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Free Thoughts
Sam Smith's Favorite Quotes


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WIKI QUOTE - "Beam me up, Scotty" From the Star Trek science-fiction TV series. Several variants of this do occur in the series, such as "Beam me aboard" or "Two to beam up", but never "Beam me up, Scotty".

"Blood, Sweat and Tears" Correct quote: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." - Winston Churchill

"Elementary, my dear Watson" Correct quote: "Elementary", on one occasion; "my dear Watson" on another. Never together - Sherlock Holmes. Notes: According to the Sherlock Holmes series of books, the expression was uttered in some derivative works such as Sherlock Holmes films and television programmes.

"Me Tarzan, you Jane." Occurs in none of the Tarzan films nor in the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much" Correct quote: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" - William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

"Play it again, Sam" Correct quote: "You played it for her, you can play it for me. ... If she can stand it, I can! Play it!" - Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca) . . .Another correct quote: "Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake. ... Play 'As Time Goes By'." - Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca)

"To gild the lily" Correct quote: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily" - William Shakespeare

"You dirty rat!" Never said by James Cagney in any film.



Sure, we were young. We were arrogant. We were ridiculous. There were excesses. We were brash. We were foolish. We had factional fights. But we were right. - Abbie Hoffman



Ability is the art of getting credit for all the home runs that somebody else hits - Casey Stengel


An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. - Psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl, who lived through four concentration camps in World War II


I must be getting absent minded. Whenever I complain that things aren't what they used to be, I always forget to include myself - George Burns


The absurd is born of the confrontation between the human call and the unreasonable silence of the world - Albert Camus

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. - Voltaire


It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. - Voltaire


Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. -- Edmund Burke

What you do is of little significance. But it is very important that you do it - Gandhi

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne, 1910


Activism is my rent for living on this planet - Alice Walker

Adams, Douglas

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. ~~

Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much... the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry.

In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were REAL men, women were REAL women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were REAL small furry creatures from Aplha Centauri.'

You know,' said Arthur, `it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die from asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.' `Why, what did she tell you?' `I don't know, I didn't listen.'


I consider always the adult life to be the continuous retrieval of childhood. - Umberto Eco


Few people at the beginning of the 19th century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted - John Kenneth Galbraith


Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own -- Nelson Algren

Depends on whether you're pouring or drinking -- Bill Cosby's grandmother when the young Cosby, fresh from college, attempted to stump her with a question about whether the glass was half empty or half full.

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any use to oneself. -- Oscar Wilde

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


When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
and the women come out to cut up what remains,
jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
and go to your gawd like a soldier. - Rudyard Kipling

Aflluent Society

The family which takes its mauve and cerise, air conditioned power-steered and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, blighted buildings, billboards and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground. They pass on into a country that has long been rendered largely invisible by commercial art. . . They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night at a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect on the curious unevenness of their blessings. Is this, indeed, the American genius?' - John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society, 1958


At seventy, men are just beginning to grow liberal again, after a decade or two of conservatism. Their usefulness to the state is likely to improve after the span of life when the Bible allows them to complete. The men of eighty whom we know are on the whole a more radical, rip snorting lot than the men of seventy. They hold life cheaply, and hence are able to entertain generous thoughts about the state. It is in his fifty-to-seventy phase that a man pulls in his ears, lashes down his principles, and gets ready for dirty weather. Octogenarians have a more devil-may-care tactic: they are sometimes quite willing to crowd on some sail and see if they can't get a burst of speed out of the old hooker yet.

A man's liberal and conservative phases seem to follow each other in a succession of waves from the time he is born. Children are radicals. Youths are conservatives, with a dash of criminal negligence. Men in their prime are liberals (as long as their digestion keeps pace with their intellect). The middle-aged, except in rare cases, run to shelter: they ensure their life, draft a will, accumulate mementos and occasional tables, and hope for security. And then comes old age, which repeats childhood - a time full of humors and sadness, but often full of courage and even prophecy. - EB White, 1937

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. - Lucille Ball

"Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." - Jack Benny

if you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age. - George Burns

If I'd known I was gonna live this long I'd have taken better care of myself. - Eubie Blake at age 100

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

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. - George Bernard Shaw

Fortunately, we don't need to know how bad an age is. There is something we can always be doing without reference to how good or bad the age is. -- Robert Frost

When you are young you get blamed for crimes you never committed, and when you are old you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out. -- I.F. Stone

What shall I do with this absurdity --
O heart, O trouble heart -- this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog's tail?
Never had I more
Excited, passionate, fantastical
Imagination, nor an ear and eye
That more expected the impossible...
It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack...
-- Yeats

As life runs on,
The road grows strange
With faces new,
And near the end
The milestones into headstones change,
'Neath everyone a friends -- James Russell Lowell

Old age is an island surrounded by death - Juan Montalvo

It's time to be old, to take in sail - RW Emerson

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? - Satchel Paige

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young - Oscar Wilde

The years between 50 & 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things & yet are not decrepit enough to turn them down. - TS Eliot

Thoughts on being 71

It's better now, death is closer,
I no longer have to look for it,
no longer have to challenge
it, taunt it, play with it.
it's right here with me
like a pet cat or a wall calendar

I've had a good run.
I can toss it in without regret.

odd, though, I feel no different
then I did at 35 or 47 or 62:
I am only truly conscious of my
age when I look into a
baleful eyes, grinning
stupid mouth.

it's nice my friend, the
lightning flashes about
I've washed up on the golden
everything here is miracle,
a hard miracle,
as was what

- Charles Bukowski

To an old man any place that's warm is homeland - Maxim Gorky

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.- Psalm 90


Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters." -- Frederick Douglass

Tell a man whose house is on fire to give moderate alarm; tel1 him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen. -- William Lloyd Garrison

My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast. - Miguel de Unamuno


Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong — Oscar Wilde

One heart, many minds -- Civil rights movement saying

If you don't disagree with me, how will I know I'm right? -- Samuel Goldwyn


The right of liberty and pursuing happiness secured by the [Indiana] constitution, embraces the right, in each compos mentis individual, of selecting what he will eat and drink, in short, his beverages, so far as he may be capable of producing them, or they may be within his reach, and that the legislature cannot take away that right by direct enactment. If the constitution does not secure this right to the people, it secures nothing of value.

If the people are subject to be controlled by the legislature in the matter of their beverages, so they are as to their articles of dress, and in their hours of sleeping and waking. And if the people are incompetent to select their own beverages, they are also incompetent to determine anything in relation to their living, and should be placed at once in a state of pupilage to a set of government sumptuary officers; eulogies upon the dignity of human nature should cease; and the doctrine of the competency of the people for self-government be declared a deluding rhetorical flourish.

If the government can prohibit any practice it pleases, it can prohibit the drinking of cold water. Can it do that? If not, why not? If we are right in this, that the constitution restrains the legislature from passing a law regulating the diet of the people, a sumptuary law, (for that under consideration is such, no matter whether its object be morals or economy, or both,) then the legislature cannot prohibit the manufacture and sale, for use as a beverage, of ale, porter, beer, &c., and cannot declare those manufactured, kept and sold for that purpose, a nuisance, if such is the use to which those articles are put by the people....

