Quotes of the day: Cory Booker

Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016 @ 9:23 PM EDT
Apr 27 2016

(Photo by Kelly Campbell)

Cory Anthony Booker (b. April 27, 1969) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, in office since 2013. Previously he served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children.

Courage has you say in a defiant spirit you can take everything from me, you could cut me deep, you could render me in shame but you will never ever stop me from loving those who mock me, from loving those that hate me, from loving those who don't forgive me, from loving the cynics, from loving the darkness so much that I myself through my small acts of consistent unyielding love may bring on the light.

Don't let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something.

First class in life has nothing to do with the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the house you live in. First class is and always will be about the content of your character, the quality of your ideas and the kindness in your heart.

Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked.

Give the respect you want to receive; embody the grace you hope to encounter; and help others with no expectations whatsoever.

Go out there and swear to this world your oath, not with your words, but with what you do. Not with your hand over your heart, but with your hand outstretched to a world that desperately needs your hand, your help, your insights, your creativity, your honor, your courage. It needs you.

If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.

In life, it is never the big battle, the big moment, the big speech, the big election. That does not change things. What changes things is every day, getting up and rendering small acts of service and love beyond that what's expected of you or required of you.

It is okay not to like someone, but it is never okay to try and degrade, humiliate, or dehumanize them.

It's about time that we create first class citizenship for every American plain and simple. Every New Jersey-ian. This should not be a popular vote. This is something we should do now.

Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.

May we help more than we hurt, may we seek to understand more than be understood and may we love more than we judge.

No matter what, we always have the power to choose hope over despair, engagement over apathy, kindness over indifference, love over hate.

No matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American - first generation or fifth - one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents - that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills.

Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, 'I must keep going.' It's that voice that says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, 'Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit.'

The right attitude can transform a barrier into a blessing, an obstacle into an opportunity or a stumbling block into a stepping stone.

We choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing together. We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class.

What more could you ask for in life than to be given an impossible challenge?

When American citizens pull together, there is little we can't accomplish.

When happy, be kind. When angry, be kind. When hopeful, be kind. When discouraged, be kind. When ever, be kind.

You need to understand something, you drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty and opportunity that you did not dig. You eat lavishly from banquet tables prepared for you by your ancestors. You sit under the shade of trees that you did not plant or cultivate or care for. You have a choice in life, you can just sit back, getting fat, dumb, and happy, consuming all the blessings put before you, or it can metabolize inside of you, become fuel to get you into the fight, to make this democracy real, to make it true to its words that we can be a nation of liberty and justice for all.


(April 27 is also the birthday of Herbert Spencer and Ulysses S. Grant.)

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Quotes of the day: Carol Burnett

Published Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 9:50 AM EDT
Apr 26 2016

Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedian, singer, and writer, whose career spans six decades of television. She is best known for her long-running TV variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, for CBS. She has achieved success on stage, television, and film in varying genres including dramatic and comedy roles. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Adolescence is just one big walking pimple.

Because nobody goes through life without a scar.

Comedy is tragedy plus time.

Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.

I think we're here for each other.

It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington.

No one ever said life was fair. Just eventful.

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.

The audience is never wrong.

We don't stop going to school when we graduate.

When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go.

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.

You do have to love your kids enough to let them hate you. But it's the disease that's hating you, not them.

You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That's an education in itself.

You have to have faith that there is a reason you go through certain things. I can't say I'm glad to go through pain, but in a way one must, in order to gain courage and really feel joy.


(April 26 is also the birthday of Bernard Malamud and Ludwig Wittgenstein.)

