Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Who said it? 16

Has it been a year since an episode of America's favorite blog game - Who said it? Apparently. I believe this is episode 16. And, apparently there was a time when I switched from Roman numerals to regular old numbers in the title. Oh, well, as they say. The self-imposed rule is that the quotes have to be from my own personal library. Answers at the bottom. Suggest you write down your own answers before you look.

1. "This has been a matter of some embarrassment to me because it reflects upon the performance of my duties as Chief Justice of the United States.
     When I accepted that position, it was with the fixed purpose of leaving politics permanently for service on the Court. That is still my purpose. It is irrevocable. I will not change it under any circumstances or conditions.
      Be they many or few, the remaining useful years of my life are dedicated to the service of the Supreme Court of the United States, in which work I am increasingly happy."

a. Earl Warren  b. William Taft  c. John Marshall  d. William Rehnquist

2. "So it is not too much to ask of Americans that they not be censors, that they run the risk of being deeply wounded by ideas so that that we may all be free. If we are wounded by an ugly idea, we must count it as part of the cost of freedom and, like American heroes in the days gone by, bravely carry on."

a. Mark Twain  b. Kurt Vonnegut c. Martin Luther King, Jr. d. Barack Obama

3. "My first conscious memory is of running. I was three years old, and my mother was driving us in a horse-drawn buggy, holding my baby brother Don on her lap while a neighbor girl held me. The horse turned the corner leading to our house at high speed, and I tumbled onto the ground. I must have been in shock, but I managed to get up and run after the buggy while my mother tried to make the horse stop. The only after effect of this accident was that years later, when the vogue of parting hair on the left side came along, I still had to comb mine straight back to hide a scar caused by the fall.

a. Abraham Lincoln b. Teddy Roosevelt c. Johnny Carson d. Richard Nixon

4. "A free and open mind, and political relativity. The organizer in his way of life, with his curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, distrust of dogma, his self-organization, his understanding of the irrationality of much of human behavior, becomes a flexible personality, not a rigid structure that breaks when something unexpected happens. Having his own identity, he has no need for the security of an ideology or a panacea. He knows that life is a quest for uncertainty; that the only certain fact of life is uncertainty; and he can live with it. He knows that all values are relative, in a world of political relativity. Because of these qualities he is unlike to disintegrate into cynicism and disillusionment, for he does not depend on illusion."

a. Mother Jones b. Martin Luther King, Jr. c. Barack Obama d. Saul Alinsky

5. Responding to a proposition that there should be no slavery: "Did not Abraham and other patriarchs and prophets use slaves? Read what St. Paul teaches about servants, who at that time were all slaves. Therefore your third article is dead against the Gospel. . . . This article would make all men equal . . . and that is impossible. For a worldly kingdom cannot stand unless there is in it an inequality of persons, so that some are free, some imprisoned, some lords, some subjects."

a. Socrates b. St. Augustine c. Martin Luther d. George Washington

6. "Humanity is waiting for something other than blind imitation of the past. If we want trUly to advance a step further, if we want to turn over a new leaf and really set a new man afoot, we must begin to turn mankind away from the long and desolate night of violence. May it not be that the new man the world needs is the nonviolent man? Longfellow said, 'In this world a man must either be an anvil or a hammer.' We must be hammers shaping a new society rather than anvils molded by the old. This not only will make us new men, but will give us a new kind of power. It will not be Lord Acton's image of power that tends to corrupt or absolute power that corrupts absolutely. It will be power infused with love and justice, that will change dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows, and lift us from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope. A dark, desperate, confused and sin-sick world waits for this new kind of man and this new kind of power."

a. Nietzsche b. Martin Luther King, Jr. c. Churchill d. Hitler

7. "I have completely run out of organized ideas, but I have a large number of uncomfortable feelings about the world which I haven't been able to put into some obvious, logical, and sensible form. So, since I already contracted to give three lectures, the only thing I can do is to give this potpourri of uncomfortable feelings without having them very well organized.

a. Thoreau b. Noam Chomsky c. Richard Feynman d. Garrison Keillor

8. "My mother had told me that my father often dreamed that I would run away with a band of soldiers. That was more than two years after I first heard the voices. She told me that he had said to my brothers, 'If I believed that the thing I have dreamed about her would come pass, I would want you to drown her; and if you would not, I would drown her myself.' On account of these dreams, my father and mother watched me closely and kept me in great subjection. And I was obedient in everything.