We think the constitution furnishes the protection [in this case]. If it does not in this particular, it does, as we have said, as to nothing of any importance, and tea, coffee, tobacco, corn-bread, ham and eggs, may next be placed under the ban. The very extent to which a concession of the power in this case would carry its exercise, shows it cannot exist. - Decision in Herman v. State, 8 Ind. 545 (1855)


Alienation as we find it in modern society is almost total... Man has created a world of man-made things as it never existed before. He has constructed a complication social machine to administer the technical machine he built. The more powerful and gigantic the forces are which he unleashes, the more powerless he feels himself as a human being. He is owned by his own creations, and has lost ownership of himself. --Erich Fromm


I drink to make other people interesting - George Jean Nathan

Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man

- A. E. Housman


Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. - Robert Orben


You have just taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. Of allegiance to whom? Of allegiance to no one, unless it be God. Certainly not of allegiance to those who temporarily represent this great government. You have taken an oath of allegiance to a great ideal, to a great body of principles, to a great hope of the human race. -- Woodrow Wilson speaking to a group of newly naturalized citizens

Allen, Woody

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying

"That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn't it?" . . ."Yes, it is." . . . "What does it say to you?" . . "It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation forming a useless bleak straightjacket in a black absurd cosmos."

"What are you doing Saturday night?" . . . "Committing suicide." . . ."What about Friday night?"


All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind -- Joseph Conrad

All my life I wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific - Lily Tomlin


The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced. - Frank Zappa

The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it. - George Carlin

The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty - Simon Bolívar

The Americans who are the most efficient people on earth. . . have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on a conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication - Somerset Maugham

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. - John Quincy Adams

The Americans, in their intercourse with strangers, appear impatient of the smallest censure and insatiable of praise. . . . They unceasingly harass you to extort praise, and if you resist their entreaties they fall to praising themselves. It would seem as if, doubting their own merit, they wished to have it constantly exhibited before their eyes. - Alexis de Tocqueville

You can not spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world. -- Herman Melville

Only in America -- Yogi Berra upon hearing that the mayor of Dublin was Jewish

It's an America which no longer exists except in Greyhound bus terminals, except in small dusty towns seen from the window of a speeding car -- Alan Ginsberg

Don't you get the idea I'm one of these goddamn radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system -- Al Capone

In America there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes America what it is. - Gertrude Stein

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong -- G.K. Chesterton

There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive's new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land - Mark Twain

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting for
a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Americans keep telling us how successful their system is - then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night. - A European official during the G-8 economic summit in Denver, 1997


Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. - Steven Wright


AMORALITY: A quality admired and rewarded in modern organizations, where it is referred to through metaphors such as professionalism and efficiency . . . Immorality is doing wrong of our own volition. Amorality is doing it because a structure or an organization expects us to do it. Amorality is thus worse than immorality because it involves denying our responsibility and therefore our existence as anything more than an animal - John Ralston Saul, "The Doubter's Companion."


The ordinary man is an anarchist. He wants to do as he likes. He may want his neighbor to be governed, but he himself doesn't want to be governed. - George Bernard Shaw

If I rule out violent anarchism, there remains pacifist, anti-nationalist, anti-capitalist, moral, and anti-democratic anarchism (i.e., that which is hostile to the falsified democracy of bourgeois states). There remains the anarchism which acts by means of persuasion, by the creation of small groups and networks, denouncing falsehood and oppression, aiming at a true overturning of authorities of all kinds as people at the bottom speak and organize themselves. - Jacques Ellul

Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, & county commissioners." - Edward Abbey


It is easy to fly into a passion-- anybody can do that. But to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time and with the right object and in the right way -- that is not easy, and it is not everyone who can do it. -- Aristotle


There ain't no answer. there ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer. -- Gertrude Stein

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. - James Thurber


Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities? - Alfred L. Kroeber


Anxiety is the interest paid on trouble before it is due - William R. Inge


Appeasement' is the policy of feeding your friends to a crocodile, one at a time, in hopes that the crocodile will eat you last. -- F D Roosevelt


A doctor can bury his mistakes. An architect can only advise his clients to plant vines. -- F. L. Wright


The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar . . . I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country. I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies - Thomas Jefferson


The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I can only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

- Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"


Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critics - Ambrose Bierce

Art is either plagiarism or revolution - Paul Guaguin

Art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others - Albert Camus

Art is by nature somewhat destructive. Every artist while seeking to add to the sum of art, attempts to take away your memory and appreciation of what went before, saying, "Look at me, I am new." - Lou Stovall

If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. - Kurt Vonnegut

Anarchism and art are in the world for exactly the same kind of reason - Margaret Anderson

The people who run our cities don't understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit. The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff.... Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you, It's yours to take, rearrange and re use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. - Banksy


The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes and he annexes everything. -- Oscar Wilde

An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why - William Faulkner

No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that others are behind the time. - Martha Graham

Aspen Institute

A supermarket of conventional wisdom for middle-level executives - John Ralston Saul


Just remember, the toe you step on today may be connected to the ass you're kissing tomorrow - Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci


You don’t want atheism shoved down your throat? OK. We will stock knocking on doors spreading our ‘Truth,’ and having tax-exempt organizations dedicated to atheism that have influential political action committees. We will also stop printing ‘In atheism we trust’ on all US currency and saying, ‘One nation, under atheism” in the pledge of allegiance. We will also stop insisting that everyone who disagrees with us will be sentence to eternal damnation… Wait… - David G. McAfee

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms - Muriel Rukeyser

Atom bomb

The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off - British Army Journal 1949

And we will all bake together when we bake
There'll be nobody present at the wake
With complete participation in that grand incineration
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak

Oh we will all char together when we char
And let there be no moaning of the bar
Just sing out a Te Deum when you see that ICBM
And the party will be "come as you are"

Oh we will all burn together when we burn
There'll be no need to stand and wait your turn
When it's time for the fallout
And Saint Peter calls us all out
We'll just drop our agendas and adjourn

- Tom Lehrer


The chief product of an automated society is a widespread and deepening sense of boredom. - Cyril Parkinson


Never try to walk across a river because it has an average depth of four feet. -- Martin Friedman

Augustine, Saint

Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty. - Saint Augustine


It stands to reason that self-righteous, inflexible, single-minded, authoritarian true believers are politically organized. Open-minded, flexible, complex, ambiguous, anti-authoritarian people would just as soon be left to mind their own fucking business. - R.U. Sirius in 'How To Mutate and Take Over The World'


Everybody's an authority in a free land - Hüsker Dü


You should have done nothing to deserve it. -- Editor of Le Canard firing a staffer who had just won the Legion d'Honneur explaining that he had not sought the honor.

