Walt’s Quote Log

as of June 29, 2019

This Quote Log came about from a desire to have ongoing access to thought provoking portions of books and commentaries. Some of them are a fair reflection of my world view, and some are the antithesis of how I see things, but all of them made me think. Over the years I’ve acquired a goodly number of these quotes and excerpts, and one reason for putting the notebook into this format is to make it easier to track down a specific quote by doing an electronic search on the file instead of just having to look through the pages until I find it.

I hope that you find these bits of thought interesting and provocative as well.

— Walt

The Paton Papers by Martin Blumenson

The reasons why anyone makes a permanent record of his thoughts and activities are, of course, diverse. In the mind of the journal keeper must surely be an element of self-importance – a belief that his life is significant and interesting, especially to others. There must also be a sense of history and the certainty that the individual has an effect or perhaps reflects, but truly so – his time and place. He must have a feeling of personal mission and a conviction that future generations will want to know what he said and did.

pg X

Glory Road by Robert Heinlein

Perhaps the greatest limitation of logic is that sometimes it’s statement is that something is impossible. What was impossible yesterday maybe possible tomorrow.

pg 60

If you walk the Glory Road, you are certain to find many rocks.

pg 66

As I said, given a choice, I’m chicken.

pg 72

Robert Service

I have clinched and closed
with the naked
North. I have learned
to defy and defend;
Shoulder to shoulder we
have fought it,
Out – yet the wild must
win in the end.


Happiness is the exercise of one’s abilities in a life that gives them scope.

Earnest Kessler – WWI German Ace Pilot

In the sky I found, even among my enemies, courage, honor and chivalry. On the ground, well …..


So in the Libyan fable it is told
That once an eagle, stricken with an arrow
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
“With our own feathers, not by other’s hands
Are we now smitten.”


Wise men are instructed by reason;
Men of less understanding, by experience;
The most ignorant, by necessity.

Robert Frost

Courage is the human quality that counts most – courage to act on limited knowledge and insufficient evidence.

The Choir Boys by Joseph Waumbaugh

I mean that it’s the weakness of the human race that’s stupefying and that it’s not the capacity for evil which astounds young policemen like you and me, Dean. Rather it’s the mind boggling worthlessness of human beings. There’s not enough dignity in mankind for evil and that’s the most terrifying thing a policeman learns.

pg 168

I mean that cops chase society’s devils as well as their own, which becomes unbearably terrifying since the devil is at last only the mirror image of a creature without worth or dignity.

pg 169


He removes the greatest ornament of friendship who takes away from it respect.

If you meet the buddha on the road, kill him by Sheldon Kapp

Once upon a time there was a man who strayed from his own country into the world known as the Land of Fools. He soon saw a number of people fleeing in terror from a field where they had been trying to reap wheat. "There is a monster in that field!" they told him. He looked and saw it was a watermelon.
He offered to kill the "monster" for them. When he had cut the melon from the stalk, he took a slice and began to eat it. The people became even more terrified of him than they had been of the melon. They drove him away with pitchforks crying, "He will kill us next unless we get rid of him."
It so happened that at another time, another man also strayed into the Land of Fools, and the same thing started to happen to him. But instead of offering to help them with the "monster," he agreed with them that it must be dangerous and by tiptoeing away from it with them he gained their confidence. He spent a long time with them in their homes until he could teach them, little by little, the basic facts which would enable them not only to lose their fear of melons, but even to cultivate them themselves.

pg 8

The central fact of my own life is my death. After a while it will all come to nothing. Whenever I have the courage to face this my priorities become clear. At such times nothing is done in order to achieve anything else. No energy is wasted on maintaining the illusions. My image does not matter. I do not worry about how I am doing. I do what I do, am who I am. That’s it. The immanance of my own death is the pivot around which things turn. This makes what is going on now all that counts.

pg ?

Immutable laws derived from an infallible source are a comfort, but only in the way that being kept in a prison can bring with it a sense of security.

pg 89

Everything good is costly and the development of the personality is one of the most costly of all things. It will cost you your innocence, your illusions, your certainty.

pg 6

John Holmes

To hell with the future.

Long live the past.

And may God in his mercy
Look down on Belfast.

Tourist guide outside of Plains, Ga.

It sure is easier to pick tourists than cotton.

Camelot, King Arthur speaking

An evil man can not be happy, only triumphant.

Kevin Williams

There is no evil, only ignorance.


Maturity comes when you understand the implications of what you believe.

Alfred North Whitehead

It is not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance that is the death of knowledge.

Webster’s Dictionary

Anarchism: the theory that all forms of government interfere with individual liberty unjustly and should be replaced by the voluntary association of cooperative groups.

Gordon Segals

Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and the world laughs with you.

Sheldon Knapp

Don Quixote’s Quest, the personal pilgrimage of his mad life was to live in the world as it is traversed by man as he ought to be.

Woody Allen

I’m not afraid of dying; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Mark Twain

He who doesn’t read is no better off than he who cannot read.

Chinese proverb

Wisdom flourishes in a garden.

Thomas Jefferson

If a people expects to be both free and ignorant, then they expect what never was and never will be.

paraphrased as

Those who want to be
Ignorant and free
Want what never was
And never soon shall be.

Hedy Lamar

Foolish people wear diamonds.
Wise people use them as stepping stone to power.

Ronald Regan

No man’s life, liberty, property or happiness is safe when the state’s legislature’s in session.

Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw

Britanicus (shocked):

Caesar, this is not proper.

Theodotus (outraged):

Caesar (recovering his self-possession):
Pardon him Theodotus:
He is a barbarian, and
thinks the customs of his
tribe and island are the
Laws of Nature.

Act II

Fredrick H. von Schuller

Who dares nothing need hope for nothing.


Men in general judge more from appearance than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of perception.

The Dragon Keepers by Rodney Hughes

The folly of an educated man is to judge wisdom by the way it is phrased.

When men die of famine, you say that it is the season that is to blame. What does this differ from saying, when you have caused a man’s death, "It was not I, but the weapon?"

We The Living by Ann Rand

There is not such a thing as duty. If you know a thing is right, you want to do it. If you don’t want to do it – it isn’t right. If it’s right and you don’t want to do it – you don’t know what right is and you’re not a man.

pg 79

And what is the state but a servant and a convenience for a large number of people just like an electric light and the plumbing system? And wouldn’t it be preposterous to claim that men must exist for their plumbing and not the plumbing for the man?

– pg 81

"To a life," said the Viking, "which is a reason unto itself."

– pg 41

One can also fight.

Fight what? Sure you can muster the most heroic in you to fight lions. But to whip your soul to a sacred white heat to fight lice … ?

– pg 74

John Harrington

Treason ne’r doth prosper;
What’s the reason?
Why, if it should prosper,
None dare call it treason.

Vandenberg by Oliver Lange

There is no freedom on this earth, only varying degrees of bondage. Whenever men out of necessity band together, freedom is qualified. Moreover, man alone is never free. Consciousness in itself refutes freedom, and death offers the closest approximation to true release, for then there is neither freedom or bondage, but, one can only presume, nothing.

– pg 51

The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein

Luck is the tag given by the mediocre to account for the accomplishment of genius.

– pg 158

The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, anytime and with utter recklessness.

– pg 174

Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

Every question can be boiled down to the one: why is there anything? Every religious, business and governmental question has the single derivative: who will exercise the power?

– pg 20

Belief can be manipulated: only knowledge is dangerous.

– pg 26

The wise man moulds himself –
The fool lives only to die.

– pg 120

Power predisposes one to vanity and pride. But power deluded those who used it. One tended to believe power overcame any barrier – including one’s own ignorance.

– pg 140

Most deadly errors arise from obsolete assumptions.

– pg 62

The purpose of argument is to change the nature of truth.

– pg 62

A large population held in check by a small but powerful force is quite common in our universe. And we know the major conditions wherein this large populace may turn upon its keepers:

One: When they find a leader. This is the most volatile threat to the powerful; they must retain control of the leaders.

Two: When the populace recognizes it’s chains. Keep the populace blind and unquestioning.

Three: When the populace perceives a hope of escape from bondage. They must never even believe that escape is possible.

– pg 108

To suspect your own mortality is to know the beginning of terror. To know irrefutably that you are mortal is to know the end of terror.

– pg 134

If you focus your awareness only on your own rightness, then you invite the forces of opposition to overwhelm you. This is a common error.

– pg 173

Philosophy should be approached with irreverence.

– pg 193

Real estate is always gained and held by violence or the threat of it.

– pg 231

If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When we believe that something is right or wrong, true or false, we believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

– pg 244

Perhaps your deficiency rests in the false assumption that you can order men to think and cooperate … men must want to do things out of their innermost drives. People, not commercial organizations or chains of command, are what make civilizations great. Every civilization depends upon the quality of individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness – they cannot work and their civilization collapses.

– pg 306

Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.

– pg 268

Ecstacy and Me by Hedy Lamar

When patterns repeat themselves, it’s a warning.

– pg 81

Every girl would like to marry a rich husband. But what divides them into two groups is this question – do you think of money and then love, or vice versa?

– pg 249

A home should be a man’s, not a woman’s. And when he is secure about this, he will work to preserve and protect it.

– pg 249

I learned that a drinker always puts liquor before anyone. So often I see a man take a third drink at a party, I never trust him again.

– pg 255

1776 the play

Ben Franklin:

I’m surprised at you Mr. Dickenson. A revolution, in the first person, is always legal, as in "our" revolution. It is only in the third person, as in "their" revolution, that a revolution is illegal.

Thomas Jefferson

Those who give up liberty to obtain some safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Ed Bearman

Sometimes the wisest thing you can do is to take your pride and shove it up your ass.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

There is a solution to everything. All we need is the resolve to find it.


If the state is too corrupt to be improved, if it is entirely overwhelmed by evil, the philosopher should not strive in vain.

To Nero:
However many men you kill, you can never kill your successor.

Adolf Hitler

In his memorable speech to the Reichstag of 26th April 1942 he declared that he ‘would not rest until every German sees that it is a disgrace to be a lawyer’.

Arab proverb

If luck is with thee, why hurry?
If luck is against thee, why hurry?

Alan King

I don’t want to upset you –
but we are doomed.

Earnest Hemingway

Remember them as they were; and write them off.

Benjamin Franklin

We shall have justice: if we must light the fire and forge it ourselves.

Jesse Jackson

You many not be responsible for being down, but you must be responsible for getting up.


When the love of liberty dies in the heart of a people, no law, no court and no constitution can restore it.

Wayne Newton

Happiness in life depends primarily on your ability to adapt to it.

Robert Heinlein

We defined thinking as integrating data and arriving at correct answers.
Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal. For explanations of a universe that confuses him he seizes onto numerology, astrology, hysterical religions and other fancy ways to go crazy. Having accepted such glorified nonsense, facts make no impression on him, even if at the cost of his own life.
Joe, one of the hardest things to believe is the abysmal depth of human stupidity. Here and there among ordinary men is a rare individual who really thinks, can and does use logic in at least one field – he’s often as stupid as the rest outside his study or laboratory – but he can think, if he’s not disturbed or sick or frightened. This rare individual is responsible for all the progress made by the race.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare

The fool thinks himself wise:
The wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Johnathan Swift

No man can be argued out of something that he hasn’t been reasoned into.

Hello Dolly by Michael Stewart

If you have to live from hand to mouth, you’d better be ambidextrous.

George Bernard Shaw

Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it.

The Tomorrow File by Lawrence Sanders

There had been a brief moment in my life when I had believed there was hope for the human species if there remained one unpredictable person. But that was youthful romanticism. After I squirmed into the snake pit of national politics, I realized that a leader must equate the unpredictable with the unreliable. The future was too important to leave to chance.

– pg 220

My thrust is this: on a personal level, I ask you to accept complexity. In fact, I ask you to seek it. You are individually capable of computing far more than you are now called upon to do. Life is no longer simple, if it ever was. Science is no longer simple. They are organs of incredible complexity and to understand them, to manage them, we must each of us become infinitely complex ourselves, capable of assimilating, computing and acting on millions of bits: facts, observations, emotions, instincts, experience, and so forth.

Do not fear complexity. Do not be dismayed if human values and aims prove to be just as complex as the conquest of cancer. Open your mind to the complex. Train your mind to encompass more, more, more; then the future will truly belong to us.

– pg 230

Nostalgia is desperation.

– pg 254

The heavy conflict to any person of reason is between the tomorrow you desire and the tomorrow you expect.

– pg 265

You deny the future at your own peril.

– pg 441

We once thought alcoholism and drug addiction were psychic surrogates for suicide. Then we realized alcoholism and drug addiction are self-defense mechanisms: the person protects himself from depression, psychosis or worse.

– pg 442

Chinese fortune cookie

To profit from advice requires more wisdom than to give it.

The Tangent Objective by Lawrence Sanders

Love goes but an investment lasts. A man who give part of his wealth for his wife does not wish to be thought a fool for making a bad bargain. When he has given nothing of value for her, or she has brought no dowry, why should they remain together if their love goes? An investment insures that the marriage will last until they are grown together, two edges of the same knife.

– pg 139

They smiled frequently; up to their eyes.

– pg 142

Most governments fail and fall because of inability or unwillingness to respond to the needs of the people. Governments – even new governments by their very nature tend to become conservative, bureaucratic slaves of the status quo. Political arteries harden. Government officials resist change since change may threaten their power. Instead of serving the people, the government becomes a self-serving entity, it’s own continued existence, it’s most important responsibility.

– pg 219

Irwin Schiff

A nation of sheep invites a government of wolves.


When the moon is in the Seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peas will rule the planet
And avocados will come in jars.

Saturday Night Live skit

As long as there’s something left to drink
A man is free not to think.
And life can go wait in the car.

Kenneth Tynan

Any country that has sexual censorship will eventually impose political censorship.

Sydney J. Harris

If we truly judged a man by the company he keeps, we would have to award the highest mark to Judas.

The most assiduous followers of "fashion" are those who have no personal sense of style; fashion mimics style as etiquette imitates good manners.

Circle of Iron

Tie two birds together
And tho’ they have four wings
They can not fly.


I went to a restaurant in Alabama once and asked, "Where do the Yankee’s hang out?"

The waitress replied, " You see that tree . . . "

Thomas Edison

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work; second, stick-to-it-iveness; third, common sense.

Andrew Carnige

Individualism, private property, the law of accumulation of wealth, and the law of competition. These are the highest results of human experience. The soil in which society so far as produced the best fruit.

Loius D. Brandies

If you have not freedom, you cannot be safe under any circumstance.

Editor’s Note: At this point in the log, you’ll start to see a number of quotations that have to do with the American Civil War (1861-65). I was born on a federal military base and spent much of my early life on military bases as the son of a honorable and dedicated Naval officer.

Growing up within the federal establishment, I did not question the essential rightness of that establishment – it was simply the context within which I lived, and expected to live the rest of my life since my intent was to also become a military officer.

Vietnam changed that. I was drafted and given the choice of either serving two years as infantry in Vietnam, or "volunteering" to be an officer for three years. The problem with the second choice was that because of my dual majors in chemistry and physics, I was tracked to become one of the officers who activates tactical nuclear weapons.

This was around the time that Lt. Calley was being tried for the massacre at My Lai, and the key question was that of under what conditions is it right and just to obey an order to kill people. While there was no question that what soldiers did in battle was not murder, it was also clear that there was a line that could be crossed, at which point soldiering could become murder.

The general principle is that when a soldier follows a lawful order and kills someone, that is soldering instead of murder. But that just moves us to the question of what constitutes a lawful order?

The Declaration of Independence states that the just powers of the government derive from the consent of the governed, and that when the government becomes destructive that the people have the right to alter or abolish it, to throw off such government and establish a new one.

And so, if the lawful authority of the government derives solely from the consent of the people, then just what was Sherman doing marching through Georgia? How does one reconcile the principle of just government being founded on consent with a war waged to compel submission by force?

For me personally, that boiled down to the question of whether I would be willing, at the government’s command, to activate the trigger for a nuclear weapon and enable the death of a lot of people? Did I trust the rightful intent of my government enough to enable the death of large numbers of Russians in Eastern Germany, or Chinese in North Korea?

I grew up thinking that those folks singing Dixie were yokels, quaint fools at best. The quotes dealing with the American Civil War mark some of the steps noted along my personal journey of discovery.

In closing, I would remind the reader that these quotes are here, not because I necessarily agree with them, but rather, because they serve as indicators that not everything we were taught about our history is consistent with the record as recorded by those who were there.

Lincoln’s Collected Works

Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes

You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other race … I think your race suffers greatly many of them by living among us, whilest our suffers from your presence . . . Even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race . . . on this broad continent, not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours.

Vol. V, pg 370-375

Stanislaw Lem

The progress of human knowledge was a gradual renunciation of the simplicity of the world.

If one considers artificial to be that which is shaped by an active intelligence, then the entire Universe that surrounds us is already artificial.

Abraham Lincoln

Any people, anywhere have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better . . . This is a most valuable right, a sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Any portions of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own, of so much of the territory that they inhabit.

Congressional Address January 12, 1848

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.

James L. Fremantle, Correspondent for the London Times

The more I think of all I have seen in the Confederate States of the devotion of the whole population, the more I feel inclined to say with Gen. Polk – "How can you subjugate a people such as this?" And even supposing that their extermination were a feasible plan, as some Northerners have suggested, I can never believe that in the nineteenth century the civilized world will be condemned to witness the destruction of such a gallant race.

Jefferson Davis by Hudson Strode

The young wife realized that she must ever play second fiddle to her husband’s career or whatever he saw his duty to be; she saw that her own happiness would lie in sharing, as far as possible, his life and vision.

– pg 158, Vol I

Davis replied that the south should stand firmly upon her ancient constitutional rights and should be prepared "to go out of the Union, with the constitution, rather than abandon the constitution to remain in an Union.”

– pg 232, Vol I

Had the Southern states possessed arsenals and collected in them the requisite supplies of arms and ammunitions, such preparations would not only have placed them more nearly on an equality with the North in the beginning of the war, but might, perhaps, have been the best conservator of peace.

– pg 398, Vol I

Never be haughty to the humble, nor humble to the haughty.

– pg 135, Vol II

It is perhaps in the ordination of providence that we were taught the value of our liberties by the price we pay for them.

– pg 202, Vol II

For what are they waging war? They say to preserve the Union . . . Do they hope to reconstruct the Union by striking at everything which is dear to man?

– pg 358, Vol II

Yankees claimed they deserted because they had been betrayed: they had enlisted to fight for the Union
and found they were risking all to free the negroes.

