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Quotes of the day: Andrew Carnegie

Published Monday, November 24, 2014 @ 9:24 PM EST
Nov 24 2014

Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 - August 11, 1919) was a Scottish American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He was also one of the highest profile philanthropists of his era and had given away almost 90 percent- amounting to, in 1919, $350 million (in 2014, $4.76 billion)- of his fortune to charities and foundations by the time of his death. His 1889 article proclaiming 'The Gospel of Wealth' called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.

A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.

All honor's wounds are self-inflicted.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.

Concentration is my motto- first honesty, then industry, then concentration.

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.

Do not make riches, but usefulness, your first aim; and let your chief pride be that your daily occupation is in the line of progress and development; that your work, in whatever capacity it may be, is useful work, honestly conducted, and as such ennobling to your life.

Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself.

He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.

I don't believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.

I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.

I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.

I think the absence of women from any assembly tends to lower the tone of that assembly.

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control affairs.

Man must have no idol and the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry.

Never speculate. Never buy or sell grain or stocks upon a margin. If you have savings, invest them in solid securities, lands or property. The man who gambles upon the exchanges is in the condition of the man who gambles at the gaming table. He rarely, if ever, makes a permanent success. His judgment goes; his faculties are snapped; and his end, as a rule, is nervous prostration after an unworthy and useless life.

No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.

No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.

Not only had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution.

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.

Pittsburgh entered the core of my heart when I was a boy, and cannot be torn out.

Surplus wealth is a sacred trust, to be administered during life by its possessor.

The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.

The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

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

There does not appear to be much use in providing a ladder for the people to ascend if the distance from the earth to the first step be made so great they cannot reach it.

There is always room at the top in every pursuit.

There is little success where there is little laughter.

There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.

There is nothing that robs a righteous cause of its strength more than a millionaire's money.

Watch the costs and the profits take care of themselves.

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Quotes of the day: Arundhati Roy

Published Sunday, November 23, 2014 @ 8:16 PM EST
Nov 23 2014

Suzanna Arundhati Roy (b. November 24, 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who is best known for the 1998 Man Booker Prize for Fiction-winning novel The God of Small Things (1997) and for her involvement in human rights and environmental causes. Roy's novel became the biggest-selling book by a nonexpatriate Indian author. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.

Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market means they are on sale to the highest bidder.

Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant.

It is true that success is the most boring thing, it is tinny and brittle, failure runs deeper. Success is dangerous.

Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Some things come with their own punishments.

Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American- style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.

The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn't acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling- their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

The invasion of Iraq will surely go down in history as one of the most cowardly wars ever fought. It was a war in which a band of rich nations, armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, rounded on a poor nation, falsely accused it of having nuclear weapons, used the United Nations to force it to disarm, then invaded it, occupied it, and are now in the process of selling it.

The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

The trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place.

The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There's no innocence. Either way, you're accountable.

There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.

There is only one dream worth having... to live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead.

There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Things can change in a day.

This was the trouble with families. Like invidious doctors, they knew just where it hurt.

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons.

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

What does the term 'anti-American' mean? Does it mean you are anti- jazz? Or that you're opposed to freedom of speech? That you don't delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean that you don't admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all Americans?

When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

Categories: Arundhati Roy, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Roald Dahl

Published Saturday, November 22, 2014 @ 5:42 PM EST
Nov 22 2014

Roald Dahl (September 13, 1916 – November 23, 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter. Dahl's works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

Did they preach one thing and practice another, these men of God?

Don't gobblefunk around with words.

Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.

I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm going to ignore your advice.

If the Good Lord intended for us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates.

If you are good life is good.

It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.

It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.

It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you're not feeling twinkly yourself.

Nobody gets a nervous breakdown or a heart attack from selling kerosene to gentle country folk from the back of a tanker in Somerset.

Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous any more.

Obscurity is never a virtue.

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.

There are no secrets unless you keep them to yourself...

Unless you have been to boarding-school when you are very young, it is absolutely impossible to appreciate the delights of living at home.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.

You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Roald Dahl

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Quotes of the day: André Gide

Published Friday, November 21, 2014 @ 4:04 PM EST
Nov 21 2014

André Paul Guillaume Gide (November 22, 1869 – February 19 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947 "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight." Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.

Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it; doubt all, but do not doubt yourself.

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.

Generally among intelligent people are found nothing but paralytics and among men of action nothing but fools.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

It is with fine sentiments that bad literature is made. Descend to the bottom of the well if you wish to see the stars.

Let every emotion be capable becoming an intoxication to you. If what you eat fails to make you drunk, it is because you are not hungry enough.

Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.

Often the best in us springs from the worst in us.

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.

Pay attention only to the form; emotion will come spontaneously to inhabit it. A perfect dwelling always finds an inhabitant. The artist's business is to build the dwelling; as for the inhabitant, it is up to the reader to provide him.

Sin is whatever obscures the soul.

The most decisive actions of our life- I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future- are, more often than not, unconsidered.

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

The wise man is astonished by anything.

There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.

There is no feeling so simple that it is not immediately complicated and distorted by introspection.

True intelligence very readily conceives of an intelligence superior to its own; and this is why truly intelligent men are modest.

True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one's own the suffering and joys of others.

We call 'happiness' a certain set of circumstances that makes joy possible. But we call joy that state of mind and emotions that needs nothing to feel happy.

What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself- and thus make yourself indispensable.

When intelligent people pride themselves on not understanding, it is quite natural they should succeed better than fools.

Wisdom comes not from reason but from love.


(November 22 is also the birthday of Abigail Adams, Charles deGaulle, and George Eliot)

Categories: André Gide, Quotes of the day

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The Soul...

Published Thursday, November 20, 2014 @ 9:54 PM EST
Nov 20 2014

A common concept of the soul is that the essence of a self lies in some spark of invisible light, a thing that cowers out of body, out of mind, and out of sight.... To look for our virtue in such thoughts seems just as wrongly aimed a search as seeking art in canvas cloths by scraping off the painter's works.
-Marvin Minsky

A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.
-Benjamin Disraeli

A fella ain't got a soul of his own, just a piece of a big soul, the one that belongs to everybody.
-John Steinbeck

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

A human soul devoid of longing was a soul deformed, deprived of its highest good, sick unto death.
-Saul Bellow

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

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero

A soul is a troublesome possession, and when man developed it he lost the Garden of Eden.
-W. Somerset Maugham

All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
-Iris Murdoch

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
-Pablo Picasso

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.
-H.L. Mencken

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

Be careless in your dress, if you must; but keep a tidy soul.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
-Alexander Pope

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
-George Eliot

Books are the mirrors of the soul.
-Virginia Woolf

Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. A house without books is like a room without windows.
-Horace Mann

But the world will never weary of watching that troubled soul in its progress from darkness to darkness.
-Oscar Wilde

Celebrity is a corrosive condition for the soul.
-Charlton Heston

Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
-Alexander Pope

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

Confession is good for the soul in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff.
-Peter De Vries

Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
-Sir Edward Coke

Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.
-Agatha Christie

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.
-Edwin Markham

Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.
-Nelson Mandela

Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul.
-Clarence Darrow

Don't let your hearts grow numb. Stay alert. It is your soul which matters.
-Albert Schweitzer

Every human soul is of infinite value, eternal, free; no human being, therefore, is so placed as not to have within his reach, in himself and others, objects adequate to infinite endeavor.
-Arthur James Balfour

Every writer dips his brush into his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires,- Necessity and Free Will.
-Thomas Carlyle

Fame like a drunkard consumes the house of the soul.
-Malcolm Lowry

Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and 50 cents for your soul.
-Marilyn Monroe

How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?
-Carson McCullers

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
-William Butler Yeats

Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy, because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.
-Jimmy Carter

I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we are secure in our own soul.
-Margaret Chase Smith

I believe that man will not merely endure, he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he, alone among creatures, has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.
-William Faulkner

I belong to the Great Church which holds the world within its starlit aisles; that claims the great and good of every race and clime; that finds with joy the grain of gold in every creed, and floods with light and love the germs of good in every soul.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
-Albert Einstein

I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person.
-Mary McCarthy

I don't actually take much stock in the collapsing culture bit. I'm beginning to see it instead as the conduct of life without input from your soul.
-Saul Bellow

