Quotes of the day: Harry Emerson Fosdick

Published Saturday, May 23, 2015 @ 3:15 PM EDT
May 23 2015

Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24, 1878 – October 5, 1969) was an American pastor. Fosdick became a central figure in the "Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy" within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s and was one of the most prominent liberal ministers of the early 20th Century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All Fundamentalists are conservatives, but not all conservatives are Fundamentalists. The best conservatives can often give lessons to the liberals in true liberality of spirit, but the Fundamentalist program is essentially illiberal and intolerant.

At very best, a person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.

But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings.

Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.

Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.

Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to.

God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things done.

Hating people is like burning down your own home to get rid of a rat.

He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.

He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.

He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage.

Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye and you will be drawn toward it. Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning, and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Do not picture yourself as anything and you will drift like a derelict.

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

Life consists not simply in what heredity and environment do to us but in what we make out of what they do to us.

Life is like a library owned by the author. In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.

Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.

No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.

One of the widest gaps in human experience is the gap between what we say we want to be and our willingness to discipline ourselves to get there.

Peace is an awareness of reserves from beyond ourselves, so that our power is not so much in us as through us.

Real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings.

Self-pity gets you nowhere.

The best conservatives can often give lessons to the liberals in true liberality of spirit, but the Fundamentalist program is essentially illiberal and intolerant.

The stars are not so strange as the mind that studies them, analyzes their light, and measures their distances.

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.

Whatever the situation and however disheartening it may be, it is a great hour when a man ceases adopting difficulties as an excuse for despondency and tackles himself as the real problem. No mood need be his master.


(May 24 is also the birthday of Bob Dylan.)

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Quotes of the day: Mitch Albom

Published Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 4:18 PM EDT
May 22 2015

Mitchell David "Mitch" Albom (b. May 23, 1958) is an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for sports writing in the earlier part of his career, he is perhaps best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Accept who you are; and revel in it.

All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.

Behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.

Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time.

Death ends a life, not a relationship.

Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent.

Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long.

Each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.

Every family is a ghost story. The dead sit at our tables long after they have gone.

Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.

Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.

Holding anger is a poison... It eats you from inside...

Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle.

Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that's all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.

Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.

One day spent with someone you love can change everything.

Parents, if they love you, will hold you up safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you'll never know what they endured, and you may treat them unkindly, in a way you otherwise wouldn't.

Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half- asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things.

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.

The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

There are no random acts... We are all connected... You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind...

We think that by hating someone we hurt them... But hatred is a curved blade... and the harm we do to others... we also do to ourselves.

When someone is in your heart, they're never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.

You have peace... when you make it with yourself.


(May 23 is also the birthday of Margaret Fuller.)

Categories: Mitch Albom; Quotes on a topic

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Quotes of the day: Arthur Conan Doyle

Published Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 10:06 PM EDT
May 21 2015

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ, DL (May 22, 1859 – July 7, 1930) was a Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, and for popularising the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.

Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.

Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.

Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.

For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.

From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.

I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.

My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.

Of all ghosts the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Some facts should be suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them.

The most difficult crime to track is the one which is purposeless.

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.

We can't command our love, but we can our actions.

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.

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Quotes of the day: Kenneth Clark

Published Wednesday, May 20, 2015 @ 2:31 PM EDT
May 20 2015

Kenneth McKenzie Clark, Baron Clark OM CH KCB FBA (July 13 1903 – May 21, 1983) was a British author, museum director, broadcaster, and one of the best-known art historians and aestheticians of his generation, writing a series of books that appealed to a wide public while remaining a serious scholar. In 1969, he achieved international fame as the writer, producer and presenter of the BBC Television series Civilisation, which pioneered television documentary series combining expert personalized narration with lavish photography on location. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lot of people you think you know you don't know until you find out you don't know then it may be too late to know.

A margin of wealth is helpful to civilization, but for some mysterious reason great wealth is destructive.

All great civilizations, in their early stages, are based on success in war.

Bright-minded young people think poorly of existing institutions and want to abolish them. Well, one doesn't need to be young to dislike institutions. But the dreary fact remains that, even in the darkest ages, it was institutions that made society work, and if civilization is to survive society must somehow be made to work.

