Good Quotes

These are quotes I think are interesting. I've also noted where corrections are needed (like the famous quote about beer, always attributed to Ben Franklin, was not made by Franklin).

Good Quotes * * These Were NOT Onion Quotes * * My Quotes

 

Good Quotes

Do not resent growing old.
Many are denied the privilege.

— Irish proverb


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 square
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


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


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.


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


You are a one-time phenomenon in the universe.
Make it count.

Zen Presence


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 comparisons.
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 like animals.
And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.

— Jose Micard Teixeira
Brazilian writer

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 opposite - 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.


Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder

— Syreeta McFadden (@reetamac on Twitter), 7/12/2013
The day before George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin
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


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)


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 Hayes, 2013


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, 2013
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


One failed attempt at a shoe bomb, and we all take off our shoes at the airport;
31 school shootings since Columbine, and no change in our regulation of guns.

— John Oliver, 2012


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


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.


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


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 conservative media
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.


Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

— Wendell Phillips, 1852
This seemed to be a lesson relearned by millions of American voters in 2012.
Commonly (and incorrectly) attributed to Thomas Jefferson and Ida B. Wells.
More info about variants of this quote.


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. Does Kelly still have a job? 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


Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right.

— Anonymous


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


A man is accepted into church for what he believes - and turned out for what he knows.

— Mark Twain


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")


Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.

— Uncertain - seems to be a Topix user named anneutral (but not President Obama), early 2012


You're not being oppressed when another group gains the rights that you've always had.

— Mamamantis


...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 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 Agnostic


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


When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

— Sinclair Lewis (Channeling Bachman, W. Bush, Palin, Huckabee, Ryan, Akin, Santorum and Perry decades early)


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)


 

These Were NOT Onion Quotes

Due to the sheer ludicrousness of many politicians these days (especially Republicans), The Onion keeps threatening to cease publication because they can't be funnier than the actual news today.

Tampons Confiscated, Guns Still Allowed At Texas Capitol Ahead Of Abortion Vote

 

7/12/2013, probably first written by the Huffington Post, when observers were prevented of having tampons with them in the Texas legislature gallery - yes, there's a photo:


Photo by Shelby Alexander

 

My Quotes

They might not be good, but they are my own. They are mostly from my USENET signatures over the years.


Republicans are the dinosaurs and Democrats are the asteroid that helped make them extinct.

This should be a scandal: Congressional Republicans shield rapists by refusing to fund the processing of of rape kits.

In a true democracy, citizens do not threaten their legislators with guns,
only with unemployment over their failure to lead.

It is more important to let the people vote than to permit government to suppress the vote.
People vote in a democracy; repressive governments supress the vote.

We must treat the NRA the way we're starting to treat Grover Norquist -
as a pariah whose influence over government must be utterly and legally destroyed
by our advocacy, votes and money.

— December 14, 2012, after yet another mass murder of 20 children and 6 adults by a disaffected man in a year with way too many mass-shootings by semiautomatic weapons. We need a semi-automatic gun ban now.


 

The American justice system makes convicting a person more important than convicting the person guilty of the crime. That isn't justice.

Just because I've stopped arguing with you, does not mean that I agree with you. If I agree with you, I'll tell you so.

Claiming that sex education leads to irresponsible sex is like
claiming that driver education leads to car accidents.

The Extra's Creed:
You can talk back to God, but never sass the AD...

Living is the important thing.
Dying will take care of itself.

The more info provided, the less people read.

Physically, we're all slow-moving, unidirectional time travelers.
Mentally, most of us can imagine time in many different directions.

My signature history.