31 August 2009

When Graphic Artists Get Bored

This is so great! The art of illusion, imagination and "what were they thinking"!

Roundup of This Weeks Sunday Funnies - Goodbye Cash for Clunkers, Hello Greenbacks for Grannies

From Denny: Here's your Monday roundup of late night comics' joke quotes! Start your work week with a chuckle.

The Late Late Show

Craig Ferguson:
[Former President Bill Clinton and the two American journalists] landed in L.A. this morning, and it is quite a contrast between North Korea and L.A. One's a cruel place filled with soulless people who are despised by most Americans, and of course, the other one is North Korea.

The Late Late Show

Craig Ferguson:
After the [two detained journalists] landed, Al Gore gave a speech. I don't want to say that Al went on too long, but halfway through, the women asked to be sent back to prison.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Jimmy Kimmel:
Kim Jong Il gave the [U.S. journalists] a special pardon, and in return, he got 20 pairs of Hillary [Clinton]'s pantsuits. So a little something to spruce up his wardrobe.

The Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien:
Computer hackers managed to shut down Twitter and my favorite, Facebook, for several hours. In a related story yesterday, American productivity jumped by 159 percent.

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart:
Cash for Clunkers. I just figured out how to solve Medicare. [Graphic over shoulder says Greenbacks for Grannies.] Sorry, Grandma, but "New Grandma" can speed walk.

Funny Ted Kennedy Quote

Ted Kennedy, middle, with brothers Bobby and John photo by BL1961 @ flickr - thanks for releasing this into Creative Commons, much appreciated!

With his usual Irish self-deprecating humor he said to his son and nephew one day as they were serving in Congress with him, making it three Kennedys in national politics: "When I hear someone complain, 'Who does that damn Kennedy think he is?' Well, now I know there's only a one in three chance they are actually talking about me!"

Ah, nothing like the ironic truth spoken with a twinkle in your Irish eye, Ted. God Bless.

30 August 2009

4 Videos: Funny Speakers at Kennedys Irish Wake

From Denny: The highlight of dreary funerals is when people get to tell the funny stories about you and Kennedy was no exception. In fact he wanted people to tell their opinions and observations about him if only to prove just how human he really was in life. Kennedy's life was an exercise in trials, sorrows, screw-ups and redemption. He was an inspiration to many of us who think our screw-ups are beyond redemption and our sorrows too great to heal. Listen to several relatives and, most of all, even his Republican friends talk about their relationships with the beloved, and often annoying, Ted Kennedy. He was fun to the end.

Caroline Kennedy whom he fathered after the assassination of her father President John F. Kennedy:

Close friend Vice President Joe Biden whom Ted mentored in the Senate when Biden was very young and "very green" when it came to real world politics - and suggested as Vice President for Obama:

Former Senator John Culver, D-Iowa, a best friend from college who played football with Ted, brought the house down with his recounting of a harrowing sailing experience with Ted:

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a close friend of Ted's for over 30 years in the Senate and the two were like oil and water, never mixing well, yet a real love fest that lasted in spite of political differences:

4 Videos: More Funny Speakers at Kennedys Wake

Senator John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts, recalls Kennedy's booming personality that was like a force of nature. He also recounts how Kennedy never left his side during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, recounts his funny and downright annoying experiences with Kennedy. He also declared just how much he loved Ted and how much he misses him already. McCain was so overcome with emotion that after his speech he abruptly left the stage with welling tears in his eyes. Truly that was a close relationship in spite of political wrangling.

Governor Deval L. Patrick, Massachusets, recalls his time with Kennedy and his impressions of him:

Senator Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, recalls how Kennedy, who was more ill than Dodd, called Dodd to see how he was doing. That really touched Dodd's heart. They, too, were life long friends.

Joseph P. Kennedy II, talks about his favorite uncle who helped father him and his siblings after his father, Robert, was also assassinated on the presidential trail in 1968. You really have to ask yourself "What is wrong with the Republicans who are willing to kill politicians in this great country called America? Who are these people who are so willing to kill a fellow American?":

29 August 2009

President Obama's Eulogy of Friend Senator Ted Kennedy

From Denny: This was one incredibly beautiful funeral today - all three hours of it. President Obama was last in line to speak and what a wonderful speech it was. Here's the text in its entirety in case you missed it or only caught a few quotes of what the President had to say about his friend today at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica Catholic Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

President Obama:

Your Eminence, Vicki, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the United States Senate — a man who graces nearly 1,000 laws, and who penned more than 300 laws himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Grandfather. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, as a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It'll be the same in Washington."