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
-Maya Angelou

I have never yet met a healthy person who worries very much about his health or a really good person who worries much about his own soul.
-J.B.S. Haldane

I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul.
But don't think twice, it's all right.
-Bob Dylan

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
-Woody Allen

I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
-Booker T. Washington

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.
-James Herriot

If my soul exists without my body I am convinced all my clothes will be loose-fitting.
-Woody Allen

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
-Maya Angelou

If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose.
-Charles Bukowski

Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth.
-Virginia Woolf

Impropriety is the soul of wit.
-W. Somerset Maugham

In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

In order to be created, a work of art must first make use of the dark forces of the soul.
-Albert Camus

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
-John Steinbeck

Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.
-Mary McLeod Bethune

It does not matter so much what you do. What matters is whether your soul is harmed by what you do. If your soul is harmed, something irreparable happens, the extent of which you won't realize until it will be too late.
-Albert Schweitzer

It is by little things that we know ourselves; a soul would very probably mistake itself for another, when once disembodied, were it not for individual experiences which differ from those of others only in details seemingly trifling.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

It is only the souls that do not love that go empty in this world.
-Robert Hugh Benson

It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom.
-William Dean Howells

It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles; the less they have in them the more noise they make in pouring out.
-Alexander Pope

It will be a great thing for the human soul when it finally stops worshiping backwards.
-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It's good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you, and next time maybe, just maybe, you will not talk so much, so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly, so utterly shamelessly foolishly.
-Russell Baker

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
-Stella Adler

Like body and soul theory and practice are one, and like body and soul they are for the most part at loggerheads.
-Marie Ebner von Ebner-Eschenbach

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
-Zora Neale Hurston

Man has sold his soul for time, language, tools, weapons, and dominance.
-William S. Burroughs

Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good.
-Robert Penn Warren

More men discover their souls in darkness than they do in light. This is not to invite darkness; it is only to be reminded that darkness need not go to waste when it is thrust upon us.
-Fulton J. Sheen

Most of the world's great souls have been lonely.
-Aiden Wilson Tozer

Most people sell their souls and live with a good conscience on the proceeds.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
-Aldous Huxley

My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.
-James Joyce

My soul lives in a place where the passions have passed by and where I have known them all.
-Joseph Joubert

Never let a man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul. The evil effect on himself is certain.
-Robert Southey

Obscurity can be a fire of ambition in those who have stalwart souls.
-Taylor Caldwell

One drop of hatred in your soul will spread and discolor everything like a drop of black ink in white milk. I was struck by that and meant to try it, but knew I shouldn't waste the milk.
-Alice Munro

Only the soul that suffers knows its suffering. Only the one who needs knows what need means.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
-Oscar Wilde

Our critics are the unpaid guardians of our souls.
-Corrie ten Boom

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.
-Carl Jung

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
-Edward Abbey

Some day you will know that there is a beauty of the soul that is more important than worldly beauty. Remember this when you see worldly beauty.
-John P. Marquand

Suffering is not good for the soul, unless it teaches you to stop suffering.
-Jane Roberts

The eyes are the window to where the soul is supposed to be.
-Tina Fey

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.
-Charles Bukowski

The greatest battles in life are fought in the quiet chambers of the soul.
-David O. McKay

The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.
-Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The imagination is the eye of the soul.
-Joseph Joubert

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.
-John Boynton Priestley

The Soul is born old, but it grows young; that is the comedy of life. The Body is born young and grows old; that is life's tragedy.
-Oscar Wilde

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

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

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
-Emily Dickinson

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.
-Elie Wiesel

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
-Victor Hugo

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
-Thomas Paine

They were trying to save their souls- and who but a fool could fail to see that all that was the matter with their souls was that they had not been able to get a decent existence for their bodies?
-Upton Sinclair

Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
-Robert F. Kennedy

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
-Walt Whitman

Whatever the soul knows how to seek, it cannot fail to obtain.
-Margaret Fuller

When one great passion seizes possession of the soul all other feelings are crowded out.
-Lucy Maud Montgomery

When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
-Edward R. Murrow

You can lend them your talents, but don't give them your soul.
-Alan Alda

You do not 'have' a soul- you ARE a soul. You 'have' a body.
-C.S. Lewis

You got to decide what your soul can handle and how you want to be seen.
-Marc Maron

You start out giving your hat, then you give your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul.
-Charles de Gaulle


(November 21 is also the birthday of Voltaire )

Categories: Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, Soul

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Quotes of the day: Nadine Gordimer

Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014 @ 10:22 PM EST
Nov 19 2014

Nadine Gordimer (November 20, 1923 – July 13, 2014) was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has– in the words of Alfred Nobel– been of very great benefit to humanity." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Art defies defeat by its very existence, representing the celebration of life, in spite of all attempts to degrade and destroy it.

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.

Communists are the last optimists.

Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why.

I cannot live with someone who can't live without me.

Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.

Perhaps it is the positive knowledge that humans now possess the means to destroy their whole planet, the fear that they have in this way themselves become the gods, dreadfully charged with their own continued existence, that has made comic-book and movie myth escapist.

Power is something of which I am convinced there is no innocence this side of the womb.

Recognize yourself in others.

Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.

Sentiment is for those who don't know what to do next.

Success sometimes may be defined as a disaster put on hold.

The facts are always less than what really happened.

The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand.

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

There are many proven explanations for natural phenomena now; and there are new questions of being arising out of some of the answers. For this reason, the genre of myth has never been entirely abandoned, although we are inclined to think of it as archaic.

There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice.

Time is change; we measure its passage by how much things alter.

We must live fully in order to secrete the substance of our work, but we have to work alone.

You can't change a regime on the basis of compassion. There's got to be something harder.

Categories: Nadine Gordimer, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Indira Gandhi

Published Tuesday, November 18, 2014 @ 7:46 PM EST
Nov 18 2014

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (November 19, 1917 –October 31, 1984) was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure of the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, is the second-longest- serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold the office (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A nation's strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

I do not like carving the world into segments; we are one world.

I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation. (The night before her assassination)

Martyrdom does not end something, it is only a beginning.

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

One must beware of ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money.

People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.

There are moments in history when brooding tragedy and its dark shadows can be lightened by recalling great moments of the past.

There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.

To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.

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

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

We should not mourn for men of high ideals. Rather we should rejoice that we had the privilege of having had them with us, to inspire us by their radiant personalities.


(November 19 is also the birthday of Billy Sunday.)

Categories: Indira Gandhi, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Marcel Proust

Published Monday, November 17, 2014 @ 9:29 PM EST
Nov 17 2014

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871 - November 18, 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). He is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of all time. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.

All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.

Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.

Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.

In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.

It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.

Just as those who practice the same profession recognize each other instinctively, so do those who practice the same vice.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.

Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way.

Love is a reciprocal torture.

Love is space and time measured by the heart.

The only paradise is paradise lost.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

The regularity of a habit is generally in proportion to its absurdity.

The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.

There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.

Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness.

Time passes, and little by little everything that we have spoken in falsehood becomes true.

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.


(November 18 is also the birthday of Clarence Day )

Categories: Marcel Proust, Quotes of the day

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On drugs...

Published Sunday, November 16, 2014 @ 10:07 PM EST
Nov 16 2014

A Libertarian is just a Republican who takes drugs.
-Bob Black

As long as there's sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.
-Mick Shrimpton

Death comes at you no matter what you do in this life, and to equate drugs with death is a facile comparison.
-Jerry Garcia

Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.
-Dr. Martin Henry Fischer

I believe in prescription drugs. I believe in feeling better.
-Denis Leary

I don't do drugs. I am drugs.
-Salvador Dali

I don't use drugs; my dreams are frightening enough.
-M.C. Escher

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
-Hunter S. Thompson

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.
-Fran Lebowitz

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
-Mitch Hedberg

I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.
-Milton Friedman

I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.
-Keith Richards

If anybody comes up to you and says, 'My kid is a conservative- why is that?' you say, 'Remember in the 60s when we told you if you kept using drugs your kids would be mutants?'
-Mort Sahl

If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they'd have to bring out the tanks to control you.
-Dick Gregory

If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
-P.J. O'Rourke

If you don't have sex and you don't do drugs, your rock 'n' roll better be awfully good.
-Abbie Hoffman

If you need drugs to be a good writer, you're not a good writer.
-Rod Serling

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.
-Isaac Asimov

My idea (in taking drugs) was pain reduction and mind expansion, but I ended up with mind reduction and pain expansion.
-Carrie Fisher

Not all drugs are good. Some are great.
-Bill Hicks

Our generation was right about civil rights; we were right about Vietnam; we were right about poverty. Unfortunately, we were wrong about drugs.
-David Crosby

Pop music is just long hours, hard work and lots of drugs.
-Cass Elliot

Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
-Jane Wagner

Sex and drugs don't go half as well as some people believe. Very often you're forced to choose.
-Christopher Hitchens

Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure.
-Joseph Heller

The government could take away all the drugs in the world and people would spin around on their lawns until they fell down and saw God.
-Dennis Miller

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.
-Noam Chomsky

There were a lot of casualties. Things change and drugs change.
-Marc Maron

Think about it. Would you work for a company that couldn't tell the difference in the quality of its employees' normal work product and the work product of someone on drugs without performing a test?

