December 23

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

~ Joseph Brackett ~
Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way . . . out of that a new holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us! ~ Jerry Stiller as "Frank Costanza" in Seinfeld (Festivus holiday)
The final frontier is perhaps the most difficult, but it's also the most important — and that's the frontier of the human spirit. For too long, people have allowed differences on the surface — differences of color, ethnicity, and gender — to tear apart the common bonds they share. And the human spirit suffers as a result.
Imagine a world in which we saw beyond the lines that divide us, and celebrated our differences, instead of hiding from them. Imagine a world in which we finally recognized that, fundamentally, we are all the same. And imagine if we allowed that new understanding to build relations between people and between nations. ~ Wesley Clark
I think we should be very clear on this... this country was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment... It was the idea that people could talk, reason, have dialogue, discuss the issues. It wasn't founded on the idea that someone would get struck by a divine inspiration and know everything right from wrong. I mean, people who founded this country had religion, they had strong beliefs, but they believed in reason, in dialogue, in civil discourse. We can’t lose that in this country. We've got to get it back. ~ Wesley Clark (born 23 December 1944)
Working together, we can build a world in which the rule of law — not the rule of force — governs relations between states. A world in which leaders respect the rights of their people, and nations seek peace, not destruction or domination. And neither we nor anyone else should live in fear ever again. ~ Wesley Clark
"Heaven helps those who help themselves" is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigour and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless. ~ Samuel Smiles
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery. ~ Samuel Smiles
Mere political reform will not cure the manifold evils which now afflict society. There requires a social reform, a domestic reform, an individual reform. ~ Samuel Smiles
Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side.
~ Samuel Smiles ~
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.
~ Norman Maclean ~
All I'm saying is, if you celebrate Festivus, you may live a little longer.
You are getting back to the essentials, to the days of gods on mountaintops and howling wolves. Because you are saying the holidays are in the heart, a celebration of being alive with our fellow humans. For that purpose, an aluminum pole will do just as well as anything else — as long as it's not stuck in the wrong place.
~ Jerry Stiller ~
Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!
~ Seinfeld : The Strike ~
Unless we are willing to escape into sentimentality or fantasy, often the best we can do with catastrophes, even our own, is to find out exactly what happened and restore some of the missing parts.
~ Norman Maclean ~
For some people the revelation comes too late that life is best kept to the essentials. Some people are given their last rites and that person might say in their last breath, "I should have celebrated Festivus."
~ Jerry Stiller ~
In the ancient days when gods played their own games, and had their own celebrations, tossing lightning bolts between mountaintops, hurling great boulders — Festivus came out of that. It's a holiday that celebrates being alive at a time when it was hard to be alive.
There was no Christ yet, no Yahweh, no Buddha. There were great ruins and raw nature. But there was a kindling spark of hope among men. They celebrated that great thunderous storms hadn't enveloped them in the past year, that landslides hadn't destroyed them. They made wishes that there crops would grow in the fields, that they'd have food the next year and the wild animals wouldn't attack and eat them.
There's something pure about Festivus, something primal, raw in the hearts of humans.
~ Jerry Stiller ~
Laws, wisely administered, will secure men in the enjoyment of the fruits of their labour, whether of mind or body, at a comparatively small personal sacrifice; but no laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober. Such reforms can only be effected by means of individual action, economy, and self-denial; by better habits, rather than by greater rights.
The Government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflex of the individuals composing it. The Government that is ahead of the people will inevitably be dragged down to their level, as the Government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up. In the order of nature, the collective character of a nation will as surely find its befitting results in its law and government, as water finds its own level. The noble people will be nobly ruled, and the ignorant and corrupt ignobly. Indeed all experience serves to prove that the worth and strength of a State depend far less upon the form of its institutions than upon the character of its men. For the nation is only an aggregate of individual conditions, and civilization itself is but a question of the personal improvement of the men, women, and children of whom society is composed.
~ Samuel Smiles ~
When you're talking about cybersecurity, you're talking about being able to protect your points. It's not directed against a country, but to secure your points of access or specific end points or network access. It's not as though you're arming yourself against a specific threat — you're simply undertaking all aspects of protection.
~ Wesley Clark ~
I think we're at a time in American history that's probably analogous to, maybe, Rome before the first emperors, when the Republic started to fall … I think if you look at the pattern of events, if you look at the disputed election of 2000, can you imagine? In America, people are trying to recount ballots and a partisan mob is pounding on the glass and threatening the counters? Can you imagine that? Can you imagine a political party which does its best to keep any representatives from another party — who've even been affiliated with another party — from getting a business job in the nation's capital? Can you imagine a political party that wants to redistrict so that its opponents can be driven out entirely? … it's a different time in America and the Republic is — this election is about a lot more than jobs. I'm not sure everybody in America sees it right now. But I see it, I feel it.
~ Wesley Clark ~
The Christmas story is at the heart of the … Christian faith.  But the message of hope, love, peace, and joy — they’re also universal.
It speaks to all of us, whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other faith, or no faith at all.  It speaks to all of us as human beings who are here on this Earth to care for one another, to look out for one another, to love one another.
~ Joe Biden ~
Sanaka and the others were my sons through my mental powers and were born before you. Without any desires, they travel through the sky and go to all the worlds and the residents there. They once went to Vaikuntha, where the illustrious one with the unblemished atman resides. All the worlds revere Vaikuntha. All the people who reside in Vaikuntha have a form like Vaikuntha. They are not driven by any material aspirations, but worship Hari because of dharma. The original and illustrious Purusha is there and he can be approached through the use of words. He accepts the pure form of sattva and the foremost confers happiness on us, his devotees.
~ Bhagavata Purana ~
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Festivus is celebrated on this date. Many Humanism quotes would also be appropriate for HumanLight

It's a Festivus miracle! ~ Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, celebrating this "holiday" on this date.

  • 2 ~ UDScott 21:51, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  • 1 - --Mister Six 11:10, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 20:15, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change. ~ Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

  • 3 Zarbon 05:52, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 18:26, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Nothing could be a more serious violation of public trust than to consciously make a war based on false claims. ~ Wesley Clark

  • 2 Zarbon 05:52, 8 December 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 2 Kalki 18:26, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

One of life's quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful even if it is only a floating ash. ~ Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

A mystery of the universe is how it has managed to survive with so much volunteer help. ~ Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire

Ultimately, your generation will have the decisive voice. You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. You will choose whether we, too, will kill in the name of God, or whether in His Name, we can find a higher civilization and a better means of settling our differences.
And this is not a new choice, not for your generation — it is a choice that many others have faced throughout history. Only now, we can hope that with your help and engagement we can find a new answer.
~ Wesley Clark ~

I think the military-industrial complex does wield a lot of influence — I'd like to see us create a different complex. And I'm going to be talking about foreign policy in a major speech tomorrow, but we need to create an agency that is not about waging war but about creating conditions for peace around the world. We need some people who will be advocates for peace, advocates for economic development abroad, not just advocates for better weapon systems. So we need to create countervailing power to the military-industrial complex.
~ Wesley Clark ~

I think we should have international, legal community studies of cybersecurity and necessary laws, and countries should be encouraged to adopt these laws through the United Nations just like they adopt laws to prevent the abuse of children and protect human rights.
There needs to be a multidimensional, multilayered and multi-azimuth defense. That is, defense has to look in all directions.
~ Wesley Clark ~