War and Peace
He'll do almost anything for the poor, except get off their backs.
He charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.
Go to your business, pleasure, whilst I go to my pleasure, business.
Wm. Wycherly 1640(?)-1716
All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense.
Samuel Butler ca. 1890
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Henry Adams 1838-1918
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.
John Arbuthnot 1667-1735
A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
Wysten Hugh Alden
The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Peace, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two
periods of fighting.
Donb't put off 'till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today.
The most important service rendered by the press is that of educating
people to approach printed matter with distrust.
I do not believe in doing for pleasure things I do not like to do.
Don Herold 1839
No party is as bad as its leaders.
An Englishman does everything on principle: he fights you on
patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he
enslaves you on imperial principles.
Patriotism is your convictiion that this country is superior to all
other countries because you were born in it.
He deserves to be preached to death by wild curates.
I am just going to pray for you at St. Paul's, but with no very
lively hope of success.
Bible Pi=3 I Kings 7:23 II Chronicles 4:2
One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other
A prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
Providence, n. A personage whose arrangements, if we believe only
half of what we hear, could be improved on by almost anybody.
Formerly, painting and sculpture were combined in the same work: the
ancients painted their statues. The only present alliance between
the two arts is that the modern painter chisels his patrons.
Palace, n. A fine and costly residence, particularly that of a great
official. The residence of a high dignitary of the Christian
religion is called a palace; that of the founder of his religion a
field, or wayside. There is progress.
Philanthropist, n. A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has
trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
Physician, n. One on whom wh set our hopes when ill and our dogs
The pigmies are so called to distinguish them from the bulkier
Caucasians--who are Hogmies.
A Pilgrim Father was one who, leaving Europe in 1620 because no
permitted to sing psalms through his nose, followed it to
Massachusetts, where he could personate God according to the
of his conscience.
Piracy, n. Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it.
Prelate, n. A church official having a superior degree of holiness
and a fat preferment. One of heaven's aristocracy. A gentleman of
Presentable, adj. Hideously apparelled after the manner of the time
and place. In Boorioboola Gha, a man is presentable on occasions of
ceremony if he have his abdomen painted a bright blue and wear a
cow's tail; in New York he may, if it please him, omit the paint,
but after sunset he must wear two tails jade of the wool of a sheep,
and dyed black.
Price, n. Value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of
conscience in demanding it.
Primary, n. A political pot, from which the fire of corruption has
long since evaporated the good soup, leaving nothing but the scum.
Has the art of politics no apparent utility? Does it appear to be
unqualifiedly ratty, raffish, sordid, obscene, and low down, and its
salient virtuosi a gang of unmitigated scoundrels? Then let us not
forget its high capacity to soothe and tickle the midriff, its
incomparable services as a maker of intertainment.
...the exploitation of human frailties...seem far more luminous in
politics simply because there is far less cover than in the comfy
security of the professions and the business world.
He has a natural instinct for the low, disingenuous, fraudulent
manipulations that constitute the art and mystery of politics in a
a man is richest when his pleasures are cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau
If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at
Here is a country in which all political thought and activity are
concentrated upon the scramble for jobs--in which the normal
politician, whether he be a President or a village road supervisor,
is willing to renounce any principle, however precious to him, and
adopt any lunacy, however offensive to him, in order to keep his
place at the trough.
Politician: Any citizen with influence enough to get his old mother
a job as charwoman in the City Hall.
I don't preach patience to you so much as cynicism: it is the most
comforting of philosophies.
The Puritan is simply one who, because of physical cowardice, lack of
imagination or religious superstition, is unable to get any joy out
of the satisfaction of his natural appetites...observing that other
men do...innocently, he hates them. The more innocent they seem or
pretend to be, the more he hates them.
It's not the people in prison who worry me, it's the people who
How easily the People change, and give up their Friends and their
I some countries the press is controlled by the government.
The priest is only five bucks.
The Puritan, for all his pretensions, is the worst of materialists.
If you want to find out how a philosopher feels when he is engaged in
the practice of his profession, got to the nearest zoo and watch a
chimpanzee at the wearying and hopeless job of chasing fleas. Both
suffer damnably and neither can win.
The most profound Hindoo or chinese "philosopher" believes, as
objective facts, things that would make even a Georgia Fundamentalist
The politician, even at his ideal best, never even remotely
approximated in practice, is a necessary evil; at his worst he is an
We have a puppet in the White House, pulled by wires, but with
dangerous weapons in its hands.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable.
For the sort of people who like that sort of thing, this is the sort
of thing that sort of people will like.
She that paints her Face, thinks of her Tail.
