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Quotes of the day: Janis Joplin

Published Saturday, October 03, 2015 @ 10:36 PM EDT
Oct 03 2015

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was a US singer-songwriter who first rose to fame in the late 1960s as the lead singer of the psychedelic/acid rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and later as a solo artist with her own backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Her first ever large scale public performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival; this led her to becoming very popular and one of the major attractions at the Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. Joplin charted five singles; other popular songs include: "Down on Me"; "Summertime"; "Piece of My Heart"; "Ball 'n' Chain"; "Maybe"; "To Love Somebody"; "Kozmic Blues"; "Work Me, Lord"; "Cry Baby"; "Mercedes Benz"; and her only number one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee". (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable.

Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers.

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.

If I hold back, I'm no good. I'm no good. I'd rather be good sometimes, than holding back all the time.

On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone.

Rock on out.

Tomorrow never happens. It’s all the same f***ing day, man.

You are what you settle for.

You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.

You got to get it while you can.

You know why we're stuck with the myth that only black people have soul? Because white people don't let themselves feel things.


(October 14 is also the birthday of Rutherford B. Hayes, Damon Runyan, and Jackie Collins.)

Categories: Janis Joplin, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: John Perry Barlow

Published Friday, October 02, 2015 @ 5:44 PM EDT
Oct 02 2015

John Perry Barlow (b. October 3, 1947) is an American poet and essayist, a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, and a cyberlibertarian political activist who has been associated with both the Democratic and Republican parties. He is also a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Freedom of the Press Foundation. Since May 1998, he has been a Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has been identified by Time magazine as one of the "School of Rock: 10 Supersmart Musicians". (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Any powerful technology has sauce for the goose and the gander... It's just an extension of humanity.

But generally speaking, I felt to engage in the political process was to sully oneself to such a degree that whatever came out wasn't worth the trouble put in.

But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.

Google, Amazon, Apple. Any number of cloud providers and computer service providers who can increasingly limit your access to your own information, control all your processing, take away your data if they want to, and observe everything you do; in a way, that does give them some leverage over your own life.

How thin can I spread myself before I'm no longer 'there'?

I had always thought that the idea of love at first sight was one of those things invented by lady novelists from the South with three names.

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

I look forward to the day when I can be Republican again.

I personally think intellectual property is an oxymoron. Physical objects have a completely different natural economy than intellectual goods. It's a tricky thing to try to own something that remains in your possession even after you give it to many others.

I think that humor is part of what saves us from despair.

I think the 'counterculture' believes that there are ways to manage being the world's most powerful country that involve creation of consensus- ruling by virtuous example rather than by force of arms.

I'm still strongly opposed to antismoking laws, strongly opposed to any law that regulates personal behavior.

If all ideas have to be bought, then you have an intellectually regressive system that will assure you have a highly knowledgeable elite and an ignorant mass.

If you have the 'Total Information Awareness' project working, it might be relatively easy to find everyone who had bought more than a ton of fertilizer and 500 gallons of diesel in the last year, which would be a great way of spotting potential Tim McVeighs- but it would also spot half the farmers and ranchers in America.

In Cyberspace, the First Amendment is a local ordinance.

Incompetence is a double-edged banana.

It's widely assumed that you can't compete with free, and that seems like a reasonable thing to think. But this has not been my experience.

Most libertarians are worried about government but not worried about business. I think we need to be worrying about business in exactly the same way we are worrying about government.

Most scientific revelations happened after the pursuit of knowledge quit being secret and hermetic.

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

Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.

So I'm just waiting until one party or the other actually gets a moral compass and a backbone.

The 'Total Information Awareness' project is truly diabolical- mostly because of the legal changes which have made it possible in the first place. As a consequence of the Patriot Act, government now has access to all sorts of private and commercial databases that were previously off limits.

The government targets 'Anonymous' for the same reason it targets al-Qaida- because they're the enemy.

The Internet amplifies power in all respects. It can grossly exaggerate the power of the individual.

The Internet is the most liberating tool for humanity ever invented, and also the best for surveillance. It's not one or the other. It's both.

The Internet may well disempower the nation state, but at the same time, it also strengthens certain specific state functions- like surveillance. As a political entity, it doesn't empower the nation sate. It creates the availability of much more data than the digestive system of the nation state could possibly assimilate.

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it.

The one thing that I know government is good for is countervailing against monopoly. It's not great at that either, but it's the only force I know that is fairly reliable.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.


(October 3 is also the birthday of Gore Vidal and Thomas Wolfe.)

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Quotes of the day: Barry Commoner

Published Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 3:08 PM EDT
Sep 29 2015

Barry Commoner (May 28, 1917 – September 30, 2012) was an American biologist, college professor, and politician. He was a leading ecologist and among the founders of the modern environmental movement. He ran for president of the United States in the 1980 U.S. presidential election on the Citizens Party ticket. He served as editor of Science Illustrated magazine. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After all, despite the economic advantage to firms that employed child labor, it was in the social interest, as a national policy, to abolish it- removing that advantage for all firms.

All of the clean technologies are known, it's a question of simply applying them.

As the earth spins through space, a view from above the North Pole would encompass most of the wealth of the world- most of its food, productive machines, doctors, engineers and teachers. A view from the opposite pole would encompass most of the world's poor.

Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.

Environmental concern is now firmly embedded in public life: in education, medicine and law; in journalism, literature and art.

Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.

Environmental quality was drastically improved while economic activity grew by the simple expedient of removing lead from gasoline- which prevented it from entering the environment.

I don't believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together.

I see no reason to have my shirts ironed. It's irrational.

If you ask what you are going to do about global warming, the only rational answer is to change the way in which we do transportation, energy production, agriculture and a good deal of manufacturing. The problem originates in human activity in the form of the production of goods.

If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are looking the wrong way.

In every case, the environmental hazards were made known only by independent scientists, who were often bitterly opposed by the corporations responsible for the hazards.

It reflects a prevailing myth that production technology is no more amenable to human judgment or social interests than the laws of thermodynamics, atomic structure or biological inheritance.

Nature knows best.

No action is without its side effects.

Nothing ever goes away.