I've not won different awards - many, many times - so luckily I've practiced that whenever you are nominated for anything, you enter into this marvelous, fantabulous bubble called the bubble of nomination. The minute the envelope is opened and your name isn't called out, the bubble bursts. And no one calls you up the next day to say, 'So sorry you didn't win,' or 'You looked gorgeous - nothing. If you win, you get about another 24 hours in that lovely bubble and then - pop - you are slightly wet all over from the bubble and realize that you have to get on with real life. - Helen Mirren



A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on - Carl Sandburg


A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. - Mark Twain


I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs. - Thomas Jefferson


Baseball is different from other games. Its strength is inherent, metaphysical. Why? First, because the game has a singular and distinctive relationship to time. Only baseball, among all games, can be called a "pastime." For baseball is above or outside time. Football, basketball, hockey, soccer games are arbitrarily divided into measured quarters, halves, or periods. They are controlled, even dominated by time. Not so baseball, which either ignores time or dominates it. An inning theoretically can go on forever. The same is true of the game. Interruptions are generally limited to acts of God, such as darkness or rain, or to cultural, religious and quasi-natural occurrences such as curfew or midnight. . .Baseball is also played in a unique spatial frame. Other games are restricted to limited, defined areas, rectangular or near rectangular, floors or rinks. Not so baseball. Baseball is played within the lines of a projection from home plate, starting from the point of a 90 degrees and extending to infinity. Were it not for the intervention of fences, buildings, mountains, and other obstacles in space, a baseball traveling within the ultimate projection of the first and third baselines could be fair and fully and infinitely in play. Baseballs never absolutely go out of bounds. They are either fair or foul; and even foul balls are, within limits, playable and part of the game. Baseball is distinguished from other games, too in the way in which it is controlled by umpires. An umpire is very different from a referee, a field judge, or a linesman. One occasionally hears the cry "fire the referee" but seldom the cry "kill the referee." That cry is reserved for umpires. Umpires have to be dealt with absolutely, for their power is absolute. Referees are men called or appointed. Umpires, by contrast, seem to exist in their own right and exercise undelegated power which is not to be reviewed and from which there is no appeal. - Eugene McCarthy, Forward to Lawrence Frank's "Playing Hardball: The Dynamics of Baseball Folk Speech (1984)

It breaks your heart.

It is designed to break your heart.

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops . . . . and summer is gone. - A. Bartlett Giamatti on baseball in "The Green Fields of the Mind"

Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical - Yogi Berra

Throwing a fastball to Henry Aaron is like trying to sneak the sun past a rooster. - Curt Simmons, pitcher

Let there be joy in baseball again, like in the days when Babe Ruth chased an enemy sportswriter down the streets of Boston and ended up getting drunk with him on the waterfront and came back the next day munching on hotdogs and boomed homeruns to the glory of God. - - Jack Kerouac

Baseball is the ideal forum for teachiing the art of failure; the very best fail to get a hit seven out of ten times. -- Sam Dunn

Beat generation

We were a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters, suddenly rising and roaming America: serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere. It never meant 'juvenile delinquents.' 'Beat,' doesn't mean tired or bushed, so much as it means beato the Italian for beatific, to be in a state of beatitude, like Saint Francis: trying to love all life, trying to be utterly sincere with everyone, practicing endurance, kindness, cultivating joy of heart - the subterranean heroes who were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the derangement of the senses, talking strange, being poor and glad." - Jack Kerouac

I meant beaten. The world against me.- Jack Kerouac

Woe onto those who spit on the Beat Generation. The wind'll blow it back. - Jack Kerouac, whose birthday it is.

By avoiding society you become separate from society and being separate from society is being beat - Gregory Corso

We were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move - Jack Kerouac

The psychic outlaw . . . the rebel cell in our social body - Norman Mailer

The draft dodgers of commercial civilization - Ned Plotsky


Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man -- A.E. Houseman


A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed; but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttle-fish - Chesterton

Berra, Yogi

You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't come to yours.

Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical

You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might end up someplace else.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

I never make predictions, especially about the future

Only in America -- Upon hearing that the mayor of Dublin was Jewish

I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hittin'

I want to thank everybody for making this day necessary.

Ninety percent of the game is half mental.

If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.

I can’t think and hit at the same time.


I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof & the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, & made mine heritage an abomination. — Jeremiah 2:7

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. - HL Mencken

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. -- The Bible

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. -- Galatians 5:19

And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease. Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh. -- Isaiah 16:11

"As for your male and female slaves whom you may have; You may buy your male and female slaves from among the nations around you.....You may bequeath them to your sons after you, to inherit as a possession forever." -- Leviticus 25:44-46

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. -- Matthew 23:13-15

If the King James version was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. - Ma Ferguson, Inaugurated as Texas' first woman governor. Married to the impeached governor Pa Ferguson, Ma ran on the slogan "two governors for the price of one."

Bierce, Ambrose

Devil's Dictionary


It takes some perspective to think in billions. Keep the following in mind: one thousand seconds is about 17 minutes. One million seconds is about eleven and a half days. One billion seconds is about 32 years -- Tim Weiner


The creative person should have no other biography than his works. - B Traven


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

Bob and Ray

RAY: We're fortunate to have with us today the world- renowned Komodo dragon authority from Upper Montclair, New Jersey. His name is Doctor Daryll Dexter. Doctor, would you tell our listeners all about the Komodo dragon, please?

BOB: The Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, is a ferocious carnivore. It's found on the steep-sloped island of Komodo in the lesser Sunda chain of the Indonesian Archipelago and the nearby islands of Rinja, Padar, and Flores.

R: Where do they come from?

B: The Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard, is found on the steep-sloped island of Komodo . . . in the lesser Sunda chain of the Indonesian Archipelago.. . . and the nearby islands of Rinja, Padar, and Flores. We have two in this country at the National Zoo in Washington. . . which were given to the U.S. by the late former premier of Indonesia. . . Sukarno. . . some years ago.

R: I believe I read somewhere....that a foreign potentate gave America some Komodo dragons. Is that true?

B: Yes. . . the former premier of Indonesia, Sukarno, gifted this country with two Komodo dragons. . . world's largest living lizards. . . some years back. . . and they're now residing at the National Zoo in Washington.

R: Well, now, if we wanted to take the children to see a Komodo dragon....where would we take the children to see a Komodo dragon?

B: If you were in the vicinity of our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. . . you would take the kiddos to the National Zoo, and there you would see two Komodo dragons. . . the world's largest living lizard. There is a stuffed Komodo dragon in the lobby of the Royal Hotel in Katmandu, Nepal.

R: Er. . . they're of the lizard family?

B: Yes. They are the world's largest living lizard and a ferocious carnivore. They have red darting tongues which suck in air and take it to their smelling glands in their throats.

R: Do they eat other animals, these Komodo dragons?

B: Yes, they're ferocious carnivores. In fact, they can gulp down the hindquarters of a deer in one bite.