– pg 458, Vol II

It came to Davis’ mind what some people had been saying since Sidney Johnston’s death at Shiloh, that in the end "chivalry" might defeat the South. Chivalry could be another name for reckless valor.

– pg 58, Vol III

I once loved the old flag as well as you do; I would have died for it; but now it is to me only the emblem of oppression.

– pg 80, Vol III

"But the majority must rule finally either with bullets or ballots."
To which Davis replied, " I am not sure of that. Neither current events nor history shows that the majority rules."

– pg 79, Vol III

One of the Northern soldiers yelled with mordant good humor to a sorrowful Southern onlooker, "Hey, Johnny Reb, we’ve got your President."
"And the Devil’s got yours!", the Rebel shot back with a sardonic grin.

– pg 225, Vol III

My people attempted what you people denounced as a revolution. My people failed; but your people have suffered a revolution which must prove disastrous to their liberties unless promptly remedied by legal decision. State sovereignty, the cornerstone of the constitution, has become a name.

– pg 247, Vol III

The overthrow of the rights of free men and the establishment of such new relations required a complete revolution in the principle of the Government of the United States, the subversion of the State governments, the subjugation of the people and the destruction of the fraternal Union. The work has been done. Will it stand? Have the eternal principles of the Declaration of Independence been hid from our sight forever?
When the cause was lost, what cause was it? Not that of the South alone, but the cuase of Constitutional Government, of the supremacy of law, of the natural rights of man.

– pg 447, Vol III

I adhere to the maxim that "the world is governed too much."
To destroy individual liberty and moral responsibility would be to eradicate one evil by the substitution of another.

– pg 490, Vol III

Soylent Green

Scene: (two cops arguing over pressure being applied from above)

Cop 1: Who bought you?

Cop 2: You’re bought as soon as they give you a paycheck.


My mother said, "You got to look the Devil in the eye, ’cause you can’t wrastle him to the ground unless you got a hold of him."

My mother was a babbling idiot.

Albert Einstein

Death alone can save us from making blunders.

Jumo Kenyatta

Hit a man with a stick
and he will come back.
Hit a man with justice,
and he will not come back.

Paul Harvey

When small men cast long shadows, the sun is about to set.

Thomas Carlyle

Referring to the American Civil War

No war ever raging in my time was to me more profoundly foolish looking.

The Unknown Lincoln by Dale Carnegie

When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I sure will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were give me, I should not know what to do with the existing institution.

– pg 81

One day a Congressman persuaded the President to give him an order transferring certain regiments. Rushing to the war office with the order, he put it on Stanton’s desk; and Stanton said very sharply that he would do no such thing.
"But," the politician protested, "You forget I have an order here from the President!"
"If the President gave you such an order," Stanton retorted, "he is a damned fool."
The Congressman rushed back to Lincoln, expecting to see him rise up in wrath and dismiss the Secretary of War.
But Lincoln listened to the story, and said with a twinkle in his eye: "If Stanton said I was a damned fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I’ll just stop over and see him myself."

– pg 138

"We have about played our last card," Lincoln confessed in 1862. "We must either change our tactics now or lose the game."

– pg 144

Lee believed that slavery was wrong, and had freed his own Negroes long before the conflict came; but Grant’s wife owned slaves at the very time that her husband was leading the armies of the North to destroy slavery.

– pg 161

After four years of fighting there was no hatred in Lincoln’s heart for the people of the South. Time and time again he said, "Judge not that ye be not judged. They are just what we would be in their position."

– pg 175

Esten Cooke on the death of Pelham

Oh, band in the pine woods cease
Cease with your splendid call
Oh, the living are noble and just
But the dead are the bravest of all.

J.E.B. Stuart

I had rather be a private in Virginia’s army than a general in any army to coerce her.

Pronouncement made by a group of Aristolelean contemporaries of Galileo following his discovery of four Jovian moons:

Jupiter’s moon are invisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the earth, and therefore would be useless, and therefore do not exist.

Bernard de Fontenelle

Truth enters the mind so naturally that when one hears it for the first time, it seems one is only remembering what one already knows.

Crossman’s Principles of Propaganda:

1) The basis for all successful propaganda is the truth. It is a complete delusion to think of the brilliant propagandist as being a professional liar. The brilliant propagandist is the man who tells the truth and tells it in such a way that the recipient does not think that he is receiving any propaganda. The art of the propagandist is never to be thought a propagandist, but to seem to be a bluff, simple, honorable enemy who would never think of descending to the level of propaganda.

2) The key to successful propaganda is accurate information.

3) The most successful propagandist is the person who cares about education.

4) To do propaganda well, one must not fall in love with it.

5) A successful propagandist cannot afford to make mistakes.

6) The successful propagandist must be credible to the other side not your own.

7) It is the understatement that succeeds best.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

If the first tiny droplet of truth has exploded like a psychological bomb, what will happen in our country when waterfalls of truth come crashing down?

Kettering’s Law

Logic is an organized way of going wrong with confidence.


Systems which function in accordance with motivational vectors sometimes work.
Systems which function contrary to motivational vectors work poorly if at all.

Lord Mountbatten

We have made the seas the highway of our daring.

J.C. Penny

Never trust anyone who hasn’t gone broke at least once.

Werner von Braun

Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing.


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Jim Mundy by Robert Fowler

Why does any war get started? Things like slavery and state’s rights and King Cotton and all that malarkey don’t explain very much. At the bottom of it all, men like to fight. Then when they find it isn’t all glory and fun, it is too late.

Sherman said war was hell and it was, partly because of him, the son of a bitch.

– pg 12

Inevitably slavery must end. The negro is with you for all time. He is human just like you. Your government has been so shortsighted about the negro, treating that patient, trusting people like farm animals instead of human assets. Your government should have employed them as soldiers in 1862 instead of passing your Conscription Act. With good white leadership, they would have fought as well as anyone else. But no, your government chose to let your white population bear all the sacrifices . . . Furthermore Confederate use of negro soldiers, assuming manumission as a reward for good service, would have strengthened your case in both Britain and France. It would have lent credence to the argument that your true goal was independence and not the protection of slavery.

– pg 390-391

Glory Road by Bruce Catton

The war had begun as an effort by one coalition of states to impose its will on another coalition of states, and it could not be fought that way any longer.

Horatio Seymour, Govenor of New York, believed that the Republicans were shamefully making political capital out of a war which they had taken over for their own purposes – which, as a matter of fact, was perfectly true – and he was protesting that the only way to prevent the establishment of a despotic central government was to preserve the powers of the several states.

– pg 135

The whole army chuckled over the answer one brash Federal got when, observing that the Confederate on the opposite bank was exceedingly ragged, he called across to know if Rebels did not have any decent clothes. The Reb looked him over for a minute, then called back: "We-uns don’t put on our good clothes to butcher hogs."

– pg 33

Thomas Alva Edison

I was always afraid of things that worked the first time.

Carson’s Law of Non-linear Dispersal

Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

Alternatively phrased as, when it hit the fan, why did so much land on me?


If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

lyric from the Starland Vocal Band

The tragic side of something beautiful never dies in vain.

General John Sedgwick, last words

Come on boys! They couldn’t hit an elephant at this . . .

Battle of Spotsylvania, 1864

George Santayana

We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past, and we must respect the past, remembering that once it was all that was humanly possible.


Happy are they who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.

TV evangelist

We ain’t playing a nine inning game. We’ll play ’til we win.


History is yesterday’s rain and tomorrow’s watershed.

Franz Boaz

My interest in anthropology is to enable me to see the chains placed upon us by our culture. After seeing the chains, they may be broken.

T.A. Murphy, Chairman General Motors

There is that peril in our society, the unwillingness to take a reasonable risk.

Adam Smith – 1776

High government officials are always and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.

Kung Fu

What do you look for beyond the sea, Grasshopper?

That part of me which I know little of, the past out of which I was born.

Then some day you must seek it.

But is it good to seek the past? Does it not rob the present?

If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present, but if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.


Money has never made anyone rich.

Benjamin Disreli

In politics, honesty is a matter of accepting the inevitable.

Bill Moyers

Nothing can be whole that has not been wrent.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Napoleon once said that the logical end to defensive warfare is surrender.

– pg 81

Two things an officer must do to lead men. You must care for your men’s welfare, and you must show physical courage.

– pg 128

Soldiering has one great trap. To be a good soldier you must love the army. But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love. This a very hard thing to do. No other profession require it. That is one reason there are so very few good officers, although there are many good men.

– pg 195

The only fear was not of death, was not of the war, was of blind, stupid human frailty, of blind proud foolishness that could lose it all.

– pg 202

A History of the English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill

Thus ended the great American Civil War, which upon the whole must be considered the noblest and least avoidable of all the great mass conflicts of which till then there was record.

Gen. Ulysses Sherman

War, like the thunderbolt, follows its laws and turns not aside even if the beautiful, the virtuous and the charitable stand in its path.

I only know two songs. One is Yankee Doodle. The other is not.


He who attacks must vanquish.
He who defends must merely survive.

Escort Commander – Walker RN by Terrence Robertson

It used to be an accepted naval maxim that a career officer can have only one wife, the Navy; if he takes another she must be relegated to second place.

Leadership comes very much easier to those of strong personality, commanding presence, but don’t fall into the mistake of thinking these things are essential. They are not. Nelson and Napoleon were both little squirts and Hitler is in my opinion a figure of fun. Yet Napoleon led a whole nation for some years all over Europe to eventual defeat and Hitler is doing the same thing now.
There is a distinction between leadership and discipline. An utterly undisciplined rabble was successfully led to storm the Bastille in 1789 – leadership without discipline. Conversely, I have watched a magnificently disciplined body of Royal Marines in a big ship expending foot-tons of energy in trivial exercises – discipline without leadership. A well led ship’s company can be recognized in any emergency by their ready and intelligent anticipation of orders and the absence of confusion and shouting.

– pg 83

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

We are working vainly to effect what never happens – the subjugation (for that is what it is) of a great civilized nation. We shan’t do it – at least the army can’t.

Song of the Rebel by John Esten Cooke

In all days of future years
His name and fame shall shine
The stubborn, iron captain
Of our old Virginia line.
And men shall tell their children
Though all other memories fade
That they fought with Stonewall Jackson
In the old "Stonewall Brigade."

William Cowper

War’s a game which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at.

Ortega y Gasset

Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect, they mark our limitations and our bounds . . . Obstinately to insist on carrying on within the same familiar horizon betrays weakness and a decline of vital energies.

– pg 348

The Land They Fought For by Clifford Dowdey

So stand to your glasses steady,
‘Tis all we have left to prize;
Give a toast to the dead already
And hurrah for the last man who dies.

– pg 392

Lincoln had said in his moving Gettysburg Address that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." The Confederacy never imperiled democratic forms of government. It was in revolt as that a government based on the consent of the people might be allowed to survive. And it was when they were defeated that democracy perished from the earth, at least their share of it.

– pg 415

Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Misfortune nobly borne is good fortune.

Robert E. Lee

There is a true glory and a true honor; the glory of duty done – the honor of the integrity of principle.

Jesse James was His Name by William Settle, Jr.

Major General Henry W. Halleck decreed on December 22, 1861 that anyone caught in the acts of sabotage would be immediately shot. Trial by military commission and punishment by death if found guilty were ordered for those accused of, although not caught in, such an act.

– pg 17

Starship Trooper by Robert A. Heinlein

The noblest fate a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and war’s desolation.

– pg 74

Moral behavior is survival behavior above the individual level.

. . . since population pressure results from the process of surviving through others, then war, because it results from population pressure, derives from the same inherited instinct which produces all moral rules suitable for human beings.

– pg 147

The Winner by Shel Silverstein

The hulk of a man with the beer in his hand
looked like a drunk, old fool,
And I knew that if it hit him right,

I could knock him off that stool.
But everybody said, “Watch out —
that’s Tiger Man McCool
He’s had a lot of fights and he’s
always come out a winner.

But I’d had myself about five too many
and I walked up tall and proud.
I faced his back and I faced the fact
that he’d never stooped or bowed.

I said, “Tiger Man, you’re a pussycat,”

and a hush fell on the crowd.

I said, “Let’s you and me go outside
and see who’s a winner.”

Well, he gripped the bar with one big hairy hand
and braced against the wall
He slowly looked up from his beer
and my God that man was tall.

He said, “Boy, I see you’re a scrapper
so just before you fall
I’m gonna tell you just a little
what it means to be a winner.

He said, “You see these bright white smiling teeth?
they ain’t my own.

Mine rolled away like chicklets
down a street in San Antone.
But I left that person cursin’, nursin’
seven broken bones.
And he only broke three of mine,
and that makes me a winner.

He said, “Behind this grin, I got a steel pin
that holds my jaw in place
A trophy of my most successful

motorcycle race
And each morning when I wake and
touch this scar across my face.

It reminds me of all I got
by being a winner.

Now this broken back was the dying act
of a handsome Harry Clay
That sticky Cincinnati night
I stole his wife away.
But that woman she gets uglier
and meaner every day
Bit I got her, boy, and that’s
what makes me a winner.

You gotta speak loud when you challenge me, son,
’cause it’s hard for me to hear
With this twisted neck and these migraine pains,
and this cauliflower ear.

‘N if it weren’t for this glass eye of mine,
I shed a happy tear
To think of all you’ll get
by being a winner.

I got arthritic elbows, boy, I got
dislocated knees
From picking fights with thunderstorms
and charging into trees
And my nose been broke so often
I might lose it if I sneeze
And, son, you say you still
wanna be a winner?

My spine is short three vertebrae
and my hips is screwed together
My ankles warn me every time
there’ll be a change in weather
Guess I kicked too many asses,
and when the kicks all get together
They sure can slow you down
when you’re a winner

My knuckles are so swollen
I can hardly make a fist
Who would have thought old Charlie
had a blade taped to his wrist?

And my blind eye’s where he cut me,
and my good eye’s where he missed
Yeah, you lose a couple of things
when you’re a winner.

My head is just a bunch of clumps
and lumps and bumps and scars
From charging broken bottles
and butting crowded bars.
And this hernia–well it only proves
a man can’t lift a car
But you’re expected to do it all
when you’re a winner.

Got a steel plate inside my skull
underneath this store bought hair.

My pelvis is aluminum from
taking ladies’ dares.
And if you had a magnet, son,
you could lift me off my chair.

I’m a man of steel, but I’m
rustin’–what a winner.

I got a perforated ulcer, I got

strictures and incisions
My prostates barely holding up
from those all night collisions
And I’ll have to fight two of you
because of my double vision
You’re looking sick, son,
and that ain’t right for a winner.

Winning that last stock car race
cost me my favorite toes
Winnin’ that factory foreman’s job,
it browned and broke my nose
And these hemmoroids come from
winnin’ all them goddamn rodeos
Sometimes it’s a pain in the butt
to be a winner.

In the war I got the Purple Heart
that’s why my nerves are gone
and I ruined my liver in drinkin’ contests
which I always won.
And I should be retired now
rockin’ on my lawn
But you losers keep comin’ on–
leaving me the winner.

When I walk you can hear
my pelvis rattle, creak and crack
From my great Olympic Hump-off
with that nymphomaniac.
After which I spent the next six weeks
in traction on my back
While she walked off smilin’
leaving me the winner.

Now as I kick in your family jewels,
you’ll notice my left leg drags
And this jacket’s kinda padded up
where my right shoulder sags
And there’s a special part of me
I keep in this paper bag
And I’ll show it to you–
if you want to see all of a winner.

So I never play the violin, and I
seldom dance or ski
They say there never was a hero
brave and strong as me
But when you’re this year’s hero, son,
you’re next year’s used-to-be.
And that’s the facts of life
when you’re a winner.

Now, you remind me a lot of my younger days
with your knuckles clenchin’ white
But boy, I’m gonna sit right here
and sip this beer all night
And if there’s something you gotta prove
by winning’ some silly fight,

Well, OK, I quit, I lose, son,
you’re the winner.

So I stumbled from that bar room
not so tall and proud
And behind me I could hear the hoots
of laughter from the crowd
But my eyes still see and my nose still works
and my teeth are still in my mouth
And y’know, I guess that
makes me a winner.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory.

– pg 66

Where do you start explaining when a man’s words show there isn’t anything he understands about subject, instead is loaded with preconceptions that don’t fit facts and doesn’t even know he has?

– pg 130

The shrewdest of the great generals in China’s once said that perfection in war lay in so sapping the opponent’s will that he surrenders without fighting.

– pg 222

When faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.

– pg 290

Shogun by James Clavell

"Terrible isn’t it, not being able to trust anyone."
"Oh, no, Anjin-san, so sorry," she answered. "That’s just one of life’s most important rules – no more, no less."

– pg 829

Prince Napoleon in America, 1861 – Letters from is aide-de-camp by Lt. Colonel Camille Ferri Pisani

There was a strikingly common feature in their views of the situation as a whole: they dismiss as secondary problems – settled, judged, or postponed – questions concerning slavery, tariffs, territories, Lincoln’s election, even the constitutionality of succession. They raise the debate to a plane where, they feel, there can be neither discussion nor controversy: they are waging an implacable war because the North invaded, by force, their territory, their native land. They have a deadly hatred for the North; they will defend their homes, their honor, and their liberty against the invaders. From the general down to the last private, everyone in the South speaks the same language. It is the password of the party, and perhaps, I should add, its conviction.

– pg 132

I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein

It takes money to drop out by water, but people do. Millions have. Nobody knows how many because it has been subject to an "exception" for years – the government does not want attention called to it. But take those yachts below us: I’ll bet that at least one out of then has registration papers for some "flag of convenience" and the owner’s passport is as phony as that of "Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie." He has to be registered somewhere and carry some sort of passport, or the Coast Guard where ever he goes will give him a bad time, even impound his craft. But if he takes care of that minimum, he can dodge almost everything else – no income tax, no local taxes except when he buys something, nobody tries to force his kids into public schools, no real estate taxes, no politics – no violence in the streets.
No matter how much fish he eats, he has to touch land occasionally. He can’t play Vanderdecken; only a ghost ship can stay at sea forever, real ones have to be put up on the ways at intervals. But it’s closer to that antithetical combination of "peace" and "freedom" than is possible on land.

– pg 455

The Cat Who Walked Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein

When a cat greets you, he makes a big operation of it, bumping, stropping your legs, buzzing like mischief. But when he leaves, he just walks off and never looks back. Cats are smart.

– pg 31

All logic is mere tautology. It is impossible to learn anything through logic that you did not already know.

– pg 75

Bumper Sticker

Men of quality are not threatened by women seeking equality.

