Be unique.

Published Sunday, December 21, 2014 @ 7:09 PM EST
Dec 21 2014

"As you go down the path of life, ask what's true,
not who else believes it."

(Bill Maher delivers the commencement address at the University of California- Berkeley, December 20, 2014)

This is your first graduation. This is my first commencement speech, so I'm just excited as you are to be here...

Well, you're both very fortunate and very deserving because I know that this is a school that demands academic excellence. And in a way, we all start life twice, once when we're born, and once when we leave school.

Now, I found the first years of my life after graduating college to be the hardest of my life, because in that second life that you're now starting, you are now infants in the adult world. You're the youngest ones, the ones with the least experience, the least power, the least control... unless your father is Bill Gates or somebody like that, in which case you may not need this speech.

But if not, I have been given the privilege of talking to you for the first 15 minutes of your second life. It's like you just came out of the womb and I'm the doctor who is slapping you now.

So I'd like to take your first 15 minutes, with the phones off- maybe the last time in your life all the phones will be off- to try to save you anguish by passing onto you the important lessons that I learned in my life. To do anything else is really not to understand why we're here today, after all the hard work that you put in in those buildings out there.

This institution is all about passing on knowledge. You know, humans have gotten as far as we have because we're selfish about a lot of things, but not about knowledge. When humans learn something good, they tend to pass it on. The guy who discovered how to make fire gave that shit away for free. I mean, at least until he figured out how to sell ad time on it.

So the first thing you have to know is: It goes fast. Your life. I'm gonna be 59 next month and I know when I thought of 59 when I was your age. I didn't know much about it, but I knew it was something that was never going to happen to me. There was just too big of an ocean of time out there before I got there. No. It's actually the blink of an eye. And because of that, people often say "Make each second count."


Don't do that. That's too much pressure. That sounds like one of those vacations where there's something scheduled every minute.

No, actually, some of the greatest times of your life are going to be idly goofing around. Like I have to tell you, a bunch of college kids! However, the other side of that is, don't goof around too much. Taking time off to travel or to find yourself, that's cool. But if you do it until you're 30, you'll probably find it harder to elbow your way into the rat race. Now you may not want to be in the rat race. That's cool. But it's also cool if you want to be in the rat race. It doesn't make you a rat! This is America. There's nothing wrong with competitive people wanting to win... Just do it with compassion and perspective.

Not like a Republican.

I'm kidding, of course. No, keeping perspective is maybe the most important way to stay sane throughout your life, and losing it- losing perspective- is a great way to sabotage what otherwise could've been a really good life. Do you know that opinion polls this year, in America, were very bleak? People thought that this country, and the world in general, were going to hell in a handcart.

They saw a passenger plane just disappear. They saw black-hooded ISIS fighters behead innocent people on YouTube. They learned that Ebola can get across the globe in less than 24 hours. Unless it's on United.

My point is: We all want perspective. The world seems scarier than ever, but the facts- the truth is- is that the world, although still very troubled, is actually less violent, less engaged in war, and more prosperous than it's ever been.

As a species, we do seem to be advancing. And when I think about my own life, I feel very lucky that I was born in what could prove to be a real sweet spot in history. I was born after electricity, after antibiotics, and (thank you Jesus) especially after indoor toilets. I was born after those things, but I was born before climate change and environmental destruction could make life on Earth a living hell- Which could happen in your lifetime.

You know, I had my fun with the planet, but you need it to be around and in good shape for another 50 years. So I hope all of you here today consider the environment to be paramount among the many challenges we face, because unless we solve that issue, there are no other issues.

It's true. We need a place to live. We're humans. We need a crib! And the world desperately needs a generation- your generation- to make this a priority the way the Vietnam generation- on this very campus- made stopping that war a priority.

Now some people would say, well, the Vietnam kids, they had skin in the game. They didn't want to get drafted. You have skin in the game! You don't want to get roasted!

All over the world, we see the devastation that pollution is causing: heat waves, oceans that are dying and rising, glaciers melting, species disappearing, droughts, wildfires, Frankenstorms. This is an awful lot for Pat Robertson to blame on gay sex.

We have no more time for dithering on this. Here's a lesson I learned: 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.

