Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Just Saying: False Fish Feeding Frenzy!


I have been trying my very best to not comment on current events.

I held my tongue when shrimpy little arrogant mask-wearing cowards in skinny jeans proclaimed themselves to be anti-fascists by becoming violent fascists.  I watched their personal attacks and extensive property destruction on lots of videos.

I did not comment on the “Don’t Shoot!” rallies, even though multiple eyewitnesses to the actual event testified, under oath, that it never happened. Nor, did I comment last week, when it was learned, during testimony to Congress by social media giants, that a Russian trolling group had actually used social media platforms to organize the “Don’t Shoot” protests with the sole purpose of causing civil unrest in our country. Why? Just because they could.  It would be laughable….if I were Russian.

Then, too, it was amazing to have Donna Brazile confirm what many of us already knew.  The Democratic party primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders by Hillary Clinton. Ms. Brazile’s disclosure that she felt her life was in danger after the Seth Rich murder speaks volumes.

Naturally, it would get my goat to learn there are actually college students, and others in this country, that think free speech is only allowable if it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  A worse indictment of a failed and biased educational system, I can’t imagine. Sometimes, I ponder when, if ever, these all-knowing, overly-sensitive college administrators and teachers are going to figure out that their success at limiting, and in some instances eradicating conservative colleagues, thought, opinion and discussion from college campuses has only been an self-deluding and self-defeating exercise in cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

It appears that there is an inability or unwillingness to teach critical thinking skills, or at least a lesson in the Karma of what goes around comes around regarding restricting the Constitutional right to free speech.  If you restrict or outlaw anyone’s right to free speech, someday, someone will restrict and outlaw yours.  We are either all going to be free, or eventually, no one will be free.

Normally, any or all of those things could have triggered one of my….just saying….opinion blogs. However, this morning the line is way too far behind some folks to ignore.

I woke up early this morning and logged onto my computer to try and learn more about the horrendous massacre in that small Texas church.  It angered me to learn that a mentally-ill, self-proclaimed atheist, with a history of domestic assault who should never had access to any fire arm had attacked the church of his in-laws causing the deaths of 26 innocent people, including many children…one only 18-months old.  My sympathy, heart and prayers go out to the affected families and that entire community.

Then….it happened! I lit up like a Christmas tree as my eyes fell upon an article about President Trump….feeding fish!  First of all, what a stupid event to report on. Especially on a day when our country is mourning the loss of so much innocent life. It was absolutely flabbergasting that with all of the chaos and trouble in our nation and world that several media outlets took the time and chose to make the call to, yet again, maliciously doctor a video just to make fun our president.

Of course, yet again, a person only had to watch the entire unedited video to learn that Japan’s Prime Minister had fed the fish the exact same way and amount as our president.  I have included a link to the unedited video of the fish feeding for anyone who is actually interested in the truth.


The atrocity committed by the shooter in Texas is pure evil. The intentional manipulative lying and disgustingly childish bullying by the media is embarrassing and shameful. They remind me of a pack of mean junior high school girls. Maybe, junior high school mean-girls training has replaced ethics courses at our college journalism schools?  It would appear so…….just saying


What Is On My Mind Today? Fear, Hurricanes, Fires, Earthquakes and God


As a two-time cancer survivor I know a thing or two about fear.  One thing that I have learned is that fear can be addictive. The adrenaline rush of fear acts on the body much like an opiate.  Your heart and breathing rates increase as your fight and flight reflexes engage.

Sometimes,  fear feels good. Like the thrill you get when going on a carnival ride, riding a horse at a full gallop, or are jumping out of an airplane.  At other times fear can be overwhelming, such as when you get a cancer diagnosis or see your country ravaged by natural disasters or war.

Living in constant fear is awful, because fear is the worst of thieves.  It steals precious treasures…happiness, peace of mind and time.  What is worse, fear is contagious and has been weaponized.    Governments, religions and individuals often use fear to increase power, control people and receive attention.