Seen that way, the wholesale transformation of production technologies that is mandated by pollution prevention creates a new surge of economic development.

The age of innocent faith in science and technology may be over.

The environmental crisis arises from a fundamental fault: our systems of production- in industry, agriculture, energy and transportation- essential as they are, make people sick and die.

The environmental crisis is a global problem, and only global action will resolve it.

The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.

The modern assault on the environment began about 50 years ago, during and immediately after World War II.

The most meaningful engine of change, powerful enough to confront corporate power, may be not so much environmental quality, as the economic development and growth associated with the effort to improve it.

The wave of new productive enterprises would provide opportunities to remedy the unjust distribution of environmental hazards among economic classes and racial and ethnic communities.

What is new is that environmentalism intensely illuminates the need to confront the corporate domain at its most powerful and guarded point- the exclusive right to govern the systems of production.


(September 30 is also the birthday of Truman Capote and Elie Wiesel.)

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Quotes of the day: Enrico Fermi

Published Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 3:15 PM EDT
Sep 28 2015

Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901 – November 28, 1954) was an Italian physicist, who is credited with the creation of the first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He made significant contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics. He is one of the men referred to as the "father of the atomic bomb". Fermi held several patents related to the use of nuclear power, and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and the discovery of transuranic elements. He was widely regarded as one of the very few physicists to excel both theoretically and experimentally. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A miracle is anything with a probability of less than 20%.

Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused- but on a higher level.

Crime is the anti-social form of the struggle for existence.

If I could remember the names of all these particles, I'd be a botanist.

Ignorance is never better than knowledge.

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

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward.

Never underestimate the joy people derive from hearing something they already know.

Once basic knowledge is acquired, any attempt at preventing its fruition would be as futile as hoping to stop the earth from revolving around the sun.

Such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide.

There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.

Whatever Nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge.


(September 29 is also the birthday of Miguel de Cervantes.)

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45 Best Ways

Published Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 12:03 PM EDT
Sep 27 2015

Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know.
-Sarah Vowell

Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way.
-Louis L'Amour

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
-Harry S. Truman

I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.
-Booker T. Washington

It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
-Benjamin Disraeli

It is deplorable that many people think that the best way to improve the world is to forbid something. However, they're morally more advanced than the people who think the best way to improve the world is to kill somebody.
-John McCarthy

It is my experience that the best way to deal with American politics is 50 milligrams of Zoloft 3 times a day.
-Will Durst

My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Often the best way to win is to forget to keep score.
- Marianne Espinosa Murphy

One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.
-Julian Assange

One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence.
- Charles Austin Beard

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
-Steve Jobs

Sometimes the best way to convince someone he is wrong is to let him have his own way.
-Hugh Roe O'Donnell

Sometimes the best way to forgive is to let the other person forget.
-Robert Brault

Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.
-Neil Gaiman

The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures.
-Henry Ford

The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know.
-Mary Stewart

The best way out is always through.
-Robert Frost

The best way that a man could test his readiness to encounter the common variety of mankind would be to climb down a chimney into any house at random, and get on as well as possible with the people inside. And that is essentially what each one of us did on the day that he was born.
-C.S. Lewis

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, 'I've got responsibilities.'
-Richard Bach

The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from.
-Gene Fowler

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.
-Benjamin Disraeli

The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.
-Alan Saporta

The best way to find out if you have any friends is to go broke. The ones that hang on longest are your friends. I don't mean the ones that hang on forever. There aren't any of those.
-Raymond Chandler

The best way to get even is to forget.

The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer.
-Ward Cunningham

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of their tires.
- Dorothy Parker

The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

The best way to learn to be an honest, responsible adult is to live with adults who act honestly and responsibly.
-Claudia Jewett Jarrett

The best way to live is by not knowing what will happen to you at the end of the day.
-Donald Barthelme

The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
- Oscar Wilde

The best way to make money in business is not to think too much about making it.
-Henry Ford

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
- Paul Valery

The best way to mend a broken heart is time and girlfriends.
-Gwyneth Paltrow

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Really smart people with reasonable funding can do just about anything that doesn't violate too many of Newton's Laws.
-Alan Kay

The best way to rob a bank is to own one.
-William Crawford

The best way to spoil a good story is by sticking to the facts.
-Evan Esar

The best way to submit a thick report is to use thick paper.
-Don Lancaster

The best way to teach somebody something is to have them think they're learning something else.
-Randy Pausch

The best way to turn a woman's head is to tell her she has a beautiful profile.
-Sacha Guitry

Two creative spirits in a relationship, I don't think that's the best way to go.
-David Letterman

What I do with my life is of my own doing. I live it the best way I can.
-Frank Sinatra

When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward.
-Paulo Coelho

Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.
-L. Ron Hubbard

Categories: Best Ways, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Larry Wall

Published Saturday, September 26, 2015 @ 10:38 PM EDT
Sep 26 2015

Larry Wall (b. September 27, 1954) is a computer programmer and author, most widely known as the creator of the Perl programming language. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Call me bored, but don't call me boring.

I don't like your I-can-use-anything-as-an-adjective attitude.

I don't think it's worth washing hogs over.

I explicitly give people the freedom not to use Perl, just as God gives people the freedom to go to the devil if they so choose.
(Perl language creator)

I was about to say, 'Avoid fame like the plague,' but you know, they can cure the plague with penicillin these days.

If someone stinks, view it as a reason to help them, not a reason to avoid them.

It might seem easy enough, but computer language design is just like a stroll in the park. Jurassic Park, that is.

It's all magic.

Let's say the docs present a simplified view of reality...

Life gets boring, someone invents another necessity, and once again we turn the crank on the screwjack of progress hoping that nobody gets screwed.

Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in.

No, I'm not going to explain it. If you can't figure it out, you didn't want to know anyway...

Not that I have anything much against redundancy. But I said that already.

Odd that we think definitions are definitive.

Over the long term, symbiosis is more useful than parasitism. More fun, too. Ask any mitochondria.

Personally, I like to defiantly split my infinitives.

Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.

Real theology is always rather shocking to people who already think they know what they think. I'm still shocked myself.

