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Published Friday, November 27, 2015 @ 11:09 PM EST
Nov 27 2015

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on Earth.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain. It is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
-C.S. Lewis

Pain is a gift. Humanity, without pain, would know neither fear nor pity. Without fear, there could be no humility, and every man would be a monster. The recognition of pain and fear in others give rise in us to pity, and in our pity is our humanity, our redemption
-Dean Koontz

Pain is a very precious gift. Do not waste it.
-Martha Singleterry

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
-M. Kathleen Casey

Pain is life-the sharper, the more evidence of life.
-Charles Lamb

Pain is the question mark turned like a fishhook in the human heart.
-Peter De Vries

Pain, in the proper context, is something other than pain.
-Joyce Carol Oates

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

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59 Observations on Success

Published Wednesday, November 25, 2015 @ 4:49 PM EST
Nov 25 2015

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

Success and failure are equally disastrous.
-Tennessee Williams

Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.
-Andrew Grove

Success cannot come from standstill men. Methods change and men must change with them.
-James Cash Penney

Success didn't spoil me; I've always been insufferable.
-Fran Lebowitz

Success has killed more men than bullets.
-Mary Louis Cecelia Texas Guinan

Success has many parents, and even more lawyers.
-Chuck Lorre

Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders.
-Sloan Wilson

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

Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.
-Danny Thomas

Success in life means not becoming like your parents.
-Louise Bowie

Success is a great deodorant.
-Elizabeth Taylor

Success is a journey, not a destination, so stop running.
-Larry Kersten, PhD

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
-Bill Gates

Success is a poison that should only be taken late in life and then only in small doses.
-Anthony Trollope

Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.
-Dr. Joyce Brothers

Success is as ice cold and as lonely as the North Pole.
-Vicky Baum

Success is brought by continued labor and continued watchfulness. We must struggle on, not for one moment hesitate, nor take one backward step.
-William Jennings Bryan

Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is last year's nest from which the bird has flown.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
-Dale Carnegie

Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world except money.
-Johnny Cash

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
-George S. Patton, Jr.

Success is knowing the difference between cornering people and getting them in your corner.
-Bill Copeland

Success is like dealing with your kid or teaching your wife to drive. Sooner or later you'll end up in the police station.
-Fred Allen

Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get.
-Kevin Spacey

Success is like Halley's Comet, you know. Every now and then it just comes around.
-H. Ross Perot

Success is like toilet paper. It only seems important if you don't have it.
-Richard Jeni

Success is made up of courage, brains and luck. Since the first two are a function of the third, it's pretty much all luck.
-Richard Jeni

Success is man's god.

Success is more dangerous than failure, the ripples break over a wider coastline.
-Graham Greene

Success is never so interesting as struggle.
-Willa Cather

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill

Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.
-Coco Chanel

Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.
-Al Bernstein

Success is peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction and knowing you've made the effort, do the best of what you're capable.
-John Wooden

Success is relative; it is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.
-T.S. Eliot

Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.
-Arnold H. Glasow

Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.
-Earl Wilson

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
-Winston Churchill

Success is the brand on the brow of the man who aimed too low.
-John Masefield

Success is the child of audacity.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did.
-Scott Adams

Success is the most convincing talker in the world.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that is comes early.
-Anthony Trollope

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.
-Earl Nightingale

Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.
-Adolf Hitler

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.
-Booker T. Washington

Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
-Arnold H. Glasow

Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.
-Walter Lippmann

Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
-Marilyn Monroe

Success only hurts the first time.
-Randy K. Milholland

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
-William Feather

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

Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.
-Hyman Rickover

Success to me is having ten honeydew melons and eating only the top half of each one.
-Barbra Streisand

Success will always be measured by the extent to which we serve the buying public.
-James Cash Penney

Success will ruin your life.
-Tom Clancy

Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good.
-Joe Paterno

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


(Novembe 26 is also the birthday of Eric Sevareid, Charles Schulz, and Eugene Ionesco. )

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

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Quotes of the day: Poul Anderson

Published Tuesday, November 24, 2015 @ 7:11 PM EST
Nov 24 2015

Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author who began his career during the Golden Age of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous awards for his writing, including seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A cultured, sensitive, observant man is a pleasure to be with in any age.

A little careful pushing, and they’ll bury the hatchet all right- in each other.

A man isn't really alive till he has something bigger than himself and his own little happiness, for which he'd gladly die.

All those agonizing philosophical-theological conundrums amount to 'Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.'

And ninety-nine percent of the human race, no matter how smart they are, will do the convenient thing instead of the wise thing, and kid themselves into thinking they can somehow escape the consequences. We’re just built that way.

Anybody can find infinite Mandelbrot figures in his navel.

Be calm. A man can do but little. Enough if that little be right.

Better a life like a falling star, bright across the dark, than a deathlessness which can see naught above or beyond itself.

He had seen too much of the cosmos to have any great faith in man's ability to understand it.

Heaven is not as narrowly literal-minded as hell.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

Keep on thinking. Keep your thinking close to the ground, where it belongs. Don’t ever trade your liberty for another man’s offer to do your thinking and make your mistakes for you.

Life isn’t a fairy tale; the knight who kills the dragon doesn’t necessarily get the princess.

Mortal combat corrupts, and war corrupts absolutely.

One man, one vote: A legal doctrine requiring that, from time to time, old gerrymanders be replaced with new ones. The object of this is the achievement of genuine democracy.

Timidity can be as dangerous as rashness.

Too far a retreat from reality is insanity.

Will none wipe the sneer off the face of the cosmos?


(November 25 is also the birthday of Andrew Carnegie.)

Categories: Poul Anderson, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: William F. Buckley, Jr.

Published Monday, November 23, 2015 @ 9:20 PM EST
Nov 23 2015

William Frank Buckley, Jr. (November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, which had a major impact in stimulating the conservative movement. He hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999) where he became known for his transatlantic accent and wide vocabulary. He also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column and numerous spy novels. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop,' at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

A society is not 'free' merely because the freedoms the people are doing away with are those they voted at the last election to do without.

All adventure is now reactionary.

Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.

Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.

I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it, and one is the feeling that I haven't just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.

I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.

I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.

I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.

I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word 'fair' in connection with income tax policies.

I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.

I've always subconsciously looked out for the total Christian and when I found him he turned out to be a non-practicing Jew.

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.

It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!

It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for.

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.

Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.

The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.

The more complicated and powerful the job, the more rudimentary the preparation for it.

The superstition that the hounds of truth will rout the vermin of error seems, like a fragment of Victorian lace, quaint, but too brittle to be lifted out of the showcase.

Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.

We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how every so often it is necessary in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.


(November 24 is also the birthday of Moss Hart and Arundhati Roy.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, William F. Buckley, Jr.

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Quotes of the day: soldiers and veterans

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @ 5:49 PM EST
Nov 10 2015

Bumper-sticker patriotism is no way to honor our veterans.
-Aaron Sorkin

How different the new order would be if we could consult the veteran instead of the politician.
-Henry Miller

If you can't afford to take care of your veterans, then don't go to war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about. We have a moral obligation to support them.
-Bernie Sanders

An army of principles will penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
-Thomas Paine

Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar. And still, there are things worth fighting for.
-H. Norman Schwartzkopf, Jr.

