Lt. George Coker, USN, former POW in Vietnam, speaking to a Catholic grade school class in the 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds.
[We've learned absolutely nothing since Vietnam. Nothing at all.]
Rush Limbaugh on the Obama Presidency, January 2009
[I can't understand why this guy is still around. Even though he escaped his little run-in with the drug authorities by throwing his housekeeper under the bus, one would have thought his hypocrisy would have ended his career. But that just didn't matter to his fans as long as he tells them just what their prejudices want to hear. One could not do a better parody of a mean-spirited, hypocritical, intolerant, judgmental, authoritarian, willfully ignorant, anti-intellectual rightwing buffoon than Rush simply being himself. The history books will have a lot to say about this man, an American Julius Streicher.]
George H. W. Bush [Imagine if he had said "blacks" instead of "atheists". This comment might have gotten somewhat more notice.]
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, interviewed on WMAL-AM on October 31, 2008
[One blogger said that Palin has a third grader's understanding of the Constitution, but that's a horrible insult to third graders. I know I could devote an entire section to Sarah Palin's eyebrow-raisers. But for several excruciating months I was forced to seriously contemplate the possibility of her as President of the United States, and that left me with post-traumatic stress disorder. It's going to take a while to get over it, if I ever do.]
The website of Karina Kaiser, Reverse Speech Consultant and Trainer
[Just when I thought I'd seen the last of those absurd and ridiculous Apollo hoax claims, I came across this gem. Yes, this lady actually reversed the astronauts' and even Walter Cronkie's speech to prove that the moon landings were faked! This lady must have fallen through a timewarp from the 1980s moral panic over backmasking in pop music.]
A sign at the Creation Science Museum, as reported in Fun at the Creation Museum!!! (my field trip to CrazyLand).
[Well, at least they're honest about what they want you to do.]
[This isn't a totally amazing quote but a totally amazing video clip. It shows the famous Florida schoolroom on 9/11/2001 as George W. Bush sits, blank-faced and reactionless, for seven minutes after being informed that airplanes have hit the World Trade Center. George W. Bush is a strange man who has said and done many strange things, but this has to be the strangest of them all. I simply cannot fathom anyone, regardless of job or politics, not dropping whatever he was doing and running for the nearest TV the instant they heard what had just happened in New York. I did it on pure instinct, an unconscious reflex (I was asleep when my father called). There wasn't a damn thing I could do about it, of course, but I simply had to know what was happening.
The one man on the planet who could do something about it was George W. Bush. One would hope, before he did anything, that he would want to know everything that was known or knowable. But... he just sat there, staring into space, without the slightest hint of curiosity. Surreal.
Even today I look at this video in undiminished wonderment. It wasn't a fluke either. Several years later, Bush exhibited this same strange detachment during a video briefing on Hurricane Katrina before it hit New Orleans. Something has to be broken or missing in this man's brain, perhaps leached away by decades of heavy alcohol abuse. We are very fortunate to have survived the Bush/Cheney regime.]
Britney Spears, as seen in Fahrenheit 9/11.
FTTH 2007 Europe: Verizon Deals Cablecos FTTH Blow, Telecommunications Online", February 7, 2007.
[I don't think I've ever seen a more blunt, arrogant admission of monopoly abuse, or a more compelling illustration of how US telecommunications policy has been hijacked by the plutocrats. In a more enlightened age, just a few decades ago, we had finally discovered the best of both worlds in telecom policy: regulation was scaled back to monopoly "choke points" like local transmission. Others could then compete openly and aggressively in providing new and innovative services over those facilities (this is how the Internet happened). Alas, there was a fatal mistake: the telcos were allowed to provide services as long as they didn't subsidize them with revenues from regulated monopoly operations. The telcos quickly learned to game the system. Often, they simply ignored the rules with no consequences. Finally, with the 1996 telecom act, the government threw the remaining parts of the baby out with the bathwater. A ludicrous fiction took hold that a cable/telco duopoly could be trusted without any regulation. Maybe, just maybe, cooperative unlicensed radio networks can someday provide an alternative.]
Case shines light on how war contracts are awarded, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 February 2007.
[Wilkes is one of the San Diego area defense contractors indicted for bribing our former congressman, Duke Cunningham, now serving time in Club Fed. It's hard to find words to describe the contempt I feel for anyone "ecstatic" about going to war, especially because it will make him rich. But this is how the US military-industrial-Congressional complex works.]
