RSSCategory: Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Speaks

June 15, 2010 | By | Reply More
Thomas Jefferson Speaks

Distracted, entertainment-addicted America needs to listen closely to Thomas Jefferson:



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More quotes

June 5, 2010 | By | Reply More
More quotes

More quotes I’ve recently added to my growing collection …

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951)

[I]f by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy, 1960

“When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall meekly behind them. . . The mantra ‘the best we can get’ is a recipe for corruption. We are not politicians, but citizens. We have no office to hold on to, only our consciences.”
Howard Zinn

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
Dean Acheson

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), Ecce Homo, Foreword

[more . . . ]


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More quotes!

May 28, 2010 | By | Reply More
More quotes!

As I’ve often written, I love quotes. Ever since I was a pre-teen. Mini-explosions in small strings of words. A novel in a single sentence!

I collect lots of quotes and I occasionally publish my favorites in small groups on this website. If you want to see other batches, simply choose the (left side margin) “category” called “quotes.” I hope you find these fun, challenging, mind-stretching and sometimes disturbing . . .

Confusion is always the most honest response.
-Marty Indik

A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.

Our quaint metaphysical opinions, in an hour of anguish, are like playthings by the bedside of a child deathly sick.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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

Conceit is God’s gift to little men.
-Bruce Barton

Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven’t been cut off.
-E. M. Cioran

Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
-Bertrand Russell

Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
-Francious de la Rochefoucauld

Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
-Crand Briton

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.

Truth: An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.

I’m worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel – let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they’re doing. I’m concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.
-Howard Zinn

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
-Franz Kafka

Sentimentality is a superstructure covering brutality.
-C. J. Jung

People travel for the same reason as they collect works of art: because the best people do it.
-Aldous Huxley

[more . . . ]


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Yet more quotes

February 28, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More
Yet more quotes

I’ve been finding a lot of new quotes (new to me) these days. Here is another batch of my favorites:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. – Hanlon’s Razor

A woman approached a virtuoso piano player after a particularly brilliant performance and said, ‘I’d give anything to play like that.’ He replied, ‘No, you wouldn’t.’
Attributed to Artur Rubenstein

What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Christopher Hitchens

If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on. Terrance McKenna

If the minimum wasn’t acceptable, it wouldn’t be called the minimum.

No matter how good she looks, some guy is sick of her shit

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

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 Heinlein (through Lazarus Long)

America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
Hunter S. Thompson

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
Douglas Adams

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Dr. Seuss

If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein


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More of my favorite quotes

February 25, 2010 | By | Reply More
More of my favorite quotes

I collect lots of quotes. Lots of bang for the buck. There’s a novel in every good quote. Here’s my most recent batch of favorites:

“Television is more interesting than people. If it were not, we would have people standing in the corners of our rooms.”
Alan Corenk

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
Aaron Levenstein (Professor of
Management at Baruch College, City University of New York)

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky

“Some people are called to build the piano, some to carry the piano, and some are called to play the piano”
Darrin Patrick

“One of the most powerful teachings of the Buddhist tradition is that as long as you are wishing for things to change, they never will.”
Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are

“None of us are as smart as all of us”
Japanese proverb

“The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe”
H.L. Mencken

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

Atheism is a religion like off is a TV channel.
The Godless Blogger

“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.”
William Jennings Bryan at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1896.

“[T]he life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Thomas Hobbes

“Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”
Bob Thaves, “Frank and Ernest”, 1982

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”
Thomas Jefferson


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More of my favorite quotes

December 22, 2009 | By | Reply More
More of my favorite quotes

I love good quotes. There’s a novel in every sentence. Some of them are explosive. I collect them from many sources, though I see many of them on my homepage, which is set for The Quotations Page. Here are my favorite quotes that I’ve collected over the past few months:

-If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: ‘I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day.’ When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods.
Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD)

-Life is a series of things you’re not quite ready for.
Rob Hopkins, of the Post Carbon Institute

-An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.
Laurence J. Peter (1919 – 1988)

-The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006)

-The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal . . . If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
Malcolm X Speaks, p.93

-As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.

[more . . . ]


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Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003

December 17, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More
Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003

Here’s a video sketch of Thich Nhat Hanh from 2003 that I enjoyed and decided to share. A sample quote:

THICH NHAT HANH: Using violence to suppress violence is not the correct way. America has to wake up to that reality.

[Interviewer]: That’s not a sentiment you hear everyday at the Capitol. Nor is Nhat Hanh’s recommendation to this bitterly divided Congress that its members practice what he calls deep listening (to each other) and gentle speech.

At the persistent urging of Lisa Rokusek (an author at this website), I’ve been reading some of the works of Thich Nhat Hanh lately, and enjoying their elegant wisdom. Here are a few of his quotes:

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air,but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

Many of us are not capable of releasing the past, of releasing the suffering of the past. We want to cling to our own suffering. But the Buddha said very clearly, do not cling to the past, the past is already gone. Do not wait for future, the future is not yet there. The wise people establish themselves in the present moment and they practice living deeply in the present moment. That is our practice. By living deeply in the present moment we can understand the past better and we can prepare for a better future.


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More Quotes

September 17, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More
More Quotes

I periodically post my most recently collected quotes (over the past 3 months). I just love collecting quotes, because there’s a novel in every sentence–it’s high-impact reading. I collect these from many sources, though more than a few of the following were presented to me by The Quotations Page, which I use as my homepage. Enjoy!

“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”
Booker T. Washington

“If you cut yourself in half and both sides lived, which side would be you?”
Anonymous on

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that”
George Carlin

“If a thing isn’t worth saying, you sing it. ”
Pierre Beaumarchais (1732 – 1799)

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)

“Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.”
Alan Dean Foster, “To the Vanishing Point”

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
George Orwell

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison, on asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times before he figured out the light bulb.

“It is a curious thing… that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.”
Evelyn Waugh (1903 – 1966)

Complexity is the problem. Moving it from hardware to software, or vice versa, doesn’t help. Simplicity is the only answer. There was a product many years ago called the Canon Cat. It was a simple, dedicated word processor; done very nicely in Forth. Didn’t succeed commercially. But then, most products don’t. I despair. Technology, and our very civilization, will get more and more complex until it collapses. There is no opposing pressure to limit this growth. No environmental group saying: Count the parts in a hybrid car to judge its efficiency or reliability or maintainability.

-Charles Moore, who is a pioneer software developer. The ‘Forth’ language he invented is still in use today, particularly by NASA

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Upton Sinclair

“We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.”
Thomas Friedman

“Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him.”
Paul Eldridge


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Guess this author

September 3, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More
Guess this author

The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. See if you can guess who authored this quotation on capitalism vs. socialism: (all emphases are mine)

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals. For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist.


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