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Quote Challenge

Remember that question from last week’s Quip? Well, the answer is below.

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a  medieval study hall.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the famed Green Bay Packers football coach admitted to a slight bias in the offering of this quote.  Vince Lombardi

* * *

“Common sense is the set of prejudices acquired by  age eighteen.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the inventor of the world’s best known formula: E=mc2, by age 15, had read Immanuel Kant and written On the investigation of the state of ether in a magnetic field.    Albert Einstein

* * *

“I learned law so well that the day I graduated, I sued the college and got my tuition back.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the radio comedian who got most of his real education at the Boston Public Library, maintained a mock feud with fellow funster Jack Benny.

* * *

“If future generations are to remember us with more gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just miracles of technology.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the the 36th President and legendary lawmaker pushed through the Civil Rights act.  Mr. Lyndon Johnson.

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“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the American President who saw us through the Civil War believed that war, like conversation, should be completed “with malice towards none.”    Abraham Lincoln

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“Why doesn’t the fellow who says, ‘I’m no speechmaker,’ let it go at that, instead of giving us a demonstration?”

Author: Those words were spoken by the Indianapolis News cartoonist and journalist created the “Abe Martin” drawings that appeared in over 200 U.S. papers weekly.    Kin Hubbard

* * *

 “Self-made men tend to be a little too proud of the job.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the 19th century humorist, noted for his truly original spelling, came by his trade honestly – being the son and nephew of Congressmen.    Josh Billings

* * *

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

Author:  Those words were spoken bythe American President who saw us through the Civil War believed that war, like conversation, should be completed “with malice towards none.” Abraham Lincoln

* * *

“Why doesn’t the fellow who says, ‘I’m no speechmaker,’ let it go at that, instead of giving us a demonstration?”

Author:  Those words were spoken by Kin Hubbard

* * *

 “Self-made men tend to be a little too proud of the job.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by Josh Billings

* * *

“Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by none other than Razor-tongued journalist of America’s politics and well-foibled culture – Mr P.J. O’Rourke.

  * * *

“Washington D.C. is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by  John F. Kennedy

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There is a vast difference between the savage and the civilized man.  But it is never apparent to their wives until after breakfast.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by Helen Rowland,  This New York Times Journalist wrote a column “Reflections of a Bachelor Girl” and the wittily truth-laden book “A Guide to Men.”

  * * *

“Nothing gives us courage more readily than the desire to avoid looking like a damn fool.

Author:  Those words were spoken by this Pennsylvania-born, wildly best-selling novelist of suspense thrillers penned “Demon Seed” and “The Key to Midnight.”. Dean Kootz.

* * *

“Maturity comes when you have the first real good laugh at yourself.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by “The First Lady of the American Theatre”, Ethel Barrymore

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“Women have always been the guardians of wisdom and humanity which makes them natural, but usually secret rulers.  The time has come for them to rule openly, but together with and not against men.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by the Polish-born psychotherapist wrote the groundbreaking 1977 book “Bisexuality.”  Dr. Charlotte Wolff

* * *

“The bitterness of poor service remains long after the elation of low prices is forgotten.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by Ben Franklin

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“Credit cards are like snakes – handle ‘em long enough and one  of them will bite you.”

Author: Those words were spoken by Elizabeth Warren

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“The chief value of money is that one lives in a world in which  it is overestimated.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by H.L. Mencken

* * *

“The only difference between death and taxes is that death  doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”

Author:  Those words were spoken by Will Rogers.

The Harmonies of our World – From Costa Rica’s Bellbird To Joshua Bell

‘Twas a dizzyingly moveable feast of music.   Within barely more than one brief rotation of our terrestrial orb I have had my soul opened to the finest music that we humans and the Divine have to offer.

The morning sun’s lifting over the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica once again orchestrates a fugal flood of God’s most elegant song birds.  Our guide Abraham slings his scope and tripod over shoulder, leading Lorraine and me down slender trails through the leafy jungle.  Somewhere, amidst this dense ramage, bellbirds cello, pink-legged woodrails trill, tanagers staccato, and the clay-colored thrush lets loose the sweet stab of a call that has won him the honor of Costa Rica’s National bird.  Thousands join the chorus – even sun-dappled pairs of macaws lend their raucous cries to this symphonic surge of life.

Compared to Abraham, Lorraine and I cannot find a lion in our living room, but with his tutelage and our binoculars we try to poke our eyes where bodies could not possibly penetrate – to spy the sources of this symphony in the bush.  With each bird sighted comes an almost disenchanting ease at their songs.  Such magnificent rhapsodies so effortlessly, so spontaneously brought forth – and yet enchanting beyond telling.

Then, suddenly – thanks to the near-magical mechanics of today’s travel, and scores unseen assisting hands –  here Lorraine and I sit: a mere tanager’s swoop from virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields Orchestra performing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1.  (After landing at Newark airport, a friend raced us home with enough time to pick up our tickets and arrive back at Newark’s NJ Performing Arts Center for the 8 p.m. curtain.) Poised concentration etched Bell’s face and passion poured through his agile fingers and on into the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius which delivered his mastery.  That same awe of the Avian’s morning’s symphony returned.  Again, we paused, still, amazed that such beauty was ours for the hearing…reveling in the sounds and letting our souls crescendo and descend with the moment of the music.

