My Favorite Quotes


If you fool around with something long enough, it will eventually break.


Who sups with the devil must have a long spoon.


Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Anonymous: Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Anonymous: Russian proverb (quoted by former Soviet Air Force pilot and defector Viktor Belenko)

I will urinate in your eyes, and you will say it is holy water.

Abigail Adams

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

Scott Adams

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons; you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola and Bartolome de Argensola

Although laurel and gold may swathe your brows,

and you may control the wheel of Fortune,

and impose laws on the world at your whim;

although you tread the forehead of the moon,

and trample on kings' crowns,

if virtue is lacking in you, you have nothing.

Isaac Asimov

Creationists make it sound as though a "theory" is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

Ausonius (Decimus Magnus Ausonius)

If you are a terror to many people, then beware of many people.

Francis Bacon

Knowledge is power.

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.

Bowen Baxter

If you think practicing what you preach is rough, just try preaching what you practice.

Melody Beattie

Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don't.

Arnold Bennett

All wrongdoing is done in the sincere belief that it is the best thing to do.

Steve Biko

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

William Blake

Listen to the fool's reproach! It is a kingly title!

The crow wished that everything was black; the owl, that everything was white.

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell

Napoleon Bonaparte

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Bishir Ismael Brahim (Kenyan international aid worker)

A hungry stomach has no ears.

Louis Brandeis

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Charlotte Brontë

Conventionality is not morality.

If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.

Let your performance do the thinking.

Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.

Look twice before you leap.

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones.

Edmund Burke

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Better be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security.

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.

No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

"A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" (1756)

Sir Richard Francis Burton

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.

Albert Camus

Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.

What is a rebel? A man who says no.—The Rebel

Dale Carnegie

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

Lord Chesterfield

Choose your pleasures for yourself, and do not let them be imposed upon you.

E.M. Cioran

No human beings more dangerous than those who have suffered for a belief: the great persecutors are recruited from the martyrs not quite beheaded. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it.

It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.

The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself.

Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know.

All that I care to know is that a man is a human being—that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

For all the injustices in our past and our present, we have to believe that in the free exchange of ideas, justice will prevail over injustice, tolerance over intolerance and progress over reaction.

It's the hit dog that yelps.

Kurt Cobain

The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head.

Ivy Compton-Burnett

A leopard does not change his spots, or change his feeling that spots are rather a credit.—More Women Than Men

Marquis de Condorcet

Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.


He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve spirits? While you do not know life, how can you know about death?

Pat Conroy

Grant to nature and to climate some freedom, some vivacity of form, some of the ancient symmetry that comes from wildness.—The Lords of Discipline

Calvin Coolidge

Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.

Charles Cotton

Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it, anything but live for it.

Quentin Crisp

Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.

Whenever we confront an unbridled desire we are surely in the presence of a tragedy-in-the-making.

David Cronenberg

I don't think there's anything man wasn't meant to know. There are just some stupid things that people shouldn't do.

Kevin Cronin

Talk is cheap when the story is good.

Marie Curie

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Francois De La Rochefoucauld

The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.

Philip K. Dick

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Benjamin Disraeli

For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.

William O. Douglas

The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth.

Albert Einstein

Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Dwight Eisenhower

People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.

T.S. Eliot

We fight to keep something alive rather than in the expectation that anything will triumph.

Teach us to care and not to care

Teach us to sit still.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you shoot at a giant, you must kill him.

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.


First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.

Desiderius Erasmus

Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit. (Latin = Invoked or not invoked, the god is present.)


Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.

Enrico Fermi

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.

Alan Dean Foster

An apex is always surrounded only by emptiness.—Star Trek Log Seven, "The Counter-Clock Incident"

Anatole France

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.

Benjamin Franklin

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.—Historical Review of Pennsylvania

You may delay, but time will not.

Nothing preaches better than the act.

Robert Frost

Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

J. William Fulbright

We must dare to think about "unthinkable things," for when things become "unthinkable," thinking stops and action becomes mindless.

Galileo Galilei

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

Siddhartha Gautama (aka Gautama Buddha, The Buddha)

Craving brings pain; craving brings fear. If you do not yield to craving, you will be free from pain and fear.

Dhammapada (verse 216)

Charlotte P. Gillman

To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

George Gissing

It is the mind which creates the world around us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.

The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Ulysses S. Grant

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated.

D. Dale Gulledge

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.

Bret Harte

The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.

Heinrich Heine

Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned.

Robert Heinlein

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.

Avoid making irrevocable decisions when tired or hungry.

Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.

Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.

Man can be chained, but he cannot be domesticated.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow if tomorrow might improve the odds.

Frank Herbert

Fear is the mind-killer.—Dune

Hermocrates of Syracuse

Has not peace honours and glories of her own unattended by the dangers of war?

Alfred Hitchcock

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.

Eric Hoffer

Where there is the necessary skill to move mountains there is no need for the faith that moves mountains.

Abbie Hoffman

The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.

Fred Hoyle

There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for.

David Hume

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.

Hubert Humphrey

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.

Thomas Henry Huxley

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.

Henrik Ibsen

The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.— An Enemy Of The People

What we have inherited from our fathers and mothers is not all that "walks in us." There are all sorts of dead ideas and lifeless old beliefs. They have no tangibility, but they haunt us all the same and we cannot get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. Ghosts must be all over the country, as thick as the sands of the sea.—Ghosts

George Iles

A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.

Robert Ingersoll

Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.

Molly Ivins

Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

Andrew Jackson

Corporations have neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn.

Mick Jagger

It's all right to let yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.

R.D. Jameson

Ghosts are always hungry.

