Aphorisms & Quotes

Quotes of the week

“I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize: the government does not give a fuck about them. The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare, or your safety. It simply doesn’t give a fuck about you. It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.” —George Carlin 

“Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.” —George Carlin

“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers, or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you: ‘There is no I in team.’ What you should tell them is: ‘Maybe not. But there is an I in independence, individuality, and integrity.’” —George Carlin

“At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child, miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.” —PJ O’Rourke

“Biden has managed to combine the incompetence of Jimmy Carter with the malevolence of Barack Obama.” —Dinesh D’Souza

“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! … At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” —Abraham Lincoln, ‘The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions, Lyceum Address,‘ January 27, 1838

“What has occurred in this case must ever recur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.” —Abraham Lincoln, on the occasion of his reelection in 1864

“The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.” —Adlai E. Stevenson

“It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.” —Aeschylus

“In a mad world only the mad are sane.” —Akira Kurosawa

“Abstract Art: A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.” —Al Capp

“We aren’t better because we want to be. Because the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Because all the do gooders in the world whether they’re doing good for others or doing it for themselves are troublemakers. On the basis of ‘kindly let me help you or you’ll drown,’ said the Monkey putting the fish safely up a tree. ―Alan Watts

“I enjoyed my own nature to the fullest, and we all know that there lies happiness, although, to soothe one another mutually, we occasionally pretend to condemn such joys as selfishness.” —Albert Camus

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” —Albert Einstein

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” —Albert Einstein

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” —Albert Einstein

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax.” —Albert Einstein

“Science has ‘explained’ nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.” —Aldous Huxley

“At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas.” —Aldous Huxley

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” —Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“But let us be generous. We will not shoot them. We will not pour salt water into them, nor bury them in bedbugs, nor bridle them up into a ‘swan dive,’ nor keep them on sleepless ‘stand-up’ for a week, nor kick them with jackboots, nor beat them with rubber truncheons, nor squeeze their skulls with iron rings, nor push them into a cell so that they lie atop one another like pieces of baggage– we will not do any of the things they did! But for the sake of our country and our children we have the duty to seek them all out and bring them all to trial! Not to put them on trial so much as their crimes. And to compel each one of them to announce loudly: ‘Yes, I was an executioner and a murderer.’”—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“… What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.” —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.” —Alexander Fraser Tytler

“It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.” —Alfred Adler

“Who doesn’t mind the rudder, will surely mind the rock.” —Ancient Mariner’s Proverb

“We are all chickens. We only see one grain at a time … peck … peck … until the farmer sees us … chop!” —Anonymous

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” —Anonymous

“There are but two boons in life: the love of art and the art of love.” —Anonymous

““It would seem,” said Tristram, “that we’re all cannibals.” “Yes, but, damn it all, we in Aylesbury are at least civilized cannibals. It makes all the difference if you get it out of a tin.”“ —Anthony Burgess, The Wanting Seed

“Before the rush to canonize this whole ‘trans’ thing, I think we should remind ourselves of a few basic facts: if a man puts on a dress and calls himself ‘Charlotte’, he’s not a woman, he’s a mentally ill man with a woman’s name wearing a dress. If he starts receiving female hormone injections, he’s still not a woman, he’s a mentally ill man with a woman’s name wearing a dress, with messed up body chemistry. If he undergoes gender reassignment surgery, he’s still not a woman, he’s a mentally ill man with a woman’s name wearing a dress, with messed up body chemistry and no penis. If he gets a document from a court or other government agency saying he’s a woman, he’s still not a woman, he’s a mentally ill man with a woman’s name wearing a dress, with messed up body chemistry, no penis, and a legal document that caters to his delusion. And if he and his friends manage to get a law passed that says he must be addressed by the female pronouns he prefers, he’s still not a woman, he’s a mentally ill man with a woman’s name wearing a dress, with messed up body chemistry, no penis, a legal document that caters to his delusion, and backed with the force of law. To sum all of this up: He’s still a man, baby! And do you know what the funny part of all this is? The people who are vigorously pushing this like to think of themselves as the party of science.” —AoSHQ, June 17, 2019