At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful.
-Stephen Ambrose

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I only trust sad soldiers, as I only trust sad revolutionaries. Enthusiastic ones are always out to get someone.
-William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who gives us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us freedom to protest. It is the soldier who serves beneath the flag, who salutes the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the demonstrator the right to burn the flag.
-Charles Province

Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
-Douglas MacArthur

The flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
-Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler USMC

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
-G.K. Chesterton

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

Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.
-Ulysses S. Grant

To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.
-George Santayana

When Hitler declared war on the United States, he was betting that German soldiers, raised up in the Hitler Youth, would always out fight American soldiers, brought up in the Boy Scouts. He lost that bet. The Boy Scouts had been taught how to figure their way out of their own problems.
-Stephen Ambrose

Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together-what do you get? The sum of their fears.
-Winston Churchill

Categories: Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, Soldiers, Veterans

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Quotes of the day: Norman Mailer

Published Monday, November 09, 2015 @ 3:39 PM EST
Nov 09 2015

Norman Kingsley Mailer (January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007) was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film- maker, actor and political activist. His novel The Naked and the Dead was published in 1948. His best-known work was widely considered to be The Executioner's Song, which was published in 1979, and for which he won one of his two Pulitzer Prizes. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, his book Armies of the Night was awarded the National Book Award. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.

A political convention is after all not a meeting of a corporation's board of directors; it is a fiesta, a carnival, a pig- rooting, horse-snorting, band-playing, voice-screaming medieval get- together of greed, practical lust, compromised idealism, career- advancement, meeting, feud, vendetta, conciliation, of rabble-rousers, fist fights (as it used to be), embraces, drunks (again as it used to be) and collective rivers of animal sweat.

America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.

Booze, pot, too much sex, failure in one's private life, too much attrition, too much recognition, too little recognition. Nearly everything in the scheme of things works to dull a first-rate talent. But the worst probably is cowardice.

Culture is worth a little risk.

Destroy time, and chaos may be ordered.

Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.

Every moment of one's existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit.

Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle.

Historical, religious, and existential treatises suggest that for some persons at some times, it is rational not to avoid physical death at all costs. Indeed the spark of humanity can maximize its essence by choosing an alternative that preserves the greatest dignity and some tranquility of mind.

I always start a book for money. If you've been married five times, you have to.

I do believe that America's deepest political sickness is that it is a self-righteous nation.

I had a quick grasp of the secret to sanity- it had become the ability to hold the maximum of impossible combinations in one's mind.

In America all too few blows are struck into flesh. We kill the spirit here, we are experts at that. We use psychic bullets and kill each other cell by cell.

In America few people will trust you unless you are irreverent.

Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.

New York is one of the capitals of the world and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic, San Francisco is a lady, Boston has become Urban Renewal, Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington blink like dull diamonds in the smog of Eastern Megalopolis, and New Orleans is unremarkable past the French Quarter. Detroit is a one-trade town, Pittsburgh has lost its golden triangle, St Louis has become the golden arch of the corporation, and nights in Kansas City close early. The oil depletion allowance makes Houston and Dallas naught but checkerboards for this sort of game. But Chicago is a great American city. Perhaps it is the last of the great American cities.

Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.

Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.

One of the diseases of the left is political correctness. If you're out of power for too long, then you just get worse and worse about how important your own ideas are.

Revolutions are the periods of history when individuals count most.

Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.

Short-term amnesia is not the worst affliction if you have an Irish flair for the sauce.

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.

The horror of the Twentieth Century was the size of each new event, and the paucity of its reverberation.

The natural role of twentieth-century man is anxiety.

The only true journey of knowledge is from the depth of one being to the heart of another.

The rage now is, oh, so deep it's almost comfortable. It has even approached the point where I can live with it philosophically. The world's not what I want it to be. But then no one ever said I had the right to design the world.

The true religion of America has always been America.

The ultimate tendency of liberalism is vegetarianism.

There are four stages to marriage. First there's the affair, then there's the marriage, then children, and finally the fourth stage, without which you cannot know a woman, the divorce.

There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you.

There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be.

There is one expanding horror in American life. It is that our long odyssey toward liberty, democracy and freedom-for-all may be achieved in such a way that utopia remains forever closed, and we live in freedom and hell, debased of style, not individual from one another, void of courage, our fear rationalized away.

There was that law of life so cruel and so just which demanded that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.

There's a subterranean impetus towards pornography so powerful that half the business world is juiced by the sort of half sex that one finds in advertisements.

We've got an agreeable, comfortable life here as Americans. But under it there's a huge, free-floating anxiety. Our inner lives, our inner landscape is just like that sky out there- it's full of smog. We really don't know what we believe anymore, we're nervous about everything.

What characterizes a member of a minority group is that he is forced to see himself as both exceptional and insignificant, marvelous and awful, good and evil.

What were the phenomena of the world today? If I knew little else, I knew the answer- war, and the preparations for new war.

With the pride of an artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists, the small trumpet of your defiance.

You don't know a woman until you've met her in court.


(November 10 is also the birthday of Oliver Goldsmith and John P. Marquand.)

Categories: Norman Mailer, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Henry Cabot Lodge

Published Sunday, November 08, 2015 @ 7:46 PM EST
Nov 08 2015

Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850 – November 9, 1924) was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. A PhD in history from Harvard, he was a long-time friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. Lodge had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader. He is best known for his positions on foreign policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles. Lodge demanded Congressional control of declarations of war; Wilson refused and blocked Lodge's move to ratify the treaty with reservations. As a result, the United States never joined the League of Nations. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Animosity is not a policy.

I would rather see the United States respected than loved by other nations.

If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives, and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description.

Internationalism, illustrated by the Bolshevik and by the men to whom all countries are alike provided they can make money out of them, is to me repulsive.

Lincoln did more than any other man to put the stamp of righteousness, to put the stamp of compassion, on the name of America.

Strong, generous, and confident, she has nobly served mankind. Beware how you trifle with your marvellous inheritance, this great land of ordered liberty, for if we stumble and fall freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.

The independence of the United States is not only more precious to ourselves but to the world than any single possession.

The time given to athletic contests and the injuries incurred on the playing field are part of the price which the English-speaking race has paid for being world conquerors.

The United States is the world's best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her power for good and endanger her very existence.

There is no nation on earth so dangerous as a nation fully armed, and bankrupt at home.

True Americanism is opposed utterly to any political divisions resting on race and religion.

True Americanism recognizes the enormous gravity of the social and labor problems which confront us.

We would not have our country's vigour exhausted or her moral force abated, by everlasting meddling and muddling in every quarrel, great and small, which afflicts the world.

We would not have our politics distracted and embittered by the dissensions of other lands.


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

Categories: Henry Cabot Lodge, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Margaret Mitchell

Published Saturday, November 07, 2015 @ 10:53 PM EST
Nov 07 2015

Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell (November 8, 1900 – August 16, 1949) was an American author and journalist. One novel by Mitchell was published during her lifetime, the American Civil War-era novel, Gone with the Wind, for which she won the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. In more recent years, a collection of Mitchell's girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, Lost Laysen, have been published. A collection of articles written by Mitchell for The Atlanta Journal was republished in book form. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All wars are sacred, to those who have to fight them.

Burdens are for shoulders strong enough to carry them.

Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.

Fighting is like champagne. It goes to the heads of cowards as quickly as of heroes. Any fool can be brave on a battlefield when it's be brave or else be killed.

How closely women clutch the very chains that bind them!

In a weak moment, I have written a book.

It was better to know the worst than to wonder.

Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it's no worse than it is.

Never pass up new experiences... They enrich the mind.

Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

Southerners can never resist a losing cause.

