Quotations

Adams, Douglas (1952-2001) - "What astonished me ... was the realization that the arguments in favor of religious ideas were so feeble and silly next to the robust arguments of something as interpretive and opinionated as history.  In fact they were embarrassingly childish.  They were never subject to the kind of outright challenge which was the normal stock in trade of any other area of intellectual endeavor whatsoever.  Why not?  Because they wouldn't stand up to it.  So I became an Agnostic.  And I thought and thought and thought.  But I just did not have enough to go on, so I didn't really come to any resolution.  I was extremely doubtful about the idea of god, but I just didn't know enough about anything to have a good working model of any other explanation for, well, life, the universe, and everything to put in its place.  But I kept at it, and I kept reading and I kept thinking.  Sometime around my early thirties I stumbled upon evolutionary biology ... and suddenly ... it all fell into place.  It was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life.  The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it.  I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day." [The Salmon of Doubt]

Adams, Scott - "There's a fine line between creative and goofy, and believe me, you wouldn't want to spend time in my head." [Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain! - Penguin Portfolio 2007]

"The only thing that predicts success is passion ..." [Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!]

Alcaraz, Lalo - (on "Tea Party leader Congresswoman Michele Bachmann") "She's like the President of Stupidville." [Los Angeles Times 2/7/2011]

Allen, Steve (1921-2000) - see www.mindsnackbooks.com/humor/steve_allen.html.

Allen, Woody - " ... religious people don't want to acknowledge the reality that contradicts their fairy tale.  And if it is a godless universe, they're out of business.  The cash flow stops." [Conversations with Woody Allen]

(aging) "I find it a lousy deal.  There's no advantage in getting older.  I'm 74 now.  You don't get smarter, you don't get wiser, you don't get more mellow, you don't get more kindly.  Nothing good happens.  Your back hurts more.  You get more indigestion.  Your eyesight isn't as good.  You need a hearing aid.  It's a bad business getting older, and I would advise you not to do it." [The Huffington Post 5/15/2010]

Alterman, Eric - "One aspect of American politics that receives insufficient attention is that a significant percentage of self-identified Republicans -- around half -- are complete idiots.  And the candidates who wish to be elected by them must pander to them, either by being idiots themselves -- see 'Bachmann, Michele' -- or pretending to be." [The Nation 6/20/2011]

"... (Condoleeza) Rice is famously among the worst advice-givers in human history, first failing to take seriously the August 6, 2001, presidential briefing she and Bush received, titled 'Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US.'  ... Rice later explained that she couldn't 'connect the dots,' which was true.  But when it came to Iraq, she connected dots that weren't there, while aiding the president's grievously misguided trust in the hawkish arguments of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld while shunting aside the more prudent concerns of Colin Powell." [The Nation 4/16/2012]

"Today's conservative intellectuals aren't even bothering to offer 'irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas'.  Instead, they're making calculated attempts to undermine our democracy, exploiting and manipulating a public that has decreasing resources for the kind of reliable information that would lead to a pragmatic 'liberal' response.  It's time we woke up to that reality while we still have a country -- and a planet -- left to save."  [The Nation  April 2015]

Avishai, Bernard - "America has a politics that required Democrats to swim perpetually against the current.  The miracle of Obamacare, and the Obama presidency, is that we've live to see them.  We could lose them both." [The Nation 3/26/2012]

Barry, Dave - "We're going to add on a bedroom, which should make our lives a living hell ... Contractors get joy in telling you that.  Apparently, the way they work is, they cut off your water and electricity and food and oxygen supply, and then they rip your house into tiny Chiclet-sized pieces, and then just leave for three or four months and don't come back, during which time you live in a motel.  Then, decades later, the contractor's descendants come back and finish the work in about a day." [Playboy May 1990]

"I take beer probably more seriously than religion.  In fact, there's no contest.  I'm one of those people who say if we can land a man on the moon, we should be able to make beer at least as good as Paraguay does." [Playboy May 1990]

"If you keep doing drugs, at some point you cease being a bold explorer of the human consciousness and start being a person who sits around drooling." [Dave Barry Turns 50]

("25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years") "... 7. They can hold all the peace talks they want, but there will never be peace in the Middle East.  Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies ... 19. If there really is God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and He decides to deliver a message to humanity, He will not use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.  20. You should not confuse your career with your life ..." [Dave Barry Turns 50]

"The Russians protested the women's result, but to no avail.  The International Olympic Committee interviewed the judges, who pointed out, correctly that the letters in 'Irina Slutskaya' can be rearranged to spell 'Russian Yak Tail.'  This is a mandatory two-tenths deduction." [Boogers Are My Beat]

(long-distance telemarketing) "I always say no.  I tell them that I WANT a big long-distance bill, and that I often place totally unnecessary calls to distant continents just to jack it up.  I tell them that if my long-distance bill is not high enough to suit me, I deliberately set fire to a pile of cash.  Then I hang up.  But of course this does not stop them.  The next night, they call again.  That's how courteous they are." [Boogers Are My Beat]

"I ... don't know why a woman would be ticked off if you gave her a 56-piece socket-wrench set with a 72-tooth reversible ratchet, but thrilled if you give her a tiny, very expensive vial of liquid with a name like 'L'Essence de Nooquie Eau de Parfum de Cologne de Toilette de Bidet,' which, to the naked male nostril, does not smell any better than a stick of Juicy Fruit.  All I'm saying is that this is the kind of thing women want.  (That's why the ultimate gift is jewelry; it's totally useless.)" [Boogers Are My Beat]

"In life, as in baseball, we must leave the dugout of complacency, step up to the home plate of opportunity, adjust the protective groin cup of caution, and swing the bat of hope at the curve ball of fate, hoping that we can hit a line drive of success past the shortstop of misfortune, then sprint down the basepath of chance, knowing that at any moment we may pull the hamstring muscle of inadequacy and fall face-first onto the field of failure, where the chinch bugs of broken dreams will crawl into our nose." [Boogers Are My Beat]

"... there is an entire baby inside the pregnant woman, and somehow during childbirth it comes out.  This is the part that stumps us, because despite all of our modern medical expertise, we frankly cannot see how such a thing is possible.  All we really know about it is that it seems to hurt like crazy." [Babies & Other Hazards of Sex

"Ski jumping as a form of exercise has grown immensely in popularity in recent years, especially among people who, because of knee problems, cannot jog.  This exciting sport got its start as a symptom of mental illness in northern climes such as Norway and Sweden, where its cold and dark and there is very little to do except pay taxes.  Life is depressing in these countries.  Watch any movie by the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, and you'll notice that all that ever happens in the entire two hours is depressed people sit around talking Swedish, which sounds like Fats Domino records being played backward, only a little too slow.  This is what life in Sweden is actually like, except that it often lasts longer than two hours.  After a while, the strain gets to people, and they suddenly leap up, barge out, don skis, and launch themselves off giant chutes." [Stay Fit & Healthy Until You're Dead]

"The Stock Market is what they are talking about on television when they tell you the 'Dow Jones Industrial Average' is 'up' in 'active trading.'  Sometimes they show you a picture of it: you see a lot of men with bad armpit stains yelling and waving their arms.  These men are ordering lunch.  The actual trading is done by computers ..." [Claw Your Way to the Top]

"In fact, babies have only one want, and it is hardly delicate: They want to put everything in the entire world except food into their mouths ... Most people make babies out to be very complicated, but the truth is they have only three moods: Mood One: Just about to cry.  Mood Two: Crying.  Mood Three: Just finished crying." [Dave Barry's Bad Habits]

"At fast-food restaurants, you never run the risk of finding peas on your plate." [Dave Barry's Bad Habits]

"Listen up, brides.  You get only one shot in your life at a real wedding gown, and you better not blow it.  Because a wedding gown is more than just a dress.  It's a dress that costs a whole ton of money.  It's a dress that you'll cherish for several decades in a box in a remote closet, perhaps to be taken out one day by your daughter when she's looking for (sniff) a wedding gown of her own.  She'll wisely reject yours, of course, because by that time it will have served as the home environment for 60,000 generations of insects.  The last thing she wants, when she's up at the altar on her own Very Special Day, is for a millipede to come strolling out of her bodice." [Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex]

"NEWTON'S FIRST LAW OF FURNITURE BUYING: The amount you will hate a given piece of furniture is equal to its cost multiplied by the length of time, in months, it takes to arrive." [Homes And Other Black Holes]

"The best way to sell a house is to walk down a city street and have a construction worker who is eating a sandwich fifty-five stories above you accidentally drop his lunch box so that it lands on your head in such a way that you are not seriously injured, but you do lapse into a coma, and you wake up four months later and the nurse says: 'While you were in a coma, your house was sold.'  This is also the best way to move, have a baby, and attend the opera." [Homes And Other Black Holes]