Changes in the structure of society are not brought about solely by massive engines of doctrine.

Children who are treated as if they are uneducable almost invariably become uneducable.

Heroes do not easily tolerate the company of other heroes.

However complex and solid it seems, civilization is actually quite fragile. It can be destroyed.

I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must try to learn from history.

I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves.

In time of war all countries behave equally badly, because the power of action is handed over to stupid and obstinate men.

It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.

Lives devoted to Beauty seldom end well.

No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even if it be only the faintest shadow- and if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals.

One musn't overrate the culture of what used to be called 'top people' before the wars. They had charming manners, but they were as ignorant as swans.

Only the bad artists of the nineteenth century were frightened by the invention of photography; the good ones all welcomed it and used it.

Opera, next to Gothic architecture, is one of the strangest inventions of western man. It could not have been foreseen by any logical process.

People sometimes tell me that they prefer barbarism to civilization. I doubt if they have given it a long enough trial. Like the people of Alexandria, they are bored by civilization; but all the evidence suggests that the boredom of barbarism is infinitely greater.

Sweeping, confident articles on the future seem to me, intellectually, the most disreputable of all forms of public utterance.

The first flash of insight which persuades human beings to change their basic assumptions is usually contained in a few phrases.

The great achievement of the Catholic Church lay in harmonizing, civilizing the deepest impulses of ordinary, ignorant people.

The great artist takes what he needs.

We are so much accustomed to the humanitarian outlook that we forget how little it counted in earlier ages of civilization.


(May 21 is also the birthday of Alexander Pope and Al Franken)

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Quotes of the day: Stephen Jay Gould

Published Tuesday, May 19, 2015 @ 3:18 PM EDT
May 19 2015

Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In the later years of his life, Gould also taught biology and evolution at New York University. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man does not attain the status of Galileo merely because he is persecuted; he must also be right.

Asian Homo erectus died without issue and does not enter our immediate ancestry (for we evolved from African populations); Neanderthal people were collateral cousins, perhaps already living in Europe while we emerged in Africa... In other words, we are an improbable and fragile entity, fortunately successful after precarious beginnings as a small population in Africa, not the predictable end result of a global tendency. We are a thing, an item of history, not an embodiment of general principles.

Biological determinism is, in its essence, a theory of limits. It takes the current status of groups as a measure of where they should and must be ... We inhabit a world of human differences and predilections, but the extrapolation of these facts to theories of rigid limits is ideology.

Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage- good teaching- than a bill forcing our honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?.

Evolution has encountered no intellectual trouble; no new arguments have been offered. Creationism is a home-grown phenomenon of American sociocultural history- a splinter movement... who believe that every word in the Bible must be literally true, whatever such a claim might mean.

Evolution is an inference from thousands of independent sources, the only conceptual structure that can make unified sense of all this disparate information.

Facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome.

History employs evolution to structure biological events in time.

Honorable errors do not count as failures in science, but as seeds for progress in the quintessential activity of correction.

Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternative pathway that would not have led to consciousness.

I am not, personally, a believer or a religious man in any sense of institutional commitment or practice. But I have a great respect for religion, and the subject has always fascinated me, beyond almost all others (with a few exceptions, like evolution and paleontology).

If new species arise very rapidly in small, peripherally isolated local populations, then the great expectation of insensibly graded fossil sequences is a chimera. A new species does not evolve in the area of its ancestors; it does not arise from the slow transformation of all its forbears.

If one small and odd lineage of fishes had not evolved fins capable of bearing weight on land (though evolved for different reasons in lakes and seas,) terrestrial vertebrates would never have arisen. If a large extraterrestrial object- the ultimate random bolt from the blue- had not triggered the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, mammals would still be small creatures, confined to the nooks and crannies of a dinosaur's world, and incapable of evolving the larger size that brains big enough for self-consciousness require. If a small and tenuous population of protohumans had not survived a hundred slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (and potential extinction) on the savannas of Africa, then Homo sapiens would never have emerged to spread throughout the globe. We are glorious accidents of an unpredictable process with no drive to complexity, not the expected results of evolutionary principles that yearn to produce a creature capable of understanding the mode of its own necessary construction.