But since God had commanded me to go, I must do it. And since God had commanded it, had I had a hundred fathers and a hundred mothers, and had I been a king's daughter, I would have gone."

a. Jeanne D'arc b. Mary Todd Lincoln c. Chelsea Manning d. Cleopatra

9. "You say that Washington and Hamilton are idolized by the tories. Hamilton is; Washington is not. To speak the truth, they puffed Washington like an air balloon to raise Hamilton into the air. Their preachers, their orators, their pamphlets and newspapers have spoken out and avowed publicly since Hamilton's death what I very well knew to be in their hearts for many years before, viz: that Hamiton was everything and Washington but a name. . . .

Hamilton's talents have been greatly exaggerated. His knowledge of the great subjects of coin and commerce and their intimate connections with all departments of every government, especially such as are so elective as ours, was very superficial and imperfect. He had derived most of his information from . . . I see no extraordinary reason for so much exclusive glory to Hamilton."

a. Thomas Jefferson b. John Adams c. Aaron Burr d. James Monroe

10. "Can anyone here say that if we can't do it, someone down the road can do it? And if no one does it, what happens to the country? All of us here know the economy would face an eventual collapse. I know it's a hell of a challenge, but ask yourselves: If not us, who? If not now, when?"

a. Abraham Lincoln b. FDR c. Ronald Reagan d. Barack Obama

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ANSWERS 

1. "This has been a matter of some embarrassment to me because it reflects upon the performance of my duties as Chief Justice of the United States. . . ."

a. Earl Warren  b. WilliamTaft  c. John Marshall  d. William Rehnquist  This statement was made after a poll showing that among Republicans Warren had a slight edge over Nixon for the next Republican presidential nominee and almost 3:1 among independent voters. It didn't matter. Eisenhower ran again and Nixon was his VP again. Warren had been governor of California, as well as previously a district attorney before becoming California's Attorney General and in '48 was the Republican Vice Presidential candidate behind Dewey - who, of course, lost. And, when LBJ, a Democrat, needed someone whose integrity was unquestioned to lead the investigation of the Kennedy assassination, he insisted on Warren, a Republican. Warren made this statement because he was outraged that anyone thought that a Supreme Court Justice would just drop everything at the thought of becoming president.

2. "So it is not too much to ask of Americans that they not be censors . . . ."

a. Mark Twain  b. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. c. Martin Luther King, Jr. d. Barack Obama. For reasons bordering on idiocy, Vonnegut's Slaughter-House 5, a great book, was long banned in many school districts and libraries. It was also once burned in a school furnace. Not surprisingly, he wasn't too keen on censorship. I can't imagine the other three choices were either. Vonnegut is still very popular among college kids. I just wish they would read the above in classes, as a form of censorship has risen again, this time not by the "authorities," but among the young.

3. "My first conscious memory is of running. . . . " I

a. Abraham Lincoln b. Teddy Roosevelt c. Johnny Carson d. Richard Nixon. His falling from the horse and buggy is from the opening chapter of his Memoirs. I enjoyed them. You had to keep in mind he was writing from his perspective and not surprisingly could be defensive, but most of it was fascinating to me. He was quite sentimental. Also, it reminded me of a story from my childhood, although it happened before I was born. My brother, Mark, now deceased, apparently fell out of the family car. Unseen by our mother, he charged down the street after the car.