Make a difference. That's what you owe everyone who came before you and died so you can live free. And that's what you owe everyone who's sacrificed for you, like your parents. And it's also what you owe yourself, because you'll feel a whole lot better if you do make a difference. And also: making a difference. Making a difference is why I'm a liberal.

Now, you don't have to be a liberal... although, c'mon, it's Berkeley. I think I can speak freely here. I mean, I hope I can.

But let me say something about liberals. I think most liberals would agree that their liberalism springs from one thing above all: compassion. Mine does, because that's how I was brought up by two liberal parents. In my family, we were always on the side of the underdog and those who were being treated unfairly. I grew up in an all-white town in the 1960s, but my parents made sure, that even as a little kid, I understood whose side we were on in the civil rights battles that were going on. We were with Kennedy and against Southern governors who wanted to stop certain people from merely going to school.

Now, there are people in the world today who have the goal of stopping people from going to school. We see it on the news all the time. But what my parents taught me about Southern governors standing in doorways has stayed with me my whole life, no matter who was getting the shaft: black people, the poor, immigrants, gays, women, people who were bullied, people getting raped in the military, veterans, victims of police brutality, people getting poisoned by greedy corporations, you name it. In my house, the only thing we did not have tolerance for was intolerance.

You don't have to be a liberal, but if you call yourself a liberal, you have to fight oppression from wherever oppression comes from, especially of women, gays, minorities, and freethinkers...

That's what makes you a liberal.

And that's the last thing I'm going to suggest to you: 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.

Be unique. Stay vigilant for busting yourself for falling into groupthink. You know, everything good and smart started out mocked by the mainstream.

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.

You know, I had a funny moment recently. I was sitting in a promo meeting in my office. You know, in television, at the beginning of every new season, networks buy billboards and TV ads for their shows. And they put on the billboard some short punchy advertising slogan like "He's a robot! She's a lesbian!" You know.

But for my show, and for what I do, over the years, we've had slogans like "Enter at your owwn risk" or, you know, "With this Bill, you get change." You know. Some of them are lame, it's true. But this year, the promo department was showing us the new slogans for the new season, and I could tell they were a little afraid to show me the last one, and I said, "C'mon, let me see it! How bad could it be?" It was a picture of half my face, no smile, and it said, "He's not in it for the 'Likes.'"

I said, "I love it! It's so bad ass! It's the best one ever! It's exactly what I wanted to grow up to be!" Don't be afraid to be a crazy person, and understand that the truth is not always popular.

I recognize that this university, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Berkeley free speech movement, made a statement by choosing me for this speech, and I would like to say I appreciate that, and I'd also like to say: I think you made the right statement.

Never forget that we are lucky to live in a country that has a First Amendment. And liberals should want to own it the way conservatives own the Second.

Thank you so much for having me.


(December 22 is also the birthday of Samuel Beckett.)

Categories: Bill Maher

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Quotes of the day: Rebecca West

Published Saturday, December 20, 2014 @ 6:31 PM EST
Dec 20 2014

Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield DBE (December 21, 1892 – March 15, 1983), known as Rebecca West, was a British author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was widely considered to be among the important public intellectuals of the 20th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good cause has to be careful of the company it keeps.

After any disturbance (such as two world wars coinciding with a period of growing economic and monetary incomprehensibility) we find our old concepts inadequate and look for new ones. But it unfortunately happens that the troubled times which produce an appetite for new ideas are the least propitious for clear thinking.

All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretence that pain is the proper price of any good thing.

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

Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.

Everyone realizes that one can believe little of what people say about each other. But it is not so widely realized that even less can one trust what people say about themselves.

God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide.

I do not myself find it agreeable to be 90, and I cannot imagine why it should seem so to other people. It is not that you have any fears about your own death, it is that your upholstery is already dead around you.

I find to my astonishment that an unhappy marriage goes on being unhappy when it is over.

If it be ungentlemanly to kiss and tell, it is still further from gentlemanliness to pray and tell.

If there is a God, I don't think He would demand that anyone bow down or stand up to Him. I often have a suspicion that God is still trying to work things out and hasn't finished.

It is not possible that a just God should forgive people who are wicked because another person who was good endured agony by being nailed to a cross.