No knowledge can be more satisfactory to a man than that of his own from, its parts, their functions and actions -- Thomas Jefferson


A fertilizer bomb that kills hundreds in Oklahoma. Fuel-laden civil jets that kill 4000 in New York. A sanctions policy that kills one and a half million in Iraq. A trade policy that immiserates continents. You can make a bomb out of anything. The ones on paper hurt the most. - Raj Patel


I suppose that even the most pleasurable of imaginable occupations, that of batting baseballs through the windows of the RCA Building, would pall a little as the days ran on. -- James Thurber


The book has existed in its present format--essentially sheaves of paper between a binding of some sort--for over two millennia. It has done so because it is a perfect artifact of information technology. It is portable, permanent, nearly indestructible, easily shared. It suffers no damage near magnetic fields, and when opened its boot-up time is instantaneous--just open it and you are reading; close it and reopen and you are reading immediately once again. It uses no electricity and never crashes. When you are reading its pages, they never go blue or black and you never get a message "fatal error; system shutting down." - Lawrence G. Smith, author of Cesare Pavese And America

The worm thinks it strange and foolish that man does not eat his books. - Rabindranath Tagore

Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years. Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries. - Christopher Morley

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstacy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer. - Ernest Hemingway

Deeply versed in books and shallow in himself - John Milton

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public. -Winston Churchill

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed & digested. - Francis Bacon


When you come before us and tell us that we are about to disturb your business, we say to you that you have made the definition of a businessman too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a businessman as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a businessman as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the crossroads store is as much a businessman as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day ... is as much a businessman as the man who goes upon the board of trade and bets upon the price of grain ... We come to speak for this broader class of businessmen. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them.- William Jennings Bryan

Boswell, James

I went home and saw my wife and then dined with the Colonel at his lodgings, and as he was to be busy, just drank half a bottle of port; then sallied forth between four and five with an avidity for drinking from the habit of some days before. I went to Fortune's; found nobody in the house but Captain James Gordon of Ellon. He and I drank five bottles of claret and were most profound politicians. He pressed me to take another; but my stomach was against it. I walked off very gravely though much intoxicated. Ranged through the streets til, having run hard down the Advocates' Close, which is very steep, I found myself on a sudden bouncing down an almost perpendicular stone stair. I could not stop, but when I came to the bottom of it, fell with a good deal of violence, which sobered me much. It was amazing that I was not killed or very much hurt; I only bruised my right heel severely. - James Boswell, 4 November 1774


You can hope to bend or twist/thank god the British journalist./ But seeing what the man will do/unbribed there is no reason to. -- Humbert Wolfe

British Navy

Winston Churchill said the Royal Navy ran on "rum, buggery and the lash."


One of the basic troubles with radio and television news is that both instruments have grown up as an incompatible combination of show business, advertising and news. Each of the three is a rather bizarre and demanding profession. And when you get all three under one roof, the dust never settles. The top management of the networks with a few notable exceptions, has been trained in advertising, research, sales or show business. But by the nature of the coporate structure, they also make the final and crucial decisions having to do with news and public affairs. Frequently they have neither the time nor the competence to do this. It is not easy for the same small group of men to decide whether to buy a new station for millions of dollars, build a new building, alter the rate card, buy a new Western, sell a soap opera, decide what defensive line to take in connection with the latest Congressional inquiry, how much money to spend on promoting a new program, what additions or deletions should be made in the existing covey or clutch of vice-presidents, and at the same time-- frequently on the same long day--to give mature, thoughtful consideration to the manifold problems that confront those who are charged with the responsibility for news and public affairs. - Edward R. Murrow, 1958

Burns, George

Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair - George Burns

Bush, George

See, one of the problems we've had that shows -- what we found out in New Orleans there's not -- there wasn't a lot of -- we take -- some things we take for granted like the generations passing assets from one generation to the next just didn't happen in the African American community, and should. We ought to encourage -- we take that for granted, don't we? Some of us do. You know, you pass the house on. A lot of these people didn't own their own homes. A lot of them didn't have checking accounts. And yet one of the things we ought to encourage is systems -- is reforms that enable somebody to own something so they can pass it on to their child. It's part of creating stability and healthy families and strength. And so I want to be known as an ownership guy.

Don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God. -

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be the Struggle Against Ideological Extremists Who Do Not Believe in Free Societies Who Happen to Use Terror as a Weapon to Try to Shake the Conscience of the Free World.. . .

We stand for things.

As you know, we don't have relationships with Iran. I mean, that's -- ever since the late '70s, we have no contacts with them, and we've totally sanctioned them. In other words, there's no sanctions -- you can't -- we're out of sanctions.

Let me put it to you bluntly. In a changing world, we want more people to have control over your own life.

I cut the taxes on everybody. I didn't cut them. The Congress cut them. I asked them to cut them.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

I'm telling you, when you start asking the question, can you read and write and add and subtract, all of a sudden, people start learning better.

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President ... What would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?. . . BUSH: Hmm. I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. ... You know, I just, uh, I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet. .. I, uh, hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.

I'm not a lawyer.

I'm not a member of the legislative branch.

I'm not a numbers cruncher. I'm not one of these bean counters.

I'm not a stockbroker or a stock picker.

I'm not a very formal guy to begin with.

I'm not an Iraqi citizen.

If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator

There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says: Fool me once, shame on . . . shame on you. . . . Fool me . . . you can't get fooled again.


Cadoc the Wise

I hate the judge who loves money, the scribe who loves war,
Chiefs who do not guard their subjects, and nations without vigor.

I hate houses without dwellers, lands untilled, fields that bear no harvest,
Landless clans, the agents of error, the oppressors of truth.

I hate him who respects not father or mother, those who make strife among friends,
A country in anarchy, lost learning, and uncertain boundaries.

I hate journeys without safety, families without strength, lawsuits without reason,
Ambushes and treasons, faults in counsel, and justice unhonored.

I hate a man without a trade, a laborer without freedom, a society without teachers, false witness before a judge, the undeserving
exalted to high position.

-- Cadoc the Wise, a 6th century Celtic monk


We're all from California now -- Character in a Walker Percy novel

Camus, Albert

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. - Albert Camus

Nothing is given to mankind and what little men can conquer must be paid for with unjust death. But man's grandeur lies elsewhere, in his decision to rise above his condition. - Albert Camus


Americans are so benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States. - J. Bartlet Brebner.

Canada is like a nice family living over a biker bar . . . They keep telling the downstairs neighbors to keep down the noise, people are trying to sleep. - Dustin Hoffman


A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the poor to protect them from each other - Anonymous


The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for - not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country." - George Baer, President of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, 1902

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation.- Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union Address, 1861

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. - John Maynard Keynes

They offer me neither food nor drink - intellectual nor spiritual consolation... [Conservatism] leads nowhere; it satisfies no ideal; it conforms to no intellectual standard, it is not safe, or calculated to preserve from the spoilers that degree of civilization which we have already attained. - John Maynard Keynes

Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. - John aynard Keynes

"As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters. - President Grover Cleveland, 1888

Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists - GK Chesterton

I can hire half the working class to kill the other half. -- Jay Gould

Capital punishment

Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders - Albert Camus


"We fear the cold and the things we do not understand. But most of all we fear the doings of the heedless ones among ourselves." -- Inuit shaman to the explorer Knut Rasmussen

They were careless people -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. -- F Scott Fitzgerald

Carlin, George

I've been uplinked and downloaded. I've been inputted and outsourced. I know the upside of downsizing; I know the downside of upgrading. I'm a high-tech lowlife. A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bicoastal multi-tasker, and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.


People who see a drawing in the "New Yorker" will think automatically that it's funny because it is a cartoon. If they see it in a museum, they think it is artistic; and if they find it in a fortune cookie they think it is a prediction. - Saul Steinberg


Capt. Louis Renault: What on earth brought you to Casablanca? Rick Blaine: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters. Capt. Louis Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert. Rick Blaine: I was misinformed.