" ... I hate fishing.  I mean, you sit out in an unstable boat on an algae-encrusted, rank-smelling lake wearing a big invisible sign that says 'EAT ME' in mosquito language, and you impale yourself on nasty little hooks, and you spend hours trying to outwit an animal with the IQ of ketchup, and then if you finally accomplish your objective, you wind up with this ... this fish, lying there in your boat, gasping, dying slowly, staring at you with whichever eyeball is on your side, and you can almost hear it saying to you, in a gasping but very sarcastic fish voice, 'Well, I hope that was fun for you, Mr. Sportsperson.'" [Dave Barry In Cyberspace]

"For decades now, newspaper readership has been steadily going down.  A major reason is that young people don't read newspapers.  Young people either don't care about news, or prefer to get their news from alternative sources, such as the Internet, TV, cell phones, cereal boxes, skywriting, and other people's tattoos.  But whatever the cause, these young people do not read newspapers. [Dave Barry's Money Secrets]

Beard, Henry - "Good morning, Mr. Hunt.  Several high-ranking members of the Democratic party are attempting to seize control of the government of the United States by legitimate means.  They plan to use a free press, open discussion of the issues, and the universal franchise in an all-out effort to win the presidency.  Should they succeed, all our efforts to repeal the Bill of Rights, pack the Supreme Court with right-wing morons, intimidate the media, supress dissent, and crush the Congress will be destroyed.  Your mission, E., should you choose to accept it, is to stop these men once and for all, by ensuring that the weakest of them, Senator George McGovern, wins the nomination -- and then by sabotaging his campaign with any possible means.  You will have at your disposal electronic bugging equipment, burglary tools, wigs, voice-alteration devices, a camera disguised as a tobacco pouch, forged documents, a safe house, five hundred loyal but clumsy Cubans, and two million dollars in hundred-dollar bills.  As always, if any member of your CIA force is caught or killed, the President will disavow any knowledge of your activities.  This Administration will self-destruct in sixteen months.  Good luck, Howie." [National Lampoon Radio Hour - "Mission: Impeachable" 12/29/1973 and Going Too Far]

Belli, Gioconda - "Books have the power to be the light we are seeking at crucial moments in our lives.  Reading helps us realize we are not alone, that we can change our circumstances and even achieve the impossible." [Los Angeles Times 4/26/2009]

Bird Kai - "It is time to walk away and leave these people [Middle Easterners] to their own bad behavior.  Let the Israelis occupy -- and then let them grapple with the consequences ... Disengagement should now be our policy with both Israel and the Arab world. We Americans should urge our government to end all arms sales to any Arab nation ruled by a general, dictator or king.  We need to isolate and and diplomatically contain any Arab regime that has demonstrably killed unarmed protesters, as in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  We should also close our military installations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar."  [The Nation - April 2015]

Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769-1821) - "A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." [War Is A Lie]

Boyle, T.C. - "We read to free ourselves from the grind and the misery and big ticking time-bomb questions of life.  We read for the same reason we walk alone in the woods or squeeze our ears between headphones.  We all need contemplative time, time away, time in another world altogether.  For me, that happens when I pick up a good book -- or, for that matter, a good newspaper." [Los Angeles Times 4/26/2009]

Brooks, Rosa  - "If we're willing to use taxpayer money to build roads, pay teachers and maintain a military; if we're willing to bail out banks and insurance companies and failing automakers, we should be willing to part with some public funds to keep journalism alive too." [Los Angeles Times 4/9/2009]

Bugliosi, Vincent - "I'm not a political activist.  But whenever something is so egregious, I jump in.  Even many Republican scholars [said], 'The court should be ashamed of itself; we've lost respect for the court.'  And I kept saying, 'That's all?  You lost respect?'  These five [justices] are among the biggest criminals in American history.  How dare these people have the audacity to do what they did?  I think I made my case pretty well that these people deliberately tried to steal the election." [Los Angeles Times 8/8/2009]

"Bush [told] unsuspecting Americans the exact opposite of what his own federal intelligence agencies told him.  What could be more criminal than the Bush administration keeping the all-important conclusion from Congress and the American people, with the lives of millions in the balance?" [Los Angeles Times 8/8/2009]

"Although the evidence of our decline is overwhelming and multifold, one fact alone, all by itself, proves that it has occurred -- that we elected George Bush president twice, someone totally unfit for the office, and a virtual embarrassment to this country in every other way.  Someone who actually is the object of scorn and hatred throughout the civilized world, almost assuredly the most hated president around the world, by far, in U.S. history.  Bush is so reviled, in fact, that when he visits some nations (like Germany) great pains are taken to avoid all contact by Bush with everyday citizens, and to prevent him from even coming close to the thousands of demonstrators out on the street (holding signs calling Bush evil, a terrorist, and a murderer). [The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder]

"The principal enemies I see to a brighter day for America are the right wing, which mostly consists of people who are not only rotten from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet, but who also successfully appeal to the worst and most base instincts of many outside their group; religious fundamentalism, which is necessarily hostile to a pluralistic society, has always been the source of intolerance and wars through the years, and which can only increase the nation's ignorance and intolerance if it continues to rise as it has here in America; and the entertainment world, mostly Hollywood, which insists on poisoning our culture with the filth it increasingly spews out to the nation's youth and the rest of us." [The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder]

Burns, Ken - "All truth is manipulated, because the universe is chaotic.  What we divine from it is the superimposition of some kind of order, whether it's religion, superstition, story and art, literature, science - all of them are an attempt to keep the wolf from the door.  And that wolf is the panic of chaos. [Los Angeles Times 9/26/2009]

Camus, Albert (1914-1960) - "Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured.  But we can reduce the number of tortured children. [Resistance, Rebellion, and Death: Essays]

Carey, James (1934-2006) - "Alas, the press may have to rely upon a democratic state to create the conditions necessary for a democratic press to flourish and for journalists to be restored to their proper role as orchestrators of the conversation of a democratic culture." [2002]

Carlin, George (1937-2008) - "... pot is a club.  When the pot smokers are off laughing in the corner and you're sitting there drinking your Cutty mist, that's devastating." [Last Words]

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show.  When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." [unsourced]

"Upon my death, I wish to be cremated. The disposition of my ashes (dispersal at sea, on land, or in the air) shall be determined by my surviving family (wife and daughter) in accordance with their knowledge of my prejudices and philosophies regarding geography and spirituality.  Under no circumstances are my ashes to be retained by anyone or buried in a particular location.  The eventual dispersal can be delayed for any reasonable length of time required to reach a decision, but not to exceed one month following my death.  I wish no public service of any kind.  I wish no religious service of any kind.  I prefer a private gathering at my house, attended by friends and family members who shall be determined by my immediate surviving family.  The exact nature of this gathering shall be determined by my surviving family.  It should be extremely informal, they should play rhythm and blues music, and they should laugh a lot.  Vague references to spirituality (secular) will be permitted. George Carlin 5/1/90"  [A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George]

Cavett, Dick - " ... I do thrill to great talent.  I think great talents should have anything they want.  Talented people should always get their way, up to the point of making it impossible to continue a project or production.  Talent should be humored to the breaking point ... Talent is a gemlike thing, but performance is fragile and can be wrecked by a tiny irritation." [Playboy March 1971]

Christensen, Kim - "It would be easy to deride or dismiss many of Scientology's more eccentric elements, such as the secret story of Xenu, the evil tyrant leader of the 'Galactic Federation.'  Only after reaching an advanced level are Scientologists taught that he killed his enemies with hydrogen bombs 75 million years ago and then captured their souls, or thetans, and electronically implanted them with false concepts.  These altered thetans later glommed on to human bodies, the story goes, causing spiritual harm and havoc for mankind." [Los Angeles Times 7/4/2011]

Cleese, John - "... I think most organized religion (is) simply crowd control."  [TV Club interview 2/5/2008]

Clemens, Samuel Langhorne [aka Mark Twain] 1835-1910 - [1849] "A company of infantry was raised in our town .. and when that company marched back and forth through the streets in its smart uniform ... its evolutions were attended by all the boys whenever the school hours permitted.  I can see that marching company yet, and I can almost feel again the consuming desire that I had to join it.  But they had no use for boys of twelve and thirteen, and before I had a chance in another war the desire to kill people to whom I had not been introduced had passed away." [Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1]

Clinton, Hillary - "Why extremists always focus on women is a mystery to me.  But they all seem to.  It doesn't matter what country they're in.  They want to control women.  They want to control how we dress; they want to control how we act; they want to control everything about us." [The Economist March 24th-30th, 2012]

Clooney, George - "I never liked the stock market - to me it's Vegas without any of the fun parts, the girls in bikinis.  I like owning dirt." [Parade 9/25/2011]

