Friday, April 17, 2015

Working II

"Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine.
       
--Gore Vidal, "America First? America Last? America at Last?," Lowell Lecture, Harvard University (April 20, 1992)

Greatness II

"You gave him an opportunity of showing greatness of character and he did not seize it. He will never forgive you for that."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Servility

"The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself."
--Noam Chomsky

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Unarmed

"An unarmed people are slaves or are subject to slavery at any given moment."
--Huey P. Newton, "In Defense of Self-Defense"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Emulation

"Our children will not survive our habits of thinking, our failures of the spirit, our wreck of the universe into which we bring new life as blithely as we do. Mostly, our children will resemble our own misery and spite and anger, because we give them no choice about it. In the name of motherhood and fatherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways."
--June Jordan

Monday, April 13, 2015

Profit

"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, "Real Peace" (1983)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Techniques

"It is now very clear that techniques of machine-human interfacing, pharmacology of the synthetic variety, all kinds of manipulative techniques, all kinds of data storage, imaging and retrieval techniques--all of this is coalescing toward the potential of a truly demonic or angelic kind of self-imaging of our culture... And the people who are on the demonic side are fully aware of this and hurrying full-tilt forward with their plans to capture everyone as a 100% believing consumer inside some kind of a beige furnished fascism that won't even raise a ripple."
--Terence McKenna, "Non-Ordinary States Through Vision Plants" (1988)

Chaos II

"The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place, and continues to do so today."
--Douglas Adams, The Guardian (1995), and in "Biting back at Microsoft" (June 5, 2001)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Humane II

"Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity."
--Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)
American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Source: The Ordeal of Change (1963), Chapter 15

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Hats

"Frank O'Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall--and then they had no choice but to follow them."
--John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Whistling

"Anyone who tells you that 'It Can't Happen Here'
is whistling past the graveyard of history.
There is no 'house rule' that bars tyranny coming to America.
History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent
and descended into imperial butchery and chaos."
--Mike Vanderboegh
(1953- ) Alabama Minuteman

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Sunk

"I firmly believe that if the whole material medical could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worse for the sea."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, April 06, 2015

Superiority

"Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man."
--H.L. Mencken
    "Duty Before Security", The Smart Set, June 1919
    "The Incomparable Buzzsaw", Prejudices: Second Series, Ch. 10 (1920)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Alone IV

"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."
--William O. Douglas, Dissenting, Public utilities Commission v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 467 (1952).

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Dust

"It was prettily devised of Aesop, The fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise!"
--Francis Bacon

Friday, April 03, 2015

Twenty II

"It takes twenty years or more of peace to make a man; it takes only twenty seconds of war to destroy him."
--Baudouin

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Lightly

"At the moment of death you let go lightly, you go out into the light, towards the one, towards God  The only thing that died, after all, was another set of thoughts of who you were this time around."
--Ram Dass

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Fully

"Switzerland, on the other hand, insists that every male of military age must keep a powerful, fully automatic assault rifle in his home. Every home must be armed -- by law -- and some even keep mortars. Yet Switzerland has one of the most law-abiding citizenry, the lowest crime rate, and least violence of any country in the free world. And it has remained free for over a thousand years. Compare it to New York and Washington where handguns are completely banned. In fact, in Washington, Chief of Police Maurice Turner recently said that the District of Columbia gun ban law had completely failed, and he has called for armed citizen's police auxiliary to help restore order."
--Donald S. McAlvaney
Source: Toward a New World Order, 56 (2Nd Ed. 1992).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Decay

The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if the motto "In God we trust" were one day expunged from the coins of the republic by the Junkers at Washington, and the far more appropriate word, "verboten," substituted. Nor would it astound any save the most romantic if, at the same time, the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

--H.L. Mencken, "The American Credo: A Contribution toward the Interpretation of the National Mind" (1920)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Usurpation II

"A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either."
--Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
US Founding father, pamphleteer, author

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Homemade

"All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours."
--Aldous Huxley, "Vijaya in Island" (1962)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mediocrity

"Whenever people talk glibly of a need to achieve educational "excellence," I think of what an improvement it would be if our public schools could just achieve mediocrity."
--Thomas Sowell
(1930- ) Writer and economist

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fallen

"Our Founders warned us that all republics have eventually fallen into tyranny -- the only difference being the relative timeline of each republic's descent. ... From the summer of 1787 when our Framers deliberated over their magnificent Constitution, we have recognized that the clear statement and equal application of the Law is among the most critical duties of any government. If we allow ourselves to lose this, we may as well be back in ancient Rome, subject to the whim of every petty tyrant in the taxing bureau or the zoning board. For it doesn't matter whether the regulator's foot is shod in a jack boot or a Roman sandal; if he can hold you down with that boot upon your neck, then we are no longer in the America that our Founding Fathers intended for us."
--John F. Di Leo
Columnist

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scientist

"I guess I'm just an old mad scientist at bottom. Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws."
--S.J. Perelman

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Body

"A body of men, holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by anybody."
--Thomas Paine

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Obsolete II

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."
--Tom Lehrer (1973)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Four II

"The Kardashian family has signed a deal keeping them on the air for four more years and paying them $100 million.  So let that be a lesson.  If you really work hard and apply yourself, you are wasting your time."
--Seth Meyersv

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adduced

"The same fact that Boccaccio offers in support of religion might be adduced in behalf of a republic: 'It exists in spite of its ministers.' "
--Heinrich Heine
(1797-1856)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Racket II

"The people I’m furious with are the Women’s Liberationists. They keep getting up on soapboxes and proclaiming women are brighter than men. That’s true, but it should be kept quiet or it ruins the whole racket."
--Anita Loos

Friday, March 20, 2015

Luxury

"Republics end through luxury; monarchies through poverty.
[Fr., Les republiques finissent par le luxe; les monarchies, par la pauvrete.]"
--Charles de Montesquieu
[Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat] (1689-1755) Baron de Montesquieu
Source: De l'Esprit (VII, ch. IV)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cool

"The cool-person syndrome is peculiarly American. Part of that has to do with the way the educational business is run in the U.S. It’s not based on how much you can teach your child: it’s based on how much money the suppliers of basic materials can make off your child. Somewhere along the line most people pick up the desire to be a cool person, which is just another way to make them buy things. Once you’ve decided that you need to be a cool person, it makes you a possible victim of anyone whose products are the equivalent of bottled smoke. Somebody tells you to buy this particularly useless item and you’ll be a cool person. No matter how stupid it seems, you have to buy it. Pet Rocks. Pringle’s potato chips. whatever it is--the newest, the latest. Since the cool-person thing is something you learn in school, and since the school business is pretty suspicious and definitely tied up with the government, it makes you wonder whether or not the desire to be cool is part of a government plot to make you buy stupid things."
--Frank Zappa

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Infighting

"Somebody once said that one of the reasons academic infighting is so vicious is that the stakes are so small. There's so little at stake and they are so nasty about it."
--John C. Carr, "The Craft of Crime : Conversations with Crime Writers" (1983)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Skewed

"There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world.  The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be."
--Douglas Adams, Speech, Cambridge, UK (1998)