Rick Blaine: I stick my neck out for nobody.

Rick Blaine: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

[A croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

Captain Renault: [aloud] Everybody out at once!


Because it's a family, Catholics around the country won't give up on it very easily. There will be outrage and embarrassment and anger, but the church is often referred to as Holy Mother Church. And you might get angry with your mother, but it's your mother. -- R. Scott Appleby


The pricks are on the outside - the late Rep. Mo Udall explaining how a cactus differs from a caucus.


I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose. -- Woodrow Wilson


Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences. -- Susan B. Anthony, 1860


A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized. - Fred Allen


The censorial power is in the people over the government and not in the government over the people -- James Madison

In America you can say anything you want -- as long as it doesn't have any effect -- Paul Goodman

All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging conceptions and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorship in a nutshell. - George Bernard Shaw

Persons who undertake to pry into, or cleanse out all the filth of the common sewer, either cannot have very nice noses, or will soon lose them - William Hazlitt

Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind. - General William Westmoreland


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

The opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty. A person who claims to know the mind or will of God is pathological. - The Rev. Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral


I figure you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not - Fran Lebowitz


When you're finished changing, you're finished. - Benjamin Franklin


Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right . . and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers." -- John Adams

Every man has three characters - that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has - Alphonse Kan

Character is that which can do without success - Emerson


Chance is the pseudonym of God when he does not want to sign - Anatole France


In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer

I never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that has -- Margaret Mead

We must be fond of the world, even in order to change it -- G. K. Chesterton

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. Yogi Berra

If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting. -- Laura Ingalls Wilder

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place. -- Washington Irving


Since we cannot hope for order, let us withdraw with style from chaos. -- Lord Malquist in `Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon' by Tom Stoppard


The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. --Thomas Babington Macaulay


Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question. Albert Camus


While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he was sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful. — H.G. Wells


Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl -- Mike Adams


It's never too late to have a happy childhood, and age only matters if you're a cheese. - Rick Steves

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was 'shut up' - Joe Namath

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

If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want them to be very brilliant, tell them even more fairy tales. - Albert Einstein


Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown -- 'Chinatown'


If the world were merely seductive that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I rise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. -- E. B. White

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. His responses was a question: "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter." -- Lewis Carroll


To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click "I agree." - Jefuchs, Reddit

The truly simple way of presenting Christianity is to do it. -- Soren Kierkegaard

CHRISTIAN: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. - Ambrose Bierce

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. - Gandhi


The little children of the rich have grown critical with overabundance, and nothing short of an electric tree with fairy effects produced by that wizard bower, satisfies them. It is easy to spend $100 on the electricity alone if it is brought into the house for this single service. - NY Times, 1894


I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with God's work. - Brooks Atkinson

Churchill, Winston

[From the Idler, UK]

1909: As president of the Board of Trade, he nails his colors to the mast with the following statement. "There is no reason at all why people should wander about in a loafing and Idle manner; if they are not earning their living they ought to be put under some sort of control."

1910: Churchill's time as Home Secretary was marred by Industrial unrest. His hard-line response to the strikers is still remembered with bitterness in many working class communities - none more so that the Welsh town of Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley where, it has been said, Churchill used soldiers against striking miners. Contemporary evidence shows that it was the police and not the army who were used at Tonypandy, but the troops were ready. Two miners are reported to have died in the ensuing violence. This year, Churchill also orders the breaking of the suffragettes. "The women's suffrage movement is only the small end of the wedge," Churchill proclaimed at the time. "If we allow women to vote it will mean the loss of social structure and the rise of every liberal cause under the sun. Women are well represented by their fathers, brothers and husbands."

Churchill perhaps inherited these attitudes from his fearsome mother. "Lady Churchill was an ardent opponent of women's suffrage and appeared at anti-suffrage meetings, "reported the New York Times at the time of Churchill's death in 1965. "She was often accompanied by her son Winston at meetings where both were heckled and booed by suffragettes."

1929: Writes the following letter to his son Randolph. His sentiments weakly echo those voiced by his own father about him forty years earlier. "My dear Randolph, Your Idle and lazy life is v(er)y offensive to me. You appear to be leading a completely useless existence. You do not value or profit by the opportunities wh(ich) Oxford offers for those who care for learning. You are not acquiring any habits of industry or concentration. Even in Idleness you find it trying to pass the day."

1930: As foreign secretary, Churchill orders the use of mustard gas against Kurdish Villages, "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using gases against uncivilised tribes."

1940: Far from being hero-worshipped by the people of England, the working classes hated him as a lackey of the ruling classes. "Come World War Two most working class people's feelings were that the Nazis had to be defeated," writes Frank Henderson, a young soldier during the Second World War. "But that did not mean we lost our hatred of Winston Churchill. The general view was that, while we were stuck with him during the war, we would get him out once it was over."

1945: Defeated in the post-war general election.


I think we were fairly well penetrated. But the point is, so what? It didn't save the USSR. And it didn't bring down the US -- Ex-CIA officer Victor Marchetti


Do not lounge in the cities! There is room & health in the country, away from the crowds of idlers & imbeciles. Go west, before you are fitted for no life but that of the factory. (New York Tribune, 1841) - Horace Greely

Look at our Lord's disciples. One denied Him; one doubted Him; one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government? - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley

Great cities must ever be centres of light and darkness; the repositories of piety and wickedness; the home of the best and the worst of our race -- Matthew Hale Smith, Sunshine and Shadow, 1868

This city is infested by gangs of hardened wretches [who] patrol the streets making night hideous and insulting all who are not strong enough to defend themselves -- NYC Mayor Philip Home, 1839

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." --Jane Jacobs

A city is composed of different kinds of men; similar people cannot bring a city into existence. -- Aristotle

Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends. - Lewis Mumford

As a remedy to life in society, I would suggest the big city. Nowadays it is the only desert within our reach - Albert Camus

The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by at the bar for a beer, getting advice from the grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man, comparing opinions with other customers at the bakery and nodding hello to the two boys drinking pop on the stoop, hearing about a job from the hardware man and borrowing a dollar from the druggist. Most of it is ostensibly utterly trivial but the sum is not trivial at all. The sum of such casual, public contact at a local level, most of it fortuitous, most of it associated with errands, all of it metered by the person concerned and not thrust upon him by anyone, is a feeling for the public identity of people, a web of public respect and trust, and a resource in time of personal or neighborhood need. - Jane Jacobs

Civil liberties

The practice of arbitrary imprisonments, has been, in all ages, one of the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny. ~Alexander Hamilton, Federalist

Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip. -- George Orwell

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately it's the government. -- Woody Allen

Where the people possess no authority, their rights obtain no respect - Historian George Bancroft 1834

While the machinery of law enforcement and indeed the nature of crime itself have changed dramatically since the Fourth Amendment became part of the Nation's fundamental law in 1791, what the Framers understood then remains true today - that the task of combating crime and convicting the guilty will in every era seem of such critical and pressing concern that we may be lured by the temptations of expediency into forsaking our commitment to protecting individual liberty and privacy. - Justice William Brennan, 1984

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter! - all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt


Civil rights

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired - Fannie Lou Hamer

I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. - Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from the Birmingham Jail", 1963

Civil Service

The business of the civil service is the orderly management of decline -- Peter Hennessy Whitehall, former head of the British Civil Service


There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities - Edward R Murrow


If our civilization is destroyed, it will not be by barbarians from below. Our barbarians come from above. - Henry Demarest Lloyd


A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. - Mark Twain


Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. - Henry David Thoreau

Class war

Of course there is a class war, but it's my class, the rich class, that is waging the war, and we're winning. - Warren Buffet

Coal mining

God, if You had but the moon
Stuck in Your cap for a lamp,
Even You'd tire of it soon,
Down in the dark and the damp.

