Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mister Rogers Speaks

Can you say "You can't make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak" children?

I knew you could.

H/T "Smallest Minority", "The greatest middle class in the face of the earth (11/19/09)
Actually, that quote probably was not correctly cited as originating from Abraham Lincoln. According to "The Quotations Page", it was part of an extended quote by William J. H. Botcker:
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. H. Boetcker, 1916 (often attributed to Lincoln)

This is from a pamphlet published by Boetcker called "The Ten Cannots", according to (the often egregiously erroneous) Wikipedia.

It's a shame that the quote was cited as according to Abraham Lincoln; it undermines the veracity of the thought.

However, taken together "The Ten Cannots" should -- and perhaps would, under other circumstances -- provide us with some guidance, some perspective, in regards to the wisdom of mandating (as Rep Rogers says) that 85% of us should be penalized for the (unproven) benefit of the other fifteen percent.

I'm not saying that I don't agree with Mr. Rogers; I'm only saying that if you're going to support your political/social/cultural position by quoting A Great American, it would be wise to choose the Great American who actually said it.

(BTW, here is a link to the Mister Rogers YouTube page. You may here find other opinions with which you agree. Or not.)


Here's a one-minute quote of Mister Rogers, speaking to an almost empty house about Democrat health bill cuts $500 billion from critical Medicare services.

This is important to me because, in three months, I will turn 65 years of age. This weekend I received a letter from Social Security Services Administration advising me that I should register for Medicare "three months before your 65th birthday". That's tomorrow for me, folks. (November 23, 2009 + 3 months = February 23, 2010.)

Obamacare is famously said to be designed to save health-care monies by cutting services to Senior Citizens. I'm on the cusp, this is ALL I have to look forward to for my future health care, and I'm pissed.

If this doesn't seem sufficient reason to be outraged by , perhaps you should consider the words of Pastor Martin Neimoler:

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me --
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

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