It is queer how it is always one's virtues and not one's vices that precipitate one into disaster.

It is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between history and the smell of skunk.

Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space.

Just how difficult it is to write a biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the truth about his or her love affairs.

Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication.

Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one's own Trojan horse.

I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

So life ought to be a struggle of desire towards adventures whose nobility will fertilise the soul and lead to the conception of new, glorious things.

The bad is more easily perceived than the good. A fresh lobster does not give such pleasure to the consumer as a stale one will give him pain.

The general tendency to be censorious of the vices to which one has not been tempted.

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

The point is that nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.

The trouble about man is twofold. He cannot learn truths which are too complicated; he forgets truths which are too simple.

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.

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.

There are two kinds of imperialists- imperialists and bloody imperialists.

There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.

There is one common condition for the lot of women in Western civilization and all other civilizations that we know about for certain, and that is, woman as a sex is disliked and persecuted, while as an individual she is liked, loved, and even, with reasonable luck, sometimes worshipped.

There is, of course, no reason for the existence of the male sex except that sometimes one needs help with moving the piano.

Unfortunately, all gatherings convened for the betterment of the human lot show a tendency to gas themselves, and not with laughing-gas either.

Whatever happens, never forget that people would rather be led to perdition by a man, than to victory by a woman.


(December 21 is also the birthday of Benjamin Disraeli.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Rebecca West

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Quotes of the day: Mignon McLaughlin

Published Friday, December 19, 2014 @ 6:13 PM EST
Dec 19 2014

Mignon McLaughlin (June 6, 1913 - December 20, 1983) was an American journalist and author, remembered primarily for her two volume Neurotic's Notebook. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.

A husband only worries about a particular Other Man; a wife distrusts her whole species.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Always live up to your standards- by lowering them, if necessary.

Anything you lose automatically doubles in value.

Cash is the one gift everyone despises and no one turns down.

Charity is a good way of reminding God that if we can do it, He can.

Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality.

Confession is good for the conscience, but it usually bypasses the soul.

Desire is in men a hunger, in women only an appetite.

Despair is anger with no place to go.

Don't be yourself- be someone a little nicer.

Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those changes that would make all the difference.

Every group feels strong once it has found a scapegoat.

Every now and then you run across radiantly attractive people and you're delighted to find they adore you, till you realize that they adore just about everybody- and that's what's made them radiantly attractive.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

Failure can get to be a rather comfortable old friend.

Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back.

Few women care what a man looks like, and a good thing too.

Forget about calories- everything makes thin people thinner, and fat people fatter.

Good-looking girls break hearts, and good-hearted girls mend them.

Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.

How can a man marry wisely in his twenties? The girl he's going to wind up wanting hasn't even been born.

How tired God must be of guilt and loneliness, for that is all we ever bring to Him.

I have seen messed-up people of forty who still seemed salvageable, and children of six or seven who almost surely were not.

I often pray, though I'm not really sure Anyone's listening; and I phrase it carefully, just in case He's literary.

If it came true, it wasn’t much of a dream.

If the second marriage really succeeds, the first one didn't really fail.

If you can tell anyone about it, it's not the worst thing you ever did.

If you have to do it every day, for God’s sake learn to do it well.

If you made a list of the reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping.

If you must reread old love letters, better pick a room without mirrors.

In retrospect, our triumphs could as easily have happened to someone else; but our defeats are uniquely our own.

In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

It is important for our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to friendship that we are not.

It's impossible to be loyal to your family, your friends, your country, and your principles, all at the same time.

It's innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn't.

Life marks us all down, so it's just as well that we start out by overpricing ourselves.

Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head.

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and difficult as that.

Many are saved from sin by being so inept at it.

Many things can make you miserable for weeks; few can bring you a whole day of happiness.

Men gossip less than women, but mean it.

Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on.

Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children.

Most of us would rather risk catastrophe than read the directions.

Most sermons sound to me like commercials- but I can't make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product.

Mumps, measles, and puppy love are terrible after twenty.

My religious position: I think that God could do a lot better, and I'm willing to give Him the chance.

Neurosis is no worse than a bad cold; you ache all over, and it's made you a mess, but you won't die from it.