Reserve your abuse for your true friends.

The computer should be doing the hard work. That's what it's paid to do, after all.

The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

The next time you feel like relying on the legal system, just remember that half of the lawyers in this country are paid to see that justice doesn't prevail.

The problem with being consistent is that there are lots of ways to be consistent, and they're all inconsistent with each other.

The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.

The whole history of computers is rampant with cheerleading at best and bigotry at worst.

There ain't nothin' in this world that's worth being a snot over.

There's some entertainment value in watching people juggle nitroglycerin.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.

Wow, I'm being shot at from both sides. That means I must be right.


(September 27 is also the birthday of Henri Frédéric Amiel and Samuel Adams.)

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Moon quotes

Published Friday, September 25, 2015 @ 11:22 PM EDT
Sep 25 2015

A country that can put men on the moon can put women in the Constitution.
-Margaret Heckler

A little righteous anger really brings out the best in the American personality. Our nation was born when 56 patriots got mad enough to sign the Declaration of Independence. We put a man on the moon because Sputnik made us mad at being number two in space. Getting mad in a constructive way is good for the soul- and the country.
-Lee Iacocca

ACA out of detent. Mode control, both auto. Descent engine command override, off. (Actual first words spoken after Apollo 11 landed on the moon)
-Buzz Aldrin

America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked.
-David Letterman

Any culture which can put a man on the Moon is capable of gathering all the nations of the earth in peace, justice and concord.
-Richard M. Nixon

Don't blame it on the sunshine. Don't blame it on the moonlight. Blame it on the boogie.
-Michael Jackson

For me, the best thing about Cyberpunk is that it taught me how to enjoy shopping malls, which used to terrify me. Now I just imagine the whole thing is two miles below the moon's surface, and that half the people's right-brains have been eaten by roboticized steel rats. And suddenly it's interesting again.
-Rudy Rucker

I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are, they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.
-George Bernard Shaw

I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.
-Arthur C. Clarke

If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put them all there?

In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York!
-Jules Verne

Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides.
-Rita Mae Brown

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.
-Karl Kraus

So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can't even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom.
-Russell Baker

Space flights are merely an escape, a fleeing away from oneself, because it is easier to go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one's own being.
-Carl Jung

The message from the moon which we have flashed to the far corners of this planet is that no problem need any longer be considered insoluble.
-Norman Cousins

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.
-Carl Sandburg

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago, had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.
-Havelock Ellis

The youth gets together the materials for a bridge to the moon, and at length the middle-aged man decides to make a woodshed with them.
-Henry David Thoreau

Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.
-Hermann Hesse

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. (John F. Kennedy speech at Rice University delivered September 12, 1962)
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?
-Thomas Merton

What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth.
-Norman Cousins

What we will have attained when Neil Armstrong steps down upon the moon is a completely new step in the evolution of man.
-Wernher von Braun

When a dog howls at the moon, we call it religion. When he barks at strangers, we call it patriotism.
-Edward Abbey

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Quotes of the day: Pope Francis

Published Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 4:45 PM EDT
Sep 24 2015

(New York Daily News)

(From the published remarks of Pope Francis before the joint meeting of the United States Congress on Thursday, September 24.

On climate change: "I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States- and this Congress- have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature." (Democrats stood to applaud the pope's remarks on climate change, while many Republicans remained seated. The pope's message was more muted than his remarks on the issue Wednesday when he spoke at the White House.)

On abolishing the death penalty: "I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation."

On abortion: "The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development." (This was his only direct reference to abortion in the speech.)

On same-sex marriage: The closest he came to addressing same-sex marriage was in a passage about the importance of family. "I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. "Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life." (This did not appear to be an explicit denouncement of marriage equality.)

On Iran and Cuba: "When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue- a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons- new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces."

On the refugee crisis: "Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation."

On immigration: "We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants...Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our 'neighbors' and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal solidarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this."

On poverty: "I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem."

On the arms trade: "Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade."

On religious fundamentalism: "We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners."

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Quotes of the day: Jim Henson

Published Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 3:09 PM EDT
Sep 23 2015

James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, actor, film director, and producer. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, and raised in Leland, Mississippi, and Hyattsville, Maryland, he began developing puppets while attending high school. While he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in home economics, he produced coffee advertisements and developed experimental films. Feeling the need for more creative output, Henson founded Muppets, Inc., in 1958 (which would later become The Jim Henson Company). He remains best known as the creator of The Muppets. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.

I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out for the best.

I think if you study- if you learn too much of what others have done, you may tend to take the same direction as everybody else.

If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn't anything you can't do if you want to.

It all ends in one of two ways: either someone gets eaten or something blows up.

Kids don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.

Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.

Most people, and particularly kids, don't realize that they are in control of their lives. Somewhere in here, you have to learn you're the one who's doing it.

No time is wasted time.

Simple is good.

So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo.

The most sophisticated people I know- inside they are all children.

Things don't disappear. They just change, and change and change again.

Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.


(September 24 is also the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerals and Horace Walpole.)

Categories: Jim Henson, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Ray Charles

Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ 9:33 PM EDT
Sep 22 2015

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer, who is sometimes referred to as "The Genius" and was nicknamed "The High Priest of Soul" (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Affluence separates people. Poverty knits 'em together. You got some sugar and I don't; I borrow some of yours. Next month you might not have any flour; well, I'll give you some of mine.

Do it right or don't do it at all.

Dreams, if they're any good, are always a little bit crazy.

Goodbye don't mean gone.

I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.

I really feel that if you're gonna be good, you gotta practice... Practice whatever the hell you do.

I'm not Catholic or Presbyterian or Baptist or Methodist or Jewish or Muslim. I'm none of those things. And I'm sure that's just fine with God.

Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.

There's nothing written in the Bible, Old or New Testament, that says, 'If you believe in Me, you ain't going to have no troubles.'

There's nothing written in the Bible... that says if you believe in me, you ain't going to have no troubles.

What is a soul? It's like electricity - we don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light a room.

When I was going blind, I didn't turn to God. It didn't seem to me then- and it doesn't seem to me now- that those items were His concern. Early on, I figured I better begin to learn how to count on myself, instead of counting on supernatural forces.