When we were growing up we knew the side effects of the drugs we were taking. Cocaine, side effects were paranoia, ninjas-on-the-lawn; quaaludes, side effects were talking in tongues, English as a second language; marijuana, side effects were laughter, Frosted Flakes.
-Robin Williams

Why are there no recreational drugs taken in suppository form?
-George Carlin

Win The War, On Drugs (bumper sticker)
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work- right up until the moment they decimate your life.
-Aaron Sorkin

Categories: Drugs, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Alan Watts

Published Saturday, November 15, 2014 @ 8:07 PM EST
Nov 15 2014

Alan Wilson Watts (January 6, 1915 - November 16, 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies. Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He also explored human consciousness, in the essay "The New Alchemy" (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962). Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. His legacy has been kept alive by his son, Mark Watts, and many of his recorded talks and lectures are available on the Internet. According to the critic Erik Davis, his "writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion.

Archimedes said, 'Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth'; but there isn't one.

Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word 'water' is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.

Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

How could you say the best form of government is a republic if you think the universe is a monarchy?

I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands.

I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination.

I have suggested that behind almost all myth lies the mono-plot of the game of hide-and-seek.

If you know that 'I', in the sense of the person, the front, the ego, it really doesn't exist. Then... it won't go to your head too badly, if you wake up and discover that you're God.

Now it is symptomatic of our rusty-beer-can type of sanity that our culture produces very few magical objects.

Of what use is the universe? What is the practical application of a million galaxies? Yet just because it has no use, it has a use- which may sound like a paradox, but is not. What, for instance, is the use of playing music? If you play to make money, to outdo some other artist, to be a person of culture, or to improve your mind, you are not really playing- for your mind is not on the music. You don't swing. When you come to think of it, playing or listening to music is a pure luxury, an addiction, a waste of valuable time and money for nothing more than making elaborate patterns of sound.

Religion is always falling apart.

Running away from fear is fear; fighting pain is pain; trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought.

The basic problem is to understand that there are no such things as things; that is to say separate things, separate events. That is only a way of talking. What do you mean by a thing? A thing is a noun. A noun isn't a part of nature it's a part of speech. There are no nouns in the physical world. There are no separate things in the physical world either.

The greater part of human activity is designed to make permanent those experiences and joys which are only lovable because they are changing.

The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East...

There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one's eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion.

There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.

There is nothing wrong with meditating just to meditate, in the same way that you listen to music just for the music. If you go to concerts to 'get culture' or to improve your mind, you will sit there as deaf as a doorpost.

This is the real secret of life- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean.

What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.

When a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique.

Wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.

You find out that the universe is a system that creeps up on itself and says 'Boo!' and then laughs at itself for jumping.

You take your classified telephone directory, and open up 'Churches', and have a ruler in your hand. And you will find that the longest space is occupied by authoritarian, Bible-banging churches. And these people are barbarians, who take the written word of the Bible literally. Because they need terribly, they have a personal need, for something to depend on... The government realizes that there is a very large number of people like that; and therefore, to keep their votes, they have to pander to those kind of people. And these are the boys who never grew up; they always need Papa.... The trouble is that the boys who need Papa, are violent. They have the guns. And they are the types of people who like to be soldiers, policemen- tough guys. And therefore they have a great deal of power.

Zen... does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.


(November 16 is also the birthday of George S. Kaufman.)

Categories: Alan Watts, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Margaret Mead

Published Friday, November 14, 2014 @ 8:42 PM EST
Nov 14 2014

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 - November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist who was frequently a featured author and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor degree at Barnard College in New York City, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. She was both a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture and a respected, often controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures shaped the 1960s sexual revolution. Mead was a proponent of broadening sexual mores within a context of traditional western religious life. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know.

A society which is clamouring for choice, which is filled with many articulate groups, each urging its own brand of salvation, its own variety of economic philosophy, will give each new generation no peace until all have chosen or gone under, unable to bear the conditions of choice.

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.

Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents.

Human nature is almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions.

If a society insists that warfare is the major occupation for the male sex, it is therefore insisting that all male children display bravery and pugnacity. Even if the insistence upon the differential bravery of men and women is not made articulate, the difference in occupation makes this point implicitly. When, however, a society goes further and defines men as brave and women as timorous, when men are forbidden to show fear and women are indulged in the most flagrant display of fear, a more explicit element enters in. Originally two variations of human temperament, a hatred of fear or willingness to display fear, they have been socially translated into inalienable aspects of the personalities of the two sexes. And to that defined sex-personality every child will be educated, if a boy, to suppress fear, if a girl, to show it.

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

If we are to give our utmost effort and skill and enthusiasm, we must believe in ourselves, which means believing in our past and in our future, in our parents and in our children, in that particular blend of moral purpose and practical inventiveness which is the American character.

If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.

In the modern world we have invented ways of speeding up invention, and people's lives change so fast that a person is born into one kind of world, grows up in another, and by the time his children are growing up, lives in still a different world.

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary... to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.

Laughter is man's most distinctive emotional expression. Man shares the capacity for love and hate, anger and fear, loyalty and grief, with other living creatures. But humor, which has an intellectual as well as an emotional element, belongs to man.

Learned behaviors have replaced the biologically given ones.

Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time.

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.

Our young people are faced by a series of different groups which believe different things and advocate different practices, and to each of which some trusted friend or relative may belong.

Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm not going to retire.

Standardized personality differences between the sexes are... cultural creations to which each generation, male and female, is trained to conform.

The ability to learn is older- as it is also more widespread- than is the ability to teach.

The contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequences of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society.

The first step in the direction of a world rule of law is the recognition that peace no longer is an unobtainable ideal but a necessary condition of continued human existence.

The student of culture is concerned with a characteristic which man displays more markedly than any other known creature- the ability to transmit what he has learned.

The United States has the power to destroy the world, but not the power to save it alone.

There is no necessary connection between warfare and human nature. Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive.

We are living beyond our means. As a people we have developed a life-style that is draining the earth of its priceless and irreplaceable resources without regard for the future of our children and people all around the world.

We may say that many, if not all, of the personality traits which we have called masculine or feminine are as lightly linked to sex as are the clothing, the manners, and the form of headdress that a society at a given period assigns to either sex.

We must recognize that beneath the superficial classifications of sex and race the same potentialities exist, recurring generation after generation, only to perish because society has no place for them.

We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of their country.

We women are doing pretty well. We're almost back to where we were in the twenties. (1976)

We- mankind- stand at the center of an evolutionary crisis, with a new evolutionary device- our consciousness of the crisis- as our unique contribution.

You know you love someone when you cannot put into words how they make you feel.

Categories: Margaret Mead, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Booker T. Washington

Published Thursday, November 13, 2014 @ 7:07 PM EST
Nov 13 2014

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1895 his Atlanta compromise called for avoiding confrontation over segregation and instead putting more reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement in the black community. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Character, not circumstances, makes the man.

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.

I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.

I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.

Men may make laws to hinder and fetter the ballot, but men cannot make laws that will bind or retard the growth of manhood.

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color. One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.

The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.

Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.

Progress, progress is the law of nature; under God it shall be our eternal guiding star.

There is no power on earth, that can neutralize the influence of a high, pure, simple and useful life.

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as the result of hard work.


