Just Above Sunset
The Archive of Useful Pithy Observations...

Home | The Weird | Quotes

Quotes for the week of August 20, 2006 - Are We Winning?


Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


I never did say that you can't be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I'd trip her up. - Leo Durocher


Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. -  George S. Patton


There's nothing to winning, really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever. - Alfred Hitchcock 


When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets - He is out of his mind! His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting - and the need to win drains him of power. - Chuang Tzu


When you are winning a war, almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise. - Winston Churchill 


The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else. - Martina Navratilova 


And everybody praised the Duke Who this great fight did win. "But what good came of it at last?" quoth little Peterkin. "Why, that I cannot tell," said he, "But 'twas a famous victory." -

Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim


Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. - Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower 


If you live long enough, you'll see every victory turn into a defeat. - Simone de Beauvoir, The Blood of Others, 1946


Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe. If you try to dominate people you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it. - Daniel Goleman 


Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning, but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat. - George Eliot,  Mr. Dempster, in Janet's Repentance, 1857.


Only the defeated and deserters go to war. - Henry David Thoreau 


Positiveness is a most absurd foible. If you are in the right, it lessens your triumph; if in the wrong, it adds shame to your defeat. - Laurence Sterne 


Has God forgotten all I have done for Him? -  attributed to Louis XIV upon hearing of the French defeat at Malplaquet, 1709



And found along the way -


Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting. - Alan Dean Foster, To the Vanishing Point


What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. - Vice President Dan Quayle, speaking to the United Negro College Fund, May 9, 1989 - (reported in Esquire, 8/92 and in the NY Times, 12/9/92)


I can't say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. - Daniel Boone 


I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of calumny - fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear. - Margaret Chase Smith 



Quotes for the week of August 13, 2006 - Compromise


Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. - Abraham Lincoln, "Notes for a Law Lecture" July 1, 1850


COMPROMISE, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity. - Bertrand Russell


All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. - Edmund Burke, Speech on the Conciliation of America


To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be. - Golda Meir 


You may either win your peace or buy it: win it, by resistance to evil; buy it, by compromise with evil. - John Ruskin 


Compromise is simply changing the question to fit the answer. - Merrit Malloy 


Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy. - Phyllis McGinley 


He never wants anything but what's right and fair; only when you come to settle what's right and fair, it's everything that he wants and nothing that you want. And that's his idea of a compromise.  - Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays


Moderation? It's mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It's the devil's dilemma. It's neither doing nor not doing. It's the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It's for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation... is lukewarm tea, the devil's own brew. - Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior


Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent. - Jimmy Carter 


Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf. -  G. K. Chesterton


Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads. I pragmatically turn my whims into principles. - Bill Watterson


Being a man is the continuing battle for one's life. One loses a bit of manhood with every stale compromise to the authority of any power in which one does not believe. - H. Rap Brown


Once you consent to some concession, you can never cancel it and put things back the way they are. -  Howard Hughes


I'm a compromiser and a maneuverer. I try to get "something." That's the way our system works. - Lyndon B. Johnson


Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions. - Samuel Johnson


People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters. - Dwight D. Eisenhower


If you are not very clever, you should be conciliatory. - Benjamin Disraeli



Quotes for the week of August 6, 2006 - Born This Day


Andy Warhol - born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) -


An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them.


Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.


During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think they've ever remembered.


I am a deeply superficial person.


I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.


I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.


I like boring things.


I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.


I never think that people die. They just go to department stores.


I never understood why when you died, you didn't just vanish, everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn't be there. I always thought I'd like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph, and no name. Well, actually, I'd like it to say 'figment.'


I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.


I'd asked around 10 or 15 people for suggestions. Finally one lady friend asked the right question, 'Well, what do you love most?' That's how I started painting money.


I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.


I'm the type who'd be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn't going to. I'm the type who'd like to sit home and watch every party that I'm invited to on a monitor in my bedroom.


I've decided something: Commercial things really do stink. As soon as it becomes commercial for a mass market it really stinks.


It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor's finger.


It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.


Land really is the best art.


My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person.


The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.


When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships.


It's the place where my prediction from the sixties finally came true: "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." I'm bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is, "In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous."


I used to think that everything was just being funny but now I don't know. I mean, how can you tell?


Everybody winds up kissing the wrong person goodnight.


Since people are going to be living longer and getting older, they'll just have to earn how to be babies longer.


Those who talk about individuality the most are the ones who most object to deviation, and in a few years it may be the other way around. Some day everybody will just think what they want to think, and then everybody will probably be thinking alike; that seems to be what is happening.


Lucille Ball, born August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York as Lucille Desiree Ball (never changed her name) -


Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.


Alfred Lord Tennyson, born August 6, 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire -


When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him.


I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.



Quotes for the week of July 30, 2006 - War and Peace


PEACE, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

WAR, n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity.

- Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary


When every autumn people said it could not last through the winter, and when every spring there was still no end in sight, only the hope that out of it all some good would accrue to mankind kept men and nations fighting. When at last it was over, the war had many diverse results and one dominant one transcending all others: disillusion.  - Barbara Tuchman


One of the expressions of Western over-reliance on technology can be seen in the lack of patience in industrial society. When you deal with technology, everything happens at the touch of a button. This conditions you to become so impatient that when you have an emotional or personal crisis, you don't allow time for the solution to take effect. This leads to all sorts of rash responses, like quarrels, fights and so on. - Dalai Lama


War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to face it. - Benito Mussolini, quted by George Seldes in Sawdust Caesar, 1935


War is like love, it always finds a way. - Bertolt Brecht


When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing. - Dwight Eisenhower


We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon - no alternative. - Golda Meir


Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because it is the one thing that stops women from laughing at them. - John Fowles


War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


It is regrettable for the education of the young that war stories are always told by those who survived. - Louis Scutenaire 


Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology. - Rebecca West


The day when nobody comes back from a war it will be because the war has at last been properly organized. - Thomas Vian


The final war will be between Pavlov's dog and Schoedinger's Cat. - Robert Anton Wilson  


Everyday I think about dying, about disease, starvation, violence, terrorism, war, the end of the world. It helps keep my mind off things. - Roger McGough


To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading. - Thomas Hardy, The Dynasts


Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare. - John Dryden



Quotes for the week of July 23, 2006 - Forever Jung (Carl Gustav Jung)


Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.


Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.


Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.


Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.


The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.


The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.


The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.


We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.


As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.


The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.


Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.


A particularly beautiful woman is a source of terror. As a rule, a beautiful woman is a terrible disappointment.


Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.


Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.


How indeed? He copes, like everybody else, as well as he can, that's all. And it's usually deplorably enough.


I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice.


If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.


Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.


Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better.


The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.


The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.


The word "belief" is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it - I don't need to believe it.

Carl G. Jung


Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.




Who's he?  This guy -


"Jung was born in Kesswil, in the Swiss canton of Thurgau on July 26, 1875. A very solitary introverted child, Jung was convinced from childhood that he had two personalities - a modern Swiss citizen, and a personality more at home in the eighteenth century. His father was a vicar, but, although Jung was close to both parents, he was rather disappointed in his father's academic approach to faith. Jung wanted to study archaeology at university, but his family was too poor to send him further afield than Basel, where they did not teach this subject, so instead Jung studied medicine at the University of Basel from 1894–1900. The formerly introverted student became much more lively here. Towards the end of studies here, his reading of Krafft-Ebbing persuaded him to specialise in psychiatric medicine. He later worked in the Burghölzli, a psychiatric hospital in Zurich. In 1906, he published The Psychology of Dementia Praecox, and later sent a copy of this book to Freud, after which a close but brief friendship between these two men followed. Dementia praecox was the name of a chronic psychotic disorder which was renamed schizophrenia by Jung's colleague at the Burgholzli, Eugen Bleuler, in an article published in 1908.


"By 1913, however, especially after Jung had published Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (known in English as The Psychology of the Unconscious) their theoretical ideas had diverged so sharply that the two men fell out, each suggesting that the other was unable to admit he could possibly be wrong. After this falling-out, Jung had some form of psychological transformative experience, exacerbated by news of the First World War, which had a dire effect on Jung even in his own neutral Switzerland. Henri Ellenberger called Jung's experience a "creative illness" and compared it to Freud's period of what he called neurasthenia and hysteria.


"Following World War I, Jung became a worldwide traveler, facilitated by the funds he realized through book sales, honoraria, and moneys received for sabbaticals from achieving seniority in the medical institutions at which he was employed. He visited Northern Africa shortly after, and New Mexico and Kenya in the mid-1920s. In 1938, he delivered the Terry Lectures, Psychology and Religion, at Yale University. It was at about this stage in his life that Jung visited India, and while there, had dreams related to King Arthur. This convinced him that his agenda should be to pay more attention to Western spirituality, and his later writings do show deep interests in Western mystery tradition and esoteric Christianity, and especially alchemy.


"In 1903 Jung married Emma Rauschenbach, from one of the richest families in Switzerland, and together they had five children. Their marriage lasted until Emma's death in 1955, but certainly experienced emotional torments, brought about by Jung's relationships with women other than Emma. The most well-known women with whom Jung is believed to have had extramarital affairs are Sabina Spielrein and Toni Wolff. Jung continued to publish books until the end of his life, including a work showing his late interest in flying saucers. He also enjoyed a brief friendship with an English Catholic priest, Father Victor White, who corresponded with Jung after he had published his controversial study of the Book of Job.


"Jung died in 1961 in Zürich, Switzerland."



Quotes for the week of July 16, 2006 - Lazy Sumer Days


Next to reasoning, the greatest handicap to the optimum development of Man lies in the fact that this planet is just barely habitable. Its minimum temperatures are too low, and its maximum temperatures too high. Its day is not long enough, and its night is too long. The disposition of its water and earth is distinctly unfortunate (the existence of the Mediterranean Sea in the place where we find it is perhaps the unhappiest accident in the whole firmament). These factors encourage depression, fear, war, and lack of vitality. They describe a planet which is by no means perfectly devised for the nurturing or for the perpetuation of a higher intelligence. - James Thurber


Ah, summer - what power you have to make us suffer and like it. - Russell Baker


Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing ''Embraceable You'' in spats. -  Woody Allen


Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. - Sam Keen


What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance. - Jane Austen


Spring has many American faces. There are cities where it will come and go in a day and counties where it hangs around and never quite gets there. Summer is drawn blinds in Louisiana, long winds in Wyoming, shade of elms and maples in New England. - Archibald MacLeish


Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. -  Henry James


To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual. - Oscar Wilde


The lazy man gets round the sun as quickly as the busy one. -  R. T. Wombat


Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. - Charlie McCarthy


Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. - Mortimer Caplan


I like the word "indolence." It makes my laziness seem classy. - Bern Williams 


Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now. - Steven Wright 


Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted. - John Lennon


The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves. - W. C. Fields


The time will come when winter will ask you what you were doing all summer. - Henry Clay



Quotes for the week of July 9, 2006 - Don't Worry. Be Happy.


Gilbert White discovered the formula for complete happiness, but he died before making the announcement, leaving it for me to do so. It is to be very busy with the unimportant.  - Alfred Edward Newton


FUTURE, n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured. - Ambrose Bierce


Most people don't know or don't accept the fact that if they had no thoughts they would be happy. - Anthony Damiani


If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years. - Bertrand Russell


Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou. - Chang Tao-ling


We possess only the happiness we are able to understand. - Count Maurice Maeterlinck


We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy. - Cyril Connolly


Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy. - Cythina Nelms


Happiness? That's nothing more than good health and a poor memory. - Albert Schweitzer


You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy. - Eric Hoffer


Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. - Ernest Hemingway


It's funny, this thing about happiness. It's a commodity that was imported from America in the Fifties. I see myself simply as living my life. … I feel it's pushing your luck to define how happy you are. - Francesca Annis


Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. - George Burns


Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop. - Gittel Hudnick


Money will not make you happy, and happy will not make you money. - Groucho Marx


Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull. - H.L. Mencken


Success may be the ability to be happy with whatever we're stuck with. - Marilyn vos Savant


People far prefer happiness to wisdom, but that is like wanting to be immortal without getting older. - Sydney J. Harris


Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously! - Friedrich Nietzsche


I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves. - Ludwig Wittgenstein


To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. - Woody Allen



Quotes for the week of July 2, 2006 - Independence Day


Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. - Albert Camus


Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political. - Ignazio Silone


The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free. - Baruch Spinoza


I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking. -  Woodrow Wilson


Beer commercials are so patriotic: "Made the American Way." What does that have to do with America? Is that what America stands for? Feeling sluggish and urinating frequently? - Evelyn Waugh


You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. - Erma Bombeck


Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. - George Bernard Shaw


A politician will do anything to keep his job - even become a patriot. - William Randolph Hearst


The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe. - H. L. Mencken


Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it brings. - Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929


Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. - Jean-Paul Sartre


After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the cost to others, to win advancement. - Norman Thomas


There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.