On Moral Duties by Cicero

To promote the welfare of one section of the citizens and neglect another is to bring upon the state the curse of revolution and civil strife.

Bill Moyers

This election is like a fairy tale – with no happy ending.

Laurel Young

Time is money,
Money talks,
And talk is cheap.

The Hornblower Saga, Vol. 9 by C.S. Forester

He remembered Suetonius’ remark about Nero, who believed all men to be privately as polluted as himself although they did not admit it publicly.

– pg 11

Maria . . . had sometimes made use of a strange expression about polite phrases uttered in order to get the recipient into a good humor. She referred to them as "a little bit of sugar for the bird."

– pg 103

Order, counter-order, disorder.

– pg 103

Vol. 10

The Old Guard dies, but it does not surrender.
Napoleon’s Imperial Guard at Waterloo

Good fortune is the portion of those who merit it.

– pg 13

It was not the measure of a man’s duty to avoid blame.

– pg 64

A woman, even more than a man, convinced against her will was of the same opinion still.

– pg 247

There can be no love without respect – and no love without a twinkle of amusement as well.

– pg 264

He thought of the Byzantine general, blinded and disgraced, begging in the market place.

– pg 265

No person of breeding should ever complain about things he was unable, or unwilling, to do anything to remedy.

– pg 275

From the Jaws of Victory by Charles Fair

If a man is regular, doing all the right things at the right time, rising by the rules, people tend to respect him, if only because it is easier to read credentials than character.

– pg 242

It is perhaps asking too much of a naturally stupid man to expect him to make proper allowance for his own stupidity.

– pg 268

Neither the Scouts nor West Point appear to have prepared him for the fact which any second-year student of history knows: that a nation’s spirit tends to grow in direct proportion to the brutality of the means used to crush it. The day two old men went out with rifles to attack our tanks, the bell sounded . . .

– pg 405

Republicans are by nature revolutionary, logically to be regarded as people who will one day have to be shoot or hanged. – Bismark

– pg 323

Legend over the entrance to Dachau

Arbeit mach Frei
Work makes you free.

Pied Piper of Hamlet

No matter how long you live
You’ll rue the day
You sent the piper from you
Without his pay.

George Washington, Feb 4, 1789

My movement to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a criminal who is going to the place of his execution.


Everywhere Man blames Nature and Fate, yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passions, his mistakes and weaknesses.

The Actor’s Life
Charleton Heston

Never underestimate the value of free cookies.

– pg XIV

The first film didn’t set the town on fire, but the second one, The Greatest Show on Earth, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, which comes to the same thing. Of course the fact that it was made by Cecil B. de Mile and starred Jimmy Stewart, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde and the complete Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus had a good deal to do with this, but my role as the circus manager set me off and running. I also got the best compliment I’ve ever received on my work from a lady who wrote a letter to Mr. de Mille. She thought the picture had captured the feeling of the circus wonderfully, and that Hutton, Wilde and particularly Jimmy Stewart, had been fine in their roles. "I also was amazed at how well the circus manager fitted in with the real actors," she said.

– pg XVI

We all tend to sort things out in our memories according to the way they finally turned out. The lost girl, the failed job, the missed chance survive in fading recollection, but changed and colored by our need to think well of ourselves, and to have been right all along.

– pg XI

American Conflict by Horace Greeley

Whether the bombardment of Fort Sumner shall or shall not be justified by posterity, it is clear that the Confederacy had no alternative but its own dissolution.

Michael Korda

In easy times we are ambivalent – the leader, after all, makes demands, challenges the status quo, shakes things up . . .
Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand and remember . . .
A Chinese philosopher once remarked that a leader must have the grace of a good dancer . . .
A leader should know how to appear relaxed and confident. His walk should be firm and purposeful. He should be able to give a good hearty, belly laugh. . .
The leader follows, though a step ahead.
The leader’s task is to focus the people’s energies and desires, to define them in simple terms, to inspire, to make what people already want seem attainable, important, within their grasp.
Above all, he must dignify our desires, convince us that we are taking part in the making of a great history, give us a sense of glory about ourselves . . .

A great leader must have a certain irrational quality, a stubborn refusal to face facts, infectious optimism, the ability to convince us that all is not lost even when we’re afraid it is.
Confucius suggested that, while the advisors of a great leader should be as cold as ice, the leader himself should have fire, a spark of divine madness.

Ronald Briggs, the Great Train Robber, while living in exile in Brazil

To those who live in exile
And are somewhat out of touch
Just think on what you’re missing
And you won’t miss it much.


As long as Capitalism and Socialism exist, we can not live in peace.

Pacifists are idiots.

David Caridine

Time heals everything but a lie.

Alex Hailey

In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, where we came from, who we are.


Every dog has its day
But the night belongs to us pussycats.

All in the Family
Archie Bunker: You gotta use force – it’s the Christian way.

General Jo Shelby – Undefeated Rebel by Daniel O’Flaherty

A furious Claiborne Jackson had penned a reply to Lincoln in which he declared that "the requisition is in my judgement illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its object, and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the state of Missouri furnish for such an unholy crusade."

– pg 56

"Rather," he said, "than concede to the State of Missouri for one instant the right to dictate to my Government in any matter, however unimportant, I would see you, and you, and you, and every man, woman and child in the state of Missouri dead and buried."

General Nathaniel Lyons at the emergency conference called to respond to the massacre of 28 civilians in downtown St. Lewis by Federal troops on April 15, 1861.

Before they set out Shelby made a speech to his men in which he said that he wanted no man who had not enlisted for the duration. His men would swear to fight for the South until she was free – for twenty years if necessary – or step down.
None did.

– pg 112

That men lost their minds on the battlefields of Missouri is not to be wondered at; that the survivors were ever sane and well balanced again is a greater cause for wonder, and may even be doubted.

– pg 157

Take this man to the rear and shoot him.
Instruction given by Gen. Shelby as to how to deal with a local vigilante who was bragged about killing Southern sympathizers.

– pg 197

“My men and I have ridden thirty miles and we’re hungry, so we’ll stop to eat. If any of you are here at supper time, we’ll blow you to hell.”
the message sent by Gen. Selby to bushwackers trying to break into the Texas treasury building.

– pg 237

"We are the last of our race," he told them. "Let us be the best as well."

– pg 239

Take this in parting, and remember that circumstances never render impossible the right to die for a principle.
Emperor Maxmillian to General Shelby

– pg 312

Former Confederates were not only disenfranchised in Missouri, they were forbidden to teach, preach, practice law, perform the marriage ceremony, or engage in corporate business.

– pg 330

Your kind favor of July 27th has been received – the expression therein contained are well calculated to cause ones thoughts to revert to the good old days when we were battling against the World for our independence. We failed, but we (the South) have the satisfaction of knowing that no people on Earth endured or fought more from patriotic desires – We were overcome by the hirelings of the World, who were avaricious, mercenary, ignorant of our people, devoid of honor and patriotic duty. It is over, and as we are all surrendered it behooves us all to abide by the terms imposed. As to the institution of slavery, nobody cares that it is obliterated. All the World is opposed to it, and in due time the South would have abolished it. So it was not the loss of it we so much objected to, but the manner in which it was taken from us. The war has demonstrated that so far as the Constitution is concerned it amounts to naught. It is force that frames Constitutions and fanatics when they can exercise the power over the masses will by force break constitutions. After all it is the greatest number of bayonets.

– pg 354

Harold and Maude

The world dearly loves a cage

Oscar Wilde

The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.


Tradition – the revered, time honored and staunchly defended way of doing things that keeps us from doing them better.

Sentimenatal Imperialists : The American Experience in East Asia by Thomson, Stanley & Perry

Only after the Civil War did American expansionism turn from commerce to territorial acquisition overseas. An important philosophical corner had been turned. To explain to themselves what General Sherman was doing in Georgia, Americans had to concede the legitimacy of wars of conquest.

Les Pickens

The ocean weeds out from all the races of mankind that come upon it to make a living a certain type of person. This type of person stays with the ocean, and the rest are cast back ashore to deal with the land people.

Woodrow Wilson

I am sorry for those who disagree with me because I know they are wrong.

Hubert Humphrey

The test of any society is how well it takes care of those in the dawn, the young, those in the twilight, the old, and those in the shadows.

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

– paragraph 3

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

– paragraph 4

Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.

– paragraph 25

George Demison Prentice

It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.

Ronald Regan

If not us, who?
If not now, when?

Comments garnered at a Libertarian conference

Individual responsibility is a good substitute for the word anarchy.

Don’t let the government do to your children’s mind what they do to the mail.

7-Up went from 18 to 81 million in sales by changing the ad to "the Un-cola."

If you always do what you’ve always done
You’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Define or be defined.

Cicero was once flattered with "When you spoke, the birds stopped singing and the people listened." Cicero replied, "Yes, but when Demostenes spoke, the people marched."

You can’t get rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but you can teach them to fly in formation.

If, as Nathaniel Branden suggests, sex is the expression of man’s highest value, and, as Ayn Rand argues, you are your own highest value, then the logical conclusion is that you should go fuck yourself.

Ruts are graves with the ends kicked out.

Socialism is like one big Post Office.

You can’t substitute intelligence for knowledge.

People aren’t pro-government; they’re pro-solution.

If I can show you a cheaper, better, faster way to achieve your goals, you’d be a fool not to take it.

1) learn their language
2) learn their goals
3) show, using their language, how your program can accomplish their goals.

Winston Churchill

An appeaser is one who feeds his friends to crocodiles hoping that he’ll be the last one eaten.

Gladstone to Disreali: You, sir, are a cad. In fact, you will either die at the gallows or of some dread social disease.

Disreali to Gladstone: That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your philosophy or your mistress.


The Great Walanda was questioned as to why he risked his life on the wire. He replied, pointing to the wire, "That’s life! Everything else is marking time."

Imagination is the ability to look at something and see what’s there.

Revelations 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The Last Raider by Douglas Reeman

God in heaven, how sick, sorry and tired I am of all this humbug! If only I could find one man honest enough to say that he was fighting because he is afraid of the alternative! Why must the cause be justice?

– pg 253

Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper

Agnosticism for him was refusal to accept or deny without proof.

– pg 15

In his secular capacity as Chancellor, Xentos regarded war as an evidence of bad statesmanship. Maybe so, but statesmanship was operated on credit, and that when credit ran out, you had to pay off in hard money or get sold out.

– pg 173

He began to see what Samuel Johnson had meant when he defined freedom as the choice of working or starving.

– pg 238

Federation by H. Beam Piper

He defined truth as a statement having a practical correspondence with reality on the physical levels of structure and observation and the verbal order of abstraction under consideration.
He defined truth as a statement. A statement exists only in the mind of the person making it, and the mind of the person to whom it is made. If the person to whom it is made can’t understand or accept it, it isn’t the truth. It doesn’t matter how conclusively you prove anything if the person to whom you prove it can’t accept your proof emotionally, it’s still false. Not real.

They had all their emotional capital invested in this.

– pg 169

Loan Ass. v. Topeka, US Supreme Court

To lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the citizen and with the other to bestow it on favored individuals is none the less robbery because it is done under the forms of law and is called taxation.

Thomas Paine

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in it’s worst state, an intolerable one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our best thoughts come from others.


The secret of walking on water is knowing where the stones are.

Charles Reich

Unreality is the true source of powerlessness. What we do not understand, we cannot control.


If you want to persuade me to believe something, do something or buy something, you must rely on three factors:
(1) I have to understand what you’re saying. It’s imperative that you put your reasons into analogies that relate to my experiences, my particular imprinting. In order to do this, you must enter my world.

(2) Your evidence must be so overwhelming that I can’t dispute it.

(3) My believing you must meet my existing needs and desires.

When you strip away the phony tinsel, what do you find underneath? The real tinsel.


I feel like everybody around me is asleep, and I’m having the nightmare.

James J. Walker

As long as you get there before it’s over, you’re never late.

J. Paul Getty

The meek shall inherit the earth — but not its mineral rights.

Eugene O’Neal

This episode is but a strange interlude in the electrical display of God the Father.


True strength often calls for the ability to sustain the tension without flight or fight.


"No" is a reaction, not a position. The people who react negatively to your proposal simply need time to evaluate it and adjust their thinking.

H. L. Mencken

A literalist is one who, upon observing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

Don Corleone

Never get angry.
Never make a threat.
Reason with people.

Alexis de Tocqueville on the American Character

There is a tendency to abandon mature design to gratify a momentary passion.

Janis Joplin

Don’t compromise yourself, because it’s all you’ve got!

Walter Lippman

We are all captives of the pictures in our head — our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.


Successful collaborative negotiation lies in finding out what the other side really wants and showing them a way to get it, while you get what you want.

Salvador de Madariaga

He is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide.

Barbara Denning

To resort to power one need not be violent,
And to speak to conscience one need not be meek,
The most effective action both resort to power and engages conscience.

Samuel Adams

There ought to be no fewer than three or four killed so we will have martyrs for the revolution. However, there should be no more than twenty, because once you get beyond that number we no longer have martyrs, but simply a sewage problem.

Mayor Daley of Chicago

The police are not here to create disorder. They are here to preserve disorder.

Today, the real problem is the future.

William Styron in Sophie’s Choice

The good life is not a passive existence where you live and let live. It is one of involvement where you live and help live.
pg 255

The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.
The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"
And the answer: "Where was man?

Why the fact of the business is, Captain, that we have entered into an offensive and defensive treaty with the whales, and we are up here by special agreement to disperse their mortal enemies.
Gallant Rebel

pg 187

The three elements of beauty:

  • Integrity
  • Proportion
  • Clarity

Will Durant

When the hunger for liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.

Succeeding in a small business is really very simple–it’s a matter of working half days. And the nice thing is that it doesn’t matter much which twelve hours you work.

Adrm Raphael Semmes

Over the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts are boundless and our souls are free
Far as breeze can bear the billow’s foam
Survey our empire and behold our home.

The Journals of Alfred Daten
pg 687 #1

The limits of tyrants are the endurance of the people whom they oppress.

You may not get all you pay for,
But you pay for all you get.

The hunter took careful aim at a huge bear. About to pull the trigger, he heard the soothing beguiling voice of his prey, “Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let’s negotiate.”
Cradling his weapon, the hunter said, “I want a fur coat.”
“Good,” said the bear. “That’s negotiable. I only want a full stomach. Let’s compromise.”
So the two sat down and negotiated. After a time, the bear walked away alone. He had his full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat.”

Reader’s Digest
March ’83 pg 130

The difference between capitalism and communism is that capitalism offers a larger piece of the donut, whereas communism offers a large share of the hole.
pg 128

Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution–or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who disperses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity; we shrug at an act of achievement.
Ayn Rand — The Fountainhead

Never confuse intelligence with a bull market.
The Wall Street Journal

Malivo: I say to you, this house is dark.

Clown: Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness but ignorance.

Twelfth Night

The only thing tht is certain for us is change. To battle change is to waste our time; the battle can never be won. To become the willing ally of change is to assure ourselves of life.
We must learn to let go as easily as we grasp or we will find our hands full and our minds empty.
Don’t spend your precious time asking "Why isn’t the world a better place?" It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is "How can I make it better?" To that question there is an answer.

To see people as they really are we must love them unconditionally. Unless we do so, they may not reveal themselves to us and we will miss them forever.
Leo Buscaglia — The Way of the Bull

To be really successful in business, you have to get to the point where you don’t give a damn.


1) A militant supporter of a party, cause, faction, person or idea. "I avow myself the partisan of truth alone." — William Harvey

2) A member of a detached, often unofficially organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy within occupied territory.

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge.
Isaih 5:13

"The American Republic will endure," said Tocqueville, "until the politicians find that they can bribe the people with their own money."

It is one thing to have an idea. It is another think to have the idea at the right time. And it is still another thing to be the kind of man who can make the idea work.
pg 172

The important thing is not to finish the enemy, but to finish him off.– Lenin
pg 192

Kruschev never loses his temper–he uses it.
pg 194

History is made by those whose innovations exploited the opportunities of their moment.
pg 256

To know and yet not to do is in fact not to know. — Wang Yang-ming
pg 257

I have always been surrounded and sometimes overpowered by enemies. But I know how to endure. — Chiang Kai-Shek
pg 257

What you cannot see is often more meaningful than what you see.
pg 259

Great leaders excite great controversies.
pg 362

One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been
pg 363

Managers have as their goal to do things right. Leaders have as their goal to do the right thing.

It’s been my observation that peaceful men often come from violent lands where a snow axe or machete always is visible as the final arbitrator. Men exploiting the appearance of violent strength come from safe lands where a shove or a punch is the worst of physical results; so violent gestures and attitudes are meaningless except as intimidation or insults.
pg. 11, Robert Wilfred Franson — The Shadow of the Ship

Intelligence lies not so much in always knowing what to do, but rather in what you do when you don’t know what to do.

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

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift or easy.
Marie Curie

She was the kind who sought "relevance" in everything; who expressed her lack of critical judgement as freedom from prejudice.
pg 26

Shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying common place appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Sibumi is understanding rather than knowledge; authority without domination.

One must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity.
pg 74

[Americans] and the Russians are only two slightly different forms of the same thing: the tyranny of the mediocre.
pg 169

Who must do the harsh thing? He who can.
pg 160

Do you think it fair to generalize like that about people?

Yes. Generalization is flawed thinking only when applied to individuals. It is the most accurate way to describe the mass, the Wad. And yours is a democracy; a dictatorship of the Wad
pg 294

To construe his fleeing from responsibility as evidence that he and his life are uniquely open to new experiences.
pg. 296, Trevanian — Shibumi

In this business you have to acknowledge the fact that you are just being used and all you can hope for is to be well used.
pg. 110, John Lithgow, Newsweek, March 19, 1984

Everyone’s more or less prisoner of his current situation. Manipulate the situation and the individual often hasn’t much choice but to let himself be manipulated as well.
pg. 93, Gordon Dickson — Tactics of Mistake

There’s no compulsion on our members. Each one searches and works for the future the way he thinks best. All we ask is that when the skills of anyone are needed by the community, he makes them available to it. In return the community offers the skills to improve him, physically and mentally, so he can be that much more effective in his own work. You know what you can do now, Cletus. Think of what you might be able to do if you could make use of all we can teach you?Everyone’s more or less prisoner of his current situation. Manipulate the situation and the individual often hasn’t much choice but to let himself be manipulated as well.

Whose game was empires and whose stakes where thrones,
Whose table, earth–whose dice were human bones.
Byron — The Age of Bronze

Style is self-plagorism.
Alfred Hitchcock

Talent is what a man possess.
Genius is what possesses a man.