That spirit of resilience and good humor would see Teddy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of 16. He saw two more taken violently from a country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

It's a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Ted to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, ".[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in — and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and the suffering of others — the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed — the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health insurance, the Family and Medical Leave Act — all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet, as has been noted, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that's not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw Ted Kennedy. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and platform and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect — a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, yes, but also by seeking compromise and common cause — not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch for support of the Children's Health Insurance Program by having his chief of staff serenade the senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas committee chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the chairman. When they weren't, he'd pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support of a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave my pledge, but I expressed skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes that it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how had he done it. He just patted me on the back and said, "Luck of the Irish."

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success; he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Teddy's historic body of achievements that we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and the colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss so adored by his staff that over 500, spanning five decades, showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank-you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. senator of such stature would take the time to think about somebody like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study off the Oval Office — a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who had just arrived in Washington and happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office. That, by the way, is my second gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories — the ones that often start with "You wouldn't believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked not only after his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to been spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love — he made it because of theirs, especially because the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted to risk his heart again. And that he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn't just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know what God's plan is for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and with love, and with joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said, as has already been mentioned, of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death because what he was in life — and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country that he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved ones would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image — the image of a man on a boat, white mane tousled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

Barack Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, eulogy, Politics, America

28 August 2009

3 Videos: Public Turns Out for Ted Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and the Public Comment

From Denny: Robert Kennedy, Jr. talks about the expression of public sentiment today and his uncle Ted's relationship with the public over the years. Thousands of mourners came out for the 70 mile ride of the hearse yesterday from his home in Hiannisport to Boston; they lined the route to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library as he passed by.

It was like viewing the news footage from when Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy died and how the public turned out for them. Ted Kennedy was "in office" far longer than any President could be and was able to do much more for people - and so he did. He viewed politics as a life of service.

It was amazing how many people took so much time to write in the guest books, many of them whole pages of comments. The lines were long as people in this part of the country felt a personal connection to the Senator because he did so much for everyone from every walk of life.

Ted Kennedy reached far into the everyday lives of these working class people who knew him personally. Listen to their stories of interacting with him.

Breaking News, politics, President John F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy

27 August 2009

How Senator Ted Kennedy Affected Your Life in America

From Denny: Did you know that Ted Kennedy passed over 300 bills during his tenure in the Senate? He also co-authored another 550!

“Ted Kennedy changed the circumstances of tens of millions of Americans,” VP Biden.

How did he affect our lives today? How does that translate into your everyday life that this generation may take for granted was always there?

Here are just a few examples that make life easier for so many to live well:

Wheelchair ramps:
wheelchair access in public places; those are thanks to Ted Kennedy.

Minimum wage: you earn more thanks to Kennedy

Children’s Health Insurance: he went to bat for the most vulnerable members of our society – children

Kennedy was the driving force behind COBRA - for people in need of health insurance when just fired from a job.

He developed personal relationships with people like a 6 year old child suffering from diabetes who could have benefited from stem cell research. He didn’t just use her in front of the cameras for politics. She first wrote him a letter asking for his help on pushing for stem cell research; he read that letter on the Senate floor. For years he privately corresponded with Lauren Stanford, thanking her for her help and encouraging her in her fight with juvenile diabetes. The public never knew about that.

Christi Coombs, September 11th widow: Kennedy wrote her every year on the anniversary of her husband’s death. She recognized he truly did know what loss she was feeling as he had experienced so much loss in his life. The public never knew about that either.

Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 2008 - Photo (Mike Segar / Reuters)

Senator Kennedy, kicks off the Democratic Party's national convention Aug. 25, 2008, his was a performance that galvanized the audience, producing a roaring frenzy. The crowd cheered, then wiped away tears for several minutes, then cheered again. They knew Ted was thhe last living Kennedy brother.

He smiled and declared loudly, "My fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here." He was alluding to news reports hinting his doctors were hesitant to allow him to travel to the Denver convention.

The Senator continued, "Nothing, nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight. I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama President of the United States."

Take a look at his long list of accomplishments that affect our lives to the postive!

The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Fair Housing Act
No Child Left Behind Act
AMBER Alert Notification Systems Funding
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Meals on Wheels Act (elderly)
The Economic Opportunity Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act
The National Community Health Center Program
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The Bilingual Education Act
The Older American Community Service Employment Act
The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
Title IX of the Education Amendments (female athletes)
Individuals with Disabilities Education
Civil Rights Commission Act Amendments
Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act
Comprehensive Crime Control Act
1985 Anti-Apartheid Act
Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act
The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act
The Fair Housing Act Amendments
The National Military Child Care Act
The 1980 Refuge Act
The Job Training Partnership Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
Summer Jobs for Youth Program
The Mammography Quality Standards Act
The National and Community Service Trust Act (created AmeriCorps)
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Work Incentives Improvement Act
The Minority Health and Disparities Research and Education Act
2002 Bioterrorism Preparedness Act
The Pediatric Graduate Medical Education Act
Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act
The Project Bioshield Act
The Family Opportunity Act
The Ryan White Care Act (for AIDS patients)
The Higher Education Opportunity Act
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

In honor of Ted Kennedy, President Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill April 21, 2009.

The bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act strives to open up new service opportunities for millions of Americans, tripling the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years.

"I'm asking you to stand up and play your part," said the president. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Photo (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Senator "Ted" Kennedy changed history in America. He fought against racism and sexism. He championed the poor for equal opportunities for jobs, homes and being able to go to college.

Too many middle class Republican families who foolishly denounce Ted Kennedy do so without full knowledge of how he has benefited their lives. They have been the direct beneficiaries of his humanity.

Among many fights for the middle class, it was Ted Kennedy who fought hard to provide college grant money to middle income families, not just the poor. This generation owes a lot of their successful lifestyle to his endeavors to make America a better country and a better society. Let not his humanity fall on deaf ears to the next generation...

Barack Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats, diabetes, Politics, September 11th, America

26 August 2009

4 Videos: Lion of the Senate Ted Kennedy Dies

From Denny: It's an end of an era and the beginning of a new one with the passing of the torch from Senator Ted Kennedy to the next generation. The man certainly paved the way for the next generation of liberal social issue politicians who are as concerned for creating a better and more equal society for all.

The Kennedy legacy is well known worldwide as theirs was a wealthy family strongly involved in politics. They put their money - and their daily work - where their mouth was.

Kennedy's character stain upon his name and legacy came during his alcoholic years and crescendoed with the drowning of an aide in a car accident from which he fled. Much of the public figured he drank so heavily because of the not one, but two assassinations of his political brothers: one, President John Kennedy, killed in 1963, and two, Robert Kennedy was killed as he was running for President in 1968.

What exacerbated his alcoholism was a plane crash in the early sixties where he broke his back and was forever left with extreme pain and that "hunch and shuffle" kind of walk that became so distinctive. Back then there were not the pain relievers available today and many people chose to self-medicate through alcohol. Unfortunately, too much alcohol and eventually a person tips over into alcoholism as did Ted Kennedy.

To his credit, trying to sober up and do right again, that sad accident and tragic death of a young woman startled him into getting his act together. He went hard-charging into social reforms across the board. He led on education and health care reform right up until his death, fighting for better health care for twenty long years. Kennedy fought to shape America's political future for 50 years, leaving a longer-lasting legacy than both of his equally popular brothers combined. He was the brother of which the least was expected and he ended up doing the most for his country.

The lion-like Kennedy championed workers' rights, pushing to constantly raise the miserable minimum wage. He demanded civil rights and voting rights for African-Americans. Kennedy championed womens' rights and helped pushed the womens' movement into the public spotlight and into the heart of the Democratic Party. Lately, he was working on immigration reform in a more positive vein than the Republicans.

For decades his life was threatened by Republican supporters who constantly issued death threats if he ever dared to run for President. Even the military threatened to kill him if he did so. Such was the sixties and early seventies. To his credit, Kennedy ran anyway. He lost to unexpected dark horse Jimmy Carter who later became President Carter. Carter was doomed to become a one term president because he was outmaneuvered by Reagen. Behind his back while he was still President, it was candidate Reagen who traded guns for those American hostages in Iran. President Reagen created the Iranian Revolution and terrorist mess in Iran today from this foolish action. Reagen may have won the Presidency with his back-stabbing of a current sitting President but it's the next generation who had to deal with the consequences.

Senator Ted Kennedy's goodbye words were defiantly declared after that fateful loss to Carter and are appropriate all these years later as his epitaph: "The Work goes on, the Cause endures, the Hope still lives, and, the Dream never shall never die."

Kennedy was 77, passed away on Tuesday night from an extended illness with brain cancer. He will be greatly missed but his work was done. Now it is time for the next generation to lead. Thank you for your service, Ted, thank you, from a grateful nation...

President Obama bestows the Medal of Freedom upon Senator Ted Kennedy

Larry King interviews Kennedy about his life in the Senate back in 2006

Kennedy stood up for Obama when others were hesitant in the Democratic Party. Senator Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

alcoholism, President Jimmy Carter, civil rights, college education, health care reform, Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy, voting rights, womens rights, Robert Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy

Cheeky Quote Day! 26 August 2009

From Denny: How about a lovin' spoonful of funny marriage quotes today? I had no idea when I started researching this category that I would find an abundance of opinion and quotes!

