Famous Sayings #191 — ‘The Tranquilizing Drug of Gradualism’

January 18, 2021

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Rowland Scherman, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today is Martin Luther King Day, and to commemorate this holiday, I would like to revisit another quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote might not be as familiar to most of us as some others, but it is one that is oft-repeated by activists because of what it says about the fight against inequality.

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Seriously, F@#K Windows 10. It’s a Hot, Steaming Pile of Garbage.

Windows 10, Fk Windows 10, Microsoft, Apple, hot steaming pile of garbage, never use Windows Backup, blog update
This post is about why I hate Windows 10. Original image by 2023583 from Pixabay. I added the “F@#K” and the “Seriously.”

This is somewhat of a blog update, but this is mostly a rant about Windows 10 and why it is a hot, steaming pile of garbage, so I will give you a warning: Yes, I will use curse words in this post. While I censored myself in the title and image, the text of this post will not be censored. If you don’t like that, don’t even bother lecturing about my word usage. Just use the back button. That said …

This month, I had to deal with some computer issues. For some reason, my laptop had issues with its internal hard drive, and I received messages that the hard drive had errors. During auto repair, my stupid laptop would take forever to diagnose the problem and to restart. After days of waiting, I was finally able to log back on, but that’s not where my problems ended.

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Famous Sayings #190 — ‘Separate the Wheat from the Chaff’

January 11, 2021

Fifty people showed up for team tryouts, but only 25 of us made the cut. The entire process will separate the wheat from the chaff.

separate the wheat from the chaff, wheat, chaff, Bible, proverb, famous sayings
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

The expression “separate the wheat from the chaff” is one that has been on my mind for a while, but I never thought too deeply about the phrase’s origin besides its obvious connection to agriculture. This expression can apply to people or objects, but it is more often applied to people.

What Does It Mean to ‘Separate the Wheat from the Chaff’?

When someone “separates the wheat from the chaff,” they are determining which items or individuals in a group are good and valuable and which are of lower quality or worthless (The Free Dictionary). To put it nicely, separating the wheat from the chaff means finding people who are serious about a cause or self-improvement, or those who are better equipped to face adversity.

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Famous Sayings #189 — ‘New Year’s Resolution’

Friday, January 1, 2021

Usually, when someone makes a New Year’s Resolution, they promise to lose weight or to break bad habits.

Since today is New Year’s Day 2021, I decided to post this tonight.

Man, 2020 was a doozy. I don’t know what this year will hold, but for some reason, I feel that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Maybe I am happy that the past year is finally over, but we still have a tough road ahead of us, particularly in terms of this pandemic. With that said, let’s get down to business and resume this Famous Sayings series.

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Can We Work Within the Democratic Party? (My Response to CalicoJack)

On November 3, 2020 (Election Day in the United States), I published an extraordinarily long post in which I discussed my thoughts about the presidential election, why I would not vote for the top two candidates running (Joe Biden and Donald Trump), and the prospect of voting third-party. I don’t know who read that post (it was long and I wrote some things that many people will disagree with), but I was always ready to defend my views because I have been sitting with those thoughts for a very long time.

On Monday, November 16, 2020, I received this comment from CalicoJack regarding the post:


Howdy Shmaltz!

I understand your frustration with the two-party system and your desire to vote third-party, but I don’t agree. I’ll distill my argument to this: why do you think Sanders ran as a Democrat and not as a third-party candidate. He never thought he could win apart from a heady month or so in 2016 and another in 2020. So, why’d he do it? Because he recognizes that true reform and change in the US will not come from revolution and throwing out the Constitution for a re-written one. If you think the powers that be control elections, you can be damn sure they’ll control that process. But, through incremental — although he was going for more than incremental change — from the inside. He pushed the Overton window to the left. It is now imperative that we take advantage of that by electing Democrats who can enact legislation and reforms that will be left-leaning.

Democracies will always be centerist governments. Democracies blend the voices, opinions, and desires of their electorates. In a sense they average us. The fundamental flaw in our democracy is that it is dominated by big money interests and that was before Citizen’s United. The only way out of it, though, is by electing Democratic majorities who are right now responding to the progressive element of the party and willing to pass electoral reform. By 2022, they likely will have moved on. New issues will be on the table and the electorate will be regressing towards the mean.

My opinion is that we work within the system to move it to the left because democracies will always hover around the middle.


November 16, 2020 at 10:24 pm  

This comment was thoughtful, and it was rich, but I must respectfully disagree with Jack here. Now, I wanted to respond to him under the original post, but to avoid writing a monster comment under a monster post, I decided to write out a thorough response in another post.

