Quotes of Note


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Twelve things you should learn by age 40

Corry's aphorisms

Seven freedoms

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you in many religions



Clairvoyant, n. A person...who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron — namely that he is a blockhead.

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

Cynic , n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.

Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.

Ambrose Bierce from "The Devil's Dictionary"

A man prepared to tell the truth should keep one foot in the stirrup.

Old Mongolian Saying

In the course of a long life a wise man will be prepared to abandon his baggage several times.

Old Chinese adage

War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. (From his book 1984 or American politicians)

To abjure violence is a luxury which a delicate few enjoy only because others stand ready to do violence in their behalf.

George Orwell

There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

Will Rogers

Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.

John Wayne

You need some knowledge to recognize knowledge, so where does the first knowledge come from?

Plato's Meno Paradox

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Andre Gide

It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.

John Steinbeck

Being in a ship is like being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.

Samuel Johnson

We trained hard...but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.

Petronius Arbiter, 216 B.C.

All truth passes through three stages.

First, it is ridiculed.

Second, it is violently opposed.

Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Without discipline a body of men becomes rabble. Rabble dies, either on the battlefield or in a POW camp.

W.E.B. Griffin

There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic. Force or persuasion. Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic have always resorted to guns.

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy.

Ayn Rand

Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.

Karl Kraus

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.

Vladimir Nabokov

There are two kinds of people who never amount to much: Those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.


Obscenity is what happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison; but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.l

Bertrand Russell

A paranoid is a man who knows a little of what's going on.

William Burroughs

Germs attack people where they are weakest — that's why there are so many head colds around.

Alfred E. Neuman

An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do.

Dylan Thomas

Democracy is an abysmal system of government. Its only advantage is that it is infinitely superior to anything else we've come up with so far.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Winston Churchill

I only drink to make other people seem interesting.

George Jean Nathan

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.

David Frost

Television - a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.

Ernie Kovacs

I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.

Benjamin Disraeli

Every law is an infraction of liberty.

Jeremy Bentham

I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.

Neil Armstrong

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.

George Bernard Shaw

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.


Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.

Oscar Wilde

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.

Dean Acheson

Favorite animal: steak

Fran Lebowitz

People are wrong when they say that the opera isn't what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That's what's wrong with it.

Noel Coward

We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school.

Peter De Vries

The secret of dealing successfully with a child is not to be its parent.

Mell Lazarus

The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you.

Kin Hubbard

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it.

J. Robert Oppenheimer

When it's a question of policy, the organization bristles with advisers; but once it is a question of action, no one can be found.

paraphrased from Jean de La Fontaine

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.

Lillian Hellman

When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it into practice.

Otto Von Bismarck

The world is divided into people who do things - and people who get the credit.

Dwight Morrow

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.


Both the cockroach and the bird could get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most.

Joseph Wood Krutch

The more violent the body contact of the sports you watch, the lower your class.

Paul Fussell

Example is not only the best way of propagating an opinion, but it is the only way worth taking into account.

Samuel Butler

Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.

G. K. Chesterton

It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.

Arnold Bennett

Human war has been the most successful of our cultural traditions.

Robert Ardrey

The Puritans gave thanks for being preserved from the Indians, and we give thanks for being preserved from the Puritans.

Finley Peter Dunne

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.

Marcel Proust

It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.

Albert Camus

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.

Lily Tomlin

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Woodrow Wilson

Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.

Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

We enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then a few that punish them.

Allen Tucker

The dividing line [between friends and acquaintances] is communication, I think. A friend is someone to whom you can say any jackass thing that enters your mind. With acquaintances, you are forever aware of their slightly unreal image of you, and to keep them content, you edit yourself to fit. Many marriages are between acquaintances. You can be with a person for three hours of your life and have a friend. Another will remain an acquaintance for thirty years.

John D. MacDonald

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.


One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.

Marie Curie

Everyone feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.

James Russell Lowell

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.

Ramsey Clark

An idealist believes that the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.

Sydney J. Harris

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Nothing is as terrible to see as ignorance in action.

Johann von Goethe

It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of the members of any profession are convinced that the terminology and goals of their chosen discipline are self-evident to any reasonable intelligence.