That is the one unforgivable sin in any society. Be different and be damned!

The world can forgive practically anything except people who mind their own business.

Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.

What most people don't seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one.

With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

Categories: Margaret Mitchell, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Judy Tenuta

Published Friday, November 06, 2015 @ 11:21 PM EST
Nov 06 2015

Judy Tenuta (b. November 7, 1956) is an American entertainer, actress, comedian, author, producer, and accordionist. She is noted for her brash onstage persona, alternating insult comedy with self- promotion as the "Love Goddess." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Have you ever dated someone because you were too lazy to commit suicide?

I got an A in philosophy because I proved my professor didn't exist.

I hate to talk about her behind her back, but its safer.

I turned down a date once because I was looking for someone a little closer to the top of the food chain.

Just remember, if we didn't have college, we wouldn't have football. And if we didn't have football, we wouldn't have brain damage.

My mother said, 'You won't amount to anything because you procrastinate.' I said, 'Just wait.'

Oh, friends are just enemies who don't have enough guts to kill you.


(November 7 is also the birthday of Marie Curie, Robert Brault, and Albert Camus.)

Categories: Judy Tenuta, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Mike Nichols

Published Thursday, November 05, 2015 @ 2:05 PM EST
Nov 05 2015

Mike Nichols (born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky; November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


American society to me and my brother was thrilling because, first of all, the food made noise. We were so excited about Rice Krispies and Coca-Cola. We had only silent food in our country, and we loved listening to our lunch and breakfast.

Being with an insanely jealous person is like being in the room with a dead mammoth.

Everybody wants to be known. Everybody's a Kardashian.

I am drawn to the mystery of marriage. You can never know what the contract is between two people, and that is a very strong subject.

I asked a shrink: 'Everything is so great. Why am I still so angry?' He said, 'Anger doesn't go away.' I always thought it was kind of a good engine.

I came to love silence, because it's so rare, and it's now my favorite aural condition.

I still think that luck is what a lot of the good things come from. It's simply the luck of where you are, when.

I've learned that many of the worst things lead to the best things, that no great thing is achieved without a couple of bad, bad things on the way to them, and that the bad things that happen to you bring, in some cases, the good things.

It's the hardest thing on earth to like yourself, and then when you do, it's a catastrophe. I mean, the people I know who like themselves- I don't want to see them!

Limitations are inspiring: they lead to thinking, so I don't mind them.

Nerves provide me with energy... It's when I don't have them, when I feel at ease, that's when I get worried.

Never let people see what you want, because they will not let you have it. Never let anybody see what you feel, because it gives them too much power. You're probably better off not showing weakness whenever you can avoid it, because they'll go for you.

People, by and large, would rather be talking than listening.

That seems to me the great American danger we're all in, that we'll bargain away the experience of being alive for the appearance of it.

The only safe thing is to take a chance.

The reason that most British actors are better than most American actors in the end is that they don't make any money. At the very end of their lives, they get into a space movie and they make a lot of money, but until that happens, basically, they don't have bank accounts. They live from day to day.

The things that you saw earlier in your life generally have more power than the things you saw last week.

The whole point about laughter is it's like mercury: you can't catch it, you can't catch what motivates it- that's why it's funny.

There are absolutely almost perfect people who experience no guilt; they don't know what it is. They simply do what they need to do- or want to do- next. They see nothing wrong with it. They feel no guilt. They express no guilt. And it's not even certain what harm they do.

There's nothing better than discovering, to your own astonishment, what you're meant to do. It's like falling in love.

There's nothing in the American dream about character. It's a serious flaw.

Whether something is a success or not has never had much to do with what you do next.

You can always tell gifted and highly intelligent people as they always turn to the past. Any young person who knows anything that happened before 1980, or 1990, or 2000 for that matter, is immediately someone who is intelligent, probably creative, maybe a writer. Nobody who is drawn to the past and learning about the past is not gifted.


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

Categories: Mike Nichols, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Eugene V. Debs

Published Wednesday, November 04, 2015 @ 2:24 PM EST
Nov 04 2015

Eugene Victor "Gene" Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States. Through his presidential candidacies, as well as his work with labor movements, Debs eventually became one of the best-known socialists living in the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man should take to himself no discomfort from an opinion expressed or implied by his adversary, but it is difficult, and oftentimes humiliating to attempt to justify the kindness of one's friends.

Anybody can be nobody, but it takes a man to be somebody.

As a rule, large capitalists are Republicans and small capitalists are Democrats, but workingmen must remember that they are all capitalists, and that the many small ones, like the fewer large ones, are all politically supporting their class interests, and this is always and everywhere the capitalist class.

Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves. Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on Earth.

Every solitary one of these aristocratic conspirators and would-be murderers claims to be an arch-patriot; every one of them insists that the war is being waged to make the world safe for democracy. What humbug! What rot! What false pretense! These autocrats, these tyrants, these red-handed robbers and murderers, the "patriots," while the men who have the courage to stand face to face with them, speak the truth, and fight for their exploited victims-they are the disloyalists and traitors. If this be true, I want to take my place side by side with the traitors in this fight.

I am guilty of believing that the human race can be humanized and enriched in every spiritual inference through the saner and more beneficent processes of peaceful persuasion applied to material problems rather than through wars, riots and bloodshed.

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.

I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own.

I don't want you to follow me or anyone else. If you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of the capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into this promised land if I could because if I could lead you in, someone else could lead you out.

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going to say anything I do not think.

I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.

If I were hungry and friendless today, I would rather take my chances with a saloon-keeper than with the average preacher.

If the people would but analyze the human equation of a prison they might better account for the crimes that are visited upon them in cities, towns, and hamlets, ofttimes by men who graduated with an education and equipment for just that sort of retributive service from some penal institution.

If you go to the city of Washington, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of congress, and mis-representatives of the masses claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad that I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks.

Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.

Let the people take heart and hope everywhere, for the cross is bending, midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.

No war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.

Private appropriation of the Earth’s surface, the natural resources, and the means of life is nothing less a crime than a crime against humanity, but the comparative few who are beneficiaries of this iniquitous social arrangement, far from being viewed as criminals meriting punishment, are the exalted rulers of society, and the people they exploit gladly render them homage and obeisance.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.

Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results.

Some go to prison for stealing, and others for believing that a better system can be provided and maintained than one that makes it necessary for a man to steal in order to live.

The American people can have anything they want; the trouble is, they don't know what they want.

The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.

The economic owning class is always the political ruling class.

The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society- we are on the eve of universal change.

The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose- especially their lives.

The most heroic word in all languages is revolution.

The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.

The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.

They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. That is too much, even for a joke.

Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most- that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least.

Thousands of years ago the question was asked; 'Am I my brother's keeper?' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

What can Labor do for itself? The answer is not difficult. Labor can organize, it can unify; it can consolidate its forces. This done, it can demand and command.

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right.

Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.

You need at this time especially to know that you are fit for something better than slavery and cannon fodder.


Debs' speeches against the Wilson administration and World War I earned the enmity of President Woodrow Wilson, who later called Debs a "traitor to his country." On June 16, 1918, Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio urging resistance to the military draft of World War I. He was arrested on June 30 and charged with ten counts of sedition.

His trial defense called no witnesses, asking that Debs be allowed to address the court in his defense. That unusual request was granted, and Debs spoke for two hours. He was found guilty on September 12. At his sentencing hearing on September 14, he again addressed the court, and his speech has become a classic. Heywood Broun, a liberal journalist and not a Debs partisan, said it was "one of the most beautiful and moving passages in the English language. He was for that one afternoon touched with inspiration. If anyone told me that tongues of fire danced upon his shoulders as he spoke, I would believe it."