“Trust in Allah … But tie your camel.” —Arab Proverb

“Even God cannot change the past.” —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

“We are either alone in the universe or we are not. Either case is overwhelming!” —Arthur C. Clarke

“He bores me. He ought to have stuck to his flying machines.” —Auguste Renoir, speaking of Leonardo da Vinci

“Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.” —Ayatollah Ruhola Khomeini

“The United States was the only country in history born, not chance and blind tribal warfare, but as a rational product of man’s mind. This country was built on the supremacy of reason and, for one magnificent century, it redeemed the world. It will have to do so again. The earth has reached the consummation of the beliefs it has held through the ages: mystic faith, the supremacy of the irrational, which has the two monuments at the end of its course: The lunatic asylum and the graveyard.“ —Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, 3rd Edition, page 771)

“The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe– but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread.” —Ayn Rand

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” —Ayn Rand

“When you consider the global devastation perpetrated by socialism, the sea of blood and the millions of victims, remember that they were sacrificed, not for the ‘good of mankind’ nor for any ‘noble ideal,’ but for the festering vanity of some sacred brute or some pretentious mediocrity who craved a mantle of unearned ‘greatness’– and that the monument to socialism is a pyramid of public factories, public theaters, and public parks, erected on a foundation of human corpses, with the figure of the ruler posturing on top, beating his chest and screaming his plea for ‘prestige’ to the starless void above him.”—Ayn Rand

“There are four characteristics which brand a country unmistakably as a dictatorship: (1) one-party rule, (2) executions without trial or with a mock trial, for political offenses, (3) the nationalization or expropriation of private property, and (4) censorship. A country guilty of these outrages forfeits any moral prerogatives, any claim to national rights or sovereignty, and becomes an outlaw.” —Ayn Rand

“I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.” —Ayn Rand

“Do not say that you are afraid to trust your mind because you know so little … live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.” —Ayn Rand

“As long as men are free to speak, a small, rational minority will always prevail over an irrational majority.” —Ayn Rand

“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns– or dollars. Take your choice– there is no other– and your time is running out.”—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens–four dowager and three regnant–and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.” —Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” —Barry Goldwater (Nomination speech at the Republican National Convention, 1964)

“He that lieth down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. —C.S. Lewis

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; rewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are alone omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” —Calvin Coolidge

“I’ve been teaching now for 46 years as a classroom teacher, and I have felt the slow devolution of the quality of public school education in the classroom … What has happened is these young people now getting to college have no sense of history–of any kind! No sense of history. No world geography. No sense of the violence and the barbarities of history. So, they think that the whole world has always been like this, a kind of nice, comfortable world where you can go to the store and get orange juice and milk, and you can turn on the water and the hot water comes out. They have no sense whatever of the destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on– and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization. They now have been taught to look around them to see defects in America, which is the freest country in the history of the world, and to feel that somehow America is the source of all evil in the universe, and it’s because they’ve never been exposed to the actual evil of the history of humanity. They know nothing!” —Camille Paglia

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” —Carl Jung

“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem delendam esse.” (“Moreover, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed.”) —Cato the Elder

“On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.” —Charles Babbage

“Nothing from man’s hand, nor law, nor constitution, can be final. Truth alone is final.” —Charles Sumner

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” —Charles Wadsworth

“We know very well what the ‘grievances’ of the jihadists are. The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won’t abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor’s liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.” —Christopher Hitchens, “We Cannot Surrender,” The Daily Mirror (UK), July 8, 2005

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.” —Christopher Morley

“Morals today are corrupted by our worship of riches.” —Cicero

“America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny we’ve gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent. … Something’s eventually going to happen. Government will bloat until it chokes us to death, or one more tyrannical power grab turn out to be one too many. … Maybe it’ll be one more round of ‘reasonable gun control’ or one more episode of burning children to death to save them from ‘child abuse.’ Whatever, something will snap.” —Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution (1996)