Calamity begets fear. When disaster strikes, people, even unbelievers, feel the immediate need to put the fear of God in hearts and minds by communicating that the crisis is God’s fault, divine punishment for sinful living, or that the end of the world is coming and coming fast.

Whenever I hear that something is a sign of the end times, I find peace by turning to the Bible and re-reading the comforting words of Christ Jesus when he clearly states that no man will know when the end will be.  Only God knows, not Jesus, not any human.

Jesus further reassures us by instructing,  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24: 4-7.  

There have been many, many wars, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes since Christ spoke those words almost two thousand years ago and humans are still here.   Are these the end times? I don’t know, nobody does.  What is important, is to believe that Jesus Christ is your personal savior, then, there is no reason to fear the end times. What is there to fear? Going to heaven and experiencing perfect love?

Can natural disasters be signs from God?  Absolutel!  The Bible tell us so.  The question is what is the message that God is sending?

Human’s cannot surprise God, he has seen it all before. I am pretty sure that:

  • God has been aware of humanity’s sinful ways since Adam and Eve disobeyed him in the Garden of Eden and then to make matters worse a jealous Cain put Abel under with a rock upside the head.
  • There have been hurricanes hitting coastal areas for as long as there has been oceans.
  • Forest fires have existed since lightening hit its first tree and man learned how to make fire.
  • Earthquakes in Mexico, or anywhere else, are never a punishment from God due to United States presidential election results, no matter what a Hollywood actress may believe.

This “disaster is a punishment from God” philosophy reminded me of when I was battling my cancer. I remember someone asking me what I thought I had done that God was punishing me so harshly.

After this empathy challenged person, who felt greatly blessed with good health and substantial wealth when compared to myself, a fifty year old woman stuck in a body cast, trapped in pain and a hospital bed in her living room, full of cancer and without a lot of good options, had finished suggesting that self-reflection and repentance on my part was necessary to appease an angry God, I responded.

My response then, would be the same as today, to those who suggest that disease and disaster are signs of an angry God.  I agree.  God gets angry.  He may use illness and other trials to test people, but, maybe, just maybe, he does not punish or test the sick, traumatized and devastated. Maybe he is testing the response of those around them.

Why do I believe this? Because, Jesus clearly tells me so in Matthew 25: 31-46

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I am a strong believer in the power of prayer.  God can and does do miracles through prayer.  However, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”   James 2: 14-17

God promises to never leave or forsake us. He always keeps his promises. Christians need not live in constant fear of the end times, physical or natural disaster.  It is during those times that we should look to our Heavenly Father and take stock of our blessings. Call on him for faith, strength, courage and to grant us the peace that passes all understanding. Then, it is time to bravely roll up our sleeves and get to work helping those who need assistance.

I will always have a healthy fear of God, but I have no interest in being a “Chicken Little, The Sky is Falling!” christian. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said it best, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” 


Prayer is a powerful. Please pray for those affected by the hurricanes, wild fires and other natural disasters.  Then, volunteer, give blood, or donate at:  

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief   https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/

Red Cross Disaster Relief: https://www.redcross.org/donate/disaster-relief?scode=RSG00000E017&gclid=CjwKCAjwos7NBRAWEiwAypNCe1F5-3X-x10xxZ_UJsDexvntU8pdxkfDJIPYaFVxOIE98y5BQb92uRoCK3EQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CIGEldnxmNYCFRU5Twod-6cAMQ








Being a Press Secretary is a tough job…just saying

pat podium
Patricia Turgeon…Press Secretary and Assistant Communications Director

I have been watching the relationship between Sean Spicer and the press with interest.  As a former press secretary to a high profile elected official, who was a polarizing political figure, I can clearly state that being a press secretary is a tough job.

I rarely talk about anything that I did while employed by either Republicans or Democrats at the Minnesota State Capitol. While watching Sean Spicer’s press briefing regarding the false report of the removal of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King bust from the oval office and the dispute regarding inauguration crowd numbers, I caught myself literally shaking my head. Boy, did that bring back memories.

