Quotes of the day: 66 observations on worry
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Published Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 10:44 PM EDT
Sep 22 2014

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
-Isak Dinesen

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
-Benjamin Franklin

Do the job first. Worry about the clearance later.
-Sargent Shriver

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
-Howard Aiken

Don't worry about the war. It's all over but the shooting.
-Samuel Goldwyn

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
-Charles M. Schulz (In the comic strip Peanuts)

Don't worry about what your mother thinks of your language.
-Elmore Leonard

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.
-Robert Fulghum

Don't worry, honey. There's always another train coming.
-Millie Mendez

Forget the past- the future will give you plenty to worry about.
-George Allen

I don't care where they stand. The man I worry about is the one who hasn't taken a position.
-H. Ross Perot

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
-Steven Wright

I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries.
-Jules Renard

I have never yet met a healthy person who worries very much about his health or a really good person who worries much about his own soul.
-J.B.S. Haldane

I highly recommend worrying. It is much more effective than dieting.
-William Powell

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.
-John Mortimer

I think these difficult times have helped me to realize how infinitely rich and beautiful life is. And that so many things one worries about are of no importance whatsoever.
-Isak Dinesen

I worry about my judgment when anything I believe in or do regularly begins to be accepted by the American public.
-George Carlin

I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.
-Lily Tomlin

I'm worried that the universe will soon need replacing. It's not holding a charge.
-Edward Chilton

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.
-Thomas Pynchon

If you ain't never pick up the sword, you ain't never have to worry about fallin' on it.
-Meldrick Lewis

If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?
-Shantideva

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
-Dale Carnegie

If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.
-Ray Bradbury

If you want to test your memory, try to remember what you were worrying about one year ago today.
-E. Joseph Cossman

If you're right 95 percent of the time, why worry about the other three percent?
-Unattributed

It isn't what a teenager knows that worries his parents. It's how he found out.
-Ann Landers

It's difficult enough to be funny without worrying about what is going to offend whom.
-Alan King

Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor.
-Paulo Coelho

Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.
-W. Somerset Maugham

Life's too short to waste worrying about the inevitable.
-Pete Abrams

Most parents don't worry about a daughter until she fails to show up for breakfast. Then it is too late.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.
-Dale Carnegie

Pessimists have already begun to worry about what is going to replace automation.
-John Tudor

Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away.
-Robert Orben

Relaxation is the absence of worry.
-Albert Brooks

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
-Dale Carnegie

Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
-Jane Wagner

Stop worrying about communism; just get rid of the conditions that nurture it.
-Frank Sinatra

Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!
-Barbara Hoffman

Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world except money.
-Johnny Cash

That's the secret to life... replace one worry with another...
-Charles M. Schulz (In the comic strip Peanuts)

The only thing money gives you is the freedom of not worrying about money.
-Johnny Carson

The only way to maintain a moderate sum of happiness in this life, is not to worry about the future or regret the past too much.
-Mel Gibson

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
-Mary Schmich

We live in the interface between radioactive molten rock and hard vacuum and we worry about safety.
-Chris Hunt

We probably wouldn't worry about what other people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.
-Olin Miller

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
-Stacia Tauscher

What worries you, masters you.
-John Locke

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
-Winston Churchill

When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about.
-Edward Abbey

Whenever an angel says 'Be not afraid!' you'd better start worrying. A big assignment is on the way.
-Elie Wiesel

Why worry? If you've done the very best you can, worrying won't make it better.
-Walt Disney

Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember.
-Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Worriers spend a lot of time shoveling smoke.
-Claude McDonald

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
-Mary Hemingway

Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
-Marcus Sakey

Worry is interest paid before it's due.
-Zig Ziglar

Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.
-Erma Bombeck

Worry is the most wasteful thing in the world.
-Henry Ford

Worrying is the interest paid on a debt you may not owe.
-Peter McWilliams

You can't start worrying about what's going to happen. You get spastic enough worrying about what's happening now.
-Lauren Bacall

You'll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.
-David Foster Wallace

(September 23 is also the birthday of Walter Lippman )


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Quotes of the day: Philip Stanhope
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Published Sunday, September 21, 2014 @ 8:55 PM EDT
Sep 21 2014

Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield PC KG (September 22, 1694 - March 24, 1773) was a British statesman and man of letters. He was born in London and was known as Lord Stanhope until his father's death in 1726. After being educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he went on the Grand Tour of the continent. The death of Queen Anne and the accession of King George I opened up a career for him and brought him back to England. According to some authorities, Chesterfield was selfish, calculating and contemptuous; he was not naturally generous, and he practised dissimulation until it became part of his nature. In spite of his brilliant talents and of the admirable training he received, his life, on the whole, cannot be pronounced a success. As a politician and statesman, Chesterfield's fame rests on his short but brilliant administration of Ireland. As an author he was a clever essayist and epigrammatist. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A proper secrecy is the only mystery of able men; mystery is the only secrecy of weak and cunning ones.

Abject flattery and indiscriminate assentation degrade, as much as indiscriminate contradiction and noisy debate disgust. But a modest assertion of one's own opinion, and a complaisant acquiescence in other people's, preserve dignity.

Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.

An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.

Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.

Do as you would be done by, is the surest method of pleasing.

I really know nothing more criminal, more mean, and more ridiculous than lying. It is the production either of malice, cowardice, or vanity; and generally misses of its aim in every one of these views; for lies are always detected, sooner or later.