The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.


This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies. - Rabbi Sherwin Wine


It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve. - Henry George


A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. - Ramsey Clark


People hardly ever make use of the freedom they have. For example, the freedom of thought. Instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation. - Søren Kierkegaard


My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. - Adlai E. Stevenson


To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom. - Andre Gide


You have freedom when you're easy in your harness. - Robert Frost


Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond. - Jeffrey Borenstein


Liberty doesn't work as well in practice as it does in speeches. - Will Rogers


The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as a destroyer of liberty. - Abraham Lincoln


Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, the robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis


You should never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and liberty. - Henrik Ibsen 



Quotes for the week of June 25, 2006 - So just what do you know?


We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything. - Thomas A. Edison


I believe in the brotherhood of man and the uniqueness of the individual. But if you ask me to prove what I believe, I can't. You know them to be true but you could spend a whole lifetime without being able to prove them. The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap. - Albert Einstein


On the ostensible exactitude of certain branches of human knowledge, including mathematics: The exactness is a fake. - Alfred North Whitehead


FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks, without knowledge, of things without parallel. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge; it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. - Charles Darwin


All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing. - Count Maurice Maeterlinck


The great obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. - Daniel J. Boorstin


Knowledge is power if you know about the right person. - Ethel Mumford


If you dissemble sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall be thought, another time, to know that you know not. - Francis Bacon


We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine. - H. L. Mencken


If confusion is the first step to knowledge, I must be a genius. - Larry Leissner


God will not suffer man to have knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience of his prosperity, he would be careless; and understanding of his adversity, he would be senseless. - Saint Augustine of Hippo


One forms provisional theories and waits for time or fuller knowledge to explode them. A bad habit, Mr. Ferguson, but human nature is weak. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes to Watson in "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire"


I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about. - Oscar Wilde quotes


I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world. - Margaret Mead


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance, for it requires knowledge to perceive it; and, therefore, he that can perceive it hath it not. - Jeremy Taylor


To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself. - Albert Einstein


The ancient sage who concocted the maxim, Know Thyself might have added, Don't Tell Anyone! - H. F. Henrichs



Quotes for the week of June 18, 2006 - Just Getting Along


There are so many hammocks to catch you if you fall, so many laws to keep you from experience. All these cities I have been in the last few weeks make me fully understand the cozy, stifling state in which most people pass through life. I don't want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride. All you do is get to breathe and copulate and finally die. I don't want to go with the smooth skin and the calm brow. I hope I end up a blithering idiot cursing the sun - hallucinating, screaming, giving obscene and inane lectures on street corners and public parks. People will walk by and say, "Look at that drooling idiot. What a basket case." I will turn and say to them "It is you who are the basket case. For every moment you hated your job, cursed your wife and sold yourself to a dream that you didn't even conceive. For the times your soul screamed yes and you said no. For all of that. For your self-torture, I see the glowing eyes of the sun! The air talks to me! I am at all times!" And maybe, the passers by will drop a coin into my cup. - Henry Rollins


I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic - in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself. -  Anais Nin


A person can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees. - E. F. Schumacher


To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful. - Carl Gustav Jung


The trouble with normal is it always gets worse. - Bruce Cockburn


All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring. - Chuck Palahniuk


Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason. - Octavio Paz


What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer. - Bertrand Russell


If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. - Jim Rohn


"Everything you say is boring and incomprehensible," she said, "but that alone doesn't make it true." -  Franz Kafka


Somebody's boring me. I think it's me. - Dylan Thomas


I like boring things. - Andy Warhol


Just standing around looking beautiful is so boring. - Michelle Pfeiffer


Most people don't know or don't accept the fact that if they had no thoughts they would be happy. - Anthony Damiani



Quotes for the week of June 11, 2006 - Pertaining to Current Events


The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world. - Georgia Harkness


You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain


It is exactly because a man cannot do a thing that he is a proper judge of it. - Oscar Wilde


When personal judgment is inoperative (or forbidden), men's first concern is not how to choose, but how to justify their choice. - Ayn Rand


It is only an error in judgment to make a mistake, but it shows infirmity of character to adhere to it when discovered. - Christian Nevell Bovee


I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future. - former Vice President Dan Quayle


A weak man has doubts before a decision; a strong man has them afterwards. - Karl Kraus 


Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary. - Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), "Satyagraha Leaflet No. 13," May 3, 1919


Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. - Sun-tzu, The Art of War


Every minute you are thinking of evil, you might have been thinking of good instead. Refuse to pander to a morbid interest in your own misdeeds. Pick yourself up, be sorry, shake yourself, and go on again. - Evelyn Underhill


Evil is obvious only in retrospect. - Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, 1983


Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty. - Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, 1947


It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake. - H. L. Mencken


Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings. - Søren Kierkegaard


To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics as well as morals. - William Penn


Often the fear on one evil leads us into a worse. [Souvent la peur d'un mal nous conduit dans un pire.] - Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, L'Art Poetique (I, 64)


Of evils one should choose the least. [Ex malis eligere minima oportere.] - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero), De Officiis (book III, 1)


The Evil One has left, the evil ones remain. [Den Bosen sind sie los, die Bosen sind geblieben.] - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (I, 6, 174)


There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless. - W. Somerset Maugham


A victor only breeds hatred, while a defeated man lives in misery, but a man at peace within lives happily, abandoning up ideas of victory and defeat. - Buddha, Sayings of the Buddha in The Dhammapada


Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting. - Alan Dean Foster, To the Vanishing Point


In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying. - Bertrand Russell


Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. - Sir Winston Churchill



Quotes for the week of May 28, 2006 - America, Memorial Day


This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do. - Jack Kerouac, On the Road


We [Americans] are the lavishest and showiest and most luxury-loving people on the earth; and at our masthead we fly one true and honest symbol, the gaudiest flag the world has ever seen. - Mark Twain


I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad immoral character: like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. - Benjamin Franklin


Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn't give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor ever lose a war. - General George S. Patton


In April 1917 the illusion of isolation was destroyed, America came to the end of innocence, and of the exuberant freedom of bachelor independence. That the responsibilities of world power have not made us happier is no surprise. To help ourselves manage them, we have replaced the illusion of isolation with a new illusion of omnipotence. - Barbara Tuchman


You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. - Winston Churchill


What the United States does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is understand others. - Carlos Fuentes


I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. - James Baldwin


America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. - Sigmund Freud


In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical cunning. -  A. E. Housman


It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations are in a conspiracy to under-value them. - Henry James


It's complicated, being an American, having the money and the bad conscience, both at the same time. - Louis Simpson


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


America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy. - John Updike, Problems and Other Stories


America is at that awkward stage; it's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. - Claire Wolfe


America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true. - James T. Farrell


America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to be large. - E. M. Forster - "Impressions of the United States," in Listener, London, 4 September 1947


It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it. Everybody has their own America, and then they have the pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can't see. - Andy Warhol


America: the only country in the world where failing to promote yourself is regarded as being arrogant. - Garretson Beckman "Garry" Trudeau


In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people. - Groucho Marx


I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. - Muhammad Ali, The Greatest (1975)


If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world? - Richard Nixon


America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else; when discovered it was not wanted; and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it. America was named after a man who discovered no part of the New World. History is like that, very chancy. - Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People (1965)



Quotes for the week of May 21, 2006 - We Are a Land of Immigrants


The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner. -  Italo Calvino


Only very rarely are foreigners or first-generation immigrants allowed to be nice people in American films. Those with an accent are bad guys. - Max von Sydow


Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection. - Martin Luther King, Jr.


When people like me, they tell me it is in spite of my color. When they dislike me, they point out that it is not because of my color. - Frantz Fanon


Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. - Bertrand Russell


My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia. -  Dame Edna Everage


If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world. - Francis Bacon


At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference. - Søren Kierkegaard


The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it.  - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.  - William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches and Public Letters


Fear is not the natural state of civilized people. - Aung San Suu Kyi


Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. - Desmond Tutu


When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. - Dom Helder Camara


Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man's business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ''Am I my brother's keeper?'' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.  Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death. - Eugene V. Debs


Last guys don't finish nice. - Saul Alinsky

Quotes for the week of May 14, 2006 - The Wisest Fool of the Past Fifty Years


For his birthday.  Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, the famous former catcher and baseball manager, was born May 12, 1925.  He played almost his entire career with the Yankees and was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.  He is one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times, and one of only six managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. He has lived in Montclair, New Jersey since he retired.


The nickname?  That came from a friend who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (a yogi) they had seen in a movie.  That had to do with Berra sitting around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat, or bummed out after a losing game.  Well, he turned into the "greatest all-around catcher in baseball history" although some would say that would be Johnny Bench.


There's a lot more here. 


He grew up in Saint Louis and dropped out of school in the middle of the eighth grade, but still, he was named "The Wisest Fool of the Past 50 Years" by The Economist magazine in January 2005.  He did say some odd things, even though he protested "I never said half the things I really said."


Here's some of the half he said -

  • A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
  • All pitchers are liars or crybabies.
  • Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
  • Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
  • Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
  • Even Napoleon had his Watergate.
  • Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.
  • He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.
  • How can you think and hit at the same time?
  • I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.
  • I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?
  • I never said most of the things I said.
  • I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.
  • I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.
  • I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  • If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.
  • If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.
  • If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
  • It ain't over till it's over.
  • It ain't the heat, it's the humility.
  • It gets late early out there.
  • It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
  • It's like déjà vu all over again.
  • Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
  • So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.
  • Take it with a grin of salt.
  • The future ain't what it used to be.
  • The only color I don't have is navy brown.
  • The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.
  • The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
  • There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.
  • We have deep depth.
  • We made too many wrong mistakes.
  • You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
  • You can observe a lot by just watching.
  • You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.
  • You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.
  • If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping.
  • If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be.
  • You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what's left.


Quotes for the week of May 7, 2006 - "Why be pessimistic?"


The man who is a pessimist before forty-eight knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little. - Mark Twain


Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play. - Thomas Hardy


The taste for worst-case scenarios reflects the need to master fear of what is felt to be uncontrollable. It also expresses an imaginative complicity with disaster. - Susan Sontag 


Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism. -  Enoch Arnold Bennett


The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.  - George F. Will, The Leveling Wind


My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists. - Jean Rostand (1894-1977), Journal of a Character, 1931


I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.  -  Antonio Gramsci, 1891-1937, founder of the Italian Communist Party


In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. - Daniel L. Reardon


I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin. - Leonard Cohen


A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists. -  Don Marquis


The basis of optimism is sheer terror. - Oscar Wilde


The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. - Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923


The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change; The realist adjusts the sails. - William Arthur Ward


If Christianity is pessimistic as to man, it is optimistic as to human destiny. Well, I can say that, pessimistic as to human destiny, I am optimistic as to man. - Albert Camus


Pessimists are not boring. Pessimists are right. Pessimists are superfluous.  - Elias Canetti   


You've got to take the bitter with the sour. - Samuel Goldwyn


A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad.  An optimist is a man who hopes they are.  - Chauncey Mitchell Depew

Quotes for the week of April 30, 2006 - Sam's Club


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), one of England's greatest literary figures, was a poet, essayist, biographer, lexicographer and some say the very finest critic of English literature.  Yeah, who cares?  Between 1747 and 1755 he wrote the first English dictionary.  Between 1779 and 1781 he wrote the ten volume "Lives of the Poets."  But everyone remembers the quotes.  He would probably think that a trifle unfair and a bit silly, but be just a little bit pleased.  Of course you should read his major works, or not.  Those times, when people read essays on the nature of man and carefully crafted moral poetry, have passed.


But some of what he wrote persists.  The standard reference for the quotes, with almost two thousand of them, is here and most everything you'd want to know about the man is here, with most of the quotes here by source.


Avoiding those already cited in these pages, and the ones everyone knows, here is a curious collection of what he was saying.


-          Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.


-          A cucumber should be well-sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.


-          A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.


-          Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.


-          As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.


-          Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.


-          Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.


-          If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.


-          If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary be not idle.


-          In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.


-          It is better to live rich than to die rich.


-          Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.


-          People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.


-          Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.


-          The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.


-          There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified and new prejudices to be opposed.


-          We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.


-          When once a man has made celebrity necessary to his happiness, he has put it in the power of the weakest and most timorous malignity, if not to take away his satisfaction, at least to withhold it. His enemies may indulge their pride by airy negligence and gratify their malice by quiet neutrality.


-          Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.


-          Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.


-          Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.


