A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who,
however, has never learned how to walk forward.
A radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the
Be sincere, be brief, be seated.
Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives
in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a
Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it
lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative
Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened
the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be
cruel in order to be tough.
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.
I think we consider too much the good luck of the early
bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must
It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook
often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it
fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try
Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of
their own minds.
No business which depends for existence on paying less
than living wages to its workers has any right to continue
in this country.
People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of
which dictatorships are made.
Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
The fate of America cannot depend on any one man. The
greatness of America is grounded in principles and not on
any single personality.
The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a
government strong enough to protect the interests of the
people and a people strong enough and well enough informed
to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that
a financial element in the larger centers has owned the
Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.
The saving grace of America lies in the fact that the
overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two
great qualities: a sense of humor and a sense of
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to
the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we
provide enough for those who have too little.
The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
The ultimate failures of dictatorship cost humanity far
more than any temporary failures of democracy.
They (who) seek to establish systems of government based
on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of
individual rulers... call this a new order. It is not new
and it is not order.
We have, however, a clear mandate from the people, that
Americans must forswear that conception of the acquisition
of wealth which, through excessive profits, creates undue
private power over private affairs and, to our misfortune,
over public affairs as well.
We know now that Government by organized money is just as
dangerous as Government by organized mob.
We must especially beware of that small group of selfish
men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order
to feather their own nests.
We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil
liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We
must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any
hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.
When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not
wait until he has struck to crush him.
A bachelor's virtue depends upon his alertness; a married man's depends
upon his wife's.
A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven
brag about it to persons who will never get there.
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
A gentleman is one who never strikes a woman without provocation.
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest
man a century.
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness. But after
that he begins to bunch them.
A man may be a fool and not know it- but not if he is married.
A misogynist is a man who hates women as much as women hate each other.
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both
ears to the ground.
A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order
to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and
submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a
A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still
young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes
and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil
conscience of their parents.
A writer is always admired most, not by those who have read him, but by
those who have merely heard of him.
Adultery is the application of democracy to love.
After a revolution, of course, the successful revolutionists always try
to convince doubters that they have achieved great things, and usually
they hang any man who denies it.
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit
it. I myself deny it.
An altruist is one who would be sincerely sorry to see his neighbor's
children devoured by wolves.
An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see
As an American, I naturally spend most of my time laughing.
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and
more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious
day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last
and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
At the end of one millennium and nine centuries of Christianity, it
remains an unshakable assumption of the law in all Christian countries
and of the moral judgment of Christians everywhere that if a man and a
woman, entering a room together, close the door behind them, the man
will come out sadder and the woman wiser.
But the razor edge of ridicule is turned by the tough hide of truth.
Certainly there is something radically wrong with a system which enables
a Henry Ford to posture magnificently as one who pays lavish wages, and
then, when the pinch comes, to lay of men by tens of thousands and throw
them on public charity.
Change is not progress.
Christendom is that part of the world where, if a man declare himself to
be a Christian, his hearers laugh at him.
Clergyman: a ticket speculator outside the gates of heaven.
College football is a game which would be much more interesting if the
faculty played instead of the students, and even more interesting if the
trustees played. There would be a great increase in broken arms, legs,
and necks, and simultaneously an appreciable diminution in the loss to
Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of
Complete masculinity and stupidity are often indistinguishable.
Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us someone may be looking.
Courtroom: A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be
equals, with the betting odds in favor of Judas.
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
Deep within the heart of every evangelist lies the wreck of a car
Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he
knows to be idiots.
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey
Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve
to get it good and hard.
Do not overestimate the decency of the human race.
During many a single week, I daresay, more money is spent in New York
upon useless and evil things than would suffice to run the kingdom of
Denmark for a year.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
Every great wave of popular passion that rolls up on the prairies is
dashed to spray when it strikes the hard rocks of Manhattan.
Every man sees in his relatives a series of grotesque caricatures of
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist
the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always
an easy solution to every human problem- neat, plausible, and wrong.
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of
For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human
associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us
feel safe... Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end.