Categories: Carol Burnett; Quotes of the day

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Published Monday, April 25, 2016 @ 11:43 AM EDT
Apr 25 2016

Action is the antidote to despair.
-Joan Baez

All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I'd be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.
-Lenny Bruce

And remember: you must never, under any circumstances, despair. To hope and to act, these are our duties in misfortune.
-Boris Pasternak

Anyone who would attempt the task of felling a virgin forest with a penknife would probably feel the same paralysis of despair that the reformer feels when confronted with existing school systems.
-Ellen Key

As long as a man's heart beats, as long as a man's flesh quivers, I do not allow that a being gifted with thought and will can allow himself to despair.
-Jules Verne

At first I was almost about to despair, I thought I never could bear it- but I did I bear it. The question remains: how?
-Heinrich Heine

At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.
-Flannery O'Connor

Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.
-Elie Wiesel

Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.
-Matthew Arnold

Believe flatterers and you're lost; believe your enemies- and you despair.
-Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Boast is always a cry of despair, except in the young it is a cry of hope.
-Bernard Berenson

But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this- that men despair and think things impossible.
-Francis Bacon

Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other everything to gain.
-Diane de Poitiers

Despair is anger with no place to go.
-Mignon McLaughlin

Despair is sometimes the great energizer of the mind, though sometimes its flowering may be sterile.
-Taylor Caldwell

Despair is the conclusion of fools.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim.
-Graham Greene

Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.
-Franz Kafka

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

God does not send us despair in order to kill us, he sends it in order to awaken us to new life.
-Hermann Hesse

I believe that a person should take an affirmative outlook. There are always problems in life, old and new, uncertainties, and unexpected contingencies. The optimal way to deal with this is not to give up in despair, but to move ahead using the best intelligence and resources that we have to overcome adversity.
-Paul Kurtz

I can endure my own Despair But not another's Hope.
-William Walsh

I can't tell if a straw ever saved a drowning man, but I know that a mere glance is enough to make despair pause. For in truth we who are creatures of impulse are not creatures of despair.
-Joseph Conrad

I do not despair for our country. I never do. I believe, as I always have, the essential decency and compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.
-Jimmy Carter

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

I think that humor is part of what saves us from despair.
-John Perry Barlow

If I were a father and had a daughter who was seduced, I would not despair over her. But if I had a son who became a journalist and continued to remain one for five years, I would give him up.
-Søren Kierkegaard

If we openly declare what is wrong with us, what is our deepest need, then perhaps the death and despair will by degrees disappear.
-J.B. Priestley

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
-C.S. Lewis

In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.
-Michael Jackson

In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

It (marriage) happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.
-Michel de Montaigne

It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. As it turns out, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
-Charles Baudelaire

It is often when night looks darkest, it is often before the fever breaks that one senses the gathering momentum for change, when one feels that resurrection of hope in the midst of despair and apathy.
-Hillary Rodham Clinton

Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.
-Elie Wiesel

Life begins on the other side of despair.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Logic and morality made it impossible to accept an illogical and immoral reality; they engendered a rejection of reality which as a rule led the cultivated man rapidly to despair.
-Primo Levi

My generation, faced as it grew with a choice between religious belief and existential despair, chose marijuana. Now we are in our Cabernet stage.
-Peggy Noonan

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
-Edmund Burke

Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.
-Alexandre Dumas

Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair.
-Erich Fromm

Optimism is the parent of despair, while pessimism allows the mind to accustom itself to the inevitable disappointments of human existence by degrees, just as some drugs induce a state of tolerance.
-Theodore Dalrymple

Our Western society is showing its technological muscles in ever more threatening ways, but the experience of fear, anxiety and even despair has increased in equal proportion. Indeed, the paradox is that the powerful giants feel as powerless as a new-born babe.
-Henri Nouwen

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
-Ambrose Bierce

Remember that despair is never the solution. Remember, hatred is never an option. Remember that hope is not a gift given to us, hope is a gift that we give to others.
-Elie Wiesel

She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes; that is always a sign of despair in a woman.
-Oscar Wilde

Sins become more subtle as you grow older. You commit sins of despair rather than lust.
-Piers Paul Read

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep.
-Harry Ruby

The initial expression of defiance is precisely despair over one's weakness.
-Søren Kierkegaard

The machinery chugs on unabated, belching out its dehumanizing product. It is distressing. But I refuse to despair. I know, one day, the Supreme Court will outlaw the death penalty. Permanently.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive 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 way to despair is to refuse to have any kind of experience.
-Flannery O'Connor

The words 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies. This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what makes us despair when we begin to understand how seldom movies are more than this.
-Pauline Kael

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and to have recovered hope.
-George Eliot

Those colorful denizens of male despair, the Bowery bum and the rail-riding hobo, have been replaced by the bag lady and the welfare mother. Women have even taken over Skid Row.
-Florence King