-          Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden exchange meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home, and dream of one another. Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they shall be happy together. They marry, and discover what nothing but voluntary blindness had before concealed; they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.


-          There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good.


-          You must have taken great pains, sir; you could not naturally been so very stupid. 


-          Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.


-          He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great. 


-          I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney.


-          Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.



Quotes for the week of April 23, 2006 - State Secrets


I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. - Katherine Graham


Secrecy is the first essential in affairs of state. - Cardinal Richelieu


Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity. - Lord Acton


There are some occasions when a man must tell half his secret, in order to conceal the rest. - Lord Chesterfield (Philip Stanhope)


Shy and unready men are great betrayers of secrets; for there are few wants more urgent for the moment than the want of something to say. - Sir Henry Taylor


None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them. - Charles Caleb Colton


Of course I can keep secrets. It's the people I tell them to that can't keep them. - Anthony Haden-Guest


History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose. - John LeCarre


To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly. - Samuel Johnson


I usually get my stuff from people who promised somebody else that they would keep it a secret. - Walter Winchell


There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses. - George Bernard Shaw, "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1893), act III


You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people. - W. H. Auden


Men with secrets tend to be drawn to each other, not because they want to share what they know but because they need the company of the like-minded, the fellow afflicted. - Don DeLillo


Don't you think that any secret course is an unworthy one? - Charles Dickens, David Copperfield


A neurosis is a secret that you don't know you are keeping. - Kenneth Tynan

Quotes for the week of April 16, 2006 - The Revolt of the Generals


My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. - William T. Sherman


Men seldom, or rather never for a length of time and deliberately, rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against. - Thomas Carlyle


The worst of rebels never arm / To do their king or country harm, / But draw their swords to do them good, / As doctors cure by letting blood. - Samuel Butler 


Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence. - Albert Camus


It is not rebellion itself which is noble but the demands it makes upon us. - Albert Camus 


In the fight between you and the world, back the world. - Frank Zappa


Certainty - When one is mistaken at the top of one's voice. - Ambrose Bierce


If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the military, nothing is safe. - Lord Salisbury 


I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep. - Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord 


The Army has carried the American … ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability. - Tom Lehrer 


Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact. - Sun Tzu 


The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. - HP Lovecraft

Quotes for the week of April 9, 2006 - Illusions


It is respectable to have illusions - and safe - and profitable, and dull. - Joseph Conrad


We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us. - Rabindranath Tagore


The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action. - Oscar Wilde quotes


Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions. - Albert Einstein


Hope is a bad thing. It means that you are not what you want to be. It means that part of you is dead, if not all of you. It means that you entertain illusions. It's a sort of spiritual clap, I should say. - Henry Miller


An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted. - Arthur Miller


We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy. - Cyril Connolly 


The great obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. - Daniel J. Boorstin 


What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. - Woody Allen 


Reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays. - Aldous Huxley 


Become a mystic. Help stamp out reality. - Charles S. Milligan 


In cases of major discrepancy it's always reality that's got it wrong … reality is frequently inaccurate. - Douglas Adams 


Sometimes you have to look reality in the eye and deny it. - Garrison Keillor 


Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it. - Jack Wagner


I like reality. It tastes of bread. - Jean Anouilh 


I feel not unlike a small boy, waking from a bad dream to find reality not much of an improvement. - John Byrne 


Reality is nothing but a collective hunch. - Lily Tomlin 


It's my belief that sanity lies in realizing that reality is not exactly what we had in mind. - Roy Blount 


If you're interested in misery, 1 - always try to look good in front of others; 2 - always live in a world of assumptions and treat each assumption as though it's a reality; 3 - relate to every new situation as if it is a small crisis; 4 - always live in the future or the past; and 5 - occasionally stomp on yourself for being so dumb as to follow the first four rules.  - W. W. Broadbent (Professor of Psychiatry at the USC Medical Center) 


Man knows much more than he understands. - Alfred Adler


I don't understand you. You don't understand me. What else do we have in common? - Ashleigh Brilliant 


What a delightful thing is the conversation of specialists! One understands absolutely nothing and it's charming. - Edgar Degas 

Quotes for the week of April 2, 2006 - Daylight Savings Time Begins


A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours. - John B. Priestly


Baseball player: "What time is it?"

Yogi Berra: "You mean now?"


I confess, I do not believe in time. - Vladimir Nabokov


Calendars are for careful people, not passionate ones. - Chuck Sigars


I've been on a calendar but I have never been on time. - Marilyn Monroe


Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. - Douglas Adams


Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. - William Faulkner


So little time and so little to do. - Oscar Levant


Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems - but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible. - Salman Rushdie


Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. - Will Rogers, New York Times, April 29, 1930


Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. - Bob Packwood


Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied. - Douglas Adams

Quotes for the week of March 26, 2006 - Religion in the News


When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion. - Abraham Lincoln


I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern without any superhuman authority behind it. - Albert Einstein


Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness. - Alfred North Whitehead


Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. - Benjamin Franklin


Among politicians the esteem of religion is profitable; the principles of it are troublesome. - Benjamin Whichcote


Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Blaise Pascal


If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him. - James Baldwin


Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven. - Mark Twain


Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is. - Mohandas K. Gandhi


Did Saint Francis really preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats. - Rebecca West


The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. - Richard Francis Burton


The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him a ride. - Henry Louis Mencken, Prejudices: Third Series, 1917


One man's religion is another man's belly laugh. - Robert A. Heinlein


All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. - Cathy Ladman


Most sermons sound to me like commercials - but I can't make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


On the lighter side –


I'm Jewish. I don't work out. If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor. - Joan Rivers


When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself. - Peter O'Toole


When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. - Emo Philips


In the beginning there was nothing and God said "Let there be light," and there was still nothing but everybody could see it. - Dave Thomas


God is love, but get it in writing. - Gypsy Rose Lee.


I don't pray because I don't want to bore God. - Orson Welles.

Quotes for the week of March 19, 2006 - As the War Turns Four


Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. - George Bernard Shaw


I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.  - Maureen Reagan


Your lives are in the hands of men no smarter than you or I, many of them incompetent boobs. I know this because I worked alongside them, gone bowling with them, watched them pass me over for promotions time and again. And I say... This stinks! - Dan Castellaneta as the voice of Homer Simpson


Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence. – the famous Napoleon Bonaparte quote


A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops. - John J. Pershing


Obscurity and competence - that is the life that is best worth living. - Mark Twain


I don't have time to distinguish between the unfortunate and the incompetent. - Curtis Le May


Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, and those in cemeteries. - Everett McKinley Dirksen


To revenge reasonable incredulity by refusing evidence, is a degree of insolence with which the world is not yet acquainted; and stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt. - Samuel Johnson


If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong. - Charles Kettering


The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. - David Friedman


I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes. - General Douglas MacArthur


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it. - W. C. Fields


It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"


If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill


Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. - John Kenneth Galbraith


The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one. - William H. Seward


Stubbornness does have its helpful features.  You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow. - Glen Beaman


What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Quotes for the week of March 12, 2006 – Nonsense


Mingle a little folly with your wisdom; a little nonsense now and then is pleasant. - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina (IV, 12, 27) –[Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem: Dulce est desipere in loco.]


No one is exempt from taking nonsense; the misfortune is to do it solemnly. - Michael Eyquen de Montaigne, Essays (Book III, Chapter I)


Nonsense is an assertion of man's spiritual freedom in spite of all the oppressions of circumstance. - Aldous Huxley


There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate government action. -  Bertrand Russell 


Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense. - Robert Frost 


All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others. - Samuel Butler


The learned fool writes nonsense in better language that the unlearned - but it's still nonsense. - Benjamin Franklin


It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought. - John Kenneth Galbraith


The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong. - Carl G. Jung


I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality. - Salvador Dali


If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. - Ray Bradbury 


Totally mad. Utter nonsense. But we'll do it because it's brilliant nonsense. - Douglas Adams


Cities give us collision. 'Tis said, London and New York take the nonsense out of a man. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Always remember, money isn't everything - but also remember to make a lot of it before talking such fool nonsense. - Earl Wilson

Quotes for the week of March 5, 2006 - Hollywood and the Movies


Posted the day the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences presents the Academy Awards, the Oscars, at the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.  Arts and sciences?  Well, maybe.  A collection of previously published quotes on the event, and the setting -


It's a scientific fact. For every year a person lives in Hollywood, they lose two points of their IQ. - Truman Capote


Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars. - Fred Allen


I've been asked if I ever get the DT's.  I don't know; it's hard to tell where Hollywood ends and the DT's begin.  - W. C. Fields


Hollywood held this double lure for me, tremendous sums of money for work that required no more effort than a game of pinochle.  - Ben Hecth


In Hollywood if a guy's wife looks like a new woman – she probably is.  - Dean Martin.


A dreary industrial town controlled by hoodlums of enormous wealth, the ethical sense of a pack of jackals, and taste so degraded that it befouled everything it touched.  - S. J. Perelman


The most famous one –


Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you'll find the real tinsel underneath. - Oscar Levant


And these –


Hollywood is where they shoot too many pictures and not enough actors. - Walter Winchell


Ever since they found out that Lassie was a boy, the public has believed the worst about Hollywood. - Groucho Marx


Hollywood is like Picasso's bathroom. - Candice Bergen


Hollywood is like being nowhere and talking to nobody about nothing. - Michelangelo Antonioni

You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well. - Carrie Fisher


In Hollywood the woods are full of people that learned to write but evidently can't read; if they could read their stuff, they'd stop writing. - Will Rogers

It's a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there. - Will Rogers


I just want to tell y'all not to worry - them people in New York and Hollywood are not going to change me none. - Elvis Presley


I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic. - Andy Warhol


The violet hush of twilight was descending over Los Angeles as my hostess, Violet Hush, and I left its suburbs headed towards Hollywood. In the distance a glow of huge piles of burning motion-picture scripts lit up the sky. The crisp tang of frying writers and directors whetted my appetite. How good it was to be alive, I thought, inhaling deep lungfuls of carbon monoxide. - S.J. Perelman


There is a theory that almost anything that's fun is going to be ruined sooner or later by people from California. They tend to bring seriousness to subjects that don't deserve it, and they tend to get very good at things that weren't very important in the first place. - Calvin Trillin


On film…


Jean-Luc Godard:

  • Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.
  • A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order.


Samuel Goldwyn: Give me a couple of years, and I'll make that actress an overnight success.

Alfred Hitchcock: The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.


Will Rogers: The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself.

Andy Warhol: It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it. Everybody has their own America, and then they have the pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can't see.

Billy Wilder:  Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award.

Katharine Hepburn: The average Hollywood film star's ambition is to be admired by an American, courted by an Italian, married to an Englishman and have a French boyfriend.

Raymond Chandler: The motion picture is like a picture of a lady in a half-piece bathing suit. If she wore a few more clothes, you might be intrigued. If she wore no clothes at all, you might be shocked. But the way it is, you are occupied with noticing that her knees are too bony and that her toenails are too large. The modern film tries too hard to be real. Its techniques of illusion are so perfect that it requires no contribution from the audience but a mouthful of popcorn.

George Lucas, in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: Emotionally involving the audience is easy. Anybody can do it blindfolded: get a little kitten and have some guy wring its neck.



Quotes for the week of February 19, 2006 - Troubles


Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. – Job 5: 6-7


The memory of past troubles is pleasant. [Jucunda memoria est praeteritorum malorum.] - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero), De Finibus (Book II, 32)


The trouble is small, the fun is great. [Die Muh'ist klein, der Spass ist gross.] Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (I, 21, 218)


If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is inconvenience. - Robert Fulghum


Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them. - Lou Holtz


There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives. - Scott Adams


Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, "Is this thing still flying?" If the answer is yes, then there's no immediate danger, no need to overreact. - Alan L. Bean 


I don't have any solution, but I certainly admire the problem. - Ashleigh Brilliant 


The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown. - Carl Jung 



Quotes for the week of February 19, 2006 – The Week of the Gun


Sometimes accidents happen in life from which we have need of a little madness to extricate ourselves successfully. - François de la Rochefoucauld


There are no accidents without intentions. - Alex Miller


The Act of God designation on all insurance policies; which means, roughly, that you cannot be insured for the accidents that are most likely to happen to you. - Alan Coren


EEYORE: I'm not saying there won't be an Accident now, mind you. They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them. -  Alan Alexander Milne, Winnie the Pooh


Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families. - Charles Dickens


I don't believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents. - Pablo Picasso


It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them. - Samuel Johnson


When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first. - Ernest Hemingway


One knows so well the popular idea of health. The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable. - Oscar Wilde


Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one. - Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness


One of my favorite clothing patterns is camouflage. Because when you're in the woods it makes you blend in. But when you're not it does just the opposite. It's like "Hey, there's an asshole." -  Beefullo Demetri Martin


Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. - Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization


As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together. - Isaac Bashevis Singer


The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of man. - Emile Zola


America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. - Hunter S. Thompson


The world may be divided into people that read, people that write, people that think, and fox-hunters. - William Shenstone




Quotes of the week of February 5, 2006 - "Let's think this through..."