You better live each day like it's your last day, because one day you're going to be right.

You got to set your mind right and the rest will come to you naturally. No restrictions, no hang-ups, no stupid rules, no formalities, no forbidden fruit- just everyone getting and giving as much as he and she can.


(September 23 is also the birthday of Walter Lippman.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Ray Charles

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Quotes of the day: Marcel Marceau

Published Monday, September 21, 2015 @ 4:20 PM EDT
Sep 21 2015

Marcel Marceau (March 22, 1923 – September 22, 2007) was a French actor and mime most famous for his stage persona as "Bip the Clown." He referred to mime as the "art of silence," and he performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Chaplin made me laugh and cry without saying a word. I had an instinct. I was touched by the soul of Chaplin- Mime is not an imitator but a creator.

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?

I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man's destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth... I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish.

I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.

In silence and movement you can show the reflection of people.

It's good to shut up sometimes.

Mime makes the invisible, visible and the visible, invisible.

Music and silence... combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.

Music conveys moods and images. Even in opera, where plots deal with the structure of destiny, it's music, not words, that provides power.

Never get a mime talking. He won't stop.

No art is superior to another one, but every art looks for expertise and perfection. This is life, which continues; this is why there is no death. There is continuation. There is no silence. There is a continuation of thought.

Silence is like a flame, you see?

To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.


(September 22 is also the birthday of Philip Stanhope.)

Categories: Marcel Marceau, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Henri Nouwen

Published Sunday, September 20, 2015 @ 7:17 PM EDT
Sep 20 2015

Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen, (January 24, 1932 – September 21, 1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor and writer. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community. Over the course of his life, Nouwen was heavily influenced by the work of Anton Boisen, Thomas Merton, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh and Jean Vanier. After nearly two decades of teaching at academic institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, Nouwen went on to work with mentally and physically handicapped people at the L'Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Ontario. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A life without a lonely place, that is, without a quiet center, becomes destructive.

Fear is the great enemy of intimacy. Fear makes us run away from each other or cling to each other but does not create true intimacy.

He who thinks that he is finished is finished. How true. Those who think that they have arrived, have lost their way. Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it. Those who think they are saints, are demons.

If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend.

In our production-oriented society, being busy, having an occupation, has become one of the main ways, if not the main way, of identifying ourselves. Without an occupation, not just our economic security but our very identity is endangered.

Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared.

Our first responsibility in the midst of violence is to prevent it from destroying us.

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

Peacemaking is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God's people.

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.

The difference between rich and poor is not that the rich sin is more than the poor, that the rich find it easier to call sin a virtue.

The evangelical movement has become just a bit victimized by a success-oriented culture, wanting the church- like the corporation- to be successful.

The fruits of your labors may be reaped two generations from now. Trust, even when you don't see the results.

The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection.

The real enemies of our life are the 'oughts' and the 'ifs.' They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now.

To learn patience is not to rebel against every hardship.

Too many of us are lonely ministers practicing a lonely ministry.

Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.

What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.

When the poor sin, they call it sin; when they see holiness, they identify it as such. The intuitive clarity is often absent from the wealthy, and that absence easily leads to the atrophy of the moral sense.

When we have nothing to cling to as our own and cease thinking of ourselves as people who must defend privileges, we can open ourselves freely to others with the faithful expectation that our strength will manifest itself in our shared weakness.


(September 21 is also the birthday of H.G. Wells, Bernard Williams, and Chuck Jones.)

Categories: Henri Nouwen, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Jackie Collins

Published Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 11:00 PM EDT
Sep 19 2015

(Getty Images)

Jacqueline Jill Collins OBE (October 4, 1937 – September  19, 2015), known as Jackie Collins, was a British-American novelist. She wrote 32 novels, all of which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. In total, her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. Eight of her novels have been adapted for the screen, either as films or television mini- series. She was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins. Collins died on September 19, 2015 of breast cancer, two weeks before her 78th birthday. She had kept her illness a secret from everyone except her closest family members and flew from Los Angeles to London to appear on the ITV chat show Loose Women only nine days before her death. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Men are cheaters. Women are not to be trusted. And most people are dumb.

My philosophy is, unless you're sick and need help, why bother?

The biggest critics of my books are people who never read them.

Who is ready to settle for five minutes when three hours does nicely?

Categories: Jackie Collins, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: William Golding

Published Friday, September 18, 2015 @ 3:33 PM EDT
Sep 18 2015

Sir William Gerald Golding CBE (September 19, 1911 – June 19, 1993) was an English novelist, playwright, and poet. Best known for his novel Lord of the Flies, he won a Nobel Prize in Literature, and was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book in what became his sea trilogy, To the Ends of the Earth. Golding was knighted by Elizabeth II in 1988. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


At the moment of vision, the eyes see nothing.

Childhood is a disease- a sickness that you grow out of.

He who rides the sea of the Nile must have sails woven of patience.

I am astonished at the ease with which uninformed persons come to a settled, a passionate opinion when they have no grounds for judgment.

I am here; and here is nowhere in particular.

I believe man suffers from an appalling ignorance of his own nature. I produce my own view in the belief that it may be something like the truth.

I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.

In America, health is not regarded as a right, but as a commodity to be bought and sold just like anything else. There are places where an ambulance team will investigate your financial health before it will have any truck with your physical health.

Language fits over experience like a straitjacket.

Man produces evil, as a bee produces honey.

Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western World. Simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence.

Maybe there is a beast... maybe it's only us.

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

No human endeavour can ever be wholly good... it must always have a cost.

Sleep is when all the unsorted stuff comes flying out as from a dustbin upset in a high wind.

The greatest ideas are the simplest.

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.

The thing is- fear can't hurt you any more than a dream.

The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.

There ought to be some mode of life where all love is good, where one love can't compete with another but adds to it.

There's a kinship among men who have sat by a dying fire and measured the worth of their life by it.

What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others.


