Do not resent growing old.
Many are denied the privilege.
— Irish proverb
The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing.
In his world-view, he has absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences.
To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong.
We must agree on what matters:
Kissing in public places,
A more equitable distribution of the world's resources,
Freedom of thought,
These will be our weapons.
Not by making war but by
The unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.
How to defeat terrorism?
Don't be terrorized.
Don't let fear rule your life.
Even if you are scared.
— Salman Rushdie
The only way anyone can live in peace is if they can forgive
—"The Zygon Inversion," Doctor
Who, initially aired 11/7/2015
written by Peter Harness & Steven Moffat
performed by Peter Capaldi as the Doctor
Let us remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Mt 7:12).
This Rule points us in a clear direction.
Let us treat others with the
same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.
Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for
Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped
In a word, if we want security, let us give security;
if we want life, let us give life;
if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.
— Pope Francis
Remarks to the US Congress, 9/23/2015; read the whole speech
There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided.
Many are sites of war – Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg.
Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character -
Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.
Selma is such a place.
. . .
What they did here will reverberate through the ages.
Not because the change they won was preordained; not because their
victory was complete;
but because they proved that nonviolent change is possible; that love and hope can conquer hate.
. . .
That’s why Selma is not some outlier in the American experience.
That’s why it’s not a museum or static monument to behold from a distance.
It is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents:
“We the People…in order to form a more perfect union.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
— President Barack Obama, March 7, 2015 on the 50th anniversary of
Bloody Sunday, Selma, Alabama
This is Obama's Gettysburg Address; read the whole speech
Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier.
We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time,
meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared,
discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
— Eleanor Roosevelt, 1960
Life isn't about avoiding the bruises
It's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up
— Uncertain, first used in the early '00s
quoted by Iman online two days before her husband, David Bowie, died.
My atheism is a conscious, confident choice.
Not an error, not simple ignorance of some better way.
A considered position based on a lifetime spent grappling with both
faith and reason.
While I am pathologically cynical about religion in the public
and in politics, I am absolutely respectful of religion as
a private choice and a personal behavior.
— Jay Lake, May 2013
Read his whole great essay "Cancer
and Religion and You and Me"
Jay died on June 1, 2014 after a six year war against cancer.
We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting.
— Ann Druyan
Speaking of her husband, Carl Sagan, during his fatal illness
Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
by the wise as false,
and by the rulers as useful.
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman Philosopher
The Question I get asked by religious people all the time is,
Without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want?
And my answer is,
I do rape all I want, and the amount I want is Zero.
And I do murder all I want, and the amount is Zero.
The fact that there people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them
that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine.
— Penn Jillette, Illusionist & Writer
"Consensual sex" is just sex.
To say that implies that there is such a thing as "non consensual
sex," which there isn't.
That's what it needs to be called.
There is only sex or rape.
Do not teach people that rape is just another type of sex. They are
two very separate events.
You wouldn't say "breathing swimming" and "non breathing swimming,"
you say swimming and drowning.
— Diane Bowlby, Facebook User
The FBI definition of rape (1/2012)
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
Which means that states which require sonograms with vaginal probes for
non-medical reasons are symbolically raping women.
So a better way to describe Republican legislators in states
like Texas, Ohio and Virginia for requiring vaginal propes is
rapislators. Rapislators are people (usually men, almost always Republicans) who
are using state-sponsored rape to restrict women's rights.
— Coined by @WiseRiseInfo on Twitter, in
discussion with @shannynmoore & @lauriedtmann on 7/1/2013
New rule: Anybody making an issue of someone else's sex life is automatically suspect.
— David Gerrold on Facebook, the day
that Matthew Pennell, a staffer for homophobic
Republican U. S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas was arrested
on 17 counts of a sex crime against a child.
In my household, being gay was, and is, no big deal.
When my brother came out, we hugged him said we loved him and that was
There are people who've said that I'm being brave for being oppenly
of gay marriage, gay adoption.
With all due respect, I humbly dissent.