In science 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

In the great debates of early-nineteenth century geology, catastrophists followed the stereotypical method of objective science- empirical literalism. They believed what they saw, interpolated nothing, and read the record of the rocks directly.

It has become, in my view, a bit too trendy to regard the acceptance of death as something tantamount to intrinsic dignity. Of course I agree with the preacher of Ecclesiastes that there is a time to love and a time to die- and when my skein runs out I hope to face the end calmly and in my own way. For most situations, however, I prefer the more martial view that death is the ultimate enemy- and I find nothing reproachable in those who rage mightily against the dying of the light.

Life is a copiously branching bush, continually pruned by the grim reaper of extinction, not a ladder of predictable progress.

Natural selection is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. It proposes no perfecting principles, no guarantee of general improvement.

No Geologist worth anything is permanently bound to a desk or laboratory, but the charming notion that true science can only be based on unbiased observation of nature in the raw is mythology. Creative work, in geology and anywhere else, is interaction and synthesis: half-baked ideas from a bar room, rocks in the field, chains of thought from lonely walks, numbers squeezed from rocks in a laboratory, numbers from a calculator riveted to a desk, fancy equipment usually malfunctioning on expensive ships, cheap equipment in the human cranium, arguments before a road cut.

Run the tape again, and let the tiny twig of Homo sapiens expire in Africa. Other hominids may have stood on the threshold of what we know as human possibilities, but many sensible scenarios would never generate our level of mentality. Run the tape again, and this time Neanderthal perishes in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia (as they did in our world). The sole surviving human stock, Homo erectus in Africa, stumbles along for a while, even prospers, but does not speciate and therefore remains stable. A mutated virus then wipes Homo erectus out, or a change in climate reconverts Africa into inhospitable forest. One little twig on the mammalian branch, a lineage with interesting possibilities that were never realized, joins the vast majority of species in extinction. So what? Most possibilities are never realized, and who will ever know the difference? Arguments of this form lead me to the conclusion that biology's most profound insight into human nature, status, and potential lies in the simple phrase, the embodiment of contingency: Homo sapiens is an entity, not a tendency.

Science simply cannot adjudicate the issue of God's possible superintendence of nature.

Some beliefs may be subject to such instant, brutal and unambiguous rejection. For example: no left-coiling periwinkle has ever been found among millions of snails examined. If I happen to find one during my walk on Nobska beach tomorrow morning, a century of well nurtured negative evidence will collapse in an instant.

Surely the mitochondrion that first entered another cell was not thinking about the future benefits of cooperation and integration; it was merely trying to make its own living in a tough Darwinian world.

The equation of evolution with progress represents our strongest cultural impediment to a proper understanding of this greatest biological revolution in the history of human thought.

The median isn't the message.

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best- and therefore never scrutinize or question.

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.

The only universal attribute of scientific statements resides in their potential fallibility. If a claim cannot be disproven, it does not belong to the enterprise of science.

Theory and fact are equally strong and utterly interdependent; one has no meaning without the other. We need theory to organize and interpret facts, even to know what we can or might observe. And we need facts to validate theories and give them substance.

We are the accidental result of an unplanned process... the fragile result of an enormous concatenation of improbabilities, not the predictable product of any definite process.

Without a commitment to science and rationality in its proper domain, there can be no solution to the problems that engulf us. Still, the Yahoos never rest.

Categories: Quotes of the day; Stephen Jay Gould

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Quotes of the day: Pete Townshend

Published Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 7:26 PM EDT
May 18 2015

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (b. May 19, 1945) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group the Who. His career with the Who spans 50 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential groups of the 1960s and 1970s. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All good art cannot help but confront denial on its way to truth.

Can't pretend that growin' older never hurts.

Do you realize why is it I'm so driven to operate within the Establishment? It's vengeance. 'Hope I die before I get old' is something I still have to live with, but not for the reason many people think. I have to be very, very vigilant not to become one of those people I despised.

Enjoy life. And be careful what you pray for- remember, you will get it all.

