The Quizzes March On!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The quizzes do March on and we are starting this month with a good mix of questions. Some you should get without too much difficulty and some you will have to think about for a while.

Oh yes, and one that I will be surprised if anyone gets the bonus points for. You’ll know it when you see it.

As usual if you do get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating.

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 05

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Q.  1:  ‘Solidarity’ was an important Trade Union in which country in the 1980s?

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Q.  2:  In lawn bowls (and its indoor version), what is the target ball called?

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Q.  3:  Which creature lives on mulberry leaves?

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Q.  4:  In the USA what cities are known as the

 a) Big D?    b) Steel City?    c) City of Brotherly Love?    d) Emerald City?

(A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if get all four correct.)

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Q.  5:  In relation to power what is the equivalent of 746 watts?

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Q.  6:  What word denoted the new policy of openness adopted by Mikhail Gorbachev’s government in the Soviet Union?

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Q.  7:  What well known pottery form takes its name from the Italian for “baked earth”?

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Q.  8:  How long did Rip Van Winkle sleep for?

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Q.  9:  What term is given to a piece of rock or metal from space that reaches the surface of the Earth?

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Q. 10:  The suffix ‘stan’ is Persian for ‘place of’ or ‘country’. The names of seven countries end in ‘stan’, what are they? (You get a point for each one you can name correctly and five (yes, 5) bonus points if get them all correct.) 

a) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ stan  

b)  _ _ _ _ _ _ stan       

c) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan    

d) _ _ _ _ stan      

e) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan      

f) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ stan    

g) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan

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Q. 11:  What color is the most-prized variety of jade?

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Q. 12:  Whose theorem uses a 3, 4, 5 triangle?

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Q. 13:  Piraeus serves as the port for which major city?

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Q. 14:  Which insects communicate with one another by dancing?

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Q. 15:  What was the name of Captain Nemo’s submarine?

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Q. 16:  What creature is an ophidiophobe afraid of?

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Q. 17:  In the US and the UK what is the name given to the government department responsible for formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies?

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Q. 18:  Which of the 12 Zodiac signs start with the letter ‘L’ ?

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Q. 19:  Which English politician, when told by Lady Nancy Astor that if he were her husband she’d put poison in his coffee, replied that if she were his wife he’d drink it?

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Q. 20:  What popular song originated as the jingle “Buy the World a Coke” in the groundbreaking 1971 “Hilltop” television commercial for Coca-Cola? (A bonus point is available if you can also correctly name the group.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  ‘Solidarity’ was an important Trade Union in which country in the 1980s?

A.  1:  Poland.

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Q.  2:  In lawn bowls (and its indoor version), what is the target ball called?

A.  2:  Jack.

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Q.  3:  Which creature lives on mulberry leaves?

A.  3:  The Silk worm.

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Q.  4:  In the USA what cities are known as the

    a) Big D?      b) Steel City?      c) City of Brotherly Love?      d) Emerald City?

(A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if get all four correct.)

A.  4:  The correct answers are   

a) The Big D = Dallas     

b) The Steel City = Pittsburgh       

c) The City of Brotherly Love = Philadelphia            

d) The Emerald City = Seattle

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Q.  5:  In relation to power what is the equivalent of 746 watts?

A.  5:  746 watts is the equivalent of 1 horse power.

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Q.  6:  What word denoted the new policy of openness adopted by Mikhail Gorbachev’s government in the Soviet Union?

A.  6:  Glasnost.

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Q.  7:  What well known pottery form takes its name from the Italian for “baked earth”?

A.  7:  Terracotta.

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Q.  8:  How long did Rip Van Winkle sleep for?

A.  8:  Twenty years.

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Q.  9:  What term is given to a piece of rock or metal from space that reaches the surface of the Earth?

A.  9:  It is known as a ‘Meteorite’.

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Q. 10:  The suffix ‘stan’ is Persian for ‘place of’ or ‘country’. The names of seven countries end in ‘stan’, what are they? (You get a point for each one you can name correctly and seven (yes, 7) bonus points if get them all correct.) 

a) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ stan   

b)  _ _ _ _ _ _ stan        

c) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan  

d) _ _ _ _ stan      

e) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan      

f) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ stan    

g) _ _ _ _ _ _ stan

A. 10:  They are in alphabetical order, 

a)  Afghanistan    

b)  Kazakhstan    

c)  Kyrgyzstan   

d)  Pakistan    

e)  Tajikistan   

 f)  Turkmenistan    

g)  Uzbekistan

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Q. 11:  What color is the most-prized variety of jade?