Neurotics dream of a good life, or a great suicide note.

Neurotics think of the past with resentment, and the future with dread; the present just doesn't exist.

No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved.

No one really listens to anyone else. Try it for a while, and you'll see why.

Revenge leads to an empty fullness, like eating dirt.

'Pull yourself together' is seldom said to anyone who can.

The best work is done with the heart breaking, or overflowing.

The chief reason for drinking is the desire to behave in a certain way, and to be able to blame it on alcohol.

The excesses of love soon pass, but its insufficiencies torment us forever.

The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all.

The head never rules the heart, but just becomes its partner in crime.

The ideal home: big enough for you to hear the children, but not very well.

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

The poor have the same basic pleasures as the rich, and the rich will always resent it.

The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it.

The soul may sleep and the body still be happy, but only in youth.

The time to begin most things is ten years ago.

The total history of almost anyone would shock almost everyone.

There are now electrical appliances with the main unit so sealed in that it cannot be got at for repair. There have always been human beings like that.

There's no way to repay a mother's love, or lack of it.

Those who turn to God for comfort may find comfort but I do not think they will find God.

We are all such a waste of our potential, like three-way lamps using one-way bulbs.

We climb mountains because they are there, and worship God because He is not.

We have to call it 'freedom': who'd die for 'a lesser tyranny'?

We hear only half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that, and remember only half of that.

We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead.

We wake in the night, to stereophonic silence.

We waste a lot of time running after people we could have caught by just standing still.

We'd all like a reputation for generosity, and we'd all like to buy it cheap.

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

Whatever we worship, short of God, is sure to be our undoing.

When a stranger identifies you from a friend's description, it's just as well you didn't hear the description.

When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one.

When threatened, the first thing a democracy gives up is democracy.

With men, as with women, the main struggle is between vanity and comfort; but with men, comfort often wins.

Women are good listeners, but it’s a waste of time telling your troubles to a man unless there’s something specific you want him to do.

You never realize how tacky your furniture is till you try to give it to the Salvation Army and they won't take it.

You will turn over many a futile new leaf till you learn we must all write on scratched-out pages.

'Your money or your life.' We know what to do when a burglar makes this demand of us, but not when God does.

Youth is not enough. And love is not enough. And success is not enough. And, if we could achieve it, enough would not be enough.

Categories: Mignon McLaughlin; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Emily Bronté

Published Thursday, December 18, 2014 @ 6:49 PM EST
Dec 18 2014

Emily Jane Brontë (July 30, 1818 - December 19, 1848) was an English novelist and poet, best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She wrote under the pen name Ellis Bell. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.

Honest people don't hide their deeds.

I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.

I cannot express it: but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you.

I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

I'll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide.

If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.

It is for God to punish wicked people; we should learn to forgive.

It's no company at all, when people know nothing and say nothing.

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.

The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don't turn against him, they crush those beneath them.

Time brought resignation and a melancholy sweeter than common joy.

Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.

Categories: Emily Bronté; Quotes of the day

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Lest we forget...

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014 @ 11:48 PM EST
Dec 17 2014

Categories: Holidays; Tom Lehrer; YouTube

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"Chlamydia, your Dad's here..."

Published Tuesday, December 16, 2014 @ 11:30 PM EST
Dec 16 2014

Craig Ferguson ends his ten-year run on CBS' Late Late Show this Friday. His segments with Robin Williams were always tremendous. In this clip from November 2011, Williams drops by unannounced to sit in on the nightly e-mail segment. Their off-the-wall conversation gets a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the segment.

The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles celebrated Craig's tenure with a great interview conducted by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, comic and actor Jim Rash.

Categories: Craig Ferguson; Robin Williams; Video; YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Philip K. Dick

Published Monday, December 15, 2014 @ 6:39 PM EST
Dec 15 2014

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher whose published work is almost entirely accepted as being in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. He also wrote extensively on philosophy, theology, the nature of reality and science later in his life that was published posthumously as The Exegesis. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lot can be said for the infinite mercies of God, but the smarts of a good pharmacist, when you get down to it, is worth more.

Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost... perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that precious little fragment as well.