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son...bring him unto the elders of his city...And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put evil away from among you! -- Deuteronomy 21:18-21
[Ah, some good old Biblical classics. (King James version, naturally.) I do wonder why those who so like to quote Bible chapter and verse about homosexuality always seem to miss these two. Surely they aren't picking and choosing which parts of God's Law they follow...are they?]
President George W. Bush on 60 Minutes, quoted on MSNBC Countdown, 15 January 2007.
[Is this the parallel universe where Spock has a beard?]
Rev. Ray Mummert, of Dover PA, commenting on the legal challenge to the teaching of "intelligent design" in public school science classes, quoted here.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, in Fortune Magazine, November 2006
[This guy is probably nuts enough to actually believe this...]
Secretary of State, then National Security Advisor, Condoleeze Rice, October 1, 2006, referring to a meeting on July 10, 2001 with CIA chief Tenet and counterterrorism chief Black in which they urgently warned Rice of an upcoming Al Qaeda attack.
["Incomprehensible" is certainly the right word, Condi.]
How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war...? Umm... I would say 30,000. More or less...
President George W Bush, on October 13, 2004 and December 12, 2005, respectively, as shown on the Daily Show in July 2006.
[Pointing out hypocrisy in the Bush Administration is just too easy... Fortunately, Jon Stewart has made a highly successful career out of it.]
Justice Department laywer Steven Bradbury, testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 11, 2006, as reported in the Washington Post.
[One is reminded of a few similar quotes from history: "L'etat c'est moi", which may or may not have been said by Louis XIV of France, and "der Fuehrer ist der Fuehrer", from the movie Der Untergang ("Downfall").]
Ansarullah Mawlafizada, trial judge in the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afgan accused of the capital crime of converting from Islam to Christianity, as quoted in the BBC on 24 March 2006.
[So much for Operation Enduring Freedom, the US military invasion that "liberated" Afghanistan. Not that Bush ever really believed that was the purpose, of course.]
US Vice President George H. W. Bush, 2 August 1988, referring to the accidental shooting down of Iran Air 665 by the guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing 290 civilians.
[And the senior Bush is generally considered to be much more moderate than his son.]
Ann Coulter at the University of Connecticut on December 7, 2005, as reported by CNN.
[several hours later...]
I was simply stating that our spiritual actions have consequences and it's high time we started recognizing it. God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin... . Maybe he can help them.
Theocratic whack-job Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club, commenting on the November 2005 election that unseated the Religious Right incumbents on the Dover, PA school board that had pushed Intelligent Design into the public school science curriculum, triggering a major lawsuit.
[If, as its proponents claim with a straight face, "Intelligent Design" is really and truly a purely scientific theory, if it's not just literal biblical creationism in a cynical disguise to evade a long string of adverse Supreme Court decisions classifying it as a religious belief, then why is Pat so upset?
Thank goodness there's still at least one intelligent, thoughtful judge left in the United States, and we had the good fortune that he heard the Kitzmiller case...]
President George W Bush, to Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Sept 2, 2005, four days after hurricane Katrina demolished the Gulf Coast and the city of New Orleans, and a full 11 days before Brown, an utterly incompetent political hack with no prior emergency management experience, was finally forced by the public outcry to resign.
[Perhaps Bush was speaking ironically? Hey, let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He needs one.]
President George W Bush, to Diane Sawyer, Sept 1, 2005.
[I guess the President must be a little behind in his reading of the scientific and engineering papers. That's understandable given his preoccupation with his stunningly successful Iraq strategy.]
Evangelist Pat Robertson, explaining why the sky is blue, as quoted by James Randi
[Wow. And he didn't even get this explanation from the Bible. No wonder he would gladly set biology teaching, and science in general, back about 400 years if he could.]
Trent Lott, US Senator from Mississippi, speaking at a 100th birthday celebration for US Senator Strom Thurmond, who ran for president as a rabid racial segregationist in 1948.
[Isn't it just wonderful when a normally slick, glib politician lets his guard down for just a second and reveals his true colors? All the king's horses...]
US Senator Dianne Feinstein, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, 8 April 2002.
[Here we have a US Senator who doesn't know the difference between a patent and a copyright -- and she sits on the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over intellectual property law. This is just one of many instances where Feinstein has shown utter ignorance of the issues at hand. She'd be merely amusing if she and her colleagues didn't wield such enormous power.]
"As human beings, we have to accept the hazards of life, and E. coli and salmonella are part of life," he said. "The expectations of preserving life in this country are insanely high, but we shouldn't go so crazy killing bugs that we go over the deep end."