To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.
-Cornel West

Until everyone is fed, clothed, housed and taught, until human beings have equal leisure to contemplate the overwhelming fact of mortality, we should not... indulge in the luxury of 'privileged despair.'
-Kenneth Tynan

What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial- or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.
-Peter De Vries

When a man is in love very little is enough to throw him into despair and as little to enhance his joy to the utmost.
-Giovanni Casanova

When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.
-Paul Wellstone

Women get desperate, but they don't understand despair.
-William Gaddis

Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare; To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair: Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.
-Omar Khayyám

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
-Douglas MacArthur

You are never stronger... than when you land on the other side of despair.
-Zadie Smith

Categories: Despair

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Quotes of the day - Daniel Defoe

Published Sunday, April 24, 2016 @ 8:22 PM EDT
Apr 24 2016

Daniel Defoe (c. 1660 – April 24, 1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is noted for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Samuel Richardson, and is among the founders of the English novel. He was a prolific and versatile writer, producing more than five hundred books, pamphlets, and journals on various topics, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, and the supernatural. He was also a pioneer of economic journalism. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All men would be tyrants if they could.

All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.

As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares.

It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.

Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.

Necessity makes an honest man a knave.

The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.

'Tis no sin to cheat the devil.

'Tis very strange Men should be so fond of being thought wickeder than they are.

Vice came in always at the door of necessity, not at the door of inclination.


(April 24 is also the birthday of Anthony Trollope and Robert Penn Warren.)

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Published Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 12:21 PM EDT
Apr 23 2016

A genius is a mentally ill person with an audience.
-Tim Minchin

A genius knows how to make himself easily understood without being obvious about it.
-Jean Anouilh

A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.
-Ezra Pound

A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
-Samuel Johnson

A man who is a genius and doesn't know it, isn't.
-Stanislaw J. Lec

A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation.
-Max Gluckman

Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.

All men of genius, and all those who have gained rank in the republic of letters, are brothers, whatever may be the land of their nativity.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders- all maniacs. What else but a blind singlenee of purpose could have given focus to thier genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania... is as priceless as genius.
-Ian Fleming

Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. The average conservative is a slave to the most incidental and trivial part of his forefathers' glory- to the archaic formula which happened to express their genius or the eighteenth-century contrivance by which for a time it was served.
-Walter Lippmann

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.
-Charles Bukowski

Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.
-Woody Guthrie

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius- and a lot of courage- to move in the opposite direction.
-E.F. Schumacher

Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.
-Jean Anouilh

Aside from a cold appreciation of my own genius I felt that I was a modest man.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Beauty can be as isolating as genius, or deformity. I have always been aware of a relationship between madness and beauty.
-Richard Avedon

By nature a philosopher is not in genius and disposition half so different from a street porter, as a mastiff is from a greyhound.
-Adam Smith

Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
-Oscar Wilde

Chance and intrigue have produced more heroes than genius and virtue.
-Maximilien Robespierre

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

Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.
-George Bernard Shaw

Conceit spoils the finest genius.
-Louisa May Alcott

Contemporary criticism only represents the amount of ignorance genius has to contend with.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
-Edward Gibbon

Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark.
-William James

Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
-Henri Frédéric Amiel

Dullness is so much stronger than genius because there is so much more of it, and it is better organised and more naturally cohesive.
-Samuel Butler (Novelist, 1835-1902)

Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.
-Edith Sitwell

Equality has no place for genius.
-Allan Bloom

Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy.
-Havelock Ellis

Fathers are the geniuses of the house because only a person as intelligent as we could fake such stupidity.
-Bill Cosby

Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.
-Robertson Davies

For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
-Albert Einstein

Genius all over the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.
-Herman Melville

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
-Joseph Joubert

Genius can only breathe free in an atmosphere of freedom.
-John Stuart Mill

Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
-Vladimir Nabokov

Genius is eternal patience.