But with this second concerto an additional emotion kept creeping in: admiration.  Joshua Bell had labored admirably, astoundingly, to achieve this pinnacle of performance.  The untold thousands of hours of practice, the hundreds of thousands of hours of his fellow musicians in the orchestra, had prepared them for this soul-enriching experience we were sharing.  And even during the performance, each measure of music hung precariously on that instant’s expertise.

The entire house rose to its feet and applauded the artists – none more enthusiastically than Lorraine and I.  To compare the morning’s vs. the evening’s symphony would be ludicrous.  Both transformed and uplifted me.  Both were divinely inspired.  Yet walking out of NJPAC into the evening air, the truth of this beauty became clear: whatever the source we are better for seeking it; we should accept it with gratitude; and while beauty’s creation comes with easy spontaneity for some and only with sweat for others, it always God’s best within us.

             – Bart Jackson

The Power of the Youthful Pen – Princeton Writing Academy Grand Writing Contest

The Power of the Youthful Pen – Princeton Writing Academy Grand Writing Contest

Yes, this Younger Generation will amaze you.  On Thursday, Bart had the privilege to announce the winners of the Princeton Writing Academy’s Grand Writing Contest, sponsored by Prometheus Publishing.   Academy Director Janine Edwards and her instructors have taught their students remarkably well. Before an audience at the Princeton Community Television Station, 5 and 6th grader semi-finalists read their own notably insightful, finely crafted tales.  These authors addressed homelessness, struggling under the competitive spotlight, fickle popularity, and an imaginative depiction of a young Chinese girl’s experience of encountering Chairman Mao Zedong.  Meanwhile, the 7-8th grade authors read impressively thoughtful offerings as an allegory of destructive greed, inventively mystical self-discovery, and a probing story about facing the final moments of our world.

Janine had given me the honor of acting as judge for the finalists.  As I read through their stories, I couldn’t help but be struck by the honesty and perceptive scrutiny of these young authors.  Then I looked at what I was writing when I was their age, and all I can say is that we have no cause to despair of today’s youth.  A new generation of idealists is blooming.




Bid Our Sad Divisions Cease: A 2020 Recipe- Happy New Year

So this knee-jerk, flaming liberal walks into a biker bar and turns to the guy wearing the “Trump for 2020” leather jacket and says…..

December 28; on Del/MD’s the eastern shore flatlands.  It looked like a homey tavern, with just enough mild dilapidation on its clapboard front to seem inviting.  So my wife Lorraine and I parked our hybrid beside a long row of shining Harleys and entered in search of some good, home made chow.  The busy waitress at the bar frantically served under fluttering dome of dollar bills – each individually clipped to some carefully strung web overhead.  The fabulous home cooked food was richly appreciated by us and by the leather-clad bikers heartily hunkered down on all the bar stools and around most of the small tables.

At meal’s end and Lorraine headed for the restroom, I began chatting with a few of the bikers.  Most of the men, like the majority of club riders I’ve recently encountered sported white or graying hair and jackets with an array of intriguing emblems.  Turning to the “Trump for 2020” biker, I thought of Dr. Dale Caldwell, a guest on our The Art of the CEO radio show and author of Intelligent Influence.  Dale insists that we all formulate our aims and opinions based on that array of influences which surround us from birth, and until you gain some understandings of a person’s influences, you will never be able to work with him.

“So where’d ya ride from today,” I asked the biker as he sipped his beer.  Eric told me of his home down on eastern shore Virginia.  We chatted briefly.  He fixed engines for bikes and cars.  I told him fix words for books.   We shared a few nods of commiseration on the hassle of working for someone else – and the almost-as-bad hassle of working for yourself.  Before leaving, I asked if he thought President Trump was giving him a good deal.  Warily, he answered in the affirmative – giving a couple of reasons.  Then he asked what I thought.  In a sentence I replied.  I bid him a good new year and hoped that he didn’t run into anything large on his bike.  “Back atcha,” he smiled.  Neither of us did, or could have, converted the other, but a few seeds of understanding from that other side got planted.  Gotta start somewhere.

Oh, and the dollar bills?  Back in the day when most of these bikers sported their original hair color, the R&R Grill & Bar had developed a justified reputation as a rowdy biker & hard-bitten local bar. Finally, the new owner, I was told, decided to keep folks in line by announcing, “The first time I hear you use the ‘F-word’ or the ‘N-word’ you are going to have to hand over a dollar and I’ll pin it above.  The second time I hear you employing those words, you will be invited to leave.”  The idea stuck; tolerance came to R&R; and now folks have gotten into the habit of signing and posting dollar bills in support of keeping this watering hole on friendly terms.

As wished for in the haunting verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel:

O come desire of nations bind

In one the hearts of humankind

Bid thou our sad divisions cease

And let us join the Prince of Peace.

May we sample a bite of hopeful idealism this coming year,

– Bart Jackson

 

Cyber Threats & Defenses

“China is a company masquerading as a country,” stated Alfred Berkeley former NASDAQ CEO and Board Chair of Security First.  Recently, I attended the Nassau Club meeting in Princeton, NJ where Al and three FBI security specialists outlined potential cyber-threats and cyber warfare tactics, including China’s clear plans to dominate several global industries, by any means available.  Chatting with Al and the FBI agents afterward I picked up two fascinating news bits: Good news –  we now have chips large enough to automatically encrypt data (e.g. stock transactions) as they occur, thus protecting data immediately.  Unsettling news: China subsidizes its manufacturers with a 17 percent rebate on each deal. Thus Chinese makers can bid and produce at a 10 percent loss and still turn a profit.