(November 14 is also the birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru and P.J. O'Rourke. It's also the birthday of Joseph McCarthy, Condoleezza Rice, and Steve Stockman, about whom the less said, the better.)

Categories: Booker T. Washington, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Louis Brandeis

Published Wednesday, November 12, 2014 @ 6:51 PM EST
Nov 12 2014

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (November 13, 1856 - October 5, 1941) was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the 'greatest defenses' of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Arguments seem futile to me, for behind every argument I have ever heard lies the astounding ignorance of someone.

Behind every argument is someone's ignorance.

Constitutional rights should not be frittered away by arguments so technical and unsubstantial.

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.

If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.

If we would guide by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold.

In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously.

It is, as a rule, far more important how men pursue their occupation than what the occupation is which they select.

Low wages are not cheap wages.

No people ever did or ever can attain a worthy civilization by the satisfaction merely of material needs...

Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

That which is man-made can be unmade.

The most important political office is that of private citizen.

The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen; and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence to be borne with resignation.

The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. 'That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer' was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these. 1 To Lord Camden a far slighter intrusion seemed 'subversive of all the comforts of society.' Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?

There is in most Americans some spark of idealism, which can be fanned into a flame. It takes sometimes a divining rod to find what it is; but when found, and that means often, when disclosed to the owners, the results are often extraordinary.

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.

Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.

Through size, corporations, once merely an efficient tool employed by individuals in the conduct of private business have become an institution- an institution which has brought such concentration of economic power that so-called private corporations are sometimes able to dominate the state.

To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means- to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal- would bring terrible retribution.

We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.

What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual for his own and the common good; the development of the individual through liberty, and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.

When a man feels that he cannot leave his work, it is a sure sign of an impending collapse.

Categories: Louis Brandeis, Quotes of the day

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114 observations on wisdom...

Published Tuesday, November 11, 2014 @ 11:22 PM EST
Nov 11 2014

A man doesn't begin to attain wisdom until he recognizes that he is no longer indispensable.
-Richard Byrd

Age does not bring wisdom. Often it merely changes simple stupidity into arrogant conceit.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.
-Anne Bradstreet

Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen.
-Carl Sandburg

But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom?
-John Milton

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is the easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.

Cleverness is not wisdom.

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Consistently wise decisions can only be made by those whose wisdom is constantly challenged.
-Theodore (Ted) Sorensen

Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self- imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.
-Stephen Colbert

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
-H.L. Mencken

Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?
-Axel Oxenstierna (1583-1654)

Doubt is the origin of wisdom.
-René Descartes

Education makes us more stupid than the brutes. A thousand voices call to us on every hand, but our ears are stopped with wisdom.
-Jean Giraudoux

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

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes a day. Wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit.
-Elbert Hubbard

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
-Bertrand Russell

Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.
-William Saroyan

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.
-Edmund Burke

Half of wisdom is learning what to unlearn.
-Larry Niven

He is a fool that cannot conceal his wisdom.
-Benjamin Franklin

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
-Thomas Jefferson

I almost think there is no wisdom comparable to that of exchanging what is called the realities of life for dreams.
-Hugh Walpole

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
-Thomas Jefferson

I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.
-Anatole France

If our wisdom fails to match our science, we will have no second chance. For there will be no one to carry our dreams across another Dark Age, when the dust of all our cities incarnadines the sunsets of the world.
-Arthur C. Clarke

If youth is wasted on the young, wisdom is wasted on the old. (attributed)
-Alan Vanneman

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.
-Anatole France

It is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.
-Margaret Fuller

It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.
-Walter Lippmann

It's amazing how much mature wisdom resembles being too tired.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
-Hermann Hesse

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Knowledge tells us that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom prevents us from putting it into fruit salad.
-Miles Kington

Many a man might have known if he had but been aware that he did not know. A sense of ignorance is the doorstep of the palace of wisdom.
-Charles H. Spurgeon

Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.
-Bertolt Brecht

Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.
-Hunter S. Thompson

Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Never accept ultimatums, conventional wisdom, or absolutes.
-Christopher Reeve

Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.

Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.
-Theodore Roosevelt

No state can be strong which excludes from its expressed wisdom, the knowledge possessed by mothers, wives and daughters.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Now that I am 60, I see why the idea of elder wisdom has passed from currency.
-John Updike

One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

One of the useful things about age is realizing conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating of conformity.
-Anna Quindlen

Our age has robbed millions of the simplicity of ignorance, and has so far failed to lift them to the simplicity of wisdom.
-Robertson Davies

Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness.
-Sacha Guitry

Ours is a world in which knowledge accumulates and wisdom decays.
-Aldous Huxley

Patience is the companion of wisdom.
-Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine)

So when you pray, ask for wisdom and understanding. Don't bother asking for anything else, because if you have wisdom and understanding you don't need anything else.
-Tommy Chong

Solomon made a great mistake when he asked for wisdom.
-Anton Chekhov

Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.
-Bill Clinton

That is the great fallacy; the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.
-Ernest Hemingway

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.
-John Stuart Mill

The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.
-Bertolt Brecht

The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful, and then only for a short while.
-Albert Einstein

The beginning of wisdom is the awareness that there is insufficient evidence that a god or gods have created us and the recognition that we are responsible in part for our own destiny. Human beings can achieve this good life, but it is by the cultivation of the virtues of intelligence and courage, not faith and obedience, that we will most likely be able to do so.
-Paul Kurtz

The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

The essence of wisdom is to know when to be doing, and when it's useless even to try.
-Mary Stewart

The fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other.
-Edward R. Murrow

The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
-Clarence Darrow

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it.
-Reinhold Neibuhr

The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.
-Antoine Bret

The founding fathers, in their wisdom, devised a method by which our republic can take one hundred of its most prominent numbskulls and keep them out of the private sector where they might do actual harm.
-P.J. O'Rourke

The hope of the world is that wisdom can arrest conflict between brothers. I believe that war is the deadly harvest of arrogant and unreasoning minds.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure.
-William Blake

The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
-Samuel Johnson

The most certain sign of Wisdom is a constant cheerfulness.
-Michel de Montaigne

The old- like children- talk to themselves, for they have reached that hopeless wisdom of experience which knows that though one were to cry it in the streets to multitudes, or whisper it in the kiss to one's beloved, the only ears that can ever hear one's secret are one's own.
-Eugene O'Neill

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
-H.L. Mencken

The possession of facts is knowledge, the use of them is wisdom.
-Thomas Jefferson

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
-Isaac Asimov

The saddest words of pen or tongue are wisdom's wasted on the young.
-James Thurber

The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
-Lin Yutang

The wisdom of the masses is not always... wise.
-Jon Stewart

The wisdom of winter is madness in May.
-Donald Swann

There are compensations for growing older. One is the realization that to be sporting isn't at all necessary. It is a great relief to reach this stage of wisdom.
-Cornelia Otis Skinner

There are more quarrels smothered by just shutting your mouth, and holding it shut, than by all the wisdom in the world.
-Henry Ward Beecher

There are things greater than our wisdom, beyond our justice. The right and wrong of this we cannot say, and it is not for us to judge.
-Jack London

There are two statements about human beings that are true: that all human beings are alike, and that all are different. On these two facts all human wisdom is founded.
-Mark Van Doren

There is a tendency to mistake data for wisdom, just as there has always been a tendency to confuse logic with values, intelligence with insight.
-Norman Cousins

There is a time to battle against Nature, and a time to obey her. True wisdom lies in making the right choice.
-Arthur C. Clarke

There is a wisdom of the Head, and... there is a wisdom of the Heart.
-Charles Dickens

There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and that is character.
-H.L. Mencken

There is wisdom in madness and strong probability of truth in all accusations, for people are complete and everybody is capable of everything.
-Joseph Heller

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
-Marilyn vos Savant

To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.
-Evelyn Waugh

To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.
-Henri Frédéric Amiel

To the fool, he who speaks wisdom will sound foolish.