Debs said in part:

"Your honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the form of our present government; that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in the change of both but by perfectly peaceable and orderly means....

"I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and factories; I am thinking of the women who, for a paltry wage, are compelled to work out their lives; of the little children who, in this system, are robbed of their childhood, and in their early, tender years, are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon, and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the machines while they themselves are being starved body and soul....

"Your honor, I ask no mercy, I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never more fully comprehended than now the great struggle between the powers of greed on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of freedom. I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own.

"When the mariner, sailing over tropic seas, looks for relief from his weary watch, he turns his eyes toward the Southern Cross, burning luridly above the tempest-vexed ocean. As the midnight approaches the Southern Cross begins to bend, and the whirling worlds change their places, and with starry finger-points the Almighty marks the passage of Time upon the dial of the universe; and though no bell may beat the glad tidings, the look-out knows that the midnight is passing– that relief and rest are close at hand.

"Let the people take heart and hope everywhere, for the cross is bending, midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning."

Debs was sentenced on November 18, 1918, to ten years in prison. He was also disenfranchised for life. Debs presented what has been called his best-remembered statement at his sentencing hearing:

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."


(November 5 is also the birthday of Will Durant.)


Categories: Eugene V. Debs, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Andy Rooney

Published Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 1:59 PM EST
Nov 03 2015

Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney (January 14, 1919 – November 4, 2011) was an American radio and television writer. He was best known for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutes aired on October 2, 2011. He died one month later, on November 4, 2011, at age 92. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Anyone who likes golf on television would enjoy watching the grass grow on the greens.

As an old reporter, we have a few secrets, and the first thing is we try the phone book.

Being kind is more important than being right.

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.

Conservatives are more religious than liberals- although there is no evidence that they're nicer people because of it.

Democrats believe people are basically good but must be saved from themselves by the government. Republicans believe people are basically bad but they'll be okay if they're left alone.

Don't rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head.

Everyone wants to live at the top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

Go to bed. Whatever you're staying up late for isn't worth it.

I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I don't like food that's too carefully arranged. It makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I'd buy a painting.

I just wish insignificance had more stature.

I'm already suspicious of anyone who thinks he or she is smart enough to be president. You'd have to have some ego to believe that about yourself.

If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.

In a conversation, keep in mind that you're more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is.

It's not so much that I write well, I just don't write badly very often, and that passes for good on television.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

Love, not time, heals all wounds.

Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose.

Milk without fat is like nonalcoholic Scotch.

Money doesn't buy class.

Not everyone has a right to his own opinion. If he doesn't know the facts, his opinion doesn't count.

Nothing in fine print is ever good news.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.

Opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

Patriotism is only a virtue if the person who has it lives in your country.

People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

The Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

There are idiots who will buy anything as long as it costs enough.

There are more beauty parlors than there are beauties.

Vegetarian- that's an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.

Writers never retire.


(November 4 is also the birthday of Will Rogers and Walter Cronkite.)

Categories: Andy Rooney, Quotes of the day

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137 obervations on voting

Published Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 3:55 PM EST
Nov 02 2015

A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
-Buddy Watts, Sr.

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.
-Dan Quayle

A society is not 'free' merely because the freedoms the people are doing away with are those they voted at the last election to do without.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.
-O. Henry

Along with voting, jury duty, and paying taxes, goofing off is one of the central obligations of American citizenship.
-Sarah Vowell

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
-John Quincy Adams

America is a land where a citizen will cross the ocean to fight for democracy- and won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
-Bill Vaughan

And political parties, overanxious for vote catching, become tolerant to intolerant groups.
-Wendell Willkie

Applause, mingled with boos and hisses, is about all that the average voter is able or willing to contribute to public life.
-Elmer Davis

As people do better, they start voting like Republicans... unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.
-Karl Rove

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
-Gore Vidal

As to my political faith- I have never voted. My father was a Democrat, my mother a Republican, and I am an Episcopalian.
-George C. Marshall

Ask a man which way he is going to vote, and he will probably tell you. Ask him, however, why, and vagueness is all.
-Bernard Levin

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
-George Jean Nathan

Decision by democratic majority vote is a fine form of government, but it's a stinking way to create.
-Lillian Hellman

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.
-Robert Byrne

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

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
-James Bovard

Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.
-Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Don't vote. It only encourages them.

Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
-Franklin P. Adams

Ever occur to you why some of us can be this much concerned with animals suffering? Because government is not. Why not? Animals don't vote.
-Paul Harvey

Every American election summons the individual voter to weigh the past against the future.
-Theodore H. White

Every guy looks in his pocket and then votes.
-Will Rogers

Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival: people who find themselves unable to register an effective political protest against extermination do so by a biological act.
-Lewis Mumford

Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.
-Anna Lappe

Everybody says not enough people vote. Now, I don't know nothing, but after the midterms, pretty obvious to me, that too many people vote.
-Will Durst

Finally, it occurs to me that the biggest problem with our elections is that however you vote, you wind up electing a politician.
-Burt Prelutsky

Florida's number three industry, behind tourism and skin cancer, is voter fraud.
-Dave Barry

Given a choice between two bald political candidates, the American people will vote for the less bald of the two.
-Vic Gold

Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.
-Harry S. Truman

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
-H.L. Mencken

Half the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President- the same half?
-Gore Vidal

Here's the thing about rights. They're not supposed to be voted on. That's why they call them rights.
-Rachel Maddow

I can understand the poor and stupid voting for Marxism or one of its fashionable variants. If you've no hope of being other than a slave, you may as well opt for the most efficient form of slavery.
-P.D. James

I didn't vote for change, but that's all I have left.

I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country. You don't need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!
-Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)

I have this fear that one day there's going to be a fire in the Senate and there are only going to be 57 Senators there and they'll all die because they won't have the 60 votes to allow themselves to leave the building.
-Barney Frank

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

I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself.
-Jack Nicholson

I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them.
-Pauline Kael

I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough.
-Claire Sargent

I vote for the same reason that I would punch a bear that was eating me. I don't think it will make a big difference in the outcome, but at least it doesn't look like I want to be eaten by a bear.
-Nick Doody

I voted for the Democrats because I didn't like the way the Republicans were running the country. Which is turning out to be like shooting yourself in the head to stop your headache.
-Jack Mayberry

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

I'm sorry, but voting for a presidential candidate because you like the choice for vice president is like getting married to a woman because you like her cat.
-Kevin G. Barkes

If all power is in the people, if there is no higher law than their will, and if by counting their votes, their will may be ascertained- then the people may entrust all their power to anyone, and the power of the pretender and the usurper is then legitimate. It is not to be challenged since it came originally from the sovereign people.
-Walter Lippmann

If God had wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.
-Jay Leno

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
-Orson Scott Card

If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates (book title)
-Jim Hightower

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
-Emma Goldman

If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.
-Ed Koch

If you don't vote, then you may be leaving the decisions up to someone dumber than you.
-Jesse Ventura

If you make less than $50,000 a year and vote Republican, you are a moron.
-Rack Jite

If you voted for change, you better start counting it.

