Nov 27 2007
09:26 pm

One from Mark Twain, one from Thomas Jefferson, and one from Herbert Spencer. Read, consider, enjoy, then discuss if it pleases you. :-)

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects
of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings.
The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill

A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson



Lot's of right wing talking

Lot's of right wing talking points are dressed up by attributing them to some famous person from history, and while I haven't run down your first two quotes, I am enough of a Jefferson admirer to know that he never said such as that.

The big gov quote is an old Republican talking point, spoken by and usually attributed to Gerald Ford. Like most Republican talking points, it is simplistic and flawed, intended only to arouse the cannon fodder and doesn't advance our thinking.

I'm sorry, WC.

I saw the things. Thought they were "thinkable" about. And put them here. It's that simple. My apologies to all offended by them. It won't happen again. So much for bastions of free speech and thought.

I didn't put them here as right wing talking points. I thought they took varying points of view. I thought big government was something progressives weren't particularly in favor of. I stand corrected.

I shall refrain from putting up quotes of anybody in the future on this forum. I'm not holding myself responsible for the research or lack thereof of people who send me things that I think are thought provoking regardless of who said them originally.

My postings of quotes appear to be utterly dismissable.


A bit of an over reaction,

A bit of an over reaction, RB. Don't worry about it.

But you should know that quotes like that are sent around to promote a point of view. I think you should be skeptical of these things and you should certainly be protective of your good name and not post things without research.

Nobody, particularly on a web site devoted to discussion in the search for truth, should take anything anybody posts at face value. Most people include links to back up a point of view.

And you need to think about your "so much for bastions of free speech and thought" comment. You were absolutely free to post what you did. It was in no way censored. But if you put it up here, you should expect to have your answers checked, and they were. The "big government" quote was absurd when Gerald Ford said it and would have been absurd even if Jefferson had said it. What I object to is the attempt to give creedence to B.S. by putting a famous name on it.

Now, my intent was not to show you up and perhaps I should send you a PM instead of commenting. I am hoping that we are all joining together in the search for truth and welcome corrections. (One-T nails me all the time)

It's OK to be wrong and it's OK to mess up. It's just NOT OK to not learn from a mistake. So this one's over. Let's move on to the next attrocity and have fun with it, shall we?


Some comments and references

"A bit of an overreaction," indeed. :) RB, I hope you will forgive and forget and keep posting. I for one do not associate name-calling, etc., with anything "progressive." I suspect over the fullness of time WC feels the same.

One could truthfully guess that most "talking points" of most political parties--maybe all?--are simplistic and otherwise problematic. Reducing complex issues to sound bites will tend to do that. While I am no fan of the Republican party, I can sadly say that they are not alone in the use of such. :( There is unfortunately no need to target one wing or party given the nature and practice of politics today.

I took so long to jump in here because I was indexing the 19 volumes of The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, commissioned by Congress in 1853 ((link...)), and also the volumes of selected quotes at the U. of Virginia ((link...)), and adding them to the local search at RoaneTNHistory.org ((link...)).

After doing that I searched both sets of writings, and did not find that quote or any similar variant. Too bad; I wish he had said it. :( I like that quote. And to me the sentiments therein are not "right-wing," but American.

Keep on posting, RB! You help keep WC and the rest of us honest and "nice from the fingers down." :)

-- OneTahiti

First thing: Thanks, OneT

I appreciate your taking the time and energy to make such an exhaustive search of Thomas Jefferson's works. I hadn't the resources to do it. That is to say, I didn't know it existed (of course, I can follow links, but I've gotta know they're there ;-) ).

"Too bad; I wish he had said it. :( I like that quote. And to me the sentiments therein are not "right-wing," but American."

And that was precisely why I included that quote. Doesn't make a damn to me WHO said it :-) What matters to me is the substance of it - and, as you point out, it bears consideration on its own because of what it says, not because of its source.

Truth be told, the substance of the sayings I quoted is the only reason I put them there. I plead guilty to not knowing who said what. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... When I got them as quotes, I forwarded them as quotes, not because I had done extensive bibliographic searches to verify the source, but because, out of honesty, I couldn't claim the quotes as my own. And I figured it was better to give some attribution of source rather than let someone wrongly think I had the good sense to think those jewels up. I only wish that I did!



"What I object to is the attempt to give creedence to B.S. by putting a famous name on it."

1) I didn't put the famous name on it. I haven't yet developed the habit of making everybody that send me email prove what they are saying by providing bibliographies. So whatever prevarication might be there, it is not mine. Nor is it, I suspect, owned by the person who sent them as merely interesting quotes. I don't object really to the quotes being questioned or proven to be mis-quotes. What I object to is any intimation of dishonesty on my part.

2) It's BS? Says who? Based on what? On its face it's BS? hmmm. Declaring something to be BS and dismissing it out of hand... an interesting method of fostering discussion.

"It's OK to be wrong and it's OK to mess up. It's just NOT OK to not learn from a mistake. So this one's over. Let's move on to the next atrocity and have fun with it, shall we?"

OK - I'm with you on that one.


RB, you were fine


In this reader's eyes you were fine and you have nothing for which to apologize. Yes, the Jefferson quote is spurious, but that is a forgivable error, made by many others before you. All the quotes, spurious or not, are indeed thought-provoking and worthy of discussion. The fact that they have been used in other discussions before this should be immaterial in an open and fair forum.

