Mirth and Meditation Archive

  • “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” - Will Rogers
  • Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. - Pericles
  • "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot
  • "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure, while the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell
  • When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always. - Mahatma Gandhi
  • I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers
  • “What we can change is our perceptions, which have the effect of changing everything.” ― Donna Quesada
  • "Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." - Albert Einstein
  • "I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank. ... You are a den of vipers and thieves." Andrew Jackson, 1834, on closing the Second Bank of the United States, a private corporation that was the federally authorized central bank, 1817 - 1836.
  • "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson
  • "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
  • "He believed in capitalism, but he also believed that unrestrained, unrestricted capitalism was going to lead to disaster. ...He believed that unless something was done to reign in people like him... capitalism would be threatened, democracy would be threatened, his fortune would be threatened." - David Nasaw, author of ‘The Patriarch,’ a Joseph P. Kennedy Biography
  • "America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again.” - Paul Krugman
  • "In the future, today’s teenagers will be looking back and mournfully declaring that traditional America was a place where folks really knew how to Twitter." - NYT Op-Ed columnist Gail Collins.
  • "Don't believe in God, but I do still hate Rangers." - Dara Ó Briain
  • SIR – Following the first landing on the moon in 1969, I overhead two colleagues discussing the event. After acknowledging the seminal feat, one concluded her remarks by commenting: “What made it all the more remarkable was that it was only a half moon at the time.” - One of the unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph
  • Location of Bohemia: "Bordered on the North by hope, work and gaiety, on the South by necessity and courage, on the West and East by slander and the hospital." - French writer Henri Murger. (1822-1861)
  • "A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees." - From Proverbs of Hell by William Blake.
  • "They are pretending to knowledge when, in fact, they are entirely ignorant." - Historian Bettany Hughes speaking about  rulers who executed Socrates, whom Plato called "the world's first ideological martyr."
  • "Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets." - William Faulkner
  • "[On poker:] As elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find outside an advertising agency." – Raymond Chandler (from Nigel Rees' Quote Unquote)
  • "These bacon sandwiches are delicious", said Pooh. "Aren't they, Piglet. Piglet?"
  • Failure is not the opposite of success, it's an integral part.
  • "No fim tudo dá certo, e se não deu certo é porque ainda não chegou ao fim."

    "In the end everything works out, and if it does not work, it is because we have not come to an end."

    - Fernando Sabino, via the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
  • "Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed." - Mwai Kibaki
  • “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” - Plato
  • "A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation." - James Clarke
  • "...the smell of big money is in the air. The time has long passed for being apologists for the folks who are determined to help others get control of our best provincial asset and the business monopoly that is attached." - Erik Andersen
  • "One of the reasons farm salmon are in net pens is to make sure no one has to deal with the manure.... it all flows out of the pens... and they choose spots where the current will prevent build-up under the pens. So [in a disease outbreak] there is no such thing as a quarantine - an observer exclusion zone perhaps..." - Alexandra Morton, registered professional biologist
  • "Fascism is capitalism in decay" - Vladimir Lenin
  • "Conservatism... offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future." - Benjamin Disraeli
  • "But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. [...] Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism..." - Economist Friedrich A. von Hayek, using 'liberal' to mean laissez-faire capitalism.
  • British Labour MP Dennis Skinner once said in the Commons, "Half the members opposite are liars." Told by the Speaker to withdraw the remark, he said, "I'm very sorry. Half the members opposite are not liars."
  • "Liberal MLA Kevin Krueger: a walking smear campaign." - MLA and NDP House Leader John Horgan
  • Ha Quan Truong ignored written orders to shut down his unsafe composting facility at a Langley mushroom farm. A subsequent incident left two men with permanent brain injuries and three men dead. Truong told a coroner's inquest that he was also a casualty. Speaking in front of the victims' relatives, Truong said:

    "They lost their family members, but I lost my money too."
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” - Albert Einstein
  • The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. - William Arthur Ward, author
  • Celebrity psychic Derek Acorah has called on Jimmy Carr to apologise for the ‘needless and hurtful’ joke he is going to make at the Derby Assembly Rooms in early 2013. - NewsBiscuit
  • "Snapper? Tilapia? Who gives a shit, that's what the ketchup's for." - Lewis Black, on species substitution fraud in the fish trade.
  • "Without fixing Congress it is doubtful anybody can be truly successful... If we don’t fix Congress we could make Mickey Mouse president and it likely wouldn’t make that much of a difference." - Rob Enderle
  • According to conclusions drawn by scholars at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, repealing the ban on women drivers would provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, divorce and the loss of all virgins within a decade. The report was described as scientific. - Daily Mail Foreign Service
  • "Creativity is the residue of time wasted." ~ Albert Einstein
  • "Road to Serfdom is littered with discarded books by Ayn Rand." - Rebel Capitalist
  • According to a recent survey, two-thirds of British Columbians do not approve of Premier Photo Op's performance as Premier. The other one-third does not follow politics.
  • "I took economics courses in college for four years, and everything I was taught was wrong." - Frankllin D. Roosevelt
  • "The Smithsonian has a video game exhibit. There’s even a tour guide who yells at you for not being outside on such a nice day." - Conan O'Brien via Roger Ebert tweet
  • "People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them." - Dave Barry
  • "According to Israel, there's only one way to stop a war with Iran and that's to start a war with Iran." - British comedian Jimmy Carr
  • They hang the man and flog the woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    But leave the greater villain loose
    Who steals the common from off the goose. - Anonymous
  • "A man who does not think for himself does not think at all." - Oscar Wilde
  • "It is much more difficult to measure nonperformance than performance." - Harold S. Geneen
  • "The strong do what they have to do and the weak accept what they have to accept." - Thucydides
  • "Do cosmetic procedures make us look younger? Or just weirder?" - Julia Sommerfeld
  • "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1906
  • "If you never ever talk to people and you meet all of your needs on the Internet, you wake up one day and your're the unabomber." - Author Ann Patchett
  • "Political journalism, of course, is supposed to be adversarial in nature." - David Sirota
  • "Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin." - Desiderius Erasmus
  • "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." - Frederick Douglass
  • "The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion." - Frederick Douglass, extraordinary author, orator and civil rights campaigner, born a slave.
  • "Never argue with people who buy ink by the barrel." - Source uncertain
  • "The oil can is mightier than the sword." - Everett Dirksen
  • "I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much." - Mr. One-Percent Mitt Romney attaching little importance to the $374,000 he earned in speaker's fees last year.
  • "Throughout history, traditional marriage has meant powerful men doing whatever the f*%k they want, whenever the f*%k they want to." - John Oliver, Senior Correspondent, The Daily Show, speaking on Newt Gingrich
  • "The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be." - Socrates
  • "An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out." - Will Rogers
  • "Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers." - Aristotle
  • "Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist." - George Carlin
  • "A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation." - Adlai E. Stevenson
  • "People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to." - Malcolm Muggeridge
  • "Britain's bankers are set to receive annual bonuses that could total over £7 billion. [Royal Bank of Scotland] boss Steve Hester is in line for a £2.4 million bonus. If that's difficult to visualize, just imagine the average yearly bonus of a nurse and add £2.4 million and hand that to an undeserving shit." - Jimmy Carr (February 2011)
  • "I failed at Leeds University due to the outbreak of the Second World War, which was 16 years before but upset me very deeply." - Barry Cryer
  • “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” ― George Carlin
  • “Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source.” — Rick Perry, speaking in Clarinda, Iowa
  • "Les habiles tyrans ne sont jamais punis." (Clever tyrants are never punished.) - Voltaire
  • "It is never too late to give up your prejudices." - Henry David Thoreau
  • Q. What plastics can I recycle?

    A. We only recycle plastic bottles. If unsure, ask yourself two questions:
              1. - Is the item plastic?
              2. - Is the item a bottle?
          If the answer to both questions is 'yes' then you can recycle it.

    - Helpful article from The Basingstoke and Deane Council Magazine
  • For outsiders, free speech is bread and butter; for insiders, indigestion. - Russell Jacoby
  • Scan not a friend with a microscopic glass.
    You know his faults, now let the foibles pass.
    Life is one long enigma, my friend.
    So read on, read on, the answer's at the end...