I recommend to you, in my last, an innocent piece of art: that of flattering people behind their backs, in presence of those who, to make their own court, much more than for your sake, will not fail to repeat, and even amplify, the praise to the party concerned. This is of all flattery the most pleasing, and consequently the most effectual.

I recommend you to take care of the minutes: for hours will take care of themselves.

I wish to God that you had as much pleasure in following my advice, as I have in giving it to you.

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.

In short, let it be your maxim through life, to know all you can know, yourself; and never to trust implicitly to the informations of others.

It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. One yawns, one procrastinates, one can do it when one will, and therfore one seldom does it at all.

Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give luster, and many more people see than weigh.

Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.

Let this be one invariable rule of your conduct- never to show the least symptom of resentment, which you cannot, to a certain degree, gratify; but always to smile, where you cannot strike.

Little minds mistake little objects for great ones, and lavish away upon the former that time and attention which only the latter deserve. To such mistakes we owe the numerous and frivolous tribe of insect- mongers, shell-mongers, and pursuers and driers of butterflies, etc. The strong mind distinguishes, not only between the useful and the useless, but likewise between the useful and the curious.

Marriage is the cure of love, and friendship the cure of marriage.

Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.

People will no more advance their civility to a bear, than their money to a bankrupt.

Religion is by no means a proper subject of conversation in a mixed company.

Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.

Take the tone of the company you are in.

The chapter of knowledge is a very short, but the chapter of accidents is a very long one.

The characteristic of a well-bred man is, to converse with his inferiors without insolence, and with his superiors with respect and with ease.

The herd of mankind can hardly be said to think; their notions are almost all adoptive; and, in general, I believe it is better that it should be so; as such common prejudices contribute more to order and quiet, than their own separate reasonings would do, uncultivated and unimproved as they are.

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.

The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it.

The young leading the young, is like the blind leading the blind; 'they will both fall into the ditch.'

There are some occasions in which a man must tell half his secret, in order to conceal the rest; but there is seldom one in which a man should tell all. Great skill is necessary to know how far to go, and where to stop.

There is time enough for everything, in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once; but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.

We must not suppose that, because a man is a rational animal, he will, therefore, always act rationally; or, because he has such or such a predominant passion, that he will act invariably and consequentially in pursuit of it. No, we are complicated machines; and though we have one main spring that gives motion to the whole, we have an infinity of little wheels, which, in their turns, retard, precipitate, and sometime stop that motion.

Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.

Women who are either indisputably beautiful, or indisputably ugly, are best flattered upon the score of their understandings; but those who are in a state of mediocrity are best flattered upon their beauty, or at least their graces; for every woman who is not absolutely ugly thinks herself handsome.


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Quotes of the day: Chuck Jones
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Published Saturday, September 20, 2014 @ 9:11 PM EDT
Sep 20 2014

Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many classic animated cartoon shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig and a slew of other Warner characters. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A comedian is not a person who opens a funny door- he's the person who opens a door funny.

A lion's work hours are only when he's hungry; once he's satisfied, the predator and prey live peacefully together.

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.

Anyone can negatively criticize- it is the cheapest of all comment because it requires not a modicum of the effort that suggestion requires.

Censorship, I believe, is the most dangerous enemy to all human communication, and piety of intention is probably the most dangerous, the most virulent and the most self-satisfying.

Comedy is unusual people in real situations; farce is real people in unusual situations.

Eschew the ordinary, disdain the commonplace. If you have a single-minded need for something, let it be the unusual, the esoteric, the bizarre, the unexpected.

Human beings will line up for miles to buy a bucket of catastrophes, but don't try selling sunshine and light- you'll go broke.

If you make a fool of yourself in front of a cat, he will sneer at you, if you are sober; he will leave the room if you are drunk. If you make a fool of yourself in front a dog, he will make a fool of himself, too.

Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about.

Painting does what we cannot do— it brings a three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional plane.

The name 'Chuck Jones', according to my uncle, limited my choice of profession to second baseman or cartoonist.

The older I get, the more individuality I find in animals and the less I find in humans. Early experiences convinced me that animals can and do have quite distinct personalities.

The only thing an adult can give a child is time.

The road is better than the end.

The rules are simple. Take your work, but never yourself, seriously. Pour in the love and whatever skill you have, and it will come out.

The whole essence of good drawing- and of good thinking, perhaps- is to work a subject down to the simplest form possible and still have it believable for what it is meant to be.

There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is the willingness to think.

We must not confuse distortion with innovation; distortion is useless change, art is beneficial change.

When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins.

You do not 'suffer' if you decide 'that's the way it is' rather than 'why is it this way?'

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(September 21 is also the birthday of H.G. Wells)


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Quotes of the day: Sophia Loren
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Published Friday, September 19, 2014 @ 7:36 PM EDT
Sep 19 2014

Sophia Loren born Sofia Villani Scicolone (b. September 20, 1934) is an international film star and Italy's most renowned and honored actress. She began her career at age 14 after entering a beauty pageant in 1949. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons, Loren appeared in several bit parts and minor roles until the late 1950s when Loren's five-picture contract with Paramount launched her international career. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.

As you grow older, marry, and have children of you own, you learn and forget. I do not forget easily, but I do forgive.