A. 11:  Green.

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Q. 12:  Whose theorem uses a 3, 4, 5 triangle?

A. 12:  Pythagoras.

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Q. 13:  Piraeus serves as the port for which major city?

A. 13:  Athens.

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Q. 14:  Which insects communicate with one another by dancing?

A. 14:  Bees.

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Q. 15:  What was the name of Captain Nemo’s submarine?

A. 15:  It was called the ‘Nautilus’.

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Q. 16:  What creature is an ophidiophobe afraid of?

A. 16:  Snakes.

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Q. 17:  In the US and the UK what is the name given to the government department responsible for formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies?

A. 17:  Treasury.

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Q. 18:  Which of the 12 Zodiac signs start with the letter ‘L’ ?

A. 18:  They are Leo and Libra.

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Q. 19:  Which English politician, when told by Lady Nancy Astor that if he were her husband she’d put poison in his coffee, replied that if she were his wife he’d drink it?

A. 19:  Winston Churchill.

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Q. 20:  What popular song originated as the jingle “Buy the World a Coke” in the groundbreaking 1971 “Hilltop” television commercial for Coca-Cola? (A bonus point is available if you can also correctly name the group.)

A. 20:  “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) by The New Seekers.

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The Ambassadorks Of America!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Oh dear where to start. 

I’ve said before that America is bad – that’s capital ‘B’, ‘A’ and ‘D’ – at foreign policy. The US Government should know this by now, I’m not the only one saying it. It is a well known fact all over the world – except in America which apparently doesn’t know very much about the rest of the world and also apparently isn’t going to learn any time soon.

There hasn’t been any time in history when America needed to take stock of what has happened and try to make a few friends out there in the big wide world rather than pissing everyone else off needlessly.

Sure if you’re the biggest and strongest on the field you can kick anyone around. But to what purpose when it’s just as easy to get people on your side. Most of the woes America faces, the rest of the world faces too. There’s more in common out there that you might at first think.

Cue the man who was going to bring in great change and had the power to do so. But, no, President Obama hasn’t changed a damn thing. He inherited a great big hole and he just jumped in there with his shovel and keeps on digging.

Worse, he has yet again allowed croneyism to take the place of innovation and good sense.

To help him he has given government positions to the biggest bunch of idiots that you could ever imagine.

Their first job it seems was to continue to piss off Europe. Hot on the heels of the NSA getting caught spying on German Chancellor Merkel,  the U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, was caught in a phone call recording saying “F*** the EU”.

Yes, you read that correctly. And she did all this as she was discussing who should be in the new Ukrainian government. 

Whoops! And Double Whoops!!

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Here it is if you want to hear it for yourselves.

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That’s the Secretary of State.

Now what about the Presidential appointeees, the Ambassadors.

You would think the main criteria for choosing your Ambassadors would be to get someone who has an in depth knowledge of the country where they will be posted. Someone well versed in the culture, history, politics etc. Someone who will fit in straight away and make a good impression on behalf of the American people.

Sound sensible?

Yes, of course it does.

Is it the way America chooses its Ambassadors?

No, of course it’s not.

America chooses its Ambassadors, not on ability, but rather on how much money they have raised for the President’s election or re-election campaign.

That’s what you call corruption in any other country. I’m not sure what it’s called in America but the consequences are plain and pathetic to be seen.

Nowhere better than in the most recent hearings for the ambassador positions.

In this lot of new Ambassadors we had Colleen Bell, a TV producer for a soap opera who was picked as the U.S. envoy to Hungary. Did she know anything about Hungary? No. She didn’t utter a word of sense, just relied on waffle and bluff.

The only thing that eased her humiliation was the new Ambassador to Norway who was so clueless he didn’t even know who was in Government there. He even called the Progress Party, which is part of Norway’s ruling coalition, a hate-spewing “fringe element.”

And last in these examples, but not least in terms of inability and unsuitability for the job, was Noah Bryson Mamet. He was the nominee for the Argentina ambassadorship despite the fact that he’d never even visited that country and can’t speak Spanish.

A couple of million dollars for Obama apparently goes a very long way to getting you the job of representing America on the world stage.

Incredible! And not in a good way.

I’ll give you the opportunity to hear Anderson Cooper’s take on it too.

Until the next rant!

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And Abbey Martin

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“Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups.”