“Only the wisest and the stupidest of men never change.” —Confucius

“Once I wasn’t, then I was, now I ain’t again.” —Cowboy epitaph

“Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” ―David Burge

“Intellectuals by and large disgraced the twentieth century. With rare exceptions, they whored after strange gods, of which the most odious and overwhelming was power. Writers, artists, philosophers, historians, even musicians and architects, enthusiastically committed their talents to the service of one cause or another. This treason of the clerks spread like an epidemic, diminishing the world’s hard-won stock of wisdom and morality, and civilization is still reeling from it. “ —David Pryce-Jones, in a review of a biography of Andre Malraux

“Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.” —David T. Wolf

“I’d like to have allies, too, but what’s happening in this world right now is we’ve got a competency chasm– we’re getting really good at what we do, and the whole rest of the world is going to hell in a handbasket. As that gap gets wider, they’re going to hate us more, and more, and more. You have to remember, we are simultaneously the most hated, feared, loved and admired nation on this planet. In short, we’re Frank Sinatra– and the chairman didn’t get to be chairman lying down for punks.” —Dennis Miller

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.” —Donald J. Trump (9/19/2017)

“There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” ―Donald Rumsfeld

“That the universe, including our consciousness of it, would come into being by some fluke happenstance, that this dark universe of incalculable magnitude has been accidentally self-generated … is even more absurd than the idea of a Creator.” —E. L. Doctorow, City of God

“Sorrow is better than laughter, because when the face is sad the heart grows wiser.” —Ecclesiastes 7:3

“The natural man has a difficult time getting along in this world. Half the people think he is a scoundrel because he is not a hypocrite.” —Edgar Watson Howe

“People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.” —Edmund Burke

“Patience will achieve more than force.” —Edmund Burke

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.” —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” ―Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time

“In its philosophical concept, the organized state is the great reason that exalts the notion of taxation; in its historical understanding, however, taxation is the great secret that organizes tyranny… And if in its philosophical understanding the term “contribution” does appears to be truer and worthier, in its historical understanding I invite you to change it, but only to call it ‘scourge.’“ —Francesco Ferrara

“Would you like to fathom how a swarm of parasites and harlots can exist in the royal courts? Why ignorance and intrigue are exalted and knowledge and virtue are rejected and derided? How comes it that in a temperate government a bad minister can make the houses of parliament to be in thrall of his will? And representatives and newspapers can be found to conceal his faults and incompetence? Taxation contains and explains the whole riddle. Taxation is the great source of everything a corrupt government can devise to the detriment of the peoples. Taxation supports the spy, encourages the faction, dictates the content of newspapers.” —Francesco Ferrara

“We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire.” —Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“Only great men can possess great faults.” —Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

“Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization—you can’t just swallow it whole.” —Frank Zappa

“Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” —Frank Zappa

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” —Frank Zappa

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.” —Frank Zappa

“The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.” —Frank Zappa

“You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, put it in the navel of a fruit fly, and still have room left over for three caraway seeds and the heart of a producer.” —Fred Allen

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” —Frederic Bastiat

“Tout passé, tout cassé, tout lassé” (“Everything passes, everything perishes, everything vanishes.” —French proverb

“Madness is rare in individuals; but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it’s the rule.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“In even a mediocre artist one sometimes finds a remarkable man.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“It is only great men who take up a great space by not being there.” —G.K. Chesterton

“No kind of good art exists unless it grows out of ideas of the average man.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Only a few prefer liberty; the majority seek nothing more than fair masters.” —Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Roman historian, 1st Century BC)

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” —Galileo Galilei

“Islam is something we can’t afford any more in the Netherlands. I want the fascist Koran banned. We need to stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands. That means no more mosques, no more Islamic schools, no more imams… Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims”. —Geert Wilders

“Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” —General Douglas MacArthur

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” —General George S. Patton, Jr.