(September 19 is "Talk Like A Pirate Day" and is also the birthday of Mike Royko.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Golding

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Quotes of the day: William Hazlitt

Published Thursday, September 17, 2015 @ 5:06 PM EDT
Sep 17 2015

William Hazlitt (April 10, 1778 – September 18, 1830) was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, as the greatest art critic of his age, and as a drama critic, social commentator, and philosopher. He was also a painter. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. Yet his work is currently little read and mostly out of print. During his lifetime he befriended many people who are now part of the 19th-century literary canon, including Charles and Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.

A grave blockhead should always go about with a lively one- they shew one another off to the best advantage.

A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man.

An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offense; a vain man, in order that it may.

Any one who has passed through the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.

Anyone must be mainly ignorant or thoughtless, who is surprised at everything he sees; or wonderfully conceited who expects everything to conform to his standard of propriety.

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.

Corporate bodies are more corrupt and profligate than individuals, because they have more power to do mischief, and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill.

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.

Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone- but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.

Envy among other ingredients has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good-fortune.

Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others!

Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality.

Good temper is an estate for life...

Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.

He who comes up to his own idea of greatness, must always have had a very low standard of it in his mind.

He will never have true friends who is afraid of making enemies.

Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope; and few are reduced so low as that.

I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.

I think it is a rule that men in business should not be taught other things. Any one will be almost sure to make money who has no other idea in his head. A college education, or intense study of abstract truth, will not enable a man to drive a bargain... The best politicians are not those who are deeply grounded in mathematical or in ethical science. Rules stand in the way of expediency. Many a man has been hindered from pushing his fortune in the world by an early cultivation of his moral sense.

If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.

If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.

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

If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.

In art, in taste, in life, in speech, you decide from feeling, and not from reason... If we were obliged to enter into a theoretical deliberation on every occasion before we act, life would be at a stand, and Art would be impracticable.

Indeed some degree of affectation is as necessary to the mind as dress is to the body; we must overact our part in some measure, in order to produce any effect at all.

Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy.

It is better to be able neither to read nor write than to be able to do nothing else.

It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.

It is well that there is no one without a fault; for he would not have a friend in the world.

Learning is, in too many cases, but a foil to common sense; a substitute for true knowledge.

Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the colour in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty, and your animal spirits, and you will pass for a fine man.

Man is a make-believe animal- he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

Mankind are an incorrigible race. Give them but bugbears and idols- it is all that they ask; the distinctions of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, of good and evil, are worse than indifferent to them.

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

Modesty is the lowest of the virtues, and is a real confession of the deficiency it indicates. He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.

No really great man ever thought himself so.

No wise man can have a contempt for the prejudices of others; and he should even stand in a certain awe of his own, as if they were aged parents and monitors. They may in the end prove wiser than he.

No young man believes he shall ever die.

One shining quality lends a lustre to another, or hides some glaring defect.

One truth discovered is immortal, and entitles its author to be so; for, like a new substance in nature, it cannot be destroyed.

Our friends are generally ready to do everything for us, except the very thing we wish them to do.

Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when we were not: this gives us no concern- why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be?

Prejudice is the child of ignorance...

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.

Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.

Some persons make promises for the pleasure of breaking them.

The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure much.

The art of will-making chiefly consists in baffling the importunity of expectation.

The confession of our failings is a thankless office. It savors less of sincerity or modesty than of ostentation. It seems as if we thought our weaknesses as good as other people's virtues.

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness, than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down, and requires to be as constantly wound up.

The more we do, the more we can do; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.

The most learned are often the most narrow-minded men.

The most sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world, who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be.

The objects that we have known in better days are the main props that sustain the weight of our affections, and give us strength to await our future lot. The future is like a dead wall or a thick mist hiding all objects from our view; the past is alive and stirring with objects, bright or solemn, and of unfading interest.

The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.

The origin of all science is in the desire to know causes; and the origin of all false science and imposture is in the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.

The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favour.

The public have neither shame or gratitude.

The temple of fame stands upon the grave: the flame that burns upon its altars is kindled from the ashes of dead men.

The thing is plain. All that men really understand is confined to a very small compass; to their daily affairs and experience; to what they have an opportunity to know and motives to study or practise. The rest is affectation and imposture.

The true barbarian is he who thinks every thing barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices.

The truly proud man knows neither superiors nor inferiors. The first he does not admit of: the last he does not concern himself about.

The truth is, we pamper little griefs into great ones, and bear great ones as well as we can... To great evils we submit; we resent little provocations.

The way to get on in the world is to be neither more nor less wise, neither better nor worse than your neighbours.

The way to procure insults is to submit to them. A man meets with no more respect than he exacts.

There is a feeling of Eternity in youth which makes us amends for everything. To be young is to be as one of the Immortals.

There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiful, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the Public. It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself.

Those only deserve a monument who do not need one; that is, who have raised themselves a monument in the minds and memories of men.

Those who can command themselves, command others.

Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.

Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration.

To a superior race of beings the pretensions of mankind to extraordinary sanctity and virtue must seem equally ridiculous.

To be remembered after we are dead, is but a poor recompense for being treated with contempt while we are living.

To get others to come into our ways of thinking, we must go over to theirs; and it is necessary to follow, in order to lead.

To give a reason for anything is to breed a doubt of it...

Unlimited power is helpless, as arbitrary power is capricious. Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets. We can attempt nothing great, but from a sense of the difficulties we have to encounter: we can persevere in nothing great, but from a pride in overcoming them.

We are all of us more or less the slaves of opinion.

We are not hypocrites in our sleep.

We are very much what others think of us. The reception our observations meet with gives us courage to proceed, or damps our efforts.

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.

We grow tired of every thing but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects.

We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it.

When a man is dead, they put money in his coffin, erect monuments to his memory, and celebrate the anniversary of his birthday in set speeches. Would they take any notice of him if he were living? No!

When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

Wit is, in fact, the eloquence of indifference.

You know more of a road by having travelled it then by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.

Zeal will do more than knowledge.

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Hazlitt

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Quotes of the day: Ken Kesey

Published Wednesday, September 16, 2015 @ 5:56 PM EDT
Sep 16 2015

Kenneth Elton "Ken" Kesey (September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American author and countercultural figure. He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


He who marches out of line hears another drum.

