Higher education...

Published Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 12:00 AM EST
Jan 25 2015

A college is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
-George Bernard Shaw

A man who never graduated from school might steal from a freight car. But a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad.
-Theodore Roosevelt

A man's college and university degrees mean nothing to me until I see what he is able to do with them.
-Henry Ford

A student can win twelve letters at a university without learning how to write one.
-Robert M. Hutchins

A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. The library is the university.
-Shelby Foote

A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.
-Benjamin Disraeli

A University without students is like an ointment without a fly.
-Ed Nather

After a few months in my parents' basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of the these things are dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations.
-David Sedaris

Alas, higher education is not necessarily a guarantee of higher virtue, or higher political wisdom.
-Aldous Huxley

American college students are like American colleges; each has half-dulled faculties.
-James Thurber

As the only class distinction available in a democracy, the college degree has created a caste society as rigid as ancient India's.
-Florence King

College ain't so much where you been as how you talk when you get back.
-Ossie Davis

College is the best time of your life. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?
-David Wood

College isn't the place to go for ideas.
-Helen Keller

College: two hundred people reading the same book. An obvious mistake. Two hundred people can read two hundred books.
-John Cage

Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges.
-Bob Dylan

Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.
-Garry Trudeau

Every man should have a college education in order to show him how little the thing is really worth. The intellectual kings of the earth have seldom been college-bred.
-Elbert Hubbard

Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it's in Hamburger Technology.
-Clive James

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
-Flannery O'Connor

Higher education in America flourished chiefly as a qualification for entrance into a moneymaking profession, and not as a thing in itself.
-Stephen Leacock

I can't imagine a genuinely intelligent boy getting much out of college, even out of a good college, save it be a cynical habit of mind.
-H.L. Mencken

I can't understand these chaps who go round American universities explaining how they write poems: It's like going round explaining how you sleep with your wife.
-Philip Larkin

I learned more about economics from one South Dakota dust storm than I did in all my years at college.
-Hubert H. Humphrey

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
-Woody Allen

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

If a young person has any idealism at all, it's strongest about the time he finishes college.
-Sargent Shriver

If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have pictures of graduates working at Starbucks.
-Daniel Lin

If I were founding a university I would begin with a smoking room; next a dormitory; and then a decent reading room and a library. After that, if I still had more money that I couldn't use, I would hire a professor and get some text books.
-Stephen Leacock

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.
-Margaret Mead

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library.
-Frank Zappa

Imagine my surprise when it turned out the main thing that I was qualified for was to get another degree and teach Political Science to other people, who would, in turn, teach it to other people! This wasn't higher education, this was Amway with a football team!
-Richard Jeni

In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.
-Joseph Sobran

No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer

Of course there's a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates.
-Dr. A. Lawrence Lowell

Our universities are so determined to impose tolerance that they'll expel you for saying what you think and never notice the irony.
-John Perry Barlow

Semi-colons only prove that the author has been to college.
-E.B. White

Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it.
-Stephen Vizinczey

The art of handling university students is to make oneself appear, and this almost ostentatiously, to be treating them as adults...
-Arnold J. Toynbee

The boy of lively mind isn't hurt by college. If he encounters mainly jackasses, he learns the useful lesson that this is a jackass world.
-H.L. Mencken

The chief value of going to college is that it's the only way to learn it really doesn't matter.
-George Edwin Howes

The college graduate is presented with a sheepskin to cover his intellectual nakedness.
-Robert M. Hutchins

Universities hire professors the way some men choose wives- they want the ones the others will admire.
-Morris Kline

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?'
-Howard Ikemoto

You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?
-Stephen King


(January 25 is also the birthday of W. Somerset Maugham and Virginia Woolf.)

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Quotes of the day: William Congreve

Published Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 12:00 AM EST
Jan 24 2015

William Congreve (January 24, 1670 - January 19, 1729) was an English playwright and poet who wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period of the late 17th century. Unfortunately, his career ended almost as soon as it began. After writing five plays from his first in 1693 until 1700, he produced no more as public tastes turned against the sort of high-brow sexual comedy of manners in which he specialized. He withdrew from the theater and lived on the residuals of his early work. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A little disdain is not amiss; a little scorn is alluring.

Beauty is the lover's gift.

Courtship is to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.

Defer not till tomorrow to be wise,
Tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise.

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.

I confess freely to you I could never look long upon a monkey, without very mortifying reflections.