Understanding is knowing what to do; wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is actually doing it.
-Tristan Gylberd

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.
-Leo Tolstoy

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
-Marcel Proust

We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.
-G.C. Lichtenberg

We must abandon the prevalent belief in the superior wisdom of the ignorant.
-Daniel J. Boorstin

We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters.
-Robert E. Lee

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.
-Robert F. Kennedy

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.
-T.S. Eliot

Whether a young man shall reap pleasure or pain from winning the objects of his choice, depends, not only upon his wisdom or folly in selecting those objects, but upon the right or wrong methods by which he pursues them.
-Horace Mann

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-ful to seek other than itself.
-Kahlil Gibran

Wisdom comes by disillusionment.
-George Santayana

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
-Norman Cousins

Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.
-Tom Wilson

Wisdom is essential in a president, the appearance of wisdom will do in a candidate.
-Eric Sevareid

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
-Albert Einstein

Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar.
-William Wordsworth

Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use.
-Thomas J. Watson

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.
-Doug Larson

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.
-Doug Larson

Wisdom is the strength of the weak.
-Joseph Joubert

Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.
-Felix Frankfurter

Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.
-John Maynard Keynes



(November 12 is the birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harry Blackmun, Charles Manson, and Neil Young )

Categories: Quotes of the day, Wisdom

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Quotes of the day: George Savile

Published Monday, November 10, 2014 @ 6:31 PM EST
Nov 10 2014

George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax PC FRS (November 11, 1633 – April 5, 1695) was an English statesman, writer, and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660, and in the House of Lords after he was raised to the peerage in 1668. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A husband without faults is a dangerous observer.

A little learning misleadeth, and a great deal often stupifieth the understanding.

A man may dwell so long upon a thought, that it may take him prisoner.

A man that should call every thing by its right name, would hardly pass the streets without being knock'd down as a common enemy.

A man who is master of patience, is master of everything else.

A very great memory often forgetteth how much time is lost by repeating things of no use.

Anger is never without an argument, but seldom with a good one.

He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things.

Hope is generally a wrong guide, though it is very good company by the way. it brusheth through hedge and ditch till it cometh to a great leap, and there it is apt to fall and break its bones.

If men considered how many things there are that riches cannot buy, they would not be so fond of them.

If men would think how often their own words are thrown at their heads, they would less often let them go out of their mouths.

If the laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the lawyers in the first place.

It is a general mistake to think the men we like are good for every thing, and those we do not, good for nothing.

It is ill-manners to silence a fool, and cruelty to let him go on.

It is not a reproach but a compliment to learning, to say, that great scholars are less fit for business; since the truth is, business is so much a lower thing than learning, that a man used to the last cannot easily bring his stomach down to the first.

Laws are generally not understood by three sorts of persons, viz. by those who make them, by those who execute them, and by those who suffer, if they break them.

Men make it such a point of honour to be fit for business that they forget to examine whether business is fit for a man.

Men take more pains to hide than to mend themselves.

Men who borrow their opinions can never repay their debts. they are beggars by nature, and can therefore never get a stock to grow rich upon.

Mispending a man's time is a kind of self-homicide, it is making life to be of no use.

Most men make little other use of their speech than to give evidence against their own understanding.

Most mens' anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady they neither of them care for.

Nothing hath an uglier look to us than reason, when it is not of our side.

Nothing is less forgiven than setting patterns men have no mind to follow.

Nothing would more contribute to make a man wise, than to have always an enemy in his view.

Our nature hardly allows us to have enough of anything without having too much.

Popularity is a crime from the moment it is sought; it is only a virtue where men have it whether they will or no.

Some mens memory is like a box, where a man should mingle his jewels with his old shoes.

Suspicion seldom wanteth food to keep it up in health and vigour. it feedeth upon every thing it seeth, and is not curious in its diet.

The best qualification of a prophet is to have a good memory.

The best way to suppose what may come, is to remember what is past.

The first mistake belonging to business is the going into it.

The sight of a drunkard is a better sermon against that vice than the best that was ever preached on that subject.

The vanity of teaching doth oft tempt a man to forget that he is a blockhead.

They who are of opinion that money will do every thing, may very well be suspected to do every thing for money.

When the people contend for their liberty, they seldom get any thing by their victory but new masters.

Categories: George Savile, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Neil Gaiman

Published Sunday, November 09, 2014 @ 8:24 PM EST
Nov 09 2014

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born Neil Richard Gaiman; November 10, 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All scientifically possible technology and social change predicted in science fiction will come to pass, but none of it will work properly.

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over.

Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

Honestly, if you're given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don't say 'what kind of tea?'

I think... I would rather recollect a life misspent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral debt.

I tweet, therefore my entire life has shrunk to 140 character chunks of instant event and predigested gnomic wisdom. And swearing.

I've known ambitious people with no aptitude for the thing they did. Most of whom, rather terrifyingly, tended to succeed.

If one is writing novels today, concentrating on the beauty of the prose is right up there with concentrating on your semi-colons, for wasted effort.

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.

It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.

It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realizing that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open.

People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.

Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose.

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

The biggest difference between England and America is that England has history, while America has geography.

The great thing about Batman and Superman, in truth, is that they are literally transcendent. They are better than most of the stories they are in.

The problems of failure are hard. The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.

The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.

The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.

The world is always ending, for someone.

There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.

Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.

We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable.

We are always living in the final days. What have you got? A hundred years or much, much less until the end of your world.

We have an obligation to make things beautiful. Not to leave the world uglier than we found it, not to empty the oceans, not to leave our problems for the next generation. We have an obligation to clean up after ourselves, and not leave our children with a world we've shortsightedly messed up, shortchanged, and crippled.

You've a good heart. Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it's not.


(Also born November 10: Oliver Goldsmith and John Marquand)

Categories: Neil Gaiman, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Charles de Gaulle

Published Saturday, November 08, 2014 @ 8:24 PM EST
Nov 08 2014

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (November 22, 1890 - November 9, 1970) was the dominant military and political leader of France for much of the period from 1940-1969. Refusing to accept his government's armistice with the German invaders in 1940, he set up his base in London, proclaimed himself the incarnation of France, and created the Free French movement. During the war he rallied the overseas colonies (especially in Africa), organized the Resistance from abroad, and struggled to gain full recognition from the British and Americans. A firm proponent of democracy, he became the leader of the Provisional Government of France following its liberation in 1944 and destroyed the vestiges of the authoritarian Vichy regime. He retired from office in 1946, but returned in 1958 as France verged on civil war over the Algerian crisis. As president (1958-69) during the new Fifth Republic, he revised the constitution to provide for presidential control of foreign and military policy, granted independence to Algeria and the African colonies, stabilized politics, and restored the nation's economic health. Forging a close bond with West Germany, he sought to dominate the European Common Market by vetoing British entry and keeping the United States at arms' length. Exhausted politically and emotionally, he finally left office in 1969. His reputation as the strongest and greatest of French leaders since Napoleon continues into the 21st century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


At the root of our civilization, there is the freedom of each person of thought, of belief, of opinion, of work, of leisure.

Authority doesn't work without prestige, or prestige without distance.

Character is the virtue of hard times.

Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.

Diplomats are useful only in fair weather. As soon as it rains they drown in every drop.

For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her.

France has no friends, only interests.

Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.

How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?

I respect those who resist me; but I cannot tolerate them.

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.

In politics it is necessary either to betray one's country or the electorate. I prefer to betray the electorate.

It is better to have a bad method than to have none.

Let us be firm, pure and faithful; at the end of our sorrow, there is the greatest glory of the world, that of the men who did not give in.

Men can have friends, statesmen cannot.

No country without an atom bomb could properly consider itself independent.

No policy is worth anything outside of reality.

Nothing great is done without great men, and they are great because they wanted it.

Old age is a shipwreck.

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.

People get the history they deserve.

Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is always astonished when others do.

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

The sword is the axis of the world and its power is absolute.

The true statesman is the one who is willing to take risks.

Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.

You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.

You start out giving your hat, then you give your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul.

You'll live. Only the best get killed.


(November 9 is also the birthday of Carl Sagan and Sargent Shriver.)

Categories: Charles de Gaulle, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: John Milton

Published Friday, November 07, 2014 @ 10:26 PM EST
Nov 07 2014

John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom?

Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.

For what can war, but endless war, still breed?

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

He that has light within his own clear breast May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon.

He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.

He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.

I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.

Men of most renowned virtue have sometimes by transgressing most truly kept the law.

New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ Large.

No man who knows aught, can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free.

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.

Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war.

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.

The stars, that nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps with everlasting oil, give due light to the misled and lonely traveller.

The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby.

There is no truth sure enough to justify persecution.

They also serve who only stand and wait.