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

In a democracy, the votes of the vicious and stupid count. On the other hand, in any other system, they might be running the show. (from The Boston Globe)

In any relatively close election you can generally credit almost any subgroup as providing the marginal votes.
-Duncan Black

In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
-Mogens Jallberg

In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it's a sport.
-Dick Gregory

In my lifetime, we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We've gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in twelve years, we'll be voting for plants.
-Lewis Black

In really hard times the rules of the game are altered. The inchoate mass begins to stir. It becomes potent, and when it strikes... it strikes with incredible emphasis. Those are the rare occasions when a national will emerges from the scattered, specialized, or indifferent blocs of voters who ordinarily elect the politicians. Those are for good or evil the great occasions in a nation's history.
-Walter Lippmann

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities.
-Ayn Rand

It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.

It is just as impossible to help reform by conciliating prejudice as it is by buying votes. Prejudice is the enemy. Whoever is not for you is against you.
-John Jay Chapman

It isn't money itself that causes the trouble, but the use of money as votive offering and pagan ornament.
-Lewis H. Lapham

It makes no difference who you vote for- the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.
-Gore Vidal

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
-Tom Stoppard

Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.
-Earl Warren

Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.
-Erich Fromm

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.
-Larry Flynt

More often than not Democratic Law works to the advantage of the few even though the many have voted; this, of course, is because the few have told them how to vote.
-Charles Bukowski

Never pass up an opportunity to appear on C-Span. C-Span viewers vote.
-Lamar Alexander

Never vote for the best candidate. Vote for the one who will do the least harm.
-Frank Dane

No politician is perfect. But in every election in your life, there will be one choice that is better than the others. Go out and vote for that one.
-Bill Maher

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.
-Mark B. Cohen

One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
-Hugo Black

Our only hope is to control the vote.
-Medgar Evers

People vote their resentment, not their appreciation. The average man does not vote for anything but against something.
-H.H. Munro Saki

Politics is how you live your life, not whom you vote for.
-Jerry Rubin

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

President Bush has said that he does not need approval from the UN to wage war, and I'm thinking, well, hell, he didn't need the approval of the American voters to become president, either.
-David Letterman

Quite a few people have to believe something is normal before it becomes normal- a sort of voting situation. But once the threshold is reached, then everyone demands to do whatever it is.
-Alan Kay

Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Son, if you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against 'em, you don't deserve to be here.
-Sam Rayburn

Television is the most perfect democracy. You sit there with your remote control and vote.
-Aaron Brown

Texas has a lot of electrical votes.
-Yogi Berra

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
-Winston Churchill

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
-Charles Bukowski

The difference between corporations and governments is governments have a monopoly on force. It's a lot easier to vote with your feet or your wallet than it is to change a government with your vote.
-P.J. O'Rourke

The effort to calculate exactly what the voters want at each particular moment leaves out of account the fact that when they are troubled the thing the voters most want is to be told what to want.
-Walter Lippmann

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
-Art Spander

The laws and the entire scheme of our civil rule, from the town meeting to the State capitals and the national capital, is yours. Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust.
-Grover Cleveland

The next time they give you all that civic bullsh*t about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.
-George Carlin

The only way to change is to vote. People are responsible.
-Paul Wellstone

The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.
-Thomas Paine

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul.
-Emma Goldman

The universe is not rich enough to buy the vote of an honest man.
-Dick Gregory

The votes elected officials make should be based on the best interests of the American people, not the fear of retribution when shadowy groups spend millions of dollars on negative advertisements.
-Bernie Sanders

The world would be a better place if people stopped voting for folksy candidates they could have a beer with and started voting for people smarter than they are.
-Marcus Sakey

There are men whose sense of humour is so ill developed that they still bear a grudge against Copernicus because he dethroned them from the central position in the universe. They feel it a personal affront that they can no longer consider themselves the pivot upon which turns the whole of created things.
-W. Somerset Maugham

There are no moderate Republicans left, with the exception of a few who would vote with us when it doesn't make any difference. It's the most rigid ideological party since before the Civil War.
-Barney Frank

There is but one unconditional commandment, which is that we should seek incessantly, with fear and trembling, so to vote and to act as to bring about the very largest total universe of good which we can see.
-William James

There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong- deadly wrong- to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

There is no hope even that woman, with her right to vote, will ever purify politics.
-Emma Goldman

There's a true schizophrenia where if you say to voters, you know, do you think the federal government spends too much money and they should spend less, they say yeah, absolutely. Then you name specific things, like Pell grants for students and they say, no, not that. How 'bout NIH, medical research funding? Nah, you really shouldn't cut that. And pretty soon you've proved that what the American public is against is arithmetic.
-Bill Gates

To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
-Louis L'Amour

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.
-G.K. Chesterton

Truth is not determined by majority vote.
-Doug Gwyn

Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.
-Noam Chomsky

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
-Bernard Baruch

Vote, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
-Ambrose Bierce

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.
-George F. Will

Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.
-Russell Baker

Voters quickly forget what a man says.
-Richard M. Nixon

Voting is like driving... you choose 'D' to move forwards and 'R' to go backwards.

We are going to lose 51 states. Puerto Rico will demand statehood just for the chance not to vote for this guy.
-James Lileks

We live in a country where voting rights get gutted but Sharknado gets a sequel.
-John Fugelsang

We need to be asking for the vote in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we're asking for the vote from.
-Karl Rove

We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

What's real in politics is what the voters decide is real.
-Ben J. Wattenberg

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.
-Will Rogers

When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them.
-Franklin P. Adams

When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.
-Paul Wellstone

When your opponent sets up a straw man, set it on fire and kick the cinders around the stage. Don't worry about losing the Strawperson- American community vote.
-James Lileks

Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
-Harry S. Truman

Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote... the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.
-Che Guevara

Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?
-Barry M. Goldwater

Why do the people humiliate themselves by voting? I didn't vote because I have dignity. If I had closed my nose and voted for one of them, I would spit on my own face.
-Oriana Fallaci

Yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.
-Abraham Lincoln

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.
-Alan Watts

You tell me your favorite novelists and I'll tell you whom you vote for, or whether you vote at all.
-Stephen Vizinczey

You will never escape the will of the mob. About the best anyone has ever figured out to do is herd them into voting booths.
-Barry Shein


(November 3 is also the birthday of James Reston and Roseanne Barr.)

Categories: Elections, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, Voting

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Quotes of the day: Warren G. Harding

Published Sunday, November 01, 2015 @ 2:51 PM EST
Nov 01 2015

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1921 until his death. Although Harding died one of the most popular presidents in history, the subsequent exposure of scandals that took place under him, such as Teapot Dome, eroded his popular regard, as did revelations of an affair by Nan Britton, one of his mistresses. In historical rankings of the U.S. presidents, Harding has been rated among the worst. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Ambition is a commendable attribute, without which no man succeeds. Only inconsiderate ambition imperils.

Honesty is the great essential. It exalts the individual citizenship, and, without honesty, no man deserves the confidence of the people in private pursuit or in public office.

I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.

I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election.

I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends, my god-damned friends, White, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor nights!

In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation.

Liberty- liberty within the law--and civilization are inseparable.

Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.

Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little.

The success of our popular government rests wholly upon the correct interpretation of the deliberate, intelligent, dependable popular will of America.

There is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the ideals of representative democracy, when one portion of our citizenship turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation.

There's good in everybody. Boost. Don't knock.

Treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy, and your enemy as if he will one day be your friend.


(November 2 is also the birthday of Lois McMaster Bujold.)

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Quotes of the day: Stephen Crane

Published Saturday, October 31, 2015 @ 4:27 PM EDT
Oct 31 2015

Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American author. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Every sin is the result of collaboration.