4. "A free and open mind, and political relativity. The organizer in his way of life, with his curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, distrust of dogma, his self-organization, his understanding of the irrationality of much of human behavior, becomes a flexible personality. . . ."

a. Mother Jones b. Martin Luther King, Jr. c. Barack Obama d. Saul Alinsky.  Alinsky was virtually unknown to the general public, despite being a well-known radical organizer in his time among those who paid attention to that sort of thing, until President Obama was elected and conservatives charged him with being an Alinsky acolyte. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, published in 1971, and which I read out of curiosity, can be basically summed up in a sentence - The end does justify the means if the ends are important enough - and you think so too! In truth, both sides follow Alinsky's rules, in general. And perhaps Alinsky is right, if we think the ends are important enough, the means don't matter to us. That doesn't mean, of course, that we have to accept someone else's determination of what is important enough to justify anything.

5. Responding to a proposition that there should be no slavery: "Did not Abraham and other patriarchs and prophets use slaves? . . ."

a. Socrates b. St. Augustine c. Martin Luther d. George Washington.  How could it be Socrates, who lived long before St. Paul? Though himself a religious revolutionary, Luther was beholden to certain German princes for his success and safety. Thus, he tepidly responding to the revolutionary peasants who had been inspired by him and had drawn up "Twelve Articles," including one calling for an end to serfdom, or slavery. Though Luther encouraged peace and some conciliation between the princes and the peasants, he couldn't go along with their a no slavery position. Not surprisingly, the peasants were rather infuriated.

6. "Humanity is waiting for something other than blind imitation of the past. If we want truly to advance a step further, if we want to turn over a new leaf and really set a new man afoot, we must begin to turn mankind away from the long and desolate night of violence. . . . "

a. Nietzsche b. Martin Luther King, Jr. c. Churchill d. Hitler. It was MLKing, Jr. in Where do we go from here? Although it did sound a little like Nietzsche, Churchill and even Hitler, in parts.

7. "I have completely run out of organized ideas, but I have a large number of uncomfortable feelings about the world which I haven't been able to put into some obvious, logical, and sensible form. So, since I already contracted to give three lectures, the only thing I can do is to give this potpourri of uncomfortable feelings without having them very well organized."

a. Thoreau b. Noam Chomsky c. Richard Feynman d. Garrison Keillor.  For those who don't know who Feynman was, he was a great American physicist and a Long Island boy, also, after his wife died, a free-wheeling, bongo playing, character who also gave a lot of famous lectures where he tried to put complicated things in a homespun, easy to understand way. I've read and listened to some and in my view, he succeeded. For one thing, he gave the best explanation of how computers work that I ever heard. He was also the guy who, in his later days and dying of cancer, figured out why the space shuttle Challenger blew up. He demanded an appendix in the report where he blasted NASA bigwigs for their unrealistic estimates of reliability which he said differed from those of their own engineers up to a thousand-fold. Very interesting guy. All the others also gave talks, and, I can see anyone of them saying the same thing. In fact, it sounds a lot like the way I blog.

8. "My mother had told me that my father often dreamed that I would run away with a band of soldiers. That was more than two years after I first heard the voices. . . ."

a. Jeanne D'arc b. Mary Todd Lincoln c. Chelsea Manning d. Cleopatra. There is a record of the things the Maid of Orleans said to her inquisitors and it is fascinating, even if possibly falsified.

9. "You say that Washington and Hamilton are idolized by the tories. Hamilton is; Washington is not. . . ."

a. Thomas Jefferson b. John Adams c. Aaron Burr d. James Monroe. I suppose any of them could have spoken so about Hamilton. All of them quarreled with him. But, Adams, more than any of them, was most happy to insult anyone he saw as a rival to his greatness. This was letter from Adams to Benjamin Rush, who was a correspondent of all three.

10. "Can anyone here say that if we can't do it, someone down the road can do it? And if no one does it, what happens to the country? . . . "

a. Abraham Lincoln b. FDR c. Ronald Reagan d. Barack Obama. Reagan, giving a pep talk to his cabinet. But, sounds like it could have been any of them or other presidents who wanted to change things.

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .