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    THE WEEKLY QUOTATION

September 13, 2017  Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof. (Ashley Montagu, 1905 - 1999)

September 6, 2017  Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed. (Thomas Huxley, 1825 - 1895)

August 30, 2017 The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books -- mine included -- because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened.
(James Lovelock, 1919 - )

August 23, 2017 By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out. (Richard Dawkins, 1941 - )

August 16, 2017 How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. (A. A. Milne --Winnie-the-Pooh -- 1882 - 1956)

August 9, 2017  I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion. (Baruch Spinoza 1632 - 1677)

August 2, 2017  Love is always being given where it is not required. (E. M. Forster, 1879 - 1970)

July 26, 2017  There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless. (W. Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

July 19, 2017 I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. (Lily Tomlin, 1939 - )

July 12, 2017  The great end of life is not knowledge, but action. (Francis Bacon, 161 - 1626)

July 5, 2017 Peddling false history from within the mantle of victimhood is perilously arrogant for those who claim special treatment based on history. (John Robson,  National Post, July 1, 2017 on aboriginal demands.)

June 28, 2017  The facts of life are conservative.  (Margaret Thatcher, 1925 - 2013)

June 21, 2017  Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.  (Francis Bacon, 1561 - 1626)

June 14, 2017  We would all like a reputation for generosity and we'd all like to buy it cheap. (Mignon McLaughlin, 1913 - 1983)

June 7, 2017 Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.  (H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

May 31, 2017 People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive. (E. O. Wilson, 1929 - )

May 24, 2017 The word 'racism' is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything -- and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist.' (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

May 17, 2017 The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom. (Milton Friedman, 1912 -2006)

May 10, 2017  It is one of the delights of the committedly progressive mind that it can never contemplate the notion of its own fallibility. (Rex Murphy, 1947 --. National Post May 5, 2017)

May 3, 2017  People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

April 26, 2017 As comedians, we are all laughing because life is so horrible. Life is so difficult, and I cope with it by making jokes about absolutely everything. (Joan Rivers,  1933 - 2014)

April 19, 2017 Hatreds not vowed and concealed are to be feared more than those openly declared. (Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 - 43 B.C.)

April 12, 2017 Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.)

April 5, 2017 Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver. (Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797)

March 29, 2017  Whatever the evolutionary basis of religion, the xenophobia it now generates is clearly maladaptive. (Lawrence Krauss 1954 -  )

March 22, 2017 Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. (Adam Smith, 1723 - 1790)

March 15, 2017 The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience. (Milton Friedman, 1912 - 2006)

March 8, 2017 At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. (George Orwell, 1903 - 1950)

March 1, 2017 Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. (William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616.  King Lear)

February 22, 2017 In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  (Often attributed to George Orwell, but not verified.)

February 15, 2017 One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. (Milton Friedman, 1912 - 2006)

February 8, 2017 All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.  (Edmund Burke, 1729 - 1797)

February 1, 2017 The idea that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods, which most experience refutes. History is teeming with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not put down forever, it may be set back for centuries.  (John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873)

January 25, 2017  How often misused words generate misleading thoughts. (Herbert Spencer, 1820 - 1903)

January 18, 2017 Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.  (H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

January 11, 2017 Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.  (Ronald Regan, 1911 - 2004)

January 4, 2017  Important principles may, and must, be inflexible. (Abraham Lincoln, 1809 - 1865)

December 28, 2016  Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous. (David Hume, 1711 -1776)

December 21, 2016 If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.  (W. C. Fields, 1880 - 1946)

December 14, 2016 The most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.  (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

December 7,  2016  If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.  (Voltaire, 1694 - 1778)

November 30, 2016 Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.  (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.)

November 23, 2016  If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

November 16, 2016  To hold a pen is to be at war. (Voltaire,  1694 - 1778) 

November 9, 2016  Sometime a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.  (E. O. Wilson, 1929 - )

November 2, 2016  The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin. (Thomas Huxley, 1825 - 1895)  

October 26, 2016  The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits. (Plutarch, 46 -  120)

October 19, 2016 Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals. (E. O. Wilson, 1929 - )

October 12, 2016  I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.  (Milton Friedman, 1912 - 2006)

October 5, 2016  In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker. (Plutarch, 46 - 120)

September 28, 2016 If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. (Modern Proverb)

September 21, 2016  To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.  (Voltaire,  1694 - 1778)

September 14, 2016  Impropriety is the soul of wit. (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

September 7, 2016 The welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites.  (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

August 31, 2016  The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.  (Bertrand Russell, 1872 - 1970)

August 24, 2016 One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

August 17, 2016 The genius, wit and the spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs.  (Francis Bacon, 1561 - 1626)

August 10, 2016  A moral monopoly is the antithesis of a marketplace of ideas.  (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

August 3, 2016  Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science, for its part, will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.  (E. O. Wilson, 1929 - )

July 27, 2016  Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

July 20, 2016 History teaches us that weakness arouses evil.  (Mike Pence, 1959 - )

July 13, 2016 It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.  (Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826)

July 6, 2016  Abstract sins one cannot defend against are the hallmarks of totalitarian states. (Barbara Kay, 1943 - ) (National Post, July 5, 2016)

June 29, 2016 The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government. (Milton Friedman,  1912 - 2006)

 June 22, 2016  What 'multiculturalism' boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture -- and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

June 15, 2016  The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. (Aristotle,  384 B.C. - 322 B.C.)

June 8, 2016 Don't talk about yourself; it will be done when you leave. (Wilson Mizner, 1876 -1933)

June 1, 2016 Religious beliefs evolved by group-selection, tribe competing against tribe, and the illogic of religions is not a weakness but their essential strength. (E. O. Wilson, 1929 - )

May 25, 2016 The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.  (Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805 - 1859)

May 18, 2016 For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

May 11, 2016 If there is no struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass, 1817 - 1895)

May 4, 2016  A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. (Milton Friedman, 1912 - 2006)

April 27, 2016  The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.  (George Orwell, 1903 - 1950)

April 20, 2016 Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.  (Seneca, 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.)

April 13,  2016  People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made. (Joan Rivers, 1933 - 2014)

April 6, 2016  All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.  (Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 - 1849)

March 30, 2016  Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.  (Carl Jung, 1873 - 1961)

March 23, 2016  The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.  (Charles Darwin, 1809 - 1882)

March 16, 2016  If you want to know what God thinks of money,  just look at the people he gave it to.  (Dorothy Parker, 1893 -1967)

March 9, 2016  I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations. (Galileo Galilei, 1564 - 1642)

March 2, 2016  Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.  (Thomas Paine, 1737 - 1809)

February 24, 2016  Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf. (George Orwell, 1903 - 1950)

February 17, 2016  Success has always been a great liar.  (Friedrich Nietzsche,  1844 - 1900) 

February 10, 2016  Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.  (George Santayana, 1863 - 1952)

February 3, 2016  I have the knack of easing scruples. (Molière, 1622 - 1673)

January 27, 2016  Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950)

January 20, 2016  I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)

January 13, 2016 Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.  (William F. Buckley, Jr. 1925 - 2008)

January 6, 2016  A woman telling her true age is like a buyer confiding his final price to an Armenian rug dealer.  (Mignon McLaughlin, 1913 - 1983)   

December 30, 2015  In the end, more than the freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom.  When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again. (Edward Gibbon, 1737 - 1794)

December 23, 2015 The more I see of men the more I like dogs. (Madame de Stael, 1766 - 1817)

December 16, 2015 It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.  (Joseph Joubert, 1754 -1824)

December 9, 2015   How easy it is to make people believe a lie and how hard it is to undo that work again!  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)

December 2, 2015 Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth. (Horace Walpole, 1717 - 1797)

November 25, 2015  Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration. (William Hazlitt, 1778 - 1830)

November 18, 2015  If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.  (Sun Tzu, 544 B.C. - 496 B.C.)

November 11, 2015  He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass.  (Edgar Fielder, 1929 - 2003)

November 4, 2015  Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

October 28, 2015  If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. (Milton Friedman, 1912 - 2006)

October 21, 2015 Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good. (Thomas Sowell, 1930 - )

October 14, 2015  But at my back I always hear
                               Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
                               And yonder all before us lie
                               Deserts of vast eternity.                 (Andrew Marvell, 1621 - 1678)

October 7, 2015  Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts. (Claire Boothe Luce, 1903 - 1987)

September 30, 2015 An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.  (Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790)

September 23, 2015 The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.  (Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963)

September 16, 2015 Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.  (James Russell Lowell, 1819 - 1891)

September 9, 2015  Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.  (Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963)

September 2, 2015  No man is the wiser for his learning; it may administer matter to work in, or objects to work upon; but wit and wisdom are born with a man.  (John Selden, 1584 - 1654)

August 26, 2015  The nervous system and the automatic machine are fundamentally alike in that they are devices which make decisions on the basis of decisions they made in the past.  (Norbert Weiner, 1894 - 1964)

August 19, 2015  The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. (Winston Churchill, 1874 - 1965)

August 12, 2015  Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill, 1874 - 1965)

August 5, 2015  All cruelty springs from weakness.  (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 5 B.C. - 65 A.D.)

July 29, 2015 A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions. (Wilson Mizner, 1876 - 1933)

July 22, 2015  Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.  (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 5 B.C. - 65 A.D.)

July 15, 2015  There is something about a closet that makes a skeleton terribly restless.  (Wilson Mizner, 1876 - 1933)

July 8, 2015 Liberalism is a religion. Its tenets cannot be proved, its capacity for waste and destruction demonstrated. But it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost.  (David Mamet, 1947 - )

July 1, 2015 No great thing is created suddenly.  (Epictetus, 55 - 135)

June 24, 2015 A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.  (Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790)

June 17, 2015  Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well. (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)  We prefer another version: Never put off till tomorrow what can be put off till the day after.

June 10, 2015  To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.  (Isaac Asimov, 1920 - 1992)

June 3, 2015  If evil be spoken of you, and it be true, correct yourself; if it be a lie, laugh at it.  (Epictetus, 55 - 135)

May 27, 2015  For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.  (Carl Sagan, 1934 - 1996)

May 20, 2015  Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.  (Franz Kafka, 1883 - 1924)

May 13, 2015 You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.  (Aldous Huxley, 1894 - 1963)

May 6, 2015 A friend to all is a friend to none. (Aristotle, 384 - 322 B.C.)

April 29, 2015 Fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity. (Edward Gibbon,  1737 - 1794)

April 22, 2015  Science rests on reason and experiment, and can meet an opponent with calmness; but a belief is always sensitive. (James Anthony Froude, 1818 - 1894)

April 15, 2015 The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game.  (Karl Popper, 1902 - 1994)

April 8, 2015  Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712 - 1778)

March 31, 2015 Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.  (Albert Camus, 1913 - 1960) (Cf. Francis Bacon, February 23, 2011)

March 24, 2015  My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be the servants of their human interests. (George Santayana, 1863 - 1952)

March 17, 2015  In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 - 1900)

March 11, 2015  Nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness.  (Andre Gide, 1869 - 1951)

March 4, 2015  Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence. (Aristotle, 384 - 322 B.C.)

February 25, 2015  You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.  (P.J. O'Rourke, 1947 - )

February 18, 2015  But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom. (Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805 - 1859)

February 11, 2015  Life is hard. After all, it kills you. (Katharine Hepburn, 1907 - 2003)

February 4, 2015  The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see. (Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982)

January 28, 2015  America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. (Abraham Lincoln,  1809 - 1865)

January 21, 2015    No memory of having starred         
                                 Atones for later disregard
                                 Or keeps the end from being hard.   (Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963. From Provide, Provide.)

January 14, 2015 Faith: not wanting to know what is true.  (Frederick Nietzsche, 1844 -1900)

January 7, 2015 Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably aboreal in its habits. (Charles Darwin,  1809 - 1882)

December 31, 2015 I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science: The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.  (Stephen Hawking, 1942 - )

December 24, 2014 Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.  (Joseph Campbell, 1904 - 1987)

December 17, 2014 Fortune befriends the bold.  (Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886)

December 10, 2014  Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.  (Aristotle, 384 - 322 B.C.)

December 3, 2014 ...nothing that you will earn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life -- save only this -- that if you work hard and intelligently, you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole purpose of education. (John Alexander Smith, 1863 - 1939)

November 26, 2014 Men create gods after their own image, not only with respect to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.  (Aristotle, 384 - 322 B.C.)

November 19, 2014 It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously. (H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

November 12, 2014   Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages. (Samuel Johnson, 1709- 1784. The Idler, 1758)
                                   Also: The first casualty when war comes is truth. (Hiram Johnson, 1866 - 1945)

November 5, 2014  Life is a long lesson in humility.  (James M. Barrie,  1860 - 1937)

October 29, 2014  They are always saying God loves us. If that's love, I'd rather have a bit of kindness.  (Graham Greene, 1904 - 1991)

October 22, 2014  Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.  (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

October 15, 2014  Fiscal reality trumps utopian ideology every time. (Philip Cross, ? Former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada.)

October 8, 2014  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  (Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892 - 1971)

October 1, 2014   I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy. (Richard Feynman, 1918 -1988)
 
September 25, 2014  Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.  (Voltaire, 1694 - 1778)

September 17, 2014  What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?  (Diogenes, 412 - 323 B.C.)

September 10, 2014 That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.  (Aldous Huxley, 1894 -1963)

September 3, 2014 If you have to invoke a distant past to justify a present grievance, the case for the grievance is already undermined.  (David Horowitz, 1939 - )

August 27, 2014  Atheism is a non-prophet organization.  (George Carlin, 1937 - 2008)

August 20, 2014  Our life is made by the death of others. (Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 - 1519)

August 13, 2014  On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. ( [The prophetic] H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

August 6, 2014 Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. (G. K. Chesterton, 1874 - 1936)  (cf. October 17, 2013)

July 30, 2014 Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)

July 23, 2014 When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear, and life stands explained.  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)

July 16, 2014  To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.  (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 - 1900)

July 9, 2014  From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.  (Immanuel Kant, 1724 - 1804)

July 2, 2014 Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.  (Aldous Huxley, 1894 - 1963)

June 25, 2014 A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. (Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963)

June 18, 2014 Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long. (Ogden Nash, 1902 - 1971)

June 11, 2014 Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor. (Horace, 65 - 8 B.C.)

June 4, 2014 Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.  (Aldous Huxley,  1894 - 1963) (Cf. October 10, 2013)

May 28, 2014 So, two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety, and two because it permits criticism.  (E. M. Forster,  1879 - 1970)

May 21, 2014  (a) The artist in me cries out for design. (Robert Frost,  1874 - 1963)

                         (b) What but design of darkness to appall? --
                               If design govern in a thing so small.  (from Design, 1922)

May 14, 2014 What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature!  (Charles Darwin, 1809 - 1882)

May 7, 2014 Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.  (H. G. Wells, 1866 - 1946)

April 30, 2014 The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.  (Ronald Regan, 1911 - 2004)

April 23, 2014 You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. (Mario Cuomo, 1932 - 2015)

April 16, 2014  But, once you get a taste for shutting people up, it's hard to stop.  Why bother winning the debate when it's easier to close it down? (Mark Steyn, 1959 - )