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

Being beautiful can never hurt, but you have to have more. You have to sparkle, you have to be fun, you have to make your brain work if you have one.

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.

Hate is unfulfilled love.

I firmly believe we can make our own miracles if we believe strongly enough in ourselves and our mission on earth.

I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.

If you haven't cried, your eyes cannot be beautiful.

It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.

It's a mistake to think that once you're done with school you need never learn anything new.

It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief she is beautiful.

Sex appeal is 50 per cent what you've got, and 50 percent what people think you've got.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.

You have to be born a sex symbol. You don't become one. If you're born with it, you'll have it even when you're 100 years old.

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(September 20 is also the birthday of Upton Sinclair )


Categories: Quotes of the day; Sophia Loren


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Quotes of the day: Mike Royko
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Published Thursday, September 18, 2014 @ 8:48 PM EDT
Sep 18 2014

Michael "Mike" Royko (September 19, 1932 – April 29, 1997) was a Chicago newspaper columnist, winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Over his 30-year career, he wrote over 7,500 daily columns for the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A Pessimist sees the glass as half empty; A Cub Fan wonders when it's gonna spill.

Anyone who gives a surgeon six thousand dollars for 'breast augmentation' should give some thought to investing a little more on brain augmentation.

Contrary to popular belief, it's much wiser to take money from the poor than the rich.

Forty years ago, we were on the tail of the Front Page era. There was a different point of view. Reporters and editors were more forgiving of public people. They didn't think they had to stick someone in jail to make a career.

God tipped the country and all the fruits and nuts rolled west.

Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, unwed mothers, and cheating on your income tax.

I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups.

I never went to a John Wayne movie to find a philosophy to live by or to absorb a profound message. I went for the simple pleasure of spending a couple of hours seeing the bad guys lose.

It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies.

It's harder to be a Liberal than a Conservative because it is easier to give someone the finger than a helping hand.

No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in a Murdoch paper.

Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.

Show me the worst school districts in Detroit, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and I'll show you parents that shouldn't be raising a Chia Pet, much less a child.

So if you visit Chicago, enjoy the many great courses, the Midwestern friendliness, and the cities other amenities. But if a stranger with a goofy swing wants to play for more than loose change, take a pass. It's a long walk back to your hotel in bare feet.

The subject of criminal rehabilitation was debated recently in City Hall. It's an appropriate place for this kind of discussion because the city has always employed so many ex-cons and future cons.


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Quotes of the day: Chris Hedges
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Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 @ 10:55 PM EDT
Sep 17 2014

Christopher Lynn "Chris" Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist specializing in American politics and society. Hedges is also known as the best-selling author of several books including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002)— a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction— Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), Death of the Liberal Class (2010) and his most recent New York Times best seller, written with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, and fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.

A society without the means to detect lies and theft soon squanders its liberty and freedom.

It is one of the great ironies of corporate control that the corporate state needs the abilities of intellectuals to maintain power, yet outside of this role it refuses to permit intellectuals to think or function independently.

The belief that rational and quantifiable disciplines such as science can be used to perfect human society is no less absurd than a belief in magic, angels, and divine intervention.

The danger is not Islam or Christianity or any other religion. It is the human heart- the capacity we all have for evil. All human institutions with a lust for power give their utopian visions divine sanction.

The fact that alienated people can be counted on to vent their spleen in ineffectual directions- by fighting among themselves- relieves the government of the need to deal fundamentally with the conditions which cause their frustrations.

The failure to dissect the cause of war leaves us open for the next installment.

The moral certitude of the state in wartime is a kind of fundamentalism. And this dangerous messianic brand of religion, one where self-doubt is minimal, has come increasingly to color the modern world of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

The moral nihilism of celebrity culture is played out on reality television shows, most of which encourage a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal.

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.

There are always people willing to commit unspeakable human atrocity in exchange for a little power and privilege.

This magical thinking, this idea that human and personal progress is somehow inevitable, leads to political passivity. ... It has turned whole nations, such as the United States, into self-consuming machines of death.

Unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force that consumes greater and greater numbers of human lives until it finally consumes itself.

Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause.

War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians.

We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.

We make our heroes out of clay.

We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.

We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self-worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us.


Categories: Chris Hedges; Quotes of the day


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Constitution Day
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Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Sep 17 2014

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A citizen's constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be.
-Earl Warren

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
-John Adams

A country that can put men on the moon can put women in the Constitution.
-Margaret Heckler

All our work, our whole life is a matter of semantics, because words are the tools with which we work, the material out of which laws are made, out of which the Constitution was written. Everything depends on our understanding of them.
-Felix Frankfurter

(A)s terrible as it was, 9/11 did not repeal the Constitution.
-Judge Rosemary Pooler

As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.
-Anthony Kennedy

At the constitutional level where we work, ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.
-Charles Evans Hughes

Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine.
-Gore Vidal

Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.
-Alexander Hamilton

Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.
-Edward Gibbon

Demagogues and agitators are very unpleasant, they are incidental to a free and constitutional country, and you must put up with these inconveniences or do without many important advantages.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well. It means that everybody should have a job, if he's willing to work, and an education, and the right to bring up his children without fear of the future. And it means that the old shall be provided for, without shame to themselves or to their families. It means do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It also means the prayers of the pilgrim fathers in the wilderness, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the dreams of an immigrant mother for her children. And that's what I believe in.
-Dalton Trumbo

