Sunday, January 31, 2016


"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
-- John A. Shedd

Saturday, January 30, 2016


"Man has lost the basic skill of the ape, the ability to scratch its back. Which gave it extraordinary independence, and the liberty to associate for reasons other than the need for mutual back-scratching."
--Jean Baudrillard

Friday, January 29, 2016


"We must judge a government by its general tendencies and not by its happy accidents."
--Thomas B. Macaulay

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Product III

"You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have."
--P. J. O'Rourke
(1947- ) US humorist, journalist, & political commentator
Source: "The Liberty Manifesto"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Within II

"Totalitarianism is never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within."
--Hannah Arendt

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


"If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they'd have to bring out the tanks to control you."
--Dick Gregory

Monday, January 25, 2016


"Remember that the worst accidents occur in the middle of the road."
--Eugene McCarthy

Sunday, January 24, 2016


"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me."
--Steve Jobs
On the success of Bill Gates and Microsoft, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993)

Saturday, January 23, 2016


"Do Androids [Dream Of Electric Sheep?] has sold very well and has been eyed intently by a film company who has in fact purchased an option on it. My wife thinks it's a good book. I like it for one thing: It deals with a society in which animals are adored and rare, and a man who owns a real sheep is Somebody. . . and feels for that sheep a vast bond of love and empathy. Willis, my tomcat, strides silently over the pages of that book, being important as he is, with his long golden twitching tail. Make them understand, he says to me, that animals are really that important right now. He says this, and then eats up all the food we had been warming for our baby. Some cats are far too pushy. The next thing he'll want to do is write SF novels. I hope he does. None of them will sell."
--Philip K. Dick
"Self Portrait" (1968), reprinted in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick (1995), ed. Lawrence Sutin

Friday, January 22, 2016


"There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


"I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speech at Grosse Pointe High School (March 14, 1968)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


"If our nation had done nothing more in its whole history than to create just two documents, its contribution to civilization would be imperishable. The first of these documents is the Declaration of Independence and the other is that which we are here to honor tonight, the Emancipation Proclamation. All tyrants, past, present and future, are powerless to bury the truths in these declarations, no matter how extensive their legions, how vast their power and how malignant their evil."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
New York Civil War Centennial Commission’s Emancipation Proclamation Observance, New York City, September 12, 1962.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


"The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man's soul. We haven't learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we've made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we've failed to make of it a brotherhood."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rediscovering Lost Values, Sermon delivered at Detroit's Second Baptist Church (February 28, 1954).

Monday, January 18, 2016

Absence II

"Tolstoy, the Russian writer, said in War and Peace: 'I cannot conceive of a man not being free unless he is dead.'  While this statement sounds a bit exaggerated, it gets at a basic truth. What Tolstoy is saying in substance is that the absence of freedom is the presence of death. Any nation or government that deprives an individual of freedom is in that moment committing an act of moral and spiritual murder. Any individual who is not concerned about his freedom commits an act of moral and spiritual suicide.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Address at the Fiftieth Annual NAACP Convention, July 17, 1959, New York.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


"Jesus himself saw the power that competition hold over men, He did not ignore it. Yet he does something with the conception of competition that had it been done before. He takes the conception, which has been used for lower purposes and rescues it from many of its dangers, by suggesting a higher method of its use. This is how he applied the term to his disciples. He saw them in danger of using it for low purposes. They wanted to complete for reputation and position. Which of them should be accepted greatest? Jesus say so, if you must use the power of competition, if you must compete with one another: make it as noble as you can by using it [in] noble things. Use it for a fine unselfish thing. He that is greatest among you shall serve. Use it for human good. Shall be the most useful; compete with one another in humility. See which can be the trust servant. It seems that Christ says- use it but use it for higher and holier purpose. Use it not to surpass one another in esteem, but use it to increase the comment of usefulness and brother’s help..."