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” —George Bernard Shaw

“History, sir, will do what it always does … lie.” —George Bernard Shaw, The Devil’s Disciple

“Once in every man’s youth there comes the hour when he must learn, what no one ever yet believed save on the authority of his own experience, that the world was not created to make him happy.” —George Macaulay Trevelyan

“Journalism is printing what somebody doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” —George Orwell

“Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” —George Orwell

“We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” —George Orwell

“Towards the government I feel no scruples and would dodge paying the [income] tax if I could. Yet I would give my life for England readily enough, if I thought it necessary. No one is patriotic about taxes.” —George Orwell, Wartime Diary, August 9, 1940

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  —George Santayana

“Wealth must justify itself in happiness.” —George Santayana

“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.” —George Santayana

“An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.” —George Santayana

“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.” —George Washington

“Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!” —George Washington

“…de l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace.” —Georges Jacques Danton

“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

“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” —Golda Meir

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.” —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

“The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing.” ―Herodotus

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule– and both commonly succeed, and are right.”—H.L. Mencken

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” —H.L. Mencken

“The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.” —H.L. Mencken

“It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.” —H.L. Mencken

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” —H.L. Mencken

“People do not expect to find chastity in a whorehouse. Why, then, do they expect to find honesty and humanity in government, a congeries of institutions whose modus operandi consists of lying, cheating, stealing, and if need be, murdering those who resist?” —H.L. Mencken

“No one in this world, so far as I know– and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me– has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”—H.L. Mencken

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins all of them imaginary.” —H.L. Mencken

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” —H.L. Mencken

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” —H.L. Mencken

“Socialism is the theory that the desire of one man to get something he hasn’t got is more pleasing to a just God than the desire of some other man to keep what he has got.” —H.L. Mencken

“The allurement that [women] hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating.” —H.L. Mencken

“To a rather considerable extent literary studies have been replaced by that incredible absurdity called cultural studies which, as far as I can tell, are neither cultural nor are they studies. But there has always been an arrogance, I think, of the semi-learned.” —Harold Bloom

“Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you’re sure to be right.”—Harry Harbord Morant, Breaker Morant

“If you cannot convince them, confuse them.” —Harry S Truman

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” —Henry James

“Art is long, and time is fleeting.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“You cannot extend the mastery of government over the daily life of a people without somewhere making it master of people’s souls and thoughts.… Every step in that direction poisons the very roots of liberalism. It poisons political equality, free speech, free press, and equality of opportunity. It is the road not to more liberty but to less liberty.” —Herbert Hoover

“The more minimal the art, the more maximum the explanation.” —Hilton Kramer

“Behind every great fortune, there is crime.” —Honore de Balzac

“What is art? Nature concentrated.” —Honore de Balzac

“Be ashamed to die before you accomplish one thing for humanity.” —Horace Mann

“If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” —Horace Mann

“We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.” —Isaac Bashevis Singer

“I suppose the most galling thing was the revolting display surrounding John McCain as he entered the Senate in the guise of some revered elder statesman and great American. He’s not. He disgusts me. His entire life in politics has been in service of himself and his great, crashing ego. No doubt, in what may have been one of his final performances in the well of the Senate, he showed a complete lack of humility and willingness to even concede that those who oppose him (including people like us) did so quite passionately yet with no personal rancor. He has lived his life as an embittered old hack, defending a corrupt and immoral ruling class while railing against a decent and honest citizenry that seeks moral, civil and cultural restoration. Sadly, since if this revolting display is how he has chosen to exit this mortal coil, all I can say is ‘go.’ And give my regards to Teddy Kennedy when next you see him.” —J J Sefton

“If you think of reality as the software for the universe, all it would take is for someone to change a comma in the program, and the chair you are sitting on wouldn’t be a chair at all.” —Jacques Vallee

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” —James Branch Cabell

“The only laws of matter are those that our minds must fabricate and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter.” —James Clark Maxwell

“If you believe everything you read, you better not read.” —Japanese proverb

“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?” —Jean Cocteau

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” —Jean Paul Sartre

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

“My humility is legend.” —Jeffrey Reid Baker

“Everything improves with age– when you’re two.”—Jeffrey Reid Baker

“Sometimes, I think organized religion is a replacement for ecstasy– a bureaucratic place-holder for an empty soul.”—Jeffrey Reid Baker

“The older I get, the more I love children. They represent everything I wish to become.” —Jeffrey Reid Baker

“Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” ―Jim Treacher

“The greatest happiness of the thinking individual is to explore the knowable and to calmly revere the unknowable.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The most original, modern authors are not so because they advance what is new, but simply because they know how to put what they have to say as if it had never been said before.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The greatest happiness of the thinking individual is to explore the knowable and to calmly revere the unknowable.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Caution, caution, sir! It is nothing but the word of cowardice.” —John Brown