Each public officer who takes an oath to support the constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others.
-Andrew Jackson

Even the most vile murderer does not release the state from its constitutional obligation to respect human dignity, for the state does not honor the victim by emulating the murderer who took his life. The fatal infirmity of capital punishment is that it treats members of the human race as non-humans, as objects to be toyed with and discarded.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

Experience has already shown that the impeachment the Constitution has provided is not even a scarecrow.
-Thomas Jefferson

For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.
-Aristotle

History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
-Thurgood Marshall

Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution of your country and the government established under it. Leave evils which exist in some parts of the country, but which are beyond your control, to the all-wise direction of an over-ruling Providence. Perform those duties which are present, plain and positive. Respect the laws of your country.
-Daniel Webster

I also wish that the Pledge of Allegiance were directed at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as it is when the President takes his oath of office, rather than to the flag and the nation.
-Carl Sagan

I always keep my Constitution in my coat pocket... You ought to keep one on you all the time.
-Hugo Black

I believe that our Constitution, with its absolute guarantee of individual rights, is the best hope for the aspirations of freedom which men share everywhere.
-Hugo Black

I have a problem with people who take the Constitution loosely and the Bible literally.
-Bill Maher

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
-Thomas Jefferson

I love my liberty, and imprisonment would be, to say the least, very disagreeable to me; but there are some things that are even less desirable, among them one's loss of self-respect and the loss of inherent and lawful constitutional right.
-Samuel Gompers

I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.
-Molly Ivins

I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.
-Gerald Early

I'm afraid the Constitution doesn't say anything about the separation of church and politics.
-Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.

I've always been a big supporter of the constitutional right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition government for redress of grievances. It's just that I never envisioned it taking the form of thousands of people screaming, 'You asshole, you asshole,' at me.
-Lowell Weicker

If our free society is to endure, and I know it will, those who govern must recognize that the Framers of the Constitution limited their power in order to preserve human dignity and the air of freedom which is our proudest heritage.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

If the Constitution of the United States cannot extend the arm of protection around the weakest and humblest of American citizens as around the strongest and proudest, then it is not worth the paper it is written on.
-James Weldon Johnson

If you have a weak candidate and a weak platform, wrap yourself up in the American flag and talk about the Constitution.
-Matthew Stanley Quay

It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.
-Molly Ivins

It is wrong to use some constitutional provisions as springboards for major social change while treating others like senile relatives to be cooped up in a nursing home until they quit annoying us.
-Alex Kozinski

It should be mandatory that every president would read the Constitution. Too many swear to uphold the Constitution and then make end runs around it.
-Helen Thomas

It so happens that everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional.
-Antonin Scalia

Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny.
-Daniel Webster

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.
-Learned Hand

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
-Samuel Adams

Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit.
-Warren Burger

On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
-Thomas Jefferson

One can conclude that certain essential, or fundamental, rights should exist in any just society. It does not follow that each of those essential rights is one that we as judges can enforce under the written Constitution
-Anthony Kennedy

One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights. Minorities have a right to appeal to the Constitution as a shield against such oppression.
-James K. Polk

Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.
-Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks, and U.S. Senators. There ought to be one day (just one) when there is open season on senators.
-Will Rogers

Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind.
-Hugo Black

Our forefathers weren't the Pilgrims. We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. The rock was landed on us. We were brought here against our will. We were not brought here to be made citizens. We were not brought here to enjoy the constitutional gifts that they speak so beautifully about today.
-Malcolm X

Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.
-Thurgood Marshall

People who burn the flag are exercising their Constitutional rights. Congressman who take money from special interest groups are abusing theirs.
-Kevin G. Barkes

Philadelphia was the first city to foresee the advantages of a Federal constitution and oatmeal as a breakfast food.
-Christopher Morley

Preferring members of any one group for no reason other than race or ethnic origin is discrimination for its own sake. This the Constitution forbids.
-Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

Since when is public safety the root password to the Constitution?
-C.D. Tavares

Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.
-Thurgood Marshall

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human.
-Thomas Jefferson

Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.
-James Madison

Surely they knew that the very idea of the future came in an American box- complete with instructions for assembling a Constitution, a MacDonald's hamburger franchise, a row of Marriot hotels and a First Amendment.
-Lewis H. Lapham

Thank God, under our Constitution there was no connection between church and state.
-James K. Polk

The American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.
-William Gladstone

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.
-George Washington

The case for freedom, the case for our constitutional principles the case for our heritage has to be made anew in each generation. The work of freedom is never done.
-Anthony Kennedy

The Constitution doesn't belong to a bunch of judges and lawyers. It belongs to you.
-Anthony Kennedy

The Constitution is a delusion and a snare if the weakest and humblest man in the land cannot be defended in his right to speak and his right to think as much as the strongest in the land.
-Clarence Darrow

The Constitution was framed fundamentally as a bulwark against governmental power, and preventing the arbitrary administration of punishment is a basic ideal of any society that purports to be governed by the rule of law.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
-Daniel Webster

The constitutional vision of human dignity rejects the possibility of political orthodoxy imposed from above; it respects the right of each individual to form and to express political judgments, however far they may deviate from the mainstream and however unsettling they might be to the powerful or the elite.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The establishment of the chaplainship in Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights as well as of Constitutional principles. The danger of silent accumulations and encroachments by ecclesiastical bodies has not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S.
-James Madison