April 9, 2014  I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government. (Woody Allen, 1935 - )

April 2, 2014 Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. (Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 - 1519)

March 26, 2014 During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.  (George Orwell, 1903 -- 1950)

March 19, 2014  Big Government is the small option: it's the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives.  (Mark Steyn, 1959 - )

March 12, 2014 The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build.  (Margaret Thatcher, 1925 - 2013)

March 5, 2014 The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. (Thomas Huxley, 1825 - 1895)

February 26, 2014 No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.  (Jacob Bronowski, 1908 - 1974)

February 19, 2014 The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.  (Herbert Spencer, 1820 - 1903)

February 12, 2014 When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.  (Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826)

February 5, 2014 I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.  (Richard Dawkins, 1941 - )

January 29, 2014  The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. (Margaret Thatcher, 1925 - 2013)

January 22, 2014 Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon us like an intruder, and meets the intruder's welcome. (Charles Mackay, 1812 -1889)

January 15, 2014 I like the word 'indolence.' It makes my laziness seem classy.  (Bernard Williams, 1929 - 2003)

January 8, 2014 Every failure is a step to success. (William Whewell, 1794 - 1866)

January 1, 2014 All good art is an indiscretion.  (Tennessee Williams, 1911 -1983)

December 25, 2013 Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth. (Lillian Hellman, 1905 - 1984)

December 18, 2013 Only a mediocre person is always at his best. (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

December 11, 2013 The moment you introduce a despotism in the world of thought, you succeed in making hypocrites -- and you get in such a position that you never know what your neighbor thinks. (Robert G. Ingersoll, 1833 - 1899)

December 4, 2013 There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven. (Robert G. Ingersoll, 1833 - 1899)

November 27, 2013 ...governments, including free and democratic governments, are not really friendly to freedom and democracy. They abhor any rule of law that limits their powers and penchant for social engineering.
                                      (George Jonas, 1935 - 2015)

November 20, 2013  Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.   (Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982)

November 13, 2013  The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. (Tacitus, 56 - 117)

November 6, 2013 The free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism. (Charles Krauthammer, 1950 - )

October 31, 2013 Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)

October 24, 2013 Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.  (Groucho Marx, 1890 - 1977)

October 17, 2013  Tolerance is another word for indifference.  (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

October 10, 2013 The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. (H.L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

October 3, 2013  The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.  (Gore Vidal, 1925 - 2012)

September 25, 2013  So it may be with me...
                                   I shall complete this mortal year, and gain
                                   Some golden still September of the soul
                                   Whose harvest-tide brings ripeness of the whole.  (Nathaniel A. Benson, 1903 -1967)

September 18, 2013  Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910) 

September 11, 2013  Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.  (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950)

September 4, 2013  Gratitude is merely the secret hope of future favours.  (La Rochefoucauld, 1613 - 1680)

August 28, 2013  It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.  (Voltaire, 1694 - 1778)

August 21, 2013  That government is best which governs least. (Henry David Thoreau, 1817 - 1862)

August 14, 2013  A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 - 1900)

August 7, 2013  When people are bewildered, they tend to become credulous.  (Calvin Coolidge, 1872 - 1933)

July 31, 2013  The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.  (Edward Gibbon, 1737 - 1794)

July 24, 2013 An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia. (Thomas B. Macaulay, 1800 - 1859)

July 17, 2013  The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.  (Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

July 10, 2013  I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.  (Woody Allen, 1935 - )

July 3, 2013  Life isn't like a book. Life isn't logical, or sensible, or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time.  (Charles Caleb Colton, 1780 - 1832)

June 26, 2013  Jesters do often prove prophets. (Joseph Addison, (1672 - 1719)

June 19, 2013  Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 - 1900)

June 12, 2013 Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it. (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804 - 1864)  (Cf. May 24, 2011)

June 5, 2013  The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless. ( Steven Weinberg, 1933 - )

May 29, 2013  Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.  (Gore Vidal, 1925 - 2012) (See also October 31, 2012)

May 22, 2013  Fools admire, but men of sense approve.  (Alexander Pope, 1688 - 1744)

May 15, 2013  Criticism is prejudice made plausible.  (H. L. Mencken, 1880 - 1956)

May 8, 2013 People ask for criticism, but they want only praise.  (W. Somerset Maugham, 1874 - 1965)

May 1, 2013 It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. (Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862)

April 24, 2013 Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

April 17, 2013 The more refined one is, the more unhappy.  (Anton Chekov, 1860 - 1904)

April 10, 2013 If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank. (Woody Allen, 1935 - )

April 3, 2013 Dream in a pragmatic way.  (Aldous Huxley, 1894 - 1963)

March 27, 2013 Everything popular is wrong.  (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -1900)

March 20, 2013 The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. (Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)

March 13, 2013 The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. (Richard Dawkins, 1941 - )

March 6, 2013 There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe them.  (George Orwell, 1903 - 1950)

February 28, 2013 Socialism means slavery.  (Lord Acton, 1834 - 1902)

February 21, 2013 Praise from the common people is generally false, and rather follows the vain than the virtuous. (Francis Bacon, 1561 -1626)

February 14, 2013 Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are affected. (Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790)

February 7, 2013 I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 - 1900)

January 30, 2013 The general purpose of this paper, is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation...(Richard Steele, 1672-1729, in describing The Tatler)

January 23, 2013 Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.  (George Orwell, 1903 -1950) Oddly, we were only able to find the source of:  If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear -- from a proposed preface to Animal Farm.)

