Quotes and Conundrums

"Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."

George Orwell

"What an immense mass of evil must result... from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating what may happen."

Leo Tolstoy

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."

Lord Acton

"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

Aldous Huxley

"I don't think you can ever do your best. Doing your best is a process of trying to do your best."

Townes Van Zandt

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."

Oscar Wilde

"My definition of a philosopher is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down."

Louisa May Alcott

"Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Hermann Goering

"Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun."

Pablo Picasso

...What was said about man's body may with equal justice be said about man's soul. It partakes either of all living things, all that has come before and all that will ever come after, all that exists on this particle, earth, and all that exists in the most speculative pastures of unknowable space beyond the last red shift: either that, or it partakes of man's estate and span alone, which read on any mathematical scale must come very near absolute zero, and we are minor beings bowing before gods as appropriately insignificant as our own imagination; we are a transitional species, nature's first brief local experiment with self-awareness, a head above the ancestral ape and a head below whatever must come next; we are evolutionary failures, trapped between earth and a glimpse of heaven, prevented by our sure capacity for self-delusion from achieving any triumph more noteworthy than our own sure self destruction.

Robert Ardrey

"We are in danger of forgetting that a strong public desire to improve the public condition is not enough to warrant achieving the desire by a shorter cut than the constitutional way."

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

Thomas Jefferson

"True, there are innumerable places where the careless step will be the last step; and a rock falling from the cliffs may crush without warning like lightning from the sky, but what then? These mountain mansions are decent, delightful, even divine places to die in, compared to the doleful chambers of civilization. Few places in the world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefor, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand."

John Muir

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

C. S. Lewis

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