Cui Bono — Latin for "who benefits"; a principle in criminal investigations

You can’t steal first base!

If you’ve got the curves, baby
I’ve got the angles
Wolfman Jack

Ideals are like star. We may never reach them, but like mariners on the sea, we chart our course by them.
Carl Shulz

Forecasts are dangerous, especially those about the future.
Samuel Goldwyn

Morality is about motives and consequences.

America is a disappointment
Only because it is a hope.

Tough times never last.
Tough people do.
Rev. Schuller

When Sir Edmund Millary was defeated in his first attempt to climb Mt. Everest, he shook his fist at the mountain saying, "I’ll be back, and I’ll conquer you, because you can’t get any bigger–and I can."

When a farm wife was asked why her family had an automobile but not a bath tub, she replied, “You can’t go to town in a bath tub."

Let me win. And if I may not win, then let me be brave in the attempt.

It was a close run thing, a damned close run thing–the closest run thing you ever saw in your life.
Wellington after Waterloo

Every form of serfdom follows from serfdom of the mind.
pg. 185

When he has to make a difficult decision quickly: forget the issue itself and consider the alternatives; if none of them is acceptable, the decision is made.
pg. 229, James P. Hogan — Giant’s Star

Man’s unique agony as a species consists in his perpetual conflict between the desire to stand out and the need to blend in.
Sydney Harris

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way
Babe Ruth

I’ve always believed that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

From now until the end of time no one else will ever see life with my eyes, and I mean to make the most of my chance.
Christopher Morley

An ocean is forever asking questions.
E. A. Robinson

For at that time in my life I felt capable of everything. Having attempted nothing, I had no sense of my limitations; having dared nothing, I knew no boundaries to my courage.
pg 7

There is nothing so common place as the assumption that one is unique.
pg 123, Trevanian — The Summer of Katya

An old legionnaire once gave me excellent advice. He told me to say dangerous things only amongst my closest friends. Then he added, "those who say dangerous things have no close friends."
pg 31

Then out spake brave Horatius the Captain of the gate.
To every man upon this earth death comes soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods?

Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me will hold the foe in play.
In yon straight path a thousand may well be stopped by three
Now who will stand on either hand and keep the bridge with me?
pg 73

Middle age was a web of habits spun to nab a little comfort.
pg 114

I know that a man can be no more honest than what he understands honesty to be.
pg 170, Kirk Mitchell — Procurator

If the end doesn’t justify the means, then what the hell does?.
pg 24

more like Standard Paranoid Operating Procedure.
Lawrence Sanders — The Seduction of Peter S.

Success is like a fart–only your own smells sweet.
pg 20

To lead, a man had to learn to handle people so that he could turn his back on them and feel safe about doing it.
pg. 86, James P. Hogan — Voyage from Yesteryear

It is perhaps less important that scientists be smart, for example, than that they be a special breed of well-organized dreamers.

It is not enough to want peace,
you must believe in it.
It is not enough to believe in peace,
you must be willing to work for it.
Eleanor Roosevelt

With the exception of the record for the number of triples hit in one season, every batting record in baseball is held by a minor league player.
Paul Harvey

Mens Re — latin for guilty mind.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.
Rep. Barney Frank

He who has the most toys, wins.
Dominick Labrino, inventor

Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first automobile.
pg 183, M.W. Larmour, Reader’s Digest, Nov. 1984

Some people will never hear opportunity knock because they’re too busy knocking the opportunities that surround them.
paraphrase of Pres. Reagan

Politician’s Law:
If it moves, tax it.
If it moves too fast, regulate it.
If it moves too slow, subsidize it.

Lincoln asked a visiting delegation, "If you called a sheep’s tail a leg, how many legs would the sheep have?" Someone answered, "Five." Lincoln said, "No, the sheep would have four legs. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one."
paraphrase of Pres. Reagan

Civilization cannot exist without new frontiers, it needs them both physically and spiritually. The physical need is obvious–new lands, new resources, new materials. The spiritual need is less apparent, but in the long run it is more important. We cannot live by bread alone; we need adventure, variety, novelty, romance. As the psychologists have shown by their sensory depravation experiments, a man does swiftly mad if he is isolated in a silent darkened room cut off completely from the external world. What is true of individuals is also true of societies: they too can become insane without sufficient stimulus.
Arthur C. Clark

We must either anticipate change, or become its victim.

Old people’s skills, experience and knowledge seldom make them authorities, and are no longer critical factors in our culture. The speed and pervasiveness of social change now transforms the world within a generation so that the experience of the old becomes largely irrelevant to the young.
Irving Roscow, social scientist

Millions of ordinary psychologically normal people will face an abrupt collision with the future. For them it will have arrived too soon.
Alvin Toffler — Future Shock

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

It should be borne in mind that there is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success and more dangerous to carry through than initiating changes in a state’s constitution. The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order.
Machiavelli — The Prince

My efforts are directed against all authority of one man over another. For I feel that whoever puts his hand on me to govern me is a usurper and a tyrant! I declare him my enemy.
pg 51

There hasn’t been a period in history when, given the chance, the man in the street hasn’t made a slob of himself. Given the license and freedom from reprisal, they’ll wallow in sadism, debauchery, destruction.
pg 169

the rights to products is exclusive, but the rights to means should be common.
pg 170, Mack Reynolds — Earth Unaware

They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.
Russian saying

Economics is perhaps the only field in which Americans are prepared and even accustomed to think in the long term.

Are you hoping for a new beginning
or beginning to lose hope.
Dolly Parton

The Chinese love it when their leaders act democratically, as long as it’s not done too often.
pg 87

To know Tao is not as good as loving it; to love it is not as good as practicing it
pg 169

I have never met a man who loves virtue as much as he loves a woman’s beauty.
pg 287

Soldering is the coward’s way of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak.
pg 389

We Chinese are too arrogant to work together.
pg 441

The adventurer doesn’t live by the same rules other do: that he accepts as temporary what others believe is permanent.
pg 450

To take an untrained multitude into battle is tantamount to throwing it away.
pg 533

It’s difficult in China to distinguish between bad judgement and necessity.
pg 568

The Five Confucian Virtues:
(1) Kindness
(2) Honesty
(3) Dedication
(4) Knowledge
(5) Faith

pg 594, Malcolm Bosse — The Warlord

Killing time isn’t murder, it’s suicide
pg 662, Mack Reynolds — Eternity

The best negotiators are able to perceive and confront the actual intentions of those with whom they deal, regardless of any appearances to the contrary.
pg 160, John Dalmas & Carol Martin — Touch the Starts

If you can hang on to the yaer 2000, you can probably name your own lifespan.
Arthur C. Clarke

Like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight, he shines and stinks
John Randolph

The mere proposal to set the politician to watch the capitalist has been disturbed by the rather disconcerting discovery that they are both the same man. We are past the point here being a capitalist is the only way of becoming a politician, and we are dangerously near the point where being a politician is much the quickest way of becoming a capitalist.
Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.
G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936

Football is the best symbol of modern life in that it combines the two most common aspects of that life: violence and committees.

Politics comes and goes, but greed goes on forever.

Art is passion pursued with discipline.
Science is discipline pursued with passion.

A man who wishes to kill must also be ready to die.
pg 134

com-panis–meaning bread sharers

A book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think
pg 202

The deep sea can be fathomed, but who knows the heart of a woman? We had known each other for many months, and she was always disturbing to me, yet there is a moment in the acquaintance of a man and woman and once that moment is passed it may never be recaptured. Not at least with the same essence.
We had met as equals, rarely a good thing in such matters, for the woman who wishes to be the equal of a man usually turns out o be less than a man and less than a woman. A woman is herself, which is something altogether different than a man.
pg 243

To die for what one believes in is all very well for those so inclined, but it has always seemed to me the most vain of solutions. There is no cause worth dying for that is not better served by living.
pg 254

The mind must be prepared for knowledge as one prepares a field for planting, and a discovery made too soon is no better than a discovery not made at all.
pg 255

The world has always needed more heretics and less authority. There can be no order or progress without discipline, but authority can be quite different. Authority, in this world in which I moved, implied belief in and acceptance of dogma, and dogma is invariably wrong as knowledge is always in a state of transition. The radical ideas of today are often the conservative policies of tomorrow, and dogma is left protesting by the wayside.
pg 256

A true gentleman is at a disadvantage in dealing with women. Women are realists, and their tactics are realistic, so no man should be a gentleman where women are concerned unless the women are very, very old or very, very young. Women admire gentlemen, and sleep with cads.
pg 272

While he is planning to make a dinner of them, they will make a breakfast of him.
pg 305, Louis Lamour — The Walking Drum

There is nothing worth inventing that is not inherently dangerous.

pg 25, L. Neil Smith — The Gallatin Divergence

I only listen to people who have an interest in my success.

The problem with power is that one’s mistakes become catastrophic.

pg 17

Because thou has defeated defeat.

pg 119

The principle, I believe, behind the law of an eye for an eye was, at the time it was written, not that the punishment be severe enough for the crime, but that the punishment not exceed the crime, which was ramphant practice in those days.

pg 178

The kind of things humans like to call inhuman.

pg 191, R.M. Meluch — Jerusalem Fire

Adventure only happens to the incompetent.

First secure an independent income, and then practice virtue.
Greek saying

All men love to take what belongs to others; It is a universal desire; only the manner of doing it differs.
Lesage, Gil Blas, Book I, Chapter 5

James was made up of two men, a witty well-read scholar who wrote, disputed and harangued, and a vervous, drivelling idiot who acted.
pg 14

"They only permit him to be captain," his crew told Captain Bartholomew Roberts, "so that they may be captain over him."
pg 33, Alexander Winston — No Man Knows My Grave

I will remember this, thought Ender, when I am defeated. To keep dignity, and give honor where it’s due, so that defeat is not disgrace.
pg 196

Common human ground includes the good old homo sapiens habit of not meekly adapting to circumstances, but grabbing them my the ears and adapting them to us.
pg 154, Poul Anderson — New America

Humans in a community, whether it is as small as two people or as large as the world, and no matter what form the society takes, will arrange themselves according to some hierarchy.
In some situations most individuals will not have to compromise much of their personal independence for the welfare of the community. In others, the needs of the community may demand the upmost personal sacrifice of the individual, even to life itself. Neither is more right than the other, it depends on the circumstances; but neither extreme can be maintained for long, nor can a society last if a few people exercise their individuality at the expense of the community.
pg 373

If it is meant to be, Ranec, Mamut said kindly, it will be, but remember this. The choice is not yours. It is not even hers. Ayla was chosen by the Mother for a purpose, and given many gifts. No matter what you decide, or what she decides, Mut has first claim on her. Any man who joins with her, joins also with her purpose.
pg 393, Jean Auel — The Mamoth Hunters

A ship is floating in the harbor now,
A wind is hovering o’er the mountain’s brow;
There is a path on the sea’s azure floor
No keel has ever plowed that path before;
The halcyons brood around the foamless isles;
The treacherous Ocean has forsworn its wiles;
The merry mariners are bold and free:
Say, my heart’s sister, wilt thou sail with me?
Shelly — Epipsychidion

Nothing is inevitable, there is no such thing as historical determinism. It is people who act, not history, and people choose their acts. We could have built a really adequate starship at any time since the late twentieth century, for instance. But it hasn’t been done. And it could be that those two hundred years are a sort of launch window, you know. A launch window that may close down.
pg 32

What we feel most, we remember best.
pg 68

Life is the history of losses.

Quiet people know that they have a reputation for being close-mouthed. Sometimes the reputation is like a power, for they see their acquaintances think that when they are moved to speak it will be for something special. But that is also a sort of pressure, a pressure that grows as the years pass and the quiet person’s reputation ages. What, after all, is really important enough to say? Not much. And quiet people become overly aware of that, and thus aware that most talk is a code masking vastly more complex meanings–meanings unfathomable to the very people most aware of their existence.
pg 74

That is the problem with teaching; students only believe what they’ve discovered for themselves.
pg 86

Blood, when you got right down to it, is not much thicker than water.
pg 114

What I wanted then was a marriage like the Greek ideal. Two strong trees grown round each other, and intertwined for good.

It seemed to me that there were two kinds of people: the attractive, sociable people, who drew to each other and had their serious relations together; and the rest of us, the plain or ugly or maladroit, who had to make do with one another no matter how much we loved beauty and charm. And realizing this warped the maladroit even more, so that our relations among ourselves were filled with resentment and frustration and anger and pity, which doomed them to failure. As in my three marriages, and in all the other liaisons in which I had tried so hard and failed so miserably.
pg 120

What does it mean to love the past? Each day disappears into nothingness, and we must live every moment of our lives in the present. The present is the whole of reality. But human beings are more than real. When memory fails to contain us we must love past more than ever, to hold it to us–or else the present becomes a meaningless blaze of color and sound, in which no two humans, great elongate beings, will be able to do more than touch at their very tips, their spatial selves–no one will ever truly understand another. To love the past is to become fully human.

pg 165

"I don’t care. I’m not a political person."
How I hate people who say that! Everyone is a political person, don’t you understand that? You would have to be autistic or a hermit to be truly apolitical! People who say that are merely saying they support the status quo, which is a profoundly political stance.
pg 234, Kim Stanley Robinson–Icehenge

I didn’t invent the art of wishful thinking. I just market it locally. — pg 41

That’s one of the most fascinating things about the human psyche–a deep subconscious feeling can be very strong without making any logical sense whatsoever. — pg 50

Timothy Zahn — Cobra Strike

Men are animals.
What are women? Plants? Birds? Fish?
You could have growled at him, Daddy. Shaken your fist.
Why? Because he had the nerve to obey a reflex?
So if a man peeks at me, it’s my fault?
No, honey, it’s nature’s fault. But it’s your responsibility.

Russel had once said that making choices was the hardest thing people did. — pg 59

If the question begins, "Why don’t they —?"
The answer is "money" — pg 64

Enlightenment can be a lonely country. — pg 83

In her mind "revolutionary" was defined as someone whose common sense had been exceeded by either his anger or his ego.

One of those who yearned so badly for a place in history that he had forgotten blood is the ink of history? — pg 122

Men do not revolt merely because they are poor and oppressed. They revolt because they are aware of a gulf between their expectations and their present condition, and of a possibility of crossing that gulf in a single bound. — de Tocqueville — pg 140

When the lion has you half swallowed, probe with your feet for a vital spot; maybe you can kick him to death from inside. — pg 217

Treat them like insecure children; stroke their egos–but be firm. — pg 266

No nation has ever lived up to its ideals, but no nation in history has ever such magnificent ideals as those of the United States. — pg 278

Spider Robinson — Night of Power

There are only two important things to find out. The first is "What do you do best?" The second is "what makes you happy?" And if you’re really blessed, they’ll both be the same thing.

from The Flamingo Kid

What was it the old cynic asked? "Come now, the truth; who among us would be satisfied with justice?" — pg 20

Freedom of speech is meaningless if all you can do is stand on the beach and shout your message to the wind. — pg 42

That’s what motivates almost everyone, you know–their own interests. — pg 127

Enceinte–the open area inside the walls — pg 180

When I was a boy, confronted with my youthful unsolvables and in despair, my father once said, "What were you worrying about last year this date?" And I saw on reflection that all my unsolvable problems of that time had, indeed, been solved or lost relevancy. — pg 212

A frozen program is seldom a valid one, certainly not over a period of time. — pg 213

It keeps them happy to think they have the ultimate say. Every four years we put up two candidates and let them take their pick. What could be more democratic than that? — pg 224

What’s the old Russian adage? When four men sit down to talk revolution, three are police spies and the other a damn fool. — pg 250

Mack Reynolds and Dean Ing — Deathwish World

Anwar el-Sadat

There is no happiness for people at the expense of other people.

W. Somerset Maugham

Only the mediocre person is always at his best.

You are young at any age if you are planning for tomorrow.
The Sword of the Lord

Kathleen Coyle

It is absurd to think that life begins for us at birth. The pattern is set far back; we merely step into the process.

Courage, competence, kindliness–what else is there to admire in a man? — pg 45

In a pioneering era, one learns chiefly by experience. — pg
Poul Anderson — Tau Zero

Communication is a process of interpreting symbols. — 155

At times it seems as if arranging to have no commitment of any kind to anyone would be a special freedom. But in fact the whole idea works in reverse. The most deadly commitment of all is to be committed only to one’s self. Some come to realize this only after they are in the nursing home. — 175

Memory of the rumbling voice of the grandpa long ago: "Anything you can’t take care of, kid, you don’t deserve to own. A dog, a gun, a reel, a bike or a woman. You learn how to do it and you do it, because if you don’t you’ll hate yourself. — 176

John D. McDonald — The Lonely Silver Rain

woman in labor

I just realized that there is a God, and he’s a sexist pig!


Why do I write satire? Ask, instead, how can I help it.

He is a man cut off from all spontaneous acts. — pg 4

Society is an association of minorities. — pg 89

based on a premature understanding that is more than instinct, but less than knowledge — pg 110

He is a man cut off from all spontaneous acts. — pg 4

Le Carre — Smiley’s People

William Ellery Channing

There are periods when the principles of experience need to be modified. When hope and trust and instinct claim a share with prudence in the guidance of affairs, when in truth, to dare, is the highest wisdom.

Mathew 10:16

Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

John Paul Jones

The rules of conduct, the maxims of action, and the tactical instincts that serve to gain small victories may always be expanded into the winning of great one with suitable opportunity; because in human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the foundations of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law inflexible and inexorable that he who will not risk cannot win.

Thus in the hightest position there is the least freedom of action.
Sallust — The War with Cataline

sled dog saying

If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes

line from a country song

In life there are bridges to build and bridges to burn.