R. C. Dillahunty et al.

We rarely find that people have good sense unless they agree with us.

Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Even before the agricultural revolution began in the Fertile Crescent about 10,000 years ago, humans had learned how to work with new technology. Those who could not or would not eventually became priests, politicians, and bureaucrats.

G. Harry Stine

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.


I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed psychiatrist is our friend.

Jack Handey

The degree of political intrigue in a work environment is inversely proportional to the actual work related abilities of the participants.

An incompetent organization promotes those who are nonthreatening and who it perceives fulfill its incompetency requirements.

A competent organization knows the difference between the wheat germ and chaff, and which is valuable.

An organization that values style over substance is destined to be beaten in the market place by one that does not.

Michael Fendley

We must either find a way or make one.


If you're being attacked from all sides, it's possible you're doing something right; it's also possible that you are doing everything wrong.

Adam Gopnik

The unintended consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.

Irving Kristol

Do not run around in circles merely to appear not to be standing still.

Pharaonic Egyptian proverb

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.

James Thurber

No man ever became great except through many and great mistakes.

William E. Gladstone

Breakdown and breakthrough can be the same process seen from different angles.

Uncle River

A man who has nothing he is willing to die for is not fit to live.

Martin Luther King Jr.

If one desires respect but does not give it, instead one gets fear.

If one wants obedience, but punishes rather than disciplines, instead one gets intimidation.

Christopher Carlsten, MD

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair, 1906

Failure is instructive. The person who thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.

John Dewey

Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.

Marshall McLuhan

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison

Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.

Aldous Huxley

Among those whom I like, I can find one common denominator: all of them make me laugh.

W. H. Auden

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

Thoreau, Walden, 1854

You cannot get the water to clear up until you get the pigs out of the creek.

Old West Virginia Hillbilly saying

If you have 10,000 regulations you destroy all respect for law.

Winston Churchill


Twelve things you should learn by age 40


1. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

2. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

3. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

4. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

5. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

6. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

7. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

8. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

9. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

10. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

11. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

12. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.


Corry's aphorisms


Corry's First Law: Any day that Corry gets laid can't be all bad.


Corry's First Law of Skiing: Both skis must remain on the same side of the tree at all times.


Social skills: The ability to lie convincingly.


Government is always the worst possible solution to a problem, and always the most expensive. Rarely, it is the only solution.


Ignorance of the law is no excuse —unless you are a judge, politician, or bureaucrat.


There are those who believe in America's justice system and those who have experience with it.


Learning is the hardest work I know.


Knowledge of how things are supposed to work is far different from knowledge of how things actually work.


Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and many other religions demand that I believe.

Buddhism demands that I discover.

I am Buddhist.


The purpose of life is simple: Eating and reproducing.

The meaning of life is more complex and deserves some thought.


There are two degrees of intelligence:

Those who know what is known and how to use it;

Those who know what is unknown and how to discover it.

The latter is much rarer and more valuable.


Printing money does not create wealth.


When working in industry it seemed like every time an attorney or accountant was put in charge the company went bankrupt. The same seems to apply with government as well.


It is very difficult to fix a problem when the people in charge already know it all.


I grow weary of fools who claim that force and violence never settled anything then pass a law and send in a SWAT team to enforce it.


The number of problems that can be solved by passing a new law is virtually zero.

The number of problems caused by existing laws is virtually infinite.

The solution to most of our current problems is obvious.


Seven freedoms


The nonnegotiable demands of human dignity are:

• The rule of law;

• Limits on the power of the state;

• Respect for women;

• Private property;

• Free speech;

• Equal justice; and

• Religious tolerance.

President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, January 29, 2002

It is extremely sad that he so miserably failed to live up to his own principles.


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you in many religions


Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.

Mahabharata 5:1517


Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Udana Varga 5:18


Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

Matthew 7:12


Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.

Analects 15:23


Crickydoism: Love one another cause it ain't good to be stupid.

Out of the Mouth of the Holy Innocents


Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.



Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.

Talmud, Shabbat 31:a


Native Wisdom: This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle


Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.

T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien


Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself.

Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5



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Last modified 3/17/16