[name removed] said he has similar problems with treatments for anthrax or vaccines that have effectively wiped out such diseases as smallpox and polio. "In those cases, you get into the whole theological question about the will of God," he said, adding that he's not sure that wiping out smallpox was a good idea.
[name removed at his request], of the group Public Citizen , as quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Oct 2001.
[I used to think of myself as a conservationist, but wow -- I guess I'm outclassed. At least now we understand the real reason he opposes food irradiation so stridently, given that the scientific evidence shows it to be perfectly safe and effective. To be fair, Public Citizen has since distanced themselves from [name removed's comments.]
JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, yes.
JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."
The 700 Club, Sep 13, 2001, quoted by People for the American Way.
[Words fail me. Besides, no comment is really necessary.]
Dick Cheney Oct 3, 2000
[Thanks Dick, I did. So did a majority of the voters, even the ones without solar panels or EVs. Didn't seem to help.]
Jim Allchin, Microsoft executive, quoted in CNet news.
[Everyone has been expecting Microsoft to step up its FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) war on Linux. But I was still stunned by the utter shamelessness of Allchin's remarks. At least he tacitly admits that Microsoft's current products are inferior to Linux.]
Jack Valenti, President, Motion Picture Association of America, testifying on videocassette recorders before the House Judiciary Committee in 1982.
Attorney General Janet Reno, quoted in The New York Times, answering questions about the photo of a heavily armed US agent seizing 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez.
[So I guess Ms. Reno would not object if I walked into a bank or a convenience store with a gun and asked for money, as long as I kept it pointed to the side and my finger off the trigger.]
The American Family Association's pamphlet "Filtering out Immorality". It complains that Cyber Patrol, a web filter they formerly touted, now blocks the AFA's own web site because their anti-homosexual stance violates Cyber Patrol's "intolerance/hate speech" guidelines.
[Sauce for the goose can be so sweet. Note also the word "other". A Freudian slip, perhaps?]
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, quoted in this AP story, denying a rumor that he was prepared to open the Windows source code to settle the antitrust suit.
[Perhaps Bill can explain why my Windows system locks up and has to be rebooted on a regular basis while my Linux systems just keep running for months at a time. About the only thing "reliable" about Windows is the revenue stream it generates for Microsoft.]
Jack Valenti, President, Motion Picture Association of America, commenting on the DVD CSS crack.
[Jack really needs to read the story of the boy who cried 'wolf'. He
used exactly the same tired words ad nauseum back in the 1980s when
the MPAA tried to ban home videocassette recorders, finally losing in the
Supreme Court. This was fortunate both for us and for him, as video cassette
sales and rentals became a major new distribution outlet for the movie
studios. Besides, even if Jack loses the ability to "protect" his DVDs
from being privately played on Linux, he'll still own quite a lot -- all
those members of Congress who, addicted to campaign contributions from
the entertainment industry, passed the loathesome Digital Millenium Copyright
Second, even assuming that DeCSS runs under Linux, it concededly runs under Windows---a far more widely used operating system---as well. It therefore cannot reasonably be said that DeCSS was developed "for the sole purpose'' of achieving interoperability between Linux and DVDs.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, Memorandum Opinion granting the MPAA's motion to enjoin the publication of the DeCSS source code on the Internet. [There was a time when judges were appointed on the basis of fairness and intellect. I guess those times have passed.]
Finally, a precept of the CAP [Childcare Action Project Numeric Analysis Model] is that any entertainment programming that is unacceptable for children is unacceptable for adults
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture CAP Methodology
[Wow. We've always known that censoring what adults can read and hear was always the real agenda of the Bible-thumping bluenoses behind, say, the Communications Decency Act, but until now they've been scrupulously careful to hide it. Looks like one of them has finally spilled the beans!]
[U]nless we address this situation, use of the Internet to distribute
encryption products will render Wassenaar's controls immaterial.
US Attorney General Janet Reno, in a letter to German Federal Secretary of Justice Herta Daeubler
[T]he unlimited export of any type of encryption software, including
a ready-made product such as plaintiff's diskette, by any method of export
and to any place or entity in the world, would present a far greater threat
to national security than does the appearance of some source code on the
Apellee (government) brief, Karn v. Dept of State [Don't you just love it when the government tries to have things both ways?]
This is a new focus for the security community [...] The actual
user of the PC -- someone who can do anything they want -- is the enemy.