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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George Carlin Never underestimate

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I read a sign recently that said “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

I knew exactly what it meant.

I’ve said it before on this blog – stupid people are dangerous. Sure they are amusing some of the time, and annoying all of the time, but they are also dangerous a lot of the time too.

Whether it be the stupid idiot who gets drunk and thinks it makes him a better driver, or someone in a company who has been promoted well beyond his or her level of ability just because the number of years of service he or she has accrued, or one of those despicable ‘jobs-worth’ morons you inevitably find in bureaucratic government non-jobs, their stupidity poses a danger to the rest of us.

stupid-people

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If you were a real optimist you might be forgiven for hoping that where you put two stupid people together there would be a chance that the stupidity would halve, but in fact quite the reverse is true, it doubles – and then some!  

And where stupid people accumulate in even larger groups the danger they pose is even greater.

I have witnessed mob violence and believe me it’s a scary thing, always dangerous and often lethal. That’s bad enough.

But what if the large groups of stupid people are given the power to dictate to the rest of us?

That’s an even scarier prospect because it isn’t just spontaneous and fleeting, it is planned and long term.

It’s something that you would think the rest of us would be smart enough not to let happen. Yet that’s exactly what we have allowed to happen.

In the modern world, whether it be the western democracies or the eastern dictatorships, for one reason or another smart people have abdicated their responsibility to ensure that we are governed sensibly and have instead allowed a bunch of morons to take charge.

A lot of the time the idiots get away with it without anyone noticing much. The smart people get on with their lives and quietly accept the interference of the stupid.

But recently the idiots have been steadily encroaching on our private lives, into things that are clearly none of their business and things that pose no danger to society at large or to any individual within it.

The idiots want power. They don’t know what to do with it when they get it. But they want it, and more and more of it.

My own theory is that at heart, although they try to appear superior, the idiots know they are idiots and actually feel inferior to normal people. Thus their mania to have control over those they know are better than they are.

never argue with stupid people. 

We know that when they get control they try to dumb down society to their level. The most talented individuals are frowned upon and made to develop at the same speed as the dumbest.

We’ve been through the NSA fiasco when they were outed by a former employee. We know they look at our emails, listen to our telephone conversations, probably even snoop in our mail or scrutinize our blogs (gosh!) and that they have built a humungous new data storage center to keep information on everyone.

We know they start wars and cause the needless deaths of many people sometimes for no other good reason than to distract from the obvious shortcomings at home.

And we are currently in the midst of one of the most idiotic standoffs in Washington with Obama, the Senate and the House of Representatives seeing who can balance on one leg the longest while the country becomes the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Yes folks, never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups to destroy society and drag the rest of us down along with them.

no stupid people beyond this point

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The Herd Shall Not Be Heard!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s time for a Sunday Sermon!

cartoon-illustration-of-a-spy-wearing-a-hat-and-trenchcoat

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Whether we realize it or like it, the advent of the internet has changed all our lives. From power users like myself to just casual users, things are a lot different from how they used to be.

There are, of course, negatives like the increase of spam, fraud, pornography and so forth, but by and large the impact of the internet has been a positive one.

It has made finding information much quicker and easier.

It has given us better and cheaper communication possibilities such as Skype.

It has revolutionized shopping for millions of people.

And it has spawned new social interaction platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and not forgetting blogging sites such as WordPress, allowing people to find groups and individuals all over the world with similar interests to their own.

But perhaps the greatest thing that the internet has achieved is to give freedom for ordinary people to say what they want to say and have that reach a much bigger audience than would have hitherto been possible without having to spend vast sums of money trying to do it.

Unfortunately, however, that freedom is the one thing that governments cannot tolerate. Hell bent on control, they see the freedom that the internet provides as a threat to their power. And slowly but relentlessly they are chipping away at that freedom.

In China there is no pretense or deceit. The government there controls the internet and that’s just how it is.

However in the West, as they always do, governments create smokescreens to hide their real objectives. They read our private emails and listen to our private phone calls in secret, only reluctantly admitting to it when they are exposed by a whistleblower such as Edward Snowden, last seen leaving Hong Kong and heading for Moscow.

edward-snowden

And even when they are exposed they can’t tell the truth about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Invariably the excuse trotted out is “security issues”, in other words, they are doing what we don’t want them to do and invading our privacy, for our own good! 

If governments expect the people to have confidence in them, then they in turn should show confidence in the people. That means doing their job properly and targeting people and groups that are a possible threat without treating everyone as a potential terrorist.