I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.

I'm so crazy I plan to vote for Eisenhower again this November.

If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking.

If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again. If you're off the bus in the first place- then it won't make a damn.

Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.

Nothing lasts.

Nowhere else in history has there ever been a flag that stands for the right to burn itself. This is the fractal of our flag. It stands for the right to destroy itself.

People don't want other people to get high, because if you get high, you might see the falsity of the fabric of the society we live in.

People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.

Ritual is necessary for us to know anything.

The '60s aren't over; they won't be over until the Fat Lady gets high.

The fundamentalists have taken the fun out of the mental.

The trouble with super heroes is what to do between phone booths.

The truth doesn't have to do with cruelty, the truth has to do with mercy.

To hell with facts! We need stories!

We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.

You can't really be strong until you see a funny side to things.

You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.

You have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.

You've got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine; otherwise you're just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you.

Categories: Ken Kesey, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: J.C. Penney

Published Tuesday, September 15, 2015 @ 7:15 PM EDT
Sep 15 2015

James Cash "J.C." Penney, Jr. (September 16, 1875 – February 12, 1971) was an American businessman and entrepreneur who, in 1902, founded the J.C. Penney stores. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition.

As a rule, we find what we look for; we achieve what we get ready for.

Change is vital, improvement the logical form of change.

Clock watchers never seem to be having a good time.

Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.

Determine to do some thinking for yourself. Don't live entirely upon the thoughts of others. Don't be an automaton.

Do not primarily train men to work. Train them to serve willingly and intelligently.

Every man must decide for himself whether he shall master his world or be mastered by it.

Exchange ideas frequently.

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership.

I believe in trusting men, not only once but twice- in giving a failure another chance.

I cannot remember a time when the Golden Rule was not my motto and precept, the torch that guided my footsteps.

I do not believe in excuses. I believe in hard work as the prime solvent of life's problems.

I never trust an executive who tends to pass the buck. Nor would I want to deal with him as a customer or a supplier.

I was long brought up to think that it was nothing short of a crime to miss a sale.

It is always the start that requires the greatest effort.

It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most.

Luck is always the last refuge of laziness and incompetence.

Men are not great or small because of their material possessions. They are great or small because of what they are.

No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized.

No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn't.

No matter what his position or experience in life, there is in everyone more latent than developed ability; far more unused than used power.

No serious-minded man should have time for the mediocre in any phase of his living.

Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust.

Success cannot come from standstill men. Methods change and men must change with them.

Success will always be measured by the extent to which we serve the buying public.

The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.

The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.

The disciplined are free.

The five separate fingers are five independent units. Close them and the fist multiplies strength. This is organization.

The Golden Rule finds no limit of application in business.

The greatest teacher I know is the job itself.

The keystone of successful business is cooperation. Friction retards progress.

The men who have furnished me with my greatest inspiration have not been men of wealth, but men of deeds.

The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts.

Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless.

There's no better friend to any merchant than a fair competitor.

Too many would-be executives are slaves of routine.

We get real results only in proportion to the real values we give.


(September 16 is also the birthday of Laurence J. Peter and Lauren Bacall.)

Categories: J.C. Penney, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: James Fenimore Cooper

Published Monday, September 14, 2015 @ 3:59 PM EDT
Sep 14 2015

James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A monarchy is the most expensive of all forms of government, the regal state requiring a costly parade, and he who depends on his own power to rule, must strengthen that power by bribing the active and enterprising whom he cannot intimidate.

All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.

All that a good government aims at... is to add no unnecessary and artificial aid to the force of its own unavoidable consequences, and to abstain from fortifying and accumulating social inequality as a means of increasing political inequalities.

America owes most of its social prejudices to the exaggerated religious opinions of the different sects which were so instrumental in establishing the colonies.

Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs equally to the honest man and to the gentleman.

Ignorance and superstition ever bear a close and even a mathematical relation to each other.

Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.

It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.

It is a governing principle of nature, that the agency which can produce most good, when perverted from its proper aim, is most productive of evil.

It is a misfortune that necessity has induced men to accord greater license to this formidable engine, in order to obtain liberty, than can be borne with less important objects in view; for the press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.

No civilized society can long exist, with an active power in its bosom that is stronger than the law.

Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.

Systems are to be appreciated by their general effects, and not by particular exceptions.

The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.

The common faults of American language are an ambition of effect, a want of simplicity, and a turgid abuse of terms.

The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority.

The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.

The very existence of government at all, infers inequality. The citizen who is preferred to office becomes the superior to those who are not, so long as he is the repository of power, and the child inherits the wealth of the parent as a controlling law of society.

They who have reasoned ignorantly, or who have aimed at effecting their personal ends by flattering the popular feeling, have boldly affirmed that 'one man is as good as another;' a maxim that is true in neither nature, revealed morals, nor political theory.

Whenever the government of the United States shall break up, it will probably be in consequence of a false direction having been given to public opinion.


(September 15 is also the birthday of Agatha Christie and Robert Benchley.)

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Quotes of the day: William McKinley

Published Sunday, September 13, 2015 @ 10:18 PM EDT
Sep 13 2015

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Illiteracy must be banished from the land if we shall attain that high destiny as the foremost of the enlightened nations of the world which, under Providence, we ought to achieve.

In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.

Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war.

Our differences are policies; our agreements, principles.

That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime- to set an example- and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.

The free man cannot be long an ignorant man.

The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation.

War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.

We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is manifest destiny.

Without competition we would be clinging to the clumsy antiquated processes of farming and manufacture and the methods of business of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than the eighteenth century.


(September 14 is also the birthday of Margaret Sanger and Albert Schweitzer.)

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Quotes of the day: J.B. Priestley

Published Saturday, September 12, 2015 @ 7:58 PM EDT
Sep 12 2015

John Boynton Priestley, OM (September 13, 1894 – August 14, 1984), was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.

Almost all propaganda is designed to create fear. Heads of governments and their officials know that a frightened people is easier to govern, will forfeit rights it would otherwise defend, is less likely to demand a better life, and will agree to millions and millions being spend on 'Defense.'

Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give to some people.