Blaise Pascal has some thoughts (see Penseés (Thoughts), 1660) - 


Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.


I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.


Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.


Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.


Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.




Evil is obvious only in retrospect. - Gloria Steinem Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983)


The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. - Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)


Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. - Oliver Goldsmith


Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty. - Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1947)


No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency. - Theodore Roosevelt, "The Strenuous Life" (1900)


Without the aid of prejudice and custom I should not be able to find my way across the room. - William Hazlitt


A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case. - Finley Peter Dunne


Fanaticism is . . . overcompensation for doubt. - Robertson Davies


The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion, and people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion. - Denis Diderot


In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal. - Thomas Jefferson


The worst of madmen is a saint run mad. - Alexander Pope


Being unable to reason is not a positive character trait outside religion. - Dewey Henize


Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off. - Jonathan Swift


The more you reason the less you create. - Raymond Chandler


There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad humanity must assume the aspect of Hell. - Edgar Allan Poe


It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humor, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them. - Edward de Bono (Francis Charles Publius, a Maltese psychologist and writer, whose field is "creative thinking" - and may be one of the only famous Maltese writers)




Quotes for the week of January 29, 2006 - Lighten Up


Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Horace Walpole


Humor is the most engaging cowardice. - Robert Frost


Nothing spoils a romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman. - Oscar Wilde


Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful. - Kurt Vonnegut  


Kids like my act because I'm wearing nose glasses. Adults like my act because there's a guy who thinks putting on nose glasses is funny. - Steve Martin   


In the end, everything is a gag. - Charlie Chaplin  


Anyone without a sense of humor is at the mercy of everyone else. - William Rotsler


Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. - George Bernard Shaw


I have a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humor. - Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (act I)


Sometimes when reading Goethe I have the paralyzing suspicion that he is trying to be funny. - Thomas Carlyle


A rich man's joke is always funny. - Thomas Edward Brown


He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news. - Anthony Burgess


Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis. - Jack Handey




Quotes for the week of January 22, 1006 - The Law


I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, two men are called a Law Firm, and three or more are called a Congress. - John Adams


Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. - Louis D. Brandeis, from his dissent in the case Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 485 (1928)


I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against an whole people. - Edmund Burke, Speech on the Conciliation of America


The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. - Frank Zappa


The aim of law is the maximum gratification of the nervous system of man. - Learned Hand


If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an essential part of the democratic process. - Felix Frankfurter


This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


The function of the law is not to provide justice or to preserve freedom. The function of the law is to keep those who hold power, in power. - Gerry Spence


I told him it was law logic - an artificial system of human reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else. - John Quincy Adams to John Marshall


It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King Jr.


No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority. - Joseph Addison


The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be. - Raymond Chandler


Law is born from despair of human nature. - Jose Ortega y Gasset


Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins. - John Locke


If you think that you can think about a thing, inextricably attached to something else, without thinking of the thing it is attached to, then you have a legal mind. - Henry C. Blinn 


A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful. - Primo Levi


Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little. – Samuel Johnson, Letter to Dr. Taylor


You can hire logic, in the shape of a lawyer, to prove anything that you want to prove. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table


There are many pleasant fictions of the law in constant operation, but there is not one so pleasant or practically humorous as that which supposes every man to be of equal value in its impartial eye, and the benefits of all laws to be equally attainable by all men, without the smallest reference to the furniture of their pockets. -

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby


The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it. - Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera


Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law. - Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveler




Quotes for the week of January 15, 2006 - "Just the facts, ma'am..."


Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. - John Adams (1735-1826), 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. - Aldous Huxley


Count Hermann Keyserling once said truly that the greatest American superstition was belief in facts. - John Gunther


He is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts. - Richard Brinsley Sheridan


Facts are stupid things. - Ronald Reagan


It's a scientific fact that if you stay in California you lose one point of your IQ every year. - Truman Capote


It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true. -  Gore Vidal


For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by things that seem than by those that are. - Nicolo Machiavelli   


The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts: the less you know the hotter you get. - Bertrand Russell


A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. - H.H. Munro 


If two things don’t fit, but you believe both of them, thinking that somewhere, hidden, there must be a third thing that connects them, that’s credulity. - Umberto Eco, Foucalt's Pendulum


Religion hinges upon faith, politics hinges upon who can tell the most convincing lies or maybe just shout the loudest, but science hinges upon whether its conclusions resemble what actually happens. - Ian Stewart


Faith: not wanting to know what is true. - Friedrich Nietzsche


If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is ‘God is crying’. And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did." - Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts


If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out? - Will Rogers




Bonus - 


I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better. - A. J. Liebling


Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. - C. G. Jung




Quotes for the week of January 8, 2006 - Is that true?                      


We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage. - Albert Camus


He who uses trickery should at least make use of his judgment to learn that he can scarcely hide treacherous conduct for very long among clever men who are determined to find him out, although they may pretend to be deceived in order to disguise their knowledge of his deceitfulness. -  Magdeleine Sable


It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. - Noel Coward


We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us. - Samuel Johnson


The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth. - Adrienne Rich 


The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. - Gloria Steinem


Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth. - Jean-Paul Sartre


Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


We have art in order not to die of the truth. - Friedrich Nietzsche


Postmodernists believe that truth is myth, and myth, truth. This equation has its roots in pop psychology. The same people also believe that emotions are a form of reality. There used to be another name for this state of mind. It used to be called psychosis. - Brad Holland


The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. - William Blake, from "Notes on Reynolds's Discourses" (1908)


It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth. - Arthur James Balfour 


Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. - Andre Gide


The art of life is to show your hand. There is no diplomacy like candor. You may lose by it now and then, but it will be a loss well gained if you do. Nothing is so boring as having to keep up a deception. -  Edward Verrall Lucas


I was about to tell him he was wrong to dwell on it, because it really didn't matter. But he cut me off and urged me one last time, drawing himself up to his full height and asking me if I believed in God. I said no. He sat down indignantly. He said it was impossible; all men believed in God, even those who turn their backs on him. That was his belief, and if he were ever to doubt it, his life would become meaningless. 'Do you want my life to be meaningless?' he shouted. As far as I could see, it didn't have anything to do with me, and I told him so. But from across the table he had already thrust the crucifix in my face and was screaming irrationally, 'I am a Christian. I ask Him to forgive you for sins. How can you not believe that He suffered for you?' I was struck by how sincere he seemed, but I had had enough. It was getting hotter and hotter. As always, whenever I want to get rid of someone I'm not really listening to, I made it appear as if I agreed. To my surprise, he acted triumphant. 'You see, you see!' he said. 'You do believe, don't you, and you're going to place your trust in Him, aren't you?' Obviously, I again said no. He fell back in his chair.  - Albert Camus, The Stranger




Quotes for the week of January 1, 2006 - We Have a New Year


I confess, I do not believe in time. - Vladimir Nabokov


Time is the reef upon which all our frail mystic ships are wrecked. - Noel Coward, Blithe Spirit


So little time and so little to do. - Oscar Levant


The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive. - John Sladek


The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet. - William Gibson


A wise God shrouds the future in obscure darkness. [Prudens futuri temporis exitum Caliginosa nocte premit deus.] - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina (III, 29, 29)


The future is like heaven. Everyone exalts it, but no one wants to go there now. -James Baldwin


I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul. - J. G. Ballard


I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it. - Ray Bradbury


Predicting the future is easy. It's trying to figure out what's going on now that's hard. - Fritz R. S. Dressler


It is the business of the future to be dangerous. - Alfred Whitehead


FUTURE, n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured. - Ambrose Bierce


When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there's always madness. Madness is the emergency exit. - Alan Moore


We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like. - Alfred Hitchcock


Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has. - Anita Brookner 


Nothing puzzles me more than time and space; and yet nothing troubles me less, as I never think about them. - Charles Lamb


The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time. - George Bernard Shaw


Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time. - George Patton


It takes a lot of time to be a genius; you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing. -Gertrude Stein 


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. - Groucho Marx




Quotes for the week of December 25, 2005 - Christmas and More


I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.  - Charles Dickens


Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.  - Carol Nelson


We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time. - Art Buchwald


There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. - Erma Bombeck


Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter. - William Ralph Inge


It's never safe to be nostalgic about something until you're absolutely certain there's no chance of its coming back. - Bill Vaughn


Nostalgia's the most commercial commodity there is today; I believe it's true all over the world. - Stan Kenton


I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest. - Robert Wyatt


If you go flying back through time, and you see somebody else flying forward into the future, it's probably best to avoid eye contact. - Jack Handey


Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Louis Hector Berlioz


The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger


There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go. -  Tennessee Williams


Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. - Oscar Wilde


I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. - Umberto Eco


I felt like poisoning a monk. - Umberto Eco, on why he wrote the novel "The Name of the Rose"




Quotes for the week of December 18, 2005 - On Politicians


Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it's important. - Eugene McCarthy (died December 10, 2005 at the age of 89)


My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference. - Harry S. Truman


Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. - John Quinton


Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be. - Marshall McLuhan


I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician. - Charlie Chaplin


In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people. - Groucho Marx


Politicians have the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterward to explain why it didn't happen. - Winston Churchill


One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one. - Henry Miller


Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. - George Orwell


My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth. - W. H. Auden


When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were. - John F. Kennedy


It's a sad and stupid thing to have to proclaim yourself a revolutionary just to be a decent man. - David Harris


What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary? - Marion Barry


Beguiled by George W. Bush's easy smile and casual indifference to the details, we are on the brink of electing him to office. This isn't choosing a president, it's casting the lead in a sitcom about the presidency. - Roger Ebert


The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed [and hence clamorous to be led to safety] by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H. L. Mencken


An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. - T. S. Eliot


It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny. - James Fenimore Cooper


The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means. - Georges Bernanos


Perhaps America will one day go fascist democratically, by popular vote. - William L. Shirer




Quotes for the week of December 11, 2005 - Russell Mania


Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) this week, the "British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy."



Russell discovered the paradox that bears his name in 1901, while working on his Principles of Mathematics (1903). The paradox arises in connection with the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Such a set, if it exists, will be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself. The paradox is significant since, using classical logic, all sentences are entailed by a contradiction. Russell's discovery thus prompted a large amount of work in logic, set theory, and the philosophy and foundations of mathematics.


Be that as it may, the man could turn a phrase. 

  • A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
  • All movements go too far.
  • Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.
  • Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.
  • I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
  • I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
  • If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
  • In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
  • In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.
  • It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
  • It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go.
  • Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
  • Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
  • Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
  • Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.
  • Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
  • Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.
  • So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
  • The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
  • The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
  • The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.
  • The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.  

Of course it isn't.





Quotes for the week of December 4, 2005 - On Language and Thought


If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur. - Doug Larson


Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to? - Clarence Darrow


I am the King of Rome, and above grammar.  [Ego sum rex Romanus, et supra grammaticam.] – Sigismund at the 1414 Council of Constance to a prelate who objected to his grammar (not George Bush)


If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin, they would never have found the time to conquer the world. - Heinrich Heine


Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about. - Benjamin Lee Whorf


Mechanical difficulties with language are the outcome of internal difficulties with thought. - Elizabeth Bowen


English - Who needs that? I'm never going to England! - Homer Simpson


If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. - Texan Governor "Ma" Ferguson


That woman speaks 19 languages and can't say "no" in any of them. - Dorothy Parker


Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing. - Robert Benchley


It's strange because I can't speak English well, but I am stirred by hearing it - Jack Benny, George Bums, Lucille Ball. - Alain Resnais


Morals and manners will rise or decline with our attention to grammar.To God I speak Spanish, to women Italian, to men French, and to my horse - German. - Jason Chamberlain, inaugural address at University of Vermont, 1811 


You taught me language, and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language! – Shakespeare, The Tempest (Caliban at I, ii)


The English language is rather like a monster accordion, stretchable at the whim of the editor, compressible ad lib. - Robert Burchfield


Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons. - Aldous Huxley


How can I tell what I think till I see what I say? - E. M. Forster


Look wise; say nothing and grunt. Speech was given to conceal thought. - William Osler


For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me. - Ludwig Wittgenstein



Quotes for the week of November 27, 2005 - Who Do You Trust?