And it means being honest with their people. 

Will that happen?

Not a chance!

As I said earlier the game isn’t about what is good for the people, the game is about control of the people. And a big part of that control is ensuring that the herd shall not be heard – if they have anything important to say that the government doesn’t want us to know!

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Things Your Grand-kids Will Probably Never Know

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We all happen to be living during a time when there are great advances and changes being made in the way we live our lives. Some of them are to our benefit, other not so much so.

Politically and financially the world is in turmoil. There is an accelerating and inevitable shift of power and influence towards the east, with former great powers like Britain and America declining in their influence and their economic might.

Perhaps that is a natural phenomenon, after all as they say “every dog has its day”, but I happen to believe that a lot of it is due to stupidity and mismanagement allied with a self-defeating philosophy that the west somehow has a duty to police the world and to create nanny states for its citizens where they will neither have to work nor want.

Technologically there have also been many changes and many more to come. During the past twenty years with the advent and growth of the internet everything has changed, from the way we interact socially, to how and where we work, and how we manage our affairs whether that be banking, shopping or whatever.

What a lot of these changes mean is that future generations will have no idea of how our lives used to be. Already many of us who have lived through the changes have forgotten how we used to have to do things. What would it be like trying to explain the ‘old days’ to a generation with absolutely no point of reference to the world we were born into?

To remind you of how it used to be here is a list of some of things we have known and lost, consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Feel free to add your own items to this list of things that your grand-kids will probably never know.

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Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.

Dewey Decimal System

Finding books in a card catalog at the library.

A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.

Reference books such as phone books, encyclopaedias

Finding out information from an encyclopedia.

library_cartoon

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Having to manually unlock a car door.

Looking out the window during a long drive.

Using a road atlas to get from A to B.

Getting lost in a world without GPS.

gps_cartoon

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Being able to add and subtract without a calculator

Long division and multiplication

Trig tables and log tables.

Slide rules

Slide Rule

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House phones

Phone books and Yellow Pages.

Rotary-dial telephones.

Pay phones.

Phones with actual bells in them.

Answering machines.

Fax machines.

Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.

rotary_ringing_telephone

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Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.

Betamax tapes.

Video tapes and renting movies

Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.

Laserdiscs.

8-track cartridges.

8-Track-tape-Player

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Casette Tapes

Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.

CDs and DVDs

Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo.

Taping songs off the radio

A Walkman.

cassette tape

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Rotary tuners that scanned the radio dial and hearing static between stations as you went through the ether.

Shortwave radio.

CB radios.

Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.

Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.

old_radio

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DOS.

The buzz of a dot-matrix printer

5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.

Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.

Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.

Counting in kilobytes.

Joysticks.

Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.

Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.

When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

NCSA Mosaic.

Netscape

Alta Vista

Being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.

floppy disk

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Cash.

Writing a check.

Doing bank business only when the bank is open.

Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.

Being able to buy something in Walmart that isn’t made in China

cash

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Privacy.

Being able to take a drive or walk down the street without being surveilled on numerous cameras

Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.

big-brother-thought-police-cjmadden

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Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.

Neat handwriting.

Spelling

Grammar

The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.

Typewriters.

typewriter

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Putting film in your camera

Sending that film away to be processed.

Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.

Film_Strip

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Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Ashtrays

Roller skates, as opposed to blades.

Ashtray

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Gosh, It’s A Two Post Sunday!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I haven’t had a rant for a while, so one is long overdue. Here it is.

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I’m sure hardly anybody noticed, but last week the bureaucrats in Washington effectively shut down the web site Intrade for US citizens. Intrade was the popular web site that any adult, including Americans, could use to wager on the future price of certain commodities, like gold or oil.

Effectively the bureaucrats have now made it illegal to solicit Americans to buy and sell commodity options contracts unless they are listed on an exchange registered with them or on one designated as legally exempt by them, and they have taken upon themselves the power to regulate nearly any commodity-related activity unless Congress provides a specific exemption.

Of course the politically well connected investment banks and hedge funds into which the great and the wealthy put their money can carry on as before speculating on the price of everything from pork bellies to platinum and manipulating gold, currency, oil and other markets. The recent MF Global scandal really puts that beyond reasonable doubt.

Intrade is just the latest move by the bureaucrats and the thought police to restrict the freedom of American citizens. Not so long ago it was the online gambling websites, then New Zealand based Megaupload was targeted, then banking in any offshore jurisdiction, now the Ireland based Intrade, and tomorrow, well, who knows.