I find we are growing serious, and then we are in great danger of being dull.

I know that's a secret, for it's whispered every where.

If this be not love, it is madness, and then it is pardonable.

Let us be very strange and well-bred:
Let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while;
And as wellbred as if we were not married at all.

Married in haste, we repent at leisure.

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

O, she is the antidote to desire.

Say what you will, tis better to be left than never to have been loved.

There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire.

Though marriage makes man and wife one flesh, it leaves 'em still two fools.

Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure;
Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.

Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, through the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.

Wit must be foiled by wit: cut a diamond with a diamond.

Women are like tricks by sleight of hand,
Which, to admire, we should not understand.


(January 24 is also the birthday of Edith Wharton.)

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Quotes of the day: Édouard Manet

Published Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 1:35 AM EST
Jan 23 2015

Édouard Manet (January 23, 1832 - April 30, 1883) was a French painter, one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good painting is true to itself.

A painter can say all he wants to with fruit or flowers or even clouds.

Anything containing the spark of humanity, containing the spirit of the age, is interesting.

Black is not a color.

Conciseness in art is essential and a refinement. The concise man makes one think; the verbose bores. Always work towards conciseness.

I am influenced by everbody. But every time I put my hands in my pockets I find someone else's fingers there.

I need to work to feel well.

It is not enough to know your craft - you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.

No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else.

One must be of one's time and paint what one sees.

The country has charms only for those not obliged to stay there.

The only amateurs are the people who do bad paintings.

There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.

There's no symmetry in nature. One eye is never exactly the same as the other. There's always a difference. We all have a more or less crooked nose and an irregular mouth.

You must always remain master of the situation and do what you please.


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Quotes of the day: Lord Byron

Published Thursday, January 22, 2015 @ 4:06 AM EST
Jan 22 2015

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (January 22, 1788 - April 19, 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the short lyric She Walks in Beauty.

Byron is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and remains widely read and influential. He travelled through Europe, spent seven years in Italy and then joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died one year later at age 36 from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece. Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was both celebrated and castigated in life for his aristocratic excesses, including huge debts, numerous love affairs with more than one gender, rumours of a scandalous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile.

Byron also fathered, among others, the Countess Ada Lovelace, whose work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine is considered one of the foundations of computer science. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A great poet belongs to no country; his works are public property, and his Memoirs the inheritance of the public.

A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure- critics are ready-made.

All farewells should be sudden.

And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
The truth in masquerade.

Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth a fillip.

Folly loves the martyrdom of fame.

Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.

For most men (till by losing rendered sager)
Will back their own opinions by a wager.

Friendship is Love without his wings.

Friendship may, and often does, grow into love, but love never subsides into friendship.

I am the very slave of circumstance
And impulse- borne away with every breath!

I awoke one morning and found myself famous.

If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.

Knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.

Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda water the day after.

Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease!
He makes a solitude, and calls it- peace!

Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the virtues of Man, without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
(Inscription on the monument of a Newfoundland dog)

No words suffice the secret soul to show,
For truth denies all eloquence to woe.

Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they destest at leisure.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

Society is now one polish'd horde,
Form'd of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.

The 'good old times'- all times when old are good- Are gone.

The best of prophets of the future is the past.

The dust we tread upon was once alive.

There 's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away.

They never fail who die
In a great cause.

What's drinking?
A mere pause from thinking!

When we think we lead, we are most led.

With just enough of learning to misquote.


(January 22 is also the birthday of Francis Bacon.)

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On ethics...

Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 12:19 AM EST
Jan 21 2015

A civilization has the ethics it can afford.
-Larry Niven

A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to help all life which he is able to succor, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living. He does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy as valuable in itself, nor how far it is capable of feeling. To him life as such is sacred. He shatters no ice crystal that sparkles in the sun, tears no leaf from its tree, breaks off no flower, and is careful not to crush any insect as he walks. If he works by lamplight on a summer evening, he prefers to keep the window shut and to breathe stifling air, rather than to see insect after insect fall on his table with singed and sinking wings.
-Albert Schweitzer

An ethical man is a Christian holding four aces.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind.
-Marvin Minsky

Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.
-D.H. Lawrence

Ethics change with technology.
-Larry Niven

Ethics in our Western world has hitherto been largely limited to the relations of man to man. But that is a limited ethics. We need a boundless ethics which will include the animals also.
-Albert Schweitzer