The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.
-Elbridge Gerry (speech at the 1787 Constitutional Convention)

The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

The gentlemen who wrote the Constitution were as suspicious of efficient government as they were wary of democracy, a 'turbulence and a folly' that was associated with the unruly ignorance of an urban mob.
-Lewis H. Lapham

The government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and major social transformations to attain the system of constitutional government and its respect for the freedoms and individual rights, we hold as fundamental today.
-Thurgood Marshall

The great cause of revolutions is this, that while nations move onward, constitutions stand still.
-Thomas Babington Macaulay

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
-Henry Kissinger

The layman's Constitutional view is that what he likes is Constitutional and that which he doesn't like is un-Constitutional. That about measures up the Constitutional acumen of the average person.
-Hugo Black

The mind is no match with the heart in persuasion; constitutionality is no match with compassion.
-Everett Dirksen

The miners lost because they had only the constitution. The other side had bayonets. In the end, bayonets always win.
-Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)

The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
-Abraham Lincoln

(The press) is not a fourth branch of government, the press plays an essential role in 'obliging the government to control itself.' And if we do not serve in this way, the rest of the rights guaranteed by our Constitution cannot be sustained.
-Katharine Graham

The property qualifications for federal office that the framers of the Constitution expressly chose to exclude for demonstrating an unseemly 'veneration of wealth' are now de facto in force and higher than the Founding Fathers could have imagined.
-Bill Moyers

The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges' views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.
-Hugo Black

The right to be let alone is the underlying principle of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.
-Erwin N. Griswold

The U.S. Constitution and the Bible have a lot in common. Few people have read them in their entirety; they are quoted out of context and cherry-picked; their official interpreters wear robes and issue pronouncements that sometimes benefit an entitled few or discriminate against women and minorities; and their decrees and commandments are simply ignored when they interfere with the interests of those in power.
-Kevin G. Barkes

The U.S. constitution is an extraordinary document. In my view, it should not be amended often.
-Bernie Sanders

There can be no impairment of executive power, whether on the state or federal level, where actions pursuant to that power are impermissible under the Constitution. Where there is no power, there can be no impairment of power.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong- deadly wrong- to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

There is nothing I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and converting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
-John Adams

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
-Abraham Lincoln

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other blacks cherish.
-Thurgood Marshall

Ultimately all the questions boil down to one- Whether we as a people will try fearfully and futilely to preserve democracy by adopting totalitarian methods, or whether in accordance with our traditions, and our constitution we will have the confidence and courage to be free.
-Hugo Black

Under our constitutional system, courts stand, against any winds that blow, as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are nonconforming victims of prejudice and public excitement.
-Hugo Black

Violence has no constitutional sanction; and every government from the beginning has moved against it. But where grievances pile high and most of the elected spokesmen represent the Establishment, violence may be the only effective response.
-William O. Douglas

We current justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as 20th-century Americans.
-William J. Brennan, Jr.

We have built into the constitution of the human race the habit and desire of taking, as divorced from its natural precursor and concomitant of making.
-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

We should stop going around babbling about how we're the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic. The founding fathers hated two things, one was monarchy and the other was democracy, they gave us a constitution that saw to it we will have neither. I don't know how wise they were.
-Gore Vidal

What becomes of our democracy when such conditions of inequality as these can be brought about through chicanery, he open violation of the law and defiance of the Constitution?
-James Weldon Johnson

Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society.
-Walter Lippmann

With respect to the words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
-James Madison

Without faith we might relapse into scientific or rational thinking, which leads by a slippery slope toward constitutional democracy.
-Robert Anton Wilson


Categories: Constitution Day; Quotes on a topic; U.S. Constitution


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69 observations on war
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Published Tuesday, September 16, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Sep 16 2014

A democracy needs an opposition, especially in time of war, precisely to keep the government honest, and to point to whatever errors (or possible errors) it finds in the government's actions.
-Eugene Volokh

A famous Frenchman once said, War has become far too important to entrust to the generals. Today, business, I think, should be saying: Politics have become far too important to entrust to the politicians.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

A peace which depends upon fear is nothing but a suppressed war.
-Henry van Dyke

After each war there is a little less democracy to save.
-Brooks Atkinson

Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful.
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose-and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
-Abraham Lincoln

And so we went. Young men always go. Always there is another war. Always there are reasons. In the past these were straightforward: lust, booty, excitement, empire, a way to escape the family yurt, sheer joyous combativeness, the king was bored. Not much has changed.
-Fred Reed

At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from want- for these are things that must be gained in peace as well as in war.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Because we want the peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total- but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial.
-Daniel Berrigan

Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine.
-Gore Vidal

Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.
-Donald Rumsfeld

Even a fool could see that one didn't need a war, nuclear or otherwise, to destroy oneself; the rising cost of weaponry could do that quite nicely.
-Stanislaw Lem

Every thinking person fears nuclear war and every technological nation plans for it. Everyone knows it's madness, and every country has an excuse.
-Carl Sagan

Everyone, when there's war in the air, learns to live in a new element: falsehood.
-Jean Giraudoux

Frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry.
-Joseph Heller

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
-John Adams

He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.
-Thomas Paine

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
-Jack Handey

I feel that if any songs are going to come out of World War III, we'd better start writing them now.
-Tom Lehrer