Coyne, Jerry A. - "Science helps religion only by disproving its claims, while religion has nothing to add to science ... There is no horror, no amount of evil in the world, that a true believer can't rationalize as consistent with a loving God.  It's the ultimate way of fooling yourself.  But how can you be sure you're right if you can't tell whether you're wrong? ... The difference between science and faith, then, can be summed up simply: In religion faith is a virtue; in science it's a vice ... We worry about religion because it's the most venerable superstition - and the most politically and financially powerful." [USA Today 10/11/2010]

Cronkite, Walter (1916-2009) - "I think that being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, noncommitted to a cause - but examining each case on its merits.  Being left of center is another thing; it's a political position.  I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen.  If they're preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can't be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism ... And I think they come to feel very little allegiance to the established order.  I think they're inclined to side with humanity rather than with authority and institutions." [Playboy June 1973]

"I didn't need to be taught anything about war.  I had already learned about it.  But I still didn't understand - and don't understand today - how men can go to war.  It's irrational, it's unbelievable.  How can people who call themselves civilized ever take up arms against each other?  I don't even understand how civilized people can carry guns." [Playboy June 1973]

Davis, Tom (1952-2012) - "In the foreseeable future, I will be a dead person.  I want to remind you that dead people are people too.  There are good dead people and bad dead people.  Some of my best friends are dead people.  Dead people have fought in every war."  [Giant of the Senate by Al Franken]

Diamond, Jared - "... many of you readers of this book have endured or will endure a similar ordeal yourselves, when you find yourself forced to decide whether to tell the physician caring for your aged or sick parent in failing health that the time has come to halt further aggressive medical intervention, or just to administer pain-killers, sedatives, and palliative care." [The World Until Yesterday]

"Religion is the belief in a postulated supernatural agent for whose existence our senses can't give us evidence, but which is invoked to explain things of which our senses do give us evidence." [The World Until Yesterday]

"Religion is a set of traits distinguishing a human social group sharing those traits from other groups not sharing those traits in identical form.  Included among those shared traits is always one or more, often all three, out of three traits: supernatural explanation, defusing anxiety about uncontrollable dangers through ritual, and offering comfort for life's pains and the prospect of death. Religions other than early ones became co-opted to promote standardized organization, political obedience, tolerance of strangers belonging to one's own religion, and justification of wars against groups holding other religions." [The World Until Yesterday]

"Preservation of one's linguistic identity is not a bagatelle.  It keeps Danes rich and happy, and some native and immigrant minorities prosperous, and it kept Britain free." [The World Until Yesterday]

Doctorow, E.L. - "... I think books are great technology.  Once they're produced they don't use any energy.  If their materials are decent and sound, and you take care of them, they'll last forever.  I like the feel of a book, I like to turn pages, I like to see print on paper.  The pleasure of going into a bookshop, finding things you didn't even know you were looking for, discovering things - that's what we're losing now.  Everyone knows in advance what they want, and they order it online or download it." [The Nation 10/12/2009]

Duvall, Raymond & Wendt, Alexander - "It is one of the ironies of modern rule that it is far more acceptable today to affirm publicly one's belief in God, for whose existence there is no scientific evidence, than UFOs, the existence of which - whatever they might be - is physically documented." [UFOs - Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean]

Economist - "... Republicans need to recognise, as their intellectual forebears did from Adam Smith to Abraham Lincoln, that government has an important role to play in a capitalist economy, providing public goods and a safety net.  Teddy Roosevelt broke up over-mighty companies, rather than doling out tax breaks to them.  Why on earth are people who champion a small state supporting an expensive war on drugs that has filled the prisons to bursting point without reducing the supply of narcotics?  But the Republicans' main problem is taxes.  Successful deficit-reduction plans require at least some of the gap - perhaps around a quarter - to be closed by new revenue.  If the Republicans got rid of loopholes, they could cut all the main tax rates and still raise more money." [The Economist editorial July 28, 2012]

Edwards, Don - "Congress ... must be vigilant to the perils of the subversive notion that any public official, the president or a policeman, possesses a kind of inherent power to set the Constitution aside whenever he thinks the public interest or 'national security' warrants it.  The notion is the essential postulate of tyranny." [The Nation 5/11/2009 reprinted from 1974]

Eisner, Will (1917-2005) - "I could never understand why any crime fighter would go out and fight crime; why the hell a guy should run around with a mask and fight crime was beyond me." [Witzend #6]

Ellsberg, Daniel - "Humans are herd animals.  They depend very much on being part of the group, and to remain part of the group they'll do anything.  And a much larger number will go along with anything.  And the broadest form of that is keeping your mouth shut." [Los Angeles Times 10/5/2010]

Feiffer, Jules - "... people believe that the Tate murders happened but that My Lai didn't happen.  The Tate murders happened because they took place in Los Angeles - which people thinks exists but in fact doesn't - and My Lai didn't happen because it happened in Vietnam, which doesn't exist except on television.  It also happened to gooks, and they're not real people, and it happened during a war, and anything we do in a war is OK as long as it's our side that does it ... It all has to do with our rules of war, which state: one, that Americans are good guys; two, that we only get into good wars; and, three, that no matter what we do and what acts we commit, they're the acts of good people, perhaps regrettable, but war-is-hell-and-acts-such-as-these-have-always-taken-place-in-wartime, which makes them pardonable ..." [Playboy September 1971]

"If Nixon reminds us of the man who sells whiskey to the Indians, Johnson reminds us of the man who sold the whiskey to Nixon;  Johnson is the snake-oil salesman who comes on publicly like a preacher." [Playboy September 1971]

"That's all satire is - creating a logical argument that, followed to its end, is absurd.  All humor is basically about one or another kind of outrage against logic, but satire concerns itself with logically extending a premise to its totally insane conclusion, thus forcing onto an audience certain unwelcome awarenesses." [Playboy September 1971]

"New York is more humane in winter than Washington.  In New York people go out to meet the cold, hate it, but are somehow energized by it, walk into it, overcome it.  Washington is still basically a Southern town; it treats winter like Sherman's invading army: it caves in and goes underground, becoming one vast sniveling fallout shelter.  Snow and cold dictate the terms by which people live; no one argues.  Washingtonians wear expressions of childlike hurt and abandonment.  They take winter personally." [Ackroyd]

"As far back as I can remember, religion was a puzzle to me that I had no interest in solving.  I understood what it did for others, but I could never figure out what it could do for me." [Backing into Forward]

"In my heart of hearts I detested advertising.  Advertising misled.  Its very existence was based on misleading: to persuade the persuadable to buy what they didn't need and didn't want up to the moment they saw the ad or commercial ... It manipulated.  It lied.  Until the offers to illustrate started coming in, I was of the opinion that advertising should be outlawed.  I was a civil libertarian, free speech had to be defended.  But not commercial free speech.  That was my position until ad agencies came after me, at which point I matured ..." [Backing into Forward]

"Unlike Democrats, Republicans are seen as real men.  John Kerry, who fought in Vietnam, is not a real man.  Dick Cheney, who shot a friend on a hunting trip and saw no reason to apologize, is a real man.  It makes no difference that the Democrat is a war hero and the Republican is a draft dodger.  Image is all, and real men don't apologize.  Republicans own the real-man image.  But, for God's sake, George W. Bush married a librarian! His vice president married a novelist, and one of her novels is an erotic novel!  And he and his wife have a daughter who's a lesbian!  If Bush and Cheney were Democrats, these affiliations would have ended their political careers.  But they're not, they're Republicans.  So it didn't matter that this Republican candidate, married to a bookish woman, picked for his vice president a draft dodger with a lesbian daughter and a wife who wrote erotic novels.  They were given a pass.  To conservative and evangelical voters, 'values' are an issue only when they are the values of Democrats." [Backing into Forward]

"When the New Right refers to the United States of America, it does not harken back to 1776 and Philadelphia; it really means the 1940s and Hollywood, the America of old black-and-white movies, small frame houses on shady-lane streets, white folks with white picket fences and white values - a world where Walt Disney died for our sins and the Gipper is God's messenger, a symbol of the nostalgia that these people mistake for principles, the fairy tales they mistake for history.  Now they are out there contorting and distorting with old movie values and old movie magic, defining our reality, making tintypes of our hopes, turning our most creative, innovative, and ambivalent impulses into needle-point samplers.  These true believers of the Right are trying to simplify us back into the Stone Age." [Backing into Forward]

Fey, Tina - "Do your thing and don't care if they like it." [Bossypants]

Fonda, Jane - "I think we should ask ourselves why Nixon made heroes of the P.O.W.s.  Why not the vets, the ground troops who've come back legless and jobless?  Why not the 50,000 who died there (Vietnam)?  Could it be that paraplegics don't make good spokesmen for Nixon, that voices from the grave can't congratulate the President on achieving peace with honor?" [Playboy April 1974]

