Deep inside, however, I always thought it was sad that Americans didn't dance any more. Sure, we turn on really crappy music at ear-splitting volume, and we stand around simulating sex. Oh, yeah. Move over, Fred and Ginger. Listen, people used to DANCE. There were steps, and the men lead and the women followed, and it was romantic and classy, and you could talk over the music. If you don't know a dance with actual steps, you can NOT dance, no matter how cool you think you look at the club, grinding your ignorant pelvis against empty space.
My goal is to be able to go into clubs and ask strange women to dance. Salsa is really unfair to men. For one thing, women don't really have to know anything. You just hold the man's hands and let him drag you around, and everything works out okay. And even if you stink, as long as you look good enough to have sex with, somebody will dance with you. Men have to lead, so we actually have to know the steps, and unless you look like Brad Pitt, no woman will want to go near you unless you can do it all without thinking. Because if you make a mistake, they might look bad, and if they look bad, people might think they did something wrong, and that would conflict with the Female Prime Directive, which is "All Misfortune Must be Blamed on Men."
Never turn your back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
Winston S. Churchill
He looks like a female llama who has just been surprised in her bath.
Winston S. Churchill
When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. So we were often angry at each other.
Charles de Gaulle
. . .An utterly sincere megalomaniac.
A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.
Makable-Deal Theory: Expend your efforts in working hard to find one makable deal, rather than working hard on an endless number of unmakable deals and clinging to the faint hope that you will somehow close one.
Robert J. Ringer
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Where there's a will, there are five hundred relatives.
The man who has accomplished all that he thinks worthwhile has begun to die.
Politicians enjoy attending state funerals and memorial services, because dignified grief goes down so well with the voters. In politics, death is a wonderful thing. It is so uncontroversial.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
Legacy (n): A gift from one who is legging it out of this vale of tears.
Worm's Meat (n): The finished product of which we are the raw material. The contents of the Taj Mahal, Tombeau Napoleon, and the Grantarium. Worm's meat is usually outlasted by the structure that houses it, "but this too must pass away."
Tomb (n): The House of Indifference. Tombs are now by common consent invested with a certain sanctity, but when they have been long tenanted it is considered no sin to break them open and rifle them, the famous Egyptologist, Dr. Huggyens, explaining that a tomb may be innocently "glened" as soon as the occupant is done "smellynge," the soul being then all exhaled. This reasonable view is now generally accepted by archaeologists, whereby the noble science of Curiosity has been greatly dignified.
Oblivion (n): The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest. Fame's eternal dumping ground. Cold storage for high hopes. A place where ambitious authors meet their works without pride and their betters without envy. A dormitory without an alarm clock.
Monument (n): A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated. The monument custom has its reductiones ad absurdum in monuments "to the unknown dead" that is to say, monuments to perpetuate the memory of those who have left no memory.
Mausoleum (n): The final and funniest folly of the rich.
Longevity (n): Uncommon extension of the fear of death.
Funeral (n): A pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and strengthen our grief by an expenditure that deepens our groans and doubles our tears.
Elegy (n): A composition in verse, in which, without employing any of the methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in the reader's mind the dampest kind of dejection.
Epitaph (n): An inscription on a tomb, showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.
Embalm (v.t.): To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting more than a meagre crew. The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor's lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility. We shall get him after awhile if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and the rose are languishing for a nibble at his glutaeus maximus.
Eulogy (n): Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.
Die (n): The singular of "Dice." We seldom hear the word, because there is a prohibitory proverb, "Never say die." At long intervals, however, someone says, "The die is cast," which is not true, for it is cut.
Grave (n): A place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.
Hearse (n): Death's baby carriage.
Clock (n): A machine of great moral value to man, allaying his concern for the future by reminding him what a lot of time remains to him.
I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary notices I have read with pleasure.
We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.
Baron de Montesquieu
. . .never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee
If Lincoln were alive today, he'd roll over in his grave.
There is only one way to console a widow. But remember the risk.
Robert A. Heinlein
The meek will inherit the earth . . . in nice, six-by-three plots.
