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  • FIXING THE RED SOX. A MID-SEASON COURSE CORRECTION

    SOXHere are the fifteen things, regarding the Boston Red Sox, that I would do immediately, charting them on a better, a new course

    1. Fire John Farrell as the club manager.

    2. Fire Ben Cherington (club GM) and Bill James.

    3. Go out and get multiple frontline starting pitchers.

    4. Fire some scouts and talent evaluators and replace them.

    5. Hire John Farrell as the club general manager.

    6. Retire the song “Sweet Caroline” and never play it at Fenway.

    7. Bring Jackie Bradley Jr. up from AAA. Make him your permanent CF.

    8. Move Alex De Aza to LF. Move Mookie Betts to RF

    9. Bolster the bullpen. Trade Breslow.

    10. Platoon Hanley Ramirez / David Ortiz, one being the DH, the other playing 1B. Both start but have Alan Craig in the wings.

    11. TRADE: Sandoval, Porcello, and Victorino. Release Mike Napoli.

    12. Send Eddy Rodriguez (P) back to AAA for more seasoning.

    13. Have Brock Holt play 3B on a daily basis and bat lead off.

    14. Hire a new manager, maybe Ozzie Guillen, who is a little feared, a little crazy, and who will bench anyone who isn’t hustling, playing fundamental defensive baseball, making good base running decisions, and can’t successfully drive runners in and/or move them along. Maybe Ozzie, maybe not.

    15. Hire me as a team consultant.


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  • CRITICS CORNER

    THOUGHTS ON FOX SPORTS’ TV COVERAGE OF THE US OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT

    There are three golf analysts who unfailingly speak the truth: Johnny Miller, Paul Azinger, and Brandel Chamblee. All have their critics, but no one can deny they say what they think and are quick to point out shortcomings of players, courses, even themselves. To a much lesser degree, Nick Faldo can sometimes be an honest analyst, not consistently as unafraid as Miller, Azinger, and Chamblee are.

    Without one of these three, any important golf event is much more vanilla. Knowing what the players are really saying about the course conditions, behind closed doors, is the difference between reality and something less than that.

    Fox was pretty terrible compared to the three major networks or ESPN. What Fox thought that Steve Flesch, Tom Weiskopf, or Brad Faxon would bring to the tournament was a huge overexpectation on their part. Greg Norman wasn’t going to make waves and seemed coached to some degree. Weiskopf can be ascerbic, but certainly wasn’t with Fox.

    David Duval was surprising in his reticence to speak without a voice in his ear telling him to say the sweet nothings that popped out of his mouth. I know Duval can do a lot better and perhaps he can become the truth teller that Fox needs in order to bring great golf commentary to important events.

    I’m no great fan of Joe Buck, nor am I a great detractor either, but suffice to say that from my perspective he was generally pretty good.

    Chambers Bay was a beautiful place and a pretty cool layout, but the greens were woeful for a US Open. Brandel Chamblee on the Golf Channel’s air, was forthright in his criticisms. Fox could not bring itself to criticize either the USGA or Mike Davis and both deserved a whole heap of grief for the conditions of the putting surfaces. Mild mannered Ernie Els said, post event, that the greens were mostly just dirt.


