The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
There is no elegant solution to a poorly defined problem.
Architect Harry Gordon
Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.
James Arthur Baldwin
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.
In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.
As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.
No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.
Henry Miller (1891-1980)
The Wisdom of the Heart, 1941
Zeus said to Prometheus, "Okay, you stole fire. Great for you. Now your people have technology. Wonderful. But here's something you don't know. You lack two things. And if you don't take these two things that I will give you, this will be a failure. Technology, you know, fire, all your magic, it will fail completely. It will be your undoing. And the two things that you need to make it work are justice and reverence. And if you have these two things, you won't get in trouble with this third thing that you thought was the be all and the end all."
on Bill Moyer's Journal
April 30th, 2010
You should not cooperate with evil.
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, ... want crops without plowing up the ground, ... want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.
We all sit here stranded, though we're all doing our best to deny it.
"Visions of Johanna"
Now, each of us has his own special gift and you know this was meant to be true,
And if you don't underestimate me, I won't underestimate you.
The essential characteristic of a nation is that all its individuals must have many things in common, and must have forgotten many things as well.
19th French philosopher
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on.
Attributed to Mark Twain
Standard Player Monthly, 1918
Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
History is written by the victors.
News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.
May 15, 2005
Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi - (1828-1910)
Source: On Life and Essays on Religion
This is my creed: Happiness is the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
It's not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true.
The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Mortals and Others (1931-35)
Cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and pretense of reluctance.
George Bernard Shaw
Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
We don't have a right to ask whether we're going to succeed or not. The only question we have a right to ask is what's the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?
History is a set of lies agreed upon.
None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody—a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns—bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
to be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
Ottawa Hills, Michigan High School Spectator
Ocober 26, 1955
Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.
The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
Where they couldn't pick holes in our arguments they would drive horses and carriages through my character.