Anybody with a genuine system of prediction would be using it, not selling it.

Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit.

Crazy people do not apply the principle of scientific parsimony... they shoot for the baroque.

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment.

Everything in life is just for a while.

Fish cannot carry guns.

For each person there is a sentence- a series of words- which has the power to destroy him... another sentence exists, another series of words, which will heal the person. If you're lucky you will get the second; but you can be certain of getting the first: that is the way it works. On their own, without training, individuals know how to deal out the lethal sentence, but training is required to deal out the second.

Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang.

I have never yielded to reality. That's what science fiction is all about.

I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards.

I'm not much but I'm all I have.

I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, even with the H-bomb lurking about. Science has given us more lives than it has taken; we must remember that.

It is amazing that when someone else spouts the nonsense you yourself believe you can readily perceive it as nonsense.

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.

Mental illness is not funny.

My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.

People just have no criterion left to evaluate the importance of things. I think the only thing that would really affect people would be the announcement that the world was going to be blown up by the hydrogen bomb. I think that would really affect people. I think they would react to that. But outside of that, I don't think they would react to anything. 'Peking has been wiped out by an earthquake, and the RTD- the bus strike is still on.' And some guy says, 'Damnit! I'll have to walk to work!'

Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful.

Skill is a function of chance. It's an intuitive best-use of chance situations.

That there is no perfect defense. There is no protection. Being alive means being exposed; it's the nature of life to be hazardous—it's the stuff of living.

That was my problem then and it's my problem now; I have a bad attitude. In a nutshell, I fear authority but at the same time I resent it- the authority and my own fear- so I rebel. And writing SF is a way to rebel.... SF is a rebellious art form and it needs writers and readers and bad attitudes- an attitude of 'Why?' or 'How come?' or 'Who says?'

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

The church of my choice is the free, open world.

The electric things have their life too. Paltry as those lives are.

The hell with the newspapers. Nobody reads the letters to the editor column except the nuts. It's enough to get you down.

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

The schizophrenic is a leap ahead that failed.

The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking.

The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.

The unconscious is selective, when it learns what to listen for.

There are no small matters. Just as there is no small life. The life of an insect, a spider; his life is as large as yours, and yours is as large as mine. Life is life.

There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me.'

This is a mournful discovery.
1) Those who agree with you are insane
2) Those who do not agree with you are in power.

This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.

To live is to be hunted.

We'll know homo superior when he comes- by definition. He'll be the one we won't be able to euth.

When I believe, I am crazy. When I don't believe, I suffer psychotic depression.

When two people dream the same dream, it ceases to be an illusion.

Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small... and you will escape the jealousy of the great.

You must beware of seeing malice behind accidental injury.


(December 16 is also the birthday of Jane Austen, George Santayana, Arthur C. Clarke, and Margaret Mead.)

Categories: Philip K. Dick; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Bill of Rights

Published Sunday, December 14, 2014 @ 10:52 PM EST
Dec 14 2014

(In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights)

The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed to assuage the fears of Anti-Federalists who had opposed Constitutional ratification, these amendments guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public. Originally the amendments applied only to the federal government, however, most were subsequently applied to the government of each state by way of the Fourteenth Amendment, through a process known as incorporation. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.
-F. Lee Bailey

Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well. It means that everybody should have a job, if he's willing to work, and an education, and the right to bring up his children without fear of the future. And it means that the old shall be provided for, without shame to themselves or to their families. It means do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It also means the prayers of the pilgrim fathers in the wilderness, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the dreams of an immigrant mother for her children. And that's what I believe in.
-Dalton Trumbo

I also wish that the Pledge of Allegiance were directed at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as it is when the President takes his oath of office, rather than to the flag and the nation.
-Carl Sagan

I have often thought that the Bill of Rights should have stopped after the first five words: 'Congress shall make no laws...'