“Failures are divided into two classes– those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.”—John Charles Salak

“Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.” —John Derbyshire

“I believe in an America where the free enterprise system flourishes for all other systems to see and admire– where no businessman lacks either competition or credit– and where no monopoly, no racketeer, no government bureaucracy can put him out of business that he built up with his own initiative.”—John F. Kennedy

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”  —John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany

“In an age of militant mediocrity, an ‘extremist’ is anyone who takes a position.” —John Loeffler

“A communist is a socialist in a hurry with a gun.” —John Loeffler

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. From the day of the Declaration . . . they were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.” —John Quincy Adams

“The first universal characteristic of all great art is tenderness, as the second is truth.” —John Ruskin

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” —John Stuart Mill

“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” —John Stuart Mill

“He estado en las entrañas del monstruo, y lo conozco.” —José Marti

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” —Joseph Goebbels

“History repeats itself, but the special call of an art which has passed away is never reproduced. It is as utterly gone out of the world as the song of a destroyed wild bird.” —Joseph Conrad

“Communism is like one big phone company.” —Lenny Bruce

“Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise, what it is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” —Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” —Linus Pauling

“You have all eternity to be cautious in when you’re dead.” —Lois Platford

“Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law.” —Louis D. Brandeis

“Music is a higher revelation than philosophy.” —Ludwig van Beethoven

“Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.” —Malcolm X

“For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.” —Margaret Thatcher

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”  —Margaret Thatcher

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” ―Maurice Switzer

“The Democratic Party perpetually appeals to the uninformed and the uninformable. —Mark Chatham (linebacker, New England Patriots)

“[Liberals are] political infants. We’re all born liberals– I was born one, too– but at some point you stop becoming dependent on others and you become either inter-dependent or at least independent. I believe at some point you need to not be dependent on government programs and hand outs.”—Mark Chatham (linebacker, New England Patriots)

“France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

“Just the omission of Jane Austen’s books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

“The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

“Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, the only earthly certainty is oblivion.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

“The wit is an angry man in search of a victim.” —Martin Grotjahn

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” —Matthew 12:30

“The scientific name for an animal that doesn’t either run from or fight its enemies is lunch.” —Michael Friedman

“2016 wasn’t about ‘decent human beings’ for me. It was about keeping Hillary Clinton from getting control of the ATF and IRS. I don’t give a fuck how ignoble a politician is, so long as they stop the progs from taxing me to death and confiscating my guns. I don’t want people going to jail for using the wrong pronouns or giving out straws at restaurants. We are far past the point of civility, of taking the moral high road. We can either fight the neo-marxists legislatively and at the ballot box now, or we can have a civil war later. That war may be inevitable anyway.” —Mike Kupari

“Muslims are allowed to get away with almost anything. They can shut down and intimidate prominent ex-Muslims. They’re allowed to engage in the most brazen anti-semitism, even as they run for office in European left-wing political parties. And, of course, politicians and the media routinely turn a blind eye to the kind of sexism and homophobia that would instantly end the career of a non-Muslim conservative– and perhaps get the latter arrested for hate speech when he dared to object.”—Milo Yiannopoulos

“I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.” —Milton Friedman

“Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people; it tends to attract the sort who can’t understand that an economic system that cannot feed its own population reliably has failed at the game of Life. Literally.” –Moe Lane

“There is no rampart that will hold out against malice.” —Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” —Nikola Tesla

“I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.” —Number 6 in The Prisoner

“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative mind.” —Oscar Wilde

“A true artist takes no notice whatever of the public. The public are to him nonexistent.” —Oscar Wilde

“This wallpaper is atrocious, one of us has to go.” —Oscar Wilde (reputed final words)

“No one ever lost a dime underestimating the taste of the American Public.” —P.T. Barnum

“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” —P.J. O’Rourke

We’re told cars are dangerous. It’s safer to drive through South Central Los Angeles than to walk there. We’re told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We’re told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it’s hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald’s from a speeding train. And we’re told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine? —P.J. O’Rourke

“I was having dinner…in London…when eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about ‘Your country’s never been invaded.‘ And so I said, ‘Let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’ Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.‘” –P.J. O’Rourke.