    - George Harrison, 'The Answer's At The End'
  • "...in society generally we should encourage every nuisance we can find. Indeed, we should pay homage to them, for theirs is every bit as noble a calling as is Caesar's. They are the people in our midst who draw attention to abuses of authority, wherever they occur. They are the little boy who insists that the emperor has no clothes on. They are Socrates, Antigone, Gallileo, Milton, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Thomas Jefferson, William Lyon Mackenzie, John Stuart Mill, John Diefenbaker, Eugene Forsey and so on. It is a long and distinguished tradition."

    - John Wilson, Professor, University of Waterloo

    I'll add Rafe Mair and Alexandra Morton to the list as well. - Norm
  • "Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." - Noam Chomsky
  • "Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake." - W. C. Fields
  • "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs
  • William Wordsworth (1807):
    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
  • "You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, idn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doin' that." - President George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005
  • French 19th-century novelist Victor Hugo, who — when he wanted to know how Les Misérables was selling — reportedly telegraphed his publisher with the simple inquiry "?" and received the expressive reply "!" - Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Gotham Books, 2003
  • By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. - George Carlin
  • "A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep." - W. H. Auden
  • "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." - Groucho Marx
  • "Since light travels faster than sound, isn't that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?" - Steven Wright
  • "Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light." - Thomas Jefferson
  • "I mean, it is an extraordinary thing that a large proportion of your country and my country, of the citizens, never see a wild creature from dawn 'til dusk, unless it's a pigeon, which isn't really wild, which might come and settle near them." - David Attenborough
  • "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." - John Quincy Adams
  • "It's not the tools that you have faith in - tools are just tools. They work, or they don't work. It's people you have faith in or not." - Steve Jobs
  • "Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear." - Mohandas Gandhi
  • "Few of the many wise apothegms which have been uttered have prevented a single foolish action." - Thomas B. Macaulay
  • My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is. - Ellen DeGeneres
  • "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." - James A. Baldwin
  • "Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished." - Jeremy Bentham
  • During QI, after Stephen Fry asks, Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Sandy Toksvig tells an old joke. "Chicken and Egg have just made love. They're lying together having a smoke and Chicken says, "Well, that answers that old question."
  • Older people shouldn't eat health food, they need all the preservatives they can get. - Robert Orben
  • KABUL, AFGHANISTAN—Recently deployed to participate in counterinsurgency operations outside of Kabul, 19-year-old Pvt. Robert Welsh told reporters Monday that for as long as he can remember, he has wanted to serve his country by fighting in Afghanistan. Welsh went on to say that while he doesn't want to get his hopes up, he remains cautiously optimistic that his own children will one day follow in his footsteps by fighting in Afghanistan. - The Onion
  • A half truth, like half a brick, is always more forcible as an argument than a whole one. It carries better. - Stephen Leacock
  • Winston Churchill was renown for not washing his hands after visiting the toilet. He was reprimanded by an old Etonian who said, "At Eton, they taught us to wash our hands after after using the lavatory." To which Churchill replied, "At Harrow, they taught us not to piss on our hands." - Winston Churchill
  • "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
  • "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." - Steve Jobs
  • "Frugality is founded on the principal that all riches have limits." - Edmund Burke
  • “People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid.” - Soren Kierkegaard
  • "Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid." - Heinrich Heine
  • A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. - George Bernard Shaw
  • "The economy is so bad that Exxon Mobil laid off 25 congressmen." - Newfoundland Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie.
  • A new study found that happy people live 35% longer. Yeah, but unhappy people's lives seem longer. - Stephen Colbert
  • I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well. - Robert Benchley
  • A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. - Dwight David Eisenhower
  • Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • New Rule: If you buy the new $6,000 Kohler toilet with the touch-screen remote and I-Pod dock, the Occupy Wall Street protesters get to come into your house and shit in it. - Bill Maher
  • I'm 65 and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics. But if there were fifteen months in every year, I'd only be 48. - James Thurber
  • Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. - Garrison Keillor
  • After all is said and done, more is said than done. - Aesop
  • Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection: they have many friends and few enemies. - Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist and social reformer
  • If allowed to run free of the social system, capitalism will attempt to corrupt and undermine democracy, which is after all not a natural state. - John Ralston Saul
  • Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. - David Hume
  • How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. - Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor (161-180) and stoic philosopher
  • Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought. - Henri Bergson, French philosopher
  • They don’t have any faith in the corporate systems of power, nor should they. They recognize that electoral politics is a farce; that the judiciary and the press are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state; and that the only way they are going to be heard, both as citizens and as people who care about protecting the planet, is to build a movement, and that’s precisely what they’re doing. - Chris Hedges, American journalist
  • The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. - David Hume, Scottish Philosopher
  • No-one working at Disney is allowed to have facial hair. Some years ago, an angry email was sent by Disney's HR department to their employees saying that anyone who described Disney as "Mousewitz" would be fired. Within half an hour the employees started calling Disney "Duckau". - A perhaps apocryphal story repeated by Stephen Fry on BBC panel show QI, Sept. 2011
  • Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere. - Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. - Mohandas Gandhi
  • Politics isn't about left versus right; it's about top versus bottom. - Jim Hightower, American columnist and social activist
  • Rupert Murdoch's empire was damaged and the News of the World brought down a by "a few rotten apples who were letting the side down by engaging in responsible and professional journalism." - Sandi Toksvig, BBC Radio host, The News Quiz.
  • "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson, Nov. 1816
  • Our present "leaders" - the people of wealth and power - do not know what it means to take a place seriously: to think it worthy, for its own sake, of love and study and careful work. They cannot take any place seriously because they must be ready at any moment, by the terms of power and wealth in the modern world, to destroy any place. - American writer Wendell Berry, repeated in Andrew Nikiforuk's dedication in Tar Sands - Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent.

    Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse

  • Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. - Henry David Thoreau
  • "Drinking was never a compulsion for me, but it was part of my lifestyle, sitting around a table after my program was over, arguing and debating. I could go through a bottle a day, a bottle-and-a-half, sometimes two bottles a day and often I wouldn't bother to eat." - Gary Bannerman, Vancouver broadcaster and writer
  • If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us. - Francis Bacon
  • You can observe a lot by just watching. - Yogi Berra
  • Even if you have no belief in the Chinese system of Feng Shui, you can't fail to have noticed that how your furniture is arranged determines your fortune. If your furniture is arranged on the pavement outside, you have been evicted and hard times lie ahead. - Henning Wehn, German comedian in Britain
  • Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it .- Will Rogers
  • To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
  • The future is not to be forecast, but created. - Arthur C. Clarke
  • A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure...- Jonathan Swift
  • A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling to do the unnecessary. - Fred Allen, American comedian
  • Happiness is a real, objective phenomenon, scientifically verifiable. That means people and whole societies can now be measured over time and compared accurately with one another. Causes and cures for unhappiness can be quantified. Could a government dare to set out with happiness as its goal? - Polly Toynbee, British Journalist
  • "One fine day a predatory world shall consume itself." - David Mitchell, British actor, comedian, writer, commentator
  • Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. - Mark Twain
  • Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult. - Charlotte Whitton, feminist and Mayor of Ottawa (1951-56,1960-64)
  • Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. - Ellen DeGeneres
  • By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. - George Carlin
  • The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them. - Mark Twain Notebook 1898
  • The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself. - J. K. Galbraith, Canadian born economist 
  • My neighbour asked if he could use my lawnmower. I told him of course he could, so long as he didn't take it out of my yard.
  • "The evil hate the light – the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of scrutiny that exposes them, the light of truth that penetrates their deception. Rather than blissfully lacking a sense of morality, like the sociopath, they are continually engaged in sweeping the evidence of their evil under the rug of their own consciousness." - M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie
  • "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow." - Kurt Vonnegut, quoted by RossK, The Gazetteer.
  • "Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." - Carl Sandburg
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2 comments:

  1. When people lose everything, and have nothing left to use, they lose it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Norm, I hope your readers pay attention to Mirth and Meditation. Its a wonderful collection of aphorisms worth reflecting upon.

    ReplyDelete

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