 Imagine the change that would come about if the Churches applied this truth. Now we are bogged not in competitive denominationalism, which is a destroying the warm blood of Protestant Church. Which of them shall be accounted greatest? Let the churches stop trying to outstrip each other in the number of their adherents, the size of its sanctuary, the abundance of wealth. If we must compete let us compete to see which can move toward the greatest attainment of truth, the greatest service of the poor, and the greatest salvation of the soul and bodies of men.
Suppose the teaching of Jesus should be accepted by competing nations of the world, particularly Russia and Am[er]ica. They would no longer compete to see which could make the bigger atom bombs, or which cold best perpetuate its imperialism, but which could best serve humanity. This would be a better world.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
  Outline of a sermon on "Cooperative/Noble Competition." King takes Luke 22:24 as the basis of this message.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


"We, the disinherited of this land, we who have been oppressed so long, are tired of going through the long night of captivity. And now we are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Montgomery Bus Boycott speech, at Holt Street Baptist Church
December 5, 1955

Friday, January 15, 2016

Forward II

"If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover these precious values: that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


"Going to the opera, like getting drunk, is a sin that carries its own punishment with it."
--Hannah More

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Twist II

"And we love to dance -- especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede."
--Dick Gregory

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Statues II

"America loves the representation of its heroes to be not just larger than life, but stupendously, awesomely bigger than anything else. If blue whales built statues to each other they'd be smaller then these."
--Simon Hoggart

Monday, January 11, 2016


"Listen Jake... don't you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you are not taking advantage of it?"
--Ernest Hemingway, "The Sun Also Rises"
Robert Cohn to Jake Barnes

Sunday, January 10, 2016


"To me, the irony of this involvement with size, as I observed earlier, is the unwillingness or inability of so many Americans to identify themselves with something as vast as the United States. Bigger cars, bigger parking lots, bigger corporate structures, bigger farms, bigger drug stores, bigger supermarkets, bigger motion-picture screens. The tangible and the functional expand, while the intangible and the beautiful shrink. Left to wither is the national purpose, national educational needs, literature and theater, and our critical faculties. The national dialogue is gradually being lost in a froth of misleading self-congratulation and cliche. National needs and interests are slowly being submerged by the national preoccupation with the irrelevant.
--J. William Fulbright

Saturday, January 09, 2016


"For physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The relationship between the soundness of the body and the activities of the mind is subtle and complex. Much is not yet understood. But we do know what the Greeks knew: that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound bodies."
--John F. Kennedy
"Sport at the New Frontier: The Soft American", published in Sports Illustrated, December 26, 1960

Friday, January 08, 2016


"The War between the States... produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. ... [The War] also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed'."
--Walter E. Williams
(1936- ) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Water II

"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it."

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Common II

"You protest, and with justice, each time Hitler jails an opponent; but you forget that Stalin and company have jailed and murdered a thousand times as many. It seems to me, and indeed the evidence is plain, that compared to the Moscow brigands and assassins, Hitler is hardly more than a common Ku Kluxer and Mussolini almost a philanthropist."
--H. L. Mencken,
in an open letter to Upton Sinclair, printed in The American Mercury, June 1936.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


"Political correctness is really a subjective list put together by the few to rule the many--a list of things one must think, say, or do. It affronts the right of the individual to establish his or her own beliefs."
--Mark Berley
Source: Argos, Spring 1998

Monday, January 04, 2016


"Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships--the one-day variety or longer--these are all powerful, cheap, and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force open the idea of 'school' to include family as the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents--and make no mistake, that has been the central function of schools since John Cotton announced it as the purpose of the Bay Colony schools in 1650 and Horace Mann announced it as the purpose of Massachusetts schools in 1850--we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now."
--John Taylor Gatto, "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling"

Sunday, January 03, 2016


"A broad definition of crime in England is that it is any lower-class activity that is displeasing to the upper class" .
--David Frost

Saturday, January 02, 2016


"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
--Jack London

Friday, January 01, 2016


"The period of Prohibition--called the noble experiment--brought on the greatest breakdown of law and order the United States has known until today. I think there is a lesson here. Do not regulate the private morals of people. Do not tell them what they can take or not take. Because if you do, they will become angry and antisocial and they will get what they want from criminals who are able to work in perfect freedom because they have paid off the police."
--Gore Vidal,    
"The State of the Union" (1975)