Robert A. Heinlein
You don't greet Death, you punch him in the throat repeatedly as he drags you away. I think John Wayne said it best when he said, "Fuck Death and the lung cancer he rode in on."
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at a homely girl.
Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
Tombstone: An ugly reminder of one who has been forgotten.
Man weeps to think he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
Immortality: The condition of a dead man who doesn't believe he is dead.
I want to die like my father, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and terrified, like his passengers.
If I had any decency, I'd be dead. Most of my friends are.
That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.
According to obituary notices, a mean and useless citizen never dies.
Lawrence J. Peter
To the atheist, death is the end; to the believer, the beginning; to the agnostic, the sound of silence.
Lawrence J. Peter
Death is nature's warning to slow down.
Lawrence J. Peter
Nothing in his life Became him like the leaving it; he died As one that had been studied in his death, To throw away the dearest thing he owed As 'twere a careless trifle.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
[T]he aim of a large swathe of the left is not to win the debate but to get it cancelled before it starts. You can do that in any number of ways — busting up campus appearances by conservatives, "hate crimes" laws, Canada's ghastly human-rights commissions, the more "enlightened" court judgments, the EU's recent decision to criminalize "xenophobia," or merely, as the Times does, by declaring your side of every issue to be the "moderate" and "nonideological" position.
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Debauchee (n): One who has so earnestly pursued pleasure that he has had the misfortune to overtake it.
Avoid making irrevocable decisions when tired or hungry. N.B.: Circumstances can force your hand, so think ahead.
Robert A. Heinlein
Fiddle Theory: The longer you fiddle around with a deal, the greater the odds that it will never close.
Robert J. Ringer
When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take — choose the bolder.
Field Marshal William Slim
Zachmann's Law: In decision-making within organizations, the factors that bear on a decision tend to be weighted in direct proportion to the ease with which they can be quantified or apparently quantified.
Zachmann's First Corollary: The more important the decision, the less likely the critical factors are to be accurately quantifiable.
Zachmann's Second Corollary: The more important the factor, the less likely it is to be accurately quantifiable.
William F. Zachmann
It is only aggression that calls forth defense, and war along with it. The aggressor is always peace-loving (as Bonaparte always claimed to be); he would prefer to take over our country unopposed. To prevent his doing so one must be willing to make war and be prepared for it. In other words it is the weak, those likely to need defense, who should always be armed in order not to be overwhelmed. Thus decrees the art of war.
Karl von Clauswitz
Delusion (n): The father of a most respectable family, comprising Enthusiasm, Affection, Self-denial, Faith, Hope, Charity, and many other goodly sons and daughters.
Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinion about her children's beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.
Robert A. Heinlein
There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Elector (n): One who enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man's choice.
Oppose (v): To assist with obstructions and objections.
Opposition (n): In politics, the party that prevents the Government from running amuck by hamstringing it.
Suffrage (n): Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized. Refusal to do so has the bad name of "incivism". The incivilian, however, cannot be properly arraigned for his crime, for there is no legitimate accuser. If the accuser is himself guilty he has no standing in the court of opinion; if not, he profits by the crime, for A's abstention from voting gives greater weight to the vote of B. By female suffrage is meant the right of a woman to vote as some man tells her to. It is based upon female responsibility, which is somewhat limited. The woman most eager to jump out of her petticoat to assert her rights is first to jump back into it when threatened with a switching for misusing them.
Vote (n): The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Plebiscite (n): A popular vote to ascertain the will of the sovereign.
Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy — as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.
George W. Bush
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly-educated.
Democracy is the worst system devised by the wit of man, except for all the others.
Winston S. Churchill
In a democratic state, one must be continually on guard against the desire for popularity. It leads to aping the behaviour of the worst.
Madame de Stael
Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom; socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville
[W]ithout checks and balances . . . democracy becomes mob rule, chaos, and dictatorship.
In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.
Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something.
Robert A. Heinlein
A democracy is no more than an aristocracy of orators. The people are so readily moved by demagogues that control must be exercised by the government over speech and press.