The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action. - Frank Herbert


Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement. - Alfred Adler:


Trust everybody, but cut the cards. - Finley Peter Dunne


To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. - George MacDonald


We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. - John F. Kennedy


Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. – Thomas Jefferson


"Love all, trust a few / Do wrong to none … " - William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well


I have great faith in fools - my friends call it self-confidence. - Edgar Allan Poe quotes


You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink. -  Terry Pratchett


Distrust all those who love you extremely upon a very slight acquaintance and without any visible reason. - Lord Chesterfield quotes


I don't really trust a sane person. - Lyle Alzado


Many people say that government is necessary because some men cannot be trusted to look after themselves, but anarchists say that government is harmful because no men can be trusted to look after anyone else.  - Nicolas Walter, About Anarchism


Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence.  Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. - William E. Gladstone


Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.  - Charles Krauthammer


I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down. - Virgil Thomson




Quotes for the week of November 20, 2005 - Anger and Resolution



Beware the fury of a patient man. - John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (Part I, l. 1005)


They are borne along by the violence of their rage, and think it is a waste of time to ask who are guilty. [Trahit ipse furoris Impetus, et visum est lenti quaesisse nocentum.]  - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia (II, 109)


Fear not the anger of the wise to raise; Those best can fear reproof who merit praise.  - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism (l. 582)


Anger is an expensive luxury in which only men of a certain income can indulge. - George William Curtis


When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. So we were often angry at each other. - Charles De Gaulle.


Anger at lies lasts forever.  Anger at truth can't last. - Greg Evans


Keep cool; anger is not an argument. - Daniel Webster


It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift


He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. - Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"


Kurt Vonnegut:  


Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.


One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us. - "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004


Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five




Quotes for the week of November 13, 2005 - Government and Reality


Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.  - H. L. Mencken


I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it. - Garrison Keillor


After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood. - Fred Thompson, speech before the Commonwealth Club of California


It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that. - G. H. Hardy


The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet. - William Gibson


I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there. - Herb Caen


The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. - Ursula K. LeGuin


There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge. - Bertrand Russell


Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. - H. L. Mencken


There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.  - George Carlin




Quotes for the week of November 6, 2005 - Return to Cynics Corner


The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. - George Bernard Shaw


But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness - each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked - each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity. - Herbert Butterfield


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


I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality. - Salvador Dali


It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"


Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. - Bill Watterson (the cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes")


In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical cunning. - A. E. Housman


It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them! - Friedrich Nietzsche


The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge. - Daniel J Boorstin


The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. - H. L. Mencken


The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? - Pablo Casals


There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. - Edward Abbey




Quotes for the week of October 30, 2005 - The Scooter Conspiracy


"A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public" - Mark Twain


"The de facto censorship which leaves so many Americans functionally illiterate about the history of US foreign affairs may be all the more effective because it is not official, heavy-handed or conspiratorial, but woven artlessly into the fabric of education and media. No conspiracy is needed." - William Blum


"The popularity of conspiracy theories is explained by people's desire to believe that there is - some group of folks who know what they're doing" - Damon Knight 


"More things in politics happen by accident or exhaustion than happen by conspiracy." - Jeff Greenfield


"The search for conspiracy only increases the elements of morbidity and paranoia and fantasy in this country. It romanticizes crimes that are terrible because of their lack of purpose. It obscures our necessary understanding, all of us, that in this life there is often tragedy without reason." – Anthony Lewis


"The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?"  - Dennis Miller


"A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood." - William Shenstone


"It is hard to tell if a man is telling the truth when you know you would lie if you were in his place." - H. L. Mencken


"The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff." - Ambrose Bierce


"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."  - Winston Churchill


"Truth is mighty and will prevail.  There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so." - Mark Twain


"Reality is bad enough.  Why should I tell the truth?" - Patrick Sky


"It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar." - Jerome K. Jerome


"If you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don't sound good to you, it won't sound good to anybody." - Leroy ''Satchel'' Paige


"When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty." - Norm Crosby


"I deserve respect for the things I did not do." - Dan Quayle




Quotes for the week of October 23, 2005 - The Judith Miller Journalism Collection


On journalists: "They consume a considerable quantity of our paper manufacture, employ our artisans in printing, and find business for great numbers of indigent persons." - Joseph Addison, the "Spectator," no. 367


"Ask how to live? Write, write, write, anything; the world's a fine believing world, write news." - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Wit Without Money (Act II)


"Journalists should not be so distant that all they can hear are shouts, nor so close that they become more conspirators than critics." - Walter Lippman


"A free press is one that prints a dictator's speech but doesn't have to." - Laurence J. Peter


"Remember, son, many a good story has been ruined by over-verification." - James Gordon Bennett


"Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians." - Karl Otto von Schonhausen Bismarck


"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands." - Oscar Wilde


"Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock." - Ben Hecht


"If the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the jails of that country will be filled with good people." - Daniel Moynihan


"The idea that media is there to educate us, or to inform us, is ridiculous because that's about tenth or eleventh on their list." - Abbie Hoffman


"On behalf of the newspaper industry I wish to announce some changes we're making to serve you better.  When I say 'serve you better,'' I mean 'increase our profits.'  We newspapers are very big on profits these days.  We're a business, just like any other business, except that we employ English majors." - Dave Barry


"Journalism - an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space." - Rebecca West


"The American mind, unlike the English, is not formed by books, but, as Carl Sandburg once said to me, by newspapers and the Bible."  -Van Wyck Brooks


"Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's St. Matthew's Passion on a ukulele: The instrument is too crude for the work, for the audience and for the performer." - Ben Bagdikian



"The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it." - Alexander Cockburn


And where is our Edward R, Murrow these days?  "It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper." - Rod Serling




Quotes for the week of October 16, 2005 - Chaos and Madness


I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most. - Bob Dylan


Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, but chaos in the midst of order is. - Steve Martin


Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds. - George Santayana


Chaos and Order are not enemies, only opposites. - Richard Garriott


What we imagine is order is merely the prevailing form of chaos. - Kerry Thornley


Chaos is the score upon which reality is written. - Henry Miller


I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos - especially activity that seems to have no meaning.  It seems to me to be the road toward freedom.  Rather than starting inside, I start outside and reach the mental through the physical. - Jim Morrison


Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively. - Voltaire


The extreme limit of wisdom, that's what the public calls madness. - Jean Cocteau


The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. - Andre Gide


Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria.  - Naomi Wolf


The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad. - Salvador Dali


When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain


I have cultivated my hysteria with delight and terror. Now I suffer continually from vertigo, and today, 23rd of January 1862, I have received a singular warning, I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me. - Charles Baudelaire


We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us! - George Bernard Shaw


I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson



Quotes for the week of October 9, 2005 - William Bennett Edition


William Bennett here (September 28) –


But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.


Desmond Tutu –


"Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity."


"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."


"I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period.  The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, 'Now is that political or social?'  He said, 'I feed you.'"


Others –


At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being. - Friedrich Otto Hertz


I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don't want, to buy things they don't need, to impress people they dislike. - Emile Henry Gauvreau


Prejudices are what fools use for reason. - Voltaire


The very ink in which history is written is merely fluid prejudice. - Mark Twain


Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety. - Ben Hecht


It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom. - Quentin Crisp


If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon. - George Aiken


I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices.  All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. - Mark Twain


O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand.  - William Penn


I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.  - Booker T. Washington


I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I just hate it. - Clarence Darrow




Quotes for the week of October 2, 2005 - Character, Honesty, and Motive (and all that)


Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. - Blaise Pascal


I have often depended on the blindness of strangers. - Adrienne E. Gusoff


I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown. - Woody Allen


Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up. - Wilson Mizner


Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense. - Steve Landesberg


People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty. - Richard J. Needham


No such thing as a man willing to be honest - that would be like a blind man willing to see.  - F. Scott Fitzgerald


Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake. - H. L. Mencken


Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. - F. M. Hubbard


In the choice between changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. - John Kenneth Galbraith


"To revenge reasonable incredulity by refusing evidence, is a degree of insolence with which the world is not yet acquainted; and stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt." – Samuel Johnson, Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland




Quotes for the week of September 25, 2005 - Power


It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. - David Brin


Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will. - Frederick Douglass


We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom. - Stephen Vincent Benét


I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be. - Thomas Jefferson


You see what power is - holding someone else's fear in your hand and showing it to them! - Amy Tan


An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens. ­- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813


Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. - George Orwell quotes


Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart. - Eric Hoffer quotes


All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power. - Ashleigh Brilliant


Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. - Margaret Thatcher


Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force. - George Bernard Shaw


Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. - George Orwell


Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. - Bertrand Russell


Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power. - Bertrand Russell




Quotes for the week of September 18, 2005 - Taking the Bitter with the Sour


These came across the Just Above Sunset transom late in the week -


With Epcot Center the Disney Corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life. - PJ O'Rourke


I've been trying for some time to develop a lifestyle that doesn't require my presence. - Gary Trudeau


I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it. - Samuel Goldwyn


At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies. - PG Wodehouse


A few more from Samuel Goldwyn:


  • I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead.
  • I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.
  • I never put on a pair of shoes until I've worn them at least five years.
  • I read part of it all the way through.
  • If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
  • Let's have some new clichés.
  • Spare no expense to save money on this one.
  • Television has raised writing to a new low.
  • When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.
  • You've got to take the bitter with the sour.


A few more from P. G. Wodehouse: 

  • If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.
  • The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.
  • It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.
  • A man's subconscious self is not the ideal companion. It lurks for the greater part of his life in some dark den of its own, hidden away, and emerges only to taunt and deride and increase the misery of a miserable hour.

Boyhood, like measles, is one of those complaints which a man should catch young and have done with, for when it comes in middle life it is apt to be serious.




Quotes for the week of September 11, 2005 - Competence and Responsibility and all that -


If every day a man takes orders in silence from an incompetent superior, if every day he solemnly performs ritual acts which he privately finds ridiculous, if he unhesitatingly gives answers to questionnaires which are contrary to his real opinions and is prepared to deny his own self in public, if he sees no difficulty in feigning sympathy or even affection where, in fact, he feels only indifference or aversion, it still does not mean that he has entirely lost the use of one of the basic human senses, namely, the sense of humiliation. - Vaclav Havel


Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.  - Napoleon Bonaparte


A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops. – General John J. Pershing


The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare. - Daniel P. Moynihan


Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves. - Larry McMurtry in Lonesome Dove


Often the desire to appear competent impedes our ability to become competent, because we more anxious to display our knowledge than to learn what we do not know. - Magdeleine Sable (c. 1599-1678) from Maxims and Various Thoughts (Maximes et pensées diverses) 1678


In times like these men should utter nothing for which they would not be willingly responsible through time and in eternity. - Abraham Lincoln


Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor.  In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911


Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else. - Ivern Ball


A person I knew used to divide human beings into three categories: Those who prefer having nothing to hide rather than being obliged to lie, those who prefer lying to having nothing to hide, and finally those who like both lying and the hidden. - Albert Camus




Quotes of the week of September 4, 2005 - Tangentially Related to Events In New Orleans


Lyndon B. Johnson: The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today.


Thomas Aquinas: I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it.


Thomas Jefferson: The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt: The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.


John Gardner: The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.


Adlai Stevenson: It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.


Peter F. Drucker: Leaders shouldn't attach moral significance to their ideas: Do that, and you can't compromise.


Rabindranath Tagore: Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims.


Groucho Marx: I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal.




Quotes for the week of Sunday, August 28, 2005 - On Photography


A photograph is neither taken nor seized by force. It offers itself up. It is the photo that takes you. One must not take photos. - Henri Cartier-Bresson


I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do - that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse. - Diane Arbus


I love the medium of photography, for with its unique realism it gives me the power to go beyond conventional ways of seeing and understanding and say, "This is real, too."  -  Wynn Bullock


The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. - Dorthea Lange


Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs. - Ansel Adams


No place is boring if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film. - Robert Adams, Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques, May 1995


While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.  - Dorothea Lange


I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don't find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges. - William Albert Allard, "The Photographic Essay"


I hate cameras.  They are so much more sure than I am about everything.  - John Steinbeck


All photographs are accurate.  None of them is the truth. - Richard Avedon


Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.   - Henri Cartier-Bresson

If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera.  - Lewis Hine


A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. -  Diane Arbus


They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum. - Tallulah Bankhead


Actually, I'm not all that interested in the subject of photography.  Once the picture is in the box, I'm not all that interested in what happens next.  Hunters, after all, aren't cooks. - Henri Cartier-Bresson




Quotes for the week of Sunday, August 21, 2005 - Dissent



Florynce Kennedy: You've got to rattle your cage door. You've got to let them know that you're in there, and that you want out. Make noise. Cause trouble. You may not win right away, but you'll sure have a lot more fun.


Harry S Truman: Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.