Genius is fine for the ignition spark, but to get there someone has to see that the radiator doesn't leak and no tire is flat.
-Rex Stout

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
-E.B. White

Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom.
-Stanislaw Lem

Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts.
-Elbert Hubbard

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
-Thomas A. Edison

Genius is only childhood recovered at will, childhood now gifted to express itself with the faculties of manhood and with the analytic mind that allows him to give order to the heap of unwittingly hoarded material.
-Charles Baudelaire

Genius is the aptitude for seeing invisible things, for stirring intangible things, for painting things that have no features.
-Joseph Joubert

Genius is the capacity for productive reaction against one's training.
-Bernard Berenson

Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at length.
-Christian Bovee

Genius may conceive but patient labor must consummate.
-Horace Mann

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
-Elbert Hubbard

Genius may write on the backs of old envelopes, but mere talent requires the very best stationery money can buy.
-Jan Struther

Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
-John Dryden

Genius only comes to those who know how to use their eyes and their intelligence.
-Auguste Rodin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
-Benjamin Franklin

Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
-William James

Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.
-Ezra Pound

Geniuses and prophets do not usually excel in professional learning, and their originality, if any, is often due precisely to the fact that they do not.
-Joseph A. Schumpeter

Geniuses are like ocean liners; they should never meet.
-Louis Aragon

Geniuses never pay attention.
-Michael Crichton

Good sense travels on the well-worn paths; genius, never. And that is why the crowd, not altogether without reason, is so ready to treat great men as lunatics.
-Cesare Lombroso

Great genius takes shape by contact with another great genius, but less by assimilation than by friction.
-Heinrich Heine

Hollywood is full of genius. And all it lacks is talent.
-Henri Bernstein

How many young geniuses we have known, and none but ourselves will ever hear of them for want in them of a little talent!
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.
-Max Beerbohm

I think like anything, it helps to be born with skill. I'm not sure genius exists.
-William Goldman

If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.
-William Hazlitt

If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius.

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
-Marilyn Monroe

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
-William Blake

In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In his scientific genius, man has wrought material miracles and has transformed his world. He has harnessed nature and has developed great civilizations. But he has never learned very well how to live with himself. The values he has created have been predominantly materialistic; his spiritual values have lagged far behind. He has demonstrated little spiritual genius and has made little progress toward the realization of human brotherhood. In the contemporary atomic age, this could prove man's fatal weakness.
-Ralph Bunche

In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

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

It takes application, a fine sense of value, and a powerful community-spirit for a people to have serious leisure, and this has not been the genius of the Americans.
-Paul Goodman

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
-Fulton J. Sheen

Keep always in your mind, that, with due submission to Providence, a man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
-Samuel Johnson

Longevity is the revenge of talent upon genius.
-Cyril Connolly

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Men do not make their homes unhappy because they have genius, but because they have not enough genius; a mind and sentiments of a higher order would render them capable of seeing and feeling all the beauty of domestic ties.
-William Wordsworth

Men of genius are not quick judges of character. Deep thinking and high imagining blunt that trivial instinct by which you and I size people up.
-Max Beerbohm

Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labour in it, but they labour in it because they excel.
-William Hazlitt

Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands.
-Leonardo da Vinci

My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.
-Allen Ginsberg

Neither geniuses nor nature do things the same way twice.
-Jamie Buckingham

Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

No man is entirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life. Men of the most exalted genius and active minds are generally most perfect slaves to the love of fame. They sometimes descend to as mean Rtricks and artifices in pursuit of honor or reputation as the miser descends to in pursuit of gold.
-John Adams

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.
-Christopher Morley

Nothing great or enduring, especially in music, has ever sprung full-fledged and unprecedented from the brain of any master; the best he gives to the world he gathers from the hearts of the people, and runs it through the alembic of his genius.
-James Weldon Johnson

Nothing spoils a good party like a genius.
-Elsa Maxwell

Only a great fool or a great genius is likely to flout all social grace with impunity, and neither one, doing so, makes the most comfortable companion.
-Any Vanderbilt

Passion is the genesis of genius.
-Tony Robbins

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
-Benjamin Disraeli

People hate me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius.
-Jerry Lewis

People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
-Calvin Coolidge

Real genius of moral insight is a motor which will start any engine.
-Edmund Wilson

Reason is mechanical, wit chemical, and genius organic spirit.
-Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.
-George Sand