I revere the Bill of Rights, but at the same time I believe that anyone who's using three or more of them at a time is hogging them too much.
-Sarah Vowell

It is my belief that there are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes.'
-Hugo Black

Once you put ifs and buts in the Bill of Rights, nobody's civil liberties will be secure.
-I.F. Stone

Painful as it may be to hear it, there's nothing special about the people of this country that sets them apart from the other people of the world. It is the Bill of Rights, and only the Bill of Rights, that keeps us from becoming the world's biggest banana republic. The moment we forget that, the American Dream is over.
-Alexander Hope

Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.
-Thurgood Marshall

The Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.
-Walter Lippmann

The First Amendment is truly the heart of the Bill of Rights. The Framers balanced its freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition against the needs of a powerful central government, and decided that in those freedoms lies this nation's only true security. They were not afraid for men to be free. We should not be.
-Hugo Black

The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to create rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. (In 1951)
-H.L. Mencken

The right to be let alone is the underlying principle of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.
-Erwin N. Griswold

The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of anti-communism.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

We have ceased to be a nation under law but instead a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns.
-Gore Vidal

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


(December 15 is also the birthday of J. Paul Getty.)

Categories: Bill of Rights; Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic; U.S. Constitution

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Quotes of the day: Patty Duke

Published Saturday, December 13, 2014 @ 8:26 PM EST
Dec 13 2014

(photo from

Anna Marie "Patty" Duke (born December 14, 1946) is an American actress of stage, film and television. She first became famous as a child star, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16 for her role in The Miracle Worker, which she had originated on Broadway, and she later starred in the eponymous sitcom, The Patty Duke Show. She progressed to more mature roles upon playing Neely O'Hara in the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls. She was later elected president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985-1988, succeeding her Patty Duke Show co-star William Schallert. Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982; since then, she has devoted much of her time to advocating and educating the public on mental health issues. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Human beings have speculated about the relationship between inspiration and insanity for centuries.

I can't tell you what I had for breakfast, but I can sing every single word of rock and roll.

I have a picture of myself in my mind as I walk around every day, until I look in the mirror-and then I'm stunned.

I tell people to monitor their self-pity. Self-pity is very unattractive.

I'm not sure I want all my neuroses cleared up.

I've come to believe that whoever I am didn't start on December 14, 1946, and isn't going to end on whatever that mysterious date is in the future.

If I have any message for others, it is to go for help early and not to be a resistant patient.

It's toughest to forgive ourselves. So it's probably best to start with other people. It's almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself.

No matter what your laundry list of requirements in choosing a mate, there has to be an element of good luck and good fortune and good timing.

Reality is hard. It is no walk in the park, this thing called Life.

Sometimes it is the simplest, seemingly most inane, most practical stuff that matters the most to someone.

We have developed this unbelievable ability to deny. We have to. If we didn't, we'd go crazy.

We manics do outrageous things and it is part of our colorful nature.

When I'm 80 and sitting in a rocking chair listening to the Rolling Stones, there is absolutely no way I'm going to feel old or forget my younger days.


(December 14 is also the birthday of Margaret Chase Smith.)

Categories: Patty Duke; Quotes of the day

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Rich and poor

Published Friday, December 12, 2014 @ 9:18 PM EST
Dec 12 2014

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
-Samuel Johnson

A poor, charitable person can sometimes feel rich, a miserly Croesus never.
-Marie Ebner von Ebner-Eschenbach

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
-James Baldwin

By and large the poor have the same impulses as the rich, with only less opportunity or skill to implement them.
-Will Durant

By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.
-G.K. Chesterton

Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money.
-George Carlin

Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is poverty. What is matter with the rich is uselessness.
-George Bernard Shaw

Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich, something for nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw

He who covets is always poor.

History will judge societies and governments- and their institutions- not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.
-Cesar Chavez

Hope is the poor man's bread.
-George Herbert

I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn't poor, I was needy. Then they told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy. I was deprived. (Oh not deprived but rather underprivileged) Then they told me that underprivileged was overused. I was disadvantaged. I still don't have a dime. But I have a great vocabulary.
-Jules Feiffer

I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.
-Thomas Babington Macaulay

I'd like to live like a poor man with lots of money.
-Pablo Picasso

I've been rich and I've been poor... Believe me, rich is better.
-Mae West

If a nation cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
-John F. Kennedy

If poor you are, poor you will always be,
For wealth's now given to none but to the rich.

If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.
-Stephen Colbert

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 have two jobs and you're rich, you have diversified interests. If you have two jobs and you're poor, you're moonlighting.

