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The Perfect Epitaph on the Gravestone of This Age of Unreason


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#1 AnBr

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:50 PM

Dan Rather weighs in on Sen. Chuck Grassley's comments about Americans who spend all their money "on booze or women or movies."

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When the time comes, and I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot and the defiling of our communal, social, and democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote:

"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”


Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars and private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth.

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#2 Practical Girl

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:07 AM

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"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Interestingly (and probably inadvertently) Grassley names at least a couple of industries that absolutely thrive during recessions, even the Great Depression. When times are tough or unimaginably hard, people 1) drink more 2) go to the movies to escape 3) eat a boatload candy. Small comforts, and Grassley is old enough to remember nearly all of it.
Every woman needs a blowtorch.
---Julia Child


--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"





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