In fact, it seems men and women have been commenting upon their relationships for thousands of years as Chinese philosopher, and founder of Taoism, Lao Tze from 500 BC, even weighed in on marriage. The Greek philosophers Aristotle and Socrates mouthed off as well, though most eloquently. :)


* A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband and wife together. - James H. Boren

* Marriage is like the army. Everybody complains, but you'd be surprised at how many re-enlist. – Anonymous

* In marriage, as in war, it is permitted to take every advantage of the enemy. – Anonymous

* Keep your eyes wide open before marriage - and half-shut afterwards. – Benjamin Franklin

* Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage - which is never advisable. – Oscar Wilde

* A husband is what is left of a lover - after the nerve has been extracted. - Helen Rowland

* Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins. – Lao Tze, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote Tao Te Ching, 600 BC – 531 BC

* A wedding is just like a funeral except that you get to smell your own flowers. - Grace Hansen

* If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married. - actres Katharine Hepburn

* Marriage is like a bank account. You put it in, you take it out, you lose interest. - Irwin Corey

* A psychiatrist asks a lot of expensive questions your wife asks for nothing. - Joey Adams

* Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit. - Billy Connolly

* All marriages are happy. It's the living together afterward that causes all the trouble. - Raymond Hull

* Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too. - H. L. Mencken

* I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all. - Lord Byron

* He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry - to get rid of. - Mae West, actress and vaudeville comic

* If you made a list of reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping. - Mignon McLaughlin

* I've been married to one Marxist and one Fascist, and neither one would take out the garbage. – actress Lee Grant

* In olden times sacrifices were made at the altar - a practice which is still continued. - Helen Rowland

* A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year. - Paul Sweeney

* Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open. - George Bernard Shaw

* Marriage is a bribe to make the housekeeper think she's a householder. - Thornton Wilder

* Marriage - a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose. - Beverley Nichols

* If you want to read about love and marriage, you've got to buy two separate books. - Alan King

* Marriage is an adventure, like going to war. - writer Gilbert K. Chesterton

* Marriage is nature's way of keeping us from fighting with strangers. - Alan King

Photo by TimWilson @ flickr

Thanks for visiting, everyone! Have a great work week and keep chuckling!

relationships, men and women, Society and Culture, Cheeky Quotes Day, cheeky quotes, Funny Quotes, Dennys Funny Quotes, marriage, marriage quotes, Thorton Wilder, Lao Tze, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Alan King, Lord Byron, H. L. Mencken, Benjamin Franklin, and most importantly: Anonymous, without whom so many quotes would have never been published...! :)

25 August 2009

Funny Illusion Photo: The Art of Hiding Well

From Denny: This funny photo showed up on Digg today so I'm passing it forward for the rest of the world to enjoy! This is truly the art of hiding well. Look closely... Don't you just love the art of the illusion? Especially when it's in real life and right in front of your eyes! :)

Quote: "This demonstrates the value of not being seen." - British comedian John Cleese

odd photos, funny photos, Digg, animals, pets, humor

Video: Obama Justice Dept Shuts Up Republicans, Starts Investigating Bush Torture Years

From Denny: For someone who grew up inside the CIA I've seen a lot of garbage. Read that as the underbelly of humanity at work in our government. Many people despise and fear the CIA for its history. What the public should be focused upon is who is in the White House at the time of the misdeeds (now that's one mild word...). The CIA can only do what the then sitting President tasks it to do. What most people find odious about the CIA were carried out by the para-military arm which are usually ex-military assassins like what we call today as Special Forces.

What that means is the CIA apparatus can be used for ill or for good, according to who is at the head at the time. Cars are vehicles; they can transport people safely to a destination or, in the wrong and irresponsible hands, those same cars can easily kill indiscriminately. So it is with the CIA or any other government's intelligence agency.

Notice the marked difference in the CIA from the Bush years to now the developing Obama years. The current director basically has ratted out the previous director for his breaking of the established law that somehow Republicans never seem to think applies to them. Director Pinetta supplied the Bush year's documents where they hung themselves on their own reports.

Working for the CIA is complicated at best for any individual as I witnessed it up close and far too personal as a child of a CIA officer. During the Bush years there were those officers who refused Bush and Cheney's orders. What happened to them? It isn't ever pretty when someone in the intelligence community chooses to be of good character, take a stand and carry it through.