I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so.
-Romain Rolland

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
-John Adams

If nations had any sense, they would begin a war by sending their oldest men to the trenches. They would not risk the lives of their young men except in the last extremity.
-George Bernard Shaw

If we don't end war, war will end us.
-H.G. Wells

If we would just take the profit out of war, there wouldn't be any.
-Woody Guthrie

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
-Leo Tolstoy

In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion.
-James Reston

In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers.
-August Bebel

National security includes schools for our children as well as silos for our missiles. It includes the health of our families as much as the size of our bombs, the safety of our streets, and the condition of our cities, and not just the engines of war. If we some day choke on the pollution of our own air, there will be little consolation in leaving behind a dying continent ringed with steel.
-George McGovern

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war.
-Herbert Hoover

Only in America would you have a war, get it over with and have all the heroes either be generals or politicians.
-H. Ross Perot

Religious war? Now you're just killing people in an argument over who has the better imaginary friend.
-Richard Jeni

Short of changing human nature, therefore, the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war.
-Richard M. Nixon

Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography.
-Paul Rodriguez

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

Terrorism is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it; war is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.
-Sydney J. Harris

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
-Robert Lynd

The cause of war is preparation for war.
-W.E.B. DuBois

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now- with somebody- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives. (9/12/2001)
-Hunter S. Thompson

There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult- to begin a war and to end it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

There can be no lasting peace where hatred exists. Hatreds will continue to arise as long as the causes of war are not rooted out and exposed.
-Henry Ford

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 is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the ideals of representative democracy, when one portion of our citizenship turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation.
-Warren G. Harding

There never was a good war or a bad peace.
-Benjamin Franklin

There will never be a nuclear war. There's too much real estate involved.
-Frank Zappa

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
-Ernest Hemingway

Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it.
-Anne O'Hare McCormick

Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920's and 1930's when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother's keeper.
-Hubert H. Humphrey

Usually when a lot of men get together, it's called war.
-Mel Brooks

War does not determine who is right- only who is left.
-Bertrand Russell

War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed circumstances... that no human wisdom can calculate the end.
-Thomas Paine

War is a great asshole magnet.
-P.J. O'Rourke

War is capitalism with the gloves off and many who go to war know it but they go to war because they don't want to be a hero. It takes courage to sit down and be counted.
-Tom Stoppard

War is evil, but sometimes man has to play with the devil to get rid of him.
-Roy Forquer

War is just one more big government program.
-Joseph Sobran

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
-Jimmy Carter

War seldom enters but where wealth allures.
-John Dryden

War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
-H.L. Mencken

We declared war on terror- it's not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I'm sure we'll take on that bastard ennui.
-Jon Stewart

What 'the fog of war' means is: war is so complex it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily.
-Robert S. McNamara

What disqualifies war from being a true game is probably what also disqualifies the stock market and business- the rules are not fully known nor accepted by all the players.
-Marshall McLuhan

What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?
-W.E.B. DuBois

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

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
-Plato

While we spend much of our time and a great deal of our treasure in preparing for war, we see no comparable effort to establish a lasting peace.
-Walter Cronkite

Why would we go to war on women? They don't have any oil.
-Stephen Colbert

You cannot negotiate peace with people whose power is entirely dependent on the will to wage war.
-Andrew Sullivan

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(September 16 is the birthday of Laurence J. Peter.)


Categories: Quotes on a topic; War


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Remembering SKB
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Published Monday, September 15, 2014 @ 9:32 PM EDT
Sep 15 2014

"With his mind-numbing grasp of English, literature, computer history, and programmer culture, Stan is the Umberto Eco of programming."
-Ron Burk

"Computers were simpler then. We had only 0's. We'd read papers discussing computers with 1's and 0's, which opened our eyes and made us yearn. We prayed for 1's to come to [Cambridge]. Finally, we got them and everything was greatly changed. Still, computing with just 0's was an awful lot easier."
-Stan Kelly-Bootle

Stan Kelly Bootle (September 15, 1929 - April 16, 2014) was a true renaissance man. He obtained the first post-graduate degree ever awarded in computer science the year I was born (1954), and was a singer-songwriter whose music was recorded by Judy Collins and Cilla Black.

I first learned of Stan through his book The Devil's DP Dictionary. Published around the time I entered the computer business in the early 80s, his Ambrose Bierce-like style made me an instant fan and admirer. Its successor, The Computer Contradictionary (1995, The MIT Press) is still in print, a tribute to his wit and depth of knowledge.)

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cursor address, n:
"Hello, cursor!"

default, n.:
[Possibly from Black English "De fault wid dis system is you, mon."] The vain attempt to avoid errors by inactivity. "Nothing will come of nothing: speak again."-King Lear.

flowchart, n. & v.:
[From flow “to ripple down in rich profusion, as hair” + chart "a cryptic hidden-treasure map designed to mislead the uninitiated."] 1. n. The solution, if any, to a class of Mascheroni construction problems in which given algorithms require geometrical representation using only the 35 basic ideograms of the ANSI template. 2. n. Neronic doodling while the system burns. 3. n. A low-cost substitute for wallpaper. 4. n. The innumerate misleading the illiterate. "A thousand pictures is worth ten lines of code."-The Programmer's Little Red Vade Mecum, Mao Tse T'umps. 5. v.intrans. To produce flowcharts with no particular object in mind. 6. v.trans. To obfuscate (a problem) with esoteric cartoons.