Planners, regulators, facilitators, coordinators, staff aides, commentators, and every other imaginable category of trained, professional, certified public intellectuals and recognized authorities govern all modern "democracies"—and they govern with an iron hand, under absolute and plenary dispensation from the awesome and distant Court of Heaven.
A democratic society may be defined . . . as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have always been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
Democracy gives the naturally incompetent and envious man the means of working off his dislike of his betters in a lawful and even virtuous manner. Its moral effect is this inevitably bad. It puts a premium upon one of the basest passions of mankind, and throws its weight against every rational concept of honor, honesty, and common decency.
Democracy is grounded upon so childish a complex of fallacies that they must be protected by a rigid system of taboos, else even half-wits would argue it to pieces. Its first concern must thus be to penalize the free play of ideas.
The democrat, leaping into the air to flap his wings and praise God, is forever coming down with a thump. The seeds of his disaster . . . lie in his own stupidity: he can never get rid of the naive delusion . . . that happiness is something to be got by taking it away from the other fellow.
The prevalence of corruption under democracy is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that in a democratic society it never really pays to be honorable. No one believes in honor, and there is no noblesse oblige. The prevailing moral system always reduces itself to a craven fear of being caught.
The aim of democracy is to break all . . . free spirits to the common harness. It tries to iron them out, to pump them dry of self-respect, to make docile John Does of them. The measure of its success is the extent to which such men are brought down, and made common. The measure of civilization is the extent to which they resist and survive. Thus the only sort of liberty that is real under democracy is the liberty of the have-nots to destroy the liberty of the haves.
[M]en of unusual intelligence and enterprise, men who regard their constitutional liberties seriously and are willing to go to some risk and expense to defend them . . . are inevitably unpopular under democracy, for their qualities are qualities that the mob wholly lacks, and is uneasily conscious of lacking.
But here, having perfected democracy, we lift the whole combat to a gaudy symbolism, to a disembodied transcendentalism, to metaphysics, that sweet nirvana. Here we load a pair of palpably tin cannons with blank cartridges charged with talcum-powder and let fly.
Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Why should democracy rise against bribery? It is itself a form of wholesale bribery. In place of a government with a fixed purpose and a visible goal, it sets up a government that is a mere function of the mob's vagaries, and that maintains itself by constantly bargaining with those vagaries. Its security depends wholly upon providing satisfactory bribes for the prehensile minorities that constitute the mob, or that have managed to deceive and inflame the mob.
Only a country that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious form of government ever heard of on earth.
The doctrine that the cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy is like saying that the cure of crime is more crime.
If x is the population of the United States and y is the degree of imbecility of the average American, then democracy is the theory that x * y is less than y.
In a dictatorship, the people are afraid to tell the truth to the leaders; in a democracy, the leaders are too afraid to tell the truth to the people.
Richard J. Needham
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights — that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democracy substitutes selection by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw
Democracy cannot be maintained without its foundation: free public opinion and free discussion throughout the nation of all matters affecting the state within the limits set by the criminal code and common law.
Supreme Court of Canada
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship.
Alexander Fraser Tyler
Democracy, n.: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic . . . negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
US Army Training Manual 2000-25
Democracy is like two wolves and ninety-eight sheep voting on what to have for dinner. The good news is that there are three or four choices on the menu. The bad news is that each dish includes mutton, although alternative methods of cooking may be employed. [The wolves' strategy involves writing the menu, bribing a minority of sheep for their support, making fraudulent claims, and relying on sheep acting like sheep . . . ]
Dentist (n): A prestidigitator who, putting metal in your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.
Dependent (adj): Reliant upon another's generosity for the support which you are not in a position to exact from his fears.
As far as possible, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they, too, have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortune of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in misfortune. Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Destiny (n): A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
It was right it should be so; Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know Through the world we safely go.
There is no fate which cannot be surmounted by scorn.
Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself and heed well their advice even though they be turkeys; know what to kiss and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance. Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Know yourself; if you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you. That lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth, birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan; and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with looks. For a good time, call 606-4311; ask for Ken. Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese; and reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee. You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive Him to be: Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up.