True it is that covetousness is rich, modesty starves.

Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her birth.

What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove,

When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained that wise men look for.

Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image, but thee who destroys a good book, kills reason its self.

Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.

Categories: John Milton, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Robert Brault

Published Thursday, November 06, 2014 @ 8:49 PM EST
Nov 06 2014

Robert Brault (b. November 7) is a Connecticut-based freelance writer who has contributed to newspapers and periodicals in the US since 1961, but is probably best known as an aphorist whose observations have appeared in venues as varied as Reader's Digest and the CBS television series Criminal Minds. A collection of his observations, Round Up The Usual Subjects: Thoughts On Just About Everything, was published in June 2014, and he posts regularly on Twitter.


A child is a gift that parents give to themselves, forever expecting the child to be grateful.

A family is a group of people who keep confusing you with someone you were as a kid.

After much thought on the subject, I've concluded that life is a ploy to distract our attention, but probably not from anything important.

All I ask of anyone who would judge my sins is that they consider the sins I was capable of.

Always review a plan to make sure you have not assumed that anyone will use more brains than they have.

An old dog, even more than an old spouse, always feels like doing what you feel like doing.

As a general guideline, never marry anyone that you can't picture helping you go to the bathroom.

As important as shared memories is the silent agreement that certain things never happened.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, not forgetting to leave others be as you would have them leave you be.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Eventually all the things you acquire by dishonesty are gone, and you are left with only your dishonesty.

Eventually every reward is earned and every punishment deserved. It's just a question of living long enough.

Eventually people come to understand you, and you wonder why you ever thought that would improve things.

Eventually you realize that the reason God didn't always answer your prayers is that He was answering your mom's prayers.

Eventually you realize that your mom knows exactly who you are and has been trying to break it to you gently all your life.

Ever wonder what would happen if this time you smiled back?

Every family has arguments that scare the dog. The danger is when they alarm the cat.

For every childhood question there's a preposterous answer that you weren't actually supposed to believe forever.

Given a final request, I would ask my loved ones to skip the first four stages of grief and go right to acceptance.

God is not only all-knowing but all-not-telling.

I believe in cause and effect, although not necessarily in that order.

I do not dispute that God speaks to you, but I am dubious that He speaks to you for the purpose of relaying instructions to me.

I don't deny reality, but I don't exactly go looking for it, either.

I don't know how the world will end, but I suspect it will be with the highest corporate profits ever recorded.

I would rather be mortal and know that death is inescapable than be immortal and know that life is inescapable.

I've lived enough of my life story to know this- Fate writes the book, but you make the movie.

If I had my life to live over, I would have fewer meetings and more rendezvous.

If winning were everything, wouldn't your obituary say whether you won or lost?

If you can't forgive and forget, pick one.

If you never eat a ripe banana until you finish the overripe ones, you will spend your life eating overripe bananas.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a raise.

It is not unreasonable to have faith in that which is necessary for your happiness.

It would be good to have a second life, especially if you spend your first life planning for it.

It's curious how many Americans who claim to know the mind of the Creator don't know where He put France.

It's not that I favor dogs over people. I favor whoever comes running when I whistle.

Just as important as having a list of priorities is every once in a while starting from the bottom.

Know thyself, especially thyself after a couple of drinks.

Love is that rare attraction to someone that can survive getting to know them.

Most people would rather defend to the death your right to say it than listen to it.

No matter what you accomplish in life, your friends will chalk it up to luck and your relatives to the grace of God.

No two people are alike, but you take three or more and they're pretty much the same.

Nothing brings people together like having the same deck stacked against them.

One of life's curious puzzles is how two people can travel the same road to different places.

One of the great logical puzzles is how a woman is always like her mother but never like her sister.

One thing you really want to hold on to in life is the capacity to be appalled.

People are defined by the hardships they have endured or the hardships they have been spared, and you can always tell which.

People aren't ignoring you. They are busy with their lives, and the way to stop feeling ignored is to get busy with yours.

Reject the evidence of your eyes long enough, and your eyes just give up and start seeing what you want them to.

Society is forever trying to convince us that there are obligations we agreed to when we volunteered to be born.

Sometimes in life you have an appointment with destiny, and sometimes you just have to get destiny to squeeze you in.

Sometimes it's worth getting lost to see who will come looking for us.

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

Sometimes we give up our dream to accept a larger role in someone else's dream.

Sometimes you believe a thing that isn't true because in the world you wish to live in, it would be true.

Sorrow differs from happiness in that it is recognizable while in progress.

The best solution seldom requires that someone be right and someone else be wrong.

The closest we ever get to knowing someone completely is not knowing them at all.

The great temptation is to go nowhere because you know the way, to do nothing because you know how.

The most important thing to know about yourself is where you usually leave your car keys.

The problem with a severe delusional state is that it attracts followers.

The saddest thing in a relationship is to try to make it last by never letting it begin.

The trouble with politicians debating each other is that there isn't any subject that's any of their business.

There are several ways to become an expert, self-appointment being the most common.

There are things I don't believe for the simple reason that there are already enough people who believe them.

There are times when two people need to put on the brave face they show to the world and show it to each other.

There is an entire branch of psychology specializing in children who will not join the common madness.

There is basically just one marriage vow, and that is to be the person somebody thought they married.

There is no tomorrow. There is only a planet turning on its axis, and a creature given to optimistic fancies.

To be constantly thinking of what you're going to say next is not listening.

To be sane is to know the parts of your mind you cannot enter with any hope of returning.

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.

Today, befriend a stranger, or if you feel up to more of a challenge, befriend a loved one.

Until you confess your sins publicly, you have no idea how much people don't care.

Usually the woman has an appointment with destiny, and the man just happens to be there.

Usually when the obstacles in your path can't be overcome, it's not your path.

We are nostalgic, I think, not for old times but for old dreams.

We pretend so that we might be loved, then complain that we are not loved for who we are.

What a unique treasure are the things we have learned to live without, for no thief can take them from us.

What we seek in the end is not unconditional love but a love for which we, uniquely in all the world, meet all the conditions.

What you discover about people you try not to offend is that you can offend them without trying.

Worse than telling a lie is spending your whole life staying true to a lie.

You can avoid most of life's sorrows, at the cost of avoiding all of its happiness.

You can break up a marriage and still be friends, but don't try it with a friendship.

You can't postpone sorrow, so why would you postpone happiness?

You cannot owe loyalty to someone to whom you owe nothing else.

You know you have found love when you can't find your way back.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Robert Brault

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Observations on Information

Published Wednesday, November 05, 2014 @ 6:25 PM EST
Nov 05 2014

(Robert Mankoff in "The New Yorker")

A good way for ineffective people to cling to power in an organization is by creating a monopoly on information.
-Scott Adams

A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.
-Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
-James Madison

All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
-Carl Sagan

All you've got to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you'll find people who are eager to fill your head with information.
-Walt Disney

America is the most inventive country in the world because everybody has access to information.
-Tom Clancy

Among all the world's races, some obscure Bedouin tribes possibly apart, Americans are the most prone to misinformation. This is not the consequence of any special preference for mendacity, although at the higher levels of their public administration that tendency is impressive. It is rather that so much of what they themselves believe is wrong.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious- just dead wrong.
-Russell Baker

Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
-Flannery O'Connor

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.
-Arthur C. Clarke

Courage is often lack of insight, whereas cowardice in many cases is based on good information.
-Peter Ustinov

Don't ever look at local television news again. It's all crap. There's no news, there's no information. It's negative, negative, negative. You look at that, and you think the world is coming to an end.
-Ray Bradbury

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
-Gertrude Stein

How it is we have so much information, but know so little?
-Noam Chomsky

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.
-Franklin P. Adams

If you control the flow of information, you can control the conversation around important issues. If you can control the conversation, you can change this country.
-Al Franken

If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons.
-Alice Cooper

If you're older, you're smarter. I just believe that. If you're in an argument with someone older than you, you should listen to 'em. Even if they're wrong, their wrongness is rooted in more information than you have.
-Louis C.K.