Subsidies to politicians, whether emanating from Nelson Rockefeller,
Northrup, or Gulf Oil, are not meant to affect the distribution of
power; they serve only to affirm the deeply philanthropic instincts
of the American people.
John Kenneth Galbraith
...he bade the high priest take the garments of his high priesthood,
and prophesy to him what success they should have; who said that
should get the victory, and prevail against their enemies. So he
went out against the Philistines, and set upon them as they were
slaying one another. Those also who had fled to dens and caves, upon
hearing that Saul was gaining a victory, came running to him.
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people
maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of
ignorance, of which their civil as well as religious leaders will
always avail themselves for their own purposes.
I shall leave them, as heretofore, to grope on in the dark.
How astonishing is the force of prejudice even in an age of so much
knowledge and free inquiry!
John Winthrop January 6, 1768
...those who are powerful enough to defend us, are likewise powerful
enough to hurt us.
I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The piety of the Hebrew prophets purges their grossness.
Presbytery is no religion for a gentleman.
Charles II 1660
After all, what does a politician have but his credibility?
Spiro Agnew August 23, 1968
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president; I'm
beginning to believe it.
The President has persistantly refused to listen to such friends of
his as are not insane...
Who can think wise or stupid things at all
That were not thought already in the past?
It is not the places which grace men, but men the places.
Actors speak of things imaginery as if they were real, while you
preachers too often speak of things real as if they were imaginary.
I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all
The best of prophets of the future is the past.
[Priests] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of
I am weary of Philosophers, Theologians, Politicians, and
Historians. They are immense Masses of Absurdities, Vices, and Lies.
I have made it so perfectly clear in my tracts, articles, and books
what was to be done that all parliament has had to do was read my
works and do the opposite.
GBS per Stephen Winston
There was no one there but the priest and the parson but I lost my
You can fool too many people too much of the time.
Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this
is not advice, it is merely custom.
The Peking Man was fond of overpopulation. We do not know whether
was religious or promiscuous or both. He did not make love as we
understand it because he had no gin.
The Puritans nobly fled from a land of despotism to a land of freedom
where they could not only enjoy their own religion but could prevent
everybody else from enjoying his.
Power without abuse loses its charm.
At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition,
misinformation, and prejudice.
While idealists were killing each other in the Civil War, practical
men, from the highest to the lowest, were devoting themselves to
He's the best physician who knows the worthlessness of the most
Power may be defined as the production of intended effects.
Philosophy is a stage of intellectual developement and is not
compatible with mental maturity.
It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and
campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the
The Pope may act outside the law, above the law, and against the law.
Robert Bellarmine 1542-1621 It. cardinal
When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.
Marcus Tullius Cicero 106-43 BC
In politics nothing is contemptible.
The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the
Pagans, but practiced it on one another.
If I wished to punish a provence, I would have it governed by
Frederick the Great
To command the professors of astronomy to confute their own
observations is to enjoin an impossibility, for it is to command them
not to see what they do see, and not to understand what they do
understand, and to find what they do not discover.
It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the
Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach
their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by
a downright moron.
Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from
intellectual influences, are usually the slave of some defunct
John Maynard Keynes per Daniel Yergin
As an effective public relations arm, the Marine Corps is second only
Harry S Truman per Morley Safer
I am obliged in so many instances to notice Mrs. Piozzi's
incorrectness of relation, that I gladly seize this opportunity of
acknowledging, that however often, she is not always inaccurate.
These are the kinds of questions that philosophers have been asking
ever since they realized that being a philosopher did not involve any
But from Saratoga till we got back to Northampton was then mostly
desert. Now it is what thirty-four years of free and good government
have made it. It shows how soon the labor of men would make a
paradise of the whole earth were it not for misgovernment, and a
diversion of all his energies from their proper object, the happiness
of man, to the selfish interests of kings, nobles, and priests.
Thomas Jefferson ca. 1825
Hamilton's financial system had then passed. It had two objects:
1st, as a puzzle, to exclude popular understanding and inquiry; 2d,
as a machine for the corruption of the legislature, for he avowed the
opinion that man could be governed by one of two motives only, force
or interest; force, he observed, in this country was out of the
questiion, and the interests therefore, of the members must be laid
hold of to keep legislature in unison with the executive. And with
grief and shame it must be acknowledged that his machine was not
without effect; that even in this, the birth of our government, some
members were found sordid enough to bend this duty to their
interests, and to look after personal rather than public good.
You may think the President is all-powerful, but he is not. He needs
lots of guidance from the Lord.
Barbara Bush January 21, 1991
I hate the Polyanna pest
Who says that all is for the best.
