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)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Grip II

"Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip."
--Barbara Tuchman

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Central

"The alchemist said, 'No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.'"
Paulo Coelho, 10-13-09, The Alchemist - 10th Anniversary Edition (p. 160). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Challenge III

"The duty of youth is to challenge corruption "
--Kurt Cobain

Friday, March 13, 2015

Wake II

Our business is to wake up. We have to find ways in which to detect the whole of reality in the one illusory part which our self-centered consciousness permits us to see. We must not live thoughtlessly, taking our illusion for the complete reality, but at the same time we must not live too thoughtfully in the sense of trying to escape from the dream state. We must continually be on our watch for ways in which we may enlarge our consciousness. We must not attempt to live outside the world, which is given us, but we must somehow learn how to transform it and transfigure it. Too much "wisdom" is as bad as too little wisdom, and there must be no magic tricks. We must learn to come to reality without the enchanter's wand and his book of the words. One must find a way of being in this world while not being of it. A way of living in time without being completely swallowed up in time.

--Aldous Huxley
"Shakespeare And Religion"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Promoting

"[T]he freedom to speak can never be maintained merely by objecting to interference with the liberty of the press, of printing, of broadcasting, of the screen. It can be maintained only by promoting debate."
--Walter Lippmann

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hanging

"A bird hanging between two branches will get bitten on both wings."
--Ethiopian Proverb

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hate

"Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them; and then you destroy yourself."
--Richard M. Nixon

Monday, March 09, 2015

Remedies

"Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses."
--Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, more famous as Molière (1622 - 1673)
Le Malade Imaginaire (1673), Act III, sc. iii.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Conversation

MY LAI CONVERSATION

How old are you, small Vietnamese boy?
Six fingers. Six years.
Why did you carry water to the wounded soldier, now dead?
Your father.
Your father was enemy of free world.
You also now are enemy of free world.
Who told you to carry water to your father?
Your mother!
Your mother is also enemy of free world.
You go into ditch with your mother.
American politician has said,
"It is better to kill you as a boy in the elephant grass of Vietnam
Than to have to kill you as a man in the rye grass in the USA."
You understand.
It is easier to die
Where you know the names of the birds, the trees, and the grass
Than in a stranger country.
You will be number 128 in the body count for today.
High body count will make the Commander-in-Chief of free world much encouraged.
Good-bye, small six-year-old Vietnamese boy, enemy of free world.

--Eugene McCarthy

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Hero

"A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around."
--Edgar Watson

Friday, March 06, 2015

Assumes

"A democratic despotism is like a theocracy:
it assumes its own correctness."
--Walter Bagehot
(1826-1877)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Cycle

"Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent--the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free."
--H.L. Mencken
Preface to the first edition of The American Credo : A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind (1920)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Supplier

"Once the government becomes the supplier of people's needs,
there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right."
--Lawrence Auster
Political commentator

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Salvation II

"Put no faith in salvation through the political order."
--Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo Regius, also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, or St. Austin was a Romanized Berber philosopher and theologian

Monday, March 02, 2015

Separated

"This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of the nation and we dreamed of giving ours her truth."
--Albert Camus, 'Letters to a German Friend'

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Onion

She had been so wicked that in all her life she had done only one good deed--given an onion to a beggar.  So she went to hell.  As she lay in torment she saw the onion, lowered down from heaven by an angel.  She caught hold of it.  He began to pull her up.  The other damned saw what was happening and caught hold of it too.  She was indignant and cried, "Let go--it's my onion," and as soon as she said, "My onion," the stalk broke and she fell back into the flames.    
--E.M. Forster, "The Hill Of Devi"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Complex

"Man is a complex being; he makes the deserts bloom and lakes die.
--Gil Stern

Friday, February 27, 2015

Onward

"One Folk, One Realm, One Leader. Union with the unity of an insect swarm. Knowledgeless understanding of nonsense and diabolism. And then the newsreel camera had cut back to the serried ranks, the swastikas, the brass bands, the yelling hypnotist on the rostrum. And here once again, in the glare of his inner light, was the brown insectlike column, marching endlessly to the tunes of this rococo horror-music. Onward Nazi soldiers, onward Christian soldiers, onward Marxists and Muslims, onward every chosen People, every Crusader and Holy War-maker. Onward into misery, into all wickedness, into death!"
--Aldous Huxley, "Island" (1962)