Don’t overlook the truth; properly handled, it can be an effective weapon. But bear in mind that weapons get blunted with overuse. — pg 202

A man is happiest when there is a balance between his needs and his possessions. Now the question is: how to achieve this balance. One could seek to do this by increasing his goods to the level of his appetites, but that would be stupid. It would involve doing unnatural things–bargaining, haggling, scrimping, working. Ergo? Ergo, the wise man achieves the balance by reducing his needs to the level of his possessions. And this is best done by learning to value the free things of life: the mountains, laughter, poetry, wine offered by a friend, older and fatter women. Now me? I’m perfectly capable of being happy with what I have. The problem is getting enough of it in the first place. — pg 266

She knows the difference among a mistress, a concubine, and a wife. A mistress is unsure of her wage, a wife has none, and they are both amateurs. — pg 298

It appealed to affluent egoists who assumed that the continuance of their lives was important to the destiny of man. — pg 310

A foolish associate is more dangerous than a clever opponent. — pg 326

…the corrupt and corrupting governments established by the Wad to shield itself from responsibility. — pg 331

Politeness is more reliable than the moist virtues of compassion, charity and sincerity; just as fair play is more important than the abstraction of justice. The major virtues tend to disintegrate under the pressures of convenient rationalization. — pg 333

She never confessed to herself that she took social advantage of having a desirable body that appeared to be available. — pg 334

There is in love, an urge to forgive, and you’re a hard man to forgive. — pg 365
Trevanian — Shibumi

Like many who have nothing to lose, he was willing to risk all for principle. — pg 4

You cannot make a fool understand that he is one–you can only make him angry. — pg 94
Mack Reynolds — Joe Mauser

For some problems, there is no satisfactory substitute for experience. — pg 106

But the legion was a hierarchy, and the common soldiers had the right to be irresponsible in every activity which that hierarchy did not deem to be their duty. The problem with externally applied discipline is that it can only be specific: and it tends to eliminate self-discipline throughout the general behavior of the men it governs. — pg 249
David Drake — Ranks of Bronze

I may be bored and I may not, but I’ll go to my grave knowing which. — pg 205
David Drake — Bridgehead

50٪ of sex therapy involves time management.

a song my father like to sing while we fished Lake Lochloosa

A capital ship for an ocean trip was the Walloping Window Blind;
No gale that blew dismayed her crew or troubled the Captain’s mind.
The man at the wheel was taught to feel contempt for the wildest blow.
And it often appeared when the weather had cleared
That he’d been in his bunk below.
The boatswain’s mate was very sedate yet fond of amusement too.

And he played hop-scotch with the starboard watch
While the Captain tickled the crew.
And the gunner we had was apparently mad
For he sat on the after rail
And fired salutes with the Captain’s boots
In the teeth of a booming gale.

As long as we’re surrounded, we might as well attack.

Japanese Industrial Policies:

(1) absolute courtesy
(2) no adversary relations
(3) no room for a star
(4) emphasize long range survival
(5) quality redefined as "any interaction that pleases the customer"
(6) true downward delegation–not assignment
(7) stress/anxiety management does not exist
(8) products emphasize quality and performance, not style or cost

Gordon Liddy

Success only confirms our prejudices. It is from our failures that we learn.

Soichiro Honda

Many people dream of success. To me, success can be achieved only through repeated failures and introspection. In fact, success represents one percent of our work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure.

B.C. Forbes
founder of Forbes Magazine

The only caste in America is merit. A price has to be paid for success. Almost invariably those who have reached the summits worked harder and longer, studied and planned more assiduously, practiced more self-denial, overcame more difficulties than those of us who have not risen so far.

The Chinese define a family as those who eat from the same pot of rice.

A state may acquire a territory by a unilateral act of its own initiative, by occupation, … — pg 533

Have you noticed that one is always ready to consider as an imbecile someone who is completely devoid of aggressiveness? — pg 540

Paul-loup Sulitzer — The Green King

a reluctance to expend emotion, and a necessity to experience it. — pg 26

I just don’t know how there got to be such a difference between what I thought he was and what he really is. — pg 82

People who become legends in their own time usually have very little time left. — pg 107

John D. McDonald — Freefall in Crimson

He remembered a line Thucydicles would pen centuries hence, about the disastrous Athenian military expedition whose last members ended their days in the mines of Sicily. "Having done what men could, they suffered what men must." — pg 75

The last act is tragic, however pleasant all the comedy of the other acts. A little earth on our heads, and all is done with forever. — Pascal

Poul Anderson — Time Patrolman

Harry Schultz:

Gold is the only financial asset that is not someone else’s liability.

John Dickinson (1774):

Honor, justice and humanity call on us to hold and transmit to our posterity, that liberty, which we rec’d from our ancestors. It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children, but it is our duty to leave them liberty. No infamy, iniquity, or cruelty can exceed our own, if we, born and educated in a nation of freedom, entitled to its blessing and knowing their true value, pusillanimously desert the post assigned to us by divine providence, surrender succeeding generations to a condition of wretchedness from which no human efforts, in all probability, will be sufficient to extricate them; the experience of all states mournfully demonstrates to us, that when arbitrary power has been established over them, even the wisest and bravest nations that ever flourished, have, in a few years, degenerated into abject and wretched vassals.

Free choice is expensive. — pg 131

He found that politeness was most easily granted to those he least respected. — pg 151

A man’s lucky if he learns to accept failure when he’s young. Failure for a man is like childbirth for a woman: when you have your first one late in life, it can just about destroy you … Something so big it limits your self-confidence, tells you that you’re just a mortal man, after all. Tells you that on a given day there’s someone, maybe nose to nose with you, who can beat you at everything you do best. — pg 232

When your life rides on the game, keep your eye on the goddamn ball. — pg 246

Bonaparte’s prescription for victory: audacity, always audacity. — pg 293

There’s no such thing as security–only varying degrees of insecurity.

Dr. E. F. Schumacher:

We have become a society rich in means, but poor in purpose.


Hope makes a good breakfast, but a poor supper.

Sometimes you have to give divorce a chance to work.

Friends are people who come through for you when you need them

If your opponent is willing to die to get to you, you had best be willing to die yourself. — pg 173

he acted by no rules at all, his or yours or anyone’s. That makes him not a man but a bomb, ready to go off at random. — pg 347

Paraphrase of Kurt Waldheim speech enscribed on Voyager:

If called upon to teach.
If fortunate, to learn.

lyric from a country song:

A bird in a cage soon forgets how to fly–give me wings.

Human needs:


Whatever his fate might be, Padorin was determined to meet it with dignity. If they remember me as a fool, he thought, it will be as a courageous fool. — pg 216

Tom Clancy — The Hunt for Red October

The relationship between fatigue and erros was as certain as gravity. — pg 298

The ocean will try very hard to kill you if you lack the respect she demands. — pg 343

There is no more natural fear than of the unknown, and the greater the unknown, the greater had to be the fear. — 717

Tom Clancy — Red Storm Rising

You must master your enemies, not fly from them. Too late have you realized this. Your attempt to hide from them was a futile as your attempt to hide from yourself. — pg 219

The basis of evil is intentional self-delusion. — pg 243

The Game of Fox and Lion — Robert Chase

Power attracts the corruptible. — pg 267

Freedom was wonderful beyond belief. But with it came that bitch, duty. — pg 270

David Brin — The Postman

You must master your enemies, not fly from them. Too late have you realized this. Your attempt to hide from them was a futile as your attempt to hide from yourself. — pg 219

Groucho Marx:

Anyone who says that he can see through women is missing a lot.

Success in his job, he said, was not a function of intelligence; at least three other qualities were far more critical.

He called them the three P’s: in order, persistence, paranoia, and persuasiveness. And when it was pointed out that persistence was no more than another word for pig-headedness, and that paranoia and persuasiveness were contradictory impulses, he just laughed… the fourth important quality … was the ability to know which one of the other three to apply in a given situation. — pg 237

What cannot be controlled or destroyed must be banished. — pg 312

Charles Sheffield — The Nimrod Hunt

As Shakespeare siad, "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." — pg 205

Renegades: Those who have denied their own people, and claimed the enemy as their own. — pg 313

"Will he always come between us?"
"Yes. Like a bridge he’ll come between us, not a wall." — pg 313

Orson Scott Card — Speaker for the Dead


The first step in changing society is to call things by their real name.

also translated as

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their true names.

Marshall Fritz:

We start small, or not at all.

Bill Mayer:

Two men ran a butcher shop. One attended an evangelist’s meeting and got religion. For weeks he tried to convert his partner. Finally his partner, exasperated, pointed out, "If both of us get religion, who’s gonna weight the meat?"

Comment during the Iran-Contra hearings:

What we’re seeing here is people waving the flag while spitting on the constitution.

comment on the Donahue Show:

Men enter into a marriage looking for primacy. Women tend to look for security.


The First Rule of Civilized Warfare:
It’s alright to kill people, so long as you’re polite about it.

paraphrase of Gwen Dyer:

To accept that national sovereignty rests on a basis of military might is to accept war-everlasting.

Suitable people do not "turn up" — they’re found. — page 71

It was dangerous to end with the true question as to begin with it. — pg 128

If a man understands the priorities of his fellows, he can lead them. If he fails in this, all the good intentions in the world won’t buy him loyalty. — pg 128

In order to make the most of the future, we must comprehend the past. — pg 410

The man who will not resort to violence must find his own ways to manipulate men. — pg 286

C.S. Friedman — In Conquest Born

Anything important was classified. Reality was top secret. — pg 20.

Mark Joseph — To Kill the Polemkin

Among intellectuals, recognition could a stronger goal than sex. — page 13

She seemed to have reached an area of compromise between what she needed and what she wanted. — page 59

One does not eradicate evil by the studied affectation of innocence. It is your misfortune to be caught up in events that will not go away. — page 137

If Johnathan had a fault worth mentioning, it was mediocrity. His single bad break was being smart enough to know it. — page 209

I’m afraid of my secrets. If I shared them, I’d be afraid of the sharer. — page 252

In any endeavor of this magnitude, there are always penalties to be paid. — page 267

G.C. Edmondson/ C.M. Katlan — The Cunningham Equations

NASA official:

On the way to the moon, we discovered the planet Earth


Old money’s motto way, "If you have it, hide it." New money’s motto was, "If you have flaunt it."

Napoleon Boneparte:

Men take only their needs into consideration–never their abilities.

Duc de la Rochefoucauld:

Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle, and blow in a fire.

Mark Twain:

In his private heart, no man much respects himself.


How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven’t stood up to live!

Oscar Wilde:

Only the shallow know themselves.

Laurence Peter:

DO IT NOW! There may be a law against it tomorrow.

Donald McGannon:

Leadership is action, not position.

Pope Leo XIII:

The equal toleration of all religions … is the same thing as atheism.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321):

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.

Blaise Pascal:

People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

Aristotle (384-322 BC):

How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.

Winston Churchill:

We shape our buildings;
Thereafter they shape us.

Grant Wood:

All the really good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.

Ernest Jones:

The control man has secured over nature has far outrun his control over himself.

Erich Fromm:

The danger of the past was that men became slaves.
The danger of the future is that men may become robots.


When the candles are out, all women are fair.

G.B. Shaw:

My only policy is to profess evil and do good.


Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment.

John Wayne:

I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.

[Note to reader: I want to remind the reader that quotes are in this log not because I necessarily believe them to be The Truth, but often because of their potential for illuminating the past from which we come.]

John Maynard Keynes:

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking.

line from The Godfather:

In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.

comment made on a PBS program:

The price of independence is self-reliance.


Take what you want, and pay for it.

Bertrand Russel:

To love is wise; to hate is foolish.

Michael Emerling:

Walt Patrick is not cutting himself off from the world; his is trying to keep the world from cutting him off.

“Intelligence” was largely a factor of how efficiently one was trained to think. — pg 29

To think only of the practical benefit of wisdom and technology is vulgar — pg 36 quoting Ha Gakune from Hidden Leaves

They made the decision–now let them enforce it. — pg 231 quoting President Andrew Jackson

Victor Milan — Cybernetic Samuri

Review of “Women and Love:
Newseek 19 Oct 87, pg 86

Whether these women represent anybody but themselves hardly matters; even one voice, after all, can tell the truth.


People who are “feelings” driven will generally try to treat the sympton rather than the real cause.

Thomas Carlyle:

A man lives by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things.

One of life’s cruelest pranks is to yield our heart’s desire only when the desire has been replaced by another. — pg 41

Any way is up when you can’t get any further down. — pg 46

The only reason we stayed together was we didn’t have anywhere to go. — pg 46

Glenn Cook — Passage at Arms

the last words of the Titanic’s captain to his crew:

Be British, boys, be British.

Bishop Desmond Tutu:

The only way to be human is to be human together.
The only way to survive is to survive together.


People would rather have gold plated shit, than shit covered gold.

The process by which one becomes an expert is the same process by which one becomes an idiot.

Frank Lloyd Wright:

Years ago I realized that I had to choose between honest arrogance or hypocritical humility. I choose honest arrogance.


On his death bed, Stradivarius was asked by the priest who had just performed the last rites, “What is your secret?” He replied, “My love for my work.”

Charles Darwin:

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.

Comment by an advertising executive, 24 Dec 87:

What we need are plausible goals; far enough ahead that we have to reach for them, and yet close enough that we believe we can reach them.

Mortimer Adler:

All real learning is active, not passive. It must engage the mind, not just the memory.


To understand the universe, you must understand the language it is written in–mathematics.

Charles Evans Hughes

We are under a constitution, but the constitution is what the judges say it is.

Alexis de Tocquoville:

There is hardly a political question which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one

Marcus Aurelius:

If it is not right, do not do it.
If it is not true, do not say it.

Benjamin Disreali:

Justice is truth in action.

Louis de Saint – Just:

Nobody can rule guiltlessly.

L.A. Law epidose 21 Jan 88:

There are two types of mistakes: Errors of commission and errors of omission. And you can’t learn from what you don’t do.

Learning Channel 22 Jan 88:

Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to the law of diminishing returns.

No man has the right to die while he can still help his fellows. — pg 46

Why is the universe here?
Where else would it be?

All religions are fundamentally immoral because the superstitions they peddle cause more harm than good. — pg 259

Arthur C. Clarke — The Songs of Distant Earth

J. P. Morgan:

A man has two reasons for the things that he does: a good one and the real one.

Venerable Bede

Necessitas legem non habet — necessity knows no law


There’s a great difference between really giving and just giving in.

If you drop a bowling ball, you can trust it to do certain things. You just have to know ahead of time if they’re the things you want. — pg 145

David Drake — Fortress

Second Law of Thermodynamics:
(1) You can’t win.
(2) You can’t break even.
(3) You can’t even get out of the game. — pg 281

Janissaries — Storms of Victory

Well, she showed me how to send a message to the stork. — pg 22

If vanity be the name of woman,
Folly is the name of man. — pg 24

Piers Anthony — Crewel Lye

John Quincy Adams on Burr’s rumored secession conspiracy

If they break up, in God’s name let the Union go . . . I love the Union as I love my wife. But if my should ask and insist upon a separation, she should have it, although it broke my heart. — pg 391

There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon — pg 489

General Scott made frequent reference to “the fatal incapacity of the Southerns for agreeing or working together.” — pg 707

John Jakes — North and South

Change bestrode the country like a fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. — pg 833

The current unpleasantness has rendered me unfit for a civilized occupation. — pg 963

John Jakes — Love and War

Lao Tsu

Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that make it useful.

Connie Chung’s Rules for Handling Stress

(1) Don’t sweat the small stuff
(2) In the long run, it’s all small stuff

Elmore Leonard

The man was dumb. I mean that if he was any dumber, you’d have to water him twice a week.

Russian tank commander

The only free cheese you’ll find is in a mousetrap

Joseph Campbell

If you want to help your students, you must help them to learn to live in the world.

Patrick Swazy in an interview about Dirty Dancing

When you’re young, you look for power. Later, you realize that what counts is not power, but control.

George Will

Leadership has been defined as the ability to inflict pain and get away with it.

It’s found that fear responses were minimized when the group was small (five or less); when group members knew each other well; when group members could see each other and were not isolated; when they shared defined group goals and fixed time limits; when groups were mixed age and mixed gender; and when group members had high phobic-tolerant personalities as measured by LAS tests for anxiety, which in turn correlated with athletic fitness.
Some of the results were counterintuitive, such as the importance of group composition. Groups composed entirely of men or entirely of women were poorer at handling stress than mixed groups; groups composed of individuals roughly the same age were much poorer than groups of mixed age. And pre-existing groups formed for another purpose did worst of all. — pg 19

Studies had shown that the people who were most successful at handling pressure were people others didn’t like–individuals who were described as arrogant, cocksure, irritating. — pg 59

They’re intellectuals, he thought, and their characteristic defense is intellectualization. Talk, Ideas, Abstractions. Concepts. It was a way of getting distance from the feelings of sadness and fear and of being trapped. — pg 168

She had always been attracted to power–she always felt she lacked power and needed more. But Beth wasn’t prepared to handle power once she had it. Beth still saw herself as a victim, so she had to deny the power, and arrange to be victimized by it. — pg 321

Understanding is a delaying tactic. — pg 330

Michael Crichton — The Sphere


The only way to become first class is to act first class.

When someone asks you, “What time is it?” do you proceed to tell them how to build a watch?

Life creates conflict. The failure to resolve conflict is a cause of war.

Birth is an accident. Death is a certainty.

A woman who wants equality with men is lacking in ambition.

Getting the parts right gets the system right, whether or not you understand the system.

That’s more power than a good man would want or a bad man should have.

A response that occurs without provocation or intent is probably instinct.

When people who are rationally driven encounter a problem or a failure, they will seek ways to try better. People who are emotionally driven will respond by trying harder.

The Red Tent

A second-in-command can be heroic. The rank and file may be required to be heroic, but a leader may not be heroic. He must be correct.

John Keeke Journal of Light Construction Vol 7 #9

By studying the past, we can learn to repeat their successes. If we ignore the past, we are doomed to repeat their failures.

Laurence Olivier

The secret is simple. Just do the best you can. You can’t do more, and you musn’t do less.

Paul Harvey, 28 Jan 90

Prosperity begets ideology.

Richard Lerner

A leader is anybody willing to take blame for a bad plan.