Franklin P. Adams
...by thinking on them continuously.
Don't perform a service; start an agency. Hire others to work for
you and you won't be limited by your own productivity.
I have no intrerest in either political party, as they are the same
political party, and the sooner we get rid of this political system,
the better. We no longer have a republic. We have a national
I have no interest in either of the political parties, because the
same people pay for both of them and their candidates.
The appellation of aristocrats and democrats is the true one
expressing the essense of all [political parties].
Thomas Jefferson to H. Lee 1824
All excess of punishment is a crime.
These stupid peasants, who, throughout the world, hold potentates on
their thrones, make statesmen illustrious, provide generals with
lasting victories, all with ignorance, indifferences, or half-witted
hatred, moving the world with the strength of their arms, and getting
their heads knocked together, in the name of God, the King, or the
stock exchange--immortal, dreaming, hopeless asses, who surrender
their reason to the care of a shining puppet, and persuade some toy
to carry their lives in his purse.
The (American) Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests,
has an excessive influence on public opinion.
That the politicians are permitted to carry on the same old type of
disgraceful campaign from year to year is as insulting to the people
as would be a gang of thieves coming back to a town they had robbed,
staging a parade, and inviting citizens to fall in and cheer.
Edgar Watson Howe
The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst
moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
You judge truly that I am not afraid of priests. They have tried
upon me all their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical
canting, lying & slandering, without being able to give me one moment
of pain. I have contemplated their order from the Magi of the East
to the Saints of the West and I have found no difference of
character, but of more or less caution, in proportion to their
information or ignorance on whom their interested duperies were to be
plaid off. Their sway in New England is indeed formidible. No mind
beyond mediocrity dares there to develope itself.
Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spofford 1816
I sincerely wish we could see our government so secured as to depend
less on the character of the person in whose hands it is trusted.
Bad men will sometimes get in, and with such an immense patronage,
may make great progress in corrupting the public mind and
principles. This is a subject with which wisdom and patriotism
should be occupied.
Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson March 1801
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be
limited without being lost.
Ib. to Dr. James Currie 1786
The adequate price of a thing depends on the capital and labor
necessary to produce it. In the term _capital_, I mean to include
science, because capital as well as labor has been employed to
acquire it. Two things requiring the same capital and labor, should
be of the same price. If a gallon of wine requires for its
productiion the same capital and labor with a bushel of wheat, they
should be expressed by the same price, derived from the application
of a common measure to them.
Ib. to J.W. Eppes 1813
To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of
our nation is, with one accord, adverse.
There is a snail-paced gait for the advance of new ideas, on the
general mind, under which we must acquiesce. A forty years'
experience of popular assemblies has taught me, that you must give
them time for every step you take. If too hard pushed, they balk,
and the machine retrogrades.
Ib. to Joel Barlow December 1807
The functionaries of every government have propensities to command
at will the liberty and property of their constituents.
Ib. to Charles Yancey 1816
The clergy and nobles, by their privilege and influence, have kept
property in a great measure untaxed.
Ib. to Dr. Price January 1789 from Paris
Perhaps in that super-mundane region, we may be amused with seeing
the fallacy of our own guesses.
Ib. to John Adams 1818
I observe you [Congress] are loaded with petitions from the
manufacturing, commercial, and agricultural interests, each praying
to sacrifice the others to them. This proves the egoism of the whole
and happily balances their cannibal appetites to eat one another.
Ib. Hugh Nelson 1820
It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our
choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights.
Ib. Kentucky Resolutions 1798
Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism--free government is
founded in jealousy, and not in confidence.
It was the misfortune of mankind that during the darker centuries the
Christian priests, following their ambition and avarice, combining
the magistrates to divide the spoils of the people, could establish
notion that schismatics might be ousted of their positions and be
I doubt much whether the obligation to build the houses at a given
distance from the street, contributes to its beauty. It produces a
disgusting monotony; all persons make this complaint against
Our men made a General Prayer, that Colo: Enos and all his men,
might die by the way, or meet with some disaster, Equal to the
Cowardly dastardly and unfriendly Spirit they discover'd in returning
Back without orders, in such a manner as they had done, And then we
Henry Dearborn on way to Quebed Oct. 27, 1775
The peculiar province of the Pulpit in New England (always excepting
the Unitarian Ministry) would appear to be the denouncement of all
innocent and rational amusements.
Charles Dickens ca. 1842
Pittsburg is like Birmingham in England; at least its townspeople
so. Setting aside the streets, the shops, the houses, waggons,
factories, public buildings, and population, perhaps it may be so.