So, you say, so what? Quit the place and then go get another job. It isn't that easy for long-term servants of our government, especially with such vindictive administrations like Nixon to Bush and Cheney. You get blackballed for defying them. Blackballed means that every time you apply for a job you get lied about to the prospective employer. These bad guys run ahead of you to every possible avenue you could take and set it up ahead of time long before you arrive looking for a job. You can easily end up professionally trashed, maybe homeless and out of work for years - and that's if you are lucky.

What about whistle-blower laws? You are joking, right? Have you ever heard of a whistle-blower coming out on top for doing the right thing - especially when it comes to the government or a high profiled lobbyist?

What complicates it for most CIA employees or other intelligence communities is when they leave their jobs they have what is called a "blank resume." Rarely does the CIA every admit someone has worked for them. (It gets really nasty with a divorce when a CIA representative stands up in open court and mouths the mantra, "I can neither confirm not deny this person has ever worked for the agency." That translates into no alimony or child support since the judge cannot confirm a spouse's place of employment.)

This added complication of a blank resume when job hunting is a CIA employee could have 30 years on the job as an analyst and yet show absolutely zero work experience, no recommedations, nothing. To the private sector it looks like you have nothing to offer and are a complete work ethic flake. Basically, this is one way the intelligence community holds their employees hostage for a long career. It isn't always about they want to stay there.

So, yeah, when someone in the intelligence community has had a stomach full of a bad administration's garbage they have to start their whole life over again and it's a bumpy road at best. The smartest ones have been developing personal networks of friends and contacts over the years preparing for such an occasion "just in case" they need a place to land and start a new career.

And people wonder why Bush and Cheney had to outsource torture to the ex-military staffed Blackwater group as it turned the stomachs of many a CIA employee.

For all those decent people in our intelligence community who fought the Bush years garbage yet were never allowed to speak publicly this post is for you...

The good news is that every time Obama needs to advance his agenda, like the current one on health care which the Republicans have so foolishly obstructed, he can whip out a new investigation into the Bush years. It's all about political timing, the bully pulpit and the scales of justice.

Take a look at this video as Keith Olbermann enumerates the details of the torture years.

24 August 2009

This Weeks Roundup of Sunday Funnies - Afghanistans Run Off Election

... And this is pretty much how WOMEN feel about the TALIBAN interfering in their lives!!

From Denny: Guess you can tell I'm no fan of the idiot group known as the Taliban.

Anyway, I'm not losing any sleep over the criticism about the Taliban from the late night show comics of late. Have at it, boys! :) It's an ultra light roasting today as it is... Where are those scorcher comedians when you need one...? :)

Real Time with Bill Maher

Bill Maher:
So they're going to have a run off election in Afghanistan. that's when the Taliban shows up and everyone runs off.

Late Show

Dave Letterman:
Do you know what's deserted in Washington, D.C? Anybody here from Washington? Look at the shot of the Lincoln Memorial. Get in tight on that. Look at this (shows Lincoln Memorial, pushes into empty chair) everybody's gone, even Abe.

Real Time with Bill Maher

Bill Maher:
That is what American democracy has come down to at town halls: old people and gun nuts, which is a terrible combination. Somebody yelled AK-47, and an old lady yelled bingo.

The Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien:
Critics of the federal stimulus plan say that millions of dollars are being wasted on fixing up bathrooms at our national parks. Yeah, fixing up the bathrooms. Yeah, they may be right, 'cause, this week, they turned Old Faithful into a bidet.

Late Show

Dave Letterman:
90% of all paper money in this country has traces of cocaine. Talk about your stimulus money.

The Daily Show

Barney Frank at town hall:
Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table.

Jon Stewart: It's time for health care town hall, snap! You better hope Blue Cross doesn't consider ugly a pre-existing condition. Oh, damn! Your momma's so dumb she thinks the public option is a port-a-potty.

The Tonight Show, Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher, David Letterman, The Daily Show, Conan O'Brien, Late Show Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart, health care, Barney Frank, Taliban, federal stimulus, town hall meetings

23 August 2009

Video: Obama Fever Hits Martha Vineyard for Presidential Vacation

From Denny: The President is renting his summer vacation home from a prominent Republican, such is the irony of today's news. Take note that Obama is footing the bill for his lavish vacation out of his own pocket unlike Bush and Cheney, both multi-millionaires, who both sent their tabs to the American tax payers.

What's more fun about this Obama vacation is how the area of Martha's Vineyard, playground to the wealthy, is Obama crazy. They have Bobama T-shirts and doggy bones and more. Take a look at the laid-back atmosphere and their version of campaign style crazy of a welcomed celebrity among the celebrity elite.