Nothing but blackness above
And nothing that moves but the cars. . ..
God, if You wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars.

- Louis Untermeyer, Caliban in the Coal Mines

Columbus, Christopher

If Columbus had known it would come to this he never would have discovered us. - Clarence King to Henry Adams ca. 1892.

They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. . . They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made out of cane. . . They would make fine servants. . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want." - Christopher Columbus writing in his logbook of what would be later called the Bahamas.


Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious - Peter Ustinov


"Commas in the New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim." -- EB White


Trade is a social act. Whoever undertakes to sell any description of any goods to the public, does what affects the interest of other persons, and of society in general; and thus his conduct, in principal, comes within the jurisdiction of society. - John Stuart Mill


The reports of presidential commissions on 'social problems' have a characteristic style. Since the style is essential to the form, it can't be transcended by the impressive intelligence, erudition, insight, and humanity that at least some of its members bring to it. The assumptions that create such commissions are typical of American social thinking. The first of these assumptions is that 'social problems' can be defined in isolation. This is based on contemporary medical thinking, which in turn comes from the theory of auto repair. That is: One does not see the problem as an ailing system, one seeks a malfunctioning part which is then repaired or replaced. When the system continues to ail, another part is sought, and so on, ad infinitum. Although an inefficient and self-defeating approach, it is highly lucrative. The excessive cost of human and mechanical repair in our society is rooted in this peculiar approach to systems and wholes. - Philip Slater, "Footholds: Understanding The Shifting Sexual And Family Tensions In Our Culture" (1977)


A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. - Sir Barnett Cocks

A committee is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done. - Fred Allen


Everything the Communists said about Communism was a lie, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be the truth. - 21st century Russian proverb


Our community belongs to us and whether it is mean or majestic, whether arrayed in glory or covered in shame, we cannot but share its character and destiny. -- Frederick Douglass


COMPETITION: An event in which there are more losers than winners. Otherwise it's not a competition. A society based on competition is therefore primarily a society based on losers. - John Ralston Saul


Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. - Pablo Picasso

640K ought to be enough for anyone. -- Bill Gates, 1981


Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering. - Gary Snyder

Conjunction Junction

Conjunction Junction, what's your function?
Hookin' up words and phrases and clauses.
Conjunction Junction, how's that function?
I got three favorite cars that get most of my job done.
Conjunction Junction, what's their function?
I got And, But, and Or.
They'll get you pretty far.
And! That's an additive, like "this and that"
But! That's sort of the opposite, "not this but that"
And then there's Or, O-R,
When you have a choice like "this or that".
And, But, and Or, get you pretty far!


Conquest after conquest, deeper and deeper into molasses... Flies conquer the flypaper. Flies capture two hundred miles of new flypaper. -- Lt. Tonder in 'The Moon is Down' by John Steinbeck


A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good - Steven Wright

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory - Steven Wright

Vanity asks, is it popular? Politics ask, will it work? But conscience and morality ask, is it right? -- Martin Luther King Jr.


Tory in all but essentials - Description of by a contemporary of Gladstone


He who shits in a road will meet flies on his return - African proverb


The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance and it straightens itself to the average tendency. -- R W Emerson

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


The illegal we can do right now; the unconstituional will take a little longer -- Henry Kissinger

You hear about 'constitutional rights,' 'free speech,' and the 'free press.' Every time I hear these words I say to myself, 'That man is a Red....' You never hear a real American talk like that. - Frank Hague, Mayor of Jersey City 1917-47


Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself;
(I am large -- I contain multitudes)
--Walt Whitman

I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.- Marcel Duchamp

Contradictory positions

They killed St. George and kept the dragon -- GK Chesterton of the Puritans

Everything has been said but not everyone has said it yet -- Rep. Morris Udall, 1988 Democratic convention


The blight of futility that lies in wait for men's speeches had fallen upon our conversation and made it a thing of empty sounds. -- Joseph Conrad

Nat: What were we talking about?
Midge: We wasn't talkin. You was talkin.
Nat: What was I saying?
Midge: I wasn't listening either. -- Herb Gardner, 'I'm Not Rappaport'


The smug self-assurance of certain people who think that because they were completely wrong 20 years ago, they must be completely right now that they entertain diametrically opposite opinions. It has apparently not occurred to them that they could be completely wrong both times -- Elmer Davis


We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness -- Thich Nhat Hanh

Cool Papa Bell

Cool Papa Bell was so fast he could get out of bed, turn out the lights across the room and be back in bed under the covers before the lights went out. - Josh Gibson of the Negro Baseball League player who batted .400 several years and once stole 175 bases in a season. It was said that he was so fast he once was hit by a ball he had just batted as he headed for second base.


A criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to form a corporation – Clarence Darrow

Corporations are not people. But they do like fucking you. - Daily Edge

[These men] combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of the government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil-doing. . . I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule this free country-the people through their governmental agents, or a few ruthless and domineering men whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization. - Theodore Roosevelt

A corporation is an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. - Ambrose Bierce

Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person - David Cobb

The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations. - How is this? - Diary of Rutherford B Hayes

The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself - John Kenneth Galbraith

It has long been recognized, however, that the special status of corporations has placed them in a position to control vast amounts of economic power which may, if not regulated, dominate not only the economy but also the very heart of our democracy, the electoral process . . .The state need not permit it own creation to consume it. -- Justices White, Brennan and Marshall in First National Bank of Boston vs. Belotti, 1978

A corporation cannot be ethical; its only responsibility is to turn a profit - Milton Friedman

A criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to form a corporation -- Howard Scott.

Unless you become more watchful in your states and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges, you will in the end find that the most important powers of government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations. -- Andrew Jackson

The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.-Thomas Jefferson

I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country. I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies - Thomas Jefferson

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -Thomas Jefferson


Correlation does not imply causation. -- Statistician's maxim


An injudicious mixture of sand and cement -- Boston mayor James Michael Curley explaining why a highway overpass collapsed

"We're beyond politics now" -- Richard Nixon in the movie 'Nixon' talking about the involvement of the CIA and Mafia in Watergate.

Sure, I stole. But I stole it for you. - Georgia Gov. Eugene Talmadge

Country music

Three chords and the truth - Harland Howard's definition of a country song

Country & Western song titles

All My Exes Live In Texas

All the Guys that Turn Me On Turn Me Down

Are You Drinkin With Me Jesus? [I know you can walk on the water but can you walk on this much beer?]

Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens and I Cried All the Way to Sears

Did I Shave my Legs for This?

Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goal Posts Of Life

Get Your Biscuits In The Oven, And Your Buns In The Bed

Happiness is Lubbock in a rear view mirror.

How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

I Bought the Shoes that Just Walked Out on Me

I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life

I Don't Care if it Rains or Freezes 'Long as I Have My Plastic Jesus

I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling

I Fell for Her, She Fell for Him, and He Fell for Me

I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me

I Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Bed Crying On My Pillow Over You.

I Only Miss You On The Days That End In " Y "

I'd Rather Pass a Kidney Stone than Another Night With You

If I'd Killed You When I Wanted To, I'd be Out of Jail By Now

If Love Were Oil, I'd Be A Quart Low

I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight.

I Spent My Last Ten Dollars on Birth Control and Beer

I'm So Miserable Without You, it's Almost like Having you Here

I Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife's Heart

I Was Looking Back to See If You Were Looking Back to See If I Was Looking Back to See if You Were Looking Back at Me

I Went Back to My Fourth Wife for the Third Time and Gave Her a Second Chance to Make a First

If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You

If Love Were Oil, I'd Be A Quart Low

If My Nose Was Running Money, Honey, I'd Blow It All on You

If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me

If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead?

If You Don't Leave Me, I'll Find Someone Who Will

Jesus Loves Me But He Can't Stand You

Loving here, living there, and lying in between --

Mama tried to turn me to Jesus, but I turned to the devil's ways. And I turned out to be the only hell my mama ever raised

My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart

Never Went to Bed With an Ugly Woman but I Sure Woke Up With a Few

Queen Of My Double-Wide Trailer

Red Necks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer

She Walked Across My Heart Like It Was Texas

Thank God and Greyhound You're Gone

Thanks to the Cathouse, I'm in the Doghouse With You

There Ain't Enough Room in my Fruit Of The Looms to Hold All My Lovin' For You

Too Dumb for New York, Too Ugly for L.A.

Velcro Arms, Teflon Heart

What Made Milwaukee Famous Has Made a Loser Out of Me

Would Jesus Wear A Rolex On His Television Show?

You Done Stomped on My Heart and Mashed That Sucker Flat

You Shot the TV but You Were Aiming at Me

You'd think my Bed was a Bus Stop, the Way You Come and Go

You're the Hangnail In My Life, And I Can't Bite You Off

You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Miss Him.


Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you''re scared to death - Earl Wilson


I realized either I was crazy or the world was crazy; and I picked on the world. And of course I was right. - Jack Kerouac

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted - Martin Luther King Jr.


You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been given out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game! - Washington Cricket League


It was more than a crime; it was a blunder -- Joseph Fouche. Also attributed to Tallyrand

The individual who dares commit a crime is guilty in a two-fold sense; first, he is guilty against human conscience, and, above all, he is guilty against the State in arrogating to himself one of its most precious privileges. --- Mikhail Bakunin

Once crime was as solitary as a cry of protest; now it is as universal as science. Yesterday it was put on trial; today it determines the law. - Albert Camus


A criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to form a corporation. - Clarence Darrow


"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value. However, let it go. It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.- Mark Twain

Criticism is prejudice made plausible -- Mark Twain

Many critics are like a woodpecker, who, instead of enjoying the fruit and shadow of a tree, hop incessantly around the trunk pecking holes in the bark to discover some little worm or other - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded. --Yogi Berra

Crumb, R

Hey kids, while you're out smashing the state keep a smile on your lips and a song in your hearts. - R Crumb


A cult is a religion with no political power - Tom Wolfe


"If I added spaghetti, the detained Italians sent me an engrossed testimonial and everybody else objected. If I put pierogi and mazovian noodles on the table, the Poles were happy and the rest disconsolate. Irish stew was no good for the English and English marmalade was gunpowder to the Irish. The Scotch mistrusted both. The Welsh took what they could get." -- Henry Curran, Ellis Island commissioner. Found on the menu of Kelly's Ellis Island Restaurant & Pub, which offers everything from St. Louis spare ribs to vegetarian baked penne pasta.

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams - Mary Ellen Kelly

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. - Albert Camus


A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. . . They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. . . Nature, having failed to equip them with a serviceable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit. Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can't compromise their standards and can't manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse - Jon Winokur



Danger lies not in what we don't know, but in what we think we know that just ain't so. - Mark Twain


I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. - Steven Wright


Ninety percent of the people you meet in this town spend 100 percent of their time telling you how great they are, and they can't move and talk at the same time. So they stop to brag and you can just slide right on past them. -- Jerry 'Bama' Washington


Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn't do nothing. -- Duke Ellington.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. - Douglas Adams


What's important is the journey, not the destination - Odysey

The idea is to die young as late as possible - Ashley Montague

I've left this life with no rancour, I'll never have toothache again, Now I lie in the communal grave, the communal grave of time. - Georges Brassens

We thought the years would last forever,
They are all gone now, the days
We thought would not come for us are here.

- Kenneth Rexroth, elegy in memory of his first wife, Andrée

Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something. - - last words of Pancho Villa

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dryrot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time

Jack London, sailor, tramp, gold miner, author

[On the other hand, London committed suicide at age 40 leading Ford Maddox Ford to say, "Like Peter Pan, he never grew up, and he lived his own stories with such intensity that he ended by believing them himself."]

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. - WALT WHITMAN

If I shouldn't be alive
When the robins come,
Give the one in red cravat
A memorial crumb.

If I couldn't thank you,
Being just asleep,
You will know I 'm trying
With my granite lip! - Emily Dickinson

I've seen a dying eye
Run round and round a room
In search of something as it seemed,
Then cloudier become
And then be soldered down
Without disclosing what it be
'Twere blessed to have seen. - Emily Dickinson

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man\'s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. -John Donne

Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep -
he hath awakened from the dream of life -
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions,
keep with phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings. - We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay. -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
and Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his Civility. -- Emily Dickinson

After the first death there is no other -- Dylan Thomas after an air raid.

Donations may be sent to the John Silber campaign or Humanitarian Aid to the Contras or play your favorite lottery number. -- Death notice in Boston Globe for former Cambridge City Councilmember Daniel J. Murphy, 1990

Many men die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five -- Benjamin Franklin

If to live is to be influenced and to influence . . . surely to die is to be no longer able either to influence or be influenced, and a man cannot be held dead until both these two factors of death are present. If failure of the power to be influenced vitiates life, presence of the power to influence vitiates death. And no one will deny that a man can influence for many a long year after he is vulgarly reputed dead. -- Dr. Gurgoyle in Samuel Butler's 'Erewhon Revisited'

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas

Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803 His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted. - Vermont gravestone

No dark colors and no crying - Funeral instructions from New Orleans jazz musician Lionel Batiste

Death of a Salesman

CHARLEY - "Nobody dast blame this man.... For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back. . . that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory."