Before I continue, I must warn you: I plan to go hard against powerful people in this post. I don’t like to shame voters, but I won’t be surprised if this post offends some people who read it. However, there is a difference between shaming voters, which I don’t really care for and trying to hold politicians accountable.

Now, what do I want to say? For starters, I would like to talk about why Bernie Sanders ran in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Other topics in this post include: how feasible it is the work within the Democratic Party, what the Democratic Party should have been in this two-party system, and what the fundamental flaws in the American system of government are. As a bonus, I want to talk about the need for a new Constitution, despite how hard it may be to get one.

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We Don’t Actually Want to Vote Third-Party, Do We? A Treatise Against Fear-Based Voting

I am sick and tired of fear-based voting and I wish more people were, as well. I know that either Trump or Biden are going to win, based on first-past-the-post voting, but one guy is highly unpopular and feared (for good reason) while the other has a serious enthusiasm problem (also for good reason). Our choices are terrible, but many people have been pushed to choose one of these guys out of fear — the fear of fascism, the fear of socialism (even though Biden is not even close to being a socialist), and the fear of the unknown.

Now, if you have been following me for a while, you might know that I have been very critical of the Democratic Party. In fact, I made a whole series about it. However, I have been critical of the Republican Party, as well. But at this time, I have come to post to this blog with a message that I wanted to post on or before Election Day in the United States, and I know that at least one person who reads this might not like it. Heck, I might lose some followers over this, but I need to make these opinions known before the final tally (because we know that not all the votes will be counted).

That said, the greater message is for mostly the people who are beyond disgusted with our two major political parties, the Democrats and Republicans, but still feel compelled to vote for candidates from those parties. I also have a message for party loyalists who feel the need to attack people who are critical of these parties and those who feel the need to moralize their preference for Joe Biden.

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Famous Sayings #188 — ‘A Few Bad Apples’

July 27, 2020

I think that the police department is a force for good. About 99.9% of police officers are good, but there are a few bad apples mixed in there

The best way to deal with bad apples is to take them out of the group as quickly as possible.

a few bad apples, spoil the bunch, one bad apple spoils the entire barrel, apples, famous sayings
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

The first quote above is a generic statement that many Americans have read or heard in some form over the years.

This second quote comes from Henry L. Tischler, who wrote this in the Introduction to Sociology (2011). (I found it on Merriam-Webster.com.)

I’ve never really given such statements like the first quote much thought, and with good reason. But today, the phrase takes on more importance as we have seen many cases of police brutality, especially in the face of law enforcement being questioned and challenged with these protests.

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Famous Sayings #187 — ‘Those Who Make Peaceful Revolution Impossible …’

June 19, 2020

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable, John F Kennedy, JFK, Alliance for Progress, United States, Latin America, protest, violence
President John F. Kennedy made remarks in the White House State Dining Room on the one-year anniversary of the Alliance for Progress. Taken via screenshot. (Video)

I have been thinking about this quote often and it was on my mind even before the start of 2020 and the events that have sparked this period of justifiable protest. What do I think about this quote? Of course, the answer will come after the explanation of what this quote means and why it was first uttered.

Who First Said, ‘Those Who Make Peaceful Revolution Impossible …’

Anyone who uses this quote will tell you that John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, first uttered this line, but they usually don’t tell you when. President Kennedy said this during a speech he made in the State Dining Room of the White House on March 13, 1962 (Wade). Kennedy was addressing Latin American diplomats and discussing the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress.

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To Protect and Serve [Repost]

to protect and serve, law enforcement
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

This post, entitled “To Protect and Serve,” was originally one of series of three posts I had written on my first ever blog. I don’t think I will repost the other two posts in the series here because my thoughts in those posts were unorganized, but I intend to revisit those thoughts here eventually.

As you can see, I haven’t updated this blog much this year or much over the past two years, but recent events have compelled me to write something — anything, particularly about law enforcement. As you may know, there have been a few notable murders of Black Americans: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. All three incidents have led to a public outcry and Floyd’s murder by four Minneapolis police officers (only one kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, but the other three officers present were complicit) has touched off a series of protests across the United States and around the world.

Before I can even begin to address many of the details of those cases and these protests, I need to first discuss my feelings about the police, which has only been negatively impacted, especially during this past decade. In the meantime, I want to use this text to touch off a conversation about law enforcement, protest, and our relationship with power.

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Famous Sayings #186 — ‘Gentle as a Lamb’

May 4, 2020

David may be a big, strong man but he is as gentle as a lamb with children.

gentle as a lamb, lamb, symbolism, famous sayings
Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

I have been irregular with these posts for the past months, but at least this post comes in a consecutive week. Now, this saying is one I like. While this was meant to be posted in 2019, my schedule got a bit hectic, so I skipped it. But “Gentle as a lamb” was easier to research than many of the other famous sayings in this series.

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