Why of course the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a
farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is
to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people
don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for
that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the
leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple
matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist
dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship ... voice or no
voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and
denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Goering April 18, 1946 - Nuremberg trial
Taken from "Nuremberg Diary" by G.M. Gilbert
Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for
tomorrow we may have to eat them.
Rep. Morris Udall
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot.
Some problems are so complex that you have to be
highly intelligent and well informed just to be
undecided about them.
Laurence J. Peter
The truth does not change according to our ability
to stomach it.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well.
Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of
striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in
my name in a Swiss bank.
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
When you start off by telling those who disagree with you that they are not
merely in error but in sin, how much of a dialogue do you expect ?"
Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves.
Virgo: (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Certain shortcomings in your education and
upbringing cause you to read meaning into the relationships among various
"The Onion" horoscope column
The difference between America and England is that Americans think 100 years is
a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way.
Daphne: Oh, men use sex to get what they want too.
Frasier: How can men use sex to get what we want? Sex is what we want!
I like the little things, the way a glass feels in your hand, a good
glass, thick with a heavy base. I love the sound an ice cube makes when you
drop it from just the right height. Too high and it'll chip when you drop
it. Chip the ice and it'll melt too fast in the Scotch.
Leo McGarry - The West Wing
I'm an alcoholic, I don't have one drink. I don't understand people who
have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on
the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can
you have enough of feeling like this?
Leo McGarry - The West Wing
The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by
assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
Robert Conquest's Second Law of Politics
Power is the ability to control things, moral authority is the
ability to change things
There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of
success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of
things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old
order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the
Niccolo Macchiavelli, The Prince
There's a fine line between being on the leading edge and being in the lunatic fringe.
A preacher came to the town of Sodom and Gamorah to urge the inhabitants to
repent. He set up in the middle of the town. At first many residents of the
city came to hear the preacher teach the ways of God and appeal to the
people to change their ways. As each day went on less and less people came
to listen. People went on with their lives and ignored the preacher who
still stood in the same place in the city square. Finally a boy who
listened enthusiastically at first was the only remaining participant. He
came up the preacher and reproached him. "Why do you keep on talking? Give
up! No one cares what you have to say. The people don't want to change.
Don't you get that?"
The preacher responded to the boy, "Yes, I understand you. I know that no
one listens anymore. But I will tell you this. I stand here no longer
because I have any hope of changing them. Rather I stand here for myself. I
hope that if I can speak the truth I will stop them from changing me."
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.
Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.
W. Edwards Deming
I have always found that plans are useless, but
planning is indispensable.
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already
tomorrow in Australia.
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment, you must also be right.
Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide the lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.
Robert A. Heinlein
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth.... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it.
Dowsing: The use of a forked stick, pair of spoons or other item to locate and extract money from people who believe that water can be located and extracted using a forked stick, pair of spoons or other item.
When one is postulating correlations or causations extant in reality, one should always remember that the human brain is mainly a pattern recognition engine. And it is such a persistent pattern recognition engine that it often perceives patterns where none exist.
It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.
Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.
Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure
you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.
Sir Bernard Ingham
No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
How the teacher reacts when something goes wrong tells the class what's important.
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
The devil doesn’t need an advocate. The brave need supporters, not critics.
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
A modest little person, with much to be modest about.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time in reading it.
He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.
I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend… if you have one.
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.
Winston Churchill, in response
I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.
Irvin S. Cobb
He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.
He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.
He had delusions of adequacy.
There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.
Jack E. Leonard
He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them.
James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?
His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever…
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts… for support rather than illumination.
He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth
will destroy you.
Jesus Christ, The Gospel of Thomas
When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find far more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have been committed in the name of rebellion.
Evolution is cleverer than you are.
Orgel's Second Rule
You are what you pretend to be. So you'd better watch what you pretend.
Kurt Vonnegut Mother Night
There was, for example, the theory that A'Tuin had come from nowhere and would continue
at a uniform crawl, or steady gait, into nowhere, for all time. This theory was popular among
academics. An alternative, favoured by those of a religious persuasion, was that A'Tuin was
crawling from the Birthplace to the Time of Mating, as were all the stars in the sky which
were, obviously, also carried by giant turtles. When they arrived they would briefly and
passionately mate, for the first and only time, and from that fiery union new turtles would
be born to carry a new pattern of worlds. This was known as the Big Bang hypothesis.
Terry Pratchett The Colour of Magic
It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.
Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the
laws of nature!
Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people.
H. Richard Niebuhr
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has given us
sense, reason, and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.
It's not reality's job to satisfy our egos
Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can't be proved. They can only be tested again and again until only a fool would refuse to believe them.
A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. –
Search all the parks in all your cities; you'll find no statues of committees.
Legitimacy matters, and it comes both from legal authority or consent and from competent performance.
Samantha Power writing about Sergio Viera de Mello in "Chasing the Flame"
When you throw neutrality away, you better hope you've chosen the right side.
Sergio Viera de Mello
Fear is a bad adviser.
Sergio Viera de Mello
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This page last modified 23 August 2009