I'm not being brave.
I'm being a decent human being.
Love is a human experience, not a political statement.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:
it is those who know little, and not those who know much,
who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be
solved by science.
— Charles Darwin, Introduction to The Descent of Man (1871)
To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason,
and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt,
is like administering medicine to the dead,
or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture
— Thomas Paine, The American Crisis: Lancaster (1778)
Fable should be taught as fable, myth as myth, and miracles as poetic fancies.
To teach superstitions as truth is horrifying.
The mind of a child accepts them and only through great pain, perhaps tragedy,
can the child be relieved of them.
Men will fight for superstition as quickly as for the living truth --
even more so, since a superstition is intangible,
you can't get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, as so is changeable.
— Hypatia, the curator of the Library of Alexandria.
She was a teacher & scholar who was murdered by a mob of Christians.
The mob went on to burn the library.
Thus the world entered the Dark Ages.
Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.
— Uncertain, but probably teacher James
Corbett in the 2000s (first
found online around 2009),
but no evidence it was said by
Mark Twain (even though we know he had similar thoughts).
If you can't have a metabolism, at least you can have a cookie.
— Jane Pauley, to Candace Bergen after
Bergen noted she'd been gaining weight, CBS Sunday Morning, 4/5/2015
On alternative cancer treatments:
Like running into a burning building
and trying to put the fire out
by means of interpretative dance.
— Iain Banks
Great writer after his cancer diagnosis, 1954-2013
Worry is a misuse of imagination
— Dan Zadra
I do not intend to tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death.
— M. M. Gavillet
You are a one-time phenomenon in the universe.
Make it count.
— Zen Presence
The secret of life is, it's worth the effort.
— Pat Cadigan
January 8, 2015
I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant,
but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want
to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me.
I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature.
I lost the will to please those who do not like me,
to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.
I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty
and cheap praise.
I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance.
I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and
I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with
rigid and inflexible personalities.
In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal.
I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment
or a word of encouragement.
Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not
And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.
— Jose Micard Teixeira
Editorial Comment: While I love and agree with
most of the first paragraph,
I find the second paragraph a little odd. In particular, I don't
believe in a world of opposites -
I believe in a world of subtle gradations.
When you miss the middle, then it does look like we're in a world of
opposites, but that means you're missing a lot.
This was not written by Meryl Streep despite the fact
someone put her name with it and posted it.
Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder
— Syreeta McFadden (@reetamac on
The day before George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of
George Zimmerman went on to have a series of run-ins with the law.
Giving the Teaparty control of the fate of the nation in default crisis is like giving Gollum the ring.
— @DCDebbie on Twitter, 10/2013
And it’s not an accident that this faction [Tea Party] is doing everything in its power
to make government appear dysfunctional.
In a democracy, these hostage tactics are the last resort
for those who can’t win their fights through elections,
can’t win their fights through Congress,
can’t win their fights for the Presidency,
and can’t win their fights in court.
But these threats are not working and they will never work because this is a democracy,
and for more than 200 years our democracy has defeated extremists
and rejected the idea that government doesn’t matter.
—"We Are Not a Country of Anarchists" Elizabeth Warren, 10/3/2013
In the United States, persuading the Joads to vote
as if they had a reasonable expectation of someday becoming Gatsbys
has led to more Joads,
richer Gatsbys and
the increasing disappearance of the Cleavers.
— Adam-Troy Castro, 2015
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion
will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so,
and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education
to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up,
or driving underground all heretics.
This is equally true whether the faith is Communism or Holy-Rollerism;
indeed it is the bounden duty of the faithful to do so.
The custodians of the True Faith cannot logically admit tolerance of heresy to be a virtue.
— Robert A. Heinlein, October 1952
From "Concerning Stories Never Written: Postscript" in Revolt in 2100
The residents of Ferguson do not have a police problem.
They have a gang problem.
That the gang operates under legal sanction makes no difference.
It is a gang nonetheless, and there is no other word to describe
an armed band of collection agents
of Ferguson", Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, March 2015.