Speak of the Devil and he will hear about it.
Incubus (n): One of a race of highly improper demons who, though probably not wholly extinct, may be said to have seen their best nights. For a complete account of incubi and succubi, see the Liber Demonorum of Protassus (Paris, 1328), which contains much curious information that would be out of place in a dictionary intended as a text-book for the public schools.Victor Hugo relates that in the Channel Islands Satan himself tempted more than elsewhere by the beauty of the women, doubtless sometimes plays at incubus, greatly to the inconvenience and alarm of the good dames who wish to be loyal to their marriage vows, generally speaking. A certain lady applied to the parish priest to learn how they might, in the dark, distinguish the hardy intruder from their husbands. The holy man said they must feel his brow for horns; but Hugo is ungallant enough to hint a doubt of the efficacy of the test.
An apology for the Devil: it must be remembered that we have heard only one side of the case. God has written all the books.
In all systems of theology, the devil figures as a male person. Yet, it is women who keep the church going.
The theory seems to be that so long as a man is a failure, he is one of God's chillun, but that as soon as the succeeds he is taken over by the devil.
In the eternal struggle between good and evil, good is at an irreducible disadvantage: it has no future — whereas evil does. Since human beings are fundamentally future-oriented, they have an insatiable incentive for being fascinated with evil in all its guises — that is, with guilt and shame, poverty and stupidity, crime, sin and madness. Each of these is susceptible, at least in principle, to being reformed, remedied or righted in one way or another. But what can a person do with what is good, except admire it? Good thus frustrates precisely that "therapeutic" ambition in the human soul which evil satisfies so perfectly. Hence, Voltaire should also have said that if there were no devil, we would have to invent him.
Satan hasn't a single salaried helper; the Opposition employs a million.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
Subtlety is the art of saying what you think, and getting out of the way before it is understood.
The law of political diplomacy states that all successes are the work of the Prime Minister and all failures are the fault of the Foreign Secretary.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
The Language of Diplomacy: "We will make every effort, but it may not be possible!" Translation: "Never in a million years!"
Sir Humphrey Appleby
We never use alphabetical order in diplomacy; it would mean making Iran, Iraq and Israel all sit next to each other. This could start World War III. Ireland does not solve the problem; Ireland never solves any problems.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
A non-aligned country is a country that is not aligned with the United States.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
Ultimatum (n): In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
Plenipotentiary (adj): Having full power. A Minister Plenipotentiary is a diplomatist possessing absolute authority on condition that he never exert it.
Alliance (n): In international affairs, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third.
Diplomacy (n): The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
Peace (n): In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
Boundary (n): In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of the first from the imaginary rights of the second.
Minister (n): An agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. In diplomacy an officer sent into a foreign country as the visible embodiment of his sovereign's hostility. His principal qualification is a degree of plausible inveracity next below that of an ambassador.
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!" till you can find a rock.
I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I tell them the truth and they never believe me.
Camillo di Cavour
Peace is an extension of war by political means. Plenty of elbow-room is pleasanter and much safer.
Robert A. Heinlein
Diplomacy: lying in state.
Defeating Iraq isn't the camel's nose in the tent — it's the camel's head in the bed of every other Arab leader.
Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
You can't deal from a position of weakness.
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron.
The only real diplomacy ever performed by a diplomat is in deceiving their own people after their dumbness has got them into a war.
As for "the support of the Arab League", that's one of those exotic shimmering mirages that looks dandy from a distance, but fades to nothing when you try to drink from its limpid pool and wind up with a mouthful of camel dung.
There are a few striped-pants masochists in the State Department who enjoy this sort of thing and have spent the last four weeks pining for M. Chirac to walk all over them in steel-tipped stilettos one more time. But most Americans, given a choice between being locked in Security Council negotiations with the Russians, French and Germans or being fed feet-first into one of Saddam's industrial shredders, would find it a tough call.
No reading is more necessary than that of Machiavelli; those who affect to be shocked by his principles are nothing but petty intellectuals posing as humanists.
