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Great Quotes Both Old and New


General Dmitri Antonovich Volkogonov: on studying history The past is not a shadow theatre. What rules there is not the ephemeral, but the irreversible.
Ferdinand Magellan: on what to trust The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church.
Adrian Barnett: on awe and wonder This is a godless universe and it thrills me that I have the chance to ride along with it, even if only for my few decades of awareness. Many people turn to religion saying, "But there has to be more to it all than this." To them I say, "Look around you! What more could you ask for?" In terms of Truth, Beauty and Wonder, all the worlds religions cannot compete with a clear, cold, moonless night. We are star-stuff, you and I. We are children of the supernova and our beginnings lie in the death of a star.
J. A. Spender: refuting Chesterton 'Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.' Under the influence of this pestilent morality, I am forever letting tomorrow's work slop backwards into today's, and doing painfully and nervously today what I could do quickly and easily tomorrow.
Aaron Burr: refuting Chesterton even more so Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done.
John Lawler: on a deep if strange truth "Verbing Weirds Language" only if you're expecting it to work in a simple way. This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.
John McCain: on the bottom line We are Americans, and we hold ourselves to humane standards of treatment of people no matter how evil or terrible they may be. To do otherwise, as I have noted, undermines our security, but it also undermines our greatness as a nation. We are not simply any other country. We stand for something more in the world – a moral mission, one of freedom and democracy and human rights at home and abroad. We are better than these terrorists, and we will we win. The enemy we fight has no respect for human life or human rights. They don’t deserve our sympathy. But this isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies.
Thomas Jefferson: on maintaining perspective - and hope If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost. For this is a game where principles are the stake. Better luck, therefore, to us all.
Pasquier Quesnel: on something that explains much Truth irritates only those whom it enlightens but does not convert.
Philip K Dick: on, well, reality Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Thomas MacCamish: on a wonderful thing We seem to have ended up with secularism because there was no other fair way of managing equal citizenship in a plural society; no other reasonable way to share a globe overrun with jealous gods. But what a thing to have achieved! A public ethos that embraces all of us in its insistence on fairness and mutual respect here and now on the beautiful, benighted Earth we share, not in the afterlife that we don't.
Edward R. Murrow: on a truth too often overlooked today We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the voice of loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
Justice Robert Jackson: on the bottom line If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.
Thomas Jefferson: on his understanding of what he was doing [A]n amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that [the preamble] should read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion’; the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
Adam Smith: on the point of it all Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Oma de Sala: on the fundamental choice The Universe is so large, and we are so small, there is only one thing we can control completely: whether we are good, or evil.
Théoden of Rohan: on the ultimate decision Why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to ours?
Mark Twain: on a hard truth Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Nicholas Wolfwood: on another hard truth Life is an incessant series of terribly difficult problems, with brutally limited choices, and a time limit.
Rod Serling: on another sad truth Warnings from the future must be heeded in the past: today may change tomorrow, but once today is gone all tomorrow can do is look back in sorrow at the warning unheeded.
Hiei: on the past and redemption There is no one who doesn't carry scars on his heart. If there were such a person, he would be a shallow bastard.
Theodore Roosevelt: on something still true The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
Thomas Jefferson: on something we really ought to remember Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.
Isaac Jaffee: on strategies for success If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who diagree with you.
Justy Ueki Tylor: on, well, everything Do what you think is right and trust the universe to take care of the rest.
Benjamin Franklin: on being safe Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
G.K. Chesterton: on censoring children's stories Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
John Hay: on foreign relations Dealing with people to whom mendacity is a science is no easy thing.
John Kenneth Galbraith: on what it's all about The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Adams: on an unpleasant truth Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Clyde Edgerton: on geography as culture Because I was born in the South, I am a Southerner. If I had been born in the North, the West, or the Central Plains, I would be just a human being.
H.L. Mencken: on integrity It is difficult to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know you would lie if you were in his place.
Erasmus: on priorities When I get a little money, I buy books. And, if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
Robert L. Park: on the requirements of martyrdom Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment, you must also be right .
Montgomery Burns: on getting ahead Family. Religion. Morality. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.
