Kindly Words With Power

Quote from Job & Calling – My Letter to Dave Barry by Gary North:

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Fifty solemn editorials by pundits run in a 300 newspapers each will not have the impact of a line like this:

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. — Will Rogers

Dave Barry is a household name because he is a true master of words. He has a huge audience. He is a libertarian. He doesn’t trust the state, as his interview in “Reason” indicates. (

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Fifty solemn sermons — or fifty ranting posts *cough* — won’t have the same impact, either.

There’s something to be said for a gentle, but meaningful, sense of humour.

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Dave Barry is an influential man who seems to have no enemies. Not many influential men are in such a position. He shapes the thinking of millions of readers-fans. He does not shape their ideas directly. He does it indirectly, by blowing gaping holes in the things people do, especially government bureaucrats. (“Gaping Holes” would be a great name for a rock group . . . and for all I know, already is.)

His weekly column met a real need. Every society needs humor. For the last two decades, he has been the supreme American humorist, as distinguished from a comedian. There have been very few influential humorists in our history. Mark Twain and Will Rogers are the major ones. We get a good one about once per half century.

All three of them got laughs by making fun of Congress. Examples:

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can. — Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. — Mark Twain

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There is a place for a kindly, but substantial, form of humour within our ranks.

I simply don’t have the skills or the aptitude to pull that off.

But someone else might. Maybe someone you know.

And that someone else, man or woman, stands to make a nice bundle too!

To make good money, and shape the culture around you, without making any committed enemies….

…feels nice.

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