Since when was genius found respectable?
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Southerners have a genius for psychological alchemy. If something intolerable simply cannot be changed, driven away or shot they will not only tolerate it but take pride in it as well.
-Florence King

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.
-Bernard Williams

Talent is what you possess; genius is what possesses you.
-Malcolm Cowley

Talent isn't genius, and no amount of energy can make it so.
-Louisa May Alcott

Talent works for money and fame; the motive which moves genius to productivity is, on the other hand, less easy to determine.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The daily life of a genius, his sleep, his digestion, he ecstasies, his nails, his colds, his blood, his life and death are essentially different from the rest of mankind.
-Salvador Dali

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
-Ian Fleming

The essence of genius is knowing what to overlook.
-William James

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
-Carl Sagan

The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.
-Walter Lippmann

The genius of capitalism consists precisely in its lack of morality. Unless he is rich enough to hire his own choir, a capitalist is a fellow who, by definition, can ill afford to believe in anything other than the doctrine of the bottom line. Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state from whose grimy fingers the Reagan Administration hopes to snatch the ark of democracy.
-Lewis H. Lapham

The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time.
-John Joseph Powell

The genius of happiness is still so rare. To possess it means to approach life with the humility of a beggar, but to treat it with the proud generosity of a prince; to bring to its totality the deep understanding of a great poet and to each of its moments the abandonment and ingenuousness of a child.
-Ellen Key

The genius of impeachment lay in the fact that it could punish the man without punishing the office.
-Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing.
-Gamel Abdel Nasser

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.
-Sid Caesar

The labors of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.
-Mary Shelley

The modes of expression of men of genius differ as much as their souls, and it is impossible to say that in some among them, drawing and color are better or worse than in others.
-Auguste Rodin

The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
-Arthur Koestler

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
-Oscar Wilde

The relation of genius to talent is the same as that of instinct to reason.
-Jules Renard

The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.
-Rebecca Sinkler

The soul of a landscape, the spirits of the elements, the genius of every place will be revealed to a loving view of nature.
-Karl Jaspers

The truth is that our race survived ignorance; it is our scientific genius that will do us in.
-Stephen Vizinczey

The works of genius are watered with its tears.
-Honoré de Balzac

The world wants geniuses, but it wants them to behave just like other people.
-George Moore

There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.
-Tallulah Bankead

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
-Oscar Levant

There is no off position on the genius switch.
-David Letterman

There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.
-Walt Whitman

There's a fine line between what would characterize you as a troglodyte and what would characterize you as a brilliant, avant-garde, forward-thinking genius. There's some middle ground.
-Michael Eisner

They say geniuses mostly have great mothers. They mostly have sad fates.
-D.H. Lawrence

To do what others cannot do is talent. To do what talent cannot do is genius.
-Will Henry

To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. And easier. Because it's true. It's a new world every heart beat.
-Joyce Carey

To say that a great genius is half-mad, while recognizing his artistic prowess, is worth as much as saying that he was rheumatic, or that he suffered from diabetes. Madness, in fact, is a medical expression to which a balanced critic should pay no more heed than he would to the accusation of heresy brought by the theologian, or to the accusation of immorality brought by the public prosecutor.
-James Joyce

Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable . It spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings of an unwashed wine-glass spoil a draught of fair water.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and genius.
-George Gershwin

What is pornography to one man may be the laughter of genius to another.
-D.H. Lawrence

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
-Oscar Levant

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

Why create mediocrity when you can copy genius?
-Variously attributed

With the stones we cast at them, geniuses build new roads for us.
-Paul Eldridge

Categories: Genius

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Published Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT
Apr 22 2016

A golf course outside a big town serves an excellent purpose in that it segregates, as though a concentration camp, all the idle and idiot well-to-do.
-Osbert Sitwell

Accepting your limitations makes you humble. The limitations themselves make you an idiot.
-Dan Goodman

All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man.
-Jiddu Krishnamurti

Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.
-Charles Bukowski

An idiot with a computer is a faster, better idiot.
-Rich Julius

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's this day-to-day living that wears you out.
-Anton Chekhov

Any idiot can get laid when they're famous. That's easy. It's getting laid when you're not famous that takes some talent.
-Kevin Bacon