I can't help feeling wary when I hear anything said about the masses. First you take their faces from 'em by calling 'em the masses and then you accuse 'em of not having any faces.

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.

I have lived longer than you. I have thought more, and I have suffered more. And I tell you there is more truth to the fundamental nature of things in the most foolish fairy tales than there is in any of your complaints against life.

I know only two words of American slang, 'swell' and 'lousy'. I think 'swell' is lousy, but 'lousy' is swell.

If we have the courage and patience, the energy and skill, to take us voyaging to other planets, then let us use some of these to tidy up and civilize this earth. One world at a time, please.

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

Like its politicians and its wars, society has the teenagers it deserves.

Living in an age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch.

Many a man is praised for his reserve and so-called shyness when he is simply too proud to risk making a fool of himself.

Marriage is like paying an endless visit in your worst clothes.

One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going.

Pubic hair is not an adequate substitute for wit.

Public opinion polls are rather like children in a garden, digging things up all the time to see how they're growing.

She was a handsome woman of forty-five and would remain so for many years.

Something in me resists the calendar expectation of happiness. Merry Christmas yourself! it mutters as it shapes a ghostly grin.

The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.

The real lost souls don't wear their hair long and play guitars. They have crew cuts, trained minds, sign on for research in biological warfare, and don't give their parents a moment's worry.

The weakness of American civilization, and perhaps the chief reason why it creates so much discontent, is that it is so curiously abstract. It is a bloodless extrapolation of a satisfying life... You dine off the advertiser's 'sizzling' and not the meat of the steak.

There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age. I missed it coming and going.

To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.

We pay when old for the excesses of youth.

When I was young there was no respect for the young, and now that I am old there is no respect for the old. I missed out coming and going.


(September 13 is also the birthday of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Roald Dahl.)

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Quotes of the day: Jesse Owens

Published Friday, September 11, 2015 @ 7:09 PM EDT
Sep 11 2015

James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history". His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet has been called "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport" and has never been equaled. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4x100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with "single-handedly crush[ing] Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy." The Jesse Owens Award, USA Track and Field's highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete, is named after him, and he was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.

Although I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.

Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.

Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it and you'll start believing in it.

If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard.

It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close.

Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need.

One chance is all you need.

The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself- the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us - that's where it's at.

The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness.

The only victory that counts is the one over yourself.

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.


(September 12 is also the birthday of H.L. Mencken, Stanislaw Lem, and Louis C.K..)

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Quotes of the day: Me.

Published Wednesday, September 09, 2015 @ 11:27 PM EDT
Sep 09 2015

Kevin George Barkes (b. September 11, 1954) is the publisher of this blog and its prior print incarnation, and, since 2000, has been employed as a support engineer and application designer for Datalogics, Incorporated, a Chicago-based software company founded in 1967.

An autodidact, he graduated from Homestead High School in 1971 at age 16 and has worked as: a veterinary assistant; daily newspaper reporter and photographer; city editor; county government service center administrator; typesetter, print/typesetting production supervisor, computer systems manager of a legal/financial printing company; and as a columnist and contributing editor for two national computer trade magazines. Prior to joining Datalogics, he owned KGB Consulting, a computer consulting, facilities management, and database publishing company.

Born in Homestead, PA, he has mostly resided in South Park Township, PA since 1984.

He has been married to his current wife, Cynthia, since 2009. He has two children from a previous marriage, two grandchildren, two Shetland Sheepdogs, two cats, and a small, insane, dog-like creature referred to as a Shih Tzu.


Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from reality.

Arcane knowledge can be useful, even though its acquisition can seem pointless. That funny-looking key you picked up a few years ago might eventually unlock a door leading to a totally unexpected opportunity.

Aside from production values, the only difference between an Al Qaeda terrorist video and the 700 Club is that Al Qaeda doesn't ask for contributions.

Democrats get impeached for having sex. Republicans get impeached for undermining the integrity of the Republic.

Every Sunday I give thanks that there's nothing in Leviticus about liking show tunes.

Filing for bankruptcy is sort of like winning the lotto, except you still have to search under the couch cushions for loose change.

Hitting the delete key and changing the channel are satisfying but ineffective methods of denying reality.

I don't need electronic devices to locate my cats. I have hairballs.

I never throw anything away, which is irrelevant because I can never remember where I put anything.

I'm in pretty good shape for someone in the shape I'm in.

I'm never going to be rich and influential. I took an oath only to use my powers for good.

I've come to the realization that gray is the mature form of blond.

I referred to second Gulf War as Desert Storm 2.0, since it reminded me of a Microsoft upgrade: it was expensive, most people didn't want it, and it didn't work.

If Windows was a person, it'd be a real pale kid with pink eyes and a banjo.

In software design, 'building a foundation for future development' can result in digging a bottomless pit.

It's a delusion of grandeur only if you can't pull it off.

It's amazing the number of persons intimidated by mere competence.

It's called 'sodomy' because it's easier to pronounce than 'gomorrahry.'

Just keep in mind that most men who chat with you on the Internet look like me.

Life is a recursive plunge.

Manhattan's a mosh pit. You jump into it in the morning, close your eyes, grit your teeth, and hope you're still breathing when it tosses you out at the end of the day.

Never become an expert in anything you didn't create.

Never negotiate with terrorists or children.

No problem is unsolvable, but there are some that just aren't worth the effort.

Now medical experts are saying that it's not coffee, booze or cigarettes that cause heart attacks, but sustained hostile emotional attitudes. Maybe we have hostile emotional attitudes because you made us give up the freaking coffee, booze and cigarettes, you clueless white-frocked cretins!

Presbyterians believe they're predestined to have free will.

Republicans are sore losers even when they win.

Saying Windows 10 is the most powerful and secure operating system in the Microsoft family is like saying Moe was the smart Stooge.

Some days those bridge abutments at the side of the road look pretty damned attractive.

The conservatives' preoccupation with the burning of American flags can be attributed to the amount of time they spend wrapped in them.

The difference between investing in Internet stock and Beanie Babies is that with Internet stock you don't get Beanie Babies.