Even modern English people are imperious, superior, ridden by class. All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally. A brilliant place to live. Sad but true.

For the first time, a whole generation had the economic & educational opportunity to turn their backs on the dead end factory jobs of their parents, who, traumatized by two world wars, had responded by creating a safety blanket of conformity.

I am growing old of course, but I am still in the early stages of disintegration, and regarded as just about cool enough by some fashionable young people to be permitted to think aloud.

I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed meeting fans face to face. They're less scary when they aren't going nuts at a Who show. But then, so am I.

If you don't want anyone to know anything about you, don't write anything.

Life's a bitch and so am I.

Like so many addicts, I'd thought that if I could only sort out my life, I could then sort out my drinking. It was a revelation to see that it would be simpler the other way around

Love is like a longing, and energy. It's like magnetism, it's like gravity. And at its highest it's about spiritual salvation.

Nothing else in nature behaves so consistently and rigidly as a human being in pursuit of hell.

Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them.

Rock won't eliminate your problems but it will let you sort of dance all over them.

Since so much of this music bubbled up urgently from my subconsious mind, I'm left to interpret it much like anyone else.

Stars are attributed with intelligence they don't have, beauty they haven't worked for, loyaly and love they are incapable of reciprocating, and strength they do not possess.

The music we play has to be tomorrow's, the things we say have to be today, and the reason for bothering is yesterday.

The secret to being a successful hellraiser, it seemed, was to stop raising hell before hell razed you.

There's no easy way to be free.

We didn't need light & shade, irony or humor. An iconic Daltrey bellow could convey an extrodinary range of human emotion; withering sadness, self pity, loneliness, abandonment, spiritual desperation, the loss of childhood, as well as the more obvious rage & frustration, joy & triumph.


(May 19 is also the birthday of Nancy Astor, Malcolm X, Edward de Bono, Norah Ephron, and Gary Kildall)

Categories: Pete Townshend; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Home

Published Sunday, May 17, 2015 @ 7:33 PM EDT
May 17 2015

A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.
-Margaret Fuller

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.
-George Moore

A man would rather come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.
-Marlene Dietrich

A man's home may seem to be his castle on the outside; inside is more often his nursery.
-Clare Boothe Luce

A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one's life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself.
-Louis L'Amour

All the average human being asks is something he can call a home; a family that is fed and warm; and now and then a little happiness; once in a long while an extravagance.
-Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)

Although the sun shine, leave not thy cloak at home.
-George Herbert

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.
-Phyllis Diller

America is the only country in the world where you can suffer culture shock without leaving home.
-Florence King

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
-Twyla Tharp

As the world gets dumber and dumber, I feel more and more at home.
-Peter McWilliams

At home I am a nice guy; but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far.
-Muhammad Ali

Basically, I believe the world is a jungle, and if it's not a bit of a jungle in the home, a child cannot possibly be fit to enter the outside world.
-Bette Davis

Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you're home.
-Carol Nelson

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
-Francis Bacon

Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house.
-George Burns

Education, like neurosis, begins at home.
-Milton R. Sapirstein

Half of all home accidents happen in the kitchen, and the family has to eat them.
-Sam Ewing

Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.
-Edward Abbey

Home is heaven and orgies are vile, but you need an orgy once in a while.
-Ogden Nash

Home is not where you live but where they understand you.
-Christian Morganstern

Home is the place we love best and grumble the most.
-Billy Sunday

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
-Robert Frost

Home is where somebody notices when you are no longer there.
-Alexsandr Hemon

Home is where you hang your @.

Home is where you hang your head.
-Groucho Marx

Home was quite a place when people stayed there.
-E.B. White

Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
-Bill Cosby

I feel most at home in the United States, not because it is intrinsically a more interesting country, but because no one really belongs there any more than I do. We are all there together in its wholly excellent vacuum.
-Wyndham Lewis

I must go home periodically to renew my sense of horror.
-Carson McCullers

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
-Robert Orben

I would have gone home to my mother, but I'm not that crazy about my mother.

