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Blogging Irishman

Ramblings from a happily exiled Irishman who earns a crust as a Motivational Humorous Business & Healthcare Speaker

Mark Twain on Politics and Pirates

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M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

 

Respect for the Pirate, Not the Politician

 

He was a pirate with a tremendous and sanguinary history; and as long as he preserved unspotted, in retirement, the dignity of his name and the grandeur of his ancient calling, homage and reverence were his from high and low; but when at last he descended into politics and became a paltry alderman, the public ‘shook’ him, and turned aside and wept.

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Mark Twain on Politics: Tammany, High Crimes and Misdemeanors

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M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

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Mark Twain on Politics: Tammany, High Crimes and Misdemeanors 

Twain despised the shenanigans and lack of integrity for the political system and was mutually critical of both sides. He reserved particular angry commentary for the corrupt politics of Tammany Hall and in particular Richard “Boss” Croker who dominated and manipulated New York politics for the latter years of the nineteenth century. Croker is one of the few bad things to come from my home county of Cork, Ireland!

This diatribe from Twain is modeled on a famous Edmund Burke House of Commons speech calling for the impeachment of Warren Hastings, Governor General of India.

I Impeach Richard Croker

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I impeach Richard Croker of high crimes and misdemeanors. I impeach him in the name of the people, whose trust he has betrayed.

I impeach him in the name of Continue reading

Mark Twain on Politics: A man’s first duty is to his own honor

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M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

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A man’s first duty is to his own honor; not to his country and not to his party.

It is easy to despair about the state of the current political environment and with some justification, but for those who believe politics has reached its nadir… well consider that among other things, Abraham Lincoln was referred to as “the obscene ape of Illinois.”

The election of 1884 featured Democrat Grover Cleveland who had fathered a child outside of marriage – “Maw, Maw, where’s my paw?” was a constant refrain from supporters of corrupt Republican candidate James Blaine who had been castigated for accepting bribes from railroad interests.

Given this climate, Mark Twain – who prior to the 1884 election voted Republican – had much to say and that “a man’s first duty is to his own honor; not to his country and not to his party.”

To his good friend William Dean Howells, he wrote:

“Somehow I can’t seem to rest quiet under the idea of your voting for Blaine. I believe you said something about the country and the party. Certainly allegiance to these is well; but as certainly a man’s first duty is to his own conscience and honor—the party or the country come second to that, and never first. I don’t ask you to vote at all—I only urge you to not Continue reading

Mark Twain on Congressmen, Jays, Stealers and Liars

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Today’s M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

 

Mark Twain on Jays and Lying Congressmen

A jay hasn’t got any more principle than a Congressman.

A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise. – What Stumped the Blue Jay

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Mark Twain on Religion and Politics

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Today’s M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

 

Mark Twain on Religion and Politics

Congress don’t know anything about religion. – My Late Senatorial Secretaryship

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I have no prejudices in politics, religion, literature, or anything else. – Mark Twain Speeches: Literature Speech, London May 4, 1900

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But, indeed, the truth is, almost all the men and women of our nation or of any other get their religion and their politics where they get their astronomy—entirely at second hand. Being untrained, they are no more able to intelligently examine a dogma or a policy than they are to calculate an eclipse. – Christian Science 

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Conor Cunneen is a big Mark Twain fan. BUY and ENJOY his new book  Suppose You Were an Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

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“Suppose you were an idiot.

And suppose you were a Congressman.

But I’m repeating myself.”

Mark Twain, A Biography

 

Buy today and I will personally AUTOGRAPH your copyConor Cunneen

 

“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”

 

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Conor Cunneen is also author

What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi  – Mark Twain

Utilizing a unique and memorable MARK TWAIN acronym, author Conor Cunneen demonstrates what the Dean of American Humorists learned him bout public speakin !

MARK ——– BEFORE you go on stage

Message preparation

Audience research and knowledge

Relate to audience

Know your objective

TWAIN ——— ON STAGE

Titter and humor wins the audience

Wait – The power of the Pause

Anecdotes connect

Involve, Inform, Inspire your audience

Narration and stagecraft.