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In 1984, Stan started a 16-year run at Unix Review (later renamed Performance Computing) with his Devil's Advocate column. His influence was such that when I noticed the magazine in the daily stack of mail, all work stopped until I could revel in that month's example of technical expertise and lexicographic wizardry. Many of his observations can still be found across the web:

Computer Science: A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the precision of the former and the success of the latter.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.

Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of .5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.

(That example evolved into the "KB," the Kelly-Bootle Standard Unit of 1012 bytes, a compromise between 1000 and 1024 bytes, in xkcd.)

Stan's sense of humor was not limited to the technical and arcane:

Q. What is the difference between Congress and the Library of Congress?
A. At the Library of Congress, you aren't allowed to lick the pages.

My first contact with Stan was in the early 90s when he used a joke from my DEC Pro column in Unix Review. Thrilled, I even overlooked his reference to me as "one of the last remaining DEC Professionals" although, as usual, he was presciently correct.

For the next 20 years, we exchanged emails about absurdities that struck our respective fancies. I never met Stan in person. We talked a few times on the phone, and he was thrilled when I sent him a copy of Lawrence Krauss' The Physics of Star Trek. as a Christmas gift.

He was also tickled about the inclusion of some of his observations in my now out-of-print quotations collection:

"Kevin G. Barkes's printed selection risibly titled "Eff the Ineffable, Scrute the Inscrutable" is available via his website or by email. I'm reluctant (not really) to boast of four quotation by my goodself, two more than Walter Cronkite, three more than Wolfgang Pauli (stung by his own Exclusion Principle?), and, quite unfairly, three more than Doc Cypher. Doc's solo quote, though, has the quality: "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck is probably the day that they start making vacuum clearners." But I digress." (Original link here.)

Stan returned to England from the U.S. in 2004. Our last communication was a congratulatory e-mail following my January 2009 marriage.

Here's his obituary in the Guardian and his biography on Wikipedia.

Stan once wrote, "The Christian message is that... good deeds are rewarded: 'You can’t take it with you, but you can mail it ahead.'" You can also leave a good deal behind, and Stan left us an embarrassment of riches.


Categories: Passages; Stan Kelly-Bootle


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Quotes of the day: François de La Rochefoucauld
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Published Sunday, September 14, 2014 @ 8:16 PM EDT
Sep 14 2014

François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac (September 15, 1613 – March 17, 1680) was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. His is a clear-eyed, worldly view of human conduct that indulges in neither condemnation nor sentimentality. Born in Paris on the Rue des Petits Champs, at a time when the royal court was oscillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplar of the accomplished 17th-century nobleman. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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"This is no time to be getting all steamed up about La Rochefoucauld. It's only a question of minutes before I'm going to be pretty darned good and sick of La Rochefoucauld, once and for all. La Rochefoucauld this and La Rochefoucauld that. Yes, well, let me tell you that if nobody had ever learned to quote, very few people would be in love with La Rochefoucauld. I bet you I don't know ten souls who read him without a middleman."
-Dorothy Parker, in her short story The Little Hours

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A man may be ungrateful but is less chargeable with ingratitude than his benefactor.

A man will often believe himself a leader when he is led; while with his mind he endeavours to reach one goal, his heart insensibly drags him toward another.

Absence extinguishes the minor passions and increases the great ones, as the wind blows out a candle and fans a fire.

As we age, we become more foolish and wiser.

Everyone complains about his memory, and no one complains about his judgment.

Everyone speaks well of his heart; no one dares speak well of his mind.

Few know how to be old.

Few women's merit lasts as long as their beauty.

Fortunate people seldom mend their ways, for when good luck crowns their misdeeds with success they think it is because they are right.

Friendship is only a reciprocal conciliation of interests, and an exchange of good offices; it is a species of commerce out of which self-love always expects to gain something.

Hardly any man is clever enough to know all the evil he does.

How can we expect others to keep our secrets if we cannot keep them ourselves?

Hypocrisy is an homage that vice pays to virtue.

If we had no faults, we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.

If we judge love by the majority of its results, it resembles hatred more than friendship.

If we resist our passions, it is more through their weakness than our strength.

In all professions we affect a part and an appearance to seem what we wish to be. Thus the world is merely composed of actors.

In friendship and in love, one is often happier because of what one does not know than what one knows.

In jealousy there is more of self-love than love.

In love, the first healed is the best healed.

In the adversity of our best friends we often find something that is not exactly displeasing.

In the human heart there is a perpetual generation of passions, such that the ruin of one is almost always the foundation of another.

In their first passion, women love their lovers; in all the others, they love love.

It is a great folly to wish to be wise alone.

It is a kind of happiness to know how unhappy we must be.

It is better to set one's mind to bearing the misfortunes that are happening than to think of those that may happen.

It is difficult to define love. In the soul it is a passion to rule; in the mind it is sympathy; and in the body it is only a hidden and tactful desire to possess what we love after many mysteries.

It is easier to be wise for others than for oneself.

It is easier to know man in general than to know one man.

It is easier to seem worthy of positions one does not have than of those one does.

It is harder to hide the feelings we have than to feign the ones we do not have.

It is impossible to fall back in love with what one has stopped being in love with.