And that's what's wrong with the police in some areas. The question
is, why aren't the good cops reaming these guys out?
At the end of the day this whole mess is about two spoiled rich boys who hated the 20th century
and dream of being robber barons.
— @TheReidReport on Twitter, 10/15/2013
I came to Washington hoping for The West Wing, but sometimes Buffy
sums it up better:
"I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of 'apocalypse.'"
— Anonymous DC staffer,
10/16/2013 (day of the vote to avoid a Republican government shutdown)
Boy, the Federal Government sure does suck yuuuuge asses full of tyranny...
right up until you need it to come in and save your constituents from the giant mess you made.
— Jim Wright (Stonekettle), 1/17/2016
Flint, MI's water was poisoned by lead due to state government malfeasance.
The Federal Government declared Flint a disaster area.
The quote is in reference to Gov. Snyder of Michigan whose negligence was
responsible for poisoning the water of Flint, MI.
But it could reply to almost any Republican governor after any kind
of disaster, whether natural or due to negligence.
Women will not be slaves to our anatomy,
simply because conservatives are slaves to their ignorance.
— Casey (@pari_passu on Twitter), 2008
In 2013, it's more true than ever.
We are all heretics and heathens to someone.
— Woodlandbookshop (on Twitter), Wales, 2013
Along with all the other rising inequalities we’ve become so familiar with —
in income, in wealth, in access to politicians —
we confront now a fundamental inequality of accountability.
— Twilight of the Elites, Chris
If members of the Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence,
then we need to change members of the Senate.
— Gabby Giffords, April 17,
after Senators (mostly Republicans) did the bidding of the NRA
instead of the 90% of Americans who wanted background checks for gun purchases.
Teachers stand up to gunmen, but Congress won't stand up to the NRA.
— Unknown, a sign at an NRA protest
after the December 14, 2012 Newtown school gun massacre
It took nine months to create my child, and only a few seconds for
a tormented individual to destroy her with a gun.
— Newtown mother
If you believe you live in a country where you need a gun for
personal protection at all times you’re implying you live in a failed state.
— Tobias Buckell, 2012
The people who shout the loudest about their all powerful God
protecting them & delivering them from any evil,
also own a gun, just in case.
— Ricky Gervais, 2013
What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.
The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.
— Robert Kennedy, Pursuit of Justice, 1964
The cell phones in the pockets of the dead students were still ringing when we were told that it was wrong to ask why.
As the police cleared the bodies from the Virginia Tech engineering building, the cell phones rang,
in the eccentric varieties of ring tones, as parents kept trying to see if their children were OK.
To imagine the feelings of the police as they carried the bodies and heard the ringing is heartrending;
to imagine the feelings of the parents who were calling —
dread, desperate hope for a sudden answer and the bliss of reassurance, dawning grief — is unbearable.
But the parents, and the rest of us, were told that it was not the right moment to ask how the shooting had happened —
specifically, why an obviously disturbed student, with a history of mental illness,
as able to buy guns whose essential purpose is to kill people — and why it happens over and over again in America.
At a press conference, Virginia's governor, Tim Kaine, said,
"People who want to ... make it their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them...
At this point, what it's about is comforting family members ... and helping this community heal.
And so to those who want to try to make this into some little crusade, I say take that elsewhere."
— Adam Gopnik, New Yorker, April
I’m afraid I don’t believe there is such a thing as blasphemy,
just outrage from those insecure in their own faith.
— Stephen Fry, Twitter, 9/27/2012
Religion is like a penis.
It's fine to have one.
It's fine to be proud of it.
But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around.
Variant last line:
And PLEASE don't try to shove it down my children's throats.
— Billboard, 2011
Strength of faith combined with weakness of intellect
are apt to lead to the error of narrow minded dogmatism.
— Digom Sonam Rinchen, Tibetan Yoga Mentor
Be not afraid of life.