The Internet is run by a guy named Heisenberg, and his principles are uncertain.

The laserdisc was the 8-track of the 90s.

The only good thing about turning fifty is that I no longer have to worry about dying young.

The problem learning something new at my age is the nagging suspicion it's actually just something I forgot.

The problem with lawyers is that they don't believe in divine intervention.

The realization that your existence isn't going to change the course of western civilization makes sleeping in a lot more enjoyable.

The U.S. Constitution and the Bible have a lot in common. Few people have read them in their entirety; they are quoted out of context and cherry-picked; their official interpreters wear robes and issue pronouncements that sometimes benefit an entitled few or discriminate against women and minorities; and their decrees and commandments are simply ignored when they interfere with the interests of those in power.

There is no 'I' in team. There is, however, a 'U' in sucker.

True, everyone lies, but there's a difference between 'No, those pants don't make your ass look fat, and 'No, there's nothing incriminating in those unreleased tax returns.'

We're supposed to prepare for a non-specific terrorist attack of a spectacular nature? What the hell does that mean? Why don't they just put Tom Ridge in a Jedi robe, push him out in front of the cameras, and have him declare he senses a disturbance in The Force?

What I really need is a reality-altering substance.

Why are the sizes of unnatural growths described in terms of sports equipment for men, and citrus fruit for women?


(September 11 is also the birthday of D.H. Lawrence.)

Categories: KGB, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Arnold Palmer

Published Wednesday, September 09, 2015 @ 11:13 AM EDT
Sep 09 2015

Arnold Daniel Palmer (b. September 10, 1929) is a retired American professional golfer, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in men's professional golf history. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955. Nicknamed "The King", he is one of golf's most popular stars and its most important trailblazer, because he was the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s. Palmer's social impact on behalf of golf was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals; Palmer's humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf as an elite, upper-class pasttime to a more democratic sport accessible to middle and working classes. Palmer is part of "The Big Three" in golf during the 1960s, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world. Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.

I have a tip that will take five strokes off anyone's golf game. It's called an eraser.

I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him either.

Putting is like wisdom- partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience.

Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.

The more I practice the luckier I get.

The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.

The only really unplayable lie I can think of is when you're supposed to be playing golf and come home with lipstick on your collar.

The road to success is always under construction.

The secret of concentration is the secret of self-discovery. You reach inside yourself to discover your personal resources, and what it takes to match them to the challenge.

Trouble is bad to get into but fun to get out of.

Winning isn't everything, but wanting it is.

You know you're getting old when all the names in your little black book have M.D. after them.


(September 10 is also the birthday of Cyril Connolly, Franz Werfel, and Stephen Jay Gould.)

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Quotes of the day: James Agate

Published Tuesday, September 08, 2015 @ 11:22 AM EDT
Sep 08 2015

James Evershed Agate (September 9, 1877 – June 6, 1947) was a British diarist and critic. In the period between the wars, he was one of Britain's most influential theatre critics. After working in his father's business until his late twenties he found his way into journalism, being on the staff of The Manchester Guardian (1907–14); drama critic for The Saturday Review (1921–23), and The Sunday Times (1923–47), and holding the same post for the BBC (1925–32). Agate's diaries and letters, published in a series of nine volumes under the title of Ego, are a record of the British theatre of his era and also of his non-theatrical interests, including sports, social gossip and his private preoccupations with his health and precarious finances. In addition to drama criticism he wrote about the cinema and English literature for London newspapers, and published three novels, translated a play and had it staged in London, albeit briefly, and regularly brought out collections of his theatre essays and reviews. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A professional is a man who can do his job when he doesn't feel like it; an amateur is one who can't when he does feel like it.

Don't pity me now, don't pity me never; I'm going to do nothing for ever and ever.

I don't know very much but what I do know I know better than anybody, and I don't want to argue about it.

My mind is not a bed to be made and re-made.

New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.

The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest about it.

The Englishman can get along with sex quite perfectly so long as he can pretend that it isn't sex but something else.

The maddest phenomenon in this wholly mad world – that the filming or wirelessing of an event, whether it is the Grand National or an attack in force on the Maginot Line, is held to be of more importance than the event itself.

The worst of failure of this kind is that it spoils the market for more competent performers.

Your Englishman, confronted by something abnormal will always pretend that it isn't there. If, however, you force him to look into it, he'll at once pretend that he sees the object not for what it is but for something that he would like it to be.


(September 9 is also the birthday of Cardinal Richelieu, Leo Tolstoy, and Paul Goodman.)

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Quotes of the day: David Packard

Published Sunday, September 06, 2015 @ 3:13 PM EDT
Sep 06 2015

David Packard (September 7, 1912 – March 26, 1996) was a co- founder, with William Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard (1939), serving as president (1947–1964), CEO (1964–1968), and Chairman of the Board (1964–1968, 1972–1993). He served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1969–1971 during the Nixon administration. Packard served as President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) from 1976 to 1981. He was also chairman of the Board of Regents from 1973 to 1982. Packard was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and is noted for many technological innovations and philanthropic endeavors. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A company has a greater responsibility than making money for its stockholders. We have a responsibility to our employees to recognize their dignity as human beings.

A group of people get together and exist as an institution we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately- they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental.

I have observed that money left without special guidance is sometimes used well and sometimes not.

I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money. Money is an important part of a company's existence, if the company is any good. But a result is not a cause. We have to go deeper and find the real reason for our being.

I think that we must find some way to get more common sense, more rationality, in our decisions and less emotion.

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.

More companies die of indigestion than starvation.

Take risks. Ask big questions. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; if you don't make mistakes, you're not reaching far enough.

The betterment of society is not a job to be left to a few. It's a responsibility to be shared by all.

The most important question we have to deal with is a combination of population control and the control of our environment- how to utilize the world in as effective a way as we can for the future of mankind.

To remain static is to lose ground.

Unless you are tolerant of the people under you, you really can't do a good job of being a supervisor.

We must realize that supervision is not a job of giving orders; it is a job of providing the opportunity for people to use their capabilities efficiently and effectively.


(September 7 is also the birthday of Edith Sitwell and Taylor Caldwell.)

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