“We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” —Pablo Picasso

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” —Paul Gauguin

“Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.” —Paul Gauguin

“An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.” —Paul Valery

“The movies are so rarely great art, that if we can’t appreciate great trash, there is little reason to go.” —Pauline Kael

“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.” —Peter DeVries

“Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” —Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

“Whoever puts a hand on me to govern me is an usurper and a tyrant; I declare him my enemy.” —Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All actual states are corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is doomsday.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A little integrity is better than any career.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The efforts which we make to escape from our destiny only serve to lead us into it.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every genuine work of art has as much reason for being as the earth and the sun.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are a puny and a fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In America the geography is sublime, but the men are not: the inventions are excellent, but the inventors one is sometimes ashamed of.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Go put your creed into the deed, nor speak with double tongue.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The imbecility of men is always inviting the impudence of power.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every man alone is sincere; at the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’m tired of being told how bad America is by leftwing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women’s rights of Saudi Arabia, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Gay people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won’t multiculturalism be beautiful?” —Robert A. Hall

“Man lives in a world of ideas. Any phenomenon is so complex that he cannot possibly grasp the whole of it. He abstracts certain characteristics of a given phenomenon as an idea, then represents that idea as a symbol, be it a word or a mathematical sign. Human reaction is almost entirely reaction to symbols, and only negligibly to phenomena. As a matter of fact,” he continued, removing the cigarette holder from his mouth and settling into his subject, “it can be demonstrated that the human mind can think only in terms of symbols. When we think, we let symbols operate on other symbols in certain, set fashions—rules of logic, or rules of mathematics. If the symbols have been abstracted so that they are structurally similar to the phenomena they stand for, and if the symbol operations are similar in structure and order to the operations of phenomena in the real world, we think sanely. If our logic-mathematics, or our word-symbols, have been poorly chosen, we think not sanely.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“For the first time in my life, I was reading things which had not been approved by the Prophet’s censors, and the impact on my mind was devastating. Sometimes I would glance over my shoulder to see who was watching me, frightened in spite of myself. I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy…censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked, contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything– you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“Anyone who clings to the historically untrue and thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded– here and there, now and then– are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.’”—Robert A. Heinlein

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” —Robert A. Heinlein

“Political tags– such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth– are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”—Robert A. Heinlein

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” —Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and acts as yours does is something close to a blessed event.” —Robert Pirsig

“Don’t worry about the French. They’ll be there when they need us!” —Ron Silver

“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin. “ —Ronald Reagan

“Avoid as you would the plague, a clergyman who is also a man of business.” —Saint Jerome

“I believe that the moment is near when, by a procedure of active paranoic thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.” —Salvador Dali

“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule.” —Samuel Adams

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, ‘What should be the reward of such sacrifices?’ Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” —Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.

“Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.” —Samuel Butler

“Painting is the intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.” —Samuel Coleridge

“The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate; those soft hours of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his natural dimensions, and throws aside the ornaments or disguises which he feels in privacy to be useless incumbrances, and to lose all effect when they become familiar. To be happy at home is the ultimate end of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.” —Samuel Johnson (Rambler #68, November 1750)

“Hell is paved with good intentions.” ―Samuel Johnson

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” —Simonides

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it.” —Sir Thomas Beecham

“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go in the same box.” —Spanish Proverb

“Take what you want,” said God, “take it and pay for it.” —Spanish proverb

“There are two types of socialists. There are the True Believers and the Cynics, A/K/A, The Dupes and The Elites. The Cynics hold power or hope to. The Dupes vote for them expecting free stuff. Meanwhile, the Elites use the enhanced powers of the state to engage in all kinds of cronyism, while the Dupes get just enough stuff to keep them voting for the Elites, but never enough to wean them off the government teat. The powerful grow rich, and everyone else is kept down.” —Stephen Green

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” —Stephen Hawking

“If your opponent is quick to anger, seek to irritate him.” —Sun Tzu

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” —The Dude in The Big Lebowski

“Darkness washed over the Dude– darker than a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.”—The Stranger in The Big Lebowski

“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In any study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to cooperate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same affect and is intended to.” ―Theodore Dalrymple

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“Writing is a dreadful labor. Yet not as dreadful as idleness.” —Thomas Carlyle

“What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” —Thomas Carlyle

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” —Thomas Huxley

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” –Thomas Jefferson, In a 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams.