Franken, Al - "A lot has been made of this number 60.  The number I'm focused on is the number two.  I see myself as the second senator from the state of Minnesota." [Los Angeles Times 7/7/2009]

(Rush Limbaugh) "... this self-described 'rugged individual' and scourge of government handouts had the gall to file for unemployment at a time when he was able-bodied and spending his days sitting around the house eating junk food, too lazy to even mow his own lawn." [Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot]

(Newt Gingrich) "... after the divorce, he was late with his alimony payments, and she had to take him to court twice to provide adequate support for her and the girls and that her church took up a collection to help them get by." [Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot]

(Rush Limbaugh) "... never took a draft physical.  Instead, records show that Limbaugh pre-empted a physical by providing his draft board with information of some disqualifying condition.  Limbaugh's story has changed several times.  According to Limbaugh, the physical deferment was for either a 'football knee from high school' or a 'pilonidal cyst.'  A pilonidial cyst is a congenital incomplete closure of the neural groove at the base of the spinal cord in which excess tissue and hair may collect, causing discomfort and discharge. As disgusting as this sounds, there is no evidence that Limbaugh's cyst contributed to the breakup of his two marriages." [Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot]

(Bill O'Reilly) "He will say, 'Is that all you got, Al?  After six and a half years on the air, all you can find is my mistaking a Polk I didn't win for two Peabodys that never existed and then falsely accused a journalist of lying about it; that I physically intimidated your book publicist; that I freaked out about the splotchy photo; that I compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and then lied about it; that I lied about where I grew up; that I lied about my party affiliation; that I gave phony numbers on welfare moms, black university enrollment in Florida, and foreign aid; that I had no idea how Congress works; and that I threatened to shoot you between the head?  Is that all you got, Al?  Is that all you got?' " [Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them]

(Conservatives) "They don't get it.  We love America just as much as they do.  But in a different way.  You see, they love America the way a four-year-old loves her mommy.  Liberals love America like grown-ups.  To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad.  Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow.  Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world." [Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them]

(Bush vs. Gore) "Somewhere along the line, the pack decided that Al Gore was a sanctimonious, graspy exaggerator running against a likeable if dim-witted goof-off.  Instead of covering the issues and how they might affect average Americans, the media looked for little scraps of evidence to support its story line of Gore the Exaggerator." [Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them]

(Saturday Night Live) "The show was pretty much an instant hit.  Over the decades, SNL has gone through periods of sustained brilliance and a few rough patches, but after forty-two years, the show has been a touchstone for generations of overentertained, underinformed Americans." [Giant of the Senate]

(Hillary Clinton/climate change) "One of the reasons I was so hoping that Hillary Clinton would win the election, aside from, you know, all the other ones, is that the clearest path to combating climate change ran through the Supreme Court.  Overturning Citizens United would help break the Koch brothers' stranglehold on the Republican Party, and without that threat, some of them might be convinced to join the rest of the Senate and the rest of the world in trying to actually address climate change ... I was really stoked to have that special senatorial spot to watch Hillary Clinton take the oath of office in 2017.  I'd campaigned hard for Hillary, who is the smartest, toughest, hardest-working person I know ... she would have been a great president."  [Giant of the Senate]

Franks, Barnie - "I would be very happy if there was some way to make it a misdemeanor for people to talk about reducing the budget deficit without including a recommendation that we substantially cut military spending." [The Nation 3/2/2009]

Furukawa, Hideo - "From now on, if the people of Tokyo want a nuclear power plant, let them build one in their own city." [The Nation 8/29/2011]

Gervais, Ricky - "I can't flop.  'Cause I don't care!  I don't care about ratings or opening weekends or anything like that.  I care about whether I enjoyed doing it and whether I'm happy with the result." [Los Angeles Times 1/17/2010]

"... no one has the right to never be offended." [Show Biz 8/19/2011]

Goldstein, Patrick - "When 'Potter' author J.K. Rowling was once asked to describe Voldemort, she called him a 'bully devoid of the normal human responses to other people's suffering.'  The same - and worse - has been said about [Rupert] Murdoch." [Los Angeles Times 7/19/2011]

Gorbachev, Mikhail - "Today one often hears that politics is a dirty business, incompatible with morality.  No, politics becomes dirty and a zero-sum, lose-lose game when it has no moral core.  This, perhaps, is the main lesson to be learned from the past two decades." [The Nation January 9/16, 2012]

Hartmann, Thom - " ... it's more than a little ironic that people we call primitive and uncivilized had evolved a way of life that worked so well that they didn't need police or prisons ... I've noticed that there's a sure way to tell how unequally a society divides its assets: the more concentrated the wealth and the more violent the society's dominators, the more prisons there are." [The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight]

Hawken, Paul - "Healing the wounds of the earth and its people does not require saintliness or a political party, only gumption and persistence.  It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it is a sacred act." [Blessed Unrest]

Hawking, Stephen - "I don't claim that God doesn't exist.  God is the name people give to the reason we are here.  But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship." [Time 11/15/2010]

"I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program.  It will cease to run when the computer is turned off.  Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories." [Time 11/15/2010]

"I'm no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women." [Time 11/15/2010]

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.  There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers;  that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." [The Guardian and Raw Story 5/16/2011]

Hay, John Milton (1838-1905) - "... it is now universally understood, if not conceded, that the Rebellion of 1861 was begun for the sole purpose of defending and preserving to the seceding States the institution of African slavery and making them the nucleus of a great slave empire."  [Lincoln's Boys]

Hayden, Tom - "I've always doubted the notion that the assassinations of King and Malcolm and the Kennedys were the work of lone assassins, and I've always thought that groups of conspirators were involved, in some cases with official knowledge.  But I think it's important for people like myself not to make assertions beyond what can be factually proved.  So all I can say is that the Watergate investigation should have led to a reinvestigation of the assassinations of the Sixties." [Playboy April 1974]

" ... true democracy is incompatible with capitalism ... Rule by the rich has created a country whose economy can't check inflation even though thousands of its citizens are suffering from malnutrition, a country that's unable even to provide sufficient energy to run itself." [Playboy April 1974]

Heller, Joseph  (1923-1999) - "There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind." [Catch-22]

"Wars are still initiated by a certain type of professional soldier whose ambition it is to act out fantasy scenes from war movies, and they're still fought by very young people who have no more exciting life to lead." [Playboy June 1975]

"I don't think anybody should ever be compelled to fight in a war whose objectives he does not endorse." [Playboy June 1975]

" ... I voted for McGovern." [Playboy June 1975]

"If another President faked another Gulf of Tonkin incident, there would still be only about two Senators voting against the resolution, and they'd be tossed out in the next election." [Playboy June 1975]

"The real Nixon was a pathetic, fearful man who spent his life prophesying his own failures and living up to his own prophecies." [Playboy June 1975]

"I don't care if there's a God or not." [Playboy June 1975]

Hendra, Tony - "Boomer humor was born in the era of kindly old Senator McCarthy, whose foam-flecked crusade had as much to do with the anti-intellectualism (and of course Mrs. McCarthy's inadequate toilet training) as it did with any grasp of an alternative view of the Industrial Revolution.  Boomer humor was thus from its birth political by the mere fact of being intelligent.  When it wasn't intelligent, it was still informed, and when it was neither of those, you could at least say that it was well-educated" [Going Too Far]

"The Bomb wasn't dropped on the Japanese to teach them a lesson.  It was dropped on the Japanese to teach the Russians a lesson" [Going Too Far]

Hitchcock, Alfred - "I've never dealt with whodunits.  They're simply clever puzzles, aren't they?  They're intellectual rather than emotional, and emotion is the only thing that keeps my audience interested.  I prefer suspense rather than surprise - something the average man can identify with.  The audience can't identify with detectives; they're not part of his everyday life." [Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho]

Howard, Ron - "I chose to do Happy Days because of Vietnam.  I was a film major at USC, but I had a horrible draft number, and I felt if I was employed by Gulf + Western, they would find some way to keep me out of the jungle." [Los Angeles Times Magazine 2/8/2009]

Hurwitz, David - "Denying these[illegal immigrant] children an opportunity to better themselves creates a permanent underclass of uneducated people who experience high unemployment.  It's in society's best interest to educate these children to make them more-productive citizens.  This particular issue has become a serious problem in European countries, where the norm is to not support the education of children of illegal immigrants.  A number of countries are now considering changing these laws.  It's nice to have a heart ... It's better to have a brain." [Los Angeles Times 10/9/2011]

Inmuttooyahlatlat (Chief Joseph 1840-1904) - "We ask that the same law shall work alike on all men.  If an Indian breaks the law, punish him by the law.  If a white man breaks the law, punish him also.  Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to talk and think and act for myself." [Soul of America and Lies My Teacher Told Me]