For it is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not
true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit
the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false.
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than
Christianity has made them good.
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the
miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of
superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above
Government in America has taken on a vast mass of new duties and
responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to
every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around
its operations the high dignity and impeccability of religion; its
agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and
loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in
the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and
decent men. (1926)
Government, today, is growing too strong to be safe. There are no longer
any citizens in the world; there are only subjects. They work day in and
day out for their masters; they are bound to die for their masters at
call. Out of this working and dying they tend to get less and less.
Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what
of it? The first one at least is disposed of.
How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a
cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.
Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty
enough to want to force it upon anyone.
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is
largely a waste of time.
I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that
outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any
honest minority, however small, wants to read them. The remedy of the
majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.
I detest converts almost as much as I do missionaries.
I get little enjoyment out of women, more out of alcohol, most out of
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common
I'm against slavery simply because I dislike slaves.
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would
promise them missionaries for dinner.
If I had my way, any man guilty of golf would be ineligible for any
office of trust in the United States.
If I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God
in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake.
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to
please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely
Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.
In a man's world... simian aptitudes are rated high, and so not too many
women get in. To succeed as a lawyer, for example, a woman would have to
throttle two of her chief attributes: her disdain for the petty
accumulations of useless knowledge, and her sharp feeling for the truth.
What men in their imbecility consistently mistake for a deficiency of
intelligence in women is merely an incapacity for mastering small and
In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a
favorite device of persons with something to sell.
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful
for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that
you would lie if you were in his place.
It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards
It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor
of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me
forever ineligible for public office.
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a
resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to
physics or chemistry.
It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or of the American
gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and
It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always
It seems to me that society usually wins. There are, to be sure, free
spirits in the world, but their freedom, in the last analysis, is not
much greater than that of a canary in a cage. They may leap from perch
to perch; they may bathe and guzzle at their will; they may flap their
wings and sing. But they are still in the cage, and soon or late it
Legend: a lie that has attained the dignity of age.
Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is
impossible for those who have had any experience with them.
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Man is a natural polygamist. He always has one woman leading him by the
nose and another hanging on to his coattails.
Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe,
but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry
later. For another thing, they die earlier.
Metaphysics is almost always an attempt to prove the incredible by an
appeal to the unintelligible.
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more
uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is
right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been
the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men
who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized
man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others.
His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
Nature abhors a moron.
Never let your inferiors do you a favor- it will be extremely costly.
Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no
truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed.
No man can be friendly to another whose personal habits differ
materially from his own. Even the trivialities of table manners thus
become important. The fact probably explains much of race prejudice, and
even more of national prejudice.
No man, examining his marriage intelligently, can fail to observe that
it is compounded, at least in part, of slavery, and that he is the slave.
No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to
discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.
No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average
woman of forty-eight.
No matter how much a woman loved a man, it would still give her a glow
to see him commit suicide for her.
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.
No one in this world, as far as I know... has ever lost money by
underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.
Nobody's got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors.
Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most
charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far
to seek. It is based on propositions that are palpably not true- and
what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more
fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.
Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy,
for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government
ever heard of on earth.
Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in
Psychotherapy is the theory that the patient will probably get well
anyhow and is certainly a damn fool.
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration-
courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the
Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back
to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
Sin is a dangerous toy in the hands of the virtuous. It should be left
to the congenitally sinful, who know when to play with it and when to
let it alone.
So few men are really worth knowing, that it seems a shameful waste to
let an anthropoid prejudice stand in the way of free association with
one who is.
Suicide is belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives.
Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves
were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.
Temptation is a woman's weapon and a man's excuse.
The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement
that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous
and hence enormously fascinating.
The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most
timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose
steppers ever gathered under on flag in Christendom since the end of the
The argument that capital punishment degrades the state is moonshine,
for if that were true then it would degrade the state to send men to
war... The state, in truth, is degraded in its very nature: a few
butcheries cannot do it any further damage.
The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe.
The average man never really thinks from beginning to end of his life.