J. William Fulbright: In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.


William O. Douglas: Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.


Charles Evans Hughes: Dissents are appeals to the brooding spirit of the law, to the intelligence of another day.


Will Durant: Continue to express your dissent and your needs, but remember to remain civilized, for you will sorely miss civilization if it is scarified in the turbulence of change.


Learned Hand: In the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.


John Lindsay: There are men - now in power in this country - who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit.


Justice Louis D. Brandeis: The constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees.


James Russell Lowell: Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of opinion.  


H. L. Mencken: I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.  


H. L. Mencken: The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.  


Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything.





Quotes of the week of August 14, 2004 - Yes, the theme this week is tolerance -


Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. - Bertrand Russell


It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty. - Mohandas K. Gandhi


I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird. - Paul McCartney


Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival. - Rene Dubos


In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools. - Doris Lessing


As no roads are so rough as those that have just been mended, so no sinners are so intolerant as those that have just turned saints. - Charles Caleb Colton


No human trait deserves less tolerance in everyday life, and gets less, than intolerance. - Giacomo Leopardi


It is easy to be tolerant of the principles of other people if you have none of your own. - Herbert Samuel


Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's too lazy to form an opinion. - Will Rogers


We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. - Karl Popper


Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic. - Dan Rather


To err is human; to forgive, infrequent. - Franklin P. Adams


We are all born mad. Some remain so. - Samuel Beckett


Optimism: The doctrine that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong. ... It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious. - Ambrose Bierce


It is well for people who think to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean. For those who do not think, it is best at least to rearrange their prejudices once in a while. - Luther Burbank


H. L. Mencken:


We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.                  


I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.


All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.


Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.


I believe there is a limit beyond which free speech cannot go, but it's a limit that's very seldom mentioned. It's the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy. I don't think there are any other conditions to free speech. I've got a right to say and believe anything I please, but I haven't got a right to press it on anybody else. ... Nobody's got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors.


Prejudice rarely survives experience. - Eve Zibart




Quotes for the week of August 7, 2005 – On Flying (see A Ride in the Goodyear Blimp)


"The most beautiful dream that has haunted the heart of man since Icarus is today reality." - Louis Bleriot


"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky." - Amelia Earhart


"More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination." - Wilbur Wright


"Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death." - Alexander Chase, 'Perspectives,' 1966


"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things…" - Antoine de St-Exupéry


"What can you conceive more silly and extravagant than to suppose a man racking his brains, and studying night and day how to fly?" - William Law, 'A Serious Call to a Devout and Holly Life XI,' 1728


"The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth." - Antoine de St-Exupéry, 'Wind, Sand, and Stars,' 1939


"Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle." - Igor Sikorsky


"Travelers are always discoverers, especially those who travel by air. There are no signposts in the air to show a man has passed that way before. There are no channels marked. The flier breaks each second into new uncharted seas." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 'North to the Orient,' 1935


"The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams


"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day." - J. A. Wheeler




Quotes for the week of July 31, 2005 – Truth and the Root of All Evil


Søren Kierkegaard: Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.


Mark Twain: Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so.


Bill Cosby: A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice.


Edward Abbey: There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.


Salvador Dali: I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.


John Cage: I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.




Abraham Joshua Heschel: When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.




Quotes for the week of July 24, 2005 – Originality and Such


It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.

-  Isaac Asimov


First we kill all the subversives; then, their collaborators; later, those who sympathize with them; afterward, those who remain indifferent; and finally, the undecided.

-  General Iberico Saint Jean


The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.

-  Salvador Dali


Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.

-  Fran Lebowitz


What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.

-  Dean Inge


What a good thing Adam had - when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.

-  Mark Twain


What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.

-  George Bernard Shaw


Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.

-  Friedrich Nietzsche


Obscurity and competence: That is the life that is worth living.

-  Mark Twain


Crude classifications and false generalizations are the curse of the organized life.

-  H. G. Wells


Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.

-  Douglas Adams


A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

-  Herm Albright


The future is much like the present, only longer.

-  Don Quisenberry


The future will be better tomorrow.

-  Dan Quayle




Quotes for the week of July 17, 2005 – The Press and Politics


"A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad." 

"Freedom of the press is perhaps the freedom that has suffered the most from the gradual degradation of the idea of liberty."

- Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death


"La liberté de la presse ne s'use que quand on ne s'en sert pas." (The freedom of the press is never used up or worn out - except when you don't use it.)

The motto of Le Canard Enchainé   http://www.lecanardenchaine.fr/


"Limiting the freedom of news 'just a little bit' is in the same category with the classic example 'a little bit pregnant'."  Robert Anson Heinlein, A Rabble in Arms


"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves." - Claude Adrien Helvétius


"It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper." - Jerry Seinfeld


"In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils that it creates."  - Alexis de Tocqueville


"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is."  - Mahatma Gandhi


"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies."  - Groucho Marx


"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." - Bertrand de Jouvenel


"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."  - C. S. Lewis


"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."  - Plato


"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you" - Pericles




Quotes for the week of July 10, 2005 - London Calling


"For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." - Sir Winston Churchill, speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet, London, November 9, 1954


"Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." - Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School


Voltaire on the British – "They are like their own beer; froth on top, dregs at bottom, the middle excellent."


"You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." - Samuel Johnson


"The marvelous maturity of London! I would rather be dead in this town than preening my feathers in heaven." - Nicholas Monsarrat


"I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining." - Groucho Marx


"When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London." - Bette Midler


"This melancholy London - I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air." - William Butler Yeats


"Ten minutes later we were both in a cab, and rattling through the silent streets on our way to Charing Cross Station. The first faint winter's dawn was beginning to appear, and we could dimly see the occasional figure of an early workman as he passed us…"  - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Adventure of Abbey Grange


"If you lived in London, where the whole system is one of false good-fellowship, and you may know a man for twenty years without finding out that he hates you like poison, you would soon have your eyes opened. There we do unkind things in a kind way: we say bitter things in a sweet voice: we always give our friends chloroform when we tear them to pieces." - George Bernard Shaw, You Never Can Tell


"It is difficult to speak adequately, or justly, of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent." - Henry James


"There is one thing about Englishmen, they won't fix anything till it's just about totally ruined. You couldn't get the English to fix anything at the start. No! They like to sit and watch it grow worse. Then, when it just looks like the whole thing has gone up Salt Creek, why, the English jump in and rescue it." - Will Rogers


"The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm." - Alexander Woolcott


"The earth is a place on which England is found." - G.K. Chesterton



Quotes for the week of July 3, 2005 – The Fourth of July


That which distinguishes this day from all others is that then both orators and artillerymen shoot blank cartridges. - John Burroughs, Journal, referring to the Fourth of July


If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. - Thomas Paine


Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. - Judge Learned Hand


A politician will do anything to keep his job - even become a patriot.  - William Randolph Hearst


Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.  - Winston Churchill


Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.  - Sinclair Lewis


I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.  - Woodrow Wilson


Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson


Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America - that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. - Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again


I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. - James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son


There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America. - Bill Clinton


America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.  - John Updike

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered.  I myself would say that it had merely been detected.  - Oscar Wilde




Quotes for the week of June 26, 2005 – Cynics Corner


"We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic." - Cullen Hightower


"For every problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong."  - H. L. Mencken


"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." - Howard Aiken


"The only thing I can really trust is my own self-indulgence." - Justin Bond


"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it." - Abbie Hoffman


"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Cousin Woodman


"Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper." - Quentin Crisp


"There's a fine line between genius and insanity.  I have erased this line." - Oscar Levant


"I loathe people who keep dogs.  They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves." - August Strindberg


"If you think this is weird, just look at yourselves." - Charles Mingus


"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." - John F. Kennedy


"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." - Carl Sagan


"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


"Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt. Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves." - Robert Anton Wilson


"It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side." - Molly Ivins


"In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism and skepticism and humbug and we shall want to live more musically." - Vincent van Gogh




Quotes for the week of June 19, 2005 – regarding Michael Jackson in Santa Maria and Tom Cruise on the Eiffel Tower


"There are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us." - Francis H. Bradley


"The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death."  - Blaise Pascal


"I have Dalinian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous." - Salvador Dali


"It stirs up envy, fame does.  People feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you - and it won't hurt your feelings - like it's happening to your clothing."  - Marilyn Monroe


"Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!" - Davy Crockett


"Fame: an embalmer trembling with stage fright." - H. L. Mencken


"Fame is proof that people are gullible." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face. As soon as one is aware of being 'somebody,' to be watched and listened to with extra interest, input ceases, and the performer goes blind and deaf in his over-animation. One can either see or be seen." - John Updike


"You're always a little disappointing in person because you can't be the edited essence of yourself." - Mel Brooks


"Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality."  - Oscar Wilde


"I count him lost, who is lost to shame." - [Latin: Nam ego illum periisse duco, cui quidem periit pudor.]  - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus) Bacchides (III, 3, 80)


"Mistakes, scandals, and failures no longer signal catastrophe. The crucial thing is that they be made credible, and that the public be made aware of the efforts being expended in that direction. The marketing immunity of governments is similar to that of the major brands of washing powder." – Jean Baudrillard


"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." - Rita Mae Brown




Quotes for the week of June 12, 2005    William Butler Yeats – born June 13, 1865 –


Yeats – from Bob Patterson


"A statesman is an easy man

He tells his lies by rote;

A journalist makes up his lies

And takes you by the throat

So stay and home and drink your beer

And let the neighbors vote."


"I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have a wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots."


"It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is."


"You know what the Englishman’s idea of compromise is?  He says, Some people say there is a God.  Some people say there is no God.  The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements."


"Accursed who brings to light of day

The writings I have cast away."


"Much did I rage when young

Being by the world oppressed

But now with flattering tongue

It speeds the parting guest."


"Irish poets, learn your trade,

Sing whatever is well made."


"If a poet interprets a poem of his own he limits its suggestibility."


Yeats - from the editor -


"An intellectual hatred is the worst."


"Why should we honor those that die upon the field of battle?  A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself."


"I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood - sex and the dead."


"Life is a long preparation for something that never happens."


And on the general topic -


"The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness." - Christopher Morley


"A poet's work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep." - Salman Rushdie


"I've written some poetry I don't understand myself." - Carl Sandburg


Quotes for the Week of June 5, 2005 – June 

On the subject of summer starting -


Summer, as my friend Coleridge waggishly writes, has set in with its usual severity. – Charles Lamb


A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. - James Dent


The summer night is like a perfection of thought. - Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)


In summer, the song sings itself. - William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)


It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as Sunday. - Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

On the D-Day anniversary this week -


You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.  Your task will not be an easy one.  Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened.  He will fight savagely....  The free men of the world are marching together to victory.  I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.  We will accept nothing less than full victory.  Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. - General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944


There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again.  You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.  No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton! - General George S. Patton, Jr  (from the speech delivered to his troops on June 5, 1944)  [Compare to this from Henry V of course.]


In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it. - Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel (15 November 1891 - 14 October 1944) German Field Marshal and commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps in World War II.


From Bob Patterson -


"In War there is no second prize for the runner up." - Omar N. Bradley


"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." – Winston Churchill


"This landing is part of the concerted United Nations plan for the liberation of Europe, made in conjunction with our great Russian allies…." - Dwight David Eisenhower


"Le France ne peut étre la France sans la grandeur."  (France can not be France without greatness.) - Charles de Gaulle


"I’m convinced that the infantry is the group in the army which gives more and gets less than anybody else.  I draw pictures for and about the dogfaces because I know what their life is like and I understand their gripes.  They don’t get fancy pay, they know their food is the worst in the army because you can’t whip up lemon pies or even hot soup at the front, and they know how much of the burden they bear." -  Bill Maulden (Up Front, Page5)


"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.  It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gain the victory." - George S. Patton



Quotes for the week of May 29, 2005 – What do to, what to do…


Il faut secouer la vie; autrement elle nous ronge. –Stendhal (roughly "One must shake up life; otherwise it will eat into us.")


Au lieu de raturer sur un passé que l'on ne peut abolir, essayez de construire un présent dont vous serez ensuite fier. -André Maurois  (roughly "Instead of scratching out a past that cannot be abolished, try to construct a present that you will one day be proud of.")


There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular.  The first is that everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries.  This is the general rule.  The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule. — Samuel Butler (1835-1902)


When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep. - Ursula K. LeGuin


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There's no sense being a damn fool about it. - W.C. Fields


I realized either I was crazy or the world was crazy; and I picked on the world.  And of course I was right. - Jack Kerouac


You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there. - Yogi Berra




Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. - Martin Luther King Jr.