If charity begins at home, I bet I know in which room.
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

If I'm not in bed by eleven, I go home.
-Henny Youngman

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
-James A. Michener

Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home?
-Emile Cioran

Is it time to go home yet? I keep clicking these damn shoes, but nothing happens.
-Robin Hecht

It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world; and I value this delicious home-feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent can bestow.
-Washington Irving

It's true you can't go home again, although evidently your relatives can come to your home as often as they want.
-John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

Justice was born outside the home and a long way from it; and it has never been adopted there.
-Walter Cronkite

Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman.
-Pearl S. Buck

Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house.
-Jean Kerr

Of all the home remedies, a good wife is the best.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

One of television's great contributions is that it brought murder back into the home, where it belongs.
-Alfred Hitchcock

Owning your own home is America's unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home 'owners' deduct mortgage interest payments.
-Florence King

Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn't have in your home.
-David Frost

The average man's expectations of a home are minimal: warmth, food, clean shirts, not too many questions asked, and sex when necessary.
-Irma Kurtz

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of their tires.
-Dorothy Parker

The ideal home: big enough for you to hear the children, but not very well.
-Mignon McLaughlin

The outside world doesn't have a lot to offer. You have to make your own heaven in your own home.
-Bette Midler

The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.
-Louisa May Alcott

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

The voices in my head told me to stay home and clean my guns.

The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.
-E.W. Howe

The worst thing about work in the house or home is that whatever you do it is destroyed, laid waste or eaten within twenty-four hours.
-Lady Hasluck

There's no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat.
-Wesley Bates

To feel at home, stay at home.
-Clifton Fadiman

We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes...
-Madeleine L'Engle

We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police.
-Jeff Marder

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood.
-Sam Ewing

Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

You show me a woman who hasn't fantasized getting in a car and leaving home and I'll show you a woman who doesn't drive.
-Susan Sussman


(Also born on May 18: Bertrand Russell and Tina Fey.)

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Quotes of the day: The Rich

Published Saturday, May 16, 2015 @ 9:56 PM EDT
May 16 2015

(Rich Uncle Pennybags)

A conservative is someone who demands a square deal for the rich.
-David Frost

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.
-G.K. Chesterton

Anyone whose needs are small seems threatening to the rich, because he's always ready to escape their control.
-Nicolas Chamfort

By and large the poor have the same impulses as the rich, with only less opportunity or skill to implement them.
-Will Durant

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
-Adam Smith

Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money.
-George Carlin

Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful.
-Edward Abbey

Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is poverty. What is matter with the rich is uselessness.
-George Bernard Shaw

Each class preaches the importance of those virtues it need not exercise. The rich harp on the value of thrift, the idle grow eloquent over the dignity of labour.
-Oscar Wilde

For wealth's now given to none but to the rich.

Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich, something for nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw

He is the richest who is content with the least.

He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.
-Evelyn Waugh

History will judge societies and governments- and their institutions- not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.
-Cesar Chavez

I believe that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
-William Henry Harrison

I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation so much as the mystery of the social order. It introduces into the thought of heaven an idea of equalization, which saves the rich from being massacred by the poor.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes think that rich men belong to another nationality entirely, no matter what their actual nationality happens to be. The nationality of the rich.
-William Saroyan

If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.
-Susan B. Anthony

If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.
-Warren Buffett

In bad times, the rich usually get richer.
-Stuart Wilde

It is easier to ask of the poor than of the rich.
-Anton Chekhov

It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.
-Charles Caleb Colton

It's a crazy society now. It's the richest society ever and yet people are overworked. There's more unemployment, more crime, more confusion, more broken marriages. This is a breakdown. Every culture breaks down. Every society breaks down, whether it's Rome, Spain, the British Empire. The people in charge probably didn't get it until they had their heads chopped off.
-Jerry Brown

It's a game. We (tax lawyers) teach the rich how to play it so they can stay rich- and the IRS keeps changing the rules so we can keep getting rich teaching them.
-John Grisham

Let me smile with the wise, and feed with the rich.
-Samuel Johnson

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. -Sholem Aleichem

Like all the rich he could not bring himself to believe that the poor (look at their houses, look at their clothes!) could really suffer. Like all the cultivated he believed that only the widely read could be said to know that they were unhappy.
-Thornton Wilder

Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by others.
-Charles Caleb Colton

My visions of the future are always pretty much standard issue. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer... and there are flying cars.
-Joss Whedon

Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

Of course there's a different law for the rich and poor; Otherwise who would go into business?
-E. Ralph Stewart

Planning ahead is a measure of class. The rich and even the middle class plan for future generations, but the poor can plan ahead only a few weeks or days.
-Gloria Steinem

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
-Oscar Ameringer

Poor people have more fun than rich people, they say; and I notice it's the rich people who keep saying it.
-Jack Paar

So many people spend their lives chasing money and end up as the richest men in the cemetery. I don't want to be like that.
-H. Ross Perot

Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
-Peter Ustinov

The bonus is really one of the great give-aways in business enterprise. It is the annual salve applied to the conscience of the rich and the wounds of the poor.
-E.B. White

The difference between rich and poor is not that the rich sin is more than the poor, that the rich find it easier to call sin a virtue.
-Henri Nouwen

The forces in a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
-Jawaharlal Nehru

The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts.
-Sydney Smith

The petty economies of the rich are just as amazing as the silly extravagances of the poor.
-William Feather

The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
-G.K. Chesterton

The poor have the same basic pleasures as the rich, and the rich will always resent it.
-Mignon McLaughlin

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country.
-John Adams

The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship.
-Andrew Carnegie

The rich are indeed rather possessed by their money than possessors.
-Robert Burton

The rich are the scum of the earth in every county.
-G.K. Chesterton

The rich man... is always sold to the institution which makes him rich.
-Henry David Thoreau

The rich really are like you and me. They just don't do as much jail time.
-John L. Smith

The rich rob the poor and the poor rob one another.
-Sojourner Truth

The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger.
-Sholem Aleichem

The rich, like well brought up children, are meant to be seen, not heard.
-Lewis H. Lapham

The richer a society, the more impossible it becomes to do worthwhile things without immediate pay-off.
-E.F. Schumacher

The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.
-Edward Dowling

There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches but the wrong comes when the riches possess men.
-Rev. Billy Graham

There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.
-Will Rogers

There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.
-Warren Buffett

There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do any business from there.
-Colonel Harlan Sanders

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
-Walt Whitman

To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and keep absolutely sober.
-Logan Pearsall Smith

'Tough love' is just the right phrase: love for the rich and privileged, tough for everyone else.
-Noam Chomsky

We have two American flags always; one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it, it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it, it means danger, revolution, anarchy.
-Henry Miller

Wealth often takes away chances from men as well as poverty. There is none to tell the rich to go on striving, for a rich man makes the law that hallows and hollows his own life.
-Sean O'Casey

What we have in this country is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.
-Gore Vidal

What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest.
-Andy Warhol

When people ask, 'Why should the rich pay a larger percent of their income than middle-income people?' My answer is not an answer most people get: It's because their power developed from laws that enriched them.
-Ralph Nader

When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Whereas it has long been known and declared that the poor have no right to the property of the rich, I wish it also to be known and declared that the rich have no right to the property of the poor.
-John Ruskin


(May 17 is also the birthday of Alan Kay and Craig Ferguson)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic; The Rich

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Quotes of the day: Studs Terkel

Published Friday, May 15, 2015 @ 4:36 PM EDT
May 15 2015

Louis "Studs" Terkel (May 16, 1912 – October 31, 2008) was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for "The Good War", and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Chicago is not the most corrupt American city, it's the most theatrically corrupt, more colorful in its shadiness.

Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew.

I hope for peace and sanity- it's the same thing.

I hope that memory is valued- that we do not lose memory.

I like quoting Einstein. Know why? Because nobody dares contradict you.

I want a language that speaks the truth.

I want people to talk to one another no matter what their difference of opinion might be.

I was born in the year the Titanic sank. The Titanic went down, and I came up. That tells you a little about the fairness of life.

I was walking downstairs carrying a drink in one hand and a book in the other. Don't try that after ninety.

I'm celebrated for celebrating the uncelebrated.