Ivins, Molly (1944-2007) - "I swear to God, he [Phil Gramm] once nearly trampled me and Marilyn Schwartz of the Dallas Morning News to get in front of a lens at the Republican national convention in '88." [Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot]

Jacobs, Frank - "Unfortunately, many people who get a tattoo are nothing more than silly narcissistic egotistical exhibitionists." [Mad #310 April 1992]

Jones, Van - "We have an obligation to tell the ultraconservatives who are so rabidly antigovernment: 'If you don't love this government, then let it go and hand it over to people who do.'  Those who would hijack the government and crash it with deficits pose a bigger threat than the terrorists." [The Green-Collar Economy]

"When it is grown and processed in ways that do not harm the Earth or its inhabitants, there is great dignity to the creation of food." [The Green-Collar Economy]

"It is strange but true, the gray and unassuming members of the planning commission of every city hold the fate of the world in their hands." [The Green-Collar Economy]

Jong, Erica - "... the older you got, the clearer it became that men were basically terrified of women." [Fear of Flying]

Josephson, Michael - "The idea that self-interest is the only proper standard for business judgments flourishes because of the tendency to compartmentalize our lives into personal and business domains.  This allows basically decent people who would be ashamed to lie, cheat or break a promise in their personal lives to delude themselves into thinking that they're exempt from basic standards of right and wrong in their business lives.  This is pure ethics relativism and it's fatally flawed.  Ethical standards apply to all human actions regardless of the context.  Though business executives, lawyers or politicians may face different sorts of ethical challenges at work, the standards of ethics are the same.  There's no such thing as 'business ethics' - there's only ethics." ["The Fallacy of Business Ethics" - 3/20/2000]

Keillor, Garrison - "We don't choose our family doctor based on his ability to yodel, and we don't elect a woman vice president because she's perky." [Las Vegas Sun 1/24/2010]

Kennedy, Edward (1932-2009) - "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life.  He should be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." [Eulogy in Memory of Senator Robert Francis Kennedy 6/8/1968]

"When does the greed stop?" [United States Senate 1/25/2007]

Kennedy, John F. (1917-1963) - "War will exist until the distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today." [War Is A Lie]

"If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people - their health, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties - someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal', they I'm proud to say that I'm a Liberal"

Kennedy, Robert (1925-1968) - "There is discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation.  Governments repress their people.  Millions are trapped in poverty, while the nation grows rich and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere.  These are differing evils, but they are the common works of man.  They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility towards the suffering of our fellows.  But we can perhaps remember, even if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life, that they seek as we do nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.  Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goals, can begin to teach us something.  Surely we can learn at least to look at those around us as fellow men.  And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.  The answer is to rely on youth, not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.  The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to the obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans; they cannot be moved by those who cling to a present that is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger that come with even the most peaceful progress.  It is a revolutionary world which we live in, and this generation at home and around the world has had thrust upon it a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived.  Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills.  Yet many of the world's great movements of thought and action have flowed from the work of a single man.  A young monk began the Protestant Reformation.  A young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the Earth.  A young woman reclaimed the territory of France, and it was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal.  These men moved the world, and so can we all.  Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.  It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is changed.  Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.  Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society.  Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.  Yet it is the one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.  And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.  For the fortunate among us there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education.  But that is not the road history has marked out for us.  Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty.  But they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.  All of us will ultimately be judged and as the years pass, we will surely judge ourselves, on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that effort.  The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and great enterprises of American society.  Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control.  It is the shaping impulse of America that neither faith nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history but the work of our own hands matched to reason and principle that will determine our destiny.  There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth, and in any event it is the only way we can live." [South Africa Day of Affirmation 1966]

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (1929-1968) - "Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.  Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation.  Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.  If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation.  The foundation of such a method is love ... I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction.  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality ... I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.  I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up." [War Is A Lie]

Klein, Joe - (on the presidency of George W. Bush) "We struggle to recover from the thoughtless carnage of his tenure." [Time November 22, 2010]

Kloss, Amy - "I read because it is one of the very few satisfying escapes from reality that isn't fattening and doesn't destroy brain cells." [Los Angeles Times 4/26/2009]

Koufax, Sandy - "I'm 80 years old and I have retired.  I have not quit.  I'm still part of the Dodgers' organization and always will be especially as long as Mark and Kimbra Walter are part of ownership.  I will do most of what I have done in the past with no official title.  I hope all the players, coaches, manager and everyone else in the clubhouse have successful and healthy seasons with a spectacular ending.  See you opening day."  [Los Angeles Times 2/29/2016]

Krassner, Paul - "Anybody who does anything for money that they wouldn't do otherwise, is a prostitute." [Crawdaddy 2/75]

Kubrick, Stanley (1928-1999) - "I don't believe in any of earth's monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of God, once you accept the fact that there are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, that each star is a life-giving sun and that there are approximately 100 billion galaxies in just the visible universe.  Given a planet in a stable orbit, not too hot and not too cold, and given a few billion years of chance chemical reactions created by the interaction of a sun's energy on the planet's chemicals, it's fairly certain that life in one form or another will eventually emerge." [Playboy September 1968]

"One of the things that's turned me against LSD is that all the people I know who use it have a peculiar inability to distinguish between things that are really interesting and stimulating and things that appear so in the state of universal bliss the drug induces on a "good" trip.  They seem to completely lose their critical faculties and disengage themselves from some of the most stimulating areas of life.  Perhaps when everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful." [Playboy September 1968]

"It's improbable but not impossible that we could someday have a psychopathic President, or a President who suffers a nervous breakdown, or an alcoholic President who, in the course of some stupefying binge, starts a war." [Playboy September 1968]

Kurtzman, Harvey (1924-1993) - "Truth is beautiful.  What is false offends." [The Complete Weird Science Library and Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America]

Kushner, Tony - "In the upcoming election [2012], we must must must hang on to the Senate, we must must must recapture the House, we must must must must must must must re-elect Barack Obama President of the United States of the Reality-Based Community!  And a god-damned great president - yes, I said it out loud! - a great president he is!" [The Nation January 30, 2012 from a 12/5/2011 speech upon receiving the Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship]

Lennon, John  (1940-1980) - "Living is easy with eyes closed misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out, it doesn't matter much to me." [Strawberry Fields Forever]

"Every clown has a silver lifeboat." [A Spaniard in the Works - this quote originally appeared in the story "Last Will and Testicle" with the word "overy" instead of "every." The quote is sometimes attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.]

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain." [John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 12/11/70]

"I met Paul, and said, 'You want to join me band?'  Then George joined and then Ringo joined.  We were just a band that made it very, very big that's all.  Our best work was never recorded." [Rolling Stone 1/7/1971]

"Whatever gets you through the night 'salright ..." [Walls and Bridges 1974]

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." [Double Fantasy 1980]

Leonard, Annie - "Keep the oil in the soil, keep the coal in the hole." [The Story of Stuff]

Levi, Primo (1919-1987) - "There are ... those who lie consciously, coldly falsifying reality itself, but more numerous are those who weigh anchor, move off, momentarily or forever, from genuine memories, and fabricate for themselves a convenient reality ... the silent transition from falsehood to sly deception is useful: anyone who lies in good faith is better off, he recites his part better, he is more easily believed ..." [The Drowned and the Saved and Palimpsest]

Lippman, Walter (1889-1974) - "There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and shame the devil." [Liberty and the News]

"The quack, the charlatan, the jingo, and the terrorist, can flourish only where the audience is deprived of independent access to information." [Liberty and the News]

Lofgren, Mike - "... the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe." [Truthout September 3, 2011]

Los Angeles Times (editorial) "Who knew that Laura Schlessinger was so thin-skinned?  After all, this is a woman who has relished her perch as a radio shock jock.  In her 30 years on the air she has offended many, blaming women for their husbands' affairs and referring to gay people as "biological errors."  Even friendly callers often get a piece of her mind.  So it's a bit surprising that a fairly predictable reaction to her enthusiastic use of a racial slur has sent her scurrying out of the kitchen, so to speak.  Schlessinger, better known as Dr. Laura, announced Tuesday that she was leaving her show because she wants her 1st Amendment rights back.  If only Dr. Laura could give Dr. Laura one of her famous tongue-lashings.  Since she's moping, we'll try: The 1st Amendment is just fine.  Schlessinger exercised her right to use a racial slur when criticizing a caller, and offended listeners exercised their right to criticize her for it.  That's America.  Or perhaps Schlessinger honestly does not understand the nature of the protections she says are being denied her.  Here is the pertinent text: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'  It does not guarantee that the world will agree with radio hosts, only that the government will not not censor them.  The government didn't demand Schlessinger's ouster; listeners did.  She may not like it, but she doesn't have a constitutional right to be free from criticism.  Sarah Palin. apparently, also is confused.  She tweeted: 'Dr. Laura: don't retreat ... reload.  (Steps aside bc her 1st amend. rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence isn't American, not fair.)'  It's frightening that a former candidate for the vice presidency thinks that public dissent is either un-American or unconstitutional.  Schlessinger isn't quitting because she can't say what's on her mind; she just couldn't take the heat after she did it.  To paraphrase her advice to the caller whose questions launched her racial tirade, she should just stop being so sensitive." [8/20/2010]