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” —Thomas Jefferson

“If I had to choose between a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate to choose the latter.” —Thomas Jefferson

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” —Thomas Jefferson

“There is inborn in every artistic disposition an indulgent and treacherous tendency to accept injustice when it produces beauty…” —Thomas Mann

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine

“But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.” —Thomas Paine

“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it the superficial appearance of being right.” —Thomas Paine

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” —Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No.1, December 23, 1776

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth– anonymously and posthumously.”—Thomas Sowell

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” —T.S. Eliot

“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” ―T.S. Eliot

“When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.” —U. S. Marine Corps

“The race is not always won by the fastest runner but sometimes by those who just keep running.” —Unknown

“If the enemy is in range, so are you.” —US Army Infantry Journal

“God save us from people who mean well.” ―Vikram Seth

Our task– ordeal if you will– is that we must make war so godawfully terrible to our enemies, and the rewards of peace and reform so humanely sweet to our friends, that the vast middle in between will have no problem choosing sides.”—Victor Davis Hanson

“Right after 9/11, some of us thought it was impossible for leftist critics to undermine a war against fascists who were sexist, fundamentalist, homophobic, racist, ethnocentric, intolerant of diversity, mass murderers of Kurds and Arabs, and who had the blood of 3,000 Americans on their hands. We were dead wrong.” —Victor Davis Hanson

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved” — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”—Victor Hugo

“Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing.”  —Vladimir Lenin

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” —Voltaire

“A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.” —Washington Irving

“It is easy to be independent when all behind you agree with you. But the difficulty comes when nine hundred and ninety-nine of your friends think you wrong.” —Wendell Phillips

“Revolutions are not made: they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.” —Wendell Phillips

“It [Communism] is not new. It is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: ‘Ye shall be as gods.’ It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God. It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man’s liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man’s destiny and reorganizing man’s life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in his image, but because man’s mind makes him the most intelligent of the animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.” —Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.” —Wilhelm Gottfried von Lessing

“Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” —Will Durant

“The problem with socialism is socialism; the problem with capitalism is capitalists.” —Willi Schlamm

“Prisons are built with bricks of stone; brothels are built with bricks of religion.” —William Blake

“The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” —William Blake

“Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.” —William Blake

“Only the greatest obstacle that can be contemplated without despair rouses the will to full intensity.” —William Butler Yeats

“Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?” —William James

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind… and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” —William Shakespeare

“So oft it chances in particular men that, for some vicious mole of nature in them, as in their birth,– wherein they are not guilty, since nature cannot choose his origin,– by the o’ergrowth of some complexion, oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason, or by some habit that too much o’erleavens the form of plausive manners, that these men carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, being nature’s livery, or fortune’s star, their virtues else– be they as pure as grace, as infinite as man may undergo– shall in the general censure take corruption from that particular fault.”—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene IV

“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act IV Scene II

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” ―William Shakespeare, The Tempest

“War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.” —William Tecumseh Sherman

“If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that War is War and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relations must stop War.” —William Tecumseh Sherman

“War is at best barbarism…Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” —William Tecumseh Sherman

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

“Democracy is the worst form of government ever invented, except for all the others that have been tried.” —Winston Churchill

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” —Winston Churchill

“If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by the deepest convictions of our hearts.” —Winston Churchill

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”—Winston Churchill

“Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valor, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.” —Winston Churchill

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.” —Winston Churchill

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” —Winston Churchill

“I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs – Victory in spite of all terrors – Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal. I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, ‘Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.’” —Winston Churchill, speech to the British Parliament, May 13, 1940

“If a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.” —Woodrow Wilson

“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” —Yogi Berra

“Donald Trump was is the giant turd in the punchbowl of the Democrat plans to take over and destroy America.” —The Universal Spectator, after the 2020 general election

“Never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate.” —The Universal Spectator, after the 2012 general election

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