A man said to the universe: 'Sir I exist!' 'However,' replied the universe, 'The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.'

Sometimes, the most profound of awakenings come wrapped in the quietest of moments.

If there is a witness to my little life,To my tiny throes and struggles,He sees a fool; And it is not fine for gods to menace fools.

Doubtless there are other roads.

A serious prophet upon predicting a flood should be the first man to climb a tree. This would demonstrate that he was indeed a seer.

Half of tradition is a lie.

You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard Where a standard never flew.

It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.

A man feared that he might find an assassin; Another that he might find a victim. One was more wise than the other.

Perhaps an individual must consider his own death to be the final phenomenon of nature.

It perhaps might be said- if any one dared- that the most worthless literature of the world has been that which has been written by the men of one nation concerning the men of another.

A man with a full stomach and the respect of his fellows had no business to scold about anything that he might think to be wrong in the ways of the universe, or even with the ways of society. Let the unfortunates rail; the others may play marbles.

If I should cast off this tattered coat, And go free into the mighty sky; If I should find nothing there But a bast blue, Echoless, ignorant,- What then?


(November 1 is also the birthday of Larry Flynt and Kinky Friedman .)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Stephen Crane

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Quotes of the day: John Keats

Published Friday, October 30, 2015 @ 1:20 PM EDT
Oct 30 2015

John Keats (October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821) was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work having been in publication for only four years before his death. His poetry is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analyzed in English literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I lay them at your feet. Tread lightly, for you tread on my dreams.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?

He ne'er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead.

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter: therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

I have a habitual feeling of my real life having past, and that I am now leading a posthumous existence.

I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute.

Life is divine Chaos. It's messy, and it's supposed to be that way.

Love is my religion- I could die for it.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.

O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!

Philosophy will clip an angel's wings.

Pleasure is oft a visitant, but pain clings cruelty to us.

Scenery is fine- but human nature is finer.

The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing, to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.

The poetry of the earth is never dead.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.

There is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.

There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.

Touch has a memory. O say, love, say, What can I do to kill it and be free?

What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth.

You are always new, the last of your kisses was ever the sweetest.

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Quotes of the day: Ezra Pound

Published Thursday, October 29, 2015 @ 2:21 PM EDT
Oct 29 2015

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (October 30, 1885 – November 1, 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic who was a major figure in the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his development of Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and the unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–69). His pro-Fascist broadcasts in Italy during World War II led to his arrest and confinement until 1958. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A civilized man is one who will give a serious answer to a serious question. Civilization itself is a certain sane balance of values.

A general loathing of a gang or sect usually has some sound basis in instinct.

A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.

A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.

All great art is born of the metropolis.

Allow me to say that I would long since have committed suicide had desisting made me a professor of Latin.

Any general statement is like a check drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.

Artists are the antennae of the race but the bullet-headed many will never learn to trust their great artists.

At seventy, I realized that instead of being a lunatic, I was a moron.

Either move or be moved.

Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.

Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.

I guess the definition of a lunatic is a man surrounded by them.

I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown.

I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn't irascible.

If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good.

If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.

If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates.

It is better to present one image in a lifetime than to produce voluminous work.

Literature is news that STAYS news.

Make it new!

Men do not understand books until they have a certain amount of life, or at any rate no man understands a deep book, until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.

Nothing written for pay is worth printing. Only what has been written against the market.

People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.

Poetry must be as well written as prose.

Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.

Real education must ultimately be limited to one who insists on knowing, the rest is mere sheepherding.

Religion, oh, just another of those numerous failures resulting from an attempt to popularize art.

Technique is the test of sincerity. If a thing isn't worth getting the technique to say, it is of inferior value.

The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.

The author's conviction on this day of the New Year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.

The less we know, the longer our explanations.

The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets literature decay than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.

The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.

Wars are made to make debt.

When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.


(October 30 is also the birthday of John Adams.)

Categories: Ezra Pound, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Richard Dreyfuss

Published Wednesday, October 28, 2015 @ 9:30 PM EDT
Oct 28 2015

Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland's Opus, and The Goodbye Girl.

The Academy award-winning actor aims to revive civic education in order to teach future generations about the power of their citizenship and the principles that hold America together. In 2006, he created The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative (TDCI), a non-profit and pre-partisan organization that advocates for the teaching of civics in United States classrooms. TDCI's mission is to revitalize and enhance the teaching of civics in American public education in order to empower future generations with the critical thinking skills needed to fulfill the vast potential of American citizenship (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Civics is not only how to run the country before it's your turn to run the country; it is, in fact, the study of power, practical political power. And you must start that process at an age level when kids' brains are still open and malleable.

Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that's uncivil.

Happiness has a bad rap. People say it shouldn't be your goal in life. Oh, yes it should.

I really think that living is the process of going from complete certainty to complete ignorance.

In a way, J.F.K. was the high point of the American dream. In order to go to the moon and back, all we did was say we could- and we did.

It is an obvious and blatant stupidity beyond my ability to articulate how dumb it is for us not to teach our children how to run the government.

John Kennedy really did extend the reach of the American people and said, like Lincoln said in a way, that our reach is farther than our grasp- and we should aim high.

Let's give some substance to patriotism. It may take a generation.

Power never turns power down, ever, unless institutionally demanded.

The rules are all wrong today. The mandate of the media really does pre-date the founding of the United States.

There is one solution to all of our problems: Teaching our kids clarity of thought and political representation in democracy. That's it.

Wake up and live. It's a fast world out there.

We mistake politics for legislative debate. You can be passionate without being personal.

We need to get back to reasoning and thinking things through. The future generation is being brought up in greed and without a true understanding of civics. There is no more emphasis on knowledge and time. As a society we need to process ideas and understand what certain principles are based upon.

You don't have to act as if you care; you just have to care enough to act.


(October 29 is also the birthday of Jean Giraudoux.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Richard Dreyfuss

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Quotes of the day: Jonas Salk

Published Tuesday, October 27, 2015 @ 11:00 PM EDT
Oct 27 2015

Jonas Edward Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.

I pictured myself as a virus or a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.

I see the triumph of good over evil as a manifestation of the error-correcting process of evolution.

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.

It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner.

Neither wisdom nor good will is now dominant. Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.

Nothing happens quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience.

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.

Reason alone will not serve. Intuition alone can be improved by reason, but reason alone without intuition can easily lead the wrong way. They both are necessary.

Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do, or what not to do.

The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.

The worst tragedy that could have befallen me was my success. I knew right away that I was through- cast out.

There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.

There is no patent (for the polio vaccine). Could you patent the sun?

There is no such thing as failure, there's just giving up too soon.


(October 28 is also the birthday of Bill Gates and Evelyn Waugh.)

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Quotes of the day: Fran Lebowitz

Published Monday, October 26, 2015 @ 3:49 PM EDT
Oct 26 2015

Frances Ann "Fran" Lebowitz (b. October 27, 1950) is an American author and public speaker. Lebowitz is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities. Some reviewers have called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A dog who thinks he is a man's best friend is a dog who obviously has never met a tax lawyer.

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Children make the most desirable opponents in Scrabble as they are both easy to beat and fun to cheat.

Climbing a tree makes sense to me only if behind you there are Nazis.

Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.

Don't bother discussing sex with small children. They rarely have anything to add.

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough.

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don't are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn't put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.

Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication.

Humility is no substitute for a good personality.

