Calvin Demmon tells all

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Monday, June 30, 2003
Still free after all these years

Although American freedoms and the legal system that protects its people have been tested and even changed, Americans are still fundamentally free. Although terrorism, by definition, involves those living quietly in their communities, the country did not constrict freedom at home nearly to the degree it did during World War II, when thousands of its citizens were interned in camps. -- Steven Brill, After, Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Monday, June 09, 2003
Try this at Costco

Guy gets bored with writing his name on credit card slips, starts signing "Mariah Carey," "Beethoven," "Porky Pig," and finally "I stole this card."

It doesn't matter; nobody notices.

Saturday, June 07, 2003
I was a vegetarian once myself

A Time/CNN poll found that 4 percent of Americans call themselves vegetarians, but 37 percent of those "vegetarians" had eaten red meat within the previous 24 hours. -- Debra Saunders, columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Fortunately, an M.A.
gets you doodly-squat

By the time a man has earned a doctorate, he has been rewarded so long and so often for regurgitating received wisdom that all orginality has been leeched from his brain. -- Clyde Kluckholm, Harvard anthropologist, quoted in The Anglican Digest, Transfiguration 2002.

Monday, June 02, 2003
Battered by the words:

For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of "subjects"; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spell binder, we have the impudence to be astonished. We dole out lip-service to the importance of education--lip-service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school-leaving age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school hours; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it. -- From "The Lost Tools of Learning," a lecture by Dorothy L. Sayers, presented at Oxford in 1947.


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