I strongly reject any conceptual scheme that places our options on a line, and holds that the only alternative to a pair of extreme positions lies somewhere between them. More fruitful perspectives often require that we step off the line to a site outside the dichotomy. — pg 51

but underscores the serious point that we observe according to preset categories, and often cannot “see” what stares us in the face. — 128

For confidence has a great practical virtue–you can go forward on specifics without continual worry about basic principles. — pg 173

One cannot hope to do anything significant or original in science unless one accepts the inevitability of substantial error along the way. — pg 196

The greatest impediment to scientific innovation is usually a conceptual lock, not a factual lack. — pg 276

Stephen Jay Gould — Wonderful Life

You ought to restrain your habit of chiding people for doing what they can do best instead of what you think they ought to be doing. — pg 65

God, but men are lucky. Women have to get old, and men never even grow up at all. — pg 276

You can play cards without money, but you can’t play cards without cards. — pg 384

Gary Jennings — Spangle

You can be at ease only with those people to whom you can say any damn fool thing that comes into your head, knowing that any misunderstandings will be trashed out right now, rather than buried deep and given a chance to fester. — pg 7

John D. McDonald — Darker than Amber

Politics is for people who have a passion for changing life but lack a passion for loving it. — pg 133

Most of the harm inflicted by man upon his environment, his fellows and himself is due to greed. Most of the greed (whether it be for power, property, attention or affection) is due to insecurity. Most of the insecurity is due to fear. And most of the fear is, at bottom, a fear of death. — pg 203

the man who feels sumg in an orderly world has never looked down a volcano — pg 206

When life demands more of people than they demand of life–as is ordinarily the case–what results is a resentment of life that is almost as deep seated as the fear of death. Indeed, thre resentment of life and the fear of death are vitually synonymous. Does it follow then, that the more people ask of living, the less their fear of death? — pg 344

If you want to change the world, change yourself. — pg 352

Don’t ever bet against paradox, ladies. If complexity doesn’t beat you, then paradox will. — pg 358

Tom Robbins — Even Cowgirls get the Blues

the attraction to promiscuity and depersonalization of sex rested on issues surrounding fear of intimacy. — pg 89

Life was for learning, and sex was as legitimate a learning tool as anything else. — pg 90

customs involving sex were the most implacable behaviors to try to alter. — pg 119

Randy Shilts — And the Band Played On

Motto at the gate of the Henderson, NV Munitions facility

Those who wish to lead must never cease to learn.


When you make your living laying your life on the line, you learn to live in cold blood.

If I became one woman’s permanent emotional stability and security, there would be a moral obligation on my part to change the way I live, because I’d have no right to ask her to buy a piece of my risk taking. Yet risk taking is essential to me–for reasons I can only guess at–giving it up would make me a different kind of man. I don’t think I’d like him. I don’t think she would. — pg 149

Everyday, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility. — pg 171
John D. McDonale — One Fearful Yellow Eye

Marty Ingles on Today 6 Sept 90

Every man’s a Captain in a calm sea.

Barry Manilow

An artist has to focus on the process, not the product. Once you start to try to hold on to the product–you’re dead.

A wise man would not employ you as a servant. You’re used to giving orders, and now you would find it very hard to be on the receiving end. Oh, I know you’re willing. But all your life others have served you, and even now you feel in your heart of hearts that things should be arranged to please you. High born people make poor servants. the are disobedient, resentful, thoughtless, touchy, and they think they’re working hard even though they do less than everyone else–so they cause trouble among the rest of the staff. — pg 365

he was a picture of resentment. Years ago he had come to believe that he was destined to be a leader of men, but in truth he was too weak a character, and now he was doomed to live out his life in disappointment, making trouble for better men. — pg 730

Ken Follet — Pillars of the Earth


We know what we are, but not what we may be.

If it ain’t real but I can see it, it’s a lot realer than something that’s real I can’t see. — pg 68

What I learned was that what I need aren’t followers; what I need are answers. — pg 81

I’m not a sophomore any longer. I’m not looking for perfection. Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but we aren’t out to build a new society. The society is already here. The only thing we have to work with is the same thing that we had to work with on earth: change. — pg 104

Perfection is the great diety of the adolescent mind. Right now I’d settle for a system that worked decently half the time. — pg 105

Take one insecure male who is terrified of women, teach him to compensate by treating women like pieces of meat, and you have created a curious kind of addict. Macho man feels nothing except terror and deprivation which he frequently interprets as horniness. The primary motivating force behind macho man is not sex; it is envy. — pg 248

Barry Longyear — Infinity Hold

60’s protest slogan

Is Reason Treason?

African proverb

Only join a fight that’s big enough to matter, and small enough to win

Tom Clancy

If you live in a country that enshrines the idea of freedom, you’d be a fool not to go your own way.

Wayne Buffett, new Chairman of Solomon Bros

If your actions cause this firm to lose money, I shall be tolerant. If your actions cause this firm to lose credibility, I shall be ruthless.


We do not inherit our land from our parents–we borrow it from our children.

Guys with ties will tell you what they think will get you to do what they want. Corporation types, they expected everybody to use whatever they knew to stab everybody else in the back so they could get ahead. They couldn’t tell anybody the truth because they couldn’t trust anybody not to use it against them. Whereas military types expected you to follow orders, period, so it was OK to tell you the truth. — pg 84

But the crazy one is you, boy. Letting her talk you into acting out her plan for you. You start letting a woman give you your instructions in life, you never know where it’s going to lead. It’ll turn you into something you never meant to be. Because women don’t think of men as people. I finally caught on to that. They think of us as particularly useful machines. You watch a woman with a machine, boy. They’ll act the same way they do with you. They’ll try to make the machine do what they want, and when it doesn’t they’ll yell at it, they’ll turn their backs and pout, they’ll cry, they’ll do all the same shit they do with you. Only the machines are smarter than us. They just sit there and let it all roll off their backs. Machines don’t have to pay attention to women because machines don’t want to fuck ’em. — pg 245

The Abyss — Orson Scott Card

Soloflex ad

When we learn to cherish the beauty that flows from life.

StarTrek quote

Once you face your pain, you can draw strength from it, and then nothing can hold you back from your destiny.

Treat a friend as a potential enemy, and it isn’t long before he is one. — pg 132

Mathematics is an amazing tool. You can demonstrate conclusively that you can’t have a viable cooperative game without mutual trust. — pg 133

Karl Marz, Theses on Feuerbuch

The Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.

Peter Chaadev, 1837, Apology of a Madman

Look carefully, and you will see that each important fact in our history is a fact that was forced upon us.

You can justify war on the grounds of survival, but I don’t see war sitting on the side of justice. War kills more of the innocent than the guilty. If you want justice, you can’t get there with war. — pg 300

Americans are manic freaks who slack off suicidally between crises and then work their elbows to a bone to meet a crisis after it has bashed them in the face–all the time bitching bitterly that no one ever told them that the first was on the way. It’s a mania that will kill us all dead one day, and our consitution besides, that one last crisis too many, but in the meantime it is no use yammering to deaf ears about how to prevent a comin crisis, you just have to be cool and work quietly until you now exactly what to tell them to do after the crises has them screaming in pain and hop to God they can get their silly asses in gear as fast as they always have before. — pg 328

Donald Kingsbury — Moon Goddess and the Son

The Fresco by Sheri Tepper

We recognize a reluctance on the part of inexperienced person to get athyci involved in their troubles. Inexperienced persons are often ingenuous. They have a sweet naivete about them, an innocent faith that if they can only talk long enough about problems, they will come up with solutions that will not hurt anyone. They have a penchant for committees and group discussions, for bumbling along, never wishing to offend but unable to avoid offense; always caring but never courageous; always pitying but never resolute; always doubting but stubbornly avoiding decision.

– pg 193

Unfortunately, your penal system is based on religious notions of penitence and reformation, character emendations which can be evoked only where a sense of shame is present. In a society as mobile as your own, many people are totally anonymous to those around them. They do not care what they do before strangers or to strangers. If one feels no shame, punishment only angers. If one feels shame, punishment is almost unnecessary.

– pg 359

The psychologist asked me to visualize my trying to save someone who was drowning. She said to visualize the drowning person pulling my head under. She said to imagine that I struggled, and struggled, getting my head up just enough to gulp some air, but every time I did, the drowning person pulled my head under again.
She said living with someone like your dad is like trying to save someone from drowning when what the person really wants is to drown you with him. He wants to go, but he doesn’t want to go alone. She said the drowner’s strongest motivation is to ‘miserate his companions’ to pull your head under, over and over until all your strength is gone and you die.
She said once you’ve done everything you can to get help for the person, once the drowner has firmly or repeatedly rejected that help, the drowner has made his choice. He’s deciding to be where he is, when he is, as he is. If you choose not to drown, at that point, you quit trying to save the person. You leave him where he wants to be and you stand back from him far enough he can’t drage you in. That may mean far away.
The psychologist said that sometimes when the constant rescuer walks away, the drowner decides to swim to shore.

– pb 403

Luckily, our imperative is based on experience, rather than upon artifacts or scriptures, so we are not likely to be thrown into disorganization by judgments made centuries ago. We do not assert as true anything which we have not proven or seen proven by others. Thus, we never claimed that we were the center either of the universe or of a diety’s attention. While we do not deny deity, we do not presume to understand it, plea bargain with it, or tell others what shape it takes.

– pg 408

Serpent in Paradise by Dea Birkett

Most visitors come here with a preconceived idea about what they think Pitcairn and the Pitcairners to be: this is a community with no crime, no jealousies, no problems. When people think like this, no wonder people come here and expect us to be sprouting wings.
Outsiders have been hard on Pitcairn. They have judged the islanders harshly, angry that their own dreams have not been realized.
Visitors have also been ungrateful. They live with an island family, share their home, see what they eat, how they dress, peer inside their cupboards ….
They then take these intimacies and tell a world that wanted to hear something else. And the world, disappointed that their imposed dream did not exist, blames the Pitcairners for shattering it.

– pg 218-219

James Baldwin

Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.

Jenny Yates

Life is not tried, it is merely survived, if you’re standing outside the fire.

Buckminster Fuller

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

William Shakespeare

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.

Sonnet 94

H.L. Mencken

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent
that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

Jessie B. Rittenhouse

I bargained with life for a penny
And life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty score;
For Life is just an employer,
And gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menialφs hire,
Only to learn, dismayed
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.

Henry Kissinger


We fought a military war (in Vietnam); our opponents fought a political one. We sought physical
attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion. In the process, we lost sight
of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla warfare: The guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The
conventional army loses if it does not win.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.


In general, in battle one engages with the orthodox and gains victory through the unorthodox.

Keith Addison

Doctors used to think that health is the absence of disease, some of them still think that, but there’s much more to health than just the absence of disease, and if you focus on eradicating disease you’ll never discover what health is. You have to focus on health itself to discover what health is.

Richard Nixon

Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.

Confederate Major General
Patrick Cleburne
in his January, 1864, letter
which proposed the mass emancipation
and enlistment
of Black Southerners into the Confederate Army:

Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning
of subjugation before it is too late…It means the
history of this heroic struggle will be written
by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by
Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern
school books their version of the war; will be
impressed by the influences of history and education
to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed
veterans as fit objects for derision…”


Don’t question authority — they don’t know either.

John E. Southard

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.

from a sig line

If you need a friend, I am there.
If you need a shoulder to cry on, I am there.
If you need a hug, I am there.
If you need advice, I am there.
But if you are sitting in jail and you need bail money, call a bail bondsman because chances are I’m sitting right next to you muttering, “Man did we screw up”.

Burning Angel by
James Lee Burke

Men are kind to women for one of two reasons. Either they want inside the squeeze box or they have genuine balls and don’t have to prove anything.
pg 94

Dave, take the scales off your eyes. We don’t serve flags or nations anymore. It’s all business today. The ethos of Robert E. Lee is as dead as the world we grew up in.
pg 299-300

Then in the middle of the night he sat naked on the side of the bed, his skin so white it almost glowed, his forearms on his thighs, his confession of betrayal and hypocrisy so spontaneous and devoid of ulterior motive that she knew she would have to forgive whatever injury he had done her or otherwise his sin would become her own.
pg 319-320

John Quincy Adams

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

[sig line]

You will pay for your sins.
If you’ve already paid, please disregard this notice.

T.S. Eliot

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

S.M. Stirling

Without the Change, we might have destroyed ourselves altogether, or used genetic engineering and other forms of meddling to abolish genuine humanity from within, perhaps removing death itself, until there was no limit to the cruel empires of pride and lust that we could erect. God knows; I do not. And how will the Change be seen many generations hence? This particular space of years does not gain any special significance because our lives happen to occupy it, remember.

We are called to revive the best of our long tradition.

A truth perverted is more terrible than any simple mistake, for such evil draws power from the good it warps, and discredits it by association. pg 316

—- A Meeting at Corvalis

Harry S. Truman

The only thing new in this world is the history that you don’t know.


What the catapillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings.

Winston Churchill

We make a living by what we get,
We make a life by what we give.

e.b. white

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor it…which makes it hard to plan the day.

Steven Barnes — Lion’s Blood

the loss of illusion was the beginning of wisdom. page 219

James Lee Burke — The Tin Roof Blowdown

And you don’t try to fix a broken world and you don’t try to put Band-Aids on broken people, I told myself. — pg. 83

I believe that Tom Claggart had just discovered that stacking time on the hard road is a matter of definition and not geography.– pg. 152

The years have not brought me much in the way of wisdom. But I have learned that the father of a young woman has to remember only two lessons in caring for his daughter: He must be by her side unreservedly when she needs him, and he must disengage when she doesn’t.– pg. 177

Bo Diddley had paid hard dues. His tragedy, I think, lay in the fact he had learned nothing from them.– pg. 189

Hildegard von Bingen: (1098-1179)

Like the billowing clouds,
Like the gurgle of the brook,
The longing of the spirit can never be stilled.

Fast Company, February 2009

The word "February" comes from the Lain word februum (purification), after a Roman cleansing festival that was held each year on the 15th of this month.

Wesley Pruden, on the inauguration of Barak Obama:

Given the creepy adulation, Mr. Obama may be tempted to believe the conventional wisdom that nothing succeeds like success. What he will learn is that nothing recedes like success. Friends become disappointed adversaries, adversaries become angry enemies and the cult becomes a mob, looking for revenge and a rope. "If you want a friend in Washington," Harry S. Truman once said, "get a dog."

Chinese proverb

Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we’re headed.

Peter Drucker

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not
the turbulence. It is to act with yesterday’s logic

African Proverb used by Al Gore

If you want to travel fast, travel alone.
If you want to travel far, travel together.

H. L. Mencken

A demagogue is one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.

Lord Byron

History, with all her volumes, haft but one page.

James Kuntsler

Efficiency is the straightest path to hell.

Carlos Castaneda

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The
amount of work is the same.

Gerald Celente

When people lose everything and they have nothing to lose, they lose it.

line from Grey Owl

A man becomes what he dreams.

Ed Wallace

America is not at the bottom of another economic crisis; we are at the crossroads of the future.

Woman at the Edge of Time

How good to fight beside you,

people of my base.
With you I work
forehead to forehead.

With you I plant corn,
stand in the tree picking apples.

How good to fight beside you,
friend of our long table,
mother of my child.
We share the soup and the bread,

the trouble and the meetings
that last till sharp dawn.
How good to fight beside you.
An army of lovers cannot lose,
an army of lovers cannot lose.
How good to fight for each other.

— Marge Piercy


All receive advice. Only the wise profit from it. – Syrus

Michael Jordan

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.

[editorial comment: while most people wonder what happened.

Clive Cussler/ Jack Du Brul

They were always mindful of the physical dangers they faced when they accepted a mission, but there was a hidden cost, too. To fight from the shadows meant the justification for their actions had to come from within themselves. They weren’t soldiers who could merely say they were taking orders. They’d chosen to be here and do the things necessary to guarantee a free society even if they operated outside of societal boundaries. — pg 268

James Lee Burke — Pegasus Descending

I was saying that the idea of class superiority has one basic function–it allows people to justify their exploitation of their fellow human beings. The exploitation happens on many levels, the most common of which is financial and sexual. It’s taught in fraternities, it’s taught in churches. People screw down and marry up. — pg 121

He had known their kind in the late 1960s. They came from traditional blue-collar and middle-income homes, and became imbued with a political or social cause that allowed them to justify criminal acts normally associated with Willie Sutton or Alvin Karpis. The irony lay in their level of success. Most criminals get nailed in the aftermath of their crimes, largely because of their lifestyles and their associations. But the sixties bunch was not composed of junkies, degenerate gamblers, whoremongers, or porn addicts, nor did they hang out with recidivists or network with professional fences and money launderers. Instead, they lived in the suburbs, felt no guilt whatsoever about their crimes, jogged five miles before breakfast, and considered themselves patriotic and decent. In custody, they didn’t attempt to defend their actions any more than they would have attempted to explain the nature of light to a blind man. — pg 162

Because I carried a badge, I sometimes presumed. Sometimes in my vanity I saw myself as a light bearer, possessed of an invulnerability that ordinary men and women did not share. There were times when I actually believed my badge was indeed a shield. Soldiers experience the same false sense of confidence after surviving their first combat. Gamblers think they have magic painted on them when they pick a perfecta out of the air or draw successfully to an inside straight. The high of a boozer doesn’t even come close to any of the aforementioned.
All of it is illusion. Our appointment in Samarra is made for us without our consent, and Death finds us of its own accord and in its own time. Cops rarely die in firefights with bank robbers. They’re shot to death during routine traffic stops or while responding to domestic disturbances. As a rule, their killers couldn’t masturbate without a diagram. — pg 193

I’m not a theologian, but I believe absolution can be granted to us in many forms. Perhaps it can come in the ends of a woman’s fingers on your skin. Some people call it the redemptive power of love. Anyway, why argue with it when it comes your way? — pg 242

The Giacanos were stone killers and corrupt to the core, but they were pragmatists as well as family men and they realized no society remains functional if it doesn’t maintain the appearances of morality. — pg 267

Molly was washing her car under the porte cochere when I got home. She wore a pair of blue-jean shorts and an old white shirt that was too tight for her shoulders, and her clothes and hair and skin were damp from the garden hose she was spraying on the car’s surface while she wiped it down with a rag. Molly’s physical firmness, the curvature of her hips, the way her rump flexed against her shorts, the suggestion of sexual power in her thighs and the swell of her breasts, all reminded me of my dead wife Bootsie, and I sometimes wondered if Bootsie’s spirit had not slipped inside Molly’s skin, as though the two women who had not known each other in life had melded together and formed a third personality after Bootsie’s death.
But I didn’t care where Molly came from, as long as she remained in my life, and I loved her as much as I did Bootsie, and I loved them both at the same time and never felt a contradiction or a moment of disloyalty about my feelings. — pg 322

Heinlein — Citizen of the Galaxy

Status . . . Uncle Jack had high status and was fighting to keep it. Thorby felt that he understood him as last. Uncle Jack put up with the overwork he complained about because he liked being boss – just as captains and chief officers worked themselves silly, even though every member of a Free Trader family owned the same share. Uncle Jack was “chief officer” and didn’t intend to surrender his supreme status to someone a third his age who (let’s face it!) wasn’t competent for the work the status required. — pg 219

I’m so busy doing what I must do that I don’t have time for what I ought to do . . . and I never get a chance to do what I want to do! [Thorby Baslim Rudbek to his attorney and friend Mr. Garsch]
“Son, that’s universal. The way to keep that recipe from killing you is occasionally to do what you want to do anyhow. Which is right now. There’s all day tomorrow ain’t touched yet. — pg 252

Frederick Hohenzollern

Arms are to Diplomacy, as instruments are to music.