The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of cliches. What
they mistake for thought is simply repetition of what they have heard.
My guess is that well over 80% of the human race goes through life
without having a single original thought. Whenever a new one appears the
average man shows signs of dismay and resentment.
The average newspaper, especially of the better sort, has the
intelligence of a hillbilly evangelist, the courage of a rat, the
fairness of a prohibitionist boob-jumper, the information of a
high-school janitor, the taste of a designer of celluloid valentines,
and the honor of a police-station lawyer.
The average woman must inevitably view her actual husband with a certain
disdain; he is anything but her ideal. In consequence, she cannot help
feeling that her children are cruelly handicapped by the fact that he is
The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but
that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in
The best years are the forties; after fifty a man begins to deteriorate,
but in the forties he is at the maximum of his villainy.
The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly
greater than that of any other animal.
The chief contribution of Presbyterianism to human thought is its
massive proof that God is a bore.
The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute.
Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that
the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.
The Creator is a comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter
regrets a discreditable act; even when it has worked and he has not been
The doctrine that the cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy
is like saying the cure for crime is more crime.
The essence of a genuine professional man is that he cannot be bought.
The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given
idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its
truths to be eternal and immutable. To be sure, theology is always
yielding a little to the progress of knowledge, and only a Holy Roller
in the mountains of Tennessee would dare to preach today what the popes
preached in the thirteenth century.
The existence of most human beings is of absolutely no significance to
history or to human progress. They live and die as anonymously and as
nearly uselessly as so many bullfrogs or houseflies. They are, at best,
undifferentiated slaves upon an endless assembly line, and at worse they
are robots who leave their mark upon time only by occasionally falling
into the machinery...
The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no
reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability
that yours is a fake.
The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist “Jack”.
The formula of the argument is simple and familiar: to dispose of a
problem all that is necessary is to deny that it exists.
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They
have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of
government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.
The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even
The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other
fellow married her.
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is
obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is
almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
The lunatic fringe wags the underdog.
The man who boasts that he habitually tells the truth is simply a man
with no respect for it. It is not a thing to be thrown about loosely,
like small change; it is something to be cherished and hoarded and
disbursed only when absolutely necessary. The smallest atom of truth
represents some man's bitter toil and agony; for every ponderable chunk
of it there is a brave truth-seeker's grave upon some lonely ash-dump
and a soul roasting in Hell.
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most
daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to
tell the truth.
The more a man dreams, the less he believes.
The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the
palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save
humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running
flop-houses and disturbing the peace.
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.
The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just simple
competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age
The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear of the unknown,
the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is
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.
The only really happy people are married women and single men.
The only way to success in American life lies in flattering and
kow-towing to the mob.
The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it
were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
The plain fact is that I am not a fair man and don't want to hear both
The public demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit
raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no
The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His
failure is ignominious and his success disgraceful.
The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of
God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the
The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with
Christianity is the Christians.
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of
one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that
oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the
beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
The true aim of medicine is not to make men virtuous; it is to safeguard
and rescue them from the consequences of their vices.
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the
urge to rule it.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and
hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless
series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is
identical with the discovery of truth- that the error and truth are
simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to,
when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and
maybe one worse than the first one.
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often
very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit
Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not
There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.
There is no record in human history of a happy philosopher.
There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and
that is character.
Time is the great legalizer, even in the field of morals.
To wage a war for a purely moral reason is as absurd as to ravish a
woman for a purely moral reason.
Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got
as used to it.
Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying
to prove that the other party is unfit to rule-and both commonly
succeed, and are right.
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out
twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is
We have our spasms of revolt, our flarings up of peekaboo waists, free
love and “art,” but a mighty backwash of piety fetches each and every
one of them soon or late.
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and
to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and
his children smart.
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
When a husband's story is believed, he begins to suspect his wife.
When a man laughs at his misfortunes, he loses a great many friends.
They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that
an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have
two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.
When the water reaches the upper decks, follow the rats.
Whenever “A” attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon “B,” “A”
is most likely a scoundrel.
Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage, they are
giving evidence at an inquest.
Whenever a reporter is assigned to cover a Methodist conference, he
comes home an atheist.
Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sure
sign he expects to be paid for it.
Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is
still running it? It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished
it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate.
Women don't like timid men. Cats do not like prudent mice.
Women hate revolutions and revolutionists. They like men who are docile,
and well-regarded at the bank, and never late at meals.
Published Thursday, January 26, 2012 @ 12:21 PM EST
The good news: the medications significantly reduced Misty's blood
pressure, intraocular pressure, and inflammation to the point she
apppears to be in little or no pain. The doctor deferred removing her
The bad news: Misty's secondary glaucoma may be caused by systemic
hypertension, which in turn may be caused by kidney disease. More
specific tests have been done and sent to the lab. It'll be a few days
until we get the results.
But for now, at least, I have a warm, happy, pain-free Sheltie and her
three pack mates snoring comfortably at my feet.
I'm officially declaring: that this a good day; that Misty is a very,
very good girl; and that, at least for today, I'm one lucky fella.
Published Saturday, January 21, 2012 @ 12:00 PM EST
Cindy pointed out this morning that due to my error, we've been drinking decaf coffee since Monday.
Now I understand why I've been dragging all week. Problem corrected, and several pots later I'm
ready to go outside and face the world.
And I will, as soon as my toes uncurl and I can put on my shoes.
DeForest Kelley, who played the curmudgeonly Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
in the original Star Trek series, was born on this day in 1920 in
Atlanta, Georgia. He was the first member of the original Star Trek
cast to pass away, on June 11, 1999, at the age of 79.
Initially approached for the role of the Vulcan science officer Mr.
Spock, Kelley was instead cast as the ship's chief medical officer,
described by series creator Gene Roddenberry as "a future-day H.L.
Mencken". An unabashed cynic of technology, the McCoy character was a
self-described old fashioned country doctor who put more faith in
humanity than high technology.
In a 1982 interview with author Allan Asherman, Kelley said McCoy
represented "the perspective of the audience, that if you were along on
the voyage you'd think, 'These people are crazy! How in the hell do they
expect to do that?'" Indeed, the McCoy character was often used to
interject a dose of reality, interpret the techno-babble, and explain
the frequently convoluted plotting of the more arcane Trek
adventures to those in the audience struggling to follow the science
His summary of the plot of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,
delivered in exasperated disbelief to the gung-ho Captain Kirk, still
stands as one of the best examples of exposition in screen history:
"You're proposing that we go backwards in time, find humpbacked whales,
then bring them forward in time, drop 'em off, and hope to hell they
tell this probe what to go do with itself?!" The entire plot in fewer
than 35 words. That's Bones for you.
The son of a Baptist minister, Jackson DeForest Kelley wanted to be a
doctor like an uncle he greatly admired, but his family couldn't afford
to send him to medical school. He instead became a
character actor who worked steadily in film and television from the late
1940s through the 1960s.Star Trek's popularity in
syndication essentially ended his acting career, but he considered
himself fortunate to be associated with a role that made him a permanent
icon in popular culture, and he made a comfortable living by reprising
his character for the motion picture series and appearing on the
Asherman's interview ended with a quote that could serve as an accurate
and fitting epitaph:
"I'd wanted to be a physician and couldn't- and yet became the most
well-known doctor in the galaxy."
The above clip is from last year's Labor Day episode, in which Craig's
sidekick, a robot skeleton named Geoff
Peterson (constructed by Mythbusters engineering whiz Grant
Imahara), showed up drunk and responded to the appearance of Secretariat,
a recurring gag.
I usually record the show and watch it before going to work. Trust me,
starting off with Craig, Geoff and Secretariat better prepares you for
the day than watching Today, GMA, or CBS' morning show du
As Dave Barry would say, You Cannot Make Up This Stuff.
(Colbert Report video: Think Citizens United was a joke? You have no idea...)
"Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,
558 U.S. 08-205 (2010), 558 U.S. ––––, 130 S.Ct. 876
(January 21, 2010), was a landmark decision by the United
States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment
prohibits government from placing limits on independent
spending for political purposes by corporations and unions.
The 5–4 decision originated in a dispute over whether the
non-profit corporation Citizens United could air a film
critical of Hillary Clinton, and whether the group could
advertise the film in broadcast ads featuring Clinton's
image, in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign
Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act in
reference to its primary Senate sponsors." -Wikipedia
By giving corporations First Amendment rights and
removing limits on donation size, the Court, in the words of
President Obama, "gives the special interests and their
lobbyists even more power in Washington- while undermining
the influence of average Americans who make small
contributions to support their preferred candidates,"
and "strikes at our democracy itself."
The clip above is simultaneously hilarious, enlightening,
and depressing. It's an accurate depiction of how SuperPACs
work- although the transfer "ceremony" is optional- and
reveals how the Supreme Court gave coporations a blank
And, depressingly, it's real. This is what
a conservative Supreme Court has done to our election
I have a Twitter account but I really don't follow it- I already
have enough distractions. But I do have the app installed on my
cell phone. I accidentally ran it this morning and was presented with
a week's worth of hysterical musings by Andy Borowitz. My favorites follow:
they're in reverse chronological order, starting with his observations
on the latest GOP debate in New Hampshire:
I'm surprised Huntsman hasn't benefited more from our
culture's fascination with vampires.
When Gingrich talks about "moving to a 21st century
model," Callista better watch her back.
Rick Perry's comments have been sponsored by Lunesta.
Mitt Romney would make a great President in a Jean-Claude
Van Damme movie.
Somewhere, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann are in a
motel room watching this & laughing.
Rick Perry: "Not only have I worn a uniform, this
Halloween I went as a slutty nurse."
Huntsman: "I am the only man on this stage with decades
of experience running a funeral home."
Ron Paul better be on guard or Huntsman will try to
This promises to be the whitest Yo Mama contest on
I worry that all the jokes about Santorum's sweater vests
are distracting us from the fact that he's a f*cking
Gingrich: "I'm not leaving Romney alone unless he gets
That weird sensation you're feeling while watching the
#GOPDebate is your brain cells curling up and dying.
Rick Perry on preparing for the debate: "I started
I'll miss Bachmann and Cain tonight. It'll be like
watching an episode of Three's Company with no Ropers.
To Santorum, poor people are like sweater sleeves- he
knows they exist, he just has no use for them.
I never delete any voicemails just in case there's
something Rupert Murdoch might enjoy.
It's helpful when CNN shows us what's happening on
Twitter because it reminds us to turn off CNN and go on
From now on, please join me in referring to a "sweater
vest" as a "douche holster."
Real sign the economy is improving: Republicans are
starting to say Obama wasn't born here again.
Newt Gingrich is the kind of guy who goes to church and
his "Hard Out Here For a Pimp" ringtone goes off.
Remember, no matter what sh*t you're going through in
your life right now, at least you're not talking to Rick
Critics may accuse Mitt Romney of flip-flopping, but he
has been very consistent about being a d*ck.
Children say amazing and hilarious things unless they're
other people's children.
Boehner on improving employment numbers: "This is a
wakeup call. We've got to work harder to f*ck this up."
The Underwear Bomber is named Umar Farouk Abdulmjutallab,
so let's just keep calling him The Underwear Bomber.
There's no way you can see a headline like "Santorum
Blanketing New Hampshire" and not be grossed out.
There's an interesting story about the psychology of
Romney voters in the American Journal of Settling.
Just reread the Book of Revelation- I had never noticed
all the references to sweater vests before.
Just reread ancient Mayans' prophecy. They didn't say the
world would end in 2012, just a Van Halen reunion.
Rick Santorum supports the rights of the unborn child
until it's born and wants a gay marriage.
Pat Robertson: 'God Told Me the GOP Nominee Will Be a
White Male A**hole'
Bachmann on quitting the race: "At least now I won't have
to figure out where all those other states are."
Mitt Romney is hoping for a big win in New Hampshire,
which he defines as 9 votes.