Ethics is in its unqualified form extended responsibility to everything that has life.
-Albert Schweitzer

Ethics: A set of rules laid out by professionals to show the way they would like to act if they could afford it.
-Gerald F. Lieberman

First, there is the law. It must be obeyed. But the law is the minimum. You must act ethically.
-W.A. (Buck) Rogers

He always pictured himself a libertarian, which to my way of thinking means 'I want the liberty to grow rich and you can have the liberty to starve.' It's easy to believe that no one should depend on society for help when you yourself happen not to need such help. (on Robert A. Heinlein and libertarian ethics)
-Isaac Asimov

Humanists hold that ethical values are relative to human experience and need not be derived from theological or metaphysical foundations.
-Paul Kurtz

I don't trust a man who talks about ethics when he is picking my pocket.
-Robert A. Heinlein

I'd like to see people, instead of spending so much time on the ethical problem, get after the problems that really affect the people of this country.
-Richard M. Nixon

In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.
-Earl Warren

In politics, it seems, retreat is honorable if dictated by military considerations and shameful if even suggested for ethical reasons.
-Mary McCarthy

In the future, the most important job skill will be a lack of ethics.
-Scott Adams

It is clear that the use of such a weapon cannot be justified on any ethical ground which gives a human being a certain individuality and dignity even if he happens to be a resident of an enemy country.
-Enrico Fermi

Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life- it is bad to damage and destroy life. And this ethic, profound and universal, has the significance of a religion. It is religion.
-Albert Schweitzer

Most people are just selfish and egocentric, wanting what they want, when they want it, without regard to the rest of society. The vast majority of people are cave-men in designer clothes, without morals or ethics.
-Frederick A. Farris

No one is more ethical than someone who's just become so.
-Robert Half

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.
-Bill Moyers

Secular humanism is avowedly non-religious. It is a eupraxsophy (good practical wisdom), which draws its basic principles and ethical values from science, ethics, and philosophy.
-Paul Kurtz

Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit.
-Freda Adler

The basis of effective government is public confidence and that confidence is endangered when ethical standards falter, or appear to falter.
-John F. Kennedy

The deity who stalked the deserts of the Middle East millennia ago- and who seems to have abandoned them to bloodshed in his name ever since- is no one to consult on questions of ethics.
-Sam Harris

The ethic of Reverence for Life prompts us to keep each other alert to what troubles us and to speak and act dauntlessly together in discharging the responsibility that we feel. It keeps us watching together for opportunities to bring some sort of help to animals in recompense for the great misery that men inflict upon them, and thus for a moment we escape from the incomprehensible horror of existence.
-Albert Schweitzer

The irony is that in our decades, the combination of rationalism, asceticism, and individualism (the so-called Protestant Ethic) has produced precisely the system of boondoggling, luxury-consumption, and status.
-Paul Goodman

The needs of a society determine its ethics.
-Maya Angelou

The President must be greater than anyone else, but not better than anyone else. We subject him and his family to close and constant scrutiny and denounce them for things that we ourselves do every day. A Presidential slip of the tongue, a slight error in judgment- social, political, or ethical- can raise a storm of protest. We give the President more work than a man can do, more responsibility than a man should take, more pressure than a man can bear. We abuse him often and rarely praise him. We wear him out, use him up, eat him up. And with all this, Americans have a love for the President that goes beyond loyalty or party nationality; he is ours, and we exercise the right to destroy him.
-John Steinbeck

The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act So As To Elicit the Best In Others and Thereby In Thy Self.
-Felix Adler

The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
-Omar Bradley

There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite.
-Jorge Luis Borges

To have a sense of sin means to feel guilty at there being an ethical choice to make, a guilt which, however 'good' I may become, remains unchanged.
-W.H. Auden

We live in a culture of diminished ethics and morality, but there are resources within us we known little about... by searching for the best within ourselves we can create a better society and a better world.
-Christopher Reeve

What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.
-Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Categories: Ethics; Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Bill Maher

Published Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 12:03 AM EST
Jan 20 2015

William "Bill" Maher, Jr. (b. January 20, 1956) is an American stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, writer, producer, and actor. Before his role as the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher hosted a similar late-night talk show called Politically Incorrect, originally on Comedy Central and later on ABC. Real Time has been renewed for its 13th season. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


America is the only country in the world that's still in the business of making bombs that can end the world and TV shows that make it seem like a good idea.