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
— Henry James
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people
but the silence over that by the good people.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March on
Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards,
there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine,
a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
— Benjamin Franklin, who apparently
never wrote a similar line about beer
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George_Santayana, The Life of
Reason Volume 1, Reason in Common Sense, 1905
It seems like American politicians do not read Santayana.
If I could change just one thing, it would be to disassociate the idea of faith from virtue.
— Christopher Hitchens
Can't we all just get along?
— Rodney King, 1992
Rodney King was beaten by cops when he tried to avoid arrest. This
beating was famously caught on video and "went viral" (in the
pre-YouTube days). He sued the cops and lost. Some people in Los
Angeles rioted over this verdict. King, who could have gone home and
locked his door that day, went out and made this plea.
If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar.
If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.
— Abraham Lincoln
You don’t find magic or adventure. You go out and you create it.
— Neil Gaiman, 2012
At a lecture in Pittsburgh
remember you only go through life once and you ain't coming back so live it wilth all the gusto you.ve got.
— Bill "Tuna" Trask, 2015
(My 85-year-old Dad's variant on a classic quote.)
Laughter is the breath of life.
— Ruth Shonyo Trask, 2012
(Yes, it turns out it's an old and obscure quote that's also related
to yoga, but I'd like to give my 82-year-old mother props for her
unique development of this amusing quote.)
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter
— E. E. Cummings
Being happy with all you have is much nicer.
than unhappily proving you can have it all.
—Ana Gasteyer, 2012
Best Tweets from Women in 2012
Stop saying "You've waited all you life for this."
Everyone's waited all their lives for everything.
That's how time works.
— Caitlin Moran, 2012
Best Tweets from Women in 2012
I'll have what he's having.
(20% higher income, on average +
global reproductive freedom, pretty much)
— Megan Neuringer, 2012
Best Tweets from Women in 2012
And the if the Republican party and the conservative movement and the
is stuck a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other
what makes them feel good
and denying the factual, lived truth of the world,
then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate
about competing feasible ideas about real problems.
— Rachel Maddow, 11/7/2012
Day After the 2012 Election Day Reality Check
The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work
and then they get elected and prove it.
— P.J.O'Rourke, 12/21/2012
When you wage war on the public schools,
you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together.
You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.
— Garrison Keillor, Homegrown
Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America, 2004
If only Republicans took their vows to their wives as seriously as they take their vows to Grover Norquist.
— Unknown - popular in 2012, after many
Republican sex scandals at the same time the Republicans refused to
budge on their "anti-tax pledge" to tax millionaires more to help the
country. Many Republicans have taken "their vow" to Grover Norquist
much more seriously than their oath of office, which is really rather
sick when you think about it.
...vast accession of strength from their younger recruits,
who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76
now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy,
founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations
under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of
manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over
the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.
— Thomas Jefferson, 1825
who did not write
"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution
will occur when government falls into the hands of
lending institutions and moneyed incorporations"
monticello.org on the end of democracy quote attribution
I like paying taxes, with them I buy...civilization.
— @AngieinWAState (Twitter)
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
Life, she continues unabated.
— Jay Lake, 2012
The power of the people is stronger than the people in power.
— Wael Ghonim, 2011
Arab Spring slogan in Egypt, picked up during #Occupy in the US and
after the 2012 US elections.
Ideology is the science of idiots.
— John Adams
Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is this real?
— Fox News Host Megyn Kelly to Karl Rove
over his refusal to believe that President Obama had won Ohio on
Election Night, 2012. I never thought I'd be quoting Faux News here.
This segment was highlighted by
John Stewart on The Daily Show the next night, and Slate's Will
Oremus wrote a piece called The
Five Stages of Fox News Grief. I was shocked when Saturday Night
Live did not satirize this amazing bit!
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,
because I notice it always coincides with their own desires
— Susan B. Anthony, 1896
A quote very much descriptive of politicians over 100 years later.
The problem in society is not kids not knowing science.
The problem is adults not knowing science.
They outnumber kids five to one, they wield power, they write legislation.