Karl von Clausewitz
I'm not saying that CripBabe or Mark are shallow. God forbid. I'm only pointing out that disabled people (like ugly people, fat people, and old people) aren't immune to the same cultural biases as the rest of us. People who want others to "see the beauty within" should, as a matter of principle, take off their own blinders.
There are two kinds of "disabled" persons: those who dwell on what they have lost, and those who concentrate on what they have left. The former use their limitations as an excuse for parasitism, the latter, as an incentive for productivity. Helen Keller was much more impaired, but much less disabled, than many a modern professional schizophreniac.
Inexpedient (adj): Not calculated to advance one's interests.
Not to say is better than to say.
No administration has the right to tell Americans that to dissent is disloyal, and to disagree is unpatriotic.
So reflexive is the role of the intellectual as negator, so free from accountability, that the very meaning of dissent has been obscured. Hence in the wake of 9/11, those who disagreed with claims that America somehow brought the attacks on herself were said to be "stifling dissent." But the true measure of dissent isn't whether the vast majority of one's countrymen and women agree with what one is saying but, rather, that one has the freedom to say it.
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Dissent is not automatically worthy of praise. The act of dissenting is not brave; dissent is the default position for half the nation. We don't round up people who vote for the losing candidate and ship them off to the gulag. And sometimes dissent is overtly un-American. Go to any anti-globo demo; look at the chanting rabble in Che T-shirts who want to replace America with International Workers Permanent Committee for Boiling Rich People in Huge Vats. Dissent on parade, and un-American to boot.
It's the same tired line: dissent against the dissenters, and you're quashing dissent.
She'll get the kids, the house, the retirement savings, and [. . .] dad will be left with life-long support payments and a criminal record — something like "being male, with intent to be white".
Patients should not be allowed to choose their GPs. They should be allocated to them. Then everyone would stand an even chance of getting the bad doctors.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
Hypochondriasis (n): Depression of one's own spirits.
Diagnosis (n): A physician's forecast of disease by the patient's pulse and purse.
Prescription (n): A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
Physiognomy (n): The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence.
Physician (n): One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
Diaphragm (n): A muscular partition separating disorders of the chest from disorders of the bowels.
Heart (n): An automatic, muscular blood-pump. Figuratively, this useful organ is said to be the seat of emotions and sentiments a very pretty fancy which, however, is nothing but a survival of a once universal belief. It is now known that the sentiments and emotions reside in the stomach, being evolved from food by chemical action of the gastric fluid. The exact process by which a beefsteak becomes a feeling tender or not, according to the age of the animal from which it was cut; the successive stages of elaboration through which a caviar sandwich is transformed to a quaint fancy and reappears as a pungent epigram; the marvellous functional methods of converting a hard-boiled egg into religious conviction, or a cream-puff into a sigh of sensibility these things have been patiently ascertained by M. Pasteur, and by him expounded with convincing lucidity.
Gout (n): A physician's name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.
Old people have fewer diseases than the young, but their diseases never leave them.
One of the chief objects of medicine is to save us from the natural consequences of our vices and follies. The moment it becomes moral it becomes quackery. A scientific physician should have no opinion about the ethical standards and deserts of his patient.
I had general anesthesia. That's so weird. You go to sleep in one room and then you wake up four hours later in a totally different room. Just like in college.
Allen's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.
Documentation is like sex. When it's good, it's very, very good. And when it's bad, it's still better than nothing!
Rule Zero: Have something to say.
Truth doesn't stick to glossy paper.
Documentation (n): 1. The promised literature that fails to arrive with the supporting hardware. 2. A single, illegible photocopied page of proprietary caveats and suggested infractions. 3. The detailed, unindexed description of a superseded package.
Most of us would rather risk catastrophe than read the directions.
Write documentation as if whoever reads it is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
Dogs want to be with us. Every other animal on the planet can take us or leave us. Some tolerate us out of boredom or stupidity; some, like cats, find us useful and amusing equals. Most animals have no idea what's going on in our world, and correctly see Man as bad juju, the same way we'd worry about a Borg Cube that assumed orbit around Earth and emitted an unceasing high C. But dogs want to belong to people, and I am mystified why any culture would codify rejection of these creatures.