Any idiot can use a computer. Many do.
-Variously attributed

Applications programming is a race between software engineers, who strive to produce idiot-proof programs, and the universe which strives to produce bigger idiots. So far the Universe is winning.
-Rich Cook

As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
-John Lennon

Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another's money. Idiots!
-Arthur Schopenhauer

By any precise definition, Washington is a city of advanced depravity. There one meets and dines with the truly great killers of the age, but only the quirkily fastidious are offended, for the killers are urbane and learned gentlemen who discuss their work with wit and charm and know which tool to use on the escargots.
-Russell Baker

Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
-H.L. Mencken

Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy.
-Jorge Luis Borges

Doctors always think anybody doing something they aren't is a quack; also they think all patients are idiots.
-Flannery O'Connor

Dreams are like rainbows. Only idiots chase them.
-Larry Kersten, PhD

Four out of five people think the fifth one is an idiot.
-Variously attributed

Half the world is composed of idiots, the other half of people clever enough to take indecent advantage of them.
-Walter Kerr

He may look like an idiot, and he may talk like an idiot, but don't let him fool you. He really is an idiot.
-Groucho Marx

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
-Douglas Adams

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.
-Anne Sullivan

I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.
-Steve Martin

I don't believe in conclusions. I think that human idiocy perpetuates itself.
-Joseph L. Mankiewicz

I hadn't known there were so many idiots in the world until I started using the Internet.
-Stanislaw Lem

I have yet to hear anyone say something that seemed likely to mitigate the idiocy of this age.
-John Perry Barlow

I know that children love Elmo. But children are idiots.
-Joel Stein

I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.
-Warren Buffett

I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.
-John Wayne

Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but 'pervades and regulates the whole.' He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a deadline.
-Ambrose Bierce

If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing it.
-Edmund Burke

If you are rich, you have to be an idiot not to stay rich. And if you are poor, you have to be really smart to get rich.
-John Green

If you had to stop and think what some idiot might do after seeing the movie, you'd never do anything.
-Quentin Tarentino

If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.
-Linus Torvalds

In romance, as in life, you only learn when you're losing. When you're winning, you just sit there and grin like an idiot.
-Garrison Keillor

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
-Mark Twain

It is incredible that only idiots are absolutely sure of salvation. It is incredible that the more brain you have the less your chance is. There can be no danger in honest thought, and if the world ever advances beyond what it is to-day, it must be led by men who express their real opinions.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

It's good to live on the coast, because that way the idiots are only on three sides of you.
-Variously attributed

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

It's truly a blessing to have total freaking idiots as your enemy.
-Rachel Maddow

Just because the person who criticizes you is an idiot doesn't make him wrong.
-Roger Rosenblatt

Mechanical instruments, potentially a vehicle of rational human purposes, are scarcely a blessing when they enable the gossip of the village idiot and the deeds of the thug to be broadcast to a million people each day.
-Lewis Mumford

Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don't let this get around. (telling Ben Hecht about Hollywood)
-Herman Mankiewicz

Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, then overwhelm you with their experience.
-Dave Johnson

No one ever heard of the truth being enforced by law. Whenever the secular arm is called in to sustain an idea, whether new or old, it is always a bad idea, and not infrequently it is downright idiotic.
-H.L. Mencken

Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises in which we have failed.
-Gustave Flaubert

Now we live in an amazing, amazing world and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.
-Louis C.K.

Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows that they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.
-Isak Dinesen

One can relish the varied idiocy of human action during a panic to the full, for, while it is a time of great tragedy, nothing is being lost but money.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

One Englishman- an idiot, two Englishmen- a sporting event, three Englishmen- an empire.
-George Santayana

Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
-George Bernard Shaw

People are idiots.
-Scott Adams

People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

People who drive faster than I do are maniacs, and people who drive slower than me are idiots.
-George Carlin

Politics makes me uptight; I have so little control over it. It's like forever being in high school with rah-rah idiots in charge.
-Rudy Rucker

Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those that never win AND never quit are idiots.
-Larry Kersten, PhD