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  • On Jordan Spieth

    JORDAN SPIETH – THE GAME OF GOLF HAS A NEW SUPERSTAR
    “He is a walking extension of the traditions of this game.” – Brandel Chamblee, The Golf Channel
    Chalk another one up for the good guys. This humble kid, just 21, is in full possession of all the requisite skills to end up in the pantheon of Golf’s greatest players ever. He’ll need to keep up the good work, and I fully expect him to, for the next 15 years or so, to equal and surpass the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, Old Tom Morris, and Phil Mickelson; but the sky is the limit for Jordan Spieth.
    The Kid, as I will from now on call him, (a not so subtle reference to the baseball legend, Ted Williams, who was known throughout his Hall of Fame professional baseball career as “The Kid.”) turned pro in late 2012. This is his third season on the PGA Tour where he has played in 75 tournaments, made the cut in 62 of them, and has now won four of them, including the first two majors of 2015.
    For non golf fans, there are four majors every year, and they are: The Masters Tournament, The United States Open, The British Open which is also referred to as the Open Championship, and the PGA Tournament. That is all there are. Four events that every great player in the world wants to play in and win.
    In a time when Tiger Woods’ star seems to be descending, from almost out of nowhere comes this fresh faced, self effacing, young pro who has a star that is ascendance, to say the least. There is only Northern Ireland superstar, Rory McIlroy, as the other young golfer who plays and wins regularly at the Majors. McIlroy is now in possession of four Major titles, at the ripe age of 26. Rory turned pro in 2007 and has won 11 of the 95 PGA tournaments he has played in. Rory is a world golfer and has now played in 151 European Tour events, taking first prize eleven times. Overall, Rory has played in 26 major tournaments and has won four of them.
    In my lifetime, Arnold Palmer arrived on the golf scene, taking the reins from Ben Hogan. Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, and most especially Jack Nicklaus, universally given credit as the greatest golfer of all time, came to prominence in the second half of the 20th century. And those great major champions gave way to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That brings us to Rory McIlroy and to Jordan Spieth, who as a self professed “amateur golf historian” understands better than most what he has accomplished and the historic golf company he is keeping.
    In about three weeks, the great golfers of the world will tee it up at St. Andrews, the “Home of Golf,” at The Auld Course, for the 2015 British Open, which is the third of golf’s four majors. Then in August the PGA will be played, this year along the shores of Lake Michigan, at Whistling Straits, in Kohler, Wisconsin. Tiger will be there, Phil Mickelson too, and Rory and Jordan, and all of the best players, each trying to win golf’s next major, and carve their name in golfing history.
    Going back a ways, my favorite golfers were Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger. For the past ten years or so, I have exclusively been for Phil Mickelson, now 45 years of age, with his meter running on his chance to win another major or two, before Time erodes his skills.
    From this point going forward, I will be rooting equally for Philly Mick and Jordan Spieth, and I promise to telepathically will putts in the cup for both of them. They say nice guys don’t finish first, but whoever thought that one up, doesn’t know a thing about either Phil or The Kid. –
    Harry Lipson
    6-22-15


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  • LESTER HOLT

    LESTERCongratulations to Lester Holt for being named the permanent Anchor of the NBC Nightly News.

    photo by Harry Lipson


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  • THE JUDGE: a movie reviewed

    JUDGEYeah.  Hell yeah.  The best movie I’ve seen in a good long while.   THE JUDGE.  Brilliantly acted, drilled right down with a nearly perfect script.  I love good writing.  Robert Downey, Jr. was better than I have ever seen him.  Vera Farmiga was tender and wise and she nailed it.  And then there is Robert Duvall.   Son of a Bitch can flat fucking act.  He is as close to pure as an actor can be.

    I heard that Nicholson turned down the role and, while we all love Jack, I’m most appreciative that he said no, because the role was tailor-made for Robert Duvall.  And then there is Mr. Thornton.  Ol’ Billy Bob.  Everything he does is good and worth savoring.  Small town Indiana never looked so good.  Let me ask you, can a movie be as bittersweet as can be and also be about as sweet as a piece of homemade pie.  This movie is a paean about family and love and loss and grief and it’s a lot about anger and jealousy.

    Directed beautifully by David Dobkin, with cinematography by Janusz Kaminski who made great use of light, space, and a handful of drones that slowly rise just to make a point, which is what good film making is essentially about.   Well done, gentlemen.  And in a cookie cutter age when movies have to be two hours or less, Dobkin and his editors end up with 2 hours and 22 minutes.  Thanks for not leaving it on the cutting room floor just to satisfy industry timeframes.

    I hope this movie wins awards, for two reasons, first so it will attract a wider audience; and lastly, because it might bring more scripts, more well acted roles, more lovely visuals.  THE JUDGE is one of the best movies in the past ten years.  Just my opinion, what’s yours? –  Harry Lipson, 6-7-15.