Maybe the ever sensitive morons in the thought police will try to stop you reading blogs critical of their asinine bureaucracy? Oh, oh, gulp!

The way they are acting is nothing short of a complete perversion of the concept of a government with limited powers. But are the liberals, who should be in the forefront of upholding such principles, falling over themselves to defend the ordinary people?

Not likely.

If and when this type of interference happens in China or North Korea or somewhere similar, they are rushing to get on to their high horses to condemn and ridicule.

But back in Washington they are busy trying to create an inefficient and bureaucracy-ridden nanny state that they know will necessitate clamping down on individual choice and freedom, if it is to even stand a chance of making it look as if it is working.

To add insult to injury the bureaucrats make their usual claim that they are taking these steps for “your own protection”.

Why is it that the steps the bureaucrats take in the ”public interest” never seem to turn out to be in my interest or in the interest of anyone I know?

By the way, in case you are wondering, I have never used Intrade, it’s not my kind of thing and I don’t know enough about that field to speculate with any consistent degree of success.

But I would appreciate the freedom to make up my own mind on the subject, instead of having the faceless and less intelligent bureaucratic thought police dictate the decision for me.

We all know how successful the Volstead Act was at the beginning of the last century, but the bureaucrats learn nothing from their mistakes. And they never will, because their desire is not to do what is right or just or even sensible, their desire is to create an ever growing bureaucracy which they control.

Home of the brave? No doubt about that when you see the young people who are willingly putting themselves in harm’s way to help to defend the nation.

But land of the free? No siree, not no mo!

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Don’t Take My Word For It, Let These Guys Tell You Themselves

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The elections are over, much to the relief of many of us, but unfortunately the politicians are still there. I have frequently criticized these idiots for making a monumental mess of things and for squandering billions of dollars on the most insanely stupid debacles and catastrophes. And I will probably do so again. 

However, it is always a good idea or policy to be able to back up what you say with some facts, so rather than run to my own defense which is usually what happens, this time I am going to let some of the politicians prove beyond any and all reasonable doubt that my opinion of them is well justified.

So here we have a selection of quotations from some fairly famous politicians in which they condemn themselves to the dustbin of stupidity.

Enjoy.  

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Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States:

“Politics gives guys so much power that they tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that.”

Bill Clinton 

This from a congressional candidate in Texas:

“That scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California Governor talking about his views on the economy:

“The public doesn’t care about figures.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking as governor 

Jacques le Blanc, French ambassador on nuclear weapons:

“I do not like this word ‘bomb.’ It is not a bomb. It is a device that is exploding.”

Jacques LeBlanc 

Aggie Pate, at a non-denominational mayor’s breakfast, Fort Worth, Texas:

“I didn’t know Onward Christian Soldiers was a Christian song.”

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California Senator Barbara Boxer:

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

Barbara Boxer 

Ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo:

“The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.”

Frank Rizzo 

Congressman Everett Dirksen:

“A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money.”

Everett Dirksen 

Former U.S. President, Richard Nixon:

“Solutions are not the answer.”

Richard M Nixon 

H. Ross Perot, major Texas businessman and former presidential candidate:

“This planet is our home. If we destroy the planet, we’ve destroyed our home, so it is fundamentally important.”

 Ross Perot making a point

Arizona Governor Wesley Bolin:

“We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”

Wesley Bolin 

George Wallace 1968 presidential campaign:

“I’ve read about foreign policy and studied, I now know the number of continents.”

George Wallace 

Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States:

“The world is more like it is now then it ever has before.”

Dwight D Eisenhower 

Fred Heineman, former Republican representative from North Carolina:

“When I see someone who is making anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000 a year, that’s middle class.”

Fred Heineman 

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien:

“A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It’s a proof. A proof is proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it is proven.”

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and a political figure in the Philippines:

“I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it’s so petty.”

Imelda Marcos 

Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate:

“The internet is a great way to get on the net.”

Bob Dole 

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Al Gore, former U.S. vice president:

“We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

Al Gore 

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Former California Governor Gray Davis, during the recall campaign:

“My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth.”

Former California Governor Gray Davis 

Charles De Gaulle, former French President:

“China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.”

Charles De Gaulle 

President Clinton, denying that he had sexually harassed Kathleen Willey:

“I would never approach a small-breasted woman.”

Monica Lewinsky 

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