Be a freethinker. One reason our politics is so screwed up is because everyone has become so tribal. As you go down the path of life, ask what's true, not who else believes it.

Being a bastard isn't a lifestyle choice; it's something you're born with, like musical talent or an undescended testicle.

Everything is a slippery slope... the world is a luge.

Everything that used to be a sin is now a disease.

Gays are the only people left who want to get married.

Having a computer is like having a small, silicon version of Gary Busey on your desk. You never know what's going to happen.

Hollywood, where the stars are in the sidewalk and the dirt is in the sky.

I don't understand cocaine. If you want to be nervous and edgy, go to work.

I have a problem with people who take the Constitution loosely and the Bible literally.

I think capital punishment works great. Every killer you kill never kills again.

I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.

If you believe in Judgment Day, I have to seriously question your judgment.

I'm tired of every Republican politician being a medical supergenius on vaginas. I want to hear gynecologists talk about the national debt.

In America, there is no idea so patently absurd that it can't catch on.

It always bugs me when people win awards and thank God. God could give a rat's ass if you win an MTV award.

It takes a village is just a saying. Us other villagers are busy.

It's hard not to be condescending when you're talking to an idiot.

Jews can't eat ham. Jehovah's Witnesses can't buy Girl Scout cookies. The Amish can't drive cars. Catholics can't masturbate. Scientologists can't go to therapy. Baptists can't dance. Sikhs can't shave. And Lord knows, Muslims can't take a joke.

Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex.

Love means having to say you're sorry every five damn minutes.

Men are only as loyal as their options.

No politician is perfect. But in every election in your life, there will be one choice that is better than the others. Go out and vote for that one.

Politics is about compromises... really stupid compromises.

Steven Hawking once said, the thing about smart people is they seem to be crazy people to dumb people. Don't be afraid to be a crazy person.

Suicide is our way of saying to God, 'You can't fire me. I quit.'

The cable TV sex channels don't expand our horizons, don't make us better people, and don't come in clearly enough.

The problem with the free market today is that it's not free, or much of a market.

There's a beautiful, progressive Canadian-European country here in America. It's just surrounded by rednecks.

We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is the Bill of Responsibilities.

What Democratic congressmen do to their women staffers, Republican congressmen do to the country.

When homophobia trumps terrorism as an issue... wow. This country needs to get laid.

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Quotes of the day: Alexander Woollcott

Published Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 12:00 AM EST
Jan 19 2015

Alexander Humphreys Woollcott (January 19, 1887 - January 23, 1943) was an American critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine, a member of the Algonquin Round Table. An essayist, playwright, editor, actor, raconteur, and radio personality, he was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside, the main character in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A combination of Little Nell and Lady Macbeth. (on Dorothy Parker)

A hick town is one in which there is no place to go where you shouldn't be.

A sensitive, creative artist with a fine sense of double-entry bookkeping. (re: Samuel Goldwyn)

All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune.

His huff arrived and he departed in it.

I am tired of hearing that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.

I have no need of your God-damned sympathy; I wish only to be entertained by some of your grosser reminiscences.
(In a reply to a get well card)

In the world we must be unworldly, in the theatre the actor must be untheatrical.

It comes from the likes of you! Take what you can get! Grab the chances as they come along! Act in hallways! Sing in doorways! Dance in cellars!

Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing.

Nothing risqué, nothing gained.

Reading Proust is like bathing in someone else's dirty water.

The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm.

The scenery in the play was beautiful, but the actors got in front of it.

The two oldest professions in the world- ruined by amateurs. (re: acting and prostitution)

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.

To all things clergic
I am allergic.

You haven't lived until you died in New York.


(January 19 is also the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe.)

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Quotes of the day: Paul Tsongas

Published Sunday, January 18, 2015 @ 12:02 AM EST
Jan 18 2015

Paul Efthemios Tsongas (February 14, 1941 - January 18, 1997) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1979 to 1985. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1992 presidential election. Tsongas was generally viewed as a social liberal and an economic moderate. He was especially known for his efforts in Congress in support of historic preservation and environmental conservation on the one hand, as well as for his pro-business economic policies on the other. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A commencement is a time of joy. It is also a time of melancholy. But then again, so is life.

America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.

America is the sum of all our journeys as we search for our national community and our national culture.

Don't fear your mortality, because it is this very mortality that gives meaning and depth and poignancy to all the days that will be granted to you.

I came from a disadvantaged home. They were Republicans.