Han Solo: on maintaining perspective What good's a reward if you ain't around to use it?
John Crichton: on values On my planet we don't marry people we don't love. Unless they're critically ill billionaires.
Marjorie the All-Knowing Trash Heap: on when to worry There are some things worth worrying about. Impending doom isn't one of them.
John Dickson Carr: on paradise ...that fragrance of old books which, far more than your dull roses or any flowers, is the true breath of dreamland.
Tom Carver of the BBC: on why the NRA wins The right to own a firearm is embedded in the American psyche like a splinter of flint, jagged and immovable.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali: on why nobody else wins The only way to deal with bureaucrats is by stealth and sudden violence.
Nick Yemana's grandfather: on a sense of proportion Many things look bleak at the moment of occurrence, but at least we ain't got locusts.
Nero Wolfe: on maintaining perspective It is vainglorious to reproach yourself for a lack of omniscience. The same is true of omnipotence.
Benjamin Franklin: on impressing posterity If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.
Ambassador Londo Mollari: on facing yourself There comes a time when you look into the mirror and realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. Then you accept it, or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking into mirrors.
Abe Simpson: on the changing times I use to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it and it seems weird and scary to me. And it'll happen to you, too.
Archie Goodwin: on mornings The trouble with mornings is that they come when you're not awake.
Eeyore: on ability We can't all, and some of us don't.
Theodore Lytton: on impulse Unexpected invitations to travel are like dancing lessons from God.
General Martok: on a fact of life I tell you: war is much more fun when you're winning.
Euripides: on the outing of truth Time will reveal everything. It is a babbler, and speaks even when it is not asked.
General Colin Powell: on affirmative action It's all very well to talk about pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, but too many have no boots, much less the straps.
William Gladstone: on liberalism vs. conservatism Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear.
Bashou: on values As for the hibiscus
by the roadside,
my horse ate it.
Dan Quisenberry: on the future I have seen the future. It's much like the present, only longer.
James Thurber: on the sad truth You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
Oscar Wilde: on another sad truth
A thing is not necessarily true because a man died for it.
Samuel Goldwyn: on corporate integrity
I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.
Mary Wollstonecraft: on women's rights
I do not want women to have power over men. I want them to have power over themselves.
Joe Lavin: speculating on Word Perfect®'s new advertising slogan
"Word Perfect. Sure, it's a crappy program, but Hey! we won't give your money to Bill Gates."
Rod Serling: on why television is usually lousy It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
David Feherty : on the difference between knowledge and ability Freddie [Couples] has a couple of choices here: he can go straight for the green or he could play it off the left bank and take advantage of that for their next shot. I'd play it off the bank, there's no sense in making it hard for your partner -- well, he's going for it, and ohhhh, he's made a lovely, a perfect shot [within inches of the cup]. Well, that's why I'm holding the microphone.
Clement Atlee: on democracy Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.
Voltaire: on quotes A witty saying proves nothing.
Supreme Court Justice Potter Steart: on the rule of law We dedicated ourselves to a powerful idea -- organic law rather than naked power. There seems to be universal acceptance of that idea in the nation.
Richard Feynman: on why "top scientists say" the darndest things I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Harry S. Truman: on campaigning If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
Aristotle: on liberalism as a virtue Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
James Barrie: on the eternal debate I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life.
Bill Clinton: on the minimum wage increase You need to know that a member of Congress who refuses to allow the minimum wage to come up for a vote made more money during last year's one-month government shutdown than a minimum wage worker makes in an entire year.
Sappho: on beauty Some say a cavalry corps, some infantry, some, again, will maintain that the swift oars of our fleet are the finest sight on dark earth; but I say that whatever one loves, is.
Dogbert: on retailiation as a management strategy Retribution is your best friend, especially when it's combined with its natural companion: hypocrisy. For some reason, retribution has become a dirty little word in business. But only the word itself is a problem; the practice of retribution is as popular as ever. Use it whenever you get a chance.
Thomas Macaulay: on the gift of speaking well Parliamentary government is government by speaking. In such a government the power of speaking is the most highly prized of all the qualities which a politician can possess; and that power may exist, in the highest degree, without judgment, without fortitude...without any skill in diplomacy or in the administration of war.
Hubert Humphrey: on free speech The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: on being a morning person I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird, and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
H. L. Mencken: on what we know We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.
Al Capone: on making friends and influencing people You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.

Got a quote? Suggest it! Email me at kmdavis @ erols.com.


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