June 9th, 2002


I Am Living -- Anna Lee Walters, Pawnee/Otoe


I Am Living

My name is "I am living."
My home is all directions and is everlasting.
Instructed and carried to you by the wind,
I have felt the feathers in pale blue clouds and bowed before the Sun
Who watches me from a blanket of faded blue.
In a gentle whirlwind I was shaken,
Made to see on earth in many ways,
And when in awe my mouth fell open,
I tasted a fine red clay.
Its flavor has remained after uncounted days.
This gave me cause to drink from a crystal stream
That only I have seen.
So I listened to all it's flowing wisdom
And learned from it a Song---
This song the wind and I
Have since sung together.
Unknowing, I was encircled by its water and cleansed.
Naked and damp, I was embraced and dried
By the warmth of your presence.
Dressed forever in the scent of dry cedar.
I am purified and free.
And I will not allow you to ignore me.
I have brought to you a gift.
It is all I have but it is yours.
You may reach out and enfold it.
It is only the strength in the caress of a gentle breeze,
But it will carry you to meet the eagle in the sky.
My name is "I am living," I am here.
My name is "I am living," I am here.

    -- Anna Lee Walters, Pawnee/Otoe


On Imagination -- Charles Sanders Peirce


It is not too much to say that next after the passion to learn there is no quality so indispensable to the successful prosecution of science as imagination. Find me a people whose early medicine is not mixed up with magic and incantations, and I will find you a people devoid of all scientific ability.
    -- Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. From notes for a projected history of science c. 1896. Collected Papers, vol. 1, para. 47, Harvard University Press (1934).


On Insults


You know any blockheads? Brickheads? Plain stupid idjits? Or are you one yourself?

A mental midget with the IQ of a fence post.
- Tom Waits

A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.
- Alexander Pope

Differently clued.
- Dave Clark

Doesn't know much, but leads the league in nostril hair.
- Josh Billing

End of season sale at the cerebral department.
- Gareth Blackstock

Has the mathematical abilities of a Clydesdale.
- David Letterman

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
- Abraham Lincoln

He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.
- Robert Redford

He has Van Gogh's ear for music.
- Billy Wilder

He is brilliant - to the top of his boots.
- David Lloyd George

He is so stupid you can't trust him with an idea.
- John Steinbeck

He is useless on top of the ground; he aught to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.
- Mark Twain

He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.
- Joseph Heller

He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
- George Bernard Shaw

He knows so little and knows it so fluently.
- Ellen Glasgow

He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
- Groucho Marx

He never chooses an opinion; he just wears whatever happens to be in style.
- Leo Tolstoy

He thinks by infection, catching an opinion like a cold.
- John Ruskin

He used statistics the way a drunkard uses lampposts - for support, not illumination.
- Andrew Lang

He was born stupid, and greatly increased his birthright.
- Samuel Butler

He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea and that was wrong.
- Benjamin Disraeli

His golf bag does not contain a full set of irons.
- Robin Williams

His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there's scarcely a hole in it anywhere.
- Mark Twain

His ignorance is encyclopedic.
- Abba Eban

His mind is so open - so open that ideas simply pass through it.
- F. H. Bradley

His mind is so open that the wind whistles through it.
- Heywood Braun

I want to reach your mind - where is it currently located?
- Ashleigh Brilliant

I would not want to put him in charge of snake control in Ireland.
- Eugene McCarthy

Next-day delivery in a nanosecond world.
- Van Jacobson

No more sense of direction than a bunch of firecrackers.
- Rob Wagner

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
- W. Somerset Maugham

She's descended from a long line her mother listened to.
- Gypsy Rose Lee

Stay with me; I want to be alone.
- Joey Adams

Teflon brain (nothing sticks.)
- Lily Tomlin

That young girl is one of the least benightedly unintelligent organic life forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting.
- Douglas Adams

They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.
- Thomas Brackett Reed

Useless as a pulled tooth.
- Mary Roberts Rinehart

What's on your mind? If you'll forgive the overstatement.
- Fred Allen

When you go to the mind reader, do you get half price?
- David Letterman

You look into his eyes, and you get the feeling someone else is driving.
- David Letterman

You've got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.
    -- Groucho Marx

You're not an asshole... you're the entire ass.

Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

On Intelligence Testing -- Jonah Goldberg


The simple fact is, whether we admit it or not, there's never been an "intelligence" or "achievement" test on which the smart and industrious have not done better than the dumb and the lackadaisical.
    -- Jonah Goldberg, "Stupid Aptitude Test", National Review, July 1, 2002

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