I'm not an optimist. I'm hopeful.

I've always felt, in all my books, that there's a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence- providing they have the facts, providing they have the information.

If solace is any sort of succor to someone, that is sufficient. I believe in the faith of people, whatever faith they may have.

In a democratic society, you're supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor.

More and more we are into communications; and less and less into communication.

Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.

Nonetheless, do I have respect for people who believe in the hereafter? Of course I do. I might add, perhaps even a touch of envy too, because of the solace.

Take it easy, but take it.

The key issue is jobs. You can't get away from it: jobs. Having a buck or two in your pocket and feeling like somebody.

The people who delight in the failure of the sixties are the people who delight in the failure of dreams.

The poor are so busy trying to survive from one day to the next, they haven't the time or energy to keep score.

The whole program of unemployment insurance, Social Security, was a confession of the failure of our whole social order. And confession of failure of Christian principles: that man, in fact, did not look after his brother.

The worst day-to-day operators of businesses are bankers.

We have two Governments in Washington: one run by the elected people- which is a minor part- and one run by the moneyed interests, which control everything.

What I remember most of those times is that poverty creates desperation, and desperation creates violence.

When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You're part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.

Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.

You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist.

You know, 'power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely?' It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.

Categories: Quotes of the day; Studs Terkel

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Quotes of the day: Madeleine Albright

Published Thursday, May 14, 2015 @ 1:47 PM EDT
May 14 2015

Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; b. May 15, 1937) is a Czechoslovakian-born American politician and diplomat. She is the first woman to have become the United States Secretary of State. She was nominated by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997. Albright currently serves as a professor of International Relations at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She holds a PhD from Columbia University and numerous honorary degrees. In May 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama. Secretary Albright also serves as a director on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. Albright is fluent in English, French, Russian, and Czech; she speaks and reads Polish and Serbo-Croatian as well. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A lot of people think international relations is like a game of chess. But it's not a game of chess, where people sit quietly, thinking out their strategy, taking their time between moves. It's more like a game of billiards, with a bunch of balls clustered together.

Armageddon is not a foreign policy.

Hate, emotionalism, and frustration are not policies.

I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy- worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region.

I think that we all know what evil is. We have a sense of what's evil, and certainly killing innocent people is evil. We're less sure about what is good. There's sort of good, good enough, could be better- but absolute good is a little harder to define.

I think the administration has really undermined America's power and reputation and that Iraq may go down in history as the greatest disaster in American foreign policy, which means that I think it's worse than Vietnam in its unintended consequences and for our reputation.

I think women are really good at making friends and not good at networking. Men are good at networking and not necessarily making friends. That's a gross generalization, but I think it holds in many ways.

I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.

I'm for democracy, but imposing democracy is an oxymoron. People have to choose democracy, and it has to come up from below.

I'm not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it was run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten what high school was like.

Our nation's memory is long and our reach is far.

There is a significant moral difference between a person who commits a violent crime and a person who tries to cross a border illegally in order to put food on the family table. Such migrants may violate our laws against illicit entry, but if that's all they do then they are trespassers, not criminals. They deserve to have their dignity respected.

There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.

There seems to be enough room in the world for mediocre men, but not for mediocre women, and we really have to work very, very hard.

We live in an image society. Speeches are not what anybody cares about; what they care about is the picture.

We will not be intimidated or pushed off the world stage by people who do not like what we stand for, and that is, freedom, democracy and the fight against disease, poverty and terrorism.

What really troubles me is that democracy is getting a bad name because it is identified with imposition and occupation.

What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?

When a politician starts preaching, I tend to react the same way as when a preacher starts talking politics. I become very, very wary.

When asked what she considered the greatest mistake of the George W. Bush administration, interview with Deborah Solomon, New York Times (April 23, 2006)

When we're trying to solve difficult national issues its sometimes necessary to talk to adversaries as well as friends. Historians have a word for this: diplomacy.

While democracy in the long run is the most stable form of government, in the short run, it is among the most fragile.


(May 15 is also the birthday of Clifton Fadiman and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu)

Categories: Madeleine Albright; Quotes of the day

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