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  • Tom Brady and Deflate-gate – My Take

    TOM BRADY and Deflate-gate MY TAKE

    nflHere is what I think. Tom Brady’s game footballs were, whenever possible, slightly deflated by a a pound or two. This, I believe, from all that I have heard and read, is common throughout much of the NFL.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Quarterbacks like their balls to have a particular grip and feel, and air pressure is one of the factors in getting a game football to a quarterback’s liking.
    – – – – – – –
    The NFL rule that says footballs must begin the game inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch; a rule that, as far as we know, has never been enforced by the NFL in the six years that it has been in the rule book.
    – – – – – – – –
    Is that cheating? Let me ask you, when you drive 40mph in a 35mph zone, are you speeding? That’s what we have here, rules violation wise. Most quarterbacks do it and nobody’s been pulled over and given a ticket. Until Brady.
    – – – – – – – –
    What I am upset about is Tom Brady’s reputation. When mid October rolls around and the suspension has been served, the draft picks docked, and the million dollar fine paid by New England, what is left is Tom Brady being forever labeled a cheater and a liar. They can’t take it all back or make it go away.
    It’s a relatively minor offense that he committed, and yes, I think he knew about it, and somewhere in the distant past (Brady has been the starting QB since 2001), Tom had a discussion with some equipment guy for the Patriots and the balls were subsequently “attended to.”
    The fact that Tom didn’t deflate the balls himself is not the issue. It was done at his behest and he was okay with them diddling with the pigskin. That makes him guilty of the violation, but it does not remotely rise to the level of spousal abuse (Ray Rice and his wife in the elevator). It does not remotely or vaguely rise to the level of pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, as another Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, did in 2000, regarding the murder to two men in Atlanta. It does not remotely rise to the level of Richie Incognito, a veteran lineman for the Miami Dolphin who engaged in horrendous hazing of rookie teammate, Jonathan Martin.
    Tom is technically guilty of violating a rule has never been enforced and is regularly broken by lots of other teams in the NFL. TB got caught but the price he is paying is far to steep. A man should not lose his reputation for this.
    When it’s mid October and this suspension has been served, where does the greatest QB in NFL history go to get his reputation back?
    All those kids who wanted to grow up to be like Tom Brady, have a hero with an asterisk, a backstory, a black mark, something parents will long be telling as a cautionary tale. From most accounts, Tom Brady is a guy who basically never takes a shortcut, who has never done drugs, who always does the right thing and is unfailingly polite and humble.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Had this sting operation not been bungled from start to finish by the NFL and Roger Goodell, the league’s best player would still be just that. Look, I am a diehard New England Patriot fan and a big Tom Brady guy; still I candidly admit Tom Brady’s associative guilt and subsequent foot dragging during the Wells Investigation regarding what is a relatively small infraction that had never once been enforced, that has now morphed into a public flogging of Tom Brady and his legacy, due to the thoughtless and careless way the NFL has handled this somewhat tragic sports story.


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  • Rioting in the Streets

    I very well remember 1968; the days after the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Gunned down on a motel balcony.  The ghettos of America erupted and there were riots in every major city in America.  The frustration and anger that was all pent up in Black America boiled over.

    Baltimore, D.C., Hough in Cleveland, Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston, Watts in L.A., in Indianapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, NYC, and essentially every African American ghetto had uncontrolled rioting.

    Watching Baltimore re-live the bitterness, fear, resentment, alienation, and despair is heart rending.  The same socio-economic conditions exist.  Today gangs are far more prevalent than back 50 years ago.  I would be angry too if I lived in those conditions.  I’d be protesting and maybe even joining the rioting.  I would hate to live in near or actual poverty, without an interesting job, without feeling safe and respected.  Our Society has addressed some of these issues but while many may be the beneficiaries in 2015, it is quite clear and obvious that we have failed, as a society, to provide opportunity and hope to a lot of Americans, of all races and religions, all ethnicities.   Baltimore may be in for a long hot summer, as the expression would go back in the late 1960s.  “A long hot summer.”

    We have so much wealth that is concentrated in such a way that the chances of happiness and success are limited for a significant portion of the American population in 2015 America.   So tonight on the streets of Baltimore and on the street of Ferguson, there are a lot of voices with a lot of questions, and unfortunately, there are too few answers and no easy, quick fix to a societal problem that truly must be addressed.  I can’t help but think of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “If I Had A Hammer.”  The lyrics ring true today just like they did in 1949 when Lee Hays and Pete Seeger wrote it. –  Harry on April 29, 2015


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  • Celtics Defeat Cleveland ?

    Well I was wrong. We got swept.