In this era of the global village, the tide of democracy is running. And it will not cease, not in China, not in South Africa, not in any corner of this earth, where the simple idea of democracy and freedom has taken root.

It was a myth that's often perpetuated at commencement that holds that only hope and promise lie beyond the halls of academe. Don't worry, be happy. Everything is fine.

Journey with me to a true commitment to our environment. Journey with me to the serenity of leaving to our children a planet in equilibrium.

Let's try winning and see what it feels like. If we don't like it, we can go back to our traditions.

No one is immune from the larger events of his or her time- the Depression, World War II, civil rights, Vietnam, the spring of 1989 in China. These events intrude upon our lives and radically affect our directions.

Nobody on his death bed ever said, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.'

Seven and half years ago I began my own journey. For me and my family it was a time of adversity. But during that adversity I derived a deeper faith. And born out of that adversity was a commitment to devote myself to those people and to those issues that truly matter to me.

That sense of sacredness, that thinking in generations, must begin with reverence for this earth.

That's a good question. Let me try to evade you.

Thinking in generations also means enabling our young to have a decent standard of living.

This land, this water, this air, this planet- this is our legacy to our young.

Two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers gave us a democracy. It was based upon the simple, yet noble, idea that government derives its validity from the consent of the governed.

We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.

You are part of that horrid expression, the best and the brightest. It can be a terrible burden if you let it be, but it is the great challenge of your time. And being a warrior in that challenge should be wondrous.

You cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business at the same time. You cannot love employment and hate employers.


(January 18 is also the birthday of A.A. Milne and Daniel Webster.)

Categories: Paul Tsongas; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Benjamin Franklin

Published Saturday, January 17, 2015 @ 12:07 AM EST
Jan 17 2015

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790) was one of the founding fathers of the United States and in many ways was "the First American". A world-renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among others. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A false friend and a shadow attend only when the sun shines.

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.

A good example is the best sermon.

A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.

A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost.

A man compounded of law and gospel is able to cheat a whole country with his religion and then destroy them under color of law.

A Traveler should have a hog's nose, deer's legs, and an ass's back.

An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow.

An empty bag cannot stand upright.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

Beauty and folly are old companions.

Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he will never be disappointed.

Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security.

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

Don't judge a man's wealth- or his piety- by his appearance on Sunday.

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.

Fatigue is the best pillow.

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily crack'd, and never well mended.

God heals, the doctor takes the fee.

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

Half a truth is often a great lie.

He is a fool that cannot conceal his wisdom.

He that cannot obey, cannot command.

He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

He that speaks ill of the mare will buy her.

He who waits upon Fortune is never sure of Dinner.

He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir.

Hunger never saw bad bread.

I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment of knowledge always pays the best interest.

If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty.

If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it?

If you can't pay for a thing, don't buy it. If you can't get paid for it, don't sell it.

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.

In rivers and bad governments, the lightest things swim at the top.

Industry need not wish, as Poor Richard says, and He that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no Gains, without Pains.

It is the eyes of other people that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture.

Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.

Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.

Many foxes grow gray, but few grow good.

Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.

Many men die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five.

Most fools think they are only ignorant.

Necessity knows no law; I know some attorneys of the same.

Necessity never made a good bargin.

One good husband is worth two good wives; for the scarcer things are, the more they are valued.

One Today is worth two Tomorrows.

Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.

Praise to the undeserving is severe satire.

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse.

The best is the cheapest.

The cat in gloves catches no mice.

The greatest monarch on the proudest throne, is oblig'd to sit upon his own arse.

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.

There are no ugly loves, nor handsome prisons.

There are three great friends: an old wife, an old dog and ready money.

There is much difference between imitating a good man and counterfeiting him.

There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.

There is nothing so absurd as knowledge spun too fine.

There never was a good war or a bad peace.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

Think about these things: Whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

To be proud of knowledge is to be blind with light.

Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them.

Well done is better than well said.

What maintains one vice would bring up two children.

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.

When the well's dry, we know the worth of water.

Where liberty is, there is my country.

Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.

Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble.

You cannot strengthen one by weakening another; and you cannot add to the stature of a dwarf by cutting off the leg of a giant.

You may delay, but Time will not.