I worked in communication for the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State during the Coleman-Franken and Emmer-Dayton recounts.  I was there for the marriage amendments and several election cycles.  I was the lone republican on the communication’s team in a democrat office.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (Democrat) best described my role and gave me one of the nicest compliments of my life all at the same time.  He and I are both avid readers of history–especially  Civil War history.  One day he heard about a Civil War tour of the Capitol and enthusiastically invited me to go with him.  Through the tunnels we raced.

The tour guide explained that during the Civil War a person had to be a certain height to enter military service. Sadly, I bemoaned that I couldn’t have served, because I was too short. Secretary Ritchie’s eyes just danced as he smiled at me from ear to ear and exclaimed, “Oh, Pat, they’d have taken you…you’re a fighter!”

I definitely presented my view on a variety of issues while working in that office.  When asked for input, I can only remember losing an argument regarding press relations once. That incident did not involve the Secretary.

A reporter had called me to ask for information.  He had been following an issue and it was his story.  I told him that the information he was seeking was not yet available.  At that second, it was a truthful answer.  No sooner had I hung up the phone, than my supervisor walked into my office with a press announcement she had drafted regarding that very decision.  I vehemently argued that the reporter should be given a call before the press announcement was released.  He deserved that and it would be the right thing to do.  I was over-ruled and with the supervisor standing over me, I sent out the press release.

Within minutes my phone rang with an very angry reporter yelling at me.  His comments were unkind, personal and very terse.  During his tirade,  I told him several times that he had every right to be upset, but he was too hot to listen. I was trying to tell him, while the supervisor was staring at me, that I agreed with him. The whole time I was being dressed down by the report, the supervisor stood in my office smirking at me.  When the phone call ended, the person said that was to bad that I got told off.

When you work for other people, are not in charge and you need that job to put your child through college, sometimes you do what you are told knowing that it is not what you would do. Nobody likes to have their personal ethics compromised to keep a job. When that happens to a press secretary, it can be in front of the whole world.

My work as a press secretary taught me several things:

1. Grow a very thick skin. Let criticism run off of your back like rainwater.  Learn to recognize the difference between the war and a fight. Take the long view to win the war and learn to just let somethings go.

2. Stay out front. Remain focused on your strategy and message.  Do not get distracted by your opponents darts and arrows.  In war and politics victory belongs to those with the best offense. Even the best defense can only end in a siege.  .

3.  Be smarter than the dog. If a dog bites you once its the dog’s fault, if the dog bites you a second time it is your fault for not being smarter than the dog.  Do not do your adversary’s work for them.  An example of this would be saying that there are different facts.  No, facts are facts. The discussion is about the accurate presentation of fact and the difference between spin (opinion) and fact.

4.  If you are going bear hunting don’t bring bird shot, come loaded for bear.  When you are going to correct anyone have the quantifiable data with you and present it in a concise, easy to understand, impossible to dispute manner.

5. Keep it positive.  I have written well over a hundred press releases and any message can be delivered using positive or negative words.  Use positive.

6. Words matter–connotation and denotation.

7.  Reporters have a job to do.  By its very nature the relationship between a press secretary and the press is going to be adversarial.  Create good working relationships, be accessible and whenever possible help them.

8. Excellence is its own reward.  It is hard to make an argument against excellence.

I have never spoken to that reporter about his call. Nor to anyone else about it. I let it go.  I did and still do wish that he would have calmed down that day and heard what I was saying to  him.  That, I fought for you, I lost, you had every right to be angry and I am sorry that you were treated that way.  That person was and still is a great reporter…just saying.

Grandma Pat Letter: Cat Warfare…The Little Drummer Cat

Dear Grandson,

Well yesterday was quite a day. Our country got a new president.  I hope you watched the inauguration. It pays to watch inaugurations, because you just never know what will happen. It is always a good show. Besides it is instant history and amazing to see how our nation peacefully transfers power.

I do not believe that there has ever been a time in our country’s history where everyone was pleased with a new president. As in all elections there are people who are happy and those who are disappointed.  There will be demonstrations, like today’s women’s march, by those who want the new president to hear their concerns.  That is actually a good thing. Peaceful dissent protects freedom.  Protests that become violent or cause property damage are unlawful riots instigated to oppress freedom.  One should never be confused with the other.