I've discovered something about dogs lately. A number of times I've left the kitchen while cooking, returned shortly after and noted that Jasper does the old bad-dog slink — his ears go back, his head lowers, and he rolls on his back and looks away. No food is missing; nothing is out of order. But while I was away he was considering taking some food. He was tempted. He didn't do anything, but the mere thought made him feel guilty. He rolls over when I come into the room — because dogs think we can read their minds.
This is a useful piece of information.
You give your heart to a puppy right away — they're much cuter than newborns, to be honest; less of a grumpy greasy beet-red Churchill factor.
Cold day, miserable — no sun after noon, a north wind full of the dank dead breath of evaporated snow. Not so much the second day of spring but the penultimate day of winter. The dogs are happy, though. the retreating snow reveals petrified fermented dung of the Fall Epoch. Every dog is an archeologist this time of year.
If dogs had museums, no human would want to visit. A wing devoted entirely to large fragrant coils of other dog's offal; the exhibition of medieval squirrels; an interactive exhibit where dogs could rub themselves in the remains of extinct fish.
[A]ny dog would appreciate anyone who has a pants full of ordure half the time. In dog terms, that's the equivalent of being a good conversationalist.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
A dream that comes only once is oftenest only an idle accident, and hasn't any message. But the recurrent dream is quite another matter — oftener than not it has come on business.
Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum.
You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Abstain from wine, women and song. Mostly song.
Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough
A small carafe of wine is illogical, immoral, and inadequate.
A drunken man's words are a sober man's thoughts.
Abstainer (n): A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
Bacchus (n): A convenient god, invented by our ancestors as an excuse to get drunk.
Rum (n): Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
Wine (n): Fermented grape-juice known to the Women's Christian Union as "liquor," sometimes as "rum." Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man.
Maple Mead? The most disgusting, gut-destroying, guerilla attack-beverage ever brewed by man?
Lois McMaster Bujold
Anybody who hates dogs and loves whiskey can't be all bad.
Wouldn't it be terrible if I quoted some reliable statistics which prove that more people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol?
A woman drove me to drink, and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?
We lived for days on nothing but food and water.
"Everyone should believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink."
A Japanese man tells me that the key to understanding Japan is to grasp that it is a shame-based culture. In the West, success is the carrot. In Japan, fear of failure and ostracism is the stick. This isn't merely a semantic difference, it's a basic mindset. Westerners trying to do business here complain that it's impossible to get decisions made. The Japanese negotiate for months without saying yes or no. Nobody wants to lay their face on the line; there is no comeback from failure. Decisions emerge out of group inertia. Japan manages to be both rigidly hierarchical and enigmatically lateral. It's no accident that alcoholism is endemic; drunkenness is not a social problem, it's social cohesion for a depressed and confused male society.
Beware of strong drink: it can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss.
Robert A. Heinlein
Oh many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man. Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think: Look into the pewter pot To see the world as the world's not.
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.
So I hear another St. Patrick's Day stumbles toward us from just around the corner, yes, 'tis the day we toast the Irish amongst us with the-drinking-of-the-green from morn 'til dawn, then mourn its passing with our head in the St. Potty for the ritual kissin' o' the porcelain stone. If only it were but one day, 'cause I'd still like to know whose bonehead notion it was to buff St. Patty's "Day" into St. Patty's Week-and-a-focking-Half. I'd like to know because it makes it impossible for a nice Polish/German/What-Have-You kind of guy like me to enjoy himself at the tavern what with all the wannabe blarney bozos crowding the joint. I'd like to know so's I could kick his keister all the way to Killarney and back again. That's why.
I once shook hands with Pat Boone and my whole right side sobered up.
I drink to make other people interesting.
George Jean Nathan
A man who drinks in a healthy, fit, and self-approving manner will mix vodka with yogurt and get tangled in the Nautilus machine trying to kiss his own ass.