It is less dangerous to treat most men badly than to treat them too well.

It is more difficult to avoid being ruled than to rule others.

It is more disgraceful to distrust than to be deceived by our friends.

It is not a pain to give to ingrates, but it is an intolerable one to be obliged to a dishonest man.

It is only those who are firm who can be genuinely kind.

It is useless to be young without being beautiful, or beautiful without being young.

Jealousy is always born with love but does not always die with it.

Jealousy lives upon suspicion; and it turns into a fury or ends as soon as it passes from suspicion to certainty.

Lovers never get tired of each other, because they are always talking about themselves.

Luck must be dealt with like health: enjoy it when it is good, be patient when it is bad.

Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding.

Moderation has been called a virtue to limit the ambition of great men, and to console undistinguished people for their want of fortune and their lack of merit.

Most people judge men only by success or by fortune.

Neither love nor fire can subsist without perpetual motion; both cease to live so soon as they cease to hope, or to fear.

Neither the sun nor death can be looked at steadily.

Nobody deserves to be praised for goodness unless he is strong enough to be bad, for any other goodness is usually merely inertia or lack of will-power.

Nothing is given so profusely as advice.

Nothing prevents us being natural so much as the desire to appear so.

Of all violent passions, the least unbecoming to a woman is love.

Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer provide bad examples.

One is never so happy or so unhappy as one fancies.

One must listen if one wishes to be listened to.

One must not just have great qualities, but also economize them.

Only great men have great faults.

Our repentance is not so much sorrow for the ill we have done as a fear of the ill that may befall us.

Our virtues are most frequently but vices in disguise.

Philosophy triumphs easily over past and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.

Preserving your health by too strict a diet is a tedious illness.

Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.

Self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of characters, even that of disinterestedness.

Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers.

Silence is the surest resolve for him who distrusts himself.

Sincerity is an openness of heart; we find it in very few people; what we usually see is only an artful dissimulation to win the confidence of others.

Some condemnations praise; some praise damns.

Some people's faults are becoming to them; others are disgraced by their own good traits.

Sometimes it is pleasant for a husband to have a jealous wife: he always hears what he loves being talked about.

Sometimes one must be base in order not to be tricked by a clever man.

The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than actual brilliancy.

The defects and faults in the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind.

The desire to appear clever often prevents one from being so.

The evil that we do does not attract to us so much persecution and hatred as our good qualities.

The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire to receive even greater benefits.

The greatest fault of a penetrating wit is to go beyond the mark.

The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.

The intention of cheating no one lays us open to being cheated ourselves.

The love of justice is simply in the majority of men the fear of suffering injustice.

The mind is always the dupe of the heart.

The passions are the only advocates which always persuade. They are a natural art, the rules of which are infallible; and the simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without.

The pleasure of love is in loving; we are happier in the passion we feel than in what we inspire.

The reason that there are so few good conversationalists is that most people are thinking about what they are going to say and not about what the others are saying.

The refusal of praise is only the wish to be praised twice.

The stamp of great minds is to suggest much in few words, so, contrariwise, little minds have the gift of talking a great deal and saying nothing.

The truest way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others.

The vivacity which increases with old age is not so far removed from folly.

There are few honest women who are not tired of what they do.

There are few people who are more often wrong than those who cannot suffer being wrong.

There are foolish people who recognize their foolishness and use it skillfully.

There are good marriages, but no delicious ones.

There are many predicaments in life that one must be a bit crazy to escape from.

There are very few people who are not ashamed to be loved when they no longer do.

There is a certain dignity of manner independent of fortune, a certain distinctive air which seems to mark us out for great things. It is a value we set upon ourselves without realizing it, and by means of this quality we claim other men’s deference as our due. This does more to set us above them than birth, honors, and merit itself.

There is great skill in knowing how to conceal one's skill.

There is merit without attainment, but no attainment without some merit.

There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand different versions.

Those who apply themselves too much to little things often become incapable of great ones.

Those who have had great passions are happy all their lives and would be unhappy to have been cured of them.

Those who know their minds do not know their hearts.

To succeed in the world we do everything we can to appear successful already.

Too great a hurry to be discharged of an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.

True love is like the appearance of ghosts: everyone talks about it but few have seen it.

Usually we only praise to be praised.

We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.

We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire.

We are eager to believe that others are flawed because we are eager to believe in what we wish for.

We confess to little faults only to persuade ourselves we have no great ones.

We hardly find any persons of good sense save those who agree with us.

We may bestow advice, but we cannot inspire the conduct.

We may find women who have never indulged in an intrigue, but it is rare to find those who have intrigued but once.

We need greater virtues to sustain good than evil fortune.

We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those whom we bore.

We pardon to the extent that we love.

We promise according to our hopes; we fulfill according to our fears.

We should not be upset that others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves.

We try to make virtues out of the faults we have no wish to correct.

We would rather speak ill of ourselves than not talk about ourselves at all.

What grace is to the body, good sense is to the mind.

What makes the vanity of others insufferable to us is that it wounds our own.

What often prevents us from abandoning ourselves to one vice is that we have several.

When not prompted by vanity, we say little.

Who lives without folly is not as wise as he thinks.

-----

(September 15 is also the birthday of Agatha Christie and Robert Benchley.)


Categories: François de La Rochefoucauld; Quotes of the day


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