Trump is not the first unpopular president to enter the White House.  Lincoln was absolutely loathed when he entered office.  He was often portrayed in media cartoons as an uneducated socially awkward ugly black gorilla.

Then, too, there were new presidents that absolutely hated outgoing presidents. Grant would not ride to the Capitol with Andrew Johnson, so Johnson refused to attend Grant’s inauguration. After a particularly nasty campaign, on his inauguration day Eisenhower refused to even pay Truman a courtesy call at the White House.  Which is amazing since those two men were the American leadership who worked together to win World War II.  They were both considered great patriots.

Do you know who else was considered a great patriot?  A boy named Johnny Clem.  Johnny was born on August 13, 1851 in Newark, Ohio.  He was named John Joseph Kelm.  He changed the spelling of his name in later life.  Johnny was only 10 years-old when Lincoln issued the call for volunteers to serve in the army to put down the states in rebellion.   Johnny immediately tried to enlist, but he was told he was too young.

Johnny Clem

After his mother was killed in a train accident in May of 1861, the same month that Lincoln called for volunteers, the young lad quit school and ran away from home to join up with the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  They, too, rejected him because of his young age and small size.

Next he tried to join the 22nd Michigan Regiment, but was again rejected. Instead of giving up, Johnny followed the regiment.  Eventually, they adopted him as sort of a mascot.  The regiment’s officers provided him with a uniform and gun, and used their own pay to provide him the wage of a regular soldier which was only $13 dollars a month. Soon, he became their drummer boy.

There is a legend that says that Johnny Clem was “Johnny Shiloh” a famous drummer boy who was in the most deadly part of the fight at the Battle of Shiloh. It was reported that he was almost killed by a shrapnel shell fragment that crashed through his drum knocking him to the ground unconscious.  At that point his fellow soldiers found him and rescued him from the battlefield.

Some modern historians say that this story is not true and that the Johnny Shiloh Legend came from a Civil War Song called the “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh.”  There are several reports of Johnny being in the battle of Shiloh and a New York Times newspaper article in 1915 confirmed the legend as fact.  Johnny retired from the Military as a Bridger General in 1915 and did not die until 1937.  Since he was still alive and of sound mind at the time the article was published, the reporters of the newspaper could have easily verified their account by just asking him and his comrades.

After already being in several major battles, at age 12 Johnny was finally allowed to enlist in the Union Army. He would ride into action on an artillery caisson and shot a musket that had been modified especially for his small size.

In September of that same year at the Battle of Chickamauga, Johnny and his fellow Union soldiers were retreating when they were overwhelmed by Confederates. Somehow Johnny became separated from his regiment and ran right into a Confederate Colonel who demanded his surrender.  Johnny was no push over.  He shot and wounded the Colonel before escaping and rejoining the Union line.  His bravery and cool head under fire won him much fame as the “Drummer Boy of Chickamauga.”  When he later learned that the soldier he had shot survived his wounds, he proclaimed it was the best news he had ever got.

After the battle he was promoted to sergeant and still holds the title of being the youngest non-commissioned officer to have ever served in the United States Army. He was also given a medal for his bravery.

Johnny Clem in Civil War Uniform

In addition to the battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga, Johnny fought with General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army at the bloody battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta.  Just a month after the Chickamauga battle while guarding a train, Johnny was captured by Georgia Confederate cavalry.  He was very upset when the rebels took away his military uniform, including his cap with the three bullet holes in it.  Johnny was not a prisoner for long and was included in a prisoner exchange fairly quickly.

Johnny began his military career as a drummer boy.  During the Civil War, Drummer boys were very important.  It was their duty to use their drums to deliver marching and battle orders to troops.  Every infantry company had a drummer.  The soldiers relied on the drum beats to tell them what to do.  Drums woke the soldiers in the morning, they told them when it was time for roll call, sick call and guard duty.  They also played “taps” in the evening to tell the soldiers it was time to sleep.  These young boys followed their soldiers right into battle and used their drums to communicate orders from the commanding officers.

