Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don’t regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.
Gerard K. O’Neill
I am somewhat brain dead today so I won’t make a feeble attempt at writing a new Daily. The one I wrote six years ago today will have to suffice. Unfortunately things have not changed much since then.
Ray’s Daily first published on June 9, 2004
I was at a workshop the other day led by a couple of think tank researchers. The subject was how well the news media has been doing in an effort to keep us informed. The result was some consensus that with so many outlets, and with so many people getting all their news in snippets, that we often form our opinions without adequate knowledge. While we can lay the blame at the footsteps of the media it is up to each of us to work to educate ourselves so that we can fulfill our duties as citizens. You would not be getting this e-mail if you did not have computer access, so I would suggest you visit http://news.google.com/ and http://www.aldaily.com/ to learn that there are a number of sources available to us that will help provide us balanced news.
As we all know we live in dangerous times, but this is not the first time. I remember in the fifties how much our fear of Communism and atomic warfare affected our lives. We found it easy to succumb to the hysteria created during what is now called the McCarthy era. We found it easy to step on personal freedom, attack others without reason, and ostracize innocent people without any evidence. It is worth remembering that it was on this day in 1954 that Joseph Welch, special counsel for the U.S. Army, confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy during televised hearings on whether communism had infiltrated the U.S. armed forces. It was Welch’s verbal assault coupled with sound reporting by Americas leading journalist, Edward R. Murrow that marked the end of McCarthy’s power during the anticommunist hysteria of the Red Scare in America. When emotion replaces reason terrible things can happen, you and I have a responsibility to do what we can to make sure that it does not happen again. We can do that by staying informed. I appreciate all each of you does, you and others like you are critical players in our future.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Jon was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed Jon by the hand and pulled him aside.
The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"
Jon replied, "I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."
The Pastor questioned, "How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?"
He whispered back, "I’m in the secret service."
Do something. If it doesn’t work, do something else. No idea is too crazy.
Everyone knows Murphy’s Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will…" Here are some other Laws you may not have heard!
Lorenz’s Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
Anthony’s Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
Lowery’s Law of Home Repair: If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway
Beach’s Law: Interchangeable parts aren’t.
Tussman’s Law: Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
William’s Law: There is no mechanical problem so difficult that it cannot be solved by brute strength and ignorance.
Lane’s Law of Supply and Demand: The one item you need is always in short supply.
Cannon’s Karmic Law: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
Martin’s Law of Meteorology: The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
Ehrlich’s Law: The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.
Norman Einstein’s Law: If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.
Col. Murphy’s Law of Combat: Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder!
"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind."
Leonardo da Vinci
She said: Late one Saturday evening, I was awakened by the ringing of my phone.
In a sleepy grumpy voice I said hello. The party on the other end of the line paused for a moment before rushing breathlessly into a lengthy speech.
"Mom, this is Susan and I’m sorry I woke you up, but I had to call because I’m going to be a little late getting home. See, Dad’s car has a flat but it’s not my fault. Honest! I don’t know what happened. The tire just went flat while we were inside the theater. Please don’t be mad, okay?"
Since I don’t have any daughters, I knew the person had dialed my number by mistake.
"I’m sorry dear," I replied, "but you’ve reached the wrong number. I don’t have a daughter named Susan."
"Wow, Mom," the young woman’s voice replied, "I didn’t think you’d be this mad!"
"No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other."
Students at school were asked by their teacher to write about the harmful environmental effects of oil on fish. One 11-year old wrote, "When my mom opened a tin of sardines last night it was full of oil and all the sardines were dead."
President Bush calls in the head of the CIA and asks, "How come the Jews know everything before we do?"
The CIA chief says, "The Jews have this expression – ‘Vus titzuch?’
The President says, "What’s that mean?"
Well, Mr. President", replies the CIA chief, "It’s a Yiddish expression which roughly translates to "what’s happening." They just ask each other and they know everything."
The President decides to personally go undercover to determine if this is true. He gets dressed up as an Orthodox Jew (black hat, beard, long black coat), and is secretly flown in an unmarked plane to New York, picked up in an unmarked car and dropped off in Brooklyn’s most Jewish neighborhood.
Soon a little old man comes shuffling along. The President stops him and whispers, "Vus titzuch?"
The old guy whispers back: "Bush is in Brooklyn."
The best defense against logic is stupidity
Sadie and Esther are sitting on the porch of their Miami Beach hotel.
"Oh my God," cries Sadie. "Look at that poor boy! Such a weak chin. His mouth is crooked. And look, his eyes are crossed."
"That boy," says Esther, "happens to be my son."
"Oh," replies Sadie. "On him it’s very becoming."
Yearn to understand first and to be understood second.
Beca Lewis Allen
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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