January 16, 2013 His smile is like the silver plate on a coffin. (John Philpot Curran, 1750 - 1817)

January 9, 2013 I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.  (Voltaire, 1694 - 1778)

January 2, 2013 The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

December 26, 2012 Where error is irreparable, repentance is useless. (Edward Gibbon, 1737 - 1794)

December 19, 2012 Whoever would lie usefully should lie seldom.  (Lord Hervey, 1696 - 1743)

December 12, 2012 This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. (Horace Walpole, fourth Earl of Orford, 1717 - 1797)

December 5, 2012 I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. (Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826)

November 28, 2012  The theologian may indulge in the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discover the inevitable mixture of  error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon Earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings. (Edward Gibbon, 1737 - 1794)

November 21, 2012  Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius. (Edward Gibbon, 1737 - 1794)

November 14, 2012 He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950)

November 7, 2012 I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. (Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826)

October 31, 2012 In the misfortune of our friends we find something that is not displeasing to us. (La Rochefoucauld, 1613 - 1680)

October 24, 2012 Politics is the art of the possible. (Prince Bismarck, 1815 - 1898)

October 17, 2012  Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
                               The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
                               Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
                               And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

                               Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
                               The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
                               Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
                               Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.       (Thomas Gray, 1716 - 1771. From Elegy in a Country Churchyard.)

October 10, 2012 They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790)

October 3, 2012 It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. (Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826)

September 26, 2012 Evil prospers when good men do nothing. (John Philpot Curran, 1750 - 1817) (Cf. the Spanish Proverb: Quien calla, otorga. He who is silent, gives consent.)

September 19, 2012 The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment
                                 of his guilt.              (John Philpot Curran, 1750 - 1817)

September 12, 2012 Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence. (Thomas Szasz 1920 -2012)

September 5, 2012 The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset.  (Geoffrey Madan, 1857 - 1947)

August 29, 2012  Hope is necessary in every condition.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

August 22, 2012 When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know it is. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 - 1900)

August 15, 2012  A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950)

August 8, 2012 Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

August 1, 2012 Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. (Voltaire, 1694 -1778)

July 25, 2012 Religion...is the opium of the people.  (Karl Marx, 1818 - 1883)

July 17, 2012  Orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another man's doxy.  (Bishop William Warburton, 1698 - 1779)

July 10, 2012  All great truths begin as blasphemies.  (George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950)

July 3, 2012 Illusion is the first of all pleasures. (Voltaire, 1694 -1778)

June 27, 2012 I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. (Charles Darwin, 1809 - 1882)

June 20, 2012 A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air.  (President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1882 - 1945)

June 13, 2012 Nature red in tooth and claw.  (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809 - 1892)

June 6, 2012  Nobody speaks the truth when there's something they must have.  (Elizabeth Bowen, 1899 - 1973)

May 30, 2012 The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow. (Miss C. F. Forbes, 1817 - 1911)            

May 23, 2012 Life is a jest; and all things show it.
                        I thought so once; but now I know it.  (My Own Epitaph. John Gay, 1685 -1732)

May 16, 2012    Click here for audio.

1         Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
                  When April with its sweet-smelling showers
2         The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
                 Has pierced the drought of March to the root,
3         And bathed every veyne in swich licour
                 And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid
4         Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
                 By which power the flower is created;
5         Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
                 When the West Wind also with its sweet breath,
6         Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
                 In every wood and field has breathed life into
7         The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
                 The tender new leaves, and the young sun
8         Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
                 Has run half its course in Aries,
9         And smale foweles maken melodye,
                 And small fowls make melody,
10         That slepen al the nyght with open ye
                 Those that sleep all the night with open eyes
11         (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
                 (So Nature incites them in their hearts),
12         Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
                 Then folk long to go on pilgrimages,
13         And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
                 And professional pilgrims to seek foreign shores,
14         To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
                 To distant shrines, known in various lands;
15         And specially from every shires ende
                 And specially from every shire's end
16         Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
                 Of England to Canterbury they travel,
17         The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
                 To seek the holy blessed martyr,
18         That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
                 Who helped them when they were sick
.


( Geoffrey Chaucer 1343 -1400. From The General Prologue, An Interlinear Translation - Harvard University.)