Johnny Clem and Union Army Civil War Drum

The drums they used were made of wood that had been cut into thin layers. The wood was steamed so that is could be bent into the circular shape of a drum. The top of the drum or “drum head” was made out of tightly stretched calf skin.  Rope was used to hold the calf skin in place.  Both Union and Confederate troops used drums as the main communication tool in battle.  Union drums were fancier and were usually painted with a large eagle and stars and stripes.

Both Civil War soldiers and drummer boys were young.  The average soldier’s age was 24.  Many of soldiers were 18 or 19 years old or younger.  A large percentage were young men from farms who had joined the war effort to get away from boring farm chores.  They thought that the war would be short and a great fun adventure.  These soldiers could not have been more wrong about army life or the war.

Regardless of how hard the war made their lives, these guys were still youngsters and needed to have fun once in a while. When they were not in battle would find ways to amuse themselves and often created games to play together.  One of these games was called. “One Old Cat.” It was quite a bit like the game of baseball, but only had three bases.  (Rules for the ball game of One Old Cat.)

In 1864 at the age 13 Johnny was discharged from the Army. He graduated from high school in 1870. He tried several times to get into West Point, but he couldn’t pass the entrance exam due to an incomplete education.  President Ulysses Grant on December 18, 1971, promoted him to the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Johnny had a remarkable military career and rose through the ranks to become a brigadier general and retired from military at age 64 on August 13, 1915.  By that time he was the last civil war veteran still serving in the army. On August 19, 1916 he was promoted, on the retired list, to the rank of major general.  Johnny Clem died in San Antonio, Texas on May 13, 1937, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Johnny Clem in old age

Johnny spent his entire life serving his country.  Love of country and patriotism is a beautiful thing. Johnny also had a pretty good sense of humor. After his first wife died Johnny remarried the daughter of a Confederate veteran.  When asked about how that was working out, he replied that the union could not get more united.

I did listen to President Trump’s inaugural speech.  I think he did a good job.  I agree with him that our country and citizens should always come first.  I also agree that whether a child is born in a city or on a farm on the plains of Nebraska they should both have the same opportunities. You know which line I liked the best?  When he said that there was no room in patriotism for prejudice.  Ain’t that the truth!

I hope you have a great weekend.  Sounds like the weather is going to be warm, but maybe a bit wet.  I think we are going to go shopping for a new computer desk.  I want our computer off of the kitchen table.

Sending lots of hugs and kisses.


Grandma Pat

Just Saying: Bullying and Political Theater


Jennifer Holliday receiving death threats and backlash over performing at the Trump inauguration as reported in a CNN article is bullying pure and simple. It is not honorable. It is not justifiable and its sole goal is to silence opposing views. If the shoe was on the other foot and conservatives were doing this to Clinton supporters, they would be called new age “brown shirts” and rightfully so. Have Clinton’s supporters become the demeaning and intolerant tyrants that they profess to so vehemently oppose? In this case, it would appear so.

There is a vast difference between this type of mean-spirited tyrannical behavior and peaceful protesting. I condemn the former from any political source or group and wholly support the latter.
In addition, I believe that it is not honorable for the losing party’s elected members of Congress to boycott the inauguration of our next president. Have these members of Congress forgotten the first rule of politics…those that show up rule?  I cannot imagine the public and media outrage at Republicans had they refused to go to an Obama or Clinton inauguration. This political theater of boycotting the inauguration demonstrates a total lack of respect for the Constitution and Hillary Clinton’s adamant call during the presidential debates for the losing candidate and their supporters to respect election results and the peaceful transition of leadership. Their support for the politics of division will only serve to embolden our nation’s enemies at the cost of American lives when, not if, they test our new president.
Tomorrow I will watch the inauguration, be proud to be an American and celebrate the peaceful transition of power. I will pray for unity for our nation, respect for the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the rule of law; safety for our people; wisdom for leadership; and rigorous peaceful political debate. That all of our new governing officials come together with a sincere interest to do what is best for our nation as a whole and rediscover that our political system’s great strength has always been compromise.
I would encourage the members of Congress who are boycotting tomorrow’s inauguration to reconsider and take note of Trump’s philosophy of encouraging a “friendship” with Russia…it is important to keep your friends close, but more important to keep your enemies even closer….just saying.