Maddow, Rachel - "The one rule I have about my show is that, by virtue of being invited, I'm telling my viewers that this person has something to say that you ought to listen to.  That's the rule.  Ann Coulter would not meet that requirement." [Playboy March 2016]

Maher, Bill - "It's sad what's happened to the Republicans.  They used to be the party of the big tent; now they're the party of the sideshow attraction, a socially awkward group of mostly white people who speak a language only they understand.  Like Trekkies, but paranoid." [Los Angeles Times 4/24/2009]

"When you go down the list of useless distractions that make up the Republican party agenda - public unions, Sharia law, anchor babies, the mosque at Ground Zero, ACORN, National Public Radio, the war on Christmas, the new Black Panthers, Planned Parenthood, Michelle Obama's war on dessert ... you realize that the reason nothing gets done in America is that one of the political parties puts so much more energy into fantasy problems than real ones.  Governing this country with Republicans is like rooming with a Meth addict; you want to address real-life problems, like when the rent is due, and they're saying, 'How can you even think of that stuff when there's police scanner voices coming out of the air conditioner unit?'" [HBO 3/19/2011]

"Republicanism has ... really become a religion ... they just have a series of baseless assertions that they cleave to ..." [CNN 6/14/2011]

"Michael Moore has to be given a lifetime achievement award to make up for all the members of the Academy who booed him in 2003 for accusing George Bush of going to war based on a 'fiction.'  To all the people that night who said, 'Michael picked the wrong place and the wrong time,' I say, 'So did George Bush.' " [The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head up Their Ass]

Martin, Steve - "Girls like trouble until they're thirty-five." [An Object of Beauty]

Marshall, Garry (1934-2016) "Measure your life in laughs."

Marti, Fritz (1894-1991) [Re the beauty of metaphors in Job 38] "Nowhere is the picture broken by any silly questions about an astronomic or biological timetable.  It is neither physics nor a tract for or against evolution.  It is sheer poetry and deeply religious.  It is a glorious expression of faith.  It has nothing to do with quibblings about beliefs.  Beliefs concern only the intellect.  The fundamentalist believer is mostly a weird intellectual, who often lacks real faith altogether.  As a self-appointed attorney for God, who is in no need of attorneys, he very easily turns out to be more godless than the agnostic and the unbeliever.  At all events, he seems deaf to poetry." [Religion, Reason and Man]

McGovern, George - "I promise to seek and speak the truth." [1972]

" ... I regard this war as the most barbaric and inhumane act that our country has ever committed.  I think it is terrible that this country has its bombers ranging all across the face of Indochina, killing innocent men, women and children by the tens of thousands, paying the people of Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia to kill each other and doing all of this in the name of self-determination for them.  I can't participate in that kind of thing any more than I could go out here in the street and start shooting down innocent people outside this door." [Meet the Press - 2/21/1971]

"It is not easy for me to move back and forth between costs in dollars and costs in human life.  How do you estimate the cost of a gallant young American soldier lying dead on the sands of a foreign desert at age 18 or 28?  For that matter, what is the cost of killing a young Afghan or a young Iraqi?  And what is the cost of America's standing in the world sinking in the eyes of too many of our fellow humans?" [Los Angeles Times 10/29/2010]

Meadows, Marie - "Why will no one give the proper name to what Rupert Murdoch's tabloids have done to British politicians of every stripe?  Murdoch, his editors and his reporters commit extortion routinely, holding elected government representatives in thrall.  He does just the same with our Republican Party.  Fox News spews its poisonous brew of extreme right-wing ideology and vituperation, and woe to the politician who will not chime in.  Murdoch, with Fox News chief Roger Ailes, demonizes Democrats and moderates, extorting Republican politicians to do so as well or risk the same calumny themselves." [Los Angeles Times 7/18/2011]

Mitchell, Joni - "Nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint A Starry Night again, man,' you know.  He painted it.  That was it." [Miles of Aisles]

de Montaigne, Michel Eyquem (1533-1592) - "Lying is an accursed vice.  It is only our words which bind us together and make us human.  If we realized the horror and weight of lying, we would see that it is more worthy of the stake than other crimes ... once let the tongue acquire the habit of lying and it is astonishing how impossible it is to make it give it up." [I 8 and Palimpsest and The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

Moore, Michael - "The days of using my name as a pejorative are now over.  The right wing turned me into an accidental spokesperson for the liberal, majority agenda.  Thank you, Republican Party.  You helped us elect one of the most liberal senators to the presidency of the United States.  We couldn't have done it without you." [Huffington Post 3/6/2009]

"I'm telling you, everyone in America who's got just your basic, everyday job ... is gonna love watching the boss being chased down the street with his shirt off, thrown to the ground and a knee to the neck.  I'm telling you, that is gonna get ratings." [Bowling for Columbine]

"I've invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us.  They are here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction.  We like nonfiction, yet we live in fictitious times.  We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president.  We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.  Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts: we are against this war, Mr. Bush.  Shame on you, Mr. Bush.  Shame on you!  And anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up!  Thank you very much." [Academy Awards 3/23/2003 and Here Comes Trouble)

"I was a practicing Catholic who went to Mass every Sunday.  But this is what I believed: Human life begins when the fetus can survive outside the womb.  Until then, it is a form of life, but not a human being.  A sperm is life (after all, it's not swimming with a battery pack on its back), and egg is life, a fertilized egg is life, a fetus is life - but none of these are a human being, none of these are human life - just as a seed or a stem is not a flower.  When you are born, you are a human being.  That's why your driver's license lists your birthday as the day you came out of your mother's womb, not the day you were conceived.  Some people, I guess, just like to be the uterus police, the bossypants of other women's reproductive parts.  And that has always struck me as really, really weird." [Here Comes Trouble]

"I had stopped going to Mass ... I still very much believed in the central tenets of the [Catholic] Faith: to love one another, to love your enemy, to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.  I agreed that one had a personal responsibility to assist the poor, the infirm, the imprisoned and the looked-down upon.  But I wasn't much in favor of many of the church's edicts when it came to certain issues, usually the ones that hurt people (gays), made others second-class citizens (women), and used the fires of hell to scare people about sex." [Here Comes Trouble]

" ... in the spring of 1968, after the deaths in Vietnam of Sergeant Beachum and a boy from high school, plus the assassinations of King and the sweet man [Robert F. Kennedy] in the Senate elevator who helped me find my mother, that I made up my mind: under no circumstances, regardless of whatever amount of coercion, threats, or torture leveled at me, I would never ever pick up a gun and let my country send me to go kill Vietnamese." [Here Comes Trouble]

Moynihan, Daniel Patrick - "You're entitled to your own opinions.  You're not entitled to your own facts." [WNBC - 1994]

Murray, Jim (1919-1998) - "I would rather be a lamppost in Milwaukee than mayor of New York." [JAM archive]

Myers, Mike - "At my core, I'm very silly ... I think being silly is a person's natural state.  The freedom of silliness is joy." [Parade 5/9/2010]

Nichols, John - "It is time to end the charade and seat Senator Franken." [The Nation 5/4/2009]

Nichols, John & Robert W. McChesney - "Let's give all Americans an annual tax credit for the first $200 they spend on daily newspapers.  The newspapers would have to publish at least five times per week and maintain a substantial 'news hole' ... with less than 50 percent advertising." [The Nation 4/6/2009]

Nimoy, Leonard (1931-2015) - "A life is like a garden.  Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  Live long and prosper."  [ Twitter@TheRealNimoy February 23, 2015]

Nye, Bill - "For humankind to get through the coming decades we are going to have to show the U.S. voters and taxpayers that the deniers are causing trouble, leaving our world worse than they found it.  They are bad homeowners.  With a greater awareness of the troubles ahead and the opportunities before us, citizens like you and me can vote the elected deniers out of office.  Along with that, we'll have to work hard to ignore the strident deniers in the media." [Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World]

Nyro, Laura (1947-1997) - "My troubles are many; they're deep as a well; I swear there ain't no heaven; and I pray there ain't no hell ..." ["And When I Die" from More Than a New Discovery aka The First Songs - the best version is from the 1993 live Christmas concert and The Loom's Desire]