 

May 9, 2012   Take the risk of thinking for yourself; much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.
                        (Christopher Hitchens 1949 - 2011)

May 2, 2012  An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.  (Nicholas Murray Butler,  1862 - 1947)

April 25. 2012 No more: where ignorance is bliss,
                        'Tis folly to be wise.                              (Thomas Gray, 1716 - 1771)

April 18, 2012 By education most have been misled;
                        So they believe, because they have been bred.
                        The priest continues what the nurse began,
                        And thus the child imposes on the man.       (John Dryden, 1631 - 1700)

April 11, 2012  'Tis Education forms the common mind,
                          Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.       (Alexander Pope, 1688 - 1744)

April 4, 2012 Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy. (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

March 28, 2012 Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.  (Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910)

March 21, 2012  Droll thing life is -- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some
                            knowledge of yourself -- that comes too late -- a crop of inextinguishable regrets. (Joseph Conrad, 1857 - 1924. Heart of Darkness)

March 14, 2012  Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one
                             by one. (Charles Mackay, 1814-1889)

March 7, 2012 They are not long, the days of wine and roses.  (Ernest Dowson, 1867-1900)

February 29, 2012 I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.  (Oliver Edwards 1711-  
                               1791)

February 22, 2012 Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.
                              You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she'll be constantly running  back.                   (Horace 65-8 B.C.)

February 15, 2012 There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people. (Adam
                                Smith, 1723 -- 1790)                           

February 8, 2012 He that complies against his will,
                              Is of his own opinion still.              (Samuel Butler, 1612-1680)

February 1, 2012 Only the insane take themselves quite seriously.  (Max Beerbohm  1872-1956)

January 25, 2012 Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie...(George Orwell, 1903-1950)

January 18, 2012  The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.  (Edmund Burke, 1729-1797)

January 11, 2012  The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.  (Edward John Phelps, 1822-1900)

January 4, 2012  I count religion but a childish toy,
                            And hold there is no sin but ignorance.  (Christopher Marlowe, 1564-1593. The Jew of Malta)

December 28, 2011  What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.  (Alexander Pope 1688-1744)

December 21, 2011

              Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
              Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
              Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
              Each secret fishy hope or fear.
              Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
              But is there anything Beyond?
              This life cannot be All, they swear,
              For how unpleasant, if it were!
              One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
              Shall come of Water and of Mud;
              And, sure, the reverent eye must see
              A Purpose in Liquidity.                                (from Heaven, Rupert Brooke 1887-1915)

December 14, 2011 What I tell you three times is true. (Lewis Carroll  1832-1898. The Hunting of the Snark.)

December 7, 2011 Cui bono?  To whose profit? ( L. Cassius Longinus Ravilla, 2nd Cent B.C.) (Cf. Follow the money from All the President's Men, 1976)

December 1, 2011  For what a man would like to be true, that he more readily believes.  (Francis Bacon  1561-1626)

November 23, 2011   

In short, whoever you may be,
To this conclusion you'll agree,
When every one is somebodee,
Then no one's anybody!                 (W.S. Gilbert, 1836- 1911. From The Gondoliers..."There lived a king as I've been told...")


November 16, 2011    Time, you old gypsy man,
                                         Will you not stay,
                                      Put up your caravan
                                          Just for one day?                 (Ralph Hodgson 1871-1962)

November 9, 2011 Pereant, inquit, qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.   Confound those who have said our remarks before us.  (Aelius Donatus, 4thC A.D.)  [May they perish, he said, who before us our (remarks) have uttered]

November 2, 2011 No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. (John Donne, 1571-1631)

October 26, 2011

This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
And so do I;
When beeches drip in browns and duns,
And thresh and ply;
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
And meadow rivulets overflow,
And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
And rooks in families homeward go,
And so do I.                                          (Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928)

October 19, 2011  If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?  No.  Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact or experience?  No.  Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.  (David Hume, 1711-1776)

October 12, 2011  It takes two to speak the truth,--one to speak, and another to hear. (Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862)

October 5, 2011   But far more numerous was the herd of such
                              Who think too little and talk too much.               (John Dryden, 1631-1700)

September 28, 2011 Criticism is easy; achievement is difficult.  (Winston Churchill, 1874-1965)

September 21, 2011  For tyme ylost may nought recovered be.  (Geoffrey Chaucer, 1340?-1400)

September 14, 2011  It is better to wear out than rust out. (Bishop Richard Cumberland, 1631-1718)

September 7, 2011  Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

August 31, 2011 No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.  (Alfred Emanuel Smith, 1873-1944)

August 24, 2011 All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure. (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

August 17, 2011  That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem. (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

August 10, 2011 Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity.  (Earl of Chesterfield, 1694-1773)

August 3, 2011 That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. (Frances Hutcheson, 1694-1746)  Also: The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. (Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832)

July 27, 2011  I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. (T.S. Eliot, 1888- 1965. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.)

July 20, 2011 I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty;
                       I woke, and found that life was Duty.            (Ellen Sturgis Hooper, 1816-1841)

July 13, 2011  We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
(John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873. On Liberty)

July 6, 2011 Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. (W. Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965)

June 29, 2011 One religion is as true as another.  (Robert Burton, 1577-1640)

June 22, 2011 Nemo repente fuit turpissimus. No one ever suddenly became depraved.   (Juvenal,  A.D. c. 60--c. 130)

June 15, 2011  And that inverted Bowl we call the Sky
                         Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
                         Lift not thy hands to It for help--for It
                         Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.                            (Edward Fitzgerald, 1809-1883 --The Rubaiyat)

 June 8, 2011  Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
                        Approves all forms of competition.       (Arthur Hugh Clough,  1819-1861)

June 1, 2011 The world is made up for the most part of fools and knaves. (George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham 1628-1687.)