    But, however, nevertheless, in spite of this, say what you will, such is the case, Se la vie. And so it goes…

    You have to hand it to the Boston Celtics. This team is unselfish. They move the rock. Every night they are busting their butts for each other. The scrappy Celtics seem to listen to their young Coach, Brad Stevens, in his first foray into the pro ranks. If all that weren’t enough, these guys are almost always out-hustling their opponents. Diving for balls. Grabbing rebounds. Stealing basketballs. Making the extra pass. Plus, they seem to check their egos at the door. Those are adjectives that describe a Winner. This team fits that description.

    Many teams wear down from the long regular season, Not these kids. The reason for mostly fresh legs is depth. They play a lot of guys every night. The minutes are spaced out between them. Brad Stevens is lucky that his team has so many interchangeable parts, due in fact to their lack of a star on the team. Late in games, the Celtics seem to usually find a way to win. This may all be a big surprise to NBA fans. We kind of sneaked up on everybody. For a team that wasn’t expected to win many games, our record ends up at 40 wins and 42 losses.

    In the last 36 games of the regular season, the Celtics were 24-12. That’s almost the last half of the season there.
    I think the Celtics will beat the Cleveland Cavs. Not too many people believe that is going to happen. It’s just my opinion, but I think every member of the Boston Celtics team expects to actually win the series. I’m going out on a limb, but I say Boston will beat Cleveland, and advance in the NBA playoffs. LeBron James is going down!

    Harry, 4-17-15


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  • 2nd Anniversary

    rosesToday is the 2nd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    4  died, 3 at the scene.  Several hundred were maimed.

    Boston Stronger.


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  • SELMA
    I just watched President Obama speak, standing in the sunshine next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a National Civil Rights Landmark. It was, to me, one of the finest and most important speeches of his Presidency; a glorious and proud moment, and a time to reflect on what was, what is, and what is still remains to be done.

    I wish that I had been in Selma, fifty years ago, lending my voice for justice, but at the time, in 1965, I was fifteen, not yet old enough to have my drivers license, living in Tuscaloosa, an hour and a half north of Selma, Alabama. I might just as well have been 3000 miles away.


    Estimates now say there were only 300 to 500 marchers who attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River, on their way from Selma to Montgomery, the Alabama State Capitol, located about fifty miles away. There were three separate attempts made by Dr. King and the marchers (March 7, 9, and 21).

    Back in 1965, fifty years ago, there were just three TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC). No DISH, no FIOS, no Direct TV.

    Cable TV had not even been invented yet. Of course, no TIVOs or DVRs. There was 30 minutes of local TV news, followed by 1/2 hour of national TV news to watch each day. In fact, all of the TV networks went off the air around midnight and returned early the next morning. In between you could sit in silence and watch a static test pattern. Everyone my age and older will remember this very well.

    Of course, there was no internet. There were no cellphones. No social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No CNN. No Fox.
    It was a different time, looking back one-half a century later. – Harry


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HarryShotsRadioIcon

John McEuen

“Carolina Traveler” by John McEuen and Earl Scruggs

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Click here to download the mp3 via Amazon.com

My favorite instrumental piece.  World class masters Earl Scruggs and John McEuen lay down a driving, rollicking tune, with back up help by acoustic bass great, the late Roy Husky, Jr.  The word is that Roy arrived very late to the session and there was some concern on the part of Earl and John that he didn’t know the song and what was going to happen.  They played it though once for Roy and then they recorded it.  Roy came through with flying colors.

It is a treat for me to recognize Earl Scruggs, who was such a musical influence; Earl being the pioneering banjo player that he was.  John has his own amazing discography, solo, in collaborations like this, and with his group, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  So here’s “Carolina Traveler”.  I recommend that you play it over and over about six times in a row.  Fire it up gentlemen.  –  Harry Lipson




In Memoriam: Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

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click to download this fabulous instrumental at Amazon music

One of my musical heroes passed over tonight.  My heart aches for Earl Scruggs.  He does leave us with a wealth of records, three generations of banjo pickers, and legions of fans the world over.

