Like a Rock

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The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency recently posted a collection of quotations spuriously attributed to the Great Emancipator. My favorite:

There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There's nothing good in war except its ending.

According to the story in today's Washington Times, this quote was "attributed to Lincoln by antiwar protesters earlier this year." Worse, it showed up in a January speech by outgoing Illinois Gov. George Ryan at the Northwestern University College of Law. Ryan claimed "that's what Abraham Lincoln said about the bloody war between the states."

I'm not sure whether you should be proud or embarrassed to recognize the actual source.

NEXT: The Districts Sleep Alone Tonight

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  1. “……and the rockets red glare/
    Bunch of bombs in the air…”

  2. Did the governor use Lincoln’s first line to Lt. Uhuru in any speeches?

  3. I can’t recall more than a handful of Star Trek episodes that weren’t extended violations of the Prime Directive.

  4. I always thought the Ferengi were one of the more appalling anti-Semitic caricatures going around, and could never understand why no one called the Trekkies on it.

    TNG definitely reflected the very worst of the therapeutic society. The notion that a psychiatrist, of all the useless professions, would be part of the command team – puh-lease.

  5. Help me, Spock…

    Help me, Kirk…

  6. Here’s a little something from the “gratuitous recommendation of self-written material” department: I wrote an online column a while back making the argument that, in political terms, Star Trek is left-wing and Star Wars is right-wing. Those without too many ideological rigidities might ight enjoy it:

    http://www.carolinajournal.com/jhdailyjournal/display_jhdailyjournal.html?id=255

  7. Everyone knows it’s actually an old Klingon proverb.

  8. Noname says at 12:59, “[Non-interventionism] may have been the policy, James, but I believe that by bedding every winsome alien in the known universe, Kirk stepped over the line.”

    He was also officially busted multiple times for it, and ended up dead on a nondescript rock far in space. Sic Semper “James T. Kirkus.” (Wags may think I should have said “Sic Transit Kirk,” and that would work, too, but I have my reasons.)

    The coolest thing about Kirk was his multitude of flaws. Despite them, he kept making an effort to stay on the good side of the line, even as he so often gave in and danced on the other side. That dancing, and Kirk’s (inner) conflictedness about it, made for interesting drama. But the line was the line, and the good side of it was non-interventionism. Too bad our real-life pols can’t plagiarize THAT lesson from Star Trek. Honestly, when will we ever really give peace (and minding our own business!) a chance?

    Regarding the Ferengis, I have quite a few opinions about them, but I’ll save those for a more appropriate discussion thread. All I’ll say for now is that, if Klingons could be rehabilitated, so can Ferengis, and it’s about damned time.

  9. RC, the word “ferengi” was applied to the Italians by the Chinese in the period after Marco Polo. I think they’re just supposed to be aggressive traders.

  10. I’m all for non-intervention and the prime directive … when we find life on another planet. Meanwhile, we got this planet to worry about, and we need to fix it.

  11. The Prime Directive only applies to other races that do not yet have intersteller capabilities.

    Therefore all the intersteller wars are legal, sort of.

    “Hey, he must be one of those peace-lovers, Colonel”

  12. Trekkie geek says, “The Prime Directive only applies to other races that do not yet have intersteller capabilities.

    Therefore all the intersteller wars are legal, sort of.”

    I suspect that the current Enterprise plot arc provides the genesis of for the Federation’s Prime Directive. A backward, barely spaceworthy civilization was pre-emptively struck by a far-distant spacefaring race, because the latter had certain evidence that the former would destroy it several centuries in the future. Naturally, the victim civilization strikes back with all the resources at its disposal, but the fight seems apparently lopsided.

    Oh, did I forget to mention that the backward civilization was Earth?

  13. Star trek is non-intervention? everytime I watched (maybe 5 times) they were at war and usually landing a ground party on a ship or a planet. Seemed interventionist to me. Plus, the ships and fight scenes have nothing on Star Wars. Which brings me to a different point:
    Anyone watch south park tonight? The one on afghanistan where cartman blows up bin laden?
    His line, ” I always knew the jawa were evil” . hilarious.

  14. From South Park attributing Spock’s “the good of the many…” speech to Jesus Christ, and now this attribution to a alien-created Lincoln, Star Trek is invading the popular consciuoness.

    I waiting for George Buch to declare “General Order 24” on the entire mideast!

  15. Even better, GWB should proclaim Star Trek’s General Order 1, aka, the Prime Directive.

    Scoff at trekkies all you want, but they have one thing dead on: Non interventionism is the best policy.

  16. That may have been the policy, James, but I believe that by bedding every winsome alian in the known universe, Kirk stepped over the line.

  17. “I always thought the Ferengi were one of the more appalling anti-Semitic caricatures going around, and could never understand why no one called the Trekkies on it.

    TNG definitely reflected the very worst of the therapeutic society. The notion that a psychiatrist, of all the useless professions, would be part of the command team – puh-lease.”

    I have to agree with your observations.

    I watched the original as a kid, and liked it–never thinking about any political implications. TNG, on the other hand, was one of the most annoying shows on TV.

  18. Yeah, well on the Star Trek episode quoted, old Abe & company went on to kick butt in spite of his pretty phrasemaking, so nerks to all you peacenix.

  19. “nerk”?

  20. “I remember a few wrestling tricks from my days as a boy”

  21. I know this saying. It is an old Russian proverb.

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