Obama, Barack - "... one of the things that makes me a Democrat, I suppose (is) this idea that our communal values, our sense of mutual responsibility and social solidarity, should express themselves not just in the church or the mosque or the synagogue; not just on the blocks where we live, in the places where we work, or within our own families; but also through our government.  Like many conservatives, I believe in the power of culture to determine both individual success and social cohesion, and I believe we ignore cultural factors at our peril.  But I also believe that our government can play a role in shaping that culture for the better - or for the worse." [The Audacity of Hope]

"Not all Republican elected officials subscribe to the tenet's of today's movement conservatives.  In both the House and the Senate, and in state capitals across the country, there are those who cling to more traditional conservative virtues of temperance and restraint - men and women who recognize that piling up debt to finance tax cuts for the wealthy is irresponsible, that deficit reduction can't take place on the backs of the poor, that the separation of church and state protects the church as well as the state, and that foreign policy should be based on facts and not wishful thinking." [The Audacity of Hope]

" ... given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater.  Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers." [The Audacity of Hope]

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.  I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda." [speech at Federal Plaza in Chicago, Illinois on 10/2/2002; reprinted in The Audacity of Hope]

openthread - "Coleman's Razor: whenever there are two or more possible explanations for the behavior of a Republican in 2009, the least honorable of the alternatives represents the truth." [Daily Kos 4/21/2009]

Opray, Frank - "Surely increasingly sophisticated societies will come to recognise that the twofold evils of noise pollution and enforced religious observance are anachronistic."  [The Economist November 15th - 21st, 2014]

Pastis, Stephan - "Poetry is a hoax perpetrated by educated people to confuse and anger the rest of us." [Pearls Before Swine 7/27/2010]

Paul, Ron - "In a free society we're supposed to know the truth.  In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble.  And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it." [FOX Business 12/2/2010]

Piraro, Dan - "Unelected boob still running country." [Bizarro 4/30/2003]

Pollan, Michael - "Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants." [Food Rules: An Eaters Manual]

Prelutsky, Burt (1918-1990)- "I have just never understood why critics and audiences, alike, seem to regard drama as important and comedy as trivial.  Comedy is more difficult to perform well.  And it is certainly harder to write, as Shakespeare should have proved once and for all." [Los Angeles Times 10/14/73]

Reiner, Carl - "I am an atheist.  I have a very different take on who God is.  Man invented God because he needed him.  God is us." [Los Angeles Times 10/21/09]

(Monty Python) "You can't be silly unless you know what the basic rules of life are.  You can't make fun of life unless you really understand life.  You can't make fun of it unless you've been there." [Monty Python Live!]

Reiner, Rob - "I'm against capital punishment.  I believe in gun control and a woman's right to choose, and I think that as a society, we should always be concerned with lifting all our boats.  So I guess I'm a 100% liberal." [Los Angeles Times 7/6/2010]

"... (men) never have it figured out.  We're running around like idiots until we find a good woman who can tell us what to do." [Time 8/16/2010]

Rooney, Andy (1919-2011) - "Why am I an atheist?  I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist?  Everyone starts out being an atheist.  No one is born with belief in anything.  Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated.  I resent anyone pushing their religion on me.  I don't push my atheism on anybody else.  Live and let live.  Not many people practice that when it comes to religion." [Boston Globe 5/30/1982]

Sahl, Mort - "You've got to execute people.  How else are they gonna learn?" [Going Too Far]

Schneidman, Edwin - "The answer is simple: You're driving down a road in the desert, and the engine suddenly stops, no Pep Boys, no Auto Club to help.  Whether the road continues is of no consequence.  It has ended for you."  [Los Angeles Times 2/28/2009 - response to the question: "What is the end like?"]

Shaw, G. Bernard (1856-1950) - "This conspiracy [invitation to visit U.S.] has been going on for years; but in vain is the net spread in sight of the bird.  I have no intention either of going to prison with Debs or taking my wife to Texas, where the Ku Klux Klan snatches white women out of hotel verandas and tars and feathers them.  If I were dependent on martyrdom for a reputation, which happily I am not, I could go to Ireland.  It is a less dangerous place; but then the voyage is shorter and much cheaper.  You are right in your impression that a number of persons are urging me to come to the United States.  But why on earth do you call them my friends?" [The Nation August 24, 1921]

Sinclair, Upton (1878-1968) - "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."  [I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked 1935]

Souter, David - "The first lesson, simple as it is, is that whatever court we're in, whatever we are doing, at the end of our task some human being is going to be affected.  Some human life is going to be changed by what we do.  And so we had better use every power of our minds and our hearts and our beings to get those rulings right." [10/9/1990]

"There is no justification for denying the State the opportunity to try to count all disputed ballots now.  I respectfully dissent." [Bush v. Gore 12/12/2000]

Speth, Gus - "Inherent in the dynamics of capitalism is a powerful drive to earn profits, invest them, innovate, and thus grow the economy, typically at exponential rates ... My conclusion, after much searching and considerable reluctance, is that most environmental deterioration is a result of systemic failures of the capitalism that we have today, and that long-term solutions must seek transformative change in the key features of this contemporary capitalism." [The Bridge at the End of the World]

Stein, Joel - "... until we come up with a better system, if I have brain surgery, I want it done by a doctor who went to an amazing medical school.  Just like I want my Brazilian jujitsu instructor to have a red belt, my prisoners of war to be rescued by a Navy Seal and my technical-support phone operator to speak passable English.  In fact, I wish more jobs had clear forms of elitism.  Specifically, building contractors." [Time August 23, 2010]

Stephenson, Neal - "Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion.  Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in peoples' minds." [Snow Crash]

"So the deuteronomists codified the religion.  Made it into an organized, self-propagating entity ... according to what you just quoted me, the Torah is like a virus.  It uses the human brain as a host.  The host - the human - makes copies of it.  And more humans come to synagogue and read it." [Snow Crash]

Stephenson, Wen - "What the coal -- and oil and gas -- companies are engaged in today is a kind of planetary strip-mining, the atmosphere choked with carbon spoil.  And those living downslope are our own children and countless innocents everywhere -- those alive now and those yet to be born.  To live now as if one is alone -- and as if profit is the only commandment -- is to condemn every member of the human community to an irreparable world and an irremediable want."  [The Nation - April 2015]

Suzuki, Koji - "After the first tremors stopped, the restaurant employees announced that we should all evacuate.  'Please don't worry about paying the bill,' they said, 'just go outside immediately.'  But no matter how bad an earthquake is, you can't just eat and run.  I headed for the register to pay, and there was already a line forming.  Later the foreign press would report on the integrity of the Japanese people.  Here it was, just after the earthquake, on display in front of me." [The Nation August 29, 2011]

Swanson, David - "If more troops are needed, just extend the contracts of the ones you've got.  Need more still?  Federalize the National Guard and send kids off to war who signed up thinking they'd be helping hurricane victims.  Still not enough?  Hire contractors for transportation, cooking, cleaning and construction.  Let the soldiers be pure soldiers whose only job is to kill, just like the knights of old.  Boom, you've instantly doubled the size of your force, and nobody's noticed except the profiteers.  Still need more killers?  Hire mercenaries.  Hire foreign mercenaries.  Not enough?  Spend trillions of dollars on technology to maximize the power of each person.  Use unmanned aircraft so nobody gets hurt.  Promise immigrants they'll be citizens if they join.  Change the standards for enlistment: take 'em older, fatter, in worse health, with less education, with criminal records.  Make high schools give recruiters aptitude test results and students' contact information, and promise students they can pursue their chosen field within the wonderful world of death, and that you'll send them to college if they live - hey, just promising it costs you nothing.  If they're resistant, you started too late.  Put military video games in shopping malls.  Send uniformed generals into kindergartens to warm the children up to the idea of truly and properly swearing allegiance to the flag.  Spend 10 times the money on recruiting each new soldier as we spend educating each child.  Do anything, anything, anything other than starting a draft.  But there's a name for this practice of avoiding a traditional draft.  It's called a poverty draft.  Because people tend not to want to participate in wars, those who have other career options tend to choose those other options.  Those who see the military as one of their only choices, their only shot at a college education, or their only way to escape their troubled lives are more likely to enlist." [War Is A Lie]

"A campaign to defund the war machine can also be a campaign to fund jobs, schools, housing, transportation, green energy, and everything else that should be funded.  Such a two-sided campaign can bring peace activists together with activists for domestic causes.  When that happens in a big enough way, our culture will change, war lies will not seem credible, and war will be a thing of the past." [War Is A Lie]

Thompson, E.P. (1924-1993) - "Our species has been favored on this planet, although we have not always been good caretakers of our globe's resources.  Our stay here, in geological time, has been brief.  No one can tell us our business.  But I think it is something more than to consume as much as we can and then blow the place up.  We did not choose to live in this time.  But there is no way of getting out of it.  And it has given us as significant a cause as has ever been known, a moment of opportunity which might never be renewed."  [The Nation - July 10, 1982]