It is to be hoped that the progressive ideal can stand up to the discussion of these and similar quotes, whatever their provenance.

-- OneTahiti

Like you said, OneT...

"It is to be hoped that the progressive ideal can stand up to the discussion of these and similar quotes, whatever their provenance."

Indeed. One can only hope. If such were not to be the case, then I could want nothing of the descriptor "progressive."


Funny disclaimer

That said, the issues involving cut and paste and topics beyond the "Roane" scope of the page have been discussed before.

On further reflection

These quotes are not much more off topic than some other posts, although I think the Roane-oriented posts best advance the purpose of the site. I do think the cut and paste issue can become a problem.

I like accurate, attributed quotes with references :)

I'm with you on long copy-and-pastes, Mark. I do feel that accurate, referenced, in-line quotes can help with readability and discourse.

These message boards show such promise! :) :) :) :)

-- OneTahiti

I was unaware that cutting and pasting were verboten, Mark.

And if it is, then how did (link...) pass muster? Or is the issue the substance of what is cut and pasted? I'm beginning to learn about the definition of "progressive" when applied to this set of "progressive" electronic fora is. It appears to take on a meaning that cut and past might be OK if it's a quote of a conservative that is put up for lambasting, but if it's a quote of a liberal that's put up - admittedly for the same kind of purpose - then it may NOT be OK to cut and paste.

And, in posting something that was not limited to Roane County in the specificity of its subject material, I was only following the established lead of one of the leading posters on this forum.

But - I live and learn. I learn what is acceptable and what is not, and try to adjust behavior accordingly. It seems I'm learning I find myself ever more in the role of a transgressor. I'm working on it, though.


We are not limited to Roane County

Go right ahead and talk about the issues you want, RB. Yes, long copy-and-pastes instead of links to the originals are discouraged, to keep the board from filling up with huge quotes. (I've seen this become a problem on other boards.) Your copy-and-paste was not long, though.

And yes, our moderator decided to keep his comments here mostly about local issues ((link...)), after a discussion ((link...)) in which I wrote "We do need a moderator, one without an agenda other than preserving decorum and helping folks feel welcome." However, the rest of us are under no such burden until we take on moderator's hats ourselves.

I choose to talk mostly about local issues or about larger trends that affect us too, such as our national literacy problems, but that is just me. I suspect if I talked much about national issues I would get in trouble of some kind. One always pays for "free speech," one way or another, and I have other battles now.

I for one am so far impressed by Whitescreek's attempt to wear both hats online, that of moderator here and of analyst-blogger elsewhere. Performing both roles is difficult and even at times mutually exclusive.

-- OneTahiti

Links to Particular Comments

How do you do that?

How to Link to a Specific Comment


Good question! :) One links to a specific comment just like one links to any other place on the Web: by pasting the URL in the message text.

The URL of each comment is stored as a link behind its title.

For example, the link for your "Links to Particular Comments" comment is: http://www.roaneviews.com/index.php?q=node/456#comment-1074 ((link...))

The link to this comment is: http://www.roaneviews.com/index.php?q=node/456#comment-1075 ((link...))

There are many ways to find this out. One is to simply click on the title of the comment and see what URL shows up in your browser's address bar. Another is to right-click on the title of the comment and copy the link location into your copy buffer.

I hope this helps! :) Please feel free to post back. :)

-- OneTahiti

Got it.

Very easy, just didn't know one could do that. Thanks.

Some Thought

I guess I'm hoping that what goes up on this board will be determined by the community. It is not intended to be an echo chamber and I have this idea that everyone here has a working mind and can offer their own thoughts.

"Cut and Paste" is too easy...We want commentary and relevance to Roane County whenever possible.

Is C&P OK sometimes? Sure. Just add your thoughts to it and give us a link.

One thing I hope we can get more of is links to locally relevant news items. I have high hopes for the RCN website in this respect and maybe one day, our County Fathers will go digital.

In the meantime, Please...Don't be afraid to mess up by posting the wrong thing. It's a bigger mistake to not join in the reindeer games we invite everyone to play.

OK, WC, you got it.

"It is not intended to be an echo chamber and I have this idea that everyone here has a working mind and can offer their own thoughts."

OK. I C&P far less than I do write my own thoughts. My practice of C&P is minuscule compared to the number of keystrokes I have invested in expressing myself. Sometimes I find someone who has done it, shall I say, more succinctly than I would. So I C&P.

I think one solution is simply to C&P with NO attribution of source, and simply say something like "I didn't think this one up, but I would have if I had been smart enough."


So much for bastions of free

So much for bastions of free speech and thought.

Dang, WC, you've gone and done it now.

Well, yeah...I'm just not

Well, yeah...I'm just not sure what I've gone and done.

I point out a misattribution of a fluff political quote and folks get mad at ME?

All I want is for folks to check their work before they turn it in.

They'll get a better grade, I promise.

Just can't

Truly WC, I am too old to worry about grades here too! I think I will just have to suffer the consequences, grades at Roane State are killing me and I just can't handle additional grades! By the way, you know somebody has to be the bad guy!


You're never too old,

You're never too old, Wylamena.

We're just getting started.

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