I consider New Year's Eve to be the Special Olympics of inebriation.
Q. When is it appropriate to sober up? A. When you come to and find a soda straw in the empty windshield-washer-fluid reservoir of your car and your dog is wearing a negligee.
I love martinis, but two at the most. After three I'm under the table; after four I'm under my host.
We met for drinks in the bar and, much to my regret, Mr. M. introduced the friend I was travelling with to a drink of his own concoction, the coke-a-roach, so named because Coke is involved and the drinker is eventually left crawling on the floor.
You can't find the answers in the bottom of a whiskey glass, but if you look hard enough, you'll forget the questions.
I feel sorry for people that don't drink, because when they wake up — that's as good as they're going to feel for the rest of the day.
Partakers of Guinness, the popular Irish brew with its strong brand image of St. Paddy's revellers face down in their own vomit, may be shocked to hear that the company has changed its name to "Diageo", who, if memory serves, played midfield for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup.
Signs of age, perhaps: I joined AAA. Usually a fellow does this when he gets a family, since you start imagining your brood marooned on a dark country road in Manson County, with two- toothed banjo players descending silently from the trees to rape & roast your beloveds. Somehow, you think, AAA won't let that happen. One phone call, and they'll dispatch a helicopter full of Mossad-trained operatives.
Most drugs won't kill you or turn you into a psychopath or anything; the problem with drugs is that they make you feel okay about being bored, and it's when you're bored that you should be learning new things, developing new hobbies or otherwise improving your life.
Psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians who've never taken them.
The casual user, if there is such a thing as a casual user, ought to be taken out and shot, because he or she has no reason for using drugs.
Darryl F. Gates
Misrule breeds rebellion; this is not a new idea. And yet the authorities still for the most part act as if drugs were themselves the cause of the problem.
Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. . . . The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are.
About $500 worth of heroin or cocaine in a source country will bring in as much as $100,000.00 on the streets of an American city. All the cops, armies, prisons, and executions in the world cannot impede a market with that kind of tax-free profit margin.
Joseph D. McNamara
America's drug war is an addiction. Drug war zealots accept drugs as an all-powerful authority: a dark one to be resisted, Satan instead of God, but authority nonetheless. Compulsive behavior is seen throughout the war effort. For example, belief in "drug treatment" programs grows with every reported success even though almost 100 percent of treated cases are failures. Thus we see the power of intermittent conditioning, with drug war zealots acting no differently from rats that keep pressing a bar even though only one press in thousands brings a reward of cocaine. Retaining and expanding drug treatment programs is compulsive, eating up financial and human resources that could be used productively in other endeavors. The call for more and more anti-drug laws, creating new criminal offenses when officials cannot even keep up with old ones, shows an addict's inability to achieve satiation; anti-drug crusaders never feel they have enough anti-drug laws. If zealots do not get enough sensation of accomplishment through the present level of law enforcement, they call for it to be administered with more power and more frequence — clear evidence that the tolerance phenomenon has taken hold. Morbid craving is seen in the willingness to ignore more important community needs in order to fulfill the desire to fight drugs. Self-destructiveness is seen in efforts that promote the very abuses (such as disease, crime, and corruption) that drug war zealots claim to fight, while curtailing civil liberties that Americans claim to cherish. Crusaders declare their goal is a drug-free America, a goal guaranteed to perpetuate their addictive game because no country has ever become free of drugs or addicts. Abstinence does not cure addiction, but zealots propose abstinence as a simple answer. Belief in a simple answer is, in itself, a sign of addiction.
Richard Lawrence Miller
Drugs are a one-man birthday party.
How much can you really say against a drug [marijuana] that makes teenage boys drive slow?
Marijuana also has a built in payback. Marijuana makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, what worse punishment could there be?
Milton Friedman believes the crack epidemic was the result of cocaine being against the law. He says crack "was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version." Milton Friedman is a brilliant man, a courageous defender of liberty. I respect Milton Friedman. I revere Milton Friedman. But from drugs Milton Friedman doesn't know. Crack is less expensive than powdered cocaine — for ten seconds. It was the marketing guys who thought up crack, not the people in accounting.
Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin.
The problem with illicit drugs is that nobody knows anything about them — except for those of us who found out too much, and we have memory problems.
We won't dispassionately investigate or rationally debate which drugs do what damage and whether or how much of that damage is the result of criminalization. We'd rather work ourselves into a screaming fit of puritanism and then go home and take a pill.
Alcohol didn't cause the high crime rates of the '20s and '30s, Prohibition did. And drugs do not cause today's alarming crime rates, but drug prohibition does.
James C. Paine
[P]rohibition is a major source of crime: it inflates the price of drugs, inviting new criminals to enter the trade; . . .These are not problems that are merely tangential to the war on drugs. These are problems caused, or made substantially worse, by the war on drugs.
Information is not — and cannot be — a substitute for self-discipline. "Drug education", "sex education", "suicide education", and other such contemporary slogans are symbols of our unrelenting effort to bury our heads in the sand. So long as we encourage people, young and old, to believe that the State and Science — with their seemingly limitless financial resources and technical powers — have no more important function than to rescue them from the consequences of their own undisciplined behavior, we in fact teach people to behave in exactly the ways we supposedly don't want them to behave.
American politicians denounce foreign "drug lords" for exporting certain mind-altering substances to the United States. However, these substances — for example, cocaine or heroin — are correctly identified for what they are: Americans who want to buy them know what they are getting, and no one is forced to expose himself unknowingly or against his will to the potentially harmful effects of these substances. In short, every American can easily protect himself from the risk of such foreign substances by simply avoiding them.
The FDA calls certain substances "controlled". But there are no controlled substances; there are only controlled persons.
Drug prohibition is unwise social policy for many reasons, most obviously because forbidden fruit tastes sweeter: that is, because one of the easiest ways for a person (especially a young person) to assert his autonomy is by defying authority (especially arbitrary and hypocritical authority).
No drug can expand consciousness; the only thing a drug can expand is the earnings of the company that makes it.
At the same time, American politicians defend the right of American companies to export not only alcohol and tobacco to foreign countries, but also toxic wastes. Typically, these wastes are dumped in the soil and waters of foreign (usually Third World) countries. The inhabitants of these countries do not know what dangerous substances are being imported; where they are stored or what they have contaminated; hence they cannot, by any individual action on their part, protect themselves from being poisoned by such toxic waste. The profits from this business are, not surprisingly, enormous. "If I'm exporting [waste]," says one trader in toxic waste, "I can just say, 'So, I'm immoral.'"
The reporters from Newsweek add: "For, unlike the trade in drugs . . . dumping poison in poor countries is perfectly legal."
The Soviet government censors the press; hence, the Russians have a samizdat (underground) press — which American presidents interpret as proof of the spiritual invincibility of the free market. The American government censors "substances" (drugs); hence, the Americans have a samizdat (underground) pharmacopoeia — which American presidents interpret as proof of the subversion of the free market by greedy "drug lords" and hostile foreign governments.
According to "drug abuse authorities", approximately 10 percent of American physicians abuse drugs. Surely, physicians receive enough education to enable them to comprehend the actions of drugs. If by "education" we mean the imparting of accurate information, then it is clear . . . that a person may use information to help or harm himself or others, to obey or disobey custom and law.
Treating heroin addiction with methadone is like treating scotch addiction with bourbon.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson
Incompossible (adj): Unable to exist if something else exists. Two things are incompossible when the world of being has scope enough for one of them, but not enough for both as Walt Whitman's poetry and God's mercy to man. Incompossibility, it will be seen is only incompatibility let loose. Instead of such low language as "Go heel yourself I mean to kill you on sight," the words, "Sir, we are incompossible," would convey an equally significant intimation and in stately courtesy are altogether superior.
Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect.
Robert A. Heinlein
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Dullard: Someone who can open an encyclopedia or dictionary and only read what they'd planned to.
Duty (n): That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.
Robert E. Lee
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.