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain

Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.
-Gene Roddenberry

Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot.
-Leo Durocher

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.
-Sid Caesar

The Hollywood laborers, the carpenters and painters, were always perfect. Then came the technicians, the electricians and special effects men. They were marvelous. However, the higher you climbed in the system, the lower the level of competence, until you reached the head of the studio, who turned out to be an idiot.
-Garson Kanin

The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.
-H.L. Mencken

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.
-Rebecca West

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that nine out of ten doctors agree that one out of ten doctors is an idiot.
-Jay Leno

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive 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 problem is that religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism in the way that it has been, allows people- perfectly sane, perfectly intelligent people- to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.
-Sam Harris

The problem with the global village is all the global village idiots.
-P. Ginsparg

The trick is not how much pain you can feel but how much joy. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses excuses... The only pain you feel is for all the useless pain you felt, all the times you didn't do something because of cowardice or fear, all the times you let bastards and the kibitzers and the fear shrinkers hold you back. Watch out for the death people, do you see what I mean? They're the ones to avoid.
-Henry Miller

The word 'idiot' comes from a Greek root meaning private person. Idiocy is the female defect: intent on their private lives, women follow their fate through a darkness deep as that cast by malformed cells in the brain. It is no worse than the male defect, which is lunacy: men are so obsessed by public affairs that they see the world as by moonlight, which shows the outlines of every object but not the details indicative of their nature.
-Rebecca West

The world is a madhouse, so it's only right it's patrolled by armed idiots.
-Brendan Behan

The world is just filling up with more and more idiots! And the computer is giving them access to the world! They're spreading their stupidity! At least they were contained before- now they're on the loose everywhere!
-Harlan Ellison

There are idiots who will buy anything as long as it costs enough.
-Andy Rooney

There are no awards in Hollywood for being an idiot.
-Burt Reynolds

There are no stupid questions, but there a lot of inquisitive idiots.
-Larry Kersten, PhD

There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.
-Otto von Bismarck

There is a standard answer to this old idiocy of if-you-know-so-much-about-the-art-of-the-film-why-don't-you-make-movies. You don't have to lay an egg to know if it tastes good.
-Pauline Kael

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
-Steven Wright

To generalize is to be an Idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit- general knowledges are those knowledges that idiots possess.
-William Blake

'We hold these Truths to be self-evident...' which is a gracious, Jeffersonian, way of saying, 'Any idiot ought to be able to understand this.'
-Bob McEwen

What do you want me to do? I'm surrounded by a bunch of idiots. And democracy...
-Indira Gandhi

What is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.
-William Blake

What the fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by his laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.
-Marie Corelli

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.
-Cynthia Heimel

You and I don't repeat history; it's the idiots in charge who think they can do it better this time around.
-William Q. Johnson

You take a normal guy, give him a wife, give them time, and you've got an idiot!
-Jeff Foxworthy

Your kid may be an honor student, but you're still an idiot. (Bumper Sticker)
-Variously attributed

Categories: Idiots

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Quotes of the day: Charlotte Brontë

Published Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 10:53 PM EDT
Apr 21 2016

Charlotte Brontë (April 21, 1816 – March 31, 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels have become classics of English literature. She first published her works (including her best known novel, Jane Eyre) under the pen name Currer Bell. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.

Better to be without logic than without feeling.

Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.

I am always easy of belief when the creed pleases me.

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.

I can be on guard against my enemies, but God deliver me from my friends!

I feel monotony and death to be almost the same.

If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.

If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.

If you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of yours: Nature did it.

It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

Let your performance do the thinking.

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.

Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.

Memory in youth is active and easily impressible; in old age it is comparatively callous to new impressions, but still retains vividly those of earlier years.

Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves.

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.

The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.

The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter- often an unconscious, but still a truthful interpreter- in the eye.

There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.

True enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire wherever I see it.

Who has words at the right moment?

Categories: Charlotte Brontë; Quotes of the day

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Photo of the day

Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 1:46 AM EDT
Apr 20 2016

Canadians watching U.S. politics.

Categories: Canada; Photo of the day; Politics

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Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 11:27 PM EDT
Apr 19 2016

Categories: Observations; Religion

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Wishful thinking

Published Monday, April 18, 2016 @ 10:31 PM EDT
Apr 18 2016

Categories: Bernie Sanders; Elections; Star Trek

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