Small Works is brought to you today by the three words you've been hoping we could talk about:

Health Care Reform.

Because you haven't heard enough about it, right?

Actually, it is an ongoing exercise in self restraint that here at Small Works we strive to keep our site politically neutral and full of sunshine and love for all of God's creatures whether they lean left or right (or even topple over altogether because their leanings are so ridiculous in one direction or another . . .)

But anyone who really knows me knows that I'm a political/news junkie who will happily engage the checker in the grocery store in a little political banter about the issues of the day if I can just ferret out where they stand through my observation of how they wear their nametag or scan my groceries.

In fact, I keep threatening to start a new blog and not tell anyone about it -- a magical wonderland where I can spout my political views freely and generally fly my freak-flag with reckless abandon.  (If you'd like an invitation to that site when it opens, please see me after class.)

So in the interest of political neutrality, but because I can't possibly keep my mouth forever shut in a world where even the census (the census!) has become a political football -- and because I just filled out my census form while eating a tangerine for breakfast this morning and am therefore feeling a touch of patriotism --

I decided that today I'll serenade you with the words of OTHER people that I find to be somehow applicable to the political climate and the events du jour, while simultaneously providing you with census-reminiscent or politics-related works of American Folk Art.  

Folk Art and Politics!  
In one post!  
Be still my heart!

Lincoln and Washington, Stephen L. Iwasko, probably Midwest, c. 1930, relief carving in wood

"To say nothing, especially when speaking, 
is half the art of diplomacy."  
Will Durant

"Quit worrying about your health.  
It'll go away."  
Robert Orben

 Saturday Night, Clementine Hunter, c. 1968, Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches, LA, acrylic on board

"The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth."  
Charles Luckman

"THINK, men . . ."
Professor Harold Hill

"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."  
George Carlin

Washington Crossing the Delaware, Variation on a Theme #3, Justin McCarthy, ca. 1963, oil on board

"People hardly ever make use of the freedom they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as compensation."  
Soren Kierkegaard

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other."  
Oscar Ameringer

Blue House with People, Bill Traylor, n.d.

"This free will business is a bit terrifying anyway.  It's almost pleasanter to obey, and make the most of it."
  Ugo Betti

"Every man . . . should periodically be compelled to listen to opinions which are infuriating to him. To hear nothing but what is pleasing to one is to make a pillow of the mind.  
St. John Ervine

"It's almost impossible to overestimate the unimportance of most things."  
John Logue

View from Maggie's Window, Laura Lynch

"A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts."  
Herbert Victor Prochnow

"Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair."  
George Burns

Lady Liberty of 1953 to 1962?, "Peter Charlie" Boshegan, ca. 1962  A chained, peasant dressed version of Lady Liberty blasts across a blue void.  A headlamp guides her on her mission.  He may have been inspired by events such as the death of Salin in 1953, the Cubin missile crisis, or John Glenn's orbit of the earth in 1962.

"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten secondhand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at secondhand from other nonexaminers, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing."  
Mark Twain

"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."  
Ronald Reagan

  African-Americans Living in New York City, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, 1992

"Everyone's entitled to my opinion."  

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."  
William James

 Delta Painting, Reverend Howard Finster, 1983, Summerville, GA, enamel on wood panel, frame molding.  It says, "Anough (sic) people in the world to hold things togethher if they would only pull together."

"The American political system is like fast food -- mushy, insipid, made out of disgusting parts of things and everybody wants some."  
P.J. O'Rourke

"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."  
Hubert H. Humphrey

America 1963, Pauline Shapiro, needlepoint

"People do not like to think.  If one thinks, one must reach conclusions.  Conclusions are not always pleasant."  
Helen Keller

"There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths.  It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."  
A.N. Whitehead

Peace in the Valley, O.W. "Pappy" Kitchens, 1977

"You can't possibly be dumb enough to think that . . . but can we still be friends?"  
Susan M. Hinckley

Hmmm . . .  
So I guess I'm no better than 
the rest of the intolerant political loud-mouths?  Rats.


Salley Mavor said...

Hey Susan,
I'm so glad that you're having fun with this! Your choice of quotes and art helps communicate the turmoil. Remaining politically neutral is hard work in the blog world. I don't feel the outrage and cynicism that's flying around. I do wonder what people from countries that have government run health care think is going on here. I'm embarassed.

susan m hinckley said...

I second your embarrassment, Salley -- it doesn't seem like it should be quite this hard, does it?

Amelia and Justin said...

I have one more quote for you:
"The world is full of stupid people, try not to be one of them" It comes from my favorite person - my husband :)

I LOVED the quote by St. John Ervine...so true.

Allie said...

My favorite, and I can't remember who said it - all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to say nothing. Good OR bad, most people say a LOT of nothing, especially in politics! I think they're all mentally ill.

susan m hinckley said...

I love that quote, Amelia -- I'm jotting it down as soon as I'm done typing this.

luanne said...

Very enjoyable... you must have had fun putting this one together. But where do you find all this material??? (How do you remember it so you even can FIND it all, much less put it together so thoughtfully?)

Much as I try to avoid mixing politics into my blog,I broke down over health care reform. You have much more willpower.

Daryl said...

Brilliant post Susan, well done, and very much needed. I just had lunch with a group of women who are grade school teachers. Once they spewed through the health care reform bill, they moved onto the decimation of school districts in NJ with all the state funding cuts. Today is the day layoffs are announced in both schools, including some tenured teachers. It was not a pleasant lunch. Thanks for the smiles.

susan m hinckley said...

Ouch . . . yet another hot-button topic, Daryl. At least things are never boring in the good ol' U.S.A. But maybe a little boredom is just what we need?

Or here's an idea: Springtime! That's sure to fix a lot of cross tempers (worth a try, anyway)

VO said...

Healthcare reform: I've been fairly verbal in my Facebook account and some what in my blog.

Interesting to see how my different friends view government, it's workings and the reactions because of possible change.

susan m hinckley said...

That's the reason I'm not on Facebook, VO -- I'm afraid I would:

a) be in trouble most of the time
b) have a hard time liking some of my "friends"
c) never leave my keyboard because I'd be busy telling everybody how dumb they are

That's why you're a nicer person than I am.

Karen S said...

I just found your blog. What a wonderful post -- had me laughing out loud -- ssshhhh -- I'm supposed to be working...

Joey said...

Where is that Stephen Iwasko relief carving from?


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