It's not denial.  I'm just very selective about the reality I accept. - Calvin Trillan


My specialty is detached malevolence. - Alice Longworth Roosevelt


My aim is to agitate and disturb people.  I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast. - Miguel de Unamuno




The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me.  They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.  Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them.  Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing.  The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B.  In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods. – H. L. Mencken


"It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do." "But suppose there are two mobs?" suggested Mr. Snodgrass. "Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick. - Charles Dickens, 'Pickwick Papers'




Quotes for the week of May 22, 2005 – Armageddon?


Our columnist Bob Patterson suggested the topic, but this is a tough one.  He provided these.


"The planet’s survival has become so uncertain that any effort, any thought that presupposes an assured future amounts to a mad gamble." - Elias Canetti


"Technological progress is like an ax in the hands of a pathological criminal."  - Albert Einstein


"Civilized men arrived in the Pacific, armed with alcohol, syphilis, trousers, and the Bible."  - Havelock Ellis


"I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker." - Adolph Hitler


"We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord."  - Theodore Roosevelt


Your editor found these...


Don't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day.  - Albert Camus


He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife. - Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy


The Book of Revelation has all the authority, in these theological uplands, of military orders in time of war. The people turn to it for light upon all their problems, spiritual and secular.  - H. L. Mencken, "Yearning Mountaineers' Souls Need Reconversion Nightly, Mencken Finds" (coverage of the Scopes Trial) The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 13, 1925 (posted in Positive Atheism's Historical section)


What is the function that a clergyman performs in the world? Answer: he gets his living by assuring idiots that he can save them from an imaginary hell. - H. L. Mencken, Not Church


When I die, I shall be content to vanish into nothingness....  No show, however good, could conceivably be good forever I do not believe in immortality, and have no desire for it.  - H. L. Mencken


It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.  - Bertrand Russell, from "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish" in the collection, Unpopular Essays


You'll be riding along in an automobile. You'll be the driver perhaps. You're a Christian. There'll be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly caught away - you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothes and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find the car suddenly somewhere crashes.... Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control and stark pandemonium will occur on ... every highway in the world where Christians are caught away from the drivers wheel. - Jerry Falwell, in his pamphlet, "Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ," quoted from Ronnie Dugger, "Does Reagan Expect a Nuclear Armageddon?" in Washington Post Outlook (April 8, 1984)


Johannes Stöffler (1452-1531) – a professor at Tübingen University: The world will end by a giant flood on February 20th 1524.




Quotes for the week of May 15, 2005 - Noir quotes!


See this week’s Book Wrangler, on noir – "...a slap in the mouth or a slug from a .45."


These are from Bob Patterson:


"The main question raised by the thriller is not what kind of world we live in, or what reality is like, but what it has done to us." – Ralph Harper


"If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and …  if they had been any better, I should not have come." - Raymond Chandler


"You may smoke, too.  I can still enjoy the smell of it.  Nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy." – General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) in The Big Sleep


"I bent over and took hold of the room with both hands and spun it. When I had it nicely spinning I gave it a full swing and hit myself on the back of the head with the floor." - Raymond Chandler


"We don’t exactly believe your story, Miss O’Shaughnessy.  We believed your $200….  You paid us more than if you’d been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it all right." - Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) The Maltese Falcon


"'Better and better!' the fat man exclaimed. 'I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice.'" - Daschiell Hammett


"Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar." - Mickey Spillane


"If you think I have any qualms about killing this kid, you couldn’t be more wrong.  The thing about killing him, or your, or her, or him is that I wouldn’t be getting paid for it – and I don’t like giving anything away for free." - Johnny Baron (Frank Sinatra) Suddenly


"You can’t just go around killing people whenever the notion strikes you.  It’s not feasible." - Marty Waterman (Elisha Cook Jr.) Born to Kill


"I began at the beginning and told her the whole story of Jacob and his ‘little men,’ the phone call in the middle of night, the impostor I found at Centre Street, my accident in the subway and my awakening, late in May, in the psychopathic ward of the hospital."  - John Franklin Bardin, The Deadly Percheron


For more?  Explore this.




Quotes for the week of May 8, 2005 – Mothers Day 

From Bob Patterson - 

"A boy’s best friend is his mother." - Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in Psycho


"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." - Rodney Dangerfield


"Clearly, society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a woman’s natural fitness for the career of mother: the alternatives are all too

expensive." - Ann Oakley


"Men resent women because women bear kids, and seem to have this magic link with immortality that men lack.  But they should stay home for a day with a kid; they’d change their minds." - Tuesday Weld


"Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one’s own Trojan horse."  - Rebecca West 

From the editor –

Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent. - Barbara Ehrenreich

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her. - George Washington


I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life. - Abraham Lincoln



The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.  - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Young women especially have something invested in being nice people, and it's only when you have children that you realize you're not a nice person at all, but generally a selfish bully. - Fay Weldon


Lord Illingworth: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.

Mrs. Allonby: No man does. That is his.

- Oscar Wilde “A Woman of No Importance”


The only mothers it is safe to forget on Mother's Day are the good ones. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960




Quotes for the week of May 1, 2005 - May Day Quotes


the day set aside by the Second Socialist International in 1889 to commemorate Labor and still celebrated around the world. 

From Bob Patterson - 

"All down History, nine-tenths of mankind have been grinding the corn for the remaining one-tenth, been paid with the husks – and bidden to thank God they had the husks."  - David Lloyd George


"The working class is for a Lenin what ore is for a metal worker." - Maxim Gorky


"I like work: it fascinates me.  I can sit and look at it for hours.  I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart."  - Jerome K. Jerome


"It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"  - Ronald Reagan


"It is impossible to build a socialist paradise as an oasis amid the inferno of world capitalism."  - Leon Trotsky


"You have undertaken to cheat me.  I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow.  I’ll ruin you."  - Cornelius Vanderbilt 

From the editor - 

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson


Work and pray, live on hay.  You'll get pie in the sky when you die.  - Joe Hill


There comes a time when the operation of the machine is so odious that you cannot even passively participate. You’ve got to place your body on the gears, the levers, all the apparatus. You’ve got to indicate to those who own it, and those who run it, that unless you are free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.  – Mario Savio


If you don't like your job you don't strike.  You just go in every day and do it really half-assed.  That's the American way.  - Homer Simpson


If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.Kurt Vonnegut


It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I just beat people up.  - Muhammad Ali


Dancing is a sweat job. - Fred Astaire (1899-1987 - and was he really born as Frederick Austerlitz?) from Recalled on his death 22 June 1987


Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job. – George Bernard Shaw


I have never liked working. To me a job is an invasion of privacy. - Danny McGoorty (Irish pool player)


Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar. - Drew Carey


One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.  - Bertrand Russell 

Traditional - 

The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.  - Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, 1485


Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.  -  Dorothy Parker




Quotes for the week of April 24, 2005 –


These all point back to an item this week – April 24, 2005 - The End of Outrage?


Intellectual despair results in neither weakness nor dreams, but in violence. It is only a matter of knowing how to give vent to one's rage; whether one only wants to wander like madmen around prisons, or whether one wants to overturn them. - Georges Bataille


Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends? - George Eliot


Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before - it takes something from him. - Louis L'Amour


Depression is rage spread thin.  - George Santayana


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams


You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. - Aldous Huxley


Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia (II, 109)


I have always been on the side of the heretics against those who burned them because the heretics so often turned out to be right...  Dead, but right. - Edward R. Murrow


Whenever people say "we mustn't be sentimental," you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, "we must be realistic," they mean they are going to make money out of it. -  Brigit Brophy.


Anger and humor are like the left and right arm. They complement each other. Anger empowers the poor to declare their uncompromising opposition to oppression, and humor prevents them from being consumed by their fury. - James H. Cone


It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information. – Oscar Wilde



Quotes for the week of April 17, 2005 – Done, for this year: Taxes 


From Bon Patterson – 


"The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the Federal government but doesn’t have to take a civil-service examination."  - Ronald Reagan


"We don’t pay taxes.  Only the little people pay taxes."  - Leona Helmsley


"The power to tax involves the power to destroy."  - John Marshall


"We’re a trillion dollars in debt.  Who do we owe this money to, someone named Vinnie?"  - Robin Williams


"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other."  - Voltaire 


From the editor - 


Income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.  - Will Rogers


The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax. - Albert Einstein


I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged. - Roger Jones


Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss. - Robert A. Heinlein


I wouldn't mind paying taxes - if I knew they were going to a friendly country. - Dick Gregory


The expenses of government, having for their object the interest of all, should be borne by everyone, and the more a man enjoys the advantages of society, the more he ought to hold himself honored in contributing to those expenses.  - Anne Robert Jacques Turgot


Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.  - Benjamin Franklin, from Letter to Jean Baptiste Leroy, 13 Novmber 1789


Death and taxes may be inevitable, but they shouldn't be related.  - J.C. Watts, Jr.


I like to pay taxes.  With them I buy civilization. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. - Mark Twain


Of all debts, men are least willing to pay their taxes; what a satire this is on government. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


I have trouble reconciling my net income with my gross habits. - Errol Flynn




Quotes for the week of April 10, 2005, as the war continues, or the occupation, or whatever it is…


From Bob Patterson –


"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing."  - Neville Chamberlain


"A government needs one hundred soldiers for every guerrilla it faces." - Fulgencio Batista


"I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."  - Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  October 30, 1940


"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."  - General Douglas MacArthur


"We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves." - Lyndon Baines Johnson


From the editor –


Nuclear war would really set back cable.    Ted Turner


The inevitableness, the idealism, and the blessing of war, as an indispensable and stimulating law of development, must be repeatedly emphasized. - Friedrich von Bernhardi - Source: Germany and the next War (ch. I)


Where is it written in the Constitution that you may take children from their parents, and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly or wickedness of government may engage it?  - Daniel Webster


If war should sweep our commerce from the seas, another generation will restore it. If war exhausts our treasury, future industry will replenish it. If war desiccate and lay waste our fields, under new cultivation they will grow green again and ripen to future harvest. If the walls of yonder Capitol should fall and its decorations be covered by the dust of battle, all these can be rebuilt. But who shall reconstruct the fabric of a demolished government; who shall dwell in the well-proportioned columns of constitutional liberty; who shall frame together the skillful architecture which unites sovereignty with state's rights, individual security with prosperity? - Daniel Webster

The final war will be between Pavlov's dog and Schrödinger’s Cat. -  Robert Anton Wilson


We have women in the military, but they don't put us in the front lines. They don't know if we can fight or if we can kill. I think we can. All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say, "You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms." - Elayne Boosler

I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed there would be no more war.  -  Abbie Hoffman


The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. - David Friedman


The cannon thunders... limbs fly in all directions... one can hear the groans of victims and the howling of those performing the sacrifice... it's Humanity in search of happiness. - Charles Baudelaire


To say that war is madness is like saying that sex is madness: true enough, from the standpoint of a stateless eunuch, but merely a provocative epigram for those who must make their arrangements in the world as given. - John Updike


"There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.  - James Morrow




Quotes for the week of April 3, 2005 – Appropriate to events….


Our columnist Bob Patterson considers these -


"Now cracks a noble heart.  Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet - V, ii, 373


"To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth." – Voltaire


"The world is the mirror of myself dying." - Henry Miller


"Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient." - Henry Louis Mencken


"Then, last week, as it must to all men, death came to Charles Foster Kane." - From Citizen Kane


"When my little boy, Dimitri, died, everybody was crying.  Me?  I got up, and I danced.  They said ‘Zorba is mad.’  But it was the dancing –only the dancing – that stopped the pain." - Anthony Quinn playing Zorba


Your editor considers these -


Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome. - Isaac Asimov


Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Of the two, taxes happen annually. - Joel Fox


I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. - Clarence Darrow


I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. - Mark Twain


The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you. – Woody Allen


Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.  - Groucho Marx


When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. - Sir Winston Churchill


The idea is to die young as late as possible. - Ashley Montagu


I'm not afraid of death.  It's the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life. - Jean Giraudoux, Amphitryon, 1929


Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.  - W. Somerset Maugham


Never knock on Death's door: ring the bell and run away!  Death really hates that! - Matt Frewer, as Dr. Mike Stratford in "Doctor, Doctor"




Quotes for the week of March 27, 2005 – Paris and the French


In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is. - Geoffrey Cottrell


The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners. - F. Scott Fitzgerald


I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely. - Josephine Baker


To err is human. To loaf is Parisian. - Victor Hugo


Quarrels in France strengthen a love affair, in America they end it. - The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem


The Frenchman, by nature, is sensuous and sensitive. He has intelligence, which makes him tired of life sooner than other kinds of men. He is not athletic: he sees the futility of the pursuit of fame; the climate at times depresses him. - Anais Nin


In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language. - Mark Twain


The French are true romantics. They feel the only difference between a man of forty and one of seventy is thirty years of experience. - Maurice Chevalier


In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise. - Virgil Thomson


And from Just Above Sunset columnist Bob Patterson -


"Is Paris burning?"  - Adolph Hitler


"In Paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator." - Jean Cocteau


"There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even – the French air clears up the brain and does good – a world of good."  - Vincent Van Gogh


"France is the only country where the money falls apart and you can’t tear the toilet paper." Billy Wilder


"Lady Hunstanton: Indeed? And when bad Americans die, where do they go to?
Lord Illinguworth: Oh, they go to America."