Charles Dickens ditto
The young women of Philadelphia are accomplished in different
degrees, but beauty is general with them. They want the ease and
fashion of French women, but the brilliancy of their complexion is
Duc de Liancourt 1797
As to the young men, they for the most part seem to belong to another
Men seldom give pleasure when they are not pleased themselves.
By 1900, the wild pigeon population had dwindled down to a nuisance
Sylvia L. Wilson
The last living specimen of passenger pigeon, died in the Cincinnati
Zoological Garden, Sept. 1, 1914. Her stuffed remains occupies(sic)
special case in the museum and a statue of her species adorns the
entrance to that area in her honor.
Pocket, n. The cradle of motive and the grave of conscience. In
women this organ is lacking; so she acts without motive, and her
conscience, denied burial, remains ever alive, confessing the sins of
But Deacon Harvey is a person of note and consequence. On a a
question of poetry, I am told, he controls nearly the entire
These fellows, letting their hair and beard grow inviolate, make
the figure of the Indian bramins. They are heirs-general to all the
money of the laity; for which, in return, they give them formal
passports, signed and sealed for heaven; and the wives and children
only inherit the house and cattle. In most other points they follow
Mary Wortley Montagu Feb. 12, 1717 in Hungary
Poetry should be at least as well written as prose.
Students in practice preaching class would occasionally hear the
heathen clatter of a new rack being broken below.
Poverty, bitter though it be, has no sharper pang than this, that it
makes men ridiculous.
Juvenal Satires, X
Private profit by public servants at the expense of the general
A press campaign of four months will convince the German kpeople of
the rightness of any idiocy you like to suggest.
Alfred von Kiderlen-Waechter
In proportion to its power, Protestantism has been as persecuting as
So long as our society is dominated by the spirit of the counting
so long will the press continue to express that spirit.
Max Lerner Dec. 1938
The true function of philosophy is to educate us in the principles of
reasoning and not to put an end to further reasoning by the
of fixed conclussions.
George Henry Lewes 1817-1878
There is no question that, if the owners and editors and reporters of
press of the world decided to use their powers to establish peace,
could do it.
It is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this
matter. If I
can learn what it is, I will do it.
Abe Lincoln Sept. 13, 1862
Politicians are a set of men who have interests aside from the
of the people and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a mass,
at least one step removed from honest men.
For he that thinks absolute power purifies men's blood, and corrects
baseness of human nature, need read but the history of this, or any
age, to be convinced to the contrary.
John Locke 1690
Given the lwq of gravitition would be brought into dispute were there
pecuniary interest involved.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Little minds will still be little, even when they are made professors.
Old Am. Saying
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are
Guy de Maupassant _My_Uncle_Sosthenes_
No Pope ever condemned slavery.
Joseph M. McCabe 1867-1957
Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above
George Jean Nathan
Seek ye first the political kingdom and all things shall be added
You can fool most of the people most of the time.
If you have a weak candidate and a weak platform, wrap yourself up in
the American flag and talk about the Constitution.
The Popes, like Jesus, are conceived by their mothers through the
overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. All popes are a certain species of
man-gods, for the purpose of being the better able to conduct the
functions of mediator between God and mankind. All powers in
Heaven, as well as on earth, are given to them.
Stephanus V 9th cent.
All politicians have read history; but one might say that they read
only in order to learn from it how to repeat the same calamities all
Paul Vale/ry 1871-1945
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.
If men were persuaded that they could make their own way to God, and
in their own language as well as Latin, the authority of the Mass
fall, which would be very prejudicious to our ecclesiastical orders.
mysteries of religion must be kept in the hands of the priests.
Thomas Wolsey 1475(?)-1530
Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs
properly concern them.
We are habituated to the prison...
Oliver Goldsmith ca. 1760
Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be
The patriot must always be prepared to defend his country from his
Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing
food and water.
It's hard to tell what really does bring happiness; poverty and
have both failed.
Providence protects children and idiots. I know because I have
"Be Yourself" is about the worst advice you can give to people.
I don't believe in the goodness of disagreeable people.
Orville Dewey 1794-1882
The sayer of smart things has a bad heart.
It is, as many of you know, against the law to sell liquor, a fact
complicates its sale and makes for considerable inconvenience.
She got her good looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon.
In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the
politicians can go on the air and kid the people.
In a healthy society, the public instinctively runs to help the
The dirty little secret in this country, and it's not such a secret,
is that if
you perjure yourself, for the prosecution, no one's going to
Walter F. Rowe prof. of Forensic Science at Geo. Washington U.
Or, at any rate, that was what they said they had said, many years