Imagine a school with children that can read and write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live.
-Peter Cochrane

In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
-Pauline Kael

In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.
-Michael Crichton

Information is money, but data is squat.
-Angela Llama-Butler

Information is the currency of democracy.
-Thomas Jefferson

Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar.
-Dr. George Lundberg

Information wants to be free, but it also wants to be archived. Time is no kinder to information than it is to any mythical substance.
-Bruce Sterling

Information wants to be free. Perspective wants to be expensive.
-Hugh McCloud

Information's pretty thin stuff, unless mixed with experience.
-Clarence Day

It is in the nature of human beings to bend information in the direction of desired conclusions.
-John Naisbitt

Just once in a while let us exalt the importance of ideas and information.
-Edward R. Murrow

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.
-Carl Sagan

Most people think they need information when they really need knowledge, and think they need knowledge when they really need wisdom.
-Idries Shaw

Never underestimate your listener's intelligence, or overestimate you listener's information.
-Eric Sevareid

One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with.
-Marshall McLuhan

People are like almanacs... you never can find the information you're looking for, but the casual reading is well worth the trouble.
-Zelda Fitzgerald

Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
-Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Some day, on the corporate balance sheet, there will be an entry which reads, 'Information,' for in most cases, the information is more valuable than the hardware which processes it.
-Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.
-Daniel J. Boorstin

The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they allow. Bigness means weakness.
-Eric Sevareid

The calamity of the information age is that the toxicity of data increases much faster than its benefits.
-Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The conjuror or con man is a very good provider of information. He supplies lots of data, by inference or direct statement, but it's false data. Scientists aren't used to that scenario. An electron or a galaxy is not capricious, nor deceptive; but a human can be either or both.
-James Randi

The idea of a news broadcast once was to find someone with information and broadcast it. The idea now is to find someone with ignorance and spread it around.
-P.J. O'Rourke

The importance of information is directly proportional to its probability.
-Claude Shannon

The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few, but information in the hands of many.
-John Naisbitt

The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.
-Edward R. Murrow

The surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
-Mark Twain

There is an infinite amount of information on the Internet, most of it wrong.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.
-John Naisbitt

We have become like the most primitive Palaeolithic man, once more global wanderers, but information gatherers rather than food gatherers. From now on the source of food, wealth and life itself will be information.
-Marshall McLuhan

We have for the first time an economy based on a key resource (information) that is not only renewable, but self-generating. Running out of it is not a problem, but drowning in it is.
-John Naisbitt

What information consumes is rather obvious- it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
-Herbert Simon

World War III is a guerrilla information war, with no division between military and civilian participation.
-Marshall McLuhan


(November 6 is also the birthday of Zig Ziglar.)

Categories: Information, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Will Rogers

Published Monday, November 03, 2014 @ 6:14 PM EST
Nov 03 2014

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world's best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


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

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

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

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

Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can't buy enough to eat.

We are the first nation to starve to death in a storehouse that's overfilled with everything we want.

If I was a President and wanted something I would claim I didn't want it. Congress has not given any President anything he wanted in the last ten years. Be against anything and then he is sure to get it.

I have a scheme for stopping war. It's this- no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one.

When you get into trouble five thousand miles from home, you've got to have been looking for it.

I hope some of the men who get the most votes will be elected.

When a party can't think of anything else they always fall back on lower taxes. It has a magic sound to a voter just like Fairyland is spoken of and dreamed of by children. But no child has ever seen it. Neither has any voter ever lived to see the day when his taxes were lowered.

It's awful hard to get people interested in corruption unless they can get some of it.

All we hear is 'What's the matter with the country?' 'What's the matter with the world?' There ain't but one thing wrong with every one of us in the world, and that's selfishness.

Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.

So much money is being spent on the campaigns that I doubt if either man, as good as they are, are worth what it will cost to elect them.

Every guy looks in his pocket and then votes.

Lincoln didn't have a foreign policy. That's why he's Lincoln.

Every nation must have its legalized form of gambling. We have our Wall Street.

I am not a member of any organized party- I am a Democrat.

I tell you folks, all politics is apple sauce.

If Wall Street paid a tax on every 'game' they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government o

It takes nerve to be a Democrat, but it takes money to be a Republican.

It's not what you pay a man but what he costs you that counts.

Nothing will upset a state economic condition like a legislature. It's better to have termites in your house than the legislature.

That's one thing about Republican Presidents. They never went in much for plans. They only had one plan. It says 'Boys, my head is turned. Just get it while you can.'

The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.

The crime of taxation is not in the taking of it, it's in the way that it's spent.

The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best.

There's the one thing no nation can ever accuse us of and that is secret diplomacy. Our foreign dealings are an open book. Generally a checkbook.

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.

This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.

This country is bigger than Wall Street. If they don't believe it, show 'em the map.

This would be a great time in the world for some man to come along that knew something.

We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.

Well, they finally stopped us from sending marines to every war that we could hear of. They are having one in Afghanistan. The thing will be over before Congress can pronounce it, much less find out where it is located.

When I die, my epitaph or whatever you call those signs on gravestones is going to read: 'I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn't like.' I am so proud of that I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved. And when you come to my grave you will find me sitting there, proudly reading it.

You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one.

Remember, write to your Congressman. Even if he can't read, write to him.

(Click for all Will Rogers quotes.)


Will Rogers never met Rush Limbaugh.


(November 4 is also the birthday of Walter Cronkite.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Will Rogers

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Quotes of the day: Roseanne Barr

Published Sunday, November 02, 2014 @ 6:34 PM EST
Nov 02 2014

(Entertainment Weekly photo)

Roseanne Cherrie Barr (b. November 3, 1952) is an American actress, comedian, writer, television producer, director, and 2012 presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party. Barr began her career in stand-up comedy at clubs before gaining fame for her role in the sitcom Roseanne. The show was a hit and lasted nine seasons, from 1988 to 1997. She won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work on the show. Barr had crafted a "fierce working-class domestic goddess" persona in the eight years preceding her sitcom and wanted to do a realistic show about a strong mother who was not a victim of patriarchal consumerism. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


As a housewife, I feel that if the kids are still alive when my husband gets home from work, then hey, I've done my job.

Birth control that really works - every night before we go to bed we spend an hour with our kids.

Experts say you should never hit your child in anger. When is a good time? When you're feeling festive?

I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of people... that's why I don't like any of them.

I know that I pay 48 percent of my income to taxes. You know, I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't going just to export war. If it was actually going to help the people of the United States, I would gladly pay more.

I'm either mentally ill or Jewish. I can't sometimes tell the difference.

I'm kosher except for times where I eat pork and shellfish.

I'm not a politician. I think that uniquely qualifies me to become president of the U.S.

Men read maps better than women because only men can understand the concept of an inch equaling a hundred miles

Men read maps better than women because only men can understand the concept of an inch equaling a hundred miles.

Middle class people are fearful of losing. So everything is about fear of loss. When's everything is based on money, everything's for sale, including their integrity and their morals.

My husband and I didn't sign a pre-nuptial agreement. We signed a mutual suicide pact.

My husband said he needed more space, so I locked him outside.

Screwed? We're way beyond screwed. The light from screwed will take years to reach us.

Take this marriage thing seriously- it has to last all the way to the divorce.

The American people are sick and tired of this 'lesser evil' garbage they get fed every election year. Both the Democrats and the Republicans do the same evils once they're in office.

The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner.

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.

The way to a man's heart is through his chest.

There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there's a hell of a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect.

Women are cursed, and men are the proof.

Women complain about PMS, but I think of it as the only time of the month I can be myself.

You know, I'm blessed. 'Blessed' is a better way of saying 'rich.'

Categories: Quotes of the day, Roseanne Barr

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Quotes of the day: Lois McMaster Bujold

Published Saturday, November 01, 2014 @ 7:33 PM EDT
Nov 01 2014

Lois McMaster Bujold (b. November 2, 1949) is an acclaimed American speculative fiction writer. She has won the Hugo Award four times, matching the record of science fiction master Robert A. Heinlein's record. Her novella, The Mountains of Mourning, won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. In the fantasy genre, The Curse of Chalion won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award for best novel. Paladin of Souls won both her fourth Hugo Award and second Nebula Award. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A price is something you get. A cost is something you lose.

A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind.

Aim high. You may still miss the target but at least you won't shoot your foot off.

All true wealth is biological.

An honor is not diminished for being shared.

Biology is Destiny.

Check your assumptions. In fact, check your assumptions at the door.

Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.

Do it for yourself. The universe will be around to collect its cut later.