22 August 2009

Video: Lockerbie Bomber Released by Scotland Unexpectedly, Terrorist Bomber Welcomed as Hero in Libya

From Denny: Talk about cause worldwide outrage at this foolish and insensitive act! Can anything be more wrong than the release of a mass murder on the supposed excuse of "compassion"? Are these people crazy in Scotland? They had plenty more, like over 60 other murderers over the years, they could have released upon the same excuse and yet chose not to, repeatedly. So, why release a convicted mass murderer of over 200 people in the greatest air disaster from a terrorist bombing?

From Gibbs, Obama's Press Secretary, "These news images were outrageous and disgusting."

Scotland claims compassionate release for a man dying of prostate cancer. People, it is rare to die so quickly of prostate cancer as most victims live for decades with it since it's a slow-growing cancer.

To add insult to injury Libya holds a huge celebration for this criminal, national leaders embrace him and there is international news coverage to display his welcome. Libya needs to go back onto the terrorist list along with being out in the political cold and treated harshly with all the available economic sanctions brought to bear. This act of a hero's welcome was repugnant to all decent people who respect the rule of law against murder. Those are some seriously perverted minds in Libya too stupid to realize they just killed all international goodwill for generations to come.

Speculation? Since none of this releasing of a mass murderer makes any logical sense - and sounds like an excuse - maybe we ought to check the bank accounts of all involved and follow the money. If there isn't money, then perhaps there is personal blackmail involved.

Sorry, folks, that Scottish judge explaining his reasoning on the news just didn't look convincing - but rather he looked quite fearful. Unless, of course, he was actually naive enough to not realize the blowback he would get from the families of all the victims and the American government. Can he be that stupid? Sure looks like it's a personal reason for letting out this tried, convicted and judged criminal who is a mass murderer. Something smells really wrong politically in Scotland. What's really going on? Can it be the British govenment made a deal and traded this mass murderer for access to Libya's oil? If true, they will never say so publicly.

Lockerbie, Scotland, terrorist bombing, murder, Libya, NBC, news

Just Some Poetry.

Just Some Poetry.

by akeejaho @ HubPages

From Denny: From Denny: I found this as a wonderful poem expressing a husband's love for his wife. The husband suffers from bipolar depression so he deeply understands how profoundly his wife's love affects him positively and appreciates her. (What every woman wants to hear!)

This is a delightful take on how to write love poetry from a completely different angle without the usual greeting card mushiness. Here's the comment I left for the author: "I'm always up for an unconventional take on love poetry and this little gem of a poem takes the prize. Awesome how you contrast inner and outer light, talking on two levels simultaneously, delivered with utter directness and simplicity, well done!"

Photo by AmahRa58 @ flickr

men and women, relationships, poetry, husband and wife, writing exercise, bipolar depression, love poetry

21 August 2009

Libations Friday! 21 August 2009

From Denny: Since this is such a photo rich poem today I'll sideline the coffee talk. This online editor can only load so much at a time! (and your browser)

Drink in the richness of the wonderful photos from the photographers over at flickr in creative commons. You are free to use their photos if you also give attribution and a link back to their flickr page.

I've been thinking about what poem to write all week, and, as usual, started on another idea which just didn't gel well or in time. That's what's good about setting deadlines for yourself as you get that rush of adrenaline going to get out the words. :) Anyway, was researching some wonderful photos and kept finding awesome trees and one thing led to another as I knew my eternal mind was tapping my everyday mind on the shoulder and saying, "Hey! What about this?"

Photos often do give me inspiration for writing as so many ideas start flowing. Take a trip on over to flickr yourself to get inspired. You can always view my 5,000+ favorites I've found while researching for articles as I keep them bookmarked "just in case."


People Trees

Some of us ruggedly root ourselves mountain high to savor the views

Some of us enjoy beauty’s lingering mirrored perfection

Some of us feel forlorn in life’s landscape, until we see we are a duet

Some of us like to stand tall with a crowd, all in a perfect row

Some of us like to party with different people, the more the merrier

Some of us like to stand out in a crowd, fiercely plumped proud

Some of us see our own rippling beauty, reflected in the mirrors of others

Some of us rush to greet the exploding morning at first blush

Some of us sway and bend with life’s swirling storms yet remain

Some of us rush zig zagging through life and still look wildly beautiful

Some of us safely hold dear a child’s swing and his playful heart

Some of us are strong, sheltering lightly in the shadows

Some of us rise up from the water and tenaciously breathe through our knees*

Some of us suffer, enduring kindly a bit of indignity from time to time

Some of us absorb the strongest truth, filtering softly inner light

Some of us like to stroll unknown passageways and secret gardens

Some of us play hard to get, secretly happy to see company coming

Some of us like to wear jewelry, all decked out at least once a year

And some of us

dream big

just by looking up – lost in thought for hours.