Carlos Castaneda

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

With nature there is no forgiveness, just reward and punishment.

paraphrase of a comment by Gary Gibson

Lucille Ball

I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.


I can’t change the world by myself. It’s going to take at least three of us.


Life ain’t about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.

Utah Phillips

The Earth is not dying–she is being killed. And those who are killing her have names and addresses.

Plowboy (poster on an Orion forum)

Individuals and societal constructs have one common characteristic: Neither will undergo transformative change without a deep shock. We here in the American South had to have this explained to us in very clear terms not all that long ago.

Arnold H. Glasow

Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.

William H. Wisener

You cannot defend what you do not know. And you cannot know what you do not love.

Roberto Clemente

A nation without heroes is nothing.

Jimmy Carter

I’ve never won an argument with her; and the only times I thought I
had I found out the argument wasn’t over yet.

Steven Barnes

Zulu Heart is dedicated to the friends and colleagues who never allowed me to forget either my bliss or responsibilities. This is the life I chose, and no matter how steep the path, one can only climb: for every blister and exertion, there is a commiserate heightening of perspective.

Clint Smith

You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it.

Howard C. Hayden
Professor Emeritus of Physics, UConn

People will do anything to save the earth
– except take a course in science.

John Denver
Take Me Home: an Autobiography

The superior man stakes his life on following his will. -Chinese Proverb

Buckminster Fuller’s unique way of looking at the world and of seeing its care as perhaps man’s highest calling gave me a framework for thinking about all the causes for environmental action that I was anxious to support. — pg 202

The most serious obstacle to our getting on with the necessary business of transforming our life-style and our society is the unwillingness or the inability to say clearly and publicly that we’ve come to the end of one way of life and to the beginning of another. — George Leonard pg. 205

James P. Hogan

The ease of getting things done varies inversely as the square of procrastination.

Climate Change quotes

Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.
— Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC

We need to get some broad based support, to capture the
public’s imagination. So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention
of any doubts. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.
— Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology,
and lead author of many IPCC reports

It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people
believe is true.
— Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory
of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right
thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.
— Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation/IPCC member

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony,
climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring
about justice and equality in the world.
— Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

The only way to get our society to truly change is to
frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.
— Professor Daniel Botkin

Jamais Cascio
Tools for a Better World (TED talk)

Focusing only on possible negative outcomes can blind you to the very real possibility of success.

Effective approaches embody certain qualities:
A willingness to experiment
An appreciation of science.

Evelin Lindner

Pessimism is a luxury of good times…in difficult times, pessimism is a self-fulfilling, self-inflicted death sentence.


Since, in the long run, every planetary society will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.

Charles DeLint

The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it. ~ Charles DeLint

Douglas Adams

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

Henry Ford

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.


There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.

No Country For Old Men

You can’t stop what’s coming. It ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.

Henry Miller

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

Colman McCarthy

Everyone’s a pacifist between wars. It’s like being a vegetarian between meals.

Orson Welles

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

Orson Welles

The greatest barrier to communication is that we think we speak the same language.

67٪ of statistics are made up on the spot.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right.
A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice.
A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

seen on T-shirt
Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

California Appellate Judge Earl Johnson, Jr.
Poor people have access to the courts in the same sense that Christians had access to the lions.

Patrick Henry

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”

Buckminster Fuller

You never change anything by fighting the existing.
To change something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete.

Robert Harris

Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them. — pg 3

“Only three things count in oratory. Delivery, delivery, and again: delivery. — Demostenes, pg 7

. . . sometimes you have to start a fight to discover how to win it. — pg 187

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. — pg 199

You can always spot a fool, for he is the man who will tell you he knows who is going to win an election. — pg 299

Thomas Paine

Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

John Ruskin

In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed:

  • They must be fit for it.
  • They must not do too much of it.
  • And they must have a sense of success in it.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Consider for a moment that there are only three ways to change the trajectory of our lives, for better or worse: crisis, chance and choice.

Woody Allen

More than at any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

Jerry Pournelle

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

excerpt from commentary on the Archdruid’s blog 30 June 10

Positive thinking is only one door down from wishful thinking.

Robert Frost
“Two Tramps in Mud Time”
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes

Lao Tsu

A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him;
Worse when they despise him.
Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you;
But of a good leader, who talks little
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled
They will as say, “We did this ourselves.”


In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.


Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Frank Herbert

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

William Cooper

quoting a manual on managing people;

A nation, or world of people, who do not use their intelligence, are no better than animals who do not have intelligence, and thus are stakes on the table by choice and consent.

internet sig line

Madness has its toll; please have exact change.

Starvation Ridge by Risa Bear

He said that the core of any life worth living is self-respect. That one has to earn that through self-discipline. And that self-discipline requires clarity. All the rest follows.

A community almost always looks more than half backward, and so bumps into its future.

James Larkin
Inscribed on a statue on O’Connell St. in Dublin

The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.

Mark Twain

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

These four themes are presented in the order in which they influence each other, starting with idealism, which leads to an identity, which is defined by borders, that leads, finally and foundationally, to trust. — pg 96

cohousing will challenge individuals, in that people will have to grow in many ways to adapt and fit in. And the group is not there to take care of you, the group is there to maintain the function of the place and you have to figure out how to fit in. — pg 98

One member beautifully summed up the essential paradox of community when he said that the first quality that makes up a healthy community “comes [from] thinking beyond yourself and taking care of yourself at the same time.” — pg 104

Edward O. Wilson

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that
existed ten thousand years ago.
If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.


What I say is, that the real non-resistants can believe in direct action only, never in political action. For the basis of all political action is coercion; even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through.

Oscar Wilde

For fascinating women, sex is a challenge; for others, it is merely a defense.

Wendell Berry

Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be solved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints.

Martin Luther

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

Randy Pausch

Engineering isn’t about optimal solutions; it’s about doing the best you can with what you have.
It’s better to fail spectacularly, than to pass along and do something that’s mediocre.

You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs.

The metaphor I’ve used is that somebody’s going to push my family off a cliff pretty soon, and I won’t be there to catch them. And that breaks my heart, but I have some time to sew some nets to cushion the fall, and that seems like the best and highest use of my time. So, I can curl up in a ball and cry, or I can get to work on the nets.

He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Randy, it’s such a shame that people perceive you as so arrogant, because it’s going to limit what you’re going to be able to accomplish in life.”

Proper apologies have three parts:
What I did was wrong
I feel bad I hurt you
How do I make it better?

A therapist gave her a kind of mantra to say: “Not helpful”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love without power is anemic and sentimental; power without love is reckless and abusive.

Ayn Rand

Remember that there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights.
Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual
men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not
own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property
rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever
claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is
claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Of course I believe in free will – I have no choice,

Ken Haslam

Nature loves diversity; society hates it.

Yogi Berra

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

Adrienne Rich

We are out in a country that has no language, no laws. Whatever we do together is pure invention. The maps they gave us are out-of-date by years. — Dreams of a Common Language

Ayn Rand

You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

Walter Williams

History is so yesterday.

Mignon McLaughlin

Men who don’t like women with brains don’t like women.


If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.

Steve Jobs

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect the dots looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference.

Davos Sherman Okst

It is not the smartest or the fittest that survive, it is those who notice change first.

Ernst Fischer

In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable, and help to change it.


If you give an Engineer a problem, no matter how difficult or complicated, if he looks at it long enough, and in the right light, he can always find a way to make it more complicated.

Barak Obama

I am asking you to believe, not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington . . . I’m asking you to believe in yours.

Kort E Patterson

Increasing percentages of the population live in a “black box”
civilization where they lack any meaningful understanding of how the
systems and technologies they routinely depend on actually work. As
Arther C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic”. As the technology becomes
indistinguishable from magic, so too magic becomes indistinguishable
from technology. Lacking a factual understanding of how the black boxes
around them actually work, the population becomes increasingly
susceptible to charlatans and scoundrels claiming to have magical powers
over the black boxes.

Lilla Watson

If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together.

Paul Newman

If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.

Viktor Frankl

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Mark Twain

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

W. B. Gillett

When it comes to money, politicians are exactly like
teenagers; they have no real idea where it comes from, and they never have enough of it.

Taylor Anderson

He wouldn’t enjoy being a freighter, but that was part of the responsibility of command: doing what you were told whether you wanted to or not. Duty was the same for anyone in the Navy, but with command came the added responsibility of inspiring an equally disgruntled crew with the importance of the task. Exuberance must be leavened with introspection, and at least the appearance of calm confidence. — pg 80 Maelstron


By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Roger Ebert

We are born into a box of time and space. We use words and communication to break out of it and reach out to others.

Mark Twain

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Daniel Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.

blog post

In theory, practice and theory are the same; in practice they are not.

Marco Tempest

Art is a deception that creates real emotions; a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.

Conan O’Brian

There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized…..it is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us, and makes us unique…if you accept your misfortune, and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention….whether you fear it, or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment, you can gain clarity, and through clarity, comes conviction, and true originality.

Katherine Hepburn

If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.

Ayn Rand

You can ignore reality,but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca

Maybe not today, but soon, and for the rest of our life.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.

paraphrase of Peter Drucker

The goal is to make our individual strengths more productive, and our individual weaknesses less relevant.

John Michael Greer

Optimization works fine, until it doesn’t. Redundancy works, period.

Richard Hoskins

The things that are going to happen in the future have already happened in the past.

Francis Bacon

Your true self can be known only by systematic experimentation, and controlled only by being known.

Giambattista Vico

We can truly know only what we make.

Maggie Mayhem

Every generation comes into adulthood with a new context.

Performers are in a position where they have to learn the power of this reciprocal exchange in order to experience even the smallest amount of triumph and that strategy tends to spills over into the bedroom.

Years into my own little quest to better understand myself and my relationship to my culture, my world, and my universe I’m just now starting to realize how genuinely difficult it is to carve out a vessel for your ideas.

I don’t just approach art, or sex, or performance with the “play from your fucking heart” attitude, I try to approach every interaction I have with other people from my heart and I want them to do the same. If we could all stop being so willing to lie about ourselves as often as we do at least we we would know where we stand and there is no telling what we might accomplish from playing from our fucking hearts together.


Bret Stephens

In politics, a failure of communication is always the fault of the communicator.


Vision without funding is hallucination.
‒ Da Hsuan Feng – UT Dallas

Vision without hardware is delusion.
‒ Lockheed engineer

General George S. Patton, Jr.

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead.

Mark Steyn

Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically.


I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. — From Walden


Fiction measures our expectations, not our prospects.– from Archdriud’s blog comment 31 Aug 11


From Bujold…that “Reputation is what others know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Guard your honor and let your reputation fall where it may.” And in the same passage, that it hurt more to have a good reputation when your honor is in shreds, than vice versa.
a preacher’s kid. learning her most valuable ethics lessons from sf writers.

Elder Frederick Evans, Mount Leganon, 1873

We ought to get on without the use of outside labor. Then we should be confined to such enterprises as are best for us.

from an email sig

English doesn’t borrow from other languages ‒ English follows other languages down dark alleys and takes what it wants.

Moe Lane

Those interested in using fiction to pass along their ideas, take note:
the reason that most fail at it is because while many people may write
books to promulgate ideas, most people read books to be entertained.

email sig line

Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.

John Michael Greer

The four powers of the mage are to know, to will, to dare, and to be silent — one of my teachers used to use a rather more colorful phrase for “be silent”!

Donald Halcom’s mother

“Son, life is about only one thing. It is about choosing. The choices are what you will do and what you will not do. Either way, you have to live with the consequences. Choose wisely.”

Howard Kunstler

Reality is a harsh mistress. She insists that you pay attention and then, having done so, take care of business.

Japanese ideal

bunbu ichi- “pen and sword in harmony”

Floyd Norris

Becoming very rich can show that you are a genius.
But thinking you are a genius can turn out to be a very
expensive folly.

anon, quoted by Steve Stirling

Maternity is a fact, paternity is an opinion.

de Tocqueville

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.

anon from Gasification List

Prison bars do the confining, allowing the prisoner a mental freedom
not possible in schools, where an endless barrage of assignments,
lectures, questions and tests, serve the same purpose, under the guise
of education, while distracting as efficiently as the cracking of
whips, keeping the imprisoned from discovering and pursuing their
passions or noticing that there are no real bars——and by the time
they might realize the purpose of their confinement, it is too late.


Gregory Rabassa

Every act of communication is an act of translation.

from “If This Be Treason”


People fall not from their weaknesses, but from their strengths gone to excess.

Bill Black

Justice is truth in action.

Edmund Burke

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

John Weber

Faulty definitions create false hopes and dead end decisions.

John Maynard Keynes

There is no subtler, surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.

John Gardner

Nations that place a higher value on philosophy than on plumbing will end up with a society in which neither the theories nor the pipes hold water.

Fred Reed

For unintelligent children, the study of anything beyond minimal reading
is a waste of time, since they will learn little or nothing more. For
the intelligent, a public schooling is equivalent to tying an anchor to
a student swimmer. The schools are an impediment to learning, a torture
of the bright, and a form of negligent homicide against a country that
needs trained minds in a competitive world.

Woody Allen

Sex without Love is a meaningless experience, but as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty damn good.


For us there is no victory; there are only battles. And in the end, the best you can hope for is to find a place to make your stand. And if you’re very lucky, you find someone willing to stand with you.

Francis B. Carpenter

No nobler reply ever fell from the lips of a ruler, than that uttered by President Lincoln in response to the clergyman who ventured to say, in his presence, that he hoped “the Lord was on our side.”
“I am not at all concerned about that,” replied Mr. Lincoln, “for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” — Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln

Indira Gandhi

Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now.You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.

John F. Kennedy

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.

Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you
want to test a man’s character, give him power.

George Bernard Shaw

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.


I’m a dog person because being a cat person just translates to dying alone.

Ayn Rand

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.

John Dewey

The givens of experience are not given. They are taken! With great difficulty!

John Manyard Keynes

It is better for one’s reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
but remember that what you now have was once among
the things you only hoped for.

The West Wing

Cause it’s next. ‘Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what’s next.

Emma Goldman

If voting changed anything it would be illegal.

Albert Einstein

For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.

Abraham Lincoln

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Winston Churchill

The price of greatness is responsibility.

Earnest Hemingway

Write drunk; edit sober.

Niccolo Machiavelli

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

W. S. Merwin

On my last day on Earth, I’d like to plant a tree.

Nelson Mandela

When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.

Marcus Aurelius

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.


Nature is not benevolent; with ruthless indifference she makes all things serve their purpose.

Dresden James

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.

Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

Anais Nin

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Bumper sticker

In combat there are no unwounded soldiers.

Timothy McFadden

The nuns at my parochial school were a bunch of wimp Maryknollers, endlessly prattling on about “Just walk away from them/ignore them” which, I discovered, was simply giving the bullies another opportunity to hit me from behind. I sent my sons to tae kwon do classes and taught them they weren’t allowed to start any fights, but they were required to finish them.

J.R.R. Tolkein

Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. ‒ Lord of the Rings, Book IV, Ch 1

Mohandas Gandhi

Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. ‒ Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446


I believe everything happens for a reason. Often, the reason is somebody screwed up.


Life is a series of decisions made in seconds with vastly insufficient data and then living with the consequences.

Friedrich Hayek

Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

It is not physical solitude that actually separates one from others, not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you off from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others, too. — Gift From the Sea

Theodore Roosevelt

The Creeks owed the land which they possessed to murder and rapine; they
mercilessly destroyed all weaker communities, red or white; they had no idea of
showing justice or generosity toward their fellows who lacked their strength,
and now the measure they had meted so often to others was at last to be meted to

Not only were the Indians very terrible in battle, but they were cruel beyond
all belief in victory; and the gloomy annals of border warfare are stained with
their darkest hues because it was a war in which helpless women and children
suffered the same hideous fate that so often befell their husbands and fathers.

It was a war waged by savages against armed settlers, whose families followed
them into the wilderness. Such a war is inevitably bloody and cruel; but the
inhuman love of cruelty for cruelty’s sake, which marks the red Indian above all
other savages, rendered these wars more terrible than any others.

For the hideous, unnamable, unthinkable tortures practiced by the red men on
their captured foes, and on their foes’ tender women and helpless children . . .
All men knew that the prisoners who fell into Indian hands, of whatever age or
sex, often suffered a fate hideous and revolting beyond belief and beyond

It was inevitable‒indeed it was in many instances proper‒that such deeds should
awake in the breasts of the whites the grimmest, wildest spirit of revenge and

Unless we were willing that the whole continent west of the Alleghanies should
remain an unpeopled waste, the hunting-ground of savages, war was inevitable;
and even had we been willing, and had we refrained from encroaching on the
Indians’ lands, the war would have come nevertheless, for then the Indians
themselves would have encroached on ours.

Every good hunting-ground was claimed by many nations. It was rare, indeed,
that any tribe had an uncontested title to a large tract of land; where such
title existed, it rested not on actual occupancy and cultivation, but on the
recent butchery of weaker rivals. For instance, there were a dozen tribes, all
of whom hunted in Kentucky, and fought each other there, all of whom had equally
good titles to the soil, and not one of whom acknowledged the right of any
other; as a matter of fact they had therein no right, save the right of the

The land no more belonged to them than it belonged to Boone and the white
hunters who first visited it.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President, The Winning of the West Volume I: From
the Alleghanies to the Mississippi 1769-1776

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

Paulo Coelho

The meaning of life is to give life meaning.

from a Tumblr post

Here’s some serious advice. Even the nicest people have their limits. Don’t try to reach that point because the nicest people are also the scariest assholes when they’ve had enough. Demons run when a good man goes to war.

Fidel Castro, then age 40; January 1967 Playboy Interview.

But perhaps I will fall into the habit that comes to all of us, of
thinking that the younger generation is bungling everything. That is a
mania characteristic of all old people – but I’m going to remain alert
against it.

Queenie in Lark Rise to Candleford

What a person truly believes isn’t what they think or say, it’s what they do.

Ludwig van Beethoven

To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.

Hugh Laurie

It’s a terrible thing. I think in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.

Charles Darwin

…ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. — The Descent of Man

Paulo Coelho

When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona

A ‘Liberal Paradise’ would be a place where everybody has guaranteed
employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free
housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only Law Enforcement has guns.
And believe it or not, such a place does indeed exist …… It’s called

from the soldier-sailor-mermaid-spy blog

A smooth sea never made a skillful sailer.