Experience suggests it doesn't matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.

God's not here. Somebody's got to fill in.

Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.

How could I have died and gone to hell without noticing the transition?

I could take over the universe with this army if I could ever get all their weapons pointed in the same direction.

I have an aversion to closed doors anyway. You never know what's on the other side.

I take it as a man's duty to restrain himself.

I would fight the world for you, but I'm damned if I can figure out how to save you from yourself.

I've always thought tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.

If we shouldn't do it, we shouldn't be able to do it.

If you ever have to make a choice between learning and inspiration, choose learning. It works more of the time.

Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be.

In my experience, the trouble with oaths of the form, 'death before dishonor,' is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into just two sorts of people: the dead, and the forsworn. It's a survivor's problem, this one.

It's an ancient and honorable term for the final step in any engineering project. Turn it on, see if it smokes.

It's never too late while you're breathing.

Just because we're adults doesn't automatically mean we can save you...

Leadership is mostly a power over imagination, and never more so than in combat. The bravest man alone can only be an armed lunatic. The real strength lies in the ability to get others to do your work.

Live, and so confound our enemies.

Most days it's just stumbling around in the dark with the rest of creation, smashing into things and wondering why it hurts.

One step at a time, I can walk around the world. Watch me.

Power is a live thing, by which you reach out to grasp the future. Revenge is a dead thing, reaching out from the past to grasp you.

Seems to me the only difference between your friends and your enemies is how long they stand around chatting before they shoot you.

Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible. We're not giving up. We're waiting for a better opportunity to win.

The cream pie of justice flies one way.

The gods give no gifts without hooks embedded.

The gods' most savage curses come upon us as answers to our own prayers, you know.

The good face pain. But the great- they embrace it.

The man who assumes everything is a lie is at least as mistaken as the one who assumes everything is true.

The principle difference between heaven and hell is the company you keep there.

The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present- they are real.

The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives.

There is no safety. Only varying states of risk. And failure.

Those who do not know their history are doomed to keep stepping in it.

We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

What you are is a question only you can answer.

When the time came to leap in faith, whether you had your eyes open or closed or screamed all the way down or not made no practical difference.

When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all.

With all this manure around, there's got to be a pony someplace.

You can say a lot in a little time, if you stick to words of one syllable.

You cannot push back the darkness with reason. You have to use fire.

Categories: Lois McMaster Bujold, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Larry Flynt

Published Friday, October 31, 2014 @ 7:23 PM EDT
Oct 31 2014

Larry Claxton Flynt was born November 1, 1942 in the Appalachian village of Lakeville, Kentucky. He became one of the world's most well-known publishers of pornography and unlikely champion of civil liberties. With the publication of his flagship magazine, Hustler, Flynt set off a firestorm, dragging into the eventual fray Jerry Falwell and the Supreme Court of the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After the first million, money isn't important.

And a democracy can't exist without free speech and the right to assemble. And that's what Americans tend to forget. And they're born into a culture where they take all of their freedoms for granted.

Hypocrisy is a detriment to progress. There's always a hidden agenda.

If the human body is obscene, complain to the manufacturer!

If you're not going to offend somebody you don't need the First Amendment.

Just because I publish pornography does not mean that I am not concerned about the social ills that all of us are.

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.

Moses freed the Jews. Lincoln freed the slaves. I freed the neurotics.

My position has always been that there's two types of people opposed to pornography: those who don't know what they're talking about, and those who don't know what they're missing.

Nothing can make you more humble than pain.

People aren't interested in others controlling what they can do or read or see in the privacy of their own homes.

Politics is my hobby. Smut is my vocation.

Privacy is not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution as freedom of speech is in the First Amendment.

The greatest right that any nation can afford its people is the right to be left alone.

The only question to ask yourself is, how much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve this success?

The right-wing of the Republican party isn't so much a political agenda as a plea for help.

The sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.

The two most misused words in the entire English vocabulary are love and friendship. A true friend would die for you, so when you start trying to count them on one hand, you don't need any fingers.

There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.

You know, everybody believes in free speech until you start questioning them about it.

Categories: Larry Flynt, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Joseph Campbell

Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014 @ 10:01 PM EDT
Oct 29 2014

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 - October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All cultures... have grown out of myths. They are founded on myths. What these myths have given has been inspiration for aspiration. The economic interpretation of history is for the birds. Economics is itself a function of aspiration. It’s what people aspire to that creates the field in which economics works.

All religions are true but none are literal.

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end... The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth- that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.

Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

Dream is personalized myth, myth is depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problem and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.

Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

Everywhere, no matter what the sphere of interest (whether religious, political, or personal), the really creative acts are represented as those deriving from some sort of dying to the world; and what happens in the interval of the hero's nonentity, so that he comes back as one reborn, made great and filled with creative power, mankind is also unanimous in declaring. We shall have only to follow, therefore, a multitude of heroic figures through the classic stages of the universal adventure in order to see again what has always been revealed. ...the singleness of the human spirit in its aspirations, powers, vicissitudes, and wisdom.

Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

For when scrutinized in terms not of what it is but of how it functions, of how it has served mankind in the past, of how it may serve today, mythology shows itself to be as amenable as life itself to the obsessions and requirements of the individual, the race, the age.

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.

Heresy is the life of a mythology, and orthodoxy is the death.

I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

I don't have to have faith. I have experience.

I think it's important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery, and of your own mystery.

I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.

In the absence of an effective general mythology, each of us has his private, unrecognized, rudimentary, yet secretly potent pantheon of dreams.

It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back. In fact, it may very well be that the very high incidence of neuroticism among ourselves follows the decline among us of such effective spiritual aid. We remain fixated to the unexorcised images of our infancy, and hence disinclined to the necessary passages of our adulthood.

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.

It may be a species of impudence to think that the way you understand God is the way God is.

It's only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.

Marx teaches us to blame society for our frailties, Freud teaches us to blame our parents, and astrology teaches us to blame the universe. The only place to look for blame is within: you didn't have the guts to bring up your full moon and live the life that was your potential.

Midlife crisis is what happens when you climb to the top of the ladder and discover that it's against the wrong wall.

Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people's religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as popular misunderstanding of mythology.

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.

No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.

Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required.

One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.

Our life evokes our character and you find out more about yourself as you go on.

Out of perfection nothing can be made.

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.

Regrets are illuminations come too late.

The happy ending is justly scorned as a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending; death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms which we have loved.

The image of the cosmos must change with the development of the mind and knowledge; otherwise, the mythic statement is lost, and man becomes dissociated from the very basis of his own religious experience. Doubt comes in, and so forth. You must remember: all of the great traditions, and little traditions, in their own time were scientifically correct. That is to say, they were correct in terms of the scientific image of that age. So there must be a scientifically validated image. Now you know what has happened: our scientific field has separated itself from the religious field, or vice-versa.... This divorce this is a fatal thing, and a very unfortunate thing, and a totally unnecessary thing.

The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who's on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.

The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, installation, and so forth, serve to translate the individual’s life-crises and life-deeds into classic, impersonal forms. They disclose him to himself, not as this personality or that, but as the warrior, the bride, the widow, the priest, the chieftain; at the same time rehearsing for the rest of the community the old lesson of the archetypal stages.

The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call 'following your bliss.'

There is no make-believe about heaven, future bliss, and compensation, to alleviate the bitter majesty, but only utter darkness, the void of unfulfillment, to receive and eat back the lives that have been tossed forth from the womb only to fail.

There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call atheists, and those who think they are facts are religious. Which group really gets the message?

This death to the logic of emotional commitments of our chance moment in the world of space and time, this recognition of, the shift of our emphasis to, the universal life that throbs and celebrates its victory in the very kiss of our own annihilation, this amor fati, 'love of fate,' love of the fate that is inevitably death, constitutes the experience of the tragic art...

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? ... If the person doesn't listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. And the world's full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

This thing up here, this consciousness, thinks it's running the shop. It's a secondary organ. It's a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.

We can't cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us- the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.

What is a god? A god is a personification of a motivating power of a value system that functions in human life and in the universe.

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence- for he has the perfected eye to see. There is no separateness. Thus, just as the way of social participation may lead in the end to a realization of the All in the individual, so that of exile brings the hero to the Self in all.

Categories: Joseph Campbell, Quotes of the day

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