Soft spoken, so far as I know.  Shy as a goldfinch, Earl had a big ol’ case of stagefright for a long, long time.  But he was Mr. Banjo.  Earl invented the Scruggs style of fingerpicking and his genius brought bluegrass, the banjo, and good music to millions throughout the world.  What a mighty oak of a musician.  Earl is a founding father of Bluegrass, with no apology to Bill Monroe, himself a founder and the Father of Bluegrass, for whom Earl worked, beginning in the mid 1940s.

Lester Flatt was never my taste, apparently not Earl’s either.  They split up their Flatt and Scruggs duo after something like 20 years together, as something less than bosom buds.  I know that John Hartford, John McEwen, Tony Trishka, Bela Fleck, Bill Keith, Alison Brown, Steve Martin, Herb Pederson, and Emily Robison thought of Earl in reverential tones.

We lost a living legend but we still have all the music that the legend created.  There are fewer and fewer of the great pioneers left.  We still have Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and a handful of others, but we lost one of the very best today.

In tribute, here is Earl with John McEuen and Roy Husky, Jr. in one of my favorite instrumentalsCarolina Traveler.”  HL


The Quotes of "Whatever"

  • “A penny saved IS a penny earned.”Benjamin Franklin

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • “An idea is salvation by imagination” Frank Lloyd Wright

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln




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  • The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” – Louis Brandeis




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  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein




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  • I’ll believe it if I see it for dogs translates to “I’ll believe it if I smell it.” So don’t bother yelling at them; it’s the energy and scent they pay attention to, not your words.” ― Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer




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  • For me, the lame part of the Sixties was the political part, the social part. The real part was the spiritual part.” – Jerry Garcia




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  • In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention.” – Rachel Dratch




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  • You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.” – Yogi Berra




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  • I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it.” — General Robert E. Lee




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  • It’s a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear.” – Dick Cavett




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  • How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.” – Benjamin Disraeli




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  • Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. – Vince Lombardi




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  • When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always” – Rita Rudner

     

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  • When the Oakies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states” – Will Rogers

     

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  • The thing I would encourage you to do is to go where your love is. Go where you heart tells you to go. I think that it’s difficult to work in a job that you really don’t like, that you really don’t enjoy. If you’re doing something that you love and is a lot of fun, it’s a lot easier to come to work every day.” – Coach Bill Belichick




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  • chGreat minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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  • edEvery day is Earth Day

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau




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  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Sir Winston Churchill

     

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  • I have always noticed that in portraits of really great writers the mouth is always firmly closed.” – Gertrude Stein




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  • Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.” – William Simon




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  • A good laugh and a great night’s sleep are the best cures for what ails

     

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  • I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” – Ken Venturi, U.S. Open Golf Champion




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  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”Maya Angelou

     

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  • The greatest mistake you can make in life… is to continually fear that you’ll make one Elbert Hubbard

     

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  • Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven” – Henry Ward Beecher




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  • There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway




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  • Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.Marilyn Monroe




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  • “What inspires me most are people who imagine and implement solutions to challenges in their own lives, in their own communities, in our country and around the world.” – Chelsea Clinton




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  • Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.” – Saul Bellow




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  • Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” – Woody Allen




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  • America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way round. Human rights invented America.” – President Jimmy Carter




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  • Isn’t having a smoking section in a restaurant sorta like having a peeing section in a pool?” – anonymous




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  • If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.” – Mel Brooks




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  • Electricity is really just organized lightning” – George Carlin

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known as the other person.” – Carrie Fisher




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  • You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think” – Milton Berle

     

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  • Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.” – Daniele Vare




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  • USA“You can’t turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ without a ‘maybe’ in between”     – President Frank Underwood, House of Cards (season 3, episode 3)

  • Don’t drink coffee in the morning. It will keep you awake until noon

     

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  • Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere“. – Carl Sagan, astronomer

     

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  • bridge2The most important words that have helped me in life, when things have gone right or when things have gone wrong are ‘accept responsibility.’” – Billie Jean King




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  • A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” – Ralph Nader




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  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein




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  • The way you remember the past depends upon your hope for the future” – Story Musgrave, astronaut




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  • Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” – Bertolt Brecht




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  • A star on a movie set is like a time bomb. That bomb has got to be defused so people can approach it without fear.” – Jack Nicholson




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  • There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise” – Gore Vidal 1925-2012

     

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  • I once made love for an hour and fifteen minutes, but it was the night the clocks are set ahead” – Gary Shandling

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