But They Said ~

Each year an editor of a major news magazine offers “quotes” about various topics. Here are the most recent.

Here are my fantasies about what was said over the New Year’s holiday, with inadequate acknowledgments to various contributors, some of whose words I’ve adapted a bit:

Democrats on the Republican congressional defeat: “Just remember it is lonely at the top when there is no one at the bottom.”

The press’s attitude toward President George Bush: “People say satire is dead. It is not dead; it is alive and living in the White House.”

The public’s contempt for corruption in politics: “Politics are so corrupt even the dishonest people get screwed.”

The press on the new Congress: “You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.”

The Democrats on their contempt for the Republican health plan: “Just say no to sickness.”

A politician‘s assessment of TV commentary: “TV is the goose that lays the golden eggs. You can’t blame it for not producing caviar.”

The public’s skepticism about bipartisanship: “The word bipartisan in politics usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

The public on politics in general: “Look up the word politics in the dictionary. It is the combination of two words: poli, which means many, and tics, which means bloodsuckers.

The Republicans on Democratic suburban liberals: “It is easy to be politically correct and liberal when you live in a gated community.”

The press on the political attitudes of the different parties: “A Democrat sees the glass of water half full; a Republican looks at the same glass and wonders who the hell drank his glass of water.

The press on the press: “Asking a journalist what he thinks about a politician is like asking a dog what he thinks about a lamppost.”

George Bush on his ambitions for transforming the world: “I would love to change the world, but I can’t find a big enough diaper.”

An economist on the disparity of incomes and the flow of income to higher income brackets: “A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.”

On Christmas gifts: “I have all these people to give Christmas gifts to, and you know what I find? There are some very nice things at the 99-cent store.”

On personal finance: “I went to the bank and went over my savings. I found out I have all the money I will ever need if I die tomorrow.” “At the ATM, they ask if you would like to conduct your business in English or Spanish. I suggest you try Spanish because your account balance would look much better in pesos.” And “Money can’t find happiness, but it helps you look for it in more places; and what’s the use of happiness if it can’t buy you money?”

Ministers on their support of birth control: “Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.”

A minister’s view of evolution: “I don’t understand evolution. If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why couldn’t they make it over the hump?”

The public on the age of technology: “I shop at a computer store called ‘Your Crap Is Already Obsolete.'”

The public on cynicism about the police: “We live in an age where pizza gets to your home before the police.” And a recent police study found that “you are much more likely to get shot by a fat cop if you run.”

Advice on life: “The definition of old is always 15 years from now.” “You know you are getting old when you walk at the cemetery and two guys run after you with a shovel.”

Middle age: “when your age is starting to show around the middle.”

On dating: “Men always say the most important thing in a woman is her sense of humor. Do you know what that means? They are looking for someone to laugh at their jokes.”

On life: “People who live in glass houses might as well answer the door.”

On the work ethic: “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough not to quit.”

from Mortimer B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief, U. S. News and World Report (January 8th issue)

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (part 2)

All the time we are bombarded with what someone wants to have us believe is the truth. A very good, recent example is the recent election. And that is the same reason that after an election we still haven’t “gotten” over it. We continually see people trying to persuade that they, and they alone, are the champions of the value of truth … the knight in shining armor for those values. They conveniently forget that many of us see through their pretenses.

Unfortunately, what they are after is not the value of truth, but a desire – overwhelming desire for self-importance and the power that goes with it..

Truth sets rules and so many people would try to take away those rules that would estrain THEIR actions but also put restraints on the actions of others.

And where Truth brings about peace and contentment, we are in a time where a lack of truth makes everyone polarized and willing to demonize anything/anyone that stands in the way. I”m not sure there’s ever been such a disdain for the truth or how “truth” is spun to help us hear only what is wanted to be heard.

When this happens being a “conservative” or a “liberal” becomes something different and something quite dangerous. For, in the long run, those wandering in this desert appear not to be guided by any values what-so-ever.

It seems to be difficult to find people willing to sacrifice anything for a greater good. And I’m not talking politics (although it would be a very easy target) or the entertainment industry. No, this goes all the way down to me as an individual. Why am I not keeping this topic at the top level such as the presidency or congress? Simply put – they are merely a creature of larger and smaller forces. There seems to be a marriage of a number of unholy alliances causing tremendous divisions and hypocrisy at almost every level.

Whether gay, straight, black, white or whatever – we individually need to answer for the lack of truth – moral truth – as a core value of our lives. We once again need to find our shared values – particularly the shared value of truth. The truth in our lives, the truth to ourselves and the truth to each other. And that means finding out who we are and how we are for ourselves. Yes, it is a journey of self-discovery. But it also is a journey of learning to get those around us to be themselves as well.

I look around and see that the very soul of community is in danger.

Yet those in power have failed to speak about this profound moral danger, but the political opposition remains virtually mute and effectively impotent in the face of these forces. (This silence and this impotence are signs of another part of America’s moral crisis, of that also-dangerous moral flaccidity into which too much of America has lapsed.)

But my major concern is individual, and especially the individual “me.” If I fail to live in truth, and to require truth from those around me, it is my core value that is in danger. When I fail to live in truth, I need an ”Emperor’s New Clothes” moment. “This emperor,” I must loudly, and forcefully remind myself, “has no moral clothes.” This fits into a “coat piece” plan for change. (more on that later)