Just saying: A very wise tweeter…Happy Birthday President Abe!

There are two things that I bet many of my former confirmation students will never forget about me. That one of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of proverbs and that I have a thing about Abraham Lincoln.

In just two days it will be Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. In my classes and at home Lincoln’s birthday was always strictly observed each year.

Lincoln 1

There are so many reasons to admire this man.  His humble beginnings, rise to the presidency with less than a year of formal education, his ability to overcome depression and huge personal losses and still function as the leader of a nation during the Civil War, and his ability to act kindly towards others when he received so little back.   Lincoln is a remarkable example of empathy; self-determination, honesty, smarts and excellent leadership skills.  He had an unfailing belief that representative government is the best government and was also one of history’s greatest communicators.

Lincoln’s mastery of the art of story telling is legendary. His humorous stories and one-liners were earthy, self-deprecating communication tools used to reduce complex ideas, policies and practices to their simplest form. He could then present them to a semi-literate general public in a way that they could easily identify with and understand. Lincoln was a master at using what today would be called, “common speak.” It is no accident that many of his one-liners resemble Biblical proverbs.

When you read about Lincoln the person, it becomes very evident that from a very early age he used humor to salve a sore soul. By any standard his relationship with his father was abusive.  The loss of his much loved mother at age nine was devastating.  He often said that all he was and could ever be was because of his mother. In those days death was an ever ready companion in most homes, even so, think of how hard it must have been for that softhearted, sensitive, intelligent nine-year-old boy to whittle the wooden pegs for his mother’s casket.

Lincoln never made any secret of his emotional baggage.  He called the place over his heart his “sore spot.”  Several times in life that sore spot grew until it became clinical depression so severe that his friends feared for his safety and had to remove sharp objects from his room and guard him.

While Lincoln’s intellect may have had few equals, this brilliant man over and over again left his heart wide open to being wounded by those he loved.To survive he needed to bridge this gap between heart and head sense. His coping mechanism was humor. Lincoln often said that if he did not laugh he would die.  When Lincoln’s melancholy homely face lit up and his grey eyes danced with laughter at a good story or joke, it was said that he was almost handsome. That description alone would have made the man laugh.

He often told stories that made fun of his looks. Like the one he told about when he was chopping wood  and a man carrying a rifle walked up to him and demanded that Lincoln look him directly in the eye. Lincoln stopped his work and obliged the man, who continued to silently stare at him for some minutes. Finally the man told Lincoln that he “had promised himself years ago that if he ever met a man uglier than himself, he would shoot him. “Lincoln looked at the man’s rifle mischievously and said nothing. Finally Lincoln pulled open his shirt, threw out his chest, and exclaimed, ‘If I am uglier than you, go ahead and shoot—because I don’t want to live!”

mary lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln

Lincoln had a longstanding political and personal rivalry with Senator Stephen Douglas. In fact at one time they had both dated the future Mrs. Lincoln…Mary Todd. Once while debating the good Senator, Lincoln received a great shout of laughter from the audience when he said that, “Senator Douglas arguments were as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death.”

Lincoln’s “one-liners” are notorious for being succinct, wise and humorous. They were the presidential tweets of that day and are just as relevant today.

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.”

“We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

“Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” 

“People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” 

“If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.” 

“I desire to so conduct the affairs of the administration that if, at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall have at least one friend left — and that friend shall be down inside of me.”

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I’m much more concerned to know who his grandson will be.”

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” 

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

“I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. “

“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”

“Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.” 

“Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.

“If you would win a man to your cause first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” 

“A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.” 

“I can make more generals, but horses cost money”.

“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities.”

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” 

“Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.”

“Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.”

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

“There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”

“The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.”

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” 

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.” 

Happy Birthday President Lincoln! You were a very wise man….just saying.