When you have scientifically illiterate adults you have undermined
the very fabric of what makes a nation wealthy and strong.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
I object to religion in science classrooms not because it's religion
but because it's not science.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little,
and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick,
and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
— Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama), circa 500 BCE
Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people.
Don’t tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all His children.
Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors.
In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as
in how you choose to live and give.
— Senator Cory Booker, 2015
I have a feeling -- based on my incredibly unsuccessful career as a freelancer back before I was a Jesuit --
that I wouldn't be selling a thing if I hadn't taken that vow of poverty. Finagle's law, you know.
— Brother Guy Consolmagno, 2012
Vatican astronomer & geek
I mean, really live. Live the life you want, not a life you hate. Make love; make progress; make time.
— Pat Cadigan
Reality is what it is, regardless of what we think and whether we know it or not.
— Jerome Groopman, The Anatomy of
Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness, 2003
Rush Limbaugh, bard of white decline
— Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic, 2012
(Fascinating essay on Obama)
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
— Winston Churchill
The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure
while the intelligent are full of doubt.
— Bertrand Russell, Mortals and Others 1: American Essays 1931-35
Sixty years before the Republicans proved this on a daily basis,
especially W ("Mission accomplished" and "Heackova job, Brownie")
You're not being oppressed when another group gains the rights that
you've always had.
...Does feeling that you or someone else has been harassed give you
the right to harass someone else?
I will tell you that, legally, it does not.
— Robbie Bourget
Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.
— Eric Hoffer
I fear that at least since 2010 we’ve been witnessing a quiet,
slow-motion coup d’etat whose purpose is to repeal every bit of
progressive legislation since the New Deal and entrench
the privileged positions of the wealthy and powerful —
who haven’t been as wealthy or as powerful since the Gilded Age
of the late 19th century.
— Robert Reich, 2012 (Professor, former
Secretary of Labor)
Your life won't begin when you get that job or become a star or have a kid or marry or divorce or get clean.
Your life is this second.
— Kristen Johnston, 2012 (actress/writer/Twitterer) Guts
There was a time when religion ruled the world.
It is known as the dark ages.
— Ruth Hermence Green The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are
caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most
inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.
— George Washington
A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life;
it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage.
The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses,
the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies,
the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.
— Bruce Schneier
This administration [W. Bush] reacts to anyone who questions this illegal program by saying that those of us who demand the truth and stand up for our rights and freedoms somehow has a pre-9/11 world view. In fact, the President has a pre-1776 world view. Our government has three branches, not one. And no one, not even the President, is above the law.
— Senator Russell Feingold
On my last day, I want to have dessert.
— Anne Lamott
Listen to your own voice, learn to be your own judge...You are responsible to no one, except the truth.
— David Chesky, The
I really resent the idea that the only reason someone might
be good or moral is because they're religious. I do what I do...
without hope of reward or fear of punishment.
I do not require heaven or hell to bribe me or scare me into acting decently.
— Anne Edwards in Mary Doria Russell's
great novel, The Sparrow
I've never been insulted by hateful satanists for not believeing in their devil.
Only by loving Christians for not believing in their God.
— Ricky Gervais
God...loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful,
all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!
— George Carlin
I never dared to be radical when young for fear
it would make me conservative when old.
— Robert Frost
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
— Benjamin Franklin
Or maybe not.
This is a time for reason to find its voice.
— Teresa Heinz Kerry, 2005
(The US government acts)...as if there's no middle ground between killing everyone in sight and running away. There's a middle ground as wide as the Middle East, but to inhabit it requires attributes our leaders don't have -- intelligence, humility, foresight. Knowledge of the past and vision for the future.
— Joe Haldeman, 2006
Living with offense is the price we have to pay for living in a free and diverse society. Being offended is not the same as being oppressed.
— Irshad Manji
As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God.
— State Senator Nancy Jacobs (Republican, of course, during a hearing on an anti-gay marriage bill hearing in Maryland)
People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution;
they don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.
— Jamie Raskin (in response to Jacobs; attendees are reported to have cheered Mr. Raskin)