I don't believe in anything you have to believe in.

I never met anyone who didn't have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?

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

I would have more respect for the Pope if he wore a white cotton teeshirt emblazoned with red with the legend: INFALLIBLE BUT NOT INFLEXIBLE.

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.

If you are of the opinion that the contemplation of suicide is sufficient evidence of a poetic nature, do not forget that actions speak louder than words.

If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture, you would pretty much be left with Let's Make a Deal.

If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies.

Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.

Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded as the heavy petting of literature.

Many people find smoking objectionable. I myself find many-even more-things objectionable. I do not like aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tanned. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs.

My favorite animal is steak.

No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.

Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met.

Screenwriting is not an art form, it is a punishment from God.

Sleep is death without the responsibility.

Smoking, as far as I am concerned, is the whole point of being an adult.

Special-interest publications should realize that if they are attracting enough advertising and readers to make a profit, the interest is not so special.

Spilling your guts is just exactly as charming as it sounds.

Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

Success didn't spoil me; I've always been insufferable.

Television turned out to be exactly as bad as the most irritating and pedantic intellectuals of the '50s said it was going to be.

The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get you a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat.

The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.

The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.

The three questions of greatest concern are: 1) Is it attractive? 2) Is it amusing? 3) Does it know its place?

There are only two modes of transport in Los Angeles: car and ambulance.

There are too many books, the books are terrible, and this is because you have been taught to have self esteem.

There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.

There's no line-item veto in life.

There's nothing about an elevator I like. It's too small. It's filled with people I did not invite. And often these people are wearing conflicting perfumes.

To me the outdoors is what you have to pass through in order to get from your apartment into a taxicab.

When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.

Women who insist upon having the same options as men would do well to consider the option of being the strong, silent type.

You can't go around hoping that most people have sterling moral characters. The most you can hope for is that people will pretend they do.

Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try.


(October 27 is also the birthday of Sylvia Plath.)

Categories: Fran Lebowitz, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Pat Conroy

Published Sunday, October 25, 2015 @ 11:19 AM EDT
Oct 25 2015

Pat Conroy (born October 26, 1945) is a New York Times bestselling author who has written several acclaimed novels and memoirs. Two of his novels, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, were made into Oscar-nominated films. He is recognized as a leading figure of late 20th century Southern literature. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A library could show you everything if you knew where to look.

A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.

A story untold could be the one that kills you.

Every woman I had ever met who walked through the world appraised and classified by an extraordinary physicality had also received the keys to an unbearable solitude. It was the coefficient of their beauty, the price they had to pay.

Evil would always come to me disguised in systems and dignified by law.

Except for memory, time would have no meaning at all.

Fantasy is one of the soul's brighter porcelains.There is such a thing as too much beauty in a woman and it is often a burden as crippling as homeliness and far more dangerous. It takes much luck and integrity to survive the gift of perfect beauty, and its impermanence is its most cunning betrayal.

Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.

Honor is the presence of God in man.

Humanity is best described as inhumanity.

I don't believe in happy families.

I have found human nature a bit contradictory in my living of it. Human life is incredibly strange.

I lived with the terrible knowledge that one day I would be an old man still waiting for my real life to start. Already, I pitied that old man.

I realized early that unless you're willing to kill the innocent, you can't win.

I still write in long hand. I type like a chimpanzee.

I told my kids when they were little, 'Look, kids, your mother and I are screwing you up somehow. We don't understand how, or we wouldn't do it. But we're parents. So somehow we're damaging you, and I want you to know that early. So just ignore me when I go to that part of my parenting.'

I've always found paranoia to be a perfectly defensible position.

I've never had anyone's approval, so I've learned to live without it.

In Charleston, more than elsewhere, you get the feeling that the twentieth century is a vast, unconscionable mistake.

In families, there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.

Know this. I think you could be special if you only thought there was anything special about yourself.

Like everything else, love's not worth much without some action to back it up.

Losing prepares you for the heartbreak, setback, and the tragedy that you will encounter in the world more than winning ever can. By licking your wounds you learn how to avoid getting wounded the next time.

Man wonders but God decides
When to kill the Prince of Tides

Men are prisoners of their genitalia and women are the keepers of the keys to paradise.

My mother, Southern to the bone, once told me, "All Southern literature can be summed up in these words: 'On the night the hogs ate Willie, Mama died when she heard what Daddy did to Sister.' She raised me up to be a Southern writer, but it wasn't easy.

Paranoia has a sharper taste if the danger is real.

Some things don't mix. Some things don't mix at all, but sometimes in life you have to take the risk.

Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly."

The mind is an intricate mechanism that can be run on the fuels of both victory and defeatism.

The most powerful words in English are 'Tell me a story,' words that are intimately related to the complexity of history, the origins of language, the continuity of the species, the taproot of our humanity, our singularity, and art itself.

The pursuit of greatness means that laziness has no place in your life.

There are no ideas in the South, just barbecue.

There are no verdicts to childhood, only consequences, and the bright freight of memory.

There is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss.

Time moves funny and it's hard to pin down. Occasionally, time offers you a hundred opportunities to do the right thing. Sometimes, it gives you only one chance.

When men talk about the agony of being men, they can never quite get away from the recurrent theme of self-pity. And when women talk about being women, they can never quite get away from the recurrent theme of blaming men.

Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?

Without music and dance, life is a journey through a desert.


October 24, 2007

To the Editor of the Charleston Gazette:

I received an urgent e-mail from a high school student named Makenzie Hatfield of Charleston, West Virginia. She informed me of a group of parents who were attempting to suppress the teaching of two of my novels, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music. I heard rumors of this controversy as I was completing my latest filthy, vomit-inducing work. These controversies are so commonplace in my life that I no longer get involved. But my knowledge of mountain lore is strong enough to know the dangers of refusing to help a Hatfield of West Virginia. I also do not mess with McCoys.

I've enjoyed a lifetime love affair with English teachers, just like the ones who are being abused in Charleston, West Virginia, today. My English teachers pushed me to be smart and inquisitive, and they taught me the great books of the world with passion and cunning and love. Like your English teachers, they didn't have any money either, but they lived in the bright fires of their imaginations, and they taught because they were born to teach the prettiest language in the world. I have yet to meet an English teacher who assigned a book to damage a kid. They take an unutterable joy in opening up the known world to their students, but they are dishonored and unpraised because of the scandalous paychecks they receive. In my travels around this country, I have discovered that America hates its teachers, and I could not tell you why. Charleston, West Virginia, is showing clear signs of really hurting theirs, and I would be cautious about the word getting out.

In 1961, I entered the classroom of the great Eugene Norris, who set about in a thousand ways to change my life. It was the year I read The Catcher in the Rye, under Gene's careful tutelage, and I adore that book to this very day. Later, a parent complained to the school board, and Gene Norris was called before the board to defend his teaching of this book. He asked me to write an essay describing the book's galvanic effect on me, which I did. But Gene's defense of The Catcher in the Rye was so brilliant and convincing in its sheer power that it carried the day. I stayed close to Gene Norris till the day he died. I delivered a eulogy at his memorial service and was one of the executors of his will. Few in the world have ever loved English teachers as I have, and I loathe it when they are bullied by know- nothing parents or cowardly school boards.