Trillin, Calvin -     "Cut, cap and balance.
                            Just turn off the tap.
                            Cut, cap and balance.
                            Shut that purse up with a snap.
                            Let's cut wasteful programs in bunches -
                            Like research and poor kids' school lunches.
                            All life is not really a fed affair,
                            So let's take a scalpel to Medicare.
                            'Cause if rich people pay less in taxes
                            We'll still whip that Evil old Axis.
                            All citizens will be in clover
                            If we just heed the teaching of Grover.
                            Cut, cap and balance.
                            Balance, cut and cap." [The Nation 8/29/2011]

vanden Heuvel, Katrina - " ... our legislative process -- which allows parochial short-term interests and massive corporate lobbies to undermine the long-term common interests -- has proven shockingly inadequate to the monumental task before us: the preservation of the conditions of life for much of the human species ..." [The Nation 5/3/2010]

Ventura, Jesse - "I would prosecute every person who was involved in that torture.  I would prosecute the people that did it, I would prosecute the people that ordered it, because torture is against the law...  I'll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." [The Daily Dish 5/12/2009]

(Letter to the Ruling Elite) "You control our world.  You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat.  We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you.  You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed.  We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence.  You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings.  You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions.  You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living.  You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame.  We are hit ... we are bleeding ... but we ain't got time to bleed.  We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution!" [Dprogram.net 4/7/2011]

"A great deal of the CIA's job seems to be 'spin' whatever happens in the best light they can.  And for the most part, spinning is done to cover up the truth: If we've done it, then it has to be right." [63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read]

Vidal, Gore (1925-2012) - "Poetry is no more than ... carefully ruined prose." [1876]

"The founders of both republic and empire wrote well: Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Grant, T.R. and the Adamses.  Today public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either." [The Nation January 11, 1986]

"The Pentagon is like a black hole; what goes in is forever lost to us, and no new wealth is created." [The Nation January 11, 1986]

" ... I feel obliged to say that I do not accept the authority of any state - much less one founded as was ours upon the free fulfillment of each citizen - to forbid me, or anyone, the use of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, sex with a consenting partner or, if one is a woman, the right to an abortion." [The Nation August 7/14, 1989]

"The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism.  From a Barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three antihuman religions have evolved - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  These are sky-god religions.  They are, literally, patriarchal - God is the omnipotent father - hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates." [The Nation July 13, 1992]

"It has been my experience that writers, myself included, often forget what they have written since the act of writing is simply a letting go of a piece of one's own mind, and so there is a kind of mental erasure as it finds its place on a page in order to leap to another consciousness like a mutant viral strain." [Point to Point Navigation]

"The general liberal ... line has been: no one likes sour grapes.  So let's just move on quietly as Gore did in 2000.  So what happened next?  A blizzard of official lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Of collusion between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, two well-known enemies.  The wrecking ball by Rumsfeld of Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries that had not and could not have done us the slightest harm.  Simultaneously as their cities were being knocked down at enormous expense to us, the taxpayers, contracts were being given to the vice president's company, Halliburton, to rebuild those same cities that his colleague at the Defense Department had knocked down.  This is a win-win situation for the higher corruption that governs us.  Now we are creating air bases in Central Asia to seize Iranian oil reserves?  Or, more dangerously, to take on China en route to North Kores or vice versa?  Since these so-called neoconservative contingency plans for world conquest will end more soon than late in our destruction one wonders why our media, bought and obedient as they are, cannot see that they are on the wrong side of human history, now more than ever fragile and out of control as we nuclearize space itself and attack nation after nation while silencing those few of our citizens who see what is up ahead for us ... Meanwhile, the glaciers are melting and the seas rise." [Point to Point Navigation]

"Contrary to legend she [Greta Garbo] did not intend to retire.  When the war was over Walter Wanger prepared a script for her ... to be released by RKO.  Garbo got as far as the wardrobe test ...  Unfortunately, the studio was bought by an aviation colleague [Howard Hughes] of my father who promptly canceled the Garbo movie ... So shocked was Garbo by this abrupt rejection that she never came close to making another film.  She was also very rich and somewhat lazy." [Point to Point Navigation]

"Never rent, buy - if you can." [Point to Point Navigation]

"On October 3, 1975, I turned fifty, an event that I wanted to keep secret.  I cannot imagine anyone willingly celebrating time's ruthless one-way passage." [Point to Point Navigation]

" ... more than ever in my lifetime the great whopping lie is seriously in vogue." [Point to Point Navigation]

" ... while ours is a society where mass murder and violence are perfectly ordinary and their expression in the most popular novels and comic books is accepted with aplomb, any love between two people which does not conform is attacked." [The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

"It is a possibility, perhaps even a probability, that as the novel moves toward a purer, more private expression it will cease altogether to be a popular medium, becoming, like poetry, a cloistered avocation ..." [The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

"The adverb ... helps make the joke, a point of contention between no-adverbs Graham Greene and myself.  I look to the adverb for surprise.  Greene thinks that the verb should do all the work." [The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

"The not-so-poor do outnumber the poor but if the not-so-poor who are nicked heavily by taxes were to join with the poor they would outnumber the elite by 99 to 1.  The politician who can forge that alliance will find himself, at best, the maker of a new society; at worst, in a hole at Arlington." [The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

"Updike never quite knows what to do with his lists of random objects or physical human characteristics.  In this, he resembles a more graceful James Michener, whose huge books are simply compendia of thousands of little facts collected by researchers and deposited helter-skelter in his long 'novel.' " [The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal]

"... Republicans ... tended to agree with Alexander Hamilton that the rich were wiser and better than the poor and so ought to be allowed to rule the country and without popular interference." [Palimpsest]

"Lying is the worst of sins, but there are times when it forestalls ... gratuitous cruelty." [Palimpsest]

"Just as I was beginning to get a grip on what writing could be and how best to examine one's life, you come along, preaching a fuzzy sort of Star-of-the-East mysticism.  I wanted people to think.  You wanted them to be.  Well, they are, anyway.  But to encourage the worst educated and the most resolutely propagandized public in the first world not to think about why things are as they are is cruel." [The Judgment of Paris and Palimpsest]

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. (1922-2007) - "Hello, babies.  Welcome to Earth.  It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  It's round and wet and crowded.  At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here.  There's only one rule that I know of, babies: 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' " [God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater]

"I'm an atheist ... and not into funerals ... but I finally decided to go visit the graves of my parents.  And so I did.  There are two stones out there in Indianapolis, and I looked at those stones side by side and I just wished ... that they had been happier than they were.  It would have been so goddamned easy for them to be happier than they were.  So that makes me sad.  I'm grateful that I learned from them that organized religion is anti-Christian and that racial prejudices are stupid and cruel.  I'm grateful, too, that they were good at making jokes.  But I also learned a bone-deep sadness from them.  Kids will learn anything, you know.  Their heads are empty when they're born.  Grownups can put anything in there." [Playboy July 1973]

"Inventors of weapon systems, and Leonardo da Vinci was among them, are not friends of the common man." [Playboy July 1973]

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."

"Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies.  We were rolling drunk on petroleum."

"Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name.  Don't you wish you could have something named after you?"

"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."

"Let us devote to unselfishness the frenzy we once gave gold and underpants."

"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart."

"Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead."

"It's perfectly ordinary to be a socialist.  It's perfectly ordinary to be in favor of fire departments."

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different."

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith.  I consider the capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."

"So it goes."

Wack, Kristen - "George W. Bush should host a revised version of the TV reality show 'The Biggest Loser,' on which corporate executives compete weekly for the most colossal management debacle.  The winner gets a $200 million severance package and a presidential pardon." [The Nation 2/23/2009 - response to question: "What should Bush do in retirement?"]

Weinberg, Steven - "With or without religion, you have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.  But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." [New York Times 4/20/1999]

Weisberg, Jacob - " ... (John) McCain looks to me like someone who bears an unacknowledged weight.  If I had to guess, I'd say the weight was his shame over his poorly executed presidential campaign and his awful choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate." [Newsweek July 19, 2010]

Weiner, Anthony - "Make no mistake about it.  Every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry." [House of Representatives 2/24/2010]

Wellstone, Paul (1944-2002) - "Politics is not about power.  Politics is not about money.  Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning.  Politics is about the improvement of people's lives.  It's about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and in our world.  Politics is about doing well for people." [Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them]

Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924) - "If you want to make enemies, try to change something." [source unknown]

Zappa, Frank (1941-1993) - "Conducting is when you draw 'designs' in the nowhere - with a stick, or with your hands - which are interpreted as 'instructional messages' by guys wearing bow ties who wish they were fishing." [The Real Frank Zappa Book]