Lyndon B. Johnson

If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed.

Samuel Johnson

Be not too hasty to trust, or to admire, the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The government can't make people love me, but it can keep them from lynching me.

Rodney King

Can we all just get along?

Stephen King

It's a tough life if you don't weaken.—Firestarter

The definition of an asshole is someone who doesn't believe what he is seeing.—Thinner

It is the tale, not he who tells it.—The Breathing Method

You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for, and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you.—It


Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the various creatures as straw dogs; the sage is ruthless, and treats others as straw dogs.—Tao Te Ching

Ursula LeGuin

No light without darkness, no life without death; bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.—The Earthsea Trilogy

Gotthold Lessing

Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases, think for yourself.

C.S. Lewis

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.—The Screwtape Letters

Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Davidson Loehr (Austin Unitarian Universalist minister)

Picking up religious symbols is a little like a violinist picking up a Stradivarius: the instrument will take the measure of you, will let all with ears to hear know that you had no business handling something this fine.

Douglas MacArthur

Whether in chains or in laurels, liberty knows nothing but victories.

Niccolo Machiavelli

There should be many judges, for few will always do the will of few.— Dei Discorsi

Ricardo Flores Magon

In the name of justice the most savage and revolting acts are perpetrated.

Errico Malatesta

Experience through freedom is the only means to arrive at the truth and the best solutions; and there is no freedom if there is not the freedom to be wrong. —"Majorities and Minorities"

Marcus Aurelius

Do not act as if you had a thousand years to live.

A man should be upright, not be kept upright.

Mignon McLaughlin

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.


You will get the rulers you deserve.

Carmen de Monteflores

Oppression can only survive through silence.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

When the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the jails of that country will be filled with good people.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

Michael Myers

When money talks, bullshit walks.

Vladimir Nabokov

The more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will.

The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction.

There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.

Friedrich Nietzsche

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

Anais Nin

When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Family isn't about whose blood you have. It's about who you care about. —South Park, "Ike's Wee Wee" (1998)

Blaise Pascal

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.

Periander of Corinth

He who assists the wicked will in time rue it.

He who has once made himself notorious as utterly unprincipled, is not credited even when he speaks the truth.

He who trusts himself for safety to the care of a wicked man, in seeking succor meets with ruin.

However exalted our position, we should still not despise the powers of the humble.

Kenneth L. Pike

The deepest sins are camouflaged as holiness.

Leonard Pitts

Do that which serves your cause, not that which serves your rage.

Pope Pius XI

Justice requires that to lawfully constituted authority there be given that respect and obedience which is its due; that the laws which are made shall be in wise conformity with the common good; and that, as a matter of conscience all men shall render obedience to these laws.


Take hope from the heart of man, and you make him a beast of prey.

Ayn Rand

Don't bother to examine a folly—ask yourself only what it accomplishes.—The Fountainhead

Sam Rayburn

Any man who will cheat for you will cheat against you.

Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.

Maximilien Robespierre

One can't expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

What you don't do can be a destructive force.

Theodore Roosevelt

The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.

J.K. Rowling

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.—Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Sirius Black)

Bertrand Russell

All movements go too far.

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

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

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.—Conquest of Happiness

Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others.

"Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?"

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.—"On the Value of Scepticism"

It is obvious that "obscenity" is not a term capable of exact legal definition; in the practice of the Courts, it means "anything that shocks the magistrate."—"Recrudescence of Puritanism"

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

"Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

Andrei Sakharov

You can't sit on two chairs at once.

George Santayana

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

John Selden

Idolatry is in a man's own thought, not in the opinion of another.

Rod Serling

There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.

William Shakespeare

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer. —King Henry VI, Part 3(Act 5, Scene 6: Gloucester)

The bird that hath been limed in a bush, with trembling wings misdoubteth every bush.—King Henry VI, Part 3(Act 5, Scene 6: King Henry)

God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.—The Merchant Of Venice(Act 1, Scene 2: Portia)

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?—Twelfth Night(Act 2, Scene 3: Sir Toby Belch)

George Bernard Shaw

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.

Alicia Silverstone

I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness.

Upton Sinclair

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

Aaron Spelling

It's so silly not to be nice.

John Spenkelink (convicted murderer executed by the state of Florida)

Capital punishment—them without the capital get the punishment.

Joseph Stalin

It is not the voters who count, but those who count the votes.

Adlai Stevenson

A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

The obstinacy of cleverness and reason is nothing to the obstinacy of folly and inanity.

Peter Straub

Could you defeat a cloud, a dream, a poem?—Ghost Story

Billy Sunday

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.

Jonathan Swift

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.


There is a demand in these days for men who can make wrong appear right.

Margaret Thatcher

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

Marquis De Vauvenargues

Everyone is born sincere and die deceivers.

The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught.

Lily Tomlin

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

Harry S Truman

Everybody is headed for the same place, and they are headed on the same train, and under the same engineer.

Andy and Larry Wachowski

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.—The Matrix (line spoken by Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne)

Edmund Waller

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired...

"Go, Lovely Rose!"

Booker T. Washington

One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.

Elie Weisel

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Oscar Wilde

The truth is never pure, and rarely simple.—The Importance Of Being Earnest

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.

Harriet Woods

You can be a victor without having victims.

Malcolm X

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.

Power never takes a back step—only in the face of more power.

Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate.

Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.


If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation.

Mao Zedong

Disaster comes by way of the mouth.

When the winds of change blow, build a windmill, not a windbreak.

Ian Ziering

This person kept pushing, and pushing, and I'm sorry it's had to come to this, but that's just the way it is.

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