-David Aucsmith, Intel security architect, reported in ZDNet [We can do better than to just disable the CPU serial number feature. Let's find a simple way to have it return an arbitrary user-specified value. As the saying goes, don't get mad. Get even.]
The obvious mathematical breakthrough [to break modern encryption]
would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers.
-Bill Gates from "The Road Ahead," p. 265. [I guess Bill didn't take basic number theory before he dropped out of school.]
There are no significant bugs in our released software that any
significant number of users want fixed.
-Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, Focus Magazine, Oct 23, 1995 [The Blue Screen of Death isn't a bug, it's a feature!]
The people have allowed it [amending the Constitution] to happen only
27 times, and in every case the Constitution was improved just as Washington
The flag amendment itself does not change the Constitution...
The people have allowed it [amending the Constitution] to happen only 27 times, and in every case the Constitution was improved just as Washington said.
-Major General Patrick H. Brady, Citizens Flag Alliance Board Chairman on their web site. [Perhaps Gen. Brady should read up on the history of the 18th and 21st amendments. And someone should give him a dictionary so he can parse the phrase "change the Constitution".]
Frances said, and I quote, `His words were so sexy, I was totally seduced.'
Talk about instant connection. This is immaculate reception, Mr. Speaker.
And if that is not enough to crash our hard drive, think about the legal
implications. What is next? Bill Gates paying child support? Microsoft,
Mr. Speaker, it is time for Congress to act. The computers do not need
a V-chip; Internet needs a chastity chip. I would say, `Beam me up,' but
that may be a new delivery system for e-mail.
Mr. Speaker, what a world. Frazzled Frances Wyndham believes
she got pregnant during a sexy e-mail exchange by a paramour 1,500 miles
away. That is right: pregnant.
Frances said, and I quote, `His words were so sexy, I was totally seduced.' Talk about instant connection. This is immaculate reception, Mr. Speaker.
And if that is not enough to crash our hard drive, think about the legal implications. What is next? Bill Gates paying child support? Microsoft, my eye.
Mr. Speaker, it is time for Congress to act. The computers do not need a V-chip; Internet needs a chastity chip. I would say, `Beam me up,' but that may be a new delivery system for e-mail.
- Representative James A. Traficant, Jr. (D-OH) on Feb 4, 1998 [I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't read it on his own web page.]
I want to be sure that he is a ruthless son of a bitch, that
he will do what he is told, that every income tax return I want to see,
I see. That he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends.
It's as simple as that.
- President Richard M. Nixon, describing the kind of person he wanted as commissioner of internal revenue, taped in an Oval Office conversation with H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman on May 13, 1971. [Ah, the good old days. How quickly people forget.]
The Singapore government isn't interested in controlling information,
but wants a gradual phase-in of services to protect ourselves. It's not
to control, but to protect the citizens of Singapore. In our society, you
can state your views, but they have to be correct.
- Ernie Hai, coordinator of the Singapore Government Internet Project, quoted in EFFector Online 09.09
I've been reading that some people can send faxes across the
country cheaper than the mail. That's very threatening.
-Marvin Travis Runyon, US Postmaster General, quoted in Barrons, Dec 11 1995 [Thank goodness he never read about email!]
[T]he State Department's regulation of the diskette has nothing
to do with the nature of any information it may contain.
Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, For Summary Judgement; Karn vs Dept of State et al, November 15, 1995.
[I guess it's because floppies make deadly throwing stars in the hands of Oriental Kung-Fu masters.]
I believe that people would be alive today if there were a death
What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have
a mind at all. How true that is.
-Dan Quayle [Touche!]
And a batch more courtesy of Cheryl Meyer and Michelle Thompson:
THE INTERNET IS A GREAT WAY TO GET ON THE NET.- Republican
presidential candidate Bob Dole [Ranks right up there with Homer Simpson's
classic line, "So they have the Internet on computers now, eh?"]
THE PRESIDENT HAS KEPT ALL OF THE PROMISES HE INTENDED TO KEEP. -
Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on Larry King Live
I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE SOME REPORTERS PAWING THROUGH OUR PAPERS.
