Quotes of the day: Winston Churchill

Published Sunday, November 29, 2015 @ 3:17 PM EST
Nov 29 2015

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD DL FRS RA (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile- hoping it will eat him last.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

Democracy is no harlot to be picked up in the street by a man with a tommy gun.

Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig! He looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.

Eating words has never given me indigestion.

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught.

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities which he excites among his opponents.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.

I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.

I think 'no comment' is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.

I want no criticism of America at my table. The Americans criticize themselves more than enough.

If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.

In war-time truth is so precious she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Is it better to have equality at the price of poverty or well-being at the price of inequality?

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations... The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

My education was interrupted only by my schooling.

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never- in nothing, great or small, large or petty- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.

Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.

Nothing is more dangerous in wartime than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one's pulse and taking one's temperature.

Nothing would induce me to vote for giving women the franchise. I am not going to be hen-pecked into a question of such importance.
(in 1910)

Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.

Peace will not be preserved by pious sentiments.

Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.

Saving is a very fine thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.

Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.

Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

The maxim 'Nothing but perfection' may be spelled 'Paralysis.'

The price of greatness is responsibility.

The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.

There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true.

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

We owe something to extravagance, for thrift and adventure seldom go hand in hand.

We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

When I make a statement of facts within my knowledge I expect it to be accepted.

When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.

Whether you believe or disbelieve, it is a wicked thing to take away Man's hope.

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.

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing; after they've tried everything else.

You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

You must look at the facts because they look at you.

You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.


(November 30 is also the birthday of L.M. Montgomery.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Winston Churchill

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Quotes of the day: George Harrison

Published Saturday, November 28, 2015 @ 9:25 PM EST
Nov 28 2015

George Harrison MBE (February 25, 1943 – November 29, 2001) was an English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band's primary songwriters, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something", the last of which became the Beatles' second-most-covered song. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All religions are branches of one big tree. It doesn't matter what you call Him just as long as you call.

All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.

As long as you hate, there will be people to hate.

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to. Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you.

Gossip is the Devil's radio.

I don't mind anybody dropping out of anything, but it's the imposition on somebody else I don't like.

If everybody who had a gun just shot themselves there wouldn’t be a problem.

Perhaps this may sound weird, but God is really there next to you.

Rap music is just computerised crap. I listen to Top of the Pops and after three songs I feel like killing someone.

That's what the whole Sixties Flower-Power thing was about: "Go away, you bunch of boring people."

The nicest thing is to open the newspapers and not to find yourself in them.

There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.

Try to realize it's all within yourself no one else can make you change, and to see you're only very small and life flows on within you and without you.

With every mistake, we must surely be learning.

You can be standing right in front of the truth and not necessarily see it, and people only get it when they’re ready to get it.

You do what you can- can't do much more than that.

You've got as many lives as you like, and more, even ones you don't want.


(November 29 is also the birthday of Louisa May Alcott, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle.)

Categories: George Harrison; Quotes of the day

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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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The origin of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Published Thursday, November 26, 2015 @ 9:38 AM EST
Nov 26 2015

You can thank Sam Donaldson and Reagan's evasion of Iran-Contra scandal questions.

Categories: Iran-Contra Scandal; Rachel Maddow; Ronald Reagan; Sam Donaldson; Television; Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon; YouTube

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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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Published Sunday, November 22, 2015 @ 7:44 PM EST
Nov 22 2015

Giving my 19-year-old cat catnip is like trying to get your grandma drunk.

It's a couple years old, but I just stumbled across the ten-year reunion concert of the cast of the 2003 movie School of Rock. Jack Black is recognizable, but the kids have all grown up.

I've given up on the Theory of Gravity, and now believe in Intelligent Falling.

The arrogance of the young is a direct result of not having known enough consequences. The turkey that every day greedily approaches the farmer who tosses him grain is not wrong. It is just that no one ever told him about Thanksgiving.
-Harry Golden

Best read of the day: two classic Jimmy Breslin columns on the death of JFK.

Related: Two other great men died on November 22, 1963.

Categories: Miscellany

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Of course, it was the 50s, and he's an alien...

Published Saturday, November 21, 2015 @ 9:29 PM EST
Nov 21 2015

Categories: Immigration; Racism; Superman

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This almost makes the music tolerable

Published Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 4:50 PM EST
Nov 20 2015

Categories: Dance; Music; Video; YouTube

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