May 24, 2011 There is no doubt that many things in life come to us...at backrounds so to speak. Happiness is one of them. (Stephen Leacock, 1867-1944; How to Write, 1944.)

May 17, 2011  Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
                         He who would search for pearls must dive below.   (John Dryden,  1631-1700)

May 11, 2011  Power is so apt to be insolent and Liberty to be saucy, that they are very seldom on good Terms. (George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695)

May 4, 2011  The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.  (Revd. John H. Holmes, 1879-1964.)

April 27, 2011  The ruling passion, be what it will,
                          The ruling passion conquers reason still.      (Alexander Pope, 1688-1744)

April 20, 2011  The grave's a fine and private place,
                          But none I think do there embrace.                (Andrew Marvell, 1621-1678. To His Coy Mistress)

April 13, 2011  Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them. (Voltaire, 1694-1778)

April 6, 2011  Faith is believing what you know ain't so. (Mark Twain, 1835-1910)

March 30, 2011

But when we've practised quite a while
How vastly we improve our style!
  • J. R. Pope, A Word of Encouragement. Collected in The New Oxford Book of English Light Verse, 1978. (Source: Wikiquote)

March 23, 2011 The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
                            Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
                            Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
                            Nor all your Tears wash out a word of it.   (Omar Khayyam, 1070-1123. Translation by Edward Fitzgerald.)


March 16, 2011
 Actions are visible, though motives are secret. (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

March 10, 2011  Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

March 3, 2011. Clear writers, like fountains, do not seem as deep as they are; the turbid look the most profound.  (Walter Savage Landor, 1775-1864)

February 23, 2011.  A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. (Francis Bacon 1561-1626. Of Truth, 1601) From the same essay: Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights.

February 16, 2011.  ...when the facts are not good enough, I always exaggerate... The complete sentence, from College Days (1923), English as she is Taught at College is:  I admit that when the facts are not good enough, I always exaggerate them.  (Stephen Leacock, 1869-1944)

February 9, 2011.  Knowledge itself is power.  (Francis Bacon, 1561-1626)

February 2, 2011 Nothing gold can stay. (Robert Frost, 1874-1963) We cannot resist providing the complete short poem:

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

January 26, 2011 Talent is long patience.  (Guy de Maupassant, 1850-1893)

January 19, 2011  Constant experience has shown me that great purity and elegance of style, with a graceful elocution, cover a multitude of faults in either a speaker or a writer. (Earl of Chesterfield, 1694-1773. Letter to his son.)

January 12, 2011 A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.  (Francis Bacon, 1561-1626)

January 5, 2011 Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. (Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826. Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787)

December 29, 2010.  Human kind/ cannot bear very much reality.  T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

December 22, 2010 A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing. (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

December 15, 2010 Out of my great sorrows, I make little songs.  (Heinrich Heine, 1797-1856) (I always thought it was my little songs--and I think that sounds better!)

December 8, 2010  Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.  (The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire, 1694-1778)

December 1, 2010 We are such stuff/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep.  (Shakespeare, The Tempest)

November 25, 2010 As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.  (Shakespeare, King Lear)

November 17, 2010.  A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882)

November 10, 2010. A committee is organic rather than mechanical in its nature: it is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts, and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in their turn. (C. Northcote Parkinson, 1909- 1993)

November 3, 2010. "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
 Ernest Hemingway,  (1898 - 1961)

October 27, 2010. Tenet insanabile multos / Scribendi cacoethes et aegro in corde senescit. Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing, and it becomes chronic in their sick minds. (Juvenal, A.D. c. 60-c. 130)  (Holds incurable many/ of writing the mania and sick in the heart it grows.)

October 20, 2010. There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. (George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950)

October 13, 2010. It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. (Winston Churchill, 1874-1965)

October 6, 2010  No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

September 29, 2010  Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons quelque chose que ne nous déplaît pas. In the misfortune of our best friends we always find something which does not displease us. Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

September 22, 2010  Death is the mother of beauty...Wallace Stevens in Sunday Morning. (1879-1955)

September 15, 2010    No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you never should trust the experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.  (Lord Salisbury,  1830-1903)

September 8, 2010...and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.  (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679)

September 1, 2010 

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;

(Robert Frost, 1874-1963)  from Acquainted with the Night. The interrupted cry suggests foul play on the rainy night in question; it is telling that the narrator perceives the event through the prism of his own isolation.

August 27, 2010 Let's say it one more time loudly for the media moguls in the cheap seats: Most Muslims are not terrorists. But in the 21st century, most of those slaughtering women and children in the name of religion are Muslims. This is a movement. This is reality. And it is a problem. It ought to be seen by Muslims as very much their problem--a pathology within their community, within the "Muslim world," within the ummah. (Clifford May in the National Post, August 27, 2010.)

August 25, 2010 ..moral disapproval is a muscle we are always anxious to flex... (Robert Fulford, National Post, August 24, 2010.)

August 18, 2010  Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen. (George Savile, Marquis of Halifax. 1633-1695)

August 11, 2010  And how am I to face the odds,
                             Of man's bedevilment and Gods?
                              I, a stranger and afraid
                              In a world I never made.         (A.E. Houseman, 1859-1936. God's Laws...)