Denny Lyon
Copyright 20 August 2009
All Rights Reserved

* Copyright is for the text of the poem only, copyright for the photos belong to the photographers.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for visiting!

*Cyprus trees have what are called "knees" - those bumps you see sticking out of the water near the roots which are underwater in the swamps. These knees are how the cyprus tree breathes the air!


Photo Credits

Mountain Mist treeline photo by Lida Rose @ flickr

Rugged lone tree high on a mountain photo By Chris Gin @ flickr

Cherry blossomed tree reflecting photo By rachel_thecat @ flickr

Cherry trees blanketed by snow photo By lrargerich @ flickr

Cherry blossomed trees all in a row photo By VJ flicks @ flickr

Bluebells partying in a stand of trees photo By left-hand @ flickr

Red tree photo By code poet @ flickr

Trees reflected in the river photo by Denis Collette @ flickr

Sunrise in Corfu, Greece photo by Katarina 2353 @ flickr

Bent tree Bonsai Moon photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr

Rolling hills and tree photo by Katarina 2353 @ flickr

Trees give support to the child’s swing photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

Sheltering tree photo in the shadows by Zest-pk @ flickr

Cypress tree at sunrise in the water photo by Bill Swindamon @ flickr

Suffer a bit of indignity tree photo by Scarleth White @ flickr

Filtering Illuminating light tree photo by *clairity* @ flickr

Strolling with the trees photo by Bjǿrn Giesenbauer @ flickr

Tree of Peace photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr

Christmas tree photo by laffty4k @ flickr

Redwood trees in California photo by aigeanta @ flickr

Strong tree’s canopy photo By -= Bruce Berrien =- @ flickr

Black and white tree canopy photo by anonymous

20 August 2009

Video: World of the Ridiculous - License Your Stuffed Dog, Lady or Else a Fine!

From Denny: There's nothing like the truth to make you smile. Our local governments at work to protect us from unlicensed stuffed dogs living with little old ladies.

News, stuffed animals, funny video

19 August 2009

Cheeky Quote Day! 19 August 2009

From Denny: This was a fun category I discovered recently - genius quotes. Since I grew up in the intelligence community where they chased after geniuses, even tried to breed them, this has long been an area of interest for me. I even used to throw all my IQ tests just so my father's "blessed" colleagues would never know my level of ability.

They had already nailed my mother and older brother and the last thing I wanted to be labeled was as a genius. In my experience all it meant was you had to memorize useless trivia to prove how smart you were and act like a performing seal at a marina for your handlers. That translated as a lack of freedom to live your life as you chose.

Humor has always been my choice of how to best react to life, especially when other people who don't quite "get it" try to harass, bully or stress you. More than anything I found it amusing how people who are not defined as geniuses have decided they know how to define genius. Now does that practice make any sense to you? It sure didn't to me when I was growing up in the weird atmosphere.

It would have been pure heaven to have some of these cheeky quotes to whip out and use from time to time when my father's crowd got pushy about trying to control someone else's intelligence, like you were a willing robot to be used as they willed. Too bizarre. Some of these quotes are by people labeled as geniuses and they have a wonderful sense of the ironic and good humor!


Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others. - Mark Twain

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I think the world is run by C students. - Al McGuire

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. - E.B. White

In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance," Essays, 1841

Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. - George Bernard Shaw

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. - Stanley Garn

The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius. - Rebecca Pepper Sinkler

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. - Albert Einstein

Character is higher than intellect. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. - Albert Einstein

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. - Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad"

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. - George Scialabra

A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence. - Barbara Walters

The invention of IQ does a great disservice to creativity in education. - Joel Hildebrand

If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't. - Emerson M. Pugh

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde. - Dolly Parton, singer and actress

Clown Photo by I'm Fantastic! @ flickr

Video: Hip Shaking Grannys Got Dance Game!

From Denny: Grandma's got game! Watch this video all the way to the end for the winner who could challenge Beyonce on the dance floor.

grandma, Dancing competition, Dancing, funny video, humor, society and culture, aging

18 August 2009

Video: Honoring Eunice Kennedy Shriver Who Honored Special Needs Kids in America

From Denny: Saying goodbye to Eunice Kennedy Shriver who brought the vulnerable in our society out into the open and gave them long awaited respect and care. Since I have a mentally challenged sister-in-law who became so because of a woefully mishandled hospital birth this lady meant the world to my husband's parents. They were thrilled with the Kennedys and Shrivers when they championed this cause.

