when you get them going, they give you incredible capabilities. During WW2, people would have sacrificed armies to obtain the computing power in your cell phone. Even a simple flip phone has more power than all the computers in existence at the time. Charles Babbage could have revolutionized history, had manufacturing been up to the task — William Gibson’s novel The Difference Engine posits just such a future. (It was the beginning of the Steampunk genre)

Quote of the Day: The First Eighteen Lines

 

I know many of you know them by heart. I’ve seen some of you say so, on Ricochet, over the past nine years. At some point in your lives, you probably had them thrust at you; you might have struggled through them; maybe you cheated with the Cliffs Notes; perhaps you said you couldn’t possibly figure them out; you didn’t believe you could just “read them out loud” and understand them; and when you did, you couldn’t quite believe that your mouth, and your larynx had made such weird sounds; perhaps you memorized them; and very likely you either hated, or you loved, your taskmaster and teacher.

I loved my teacher of forty years ago. And a couple of years after the class in which all of the above thoughts ran through my mind at one point or another, we married each other. I don’t know how far we’ll get into the next forty together, but we’ve had a pretty good run. And now, it’s April again, the Ram has run his “half-course,” the world is greening, and, as happens every year at this time, I’m reminded.

This is for Frank. And Geoffrey. With whom hyt alle bigan. With love.

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… and miss signing up for the April 1 Quote of the Day post and beat @arahant to the punch. It’s the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have many open dates next week and throughout April, and we’ll even give you tips for finding great quotes. Don’t miss out and […]

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We’ve had a long, hard winter, and Spring has started. But you can be productive on a rainy day by drafting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. Many Quote of the Day posts make the Main Feed, and some even garner over to 150 comments. We’ll […]

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The Quote of the Day is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. You don’t have to be intelligent, pithy, or eloquent yourself. You can share a written passage that you find interesting, or even something from a favorite movie. You can present the naked quote, or add your thoughts on how […]

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