August  4, 2010  Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. (Lewis Carroll 1832-1898. The White Queen in Through the Looking Glass, Chapter V)

July 28, 2010 The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. (Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862. Walden, 1854,)

July 22, 2010 (It's a short week.) Fifty years ago people believed, accurately, that they were entitled to seek the blue bird, whereas today they believe, mistakenly, that they're entitled to find it and take it home, in a complimentary cage with a month's supply of birdseed....Those who think they've a right to catch whatever they are free to chase, are doomed to disappointment. That's our generation in a nutshell.  (George Jonas, 1935 - 2015. National Post, July 17, 2010.)

July 19, 2010 Educating people beyond their intellectual means is a disservice to humanity. A clueless person who knows little is a nuisance; a clueless person who knows a lot is a menace. (George Jonas, 1935 - 2015. National Post, July 17, 2010.)

July 14, 2010. The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882)

July 7, 2010.  What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784)

June 30, 2010. No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.  (Samuel Johnson, 1709 - 1784)

June 23, 2010 Difficile est saturam non scribere.  It is hard not to write satire.  (Juvenal, A.D. c. 60-c.130)

June 16, 2010. Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one. (Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862)

June 9, 2010. Knavery is the best defence against a knave. (Plutarch, A.D.  46-120)

June 3, 2010. Never be a pioneer. It's the Early Christian that gets the fattest lion. 'Saki'  (H. H. Munro) 1870-1916

May 26, 2010:   A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
                            Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
                            There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
                            And drinking largely sobers us again.                     Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  An Essay on Criticism                           

May 19, 2010: True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,
                         What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.   Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  An Essay on Criticism (1711)

May 12, 2010: Ridicule often decides matters of importance more effectually, and in a better manner, than severity.  (Horace 65-8 B.C. Satires)

May 5, 2010. It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.  (William James, 1842-1910.)

April 28, 2010. "This craving for community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time. For the sake of common worship they've slain each other with the sword...'Put away your gods and come worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods!'"  (Fyodor Dostoevsky from The Grand Inquisitor--The Brothers Karamazov.)

April 21, 2010. "The horror! The horror!" The last words and summarizing judgment of Kurtz, a character in Conrad's famous novel, Heart of Darkness (1902).  (Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924.)

April 14, 2010.  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
                          That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
                          And then is heard no more: it is a tale
                          Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
                          Signifying nothing.                                                (William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. Macbeth)

April 7, 2010.  One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice--however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy--is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms... [Man] will attain his object--that is, convince himself he is a man and not a piano-key!  (Fyodor Dostoyevsky , Notes from Underground. 1864.)

March 30, 2010. Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men. (Thomas Henry Huxley, 1825-1895.)

 March 24, 2010. The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom... in a clarification of life - not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.  (Robert Frost, 1874-1963)  The Figure a Poem Makes-- Preface to Collected Poems)

March 16, 2010. Praise, like gold and diamonds owes its value only to its scarcity. (Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784.)

March 8, 2010.  Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. (Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826; letter to James Smith, 1822.)

March 3, 2010. It is crucial to remember that weather should not be confused with climate, that climate science remains in its infancy, and that attempting to change global climate by a vast scheme to coordinate national economic policies is an impossible dream that in reality threatens both political and economic nightmare.  (Peter Foster, The National Post, March 3, 2010.)

March 1, 2010. Before you take the first dose of any medication your doctor prescribes, you should make it your business to find out more about the drug than the doctor himself knows. (Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D. Confessions of a Medical Heretic  1979.)

February 15, 2010. "Yet, when one thinks of it, diplomacy without force is a but a rotten reed to lean upon." (Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924. Heyst in Victory)

February 8, 2010. For every age is fed with illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end.  (Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924. Victory)

February 5, 2010. "When I use a word," Humpty-Dumpty said, "it means just what I choose it to mean --neither more nor less." (Lewis Carroll {Charles Lutwidge Dodgson} 1832-1898.)   Through the Looking-Glass.

February 1, 2010. The Social Contract is nothing more or less than a vast conspiracy of human beings to lie to and humbug themselves for the general Good. Lies are the mortar that bind the savage individual man into the social masonry.  (H.G. Wells,  1866-1946. Love and Mr. Lewisham, ch. 23.)

January  29, 2010.  A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Definition of a cynic.  Oscar Wilde 1854 -1900)  Suggested by Kevin Final, Toronto.

January 25, 2010. Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities. (Voltaire (1694-1778) 

January 18, 2010.  L'homme est bien insensé. Il ne saurait forger un ciron, et forge des Dieux à douzaines. (Man is quite insane. He wouldn't know how to create a maggot, and he creates Gods by the dozen.) (Montaigne 1533-1592.)


January 11, 2010. Example is always more efficacious than precept.  (Samuel Johnson  1709-1784.)
 

January 4, 2010. New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

An Essay concerning Human Understanding. 1690  John Locke (1632-1704)


December 28, 2009.  Multiculturalism has taught us the outlandish belief that no culture is better than another. We badly need to unlearn that lesson, which no one else believes or ever has.

    Robert Fulford, National Post. December 24, 2009. 

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