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Quotes of the day
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Published Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 11:56 PM EST
Jan 05 2012

Theodore Roosevelt, October 27, 1858 - January 6, 1919

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

A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.

Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character. It is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent.

Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience.

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

I hold that public servants are in very truth the servants and not the masters of the people, and that this is true not only of executive and legislative officers but of judicial officers as well.

I wonder whether there ever can come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one between the ages of say six and fourteen, when the library door is thrown open and you walk in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairyland, arrayed on your special table?

If I have to choose between peace and righteousness, I'll choose righteousness.

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

It is better to be faithful than famous.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.

Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.

No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.

Nothing is gained by debate on non-debatable subjects.

The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.

The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism...The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.

Though hardness of heart is a great evil, it is no greater an evil than softness of head.

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty.”


Categories: Quotes of the day, Theodore Roosevelt


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Quotes of the day
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Published Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 5:10 AM EST
Jan 05 2012

Florence King (b. January 5, 1936):

America is the only country in the world where you can suffer culture shock without leaving home.

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

By sending the contradictory message that the famous are just plain folks on Mount Olympus, America has forged a relentless tension between loftiness and accessibility. Stir in the fact that the inborn talent and intelligence needed to achieve fame are immune to distributive tinkering by government programs and you have a definition of fame certain to produce envious rage: somebody screwed democracy.

Chinks in America's egalitarian armor are not hard to find. Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism.

[Democracy is] The crude leading the crud.

Each time a mediocre singer performs, he is saying, in effect, “This is good enough for you.” The audience, thrust into that familiar American mood of knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is, unconsciously absorbs the insult and projects it back onto the mediocre performer in the form of inattention, rudeness and noise.

Familiarity doesn't breed contempt, it is contempt.

Golf is an exercise in Scottish pointlessness for people who are no longer able to throw telephone poles at each other.

He travels fastest who travels alone, and that goes double for she. Real feminism is spinsterhood. It's time America admitted that old maids give all women a good name.

Humor inspires sympathetic, good-natured laughter and is favored by the “healing power” gang. Wit goes for the jugular, not the jocular, and it's the opposite of football; instead of building character, it tears it down.

I'd rather rot on my own floor than be found by a bunch of bingo players in a nursing home.

I've always said that next to Imperial China, the South is the best place in the world to be an old lady.

I've had sex and I've had food, and I'd rather eat.

In social matters, pointless conventions are not merely the bee sting of etiquette, but the snake bite of moral order.

Judge not, lest ye be judged judgmental.

Men are not very good at loving, but they are experts at admiring and respecting; the woman who goes after their admiration and respect will often come out better than she who goes out after their love.

Misanthropes have some admirable if paradoxical virtues. It is no exaggeration to say that we are among the nicest people you are likely to meet. Because good manners build sturdy walls, our distaste for intimacy makes us exceedingly cordial “ships that pass in the night.” As long as you remain a stranger we will be your friend forever.

Owning your own home is America's unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home “owners” deduct mortgage interest payments.

People are so busy dreaming the American Dream, fantasizing about what they could be or have a right to be, that they're all asleep at the switch. Consequently we are living in the Age of Human Error.

Showing up at school already able to read is like showing up at the undertaker's already embalmed: people start worrying about being put out of their jobs.

Southerners are so devoted to genealogy that we see a family tree under every bush.

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.

Thank God I'm over the hill... None of the things men do to women could possibly happen to me now unless the U.S. is invaded by one of those new Russian republics whose soldiers aren't fussy.

The confidence and security of a people can be measured by their attitude toward laxatives.

The feminization of America... has mired us in a soft, sickly, helpless tolerance of everything. America is the girl who can't say no, the town pump who lets anybody have a go at her. We are a single-parent country with no father to cut through the molasses and point out, for example, the inconsistency of embracing warm and compassionate “values” while condemning cold and detached “value judgments.”

The proliferation of support groups suggests to me that too many Americans are growing up in homes that do not contain a grandmother.

The witty woman is a tragic figure in American life. Wit destroys eroticism and eroticism destroys wit, so women must choose between taking lovers and taking no prisoners.

There are so many different kinds of people in America, with so many different boiling points, that we don't know how to fight with each other... no American can be sure how or when another will react, so we zap each other with friendliness to neutralize potentially dangerous situations.

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.

True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.

When they came for the smokers, I kept silent because I don't smoke.
When they came for the meat eaters, I kept silent because I'm a vegetarian.
When they came for the gun owners, I kept silent because I'm a pacifist.
When they came for the drivers, I kept silent because I'm a bicyclist.
They never did come for me.
I'm still here because there's nobody left in the secret police except sissies with rickets.


Categories: Florence King, Quotes of the day


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