If your name is on the building, you're rich. If your name is on your desk, you're middle class. If your name is on your shirt, you're poor.
-Rich Hall

In America, even a poor boy can grow up to win the support of powerful special interest groups.
-John Callahan

It is easier to ask of the poor than of the rich.
-Anton Chekhov

It is said that the children of the very poor are not brought up, but dragged up.
-Charles Dickens

It's no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

Money is a poor man's credit card.
-Marshall McLuhan

Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history off the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor.
-Lewis H. Lapham

No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing.
-Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Of course there's a different law for the rich and poor; Otherwise who would go into business?
-E. Ralph Stewart

Plenty has made me poor.

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
-Oscar Ameringer

Poor is a state of mind you never grow out of, but being broke is just a temporary condition.
-Dick Gregory

Poor men want meat for their stomachs, rich men want stomachs for their meat.
-Anthony Copley

Poor people have access to the courts in the same manner that the Christians had access to the lions.
-Judge Earl Johnson, Jr.

Poor people have more fun than rich people, they say; and I notice it's the rich people who keep saying it.
-Jack Paar

Poor people know poor people, and rich people know rich people. It is one of the few things La Rochefoucauld did not say, but then La Rochefoucauld never lived in the Bronx.
-Moss Hart

Rich people pay Fox people to make middle-class people blame poor people.
-John Fugelsang

Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor, which is one very strong argument in favour of matrimony.
-Jane Austen

Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
-Peter Ustinov

The bonus is really one of the great give-aways in business enterprise. It is the annual salve applied to the conscience of the rich and the wounds of the poor.
-E.B. White

The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character-building value of privation for the poor.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations... But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

The contented person is never poor-the discontented is never rich. The quantum of wantum remains constant.
-Samuel Beckett

The difference between our rich and poor grows greater every year. Our distribution of wealth is getting more uneven all the time. A man can make a million and he is on every page in the morning. But it never tells you who gave up that million he got. You can't get money without taking it from somebody.
-Will Rogers

The fellow that has no money is poor. The fellow that has nothing but money is poorer still.
-Billy Sunday

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 honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.
-G.K. Chesterton

The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
-Anatole France

The man who has his millions will want everything he can lay his hands on and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day.
-Samuel Gompers

The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn't know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow's hands.
-Will Rogers

The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts.
-Sydney Smith

The petty economies of the rich are just as amazing as the silly extravagances of the poor.
-William Feather

The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
-G.K. Chesterton

The poor have the same basic pleasures as the rich, and the rich will always resent it.
-Mignon McLaughlin

The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.
-Andrew Carnegie

The rich rob the poor and the poor rob one another.
-Sojourner Truth

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.
-Willem de Kooning

The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.
-Edward Dowling

The world has grown rich and refined, but chiefly by the efforts of those who themselves continue poor and ignorant.
-Theodore Parker

There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

There is no literate population in the world that is poor, and there is no illiterate population that is anything but poor.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

There is nothing that keeps poor people poor as much as paying doctor bills.
-Will Rogers

There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.
-Will Rogers

Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know that it is money.
-Gerald Brenan

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
-W.E.B. DuBois

We have two American flags always; one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy.
-Henry Miller

We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering.
-Bill Gates

We might be on the brink of an apocalypse if, instead of poor people with suicide bombs killing middle class people, middle-class people with suicide bombs started killing rich guys.
-Bruce Sterling

We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us.
-Lionel Trilling

What does peace mean to the poor who are being actively robbed of their resources and for whom everyday life is a grim battle for water, shelter, survival and, above all, some semblance of dignity? For them, peace is war.
-Arundhati Roy

What we have in this country is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.
-Gore Vidal

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

When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor.
-John Ruskin

You can't do much for the poor, as they are not in with the right people.
-Will Cuppy

You don't seem to realize that a poor person who is unhappy is in a better position than a rich person who is unhappy. Because the poor person has hope. He thinks money would help.
-Jean Kerr

You've got to pity the poor Democrats in Congress. Most of them are on record against capital punishment, since they naturally don't want to diminish their constituent base.
-Wes Pruden

Categories: Income inequality; Quotes on a topic

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