About the novels your county just censored: The Prince of Tides and Beach Music are two of my darlings which I would place before the altar of God and say, "Lord, this is how I found the world you made." They contain scenes of violence, but I was the son of a Marine Corps fighter pilot who killed hundreds of men in Korea, beat my mother and his seven kids whenever he felt like it, and fought in three wars. My youngest brother, Tom, committed suicide by jumping off a fourteen-story building; my French teacher ended her life with a pistol; my aunt was brutally raped in Atlanta; eight of my classmates at The Citadel were killed in Vietnam; and my best friend was killed in a car wreck in Mississippi last summer. Violence has always been a part of my world. I write about it in my books and make no apology to anyone. In Beach Music, I wrote about the Holocaust and lack the literary powers to make that historical event anything other than grotesque


People cuss in my books. People cuss in my real life. I cuss, especially at Citadel basketball games. I'm perfectly sure that Steve Shamblin and other teachers prepared their students well for any encounters with violence or profanity in my books just as Gene Norris prepared me for the profane language in The Catcher in the Rye forty-eight years ago.

The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in Lonesome Dove and had nightmares about slavery in Beloved and walked the streets of Dublin in Ulysses and made up a hundred stories in The Arabian Nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in A Prayer for Owen Meany. I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language.

The school board of Charleston, West Virginia, has sullied that gift and shamed themselves and their community. You've now entered the ranks of censors, book-banners, and teacher-haters, and the word will spread. Good teachers will avoid you as though you had cholera. But here is my favorite thing: Because you banned my books, every kid in that county will read them, every single one of them. Because book- banners are invariably idiots, they don't know how the world works—but writers and English teachers do.

I salute the English teachers of Charleston, West Virginia, and send my affection to their students. West Virginians, you've just done what history warned you against—you've riled a Hatfield.


Pat Conroy


(October 26 is also the birthday of Napoleon Hill.)

Categories: Pat Conroy, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Henry Steele Commager

Published Saturday, October 24, 2015 @ 2:34 PM EDT
Oct 24 2015

Henry Steele Commager (October 25, 1902 – March 2, 1998) was an American historian who helped define Modern liberalism in the United States for two generations through his 40 books and 700 essays and reviews. His principal scholarly works were his 1936 biography of Theodore Parker; his intellectual history The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character since the 1880s (1950), which focuses on the evolution of liberalism in the American political mind from the 1880s to the 1940s, and his intellectual history Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment (1977). In addition, he edited one of the most widely used compilations, Documents of American History. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A free society cherishes nonconformity. It knows that from the non- conformist, from the eccentric, have come many of the great ideas of freedom. Free society must fertilize the soil in which non-conformity and dissent and individualism can grow.

A government and a society that silences those who dissent is one that has lost its way.

America was born of revolt, flourished on dissent, became great through experimentation.

And we wonder what can be that 'philosophy of education' which believes that young people can be trained to the duties of citizenship by wrapping their minds in cotton wool.

Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them.

Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.

Freedom is not a luxury that we can indulge in when at last we have security and prosperity and enlightenment; it is, rather, antecedent to all of these, for without it we can have neither security nor prosperity nor enlightenment.

History is a jangle of accidents, blunders, surprises, and absurdities, and so is our knowledge of it, but if we are to report it at all we must impose some order on it.

History is organized memory, and the organization is all important!

If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function, it must have dissent.

It's awfully hard to be the son of a great man and also of a half- crazy woman.

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.

Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present.

The Bill of Rights was not written to protect governments from trouble. It was written precisely to give the people the constitutional means to cause trouble for governments they no longer trusted.

The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.

The greatest danger we face is not any particular kind of thought. The greatest danger we face is absence of thought.

The justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.

To yearn for a single, and usually simple, explanation of the chaotic materials of the past, to search for a single thread in that most tangled of all skeins, is a sign of immaturity.

We should not be surprised that the Founding Fathers didn't foresee everything, when we see that the current Fathers hardly ever foresee anything.

What every college must do is hold up before the young the spectacle of greatness.


(October 25 is also the birthday of Pablo Picasso and Thomas Washington Macaulay.)

Categories: Henry Steele Commager, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Jackie Robinson

Published Friday, October 23, 2015 @ 10:47 PM EDT
Oct 23 2015

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) second baseman who became the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. The Dodgers, by playing Robinson, ended racial segregation that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead.

How you played in yesterday's game is all that counts.

Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.

The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.

The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.

There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.

This ain't fun. But you watch me, I'll get it done.

We ask for nothing special. We ask only to be permitted to live as you live, and as our nation's constitution provides.

We live in a materialistic society in which money doesn't talk- it screams.


(October 24 is also the birthday of Moss Hart and Stephen Covey.)

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Quotes of the day: Randy Pausch

Published Thursday, October 22, 2015 @ 10:15 PM EDT
Oct 22 2015

Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human–computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and in August 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis: "3 to 6 months of good health left". He gave an upbeat lecture titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co- authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good apology is like antibiotic, a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound.

Be good at something. It makes you valuable.

Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.

Everything you do is an opportunity cost. Learn to say 'no.'

Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcomed.

If I could only give three words of advice, they would be, 'tell the truth.' If I got three more words, I'd add: 'All the time.'

It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.

It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible.

Look, I'm going to find a way to be happy, and I'd really love to be happy with you, but if I can't be happy with you, then I'll find a way to be happy without you.

Respect authority while questioning it.

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

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!

The questions are always more important than the answers.

When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it's really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.

When you've had something... that you hold so precious, it's the toughest thing in the world to hand it over. And the only advice I can give you is, find somebody better than you to hand it to.

You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.

You get people to help you by telling the truth; by being earnest. I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short-term, earnest is long term.

You've got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn't going to work.


(October 23 is also the birthday of Johnny Carson and Michael Crichton.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Randy Pausch

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Quotes of the day: The Future

Published Wednesday, October 21, 2015 @ 6:56 PM EDT
Oct 21 2015


The future ain't what it used to be.
-Yogi Berra

The future always looks good in the golden land because no one remembers the past.
-Joan Didion

The future arrives too soon and in the wrong order.
-Alvin Toffler

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

The future depends on assumptions and assumptions are just stuff you make up. No sense in knocking yourself out.
-Scott Adams

The future destiny of the child is always the work of his mother. Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic towards common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects.
-Robert F. Kennedy

The future has a way of arriving unannounced.
-George F. Will

The future has an ancient heart.
-Carlo Levi

The future holds little hope for any government where the present holds no hope for the people.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed.
-William Gibson

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
-Robert A. Heinlein

The future is dark, the present burdensome. Only the past, dead and buried, bears contemplation.
-Geoffrey Elton

The future is inevitable and precise, but it may not occur. God lurks in the gaps.
-Jorge Luis Borges

The future is no more uncertain than the present.
-Walt Whitman

The future is not google-able.
-William Gibson

The future is not in the hands of fate but in ours.
-Jules Jusserand

The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to.
-Alan Kay

The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.
-James Cameron

The future is unwritten. Cyberspace is the funhouse mirror of our own society, reflects our values and our faults, sometimes in terrifying exaggerations. It doesn't matter who you are today, if you don't show up in that mirror you are just not going to matter very much. Our kids have to show up in the mirror.
-Bruce Sterling

The future is usually just like the past- right up to the moment when it isn't.
-George F. Will

The future will be better tomorrow.
-Dan Quayle

The future will belong to those who have passion and are willing to work hard to make our country better.
-Paul Wellstone

The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Paul Wellstone

The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive.
-John Sladek

The future, wave or no wave, seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done.
-E.B. White


(October 22 is also the birthday of Timothy Leary and Doris Lessing.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic

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