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Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven.


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The upheavals of adolescence silenced 'A Christmas Carol' for a few years. I became a firebrand atheist. Christmas - humbug! Too commercial! Then I became an agnostic. Christmas was a pro-forma affair basically a chore. Buy mother a book dad a new tie my brother and sister small gifts. Pretend thanks for the fountain pens and shirts I received.

So when I was 13 I basically left home and never returned and lived at home again. I would come home for a week at Christmas and two weeks in the summer only.

I've taught fifth-year Christmas leavers last thing on a Friday afternoon. Basically if you can face that you can face anything.

Work while you work play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.

When I was younger I probably didn't understand something basic about tact but I think it kept faint-hearted people at arm's distance and that's not such a bad thing because life is short and I know the kind of people I want to work with.

Basically women have to prove they are strong at all times. And then when they go on the attack they have to not appear mean because those women often get the label of being catty.

If I became a philosopher if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I'm still waiting it's all been to seduce women basically.

Now it is time to turn to an older wisdom that while respecting material comfort and security as a basic right of all also recognises that many of the most valuable things in life cannot be measured.

When I planned my wedding the first time my ex-husband and I we were both struggling comics. I had a TV show that had gotten cancelled. Basically I rented a wedding gown the reception hall smelled like feet.

I believe the war on terror is the vital discussion of this decade and of our generation probably. To win the war on terror you need a good offense and a good defense. On defense I regret to say basically this administration has not come close to doing what is necessary.

Al Jazeera aired a new tape of Osama bin Laden. It was the usual stuff he called Bush evil the Great Satan called him a war monger. Basically the same thing you heard at last night's Democratic debate.

The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.

The Macau casinos have a wonderful business it's taking in money from Chinese businessmen elsewhere who send it through junky companies to casinos to gamble. The growth continues and they have basically western managers and western accounting so we trust the numbers a little bit more.

We have to compete in a universe of 200 networks so we have to carve out our own niche and to me that niche is just basic shoe-leather journalism with some good journalists at the helm you can trust as presenters.

And basically the sense of the 'Pledge to America' is this: Republicans understand when we were in charge we got fired in '06. We spent too much money. We defied the trust that the people had put in us. And we know that there is a better way.

Seriously we are in the midst of the convergence of voice and data and that is challenging the infrastructure of the telephone companies. There are huge commercial interests in the basic technology but even more so in content delivery and control of content.

There was once a time when art history and film were basically the same medium but art history is frozen in late-19th-century technology that has survived into the early 21st century.

I am a technological activist. I have a political agenda. I am in favor of basic human rights: to free speech to use any information and technology to purchase and use recreational drugs to enjoy and purchase so-called 'vices' to be free of intruders and to privacy.

More and more job listings are exclusively available online and as technology evolves nearly every occupation now requires a basic level of digital literacy with web navigation email access and participation in social media.

People are naming it the Third Wave the Information Age etc. but I would say those are basically technological descriptions and this next shift is not about technology - although obviously it will be influenced and in some cases expressed by technologies.

There happened to be guitar classes at the college and there was a guitar teacher there with whom I used to play. In addition I also would go out into country schools and teach little kids basic guitar and singing a few times a week.

Well the teacher I studied with for nineteen and a half years was a man named Paul Gavert. He was a great lieder singer so basically I'm a trained lieder singer because of that teacher. The teacher I currently study with - since 1995 - is Joan Lader who also studied with Gavert.

A teacher is never too smart to learn from his pupils. But while runners differ basic principles never change. So it's a matter of fitting your current practices to fit the event and the individual. See what's good for you might not be worth a darn for the next guy.

I'm blessed with a good pair of ears. That's how I fooled my piano teacher. I'd watch his fingers and I'd listen to it and I just kind of basically learned it by myself.