The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. -- Noam Chomsky

Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. - Justice Robert Jackson

I never listen to debates. They are dreadful things indeed. The plain truth is that I am not a fair man, and don't want to hear both sides. On all known subjects, ranging from aviation to xylophone-playing, I have fixed and invariable ideas. They have not changed since I was four or five. - HL Mencken


One must have some occupation nowadays. If I hadn't my debts I shouldn't have anything to think about. - Oscar Wilde

Debs, Eugene

Years ago, I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth... While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. - Eugene Debs


See choice


Implicit in the term `national defense' is the notion of defending those values and ideals which set this nation apart -- Justice Potter Stewart, 1967

The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. -- Dwight Eisenhower


Deeflation is inflated the dollar so the sovereignity on the fundaments is entire in escrow. So even if you gives a thing away you still gotta git paid for it or the whole fiascal system becomes a automatic infield out or a groun' rule double - Albert Alligator, Pogo, 1953


Never do tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow - Mark Twain


An elected despotism is not the government we fought for. - Thomas Jefferson

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not take it from them, but to inform their discretion. - Thomas Jefferson

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. -- Reinhold Niebuhr

We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis Brandeis

It's republic if you can keep it --Benjamin Franklin, asked what sort of government the constitutional convention had chosen.

Democracy must be a sound scheme at bottom, else it would not survive such cruel strains. -- H. L. Mencken

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. -- EB White

In a democracy, men do not seek authority so that they may impose a policy. They seek a policy so that they may achieve authority. -- Gilbert Pinfold in "The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold" by Evelyn Waugh

In a democracy, anyone can be an elitist - Christopher Knight

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. -- Winston Churchill, House of Commons, Nov. 11, 1947.

We will have a liberal democracy, or we will return to the Dark Ages - FDR, 1940

[The capability of the NSA] any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. . . . There would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return. - Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), investigating the National Security Agency, 1975

All our political forms are exhausted and practically nonexistent. Our parliamentary and electoral system and our political parties are just as futile as dictatorships are intolerable. Nothing is left. And this nothing is increasingly aggressive, totalitarian, and omnipresent. Our experience today is the strange one of empty political institutions in which no one has any confidence any more, of a system of government which functions only in the interests of a political class, and at the same time of the almost infinite growth of power, authority, and social control which makes any one of our democracies a more authoritarian mechanism than the Napoleonic state. - Jacques Ellul

We received a letter from the Writers’ War Board the other day asking for a statement on “The Meaning of Democracy.” It presumably is our duty to comply with such a request, and it is certainly our pleasure. Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don’t in don’t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It’s the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of a morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is. - E. B. White, New Yorker, 1943:


The Democratic Party is like a mule -- without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity -- Ignatius Donnelly, 19th century politician


It's not denial. I'm just very selective about the reality I accept - Calvin Trillan


Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black, and the aesthete unoffended. -- Raymond Loewy


I'm decked in despair, fraught with frenzy and replete with rue. -- Churchy LaFemme in 'Pogo

Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure. Only the man of good will carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation - Graham Greene'


"Cheshire Puss," she began, rather timidly. . . "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the cat. "I don't care where..." said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the cat. - Lewis Carroll  //


You don't get rich, you don't often have much fun. Sometimes you get beaten up or shot at or tossed into the jail house. Once in a long while you get dead. Every other month you decide to give it up and find some sensible occupation while you can still walk without shaking your head. Then the door buzzer rings and you open the inner door to the waiting room and there stands a new face with a new problem, a new load of grief, and a small piece of money. - Raymond Chandler

"He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks -- that is, with a rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness. The story is this man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in." - Raymond Chandler

"The average detective story is probably no worse than the average novel, but you never see the average novel. It doesn't get published. The average -- or only slightly above average -- detective story does.... Whereas the good novel is not at all the same kind of book as the bad novel. It is about entirely different things. But the good detective story and the bad detective story are about exactly the same things, and they are about them in very much the same way."- Raymond Chandler


You have to take the long view. First, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, man has already progressed to the point where a commandment against cannibalism was no longer necessary. And, second, it's like pissing on a boulder. For the first few thousand years, you don't see any effect. But after that, you start to see a definite impact." -- I.F. Stone, when asked by journalist John Neary how "he could stand shoveling the same shit year after year after year, covering the same poltroons explaining and miscreants committing the same miserable malfeasances."


The devil never comes offering you something evil. The devil comes offering you a larger audience -- Murray Kempton


I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything. - -Steven Wright


The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. - George Orwell, 1984

You don't need a totalitarian dictatorship like Hitler's to get by with murder . . . You can do it in a democracy as long as the Congress and the people Congress is supposed to represent don't give a damn - William Shirer


The biggest things are always the easiest to do because there is no competition -- William Van Horne

Dimaggio, Joe

Although he learned Italian first, Joe, now 24, speaks English without an accent, and is otherwise well adapted to most U.S. mores. Instead of olive oil or smelly bear grease he keeps his hair slick with water. He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti.-- Life Magazine, 1939


Diplomacy is saying 'nice doggy' until you find a rock -- Wyn Catlin

I'm convinced there's a small room in the attic of the Foreign Office where future diplomats are taught to stammer. - Peter Ustinov

Even when he was peering down a woman's dress at her breasts [he] managed to look as though he was thinking about India. - Rebecca West, description of a British diplomat


Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed -- Chinese proverb

You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there. -- Yogi Berra

Unless you know the road you've come down, you cannot know where you are going - Temne proverb, Sierra Leone


I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. - Walt Whitman


Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. - Oscar Wilde


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries - A.A. Milne


Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. - Steven Wright

Dr Strangelove

SAC Commander Jack D. Ripper: A decision is being made by the President and the Joint Chiefs in the War Room at the Pentagon. And when they realize there is no possibility of recalling the Wing, there will be only one course of action open. Total commitment. Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war? . . . He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, fifty years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought

I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Major Kong: "Look boys I ain't much of a hand at making speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggoned important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin'. Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human beings if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelings about nuclear combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back at home are counting on you and by golly we ain't about to let them down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing is over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump...we got some flying to do."

"Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pairs of nylon stockings. Shoot! A fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."


If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog - Harry S, Truman

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down - Robert Benchley

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney


Every dogma has its day - Abraham Rotstein


Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the house, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or engage in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks. - GK Chesterton


When we can't dream any longer we die. - Emma Goldman

If you dream alone, it's just a dream. If you dream together, it's reality - Brazilian folk song

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore- and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load
Or does it just explode?

- Langston Hughes


The dreamer is the designer of tomorrow. Practical men . . . can laugh at him; they do not know that he is the true dynamic force that pushes the world forward. Suppress him, and the world will deteriorate towards barbarism. Despised, impoverished, he leads the way . . . sowing, sowing, sowing, the seeds that will be harvested, not by him, but by the practical men of tomorrow, who will at the same time laugh at another indefatigable dreamer busy seeding, seeding, seeding." - Ricardo Flores Magon


I envy people who drink - at least they know what to blame everything on. - Oscar Levant

Ah, lives there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said As he hunched and rolled in his comfortable bed: To hell with the rent . . . I'll drink instead! - Hunter S. Thompson.

When I was growing up, drunkenness was not regarded as a social disgrace. To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement; to get drunk was a victory - Brendan Behan


I saw more drug use at Georgetown University Law Center when I was a student there than I've seen anywhere else in my life. And some of those people are judges. - Senator James Webb

If the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" don¹t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on. - Terence McKenna

Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way and that made people think him great. - Samuel Johnson's opinion of the later poet Thomas Gray