-          A Woman of No Importance, act 1 by Oscar Wilde (as quoted in Bartlett’s 16th edition).


"That’s hot." - Paris Hilton




Quotes for the week of March 20, 2005 – On Lawyers and the Law


A lawyer's dream of heaven: every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers. - Samuel Butler


A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer. - Robert Frost


No brilliance is required in law, just common sense and relatively clean fingernails. - John Mortimer


It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and to talk by the hour.  - Thomas Jefferson


Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


From the movie Caddyshack - Judge Smails: I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber.  Didn't want to do it.  I felt I owed it to them.


From the movie Pretty Woman (1990) –

Vivian: That would make you a... lawyer.
Edward: What makes you think I'm a lawyer?
Vivian: You've got that sharp, useless look about you.


Erik Ambler, Send No More Roses (1977) - What use is an honest lawyer when what you need is a dishonest one?


An incompetent lawyer can delay a trial for months or years. A competent lawyer can delay one even longer. - Evelle Younger


In the university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools. - Doris Lessing


As your attorney, it is my duty to inform you that it is not important that you understand what I'm doing or why you're paying me so much money. What's important is that you continue to do so. - Hunter S. Thompson's Samoan Attorney


I can't do literary work for the rest of this year because I'm meditating another lawsuit and looking around for a defendant. - Mark Twain


It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King Jr.


I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law. - David Dinkins



And from Bob Patterson – The World’s Laziest Journalist –


"And do as adversaries do in law
Strive Mightily, but eat and drink as friends."

- Shakespeare  The Taming of the Shrew  1, ii, 281


"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than  hundred men with guns."  - Mario Puzzo


"If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers." - Charles Dickens


"The trouble with law is lawyers."  - Clarence Darrow


"If a man dies and leaves his estate in an uncertain condition, the lawyers become his heirs."  - Edgar Watson Howe



Quotes for the week of March 13, 2005 (Shakespeare and Company) -


Level One – Light


Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.  - George Carlin


In the beginning there was nothing. God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better. - Ellen DeGeneres


May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.  - George Carlin


Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. - Jean-Paul Sartre


The worst part of success is to try finding someone who is happy for you. - Bette Midler


The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.  - Humphrey Bogart


Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room. - Winston Churchill


Level Two – Heavier (via Bob Patterson)


"Beggars mounted run their horses to death." - King Henry the Sixth Part III act 1, scene 4, line 127


"Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels."  - King Richard IV, i, 139


"O, how full of briars is this working-day world." - As You Like It  I , iii, 12


"They laugh that win."  - Othello IV, i, 123


"Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill"  - King Lear IV, vi, 187


"Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds."  - Sonnet 94, line 14


"Words pay no debts." - The Phoenix and the Turtle, III, ii, 56


Level Three – Heavier Still


Tut! I have done a thousand dreadful things as willingly as one would kill a fly.Titus Andronicus: Act I, Scene V.


O! it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.Measure for Measure: Act II, Scene II.  


The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. - The Merchant of Venice. Act. v. Sc. 1.


Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens. - As You Like It. Act ii. Sc. 1.


Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy. - Timon of Athens (First Senator at III, v)




Quotes for the week of March 6, 2005 – Food, Glorious Food!


Bob Patterson sends these -


"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."  - George Bernard Shaw


"Food is a weapon."  - Maxim Litvinov


"If you’re going to America, bring your own food."  - Fran Lebowitz


"A gourmet can tell from the flavor whether a woodcock’s leg is the one on which the bird is accustomed to roost."  - Lucius Beebe


"Three million frogs’ legs are served in Paris – daily.  Nobody knows what became of the rest of the frogs."  - Fred Allen


From the editor -


I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. - Woody Allen


If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. - James Michener


This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate two eggs, but it doesn't say how far to separate them. - Gracie Allen


When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking. - Elaine Boosler


Watermelon - it's a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.  - Enrico Caruso


Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. - W.C. Fields


You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six. - Yogi Berra


Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good. - Alice May Brock


Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. - G. K. Chesterton


Orson Welles (1915-1985) –


Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.


My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.


There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. - Mahatma Gandhi




Quotes for the week of February 27, 2005  - Oscar Weekend


Bob Patterson -


"Thanks!"  Gary Cooper reportedly gave the shortest Oscar acceptance speech ever.  The Just Above Sunset factcheck squad is still working on that claim.


"The principle benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis."  - Marlon Brando


"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"  - W. C.



"Disney, of course, has the best casting.  If he doesn’t like an actor, he just tears him up." - Alfred Hitchcock


"I don’t say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could."  - Orson Wells


The Editor –


I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great. - Ray Charles


The splendors that belong unto the fame of earth are but a wind, that in the same direction lasts not long. [Non e il mondam romore alro che un fiato Di vento, che vien quinci et or vien quindi, E muta nome, perche muta lato.] - Dante ("Dante Alighieri") Purgatorio (XI, 100)


What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little. - Leszczynski Stanislaus


A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know. - Henry Louis Mencken


Fame is only good for one thing - they will cash your check in a small town. - Truman Capote

It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that. - Alan Alda


Fame is proof that people are gullible. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


A sign of celebrity is often that their name is worth more than their services. - Daniel J. Boorstin


In the construction of Immortal Fame you need first of all a cosmic shamelessness. - Umberto Eco "Travels in Hyperreality" (1975)


People hate me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius. – Jerry Lewis


To people who want to be rich and famous, I'd say, "Get rich first and see if that doesn't cover it." – Bill Murray




Quotes for the week of February 21, 2005 –


The topic is words.


Jargon allows us to camouflage intellectual poverty with verbal extravagance. - David Pratt


For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me. - Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne)


We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them. - Abigail Adams in a letter to John Adams, 1774


When ideas fail, words come in very handy. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Many wise words are spoken in jest, but they don't compare with the number of stupid words spoken in earnest. - Sam Levenson


No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.  - Henry B. Adams


Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. - Robert Frost


People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say. - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


English is the perfect language for preachers because it allows you to talk until you think of what to say. - Garrison Keillor


The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech. - George Bernard Shaw


There is no such thing as conversation.  It is an illusion.  There are intersecting monologues, that is all. - Rebecca West


Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when driven to speech by something outside himself-like, for instance, he can't find any clean socks. -Jean Kerr


If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it.  - Earl Wilson


Never miss a good chance to shut up. – Will Rogers


Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters. - Dr Samuel Johnson


It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. - Robert Benchley

I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book. - John Lennon


There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. - William Somerset Maugham


Write as if you are dying. - Annie Dillard


When you say words a lot they don't mean anything.  Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway, and we just think they do. - Neil Gaiman, Brief Lives


Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. - Robert Benchley




Some of the above applied – from Bob Patterson, The World’s Laziest Journalist


"I have just received the following telegram from my generous Daddy.  It says:  ‘Dear Jack:  don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary.  I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.’" - John F. Kennedy


"I’m not a lovable man." - Richard Nixon


"If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen them all." - Ronald Reagan


"I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever.  I don’t care what the facts are."  - George H. W. Bush


"This is an impressive crowd.  The haves and the have-mores.  Some call you the elite.  I call you my base."  - George W. Bush




Quotes of the week of February 13, 2005 – the week that includes Valentine’s Day -


Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions. - Woody Allen


The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing - and then marry him. - Cher


I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known. - Walt Disney


Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.  - Woody Allen


Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks like a haddock. - John Barrymore


If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning. - Aristotle Onassis


Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. - Saint Augustine (354-430)


And from Bob Patterson, The World’s Laziest Journalist


"On one issue at least, men and women agree – they both distrust women."  - H. L. Menken


"I never loved another person the way I loved myself." - Mae West


"My wife and I were happy for twenty years.  Then we met."  - Rodney Dangerfield


"I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it."  - Marilyn Monroe


"It was the men I deceived the most that I loved the most."  - Marguerite Duras


Quotes of the week not related to Valentine’s Day –


"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."  - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."  - H. G. Wells (1866-1946)


"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."  - Voltaire (1694-1778)


"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."  - Umberto Eco


"The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault."  - Henry Kissinger


"What do you take me for, an idiot?"  - General Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), when a journalist asked him if he was happy


"It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


"I would have made a good Pope." - Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)


"When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite."  - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


"From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."  - Groucho Marx (1895-1977)


"The covers of this book are too far apart."  - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)




Quotes for the week of February 6, 2005 (Super Bowl Sunday) -


Sports do not build character... they reveal it.  - John Wooden


Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.  - George Orwell


I don't know anything that builds the will to win better than competitive sports.  - Richard M. Nixon


Sports is the toy department of human life. - Howard Cosell


Nobody in football should be called a genius.  A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.  -Joe Theismann


You teach me baseball and I'll teach you relativity….  No, we must not.  You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball.  - Albert Einstein


Baseball players are smarter than football players.  How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many players on the field? - Jim Boulton


If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?  - Vince Lombardi


Men forget everything; women remember everything. That's why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened.  - Rita Rudner


If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base.  - Dave Barry


To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography and the dancers hit each other.  - Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts


A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz.  - Humphrey Bogart



From Bob Patterson – The World’s Laziest Journalist –


Leo Durocher is in Bartlett’s for his book titled: Nice Guys Finish Last


Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel said: "Most people my age are dead."


Bartlett’s notes that what Vince Lombardi actually said was: "Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is."


Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra has multiple entries in Bartlett’s including: "You can observe a lot by watching."


Grantland Rice wrote:  "All wars are planned by old men / In council rooms apart."




Quotes for the week of January 30, 2005 –


Apropos of nothing -


The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error. - Bertold Brecht


Leadership -


Adlai Stevenson: It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.


Dwight D. Eisenhower: You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.


Lao Tzu: A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him...  But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "We did it ourselves."


Everett Dirksen: I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.


John F. Kennedy: Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.


Tom Peters: If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.


Tony Blair: The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.


Talleyrand (Charles Maurice, Prince de Talleyrand-Périgord): I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep.


There are no warlike people, just warlike leaders. - Ralph Bunche


Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.  - Jesse Jackson


When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command.  Very often, that person is crazy.  - Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"


Asking "who ought to be the boss" is like asking "who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?" Obviously, the man who can sing tenor. - Henry Ford


Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny. - Kin Hubbard


Perhaps the most central characteristic of authentic leadership is the relinquishing of the impulse to dominate others. - David Cooper (Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry)




Quotes for the week of January 16, 2005 -


Bob Patterson asks the question.  How about quotes from "Sunset Boulevard"?


Here are the ones he remembers - some of his favorite quotes from the movie “Sunset Boulevard” (1950 - directed by Bill Wilder) - found in The Movie Quote Book edited by Harry Haun –


"I am big.  It’s the pictures that got small."  - Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson)


"We didn’t need dialogue.  We had faces.  There just aren’t any faces like that anymore." - Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson)


"It's lonely here so she got herself a companion.  Very simple set-up.  Older woman who's well-to-do and a younger man who's not doing too well.  Can you figure it out yourself?"  - Joe Gillis (William Holden)


"There’s nothing else – just us – and the cameras – and those wonderful people out there in the dark.  All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup."  - Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson)


"Poor devil – still waving proudly to a parade which had long since passed her by."  - Joe Gillis  (William Holden)


"You know, a dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things to the human spirit."  - Cecil B. DeMille, playing himself.


"Thirty million fans have given her the brush.  Isn’t that enough?"  - Cecil B. DeMille, playing himself


Your editor found some more on film in various places – as the Just Above Sunset World Headquarters are in the middle of Hollywood one block north of Sunset.


Jean-Luc Godard:

  • Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.
  • A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order


Samuel Goldwyn: Give me a couple of years, and I'll make that actress an overnight success.

Alfred Hitchcock: The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.


Will Rogers: The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself.

Andy Warhol: It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it. Everybody has their own America, and then they have the pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can't see.

Billy Wilder:  Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award.

Katharine Hepburn: The average Hollywood film star's ambition is to be admired by an American, courted by an Italian, married to an Englishman and have a French boyfriend.

Raymond Chandler: The motion picture is like a picture of a lady in a half-piece bathing suit. If she wore a few