Since my sister-in-law's speech center was injured at birth it can take her as long as two weeks to get out a sentence regarding her wishes. Usually, I just take the shortcut and read her on the spiritual level to divine her intent, ask a few short questions to narrow down her intent and then she sighs with relief and nods her head. Virginia is a lot like having a happy 5 year old around with OCD Monk behaviors along with autism. She's great fun, though her facial expressions rarely show it. We get her to laugh often.

I could go on and on about Virginia as I enjoy her immensely as many people do who have "special kids" in their families. The medical challenges can be daunting as it has for Virginia who suffers from severe epilepsy. She's required outrageously expensive medication since she was two years old, the doctors fearing as she's grown older that the next epileptic seizure will kill her.

Well, we just can't live in fear. She's lived longer than the doctors told the parents when she was born. They advised they lock her away in an asylum and forget about her. The parents were horrified and refused. That was too callous an attitude for my very cool mother-in-law, Bonnie, whose Irish was up and marched forward to do something about it. Can I tell you that my mother-in-law was the first special education teacher in Louisiana and helped organize education in the state for others like her daughter?

The terms like retarded, mentally disabled, mentally challenged, special have evolved over the decades yet Virginia remains forever the same. When she was younger she had a baseball arm like a cannon. The family and Virginia loved the Special Olympics that Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded. Virginia always won first place in any throwing competition. The woman was fierce! :)

A lot of families across America and the world over have gratitude towards Ms. Eunice for bringing so much understanding into the community and relief to families who no longer had to hide their special family members in shame. Take a look at her remarkable life.

Biography, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, mentally challenged, NBC, remembrance, society and culture, kids and teens, Special Olympics, special needs

17 August 2009

This Weeks Roundup of Sunday Funnies - Watch Out Obamas Drinking Beer

This little kitten looks so much like my cat Lay-own-ARRRRD-doe! (Leonardo - he thinks he's Italian and loves to watch TV too...)

From Denny: Finally! The newer late night show quips are up at the This Week site.

The Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien:
President Obama, of course, everyone knows, has invited Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and the police officer who arrested him to the White House for a beer. ... This could be trouble, because the last time Obama got a few beers in him, he bought General Motors.

The Tonight Show

You know, the meeting got off to a rough start when a neighbor called the police to say Gates was breaking into the White House.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Jimmy Kimmel:
I don't want to say that the president can't hold is liquor, but well, look what happened at his press conference this morning.

Reporter: Would you think your administration needs to be taking a harder line with Wall Street?

[Shot of faux Obama slumped over his lectern with a beer in his hand.]

The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert:
A president should never get involved in a local, city-specific issue. President Bush never did, no matter how flooded a city got.

The Daily Show

President Obama:
Nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits. ... Tell your mom nobody is messing with with her doctor.

Jon Stewart: You know a sales pitch is in trouble when it starts with, "Look, you've got to trust me. We're not going to kill your grandparents."

Videos: Dems Nail the Death Panel Guys on Meet The Press

From Denny: Highlights of Meet The Press and health care "debate." The Republicans have really squandered their political capital on their temper tantrums stategy of late to the point the public has had enough and is demanding the President push on past them to get us health care reform now not later. If the Republicans had their way it would be never.

It is easy to understand why people like Dick Armey are rejecting health care reform as he is a lobbyist making millions opposing it. What is amazing is that the average Americans supporting the Republicans are working against themselves for their own futures.

Talk show hosts like Rush and Glenn are multi-multi-multi millionaires and don't need government health care. You can bet they will take advantage of using Medicare and Medicaid when they need it though.

Seems the fastest way to move the health care debate is for the President to sign a Presidential directive taking away the government health care plan all of Congress or just the naysayer Republicans enjoy. Let's see how long they continue to support the big business insurance and drug companies. The day they have to pay as much as regular people do will be an eye-opener.

Here's the real deal: An under estimate years old - before the recent economic chaos of the past two years - the uninsured were guesstimated at 40 million. Well, I've got news for you as there are a lot more than that. Consider an additional 40 million more are insured in health care plans that are not worth the paper they are written upon. They are like the idiot homeowners' insurance on the Gulf Coast where the deductibles are so ridiculously high you will have to declare bankruptcy to pay them. So, the new reality is that almost one third of Americans are not insured. That's almost 80 million to 100 million people, folks. And the Republicans dare to continue their insanity on this? There will be rioting in the streets if this does not get resolved and soon...

This particular segment is chilling in the violent segment of the Republican Party that is sending death threats to Congress and the President. Hear how Gregory ties these protestors to the infamous domestic terrorist Timothy McVay who was executed for his horrific killings of 168 people.

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