BUY: What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

Mark Twain on Turnips, Chaplains and the Nevada Legislature

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Today’s M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

 

Turnips, Chaplains and the Nevada Legislature

From: Roughing It 

That was a fine collection of sovereigns, that first Nevada legislature. They levied taxes to the amount of thirty or forty thousand dollars and ordered expenditures to the extent of about a million. Yet they had their little periodical explosions of economy like all other bodies of the kind. A member proposed to save three dollars a day to the nation by dispensing with the Chaplain. And yet that short-sighted man needed the Chaplain more than any other member, perhaps, for he generally sat with his feet on his desk, eating raw turnips, during the morning prayer.  

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Conor Cunneen is a big Mark Twain fan. Enjoy his new book  Suppose You Were an Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

twain-front-10-27-compressed

“Suppose you were an idiot.

And suppose you were a Congressman.

But I’m repeating myself.”

Mark Twain, A Biography

 

Buy today and I will personally AUTOGRAPH your copyConor Cunneen

SHIPPING on November 2

 

“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”

Mark Twain Notebook

 

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twain-front-180-10-27Keynote speaker Conor Cunneen is author Suppose You Were An Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians

Twain once wrote “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself.”

“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”

Mark Twain Notebook

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Conor Cunneen is also author

What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi  – Mark Twain

Utilizing a unique and memorable MARK TWAIN acronym, author Conor Cunneen demonstrates what the Dean of American Humorists learned him bout public speakin !

MARK ——– BEFORE you go on stage

Message preparation

Audience research and knowledge

Relate to audience

Know your objective

TWAIN ——— ON STAGE

Titter and humor wins the audience

Wait – The power of the Pause

Anecdotes connect

Involve, Inform, Inspire your audience

Narration and stagecraft.

BUY: What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

Did Mark Twain Know Kellyanne Conway or Robbie Mook??

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Did Mark Twain Know Kellyanne Conway or Robbie Mook??

Mark Twain railed against what he saw as the lack of integrity and honesty in politics. (And you thought this was a new phenomenon!)

In his 1907 book Christian Science, Twain doesn’t hold back on his views of party politics and its practitioners. Lord alone knows what he would think of what is going on today! His comments below brought to mind spin merchants Kellyanne Conway and Robbie Mook.

Man may soil his honor

“It is an accepted law of public life that in it a man may soil his honor in the interest of party expediency—must do it when party expediency requires it. In private life those men would bitterly resent—and justly—any insinuation that it would not be safe to leave unwatched money within their reach; yet you could not wound their feelings by reminding them that every time they vote ten dollars to the pension appropriation nine of it is stolen money and they the marauders.

They have filched the money to take care of the party; they believe it was right to do it; they do not see how their private honor is affected; therefore their consciences are clear and at rest.

By vote they do wrongful things every day, in the party interest, which they could not be persuaded to do in private life. In the interest of party expediency they give solemn pledges, they make solemn compacts; in the interest of party expediency they repudiate them without a blush. They would not dream of committing these strange crimes in private life.”

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twain-front-180-10-27Keynote speaker Conor Cunneen is author Suppose You Were An Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and PoliticiansTwain once wrote “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself.”

 

“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”

Mark Twain Notebook

Conor Cunneen is also author

What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi  – Mark Twain

Utilizing a unique and memorable MARK TWAIN acronym, author Conor Cunneen demonstrates what the Dean of American Humorists learned him bout public speakin !

Message preparation

Audience research and knowledge

Relate to audience

Know your objective

Ryan Lochte and Choosing Attitude in Tough Times

“Honest, Maw, it was only a little fib!”

You’re right, Ryan, especially considering the level of “embroidering” we get from all political parties. You’re now paying a heavy price for a drunken, silly escapade that results (at time of writing) the loss of endorsements from Speedo and Ralph Lauren and more importantly your reputation.