Santorum says he"s not against homosexuality "when it's
I felt safer with Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail
than I do now that she's just wandering around.
If only 8 more people liked me than Rick Santorum I would
put a gun in my mouth.
BREAKING: Romney Vows to Put Americans Back to Work
Making Negative Ads
What I'll miss most about Michele Bachmann? When she
means "standard bearer" she always says "standard bear."
Michele Bachmann's decision to quit the race is
disturbing because it smacks of sanity.
Romney Jubilant after Finishing in Dead Heat with Walking
Joke in Sweater Vest
Iowa is too small and white to choose a President, which
is why I'm glad we're moving on to New Hampshire.
BREAKING: CNN to Simulcast Bachmann's Withdrawal Speech
Remember, Michele Bachmann doesn't know the meaning of
the word surrender. Also: the words science, math, apple,
BREAKING: .0006% of Iowans Dislike Romney less than
The last time so few people decided a Presidential race
they were all on the Supreme Court.
Say what you will about the margin of Romney's victory,
but 8 votes is still 6 more than Rick Perry can count.
Rick Perry just said this race wasn't about him.
Apparently Iowa agrees.
Note to Middle Easterners: when you protest for
democracy, remember to specify "but not that caucus
Only Wolf Blitzer could make the words "three-way" sound
Mitt Romney must be thrilled: he's in a tie with a lawn
gnome and a guy who opposes man-on-dog marriage.
Santorum says he didn't mind trailing in the polls
"because I'm used to being in the cellar."
If Santorum is going to be President we better hurry and
marry our pets now.
In a bold last-minute tactic, Romney has changed his
first name on the ballot from Mitt to Not.
Such a small unrepresentative group has never been
allowed to pick a US President. Oh wait- the Supreme
The Iowa caucuses are like a sitcom with no main
characters and just wacky neighbors.
If Michele Bachmann and Tebow both lose this week, then
God is 0 for 2012.
If Santorum almost wins Iowa, it will be like when
Sanjaya almost won American Idol.
I get that God has his reasons for tsunamis and
earthquakes, but I'm finding these Tebow losses hard to
Pat Robertson: 'God Made Tebow Lose to Punish any Denver
Fans who Might be Gay'
Reality check, America: God does not make people win
football games. He makes them win Grammys.
BREAKING: Santorum Picks Up Key Endorsement from Ancient
I really think it's time Boyz 2 Men just started calling
(YouTube video: Elvis Presley sings "In The Ghetto". Written by Mac
Davis and included in his 1969 album "From Elvis in Memphis," it was The
King's first non-gospel top-ten hit in six years and perhaps the last of
the great "message" songs. The album also contained "Suspicious Minds,"
"Don't Cry Daddy," and "Kentucky Rain.")
You have to love a show that will allow an obscure geek from a
Pittsburgh suburb one minute of national network airtime, even if it is
at 3 am:
(Video of appearance on ABC World News Now, January 30, 2003. The next
day, anchor John Berman was sent to cover the war in Iraq. I like to
think the two are unrelated).
My database publishing business and the slower computers and dial-up
lines of the early 90's frequently required me to work at 2 or 3 am, and
World News Now's quirky presentation made staying awake easier. I
finally got in the habit of taping it to watch later in the day.
Thanks to Jonathan Larsen, who invited me to the studio in 1999 after I
sent in a viewer video. ((I
got to do the weather with Juju Chang and Anderson Cooper.). And
special thanks Sharon Newman, who invited me to contribute bits like the
one above and sit in the control room in the wee hours of the morning
whenever I was in New York on business. I think I hold the news
broadcast record for waving and mouthing "Hi, Mom!" during segment
Happy 20th, WNN, and a salute from all of us in The Elite Guard.
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
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
If I have to choose between peace and righteousness, I'll choose
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
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether
to answer “present” or “not guilty.”
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
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
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
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.
Published Wednesday, January 04, 2012 @ 12:00 AM EST
T.S. Eliot, (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965):
All cases are unique, and very similar to others.
