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    SLANDER

    When a simpleton abused him, Buddha listened in silence; but when the man finished, Buddha asked him, "Son, if a man declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would it belong?" The man answered, "To him who offered it." "My son," said Buddha, "I decline to accept your abuse, and request you to keep it for yourself."

    Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster.


    At the start of the McCarthy era, Floridian Claude Pepper, one of the Senate's most outspoken liberals, was on the conservatives' "hit list" along with many other senators. George Smathers lashed out with some typical right-wing invective -- he called his opponent "the Red Pepper" -- and he launched a campaign to expose Pepper's secret "vices." Smathers disclosed that Pepper was "a known extravert," his sister was a "thespian," and his brother a "practicing homo sapien." Also, when Pepper went to college, he actually "matriculated." Worst of all, he "practiced celibacy" before marriage. Naturally, rural voters were horrified, and Pepper lost.

    Book of Lists No. 2, pp. 36-37.