WE ARE THE PRESIDENT.- Hillary Clinton commenting on the release
of subpoenaed documents
THE POLICE ARE NOT HERE TO CREATE DISORDER. THEY'RE HERE TO PRESERVE
DISORDER.- Former Chicago mayor Daley during the infamous 1968
IF YOU'VE SEEN ONE REDWOOD TREE, YOU'VE SEEN THEM ALL. -
Forestry expert Ronald Reagan
TRADITIONALLY, MOST OF AUSTRALIA'S IMPORTS COME FROM OVERSEAS.-
Former Australian cabinet minister Keppel Enderbery
IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE HERE IN THE GREAT STATE OF CHICAGO. -
Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle
THE STREETS ARE SAFE IN PHILADELPHIA. IT'S ONLY THE PEOPLE THAT
MAKE THEM UNSAFE.- Former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Chief
IT IS BAD LUCK TO BE SUPERSTITIOUS.- Andrew Mathis
I WAS RECENTLY ON A TOUR OF LATIN AMERICA, AND THE ONLY REGRET
I HAVE WAS THAT I DIDN'T STUDY LATIN HARDER IN SCHOOL SO I COULD CONVERSE
WITH THOSE PEOPLE.- Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle
THEY'RE MULTIPURPOSE. NOT ONLY DO THEY PUT THE CLIPS ON, BUT
THEY TAKE THEM OFF.- Pratt & Whitney spokesperson explaining
why the company charged the Air Force nearly $1,000 for an ordinary pair
WE'RE GOING TO TURN THIS TEAM AROUND 360 DEGREES.-
Jason Kidd, upon his drafting to the Dallas Mavericks
WHEN MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE THROWN OUT OF WORK, UNEMPLOYMENT
RESULTS.- Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
CHINA IS A BIG COUNTRY, INHABITED BY MANY CHINESE. -
Former French President Charles de Gaulle
THAT LOWDOWN SCOUNDREL DESERVES TO BE KICKED TO DEATH BY A JACKASS,
AND I'M JUST THE ONE TO DO IT.- A congressional candidate in
THINGS ARE MORE LIKE THEY ARE NOW THAN THEY EVER WERE BEFORE.-
Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
A BILLION HERE, A BILLION THERE - SOONER OR LATER IT ADDS UP
TO REAL MONEY.- Senator Everett Dirksen
I DON'T FEEL WE DID WRONG IN TAKING THIS GREAT COUNTRY AWAY FROM
THEM. THERE WERE GREAT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO NEEDED NEW LAND, AND THE INDIANS
WERE SELFISHLY TRYING TO KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES.- John Wayne
HALF THIS GAME IS NINETY PERCENT MENTAL. - Philadelphia
Phillies manager Danny Ozark
IT ISN'T POLLUTION THAT'S HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT. IT'S THE IMPURITIES
IN OUR AIR AND WATER THAT ARE DOING IT.- Former U.S. Vice-President
WITHOUT CENSORSHIP, THINGS CAN GET TERRIBLY CONFUSED IN THE PUBLIC
MIND.- General William Westmoreland, during the war in Viet
WHAT A WASTE IT IS TO LOSE ONE'S MIND. OR NOT TO HAVE A MIND
IS BEING VERY WASTEFUL. HOW TRUE THAT IS.- Former U.S. Vice-
President Dan Quayle at a fund raising event for the United Negro College
Fund. He was attempting to quote the line a mind is a terrible thing to
IF YOU LET THAT SORT OF THING GO ON, YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER WILL
BE CUT RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER YOUR FEET.- Former British foreign
minister Ernest Bevin
I LOVE CALIFORNIA. I PRACTICALLY GREW UP IN PHOENIX. -
Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle
SMOKING KILLS. AND IF YOU'RE KILLED, YOU'VE LOST A VERY IMPORTANT
PART OF YOUR LIFE.- Anti-smoker Brooke Shields
And here's a whole section devoted to District of Columbia mayor Marion Barry:
"The contagious people of Washington have stood firm against diversity during this long period of increment weather."
"I promise you a police car on every sidewalk."
"If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate."
"First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second, what can I say? I'm a night owl."
"Bitch set me up."
"I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where's Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less."
"The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist."
"I am making this trip to Africa because Washington is an international city, just like Tokyo, Nigeria or Israel. As mayor, I am an international symbol. Can you deny that to Africa?"
"People have criticized me because my security detail is larger than the president's. But you must ask yourself: are there more people who want to kill me than who want to kill the president? I can assure you there are."
"The brave men who died in Vietnam, more than 100% of which were black, were the ultimate sacrifice."
"I read a funny story about how the Republicans freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who created slavery by law in the 1600's. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and he was not a Republican."
"What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?"
"People blame me because these water mains break, but I ask you, if the water mains didn't break, would it be my responsibility to fix them then? WOULD IT!?!"
"I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man."
Updated: 25 February 2009
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