And the wind shall say: “Here were decent godless people: Their
only monument the asphalt road And a thousand lost golf balls.”
Atheism is often merely a variety of Christianity.
Birth, and copulation, and death. That's all the facts when you come to
Destiny waits in the hand of God, not in the hands of statesmen.
Every moment is a fresh beginning.
For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's
words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
Half of the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to
Hold tight, hold tight, we must insist that the world is what we have
always taken it to be.
Human kind Cannot bear very much reality.
I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in
life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they
take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least
In the case of many poets, the most important thing for them to do is to
write as little as possible.
It is certain that a book is not harmless merely because no one is
consciously offended by it.
It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no one needs to be
It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to
be the fool you are.
Neither way is better. Both ways are necessary. It is also necessary To
make a choice between them.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only The wind will listen.
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
Success is relative; it is what we can make of the mess we have made of
The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for
the wrong reason.
The majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities,
and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or
much faith; and when the ordinary man calls himself a skeptic or an
unbeliever, that is ordinarily a simple pose, cloaking a disinclination
to think anything out to a conclusion.
The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always
being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn
Those you say they give the public what it wants begin by
underestimating public taste and end by debauching it.
We had the experience but missed the meaning.
We must always take risks. That is our destiny.
What is hell? Hell is oneself. Hell is alone, the other figures in it
projections. There is nothing to escape from And nothing to escape
to. One is always alone.
Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have
lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The
cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
You are the music while the music lasts.
You do not know what hope is, until you have lost it.
To be sure, the Bible contains the direct words of God. How do we know?
The Moral Majority says so. How do they know? They say they know and to
doubt it makes you an agent of the Devil or, worse, a Lbr-l Dm-cr-t. And
what does the Bible textbook say? Well, among other things it says the
earth was created in 4004 BC (Not actually, but a Moral Majority type
figured that out three and a half centuries ago, and his word is also
accepted as inspired.) The sun was created three days later. The first
male was molded out of dirt, and the first female was molded, some time
later, out of his rib. As far as the end of the universe is concerned,
the Book of Revelation (6:13-14) says: "And the stars of heaven fell
unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she
is shaken of a mighty wind." … Imagine the people who believe such
things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient
findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was
written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most
unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves
the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and
childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and
homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not
enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true
architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child
whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open
door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful
that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it.
Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are
being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that
American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
Creationists make it sound as though a “theory” is something you dreamt
up after being drunk all night.
Happiness is doing it rotten your own way.
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important
to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.
I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be
reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst
punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing
I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no
matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem,
is just an infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I
think, is the secret of the Universe.
If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to
save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the
pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous
atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose
every deed is foul, foul, foul.
If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we
can solve them.
If the doctor told me I had only six months to live, I'd type faster.
It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant
factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer
without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world
as it will be.
It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings
solace and comfort to people... If solace and comfort are how we judge
the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and
comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds
bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to
gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace
and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with.
It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put an orgy in my
room and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently
programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
People are entirely too disbelieving of coincidence.
Properly read, it [the Bible] is the most potent force for
atheism ever conceived.
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge
faster than society gathers wisdom.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has
been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread
winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the
false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as
There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful
adherents who will defend it to the death.
Thin people are thin because they don't know any better.
To insult someone we call him “bestial.” For deliberate cruelty and
nature, “human” might be the greater insult.
There are many aspects of the universe that still cannot be explained
satisfactorily by science; but ignorance only implies ignorance that may
someday be conquered. To surrender to ignorance and call it God has
always been premature, and it remains premature today.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
We are reaching the stage where the problems we must solve are going to
become insoluble without computers. I do not fear computers. I fear the
lack of them.
When life is so harsh that a man loses all hope in himself, then he
raises his eyes to a shining rock, worshipping it, just to find hope
again, rather than looking to his own acts for hope and salvation. Yes,
atheism is a redemptive belief. It is theism that denies man's
own redemptive nature.
You can't reason with someone whose first line of argument is that
reason doesn't count.