Categories: Benjamin Franklin; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: The Covert Comic

Published Friday, January 16, 2015 @ 12:00 AM EST
Jan 16 2015

John Alejandro King a.k.a. The Covert Comic (b. ca 1960) is a CIA officer, aphorist and self-described "poet and covert activist." His non-classified work has been reviewed in numerous publications including USA Today (their one-word assessment of King's writing: "Spooky") and the Washington Post. The aphorist Robert Brault described King as "an inventive, comic talent." King's classified writings have appeared in various US Intelligence Community publications. John Alejandro King is believed to be the only person ever to have had a poem about the President's Daily Brief published and to have actually published an item (not that poem) in the President's Daily Brief. (Click here for The Covert Comic's website.)


A man without a woman
Is like a bicycle without the fish smell.

According to new research, there are actually gay sheep. If I'm an Australian guy, right now I'm thinking, 'uh-oh...'

All Italians move to New York sooner or later. The name 'Tony' is just an abbreviation for 'To New York.'

Any sufficiently advanced coup is indistinguishable from an election.

Anybody who manages to file a disability claim for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome should be rejected on principle.

Ask not what your country can do for you, lest your country get ideas.

Assassination doesn't count as a people skill.

Better over the top, than under the bottom.

Bloom's Taxonomy defines educational objectives in terms of three core domains: knowing/head, feeling/heart and doing/hands. These categories are also useful in dating.

Can I Not Pay Attention And Just Be Outraged All The Time? (bumper sticker)

Christianity is about being positive. A good way to remember this is, every time you look at the crucifix, think of it as a plus sign.

Conductance is utile.

Death before dishonor. One thing at a time.

Don't be too quick to throw a homeless person out of a library. There's a fair chance they're the author of one or more of the books.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because you secretly videotaped it.

Every time I grab some guy's nose with a pair of 4-foot gardening shears like in those Three Stooges films, I think to myself, 'Once again, life imitates art.'

Everything I need to know I learned in the womb: keep my eyes shut, remain in the fetal position, and no matter what happens, don't stop sucking my thumb.

Excluding starches, preservatives, emulsifiers and artificial flavoring, Soylent Green is actually less than 2 percent people.

For a while I thought I was bisexual, but only because I tend to get 'bi-' and 'semi-' mixed up.

Four words every mom dreads hearing: 'You're under arrest, Mom.'

Friends and lovers may come and go. As long as they go.

Guns don't kill people, if people give me their money.

Hell hath no fury like a woman. Why add extraneous details?

Hey, it's not the end of the world. It's just the end of your time in it.

How's my math? Two words: Terrible.

I am no longer flirting with disaster. Disaster and I are now formally engaged.

I bet the saying, 'If you can dream it, you can do it,' probably isn't all that inspiring if you're a bed wetter.

I love you more than wife itself.

I save voicemails from relatives... not in case they die but so that if one of them kills me the police will know who to investigate.

I used to wonder why somebody didn't do something for peace. Then I realized that I am somebody. So now I know why somebody doesn't do something for peace.

I was shocked upon viewing Internet porn while surfing the Web last night. Then I realized my wife must have wired the mouse on our computer.

I'd seen her kind before: two arms, two legs, a brain and spinal column. No doubt about it, this girl was trouble.

I've proven I can succeed in the real world. Now, how do I get there?

If all the world's a stage, America is the shiny vertical pole in the middle.

If America didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent it. That's the chief difference between America and Canada.

If brevity is the soul of wit, why does it have more syllables?

If charity begins at home, I bet I know in which room.

If Dr. Moreau had owned a vacuum cleaner, he'd probably be alive today.

If I can be with the one I love, is it still OK to love the one I'm with?

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have killed a lot more people.

If life is a box of chocolates, that probably explains all the farting.

If the key to her heart is 128 bits or greater, you're probably wasting your time.

If they're fake boobs, is it really pornography?

If you want to read the fortune, you've got to break the cookie.

If you're a vegetarian, should you eat carnivorous plants?

If you're looking for heroes, the Greek deli is down the street.

If you're not scared or angry at the thought of a human brain being controlled remotely, then it could be this prototype of mine is finally starting to work.

In France, one does not refer to nursing home residents as 'vegetables.' They're 'legumes.'

In the land of the blonde, the man with one brain hemisphere is king.

Is it really fair to classify sloth as one of the seven deadly sins, when being slothful can actually help prevent the other six?

It can change every ten minutes, and still be eternal truth.

It's a good thing the local McDonalds has that big 'God Bless America' banner, otherwise I'd probably buy my burgers and fries at the Al Qaeda's across the street.