In the greater scheme of things, Lochte’s infractions are minor and thus should allow for rehabilitation. Think Bill Clinton, Robert Downey, Brian Williams, Charlie Sheen. The list could be never ending. In the meantime, there is one question that can truly help Lochte get through what must be a pretty miserable (self-inflicted) mess.

What do I want my Attitude to be?

In his wonderful book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote that everything can be taken from a person, except the ability to choose your attitude in even the worst circumstances.

Whether we like it or not, we all hit pot holes and speed bumps. When we hit those speed bumps and potholes, the question that will help you, the question that helps me regularly is “What do I want my Attitude to be?”

The question is powerful, because when you ask that question, you are unlikely to say, “I want to be angry, I want to be annoyed, I want to be upset. ”

No, when you ask “What do I want my attitude to be?” you are much more likely to respond, “I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to be upset, I don’t want to be annoyed” and having answered the question that way, you will make some effort not to be angry, not to be annoyed, not to be upset.

“What do I want my attitude to be?”  does work. Even when stopped by Illinois’ finest as this little clip demonstrates!!!

Keep on keepin’ on, good people!

Mark Twain, Truth and Ryan Lochte

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Original illustration for Conor’s book What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

Swimmer Ryan Lochte doesn’t strike me as a guy who spends too much time reading, but he (and all of us) could benefit from Mark Twain words in 1894 when he famously wrote “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

Twain was probably speaking from some experience because he did admit to telling a few “stretchers” during his long, creative life.

In his autobiography, he recounts his mother being asked “”Do you ever believe anything that that boy says?” to which she rather colorfully responded “”He is a well spring of truth, but you can’t bring up the whole well with one bucket. I know his average, therefore he never deceives me. I discount him thirty per cent for embroidery, and what is left is perfect and priceless truth, without a flaw in it anywhere.”

Given that quote, it seems rather ironic that it is Lochte’s mother (who apparently first publicized the story) wasn’t aware for her son’s penchant for embroidery. I do have some sympathy for Lochte that a simple “stretcher” that he surely never even needed to say to his mother now comes back to haunt him. But given what precipitated the incident, maybe Karma is kicking in.

The Problem with “Stretchers” and Speech Embroidery!

Apart from you and me, dear reader, there isn’t a person alive that hasn’t “embroidered” at some stage (a sentence that probably does involve some embroidery!)

As Lochte, Brian Williams and others can testify in today’s media-mad world, Twain’s advice of “When in doubt, tell the truth” is good advice, although in a 1906 speech the great humorist did qualify this a little saying “When in doubt, tell the truth. That maxim I did invent, but never expected it to be applied to me. I did say, ‘When you are in doubt,’ but when I am in doubt myself I use more sagacity!”

Assuming that it is “only” pride and truth that are casualties here, I do wish Lochte and the rest of his buddies – who must surely want to send him on a slow boat to China – the very best as this is likely to be one very expensive mistake for him in terms of endorsements.

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Chicago Leadership and Presentation Skills Speaker Conor Cunneen on Mark Twain Presentation Speaking Tips

Conor Cunneen is a Chicago based professional speaker and business consultant whose mission is to Improve People, Performance and Productivity. This Irishman is authorWhat Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’

 

Humorous Motivational Speaker Chicago on Mark Twain

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How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PENITENTIARY – to get ’em evocating!

How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – PENITENTIARY – to get ’em evocating!

“There are many Senators whom I hold in a certain respect and would not think of declining to meet socially, if I believed it was the will of God. We have lately sent a United States Senator to the penitentiary, but I am quite well aware that of those who have escaped this promotion there are several who are in some regards guiltless of crime–not guiltless of all crimes, for that cannot be said of any United States Senator, I think, but guiltless of some kinds of crime.”

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Original illustration by Mark Anderson for Conor’s book – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout public Speakin’

Published in   What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’  by Conor Cunneen

Original SOURCE: Mark Twain Autobiography      

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Conor Cunneen is author of What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin’ 

Order a copy today and help Conor keep corned beef and cabbage on the table!