James Owen

If you want to do something, no one can stop you from it. If you don’t want to do it, no one can help you.

The Fight, and Fate

The trick, kiddo,” his mom replies slowly. “Is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.”

Reggie Ray

We have to realize that there may not be very much more time for us that we’re physically alive. We don’t have time to be slightly meaningful and do things that everybody else thinks are great but in our hearts we know are a waste of time. We have to pare away the things that are not essential and make room for life.”

Susan M. Dodd

Luck is largely a matter of paying attention.

C.L. De Montesquieu (1689-1755)

The deterioraation of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. — The Spirit of the Laws, VIII, 1752

John D. Rickefeller

A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.

Harriet Tubman

I freed hundreds of slaves. And I could have freed hundreds more if they had but known they were slaves.

Jesse Williams

Please disabuse yourself of the notion that my purpose on earth is to tuck ignorance in at night.

Anais Nin

Life expands or contracts in proportion to one’s courage.

motto of the Special Operations Association

You have never lived, until you have almost died. For those who fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.

from an article by Sasha Ross

A queer understanding of gender is, to paraphrase queer theorist Monique Wittig, that “everyone has their own gender.”

an Italian saying

se non è vero, è ben trovato. Roughly translated: if it’s not true, it’s a good story.

C.S. Lewis

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.

Simon Black

Enjoy the party, but dance near the door.

Umberto Stefanini

Most of the sex in the world, I think, happens in relationships where the integrity of the relationship depends in part on the quality of the sex life associated with it.

Albert Einstein

As far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Bertrand Russell

Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas: its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations, without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved.

–The ABC of Relativity

Ayn Rand

When robbery is done in open daylight by sanction of the law, as it is done today, then any act of honor or restitution has to be hidden underground.

Neal Stephenson

But more importantly, it comes out of the fact that, during this century, intellectualism failed, and everyone knows it. In places like Russia and Germany, the common people agreed to loosen their grip on traditional folkways, mores, and religion, and let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abbatoir. Those wordy intellectuals used to be merely tedious; now they seem kind of dangerous as well. –In The Beginning Was The Command Line


We must hate – hatred is the basis of Communism. — 1923 Speech to the Commissars of Education

Adam Smith

We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the summer air. We know, by the rules, that at some moment the Black Horsemen will come shattering through the great terrace doors, wreaking vengeance and scattering the survivors. Those who leave early are saved, but the ball is so splendid no-one wants to leave while there is still time, so that everyone keeps asking, “What time is it? What time is it?” But none of the clocks have any hands. — Supermoney

E. B. White

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.

Jeff Fischer

Individual liberty can only be built on a foundation of individual responsibility.

Sir Thomas More

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake! “

Ayn Rand

In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only
against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the
initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of
physical force a moral imperative.

Danny Hillis, writing in Wired, summarizing Stewart Brand

I think of the oak beams in the ceiling of College Hall at New College, Oxford. Last century, when the beams needed replacing, carpenters used oak trees that had been planted in 1386 when the dining hall was first built. The 14th century builder had planted the trees in anticipation of the time, hundreds of years in the future, when the beams would need replacing. Did the carpenters plant new trees to replace the beams again a few hundred years from now?

Scientific American, June 1850

One great and growing sin of a national character is an inordinate desire to get rich and rich in a hurry. As wealth is the only aristocracy in America, every man seems bent on attaining to that important distinction. The ‘haste to get rich’ fosters a speculative spirit, and men rush hap-hazard into schemes for the sudden acquisition of wealth. Bubbles are blown, consequently, all around us. The man who amasses wealth thus suddenly rarely retains it, while his momentary success lures thousands to the same delusive pursuits. What can be more fatal to society than such practices?

Henry Ford

Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.

Richard Feynman

Science is a belief in the ignorance of experts.

full text of Chinese curse

May you live in interesting times, attract the attention of important people and get exactly what you want.

Abraham Lincoln

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race…– Fourth Debate, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858

L. Neil Smith

One of the sadder facts of human existence is that power will get you
through times of no brains better than brains will get you through
times of no power.

Grover Cleveland

I will not be a party to stealing money from one group of citizens to
give to another group of citizens, no matter what the need or apparent
justification. Once the coffers of the federal government are opened
to the public there will be no shutting them again. It is the
responsibility of the citizens to support their government; it is not
the responsibility of the government to support its citizens.

The average university is a sanctuary in which exploded systems
and obsolete prejudices find shelter and protection after they
have been hunted out of every other corner of the world.

Martin Luther King, Jr

During the Christmas holidays of 1949 I decided to spend my spare time reading Karl Marx to try to understand the appeal of communism for many people. For the first time I carefully scrutinized Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. I also read some interpretative works on the thinking of Marx and Lenin. In reading such Communist writings I drew certain conclusions that have remained with me as convictions to this day. First, I rejected their materialistic interpretation of history. Communism, avowedly secularistic and materialistic, has no place for God. This I could never accept, for as a Christian, I believe that there is a creative personal power in the universe who is the ground and essence of all reality-a power that cannot be explained in materialistic terms. History is ultimately guided by spirit, not matter.

Second, I strongly disagreed with communism’s ethical relativism. Since for the Communist there is no divine government, no absolute moral order, there are no fixed, immutable principles; consequently almost anything-force, violence murder, lying-is a justifiable means to the ‘millennial’ end. This type of relativism was abhorrent to me. Constructive ends can never give absolute moral justification to destructive means, because in the final analysis the end is preexistent in the means.

Third, I opposed communism’s political totalitarianism. In communism, the individual ends up in subjection to the state. True, the Marxists would argue that the state is an ‘interim’ reality which is to be eliminated when the classless society emerges; but the state is the end while it lasts, and man is only a means to that end. And if man’s so-called rights and liberties stand in the way of that end, they are simply swept aside. His liberties of expression, his freedom to vote, his freedom to listen to what news he likes or to choose his books are all restricted. Man becomes hardly more, in communism, than a depersonalized cog in the turning wheel of the state.

This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”

— Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

bell hooks

To create loving men, we must love males. Loving maleness is different from praising and rewarding males for living up to sexist-defined notions of male identity. Caring about men because of what they do for us is not the same as loving males for simply being. When we love maleness, we extend our love whether males are performing or not. Performance is different from simply being. In patriarchal culture males are not allowed simply to be who they are and to glory in their unique identity. Their value is always determined by what they do. In an anti-patriarchal culture males do not have to prove their value and worth. They know from birth that simply being gives them value, the right to be cherished and loved.”

Robert Heinlein

There are but two ways of forming an opinion in science. One is the scientific method; the other, the scholastic. One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.

Robert Conquest

The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Nikolai Bukharin

We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties. — writing in 1917 after the Communists took over in Russia

Ace of Spades blog

The subconscious is where all decision making and beliefs are actually made. The conscious mind just makes up little stories and rationalizations to explain one’s beliefs “logically” to oneself.

old joke

In Heaven the mechanics are German, THE CHEFS ARE FRENCH, the police are British, THE LOVERS ARE ITALIAN and everything is organised by the Swiss.

In Hell the mechanics are French, the police are German, the chefs are British, the lovers are Swiss and everything is organised by the Italians.

James Russell Lowell

There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.

Ayn Rand

… there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property
rights”. No human rights can exist without property rights.
Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of
individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the
producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own
his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property
owned by The State. Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute”
the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat
human beings as chattel.

Daniel Dennett

A scholar is just a library’s way of making another library.

H.L. Mencken

The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.


When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

Rudyard Kipling

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Robert Heinlein

“…writing is antisocial. It’s solitary as masturbation. Disturb a writer when he is in the throes of creation and he is likely to turn and bite right to the bone…and not even know that he’s doing it. As writer’s wives and husbands often learn to their horror.
And – attend me carefully, Gwen! – there is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized. Or even cured. In a household with more than one person, of which one is a writer, the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private, and where food can be poked in at him with a stick. Because if you disturb the patient at such times, he may break into tears or become violent. Or he may not hear you at all…and if you shake him, he bites.”

Doublas Adams

“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.” and “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

Dr. Susan Crockford

“The more you know, the better your BS metre works. You don’t have to
know it all, you just have to know enough to say to yourself, wait
a minute. I need to check this claim more thoroughly before I accept
that it’s true.”

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. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

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. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

James Madison — Federalist 51

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court Justice, 1950

It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from
falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the
government from falling into error.

Calvin Coolidge

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Alexander Fraser Tytler

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.

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

Thomas Jefferson

Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which
they possess, or may assume. The public money and public liberty…will
soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold
them; distinguished, too, by this tempting circumstance, that they are the
instrument, as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get
men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money. Nor should our assembly
be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that these
unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed
to abuse them. They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant
one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our
origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them
through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the
people, and make them pay the price.


But learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you
more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die. Putting things off is
the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and
denies us the present by promising the future.
But life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past,
neglect the present, and fear the future. When they come to the end
of it, the poor wretches realise too late that for all this time they
have been preoccupied in doing nothing.

Johan Norberg

‘We have fallen upon evil times, politics is corrupt and the social fabric is fraying.’
Chaldean inscription dated 3,800 BC.

Rich Lowry

For [Van] Jones, the environmental movement is a perfect vehicle.
In today’s America, it is the most natural place for someone with
Marxist sensibilities and aspirations outside a college English
department. A frontal assault on capitalism on behalf of the working
people of the world is passe and doomed. A stealth assault on
capitalism in the name of saving the planet is chic and entirely
plausible. In this sense, green is the new red.”

Roger Kimball

…the socialist pretends to have glimpsed paradise on earth. Those
who decline the invitation to embrace the vision are not just
ungrateful; they are traitors to the cause of human perfection.

Dissent is therefore not mere disagreement but treachery. Treachery
is properly met not with arguments but (as circumstances permit)
the guillotine, the concentration camp, the purge.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A ‘Liberal Paradise’ would be a place where everybody has guaranteed
employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food,
free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only Law Enforcement
has guns. And believe it or not, such a place does indeed exist …… It’s
called prison.

attributed to Theodore Roosevelt

To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.


A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. 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.

C. S. Lewis

They probably have some vague notion (I will examine it in my next lecture) that valour and good faith and justice could be sufficiently commended to the pupil on what they would call ‘rational’ or ‘biological’ or ‘modern’ grounds, if it should ever become necessary. In the meantime, they leave the matter alone and get on with the business of debunking. But this course, though less inhuman, is not less disastrous than the opposite alternative of cynical propaganda. Let us suppose for a moment that the harder virtues could really be theoretically justified with no appeal to objective value. It still remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism. I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite sceptical about ethics, but bred to believe that ‘a gentleman does not cheat’, than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers. In battle it is not syllogisms that will keep the reluctant nerves and muscles to their post in the third hour of the bombardment. The crudest sentimentalism (such as Gaius and Titius would wince at) about a flag or a country or a regiment will be of more use. We were told it all long ago by Plato. As the king governs by his executive, so Reason in man must rule the mere appetites by means of the ‘spirited element’. “The head rules the belly through the chest — the seat, as Alanus tells us, of Magnanimity,” of emotions organized by trained habit into stable sentiments. The Chest-Magnanimity-Sentiment — these are the indispensable liaison officers between cerebral man and visceral man. It may even be said that it is by this middle element that man is man: for by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal.

Saul Alinsky

True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. They cut their hair, put on suits and inflitrate the system from within.

Polite Manual for Young Ladies, 1849

Novel-reading strengthens the passions, weakens the virtues, and
diminishes the power of self-control. Multitudes may date their ruin
from the commencement of this kind of reading, and many more, who have
been rescued from the snare, will regret, to the end of their days,
its influence in the early formation of their character.

Daniel Webster

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

From the Archdruid’s blog for Feb 22, 2017

Rather, the mind is a frail and unstable set of functions that surface now and then on top of other functions that are much older, stronger, and more enduring. What expresses itself through all these functions, in turn, is will: at the most basic primary level, as the will to exist; on a secondary level, as the will to live, with all the instincts and drives that unfold from that will; on a tertiary level, as the will to experience, with all the sensory and cognitive apparatus that unfolds from that will; and on a quaternary level, as the will to understand, with all the abstract concepts and relationships that unfold from that will.

Will Durant

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

Omar Mahood

Islamophobia is “a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”

Robert Lewis Dabney, 1897

It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent: Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation.
What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.
American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader
. . . . Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always when about to enter a protest very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance: The only practical purpose which it now serves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy, from having nothing to whip.
No doubt, after a few years, when women’s suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.”

Susan B. Anthony

Give us suffrage and we’ll give you socialism.

comment on Vox Popoli

Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are doomed to watch others repeat it.

G.K. Chesterton

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

Cato the Elder

Women want total freedom, or rather – to call things by their names – total license. If you allow them to achieve complete equality with men, do you think they will be easier to live with? Not at all. Once they are your fellows, they will become your masters.

In due course, my son Marcus, I shall explain what I found out in Athens about these Greeks, and demonstrate what advantage there may be in looking into their writings (while not taking them too seriously). They are a worthless and unruly tribe. Take this as a prophecy: when those folk give us their writings they will corrupt everything. All the more if they send their doctors here. They have sworn to kill all barbarians with medicine—and they charge a fee for doing it, in order to be trusted and to work more easily.

Terry Pratchett

People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds…Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.


Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.

P.J. O’Rourke

Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance.

Sharon Stone

You can only fuck your way to the middle.


“Socialism is where white atheists turn for religion.”

Corey Savage

Leftists never take responsibility for their own lives. This is why they must constantly blame others for their problems, cry for resources and sympathy, and expect everyone else to respect them when they deserve none. It’s no surprise that many of these individuals tend to be in favor of nanny-governments. They have no accountability, because they’ve been coddled all their lives, and because they view themselves as victims who need to be compensated for, the leftists have the most deranged and shameless sense of entitlement. They seem to think that the world owes them everything, which is why they have such arrogant and hostile attitude towards everyone else. The whole concept of working to earn something for yourself is lost to them.

Alice in Wonderland

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Isaac Asimov

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always
been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread
winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the
false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as
your knowledge.”

Charles Darwin

“There are two ways that a human being can feel confidence. One is knowledge, and the other is ignorance.”

song by The Mollies

“I got what I wanted, and lost what I needed.”

from the comment section

The Future is what you don’t see coming.

George Bernard Shaw

The theater is literally making the minds of the people today. it is a huge factory of sentiment, of character, of points of honor, of conceptions of conduct, of everything that finally determines the destiny of a nation. And yet, it is openly said that the theater is only “a place of amusement.” It is nothing of the kind. A theater is a place of culture, a place where people learn how to think, and feel; more important that all the schools in Christendom.

Bringham Young

Every man not married and over twenty-five is a menace to the community.

promo from The Man in the High Castle

The future belongs to those who change it.

Thomas Sowell

One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again.

comment section

Today’s educational philosophy is to provide an unbroken chain of successes for the pupils. But what can be learned when success is the only possible outcome of every endeavor? Why, that success comes without effort. That there is never a need to correct oneself, or to accept correction. Such people grow up into unteachable and useless adults.

Edwin Land

Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.

Dietrich Bonhoffer

‘Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

‘If we want to know how to get the better of stupidity, we must seek to understand its nature. This much is certain, that it is in essence not an intellectual defect but a human one. There are human beings who are of remarkably agile intellect yet stupid, and others who are intellectually quite dull yet anything but stupid. We discover this to our surprise in particular situations. The impression one gains is not so much that stupidity is a congenital defect, but that, under certain circumstances, people are made stupid or that they allow this to happen to them. We note further that people who have isolated themselves from others or who lives in solitude manifest this defect less frequently than individuals or groups of people inclined or condemned to sociability. And so it would seem that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem. It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions. Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or of a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence, and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.

‘Yet at this very point it becomes quite clear that only an act of liberation, not instruction, can overcome stupidity. Here we must come to terms with the fact that in must cases a genuine internal liberation becomes possible only when external liberation has preceded it. Until then we must abandon all attempts to convince the stupid person. This state of affairs explains why in such circumstances our attempts to know what ‘the people’ really thing are in vain and why, under these circumstances, this question is so irrelevant for the person who is thinking and acting responsibly. The word of the Bible that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom declares that the internal liberation of human beings to live the responsible life before God is the only genuine way to overcome stupidity.

‘But these thoughts about stupidity also offer consolation in that they utterly forbid us to consider the majority of people to be stupid in every circumstance. It really will depend on whether those in power expect more from people’s stupidity than from their inner independence and wisdom.’

seen on t-shirt

What good are wings without the courage to fly?

François Mitterrand

Being young doesn’t last very long. You spend a lot more time being old.

Hunter S. Thompson

The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage. –Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Winston Churchill

…if you will not fight for the 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 the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.—-“The Second World War”, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Chapter 19


Only a few prefer liberty; the majority seek nothing more than fair masters.

Charles James Napier, British general and Commander-in-Chief in India, speaking of the Indian custome of sati (widow burning)

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.


Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man claims the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay – and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Bill Mollison

The greatest change we need to make is from
consumption to production, even if on a small scale,
in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is
enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries
who have no gardens, who depend on the very system
they attack, and who produce words
and bullets, not food and shelter.

Mensa forum email list

According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about a woman is her eyes. Women say the first thing they notice about men is that they are a bunch of liars.

Comment on the Stirling email list

When we reach the point where arguments can not be settled by facts and reason we reach the point where only violence will settle them.

Albert Schmidt

The cowards never started. The weak died on the way. Only the strong arrived. They were the pioneers.


Beware the quiet man. For while others speak, he watches. While others act, he plans. And when they finally rest, he strikes.

Dr. David Livingston

When a Missionary Board wrote saying that they had some young men who wanted to join him in his work, and inquired whether there were any good roads leading to where he was, Dr. Livingston wrote back, “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

T.H. Watkins

A coast is where the dreaming begins. It is a place where the line between old and new, fact and myster, known and unknown is drawn more sharply than in any other landscape. It is here, where depths cannot be seen and distances only felt, that every seaborne journey, however brief, is a beginning‒and a possible ending. Those who are born and reared in such a setting do not look on the world with the same eyes as inland people. When they stand facing the sea, the land is behind them like yesterday, and what they watch, eyes squinting against the brassy glare of sun on water, is tomorrow.

Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Alliegance

On immigration and universal suffrage, Bellamy wrote in the editorial of The Illustrated American, Vol. XXII, No. 394, p. 258: “[a] democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth.” And further: “Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock. There are races more or less akin to our own whom we may admit freely and get nothing but advantage by the infusion of their wholesome blood. But there are other races, which we cannot assimilate without lowering our racial standard, which should be as sacred to us as the sanctity of our homes.”