It's not a matter of principle, it's a principle of matter.

It's not whether you win or lose, it's why you think there's a game.

It's said that a woman must do a thing twice as well as a man to be considered half as good. And I bet I know what that thing is.

It's true you can't go home again, although evidently your relatives can come to your home as often as they want.

Just because women say they want men to talk about their innermost desires, doesn't mean women actually want men to get their innermost desires.

Just because you can't decrypt the cipher doesn't mean there's something wrong with the code.

Like 'theatre' and 'theater,' 'cosmic' and 'comics' are just alternative spellings of the same word.

My wife has a sex drive. The problem is, she also has a sex park, a sex neutral, and a sex reverse.

My wife told me 'I need you like the desert needs the rain. Once, maybe twice a year, for no more than twenty minutes.'

Never laugh at a clown with a gun? Shouldn't that be, always laugh at a clown with a gun?

No guts, no gory.

No hurry- take all the time you have.

'None of us is as smart as all of us?' Isn't that the whole problem?

Note to self: work on being less note-to-selfish.

Nothing reminds a person of their own mortality like being killed.

One question I have for homeless people: Who doesn't work for food?

People ask if it's possible to find love after age 40. The answer is yes; you just have to reach your hand down a little lower.

People who live in houses made of antimatter probably shouldn't throw stones either.

Rather than giveth and taketh away, maybe it would be best for all concerned if the Lord just held on to it.

Remember, scientists who say we only use one tenth of our brains are only using one tenth of their brains when they say this.

Remember, Socrates was killed by a committee. So it's not like committees are totally useless.

Scaling doesn't scale.

Science is not an exact science.

Sooner or later, most of us die from complications of being ourselves.

St. Genesius is the patron saint of clowns and lawyers. Clearly, the Lord doesn’t always work in mysterious ways.

Technically speaking, the only things necessary for the triumph of evil are evil and triumph.

That there's a time and a place for everything in no way implies that the two intersect.

The bigger they come, the harder they fall on you.

The danger in seeking to force our beliefs on others isn't that they may someday force their beliefs on us; it's that they may someday force our beliefs on us.

The fact that curiosity killed the cat isn't an argument for not being curious, it's an argument for not being a cat.

The mightiest of weapons is truth. And everyone knows you're not permitted to bring a weapon into a Government building.

The only way to win an election by a greater margin than Saddam Hussein in Iraq is to be a Democratic candidate in Chicago.

The pacifier changes, the sucking remains.

The problem with the Peter Principle is that it assumes somebody somewhere is competent in the first place.

The size of a mind is inversely proportional to the amount of indignation that will fit inside it.

The Super Bowl has become so commercialized, its religious meaning is in danger of being lost completely.

(T)he two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen, and quotes about hydrogen and stupidity.

There are no menial jobs. But you're welcome to check back next month.

They can't pull the rug out from under you if you're already lying on the floor.

They say power corrupts, but most of the time it's actually faulty storage media.

Thomas Wolfe was wrong- you can go home again. For example, if you forget to wear pants to work.

Those who cannot remember the past are invited to come over to my place.

To build character, use a 4D printer.

Wait a minute. Isn't the glass half empty and half full?

When choosing between two evils, be advised: if you use the 'eeny- meeny-miny-mo' method, you'll always end up with the second one.

When he tells you, 'I love you more than life itself,' make sure he's not saying he'd rather be married to you than have a life.

When Jesus told us to love one another, He never said we had to like it.

When two secrets contradict each other, believe them both.

When William of Ockham stated his famous principle 'Ockham's Razor' in his book Summa Logicae, he waited until chapter twelve to say it.

Whenever one orifice closes, another opens.

Where I come from, being bisexual means using both hands.

Whoever said 'Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting' obviously never licked one.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first grant security clearances.

Why can't things be like they weren't?

Why did I get married? Well, I wasn't getting any sex, and I wasn't making a woman happy, so I figured: why not make it official?

Why does a woman want a man who's 'not afraid to cry?' Probably so she can know for sure that the torture is working.

Win The War, On Drugs (bumper sticker)

With great power comes great denial of responsibility.

You can't fool enough of the people enough of the time.

You could do worse than have the CIA infiltrate and control Third World peasant cooperatives. For example, the CIA could infiltrate and control Third World peasant cooperatives, and make all the peasants wear clown suits.


(January 16 is also the birthday of Susan Sontag)

Categories: Covert Comic; Quotes of the day

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