(I can’t vouch for the sources on all of these … )

The world of sports
more miscellaneous

Bertrand Russell
Emo Phillips
Henry Kissinger
Yogi Berra
Stephen Wright
Bumper stickers
Stupidity and other inspirations
Anynymous words of wisedom
Mark Twain
Dan Quayle
Marion Barry
Employee evaluations
Commencement address written by Mary Smirch



World o’ sports

“Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”
–Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann

“I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.”
–Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh

“My initial response was to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I had no character.”
Charles Barkley, on hearing Tonya Harding proclaim herself “the Charles Barkley of figure skating”, 1994

“You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.”
–Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach

“That’s so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes.”
–Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker

“You guys line up alphabetically by height”
–Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach

“I play football. I’m not trying to be a professor. The tests don’t seem to make sense to me, measuring your brain on stuff I haven’t been through in school.”
–Clemson recruit Ray Forsythe, who was ineligible as a freshman because of academic requirements

“I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class”–George Raveling, Washington State basketball coach

“Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.”
–Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King

“I can’t really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.”
— Shaquille O’Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece



The enemy is not conservatism. The enemy is not liberalism. The enemy is bullshit.” — Lars Erik Nelson.

A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing. One that sounds good, and a real one. –J.Pierpoint Morgan

“The Republican party still helps the rich and sticks a knife in the back of the poor.” — Harry S. Truman (1948)

“Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” — Antonin Scalia

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

Politicians are like diapers: they should be changed frequently – and for exactly the same reason. – Anonymous

“Men only use thought as authority for their injustice, and use speech only to conceal their thoughts.” — Voltaire

“Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.” — La Rochefoucauld

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” -John Kenneth Galbraith

“Of all the things I’ve ever lost, I miss my mind the most.” — Steven Tyler



We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. — Carl Sagan

[S]carcely anyone believes today that Freud was doing science, any more than educated people believe that Marx was doing science, or Max Weber or Lewis Mumford or Bruno Bettelheim or Carl Jung or Margaret Mead or Arnold Toynbee. What these people were doing … is documenting the behavior and feelings of people as they confront problems posed by their culture. Their work is a form of storytelling. … Their interpretations cannot be proved or disproved but will draw their appeal from the power of their language, the depth of their explanations, the relevance of their examples, and the credibility of their themes … there is nothing universally and irrevocably true or false about these interpretations. There are no critical tests to conf irm or falsify them. There are no natural laws from which they are derived. They are bound by time, by situation, and above all by the cultural prejudices of the researcher or writer … Unlike science, social research never discovers anything. It only rediscovers what people were once told and need to be told again… — Neil Postman, Technopoly, (1992)

Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it. — Max Frisch

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot- proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. — Rich Cook

Rejected Technology and Shortsightedness (http://busboy.sped.ukans.edu/~adams/sciquot.htm)

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.– Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the ‘social sciences’ is: some do, some don’t.
— Ernest (1st Baron) Rutherford

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. — Warren Bennis

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. — Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year. — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by packrats and vandalized
nightly. ~ Roger Ebert

But what … is it good for? — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. — Western Union internal memo, 1876.

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? — David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

Dear Mr. President:
The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as “railroads.” … As you may well know, Mr. President, “railroad” carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by “engines” which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York

The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.
— A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? — H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper. — Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”

…we still feel that color is hard on the eyes for so long a picture. — Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times Film Review in its original 1939 review of Gone With the Wind

A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make. — Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. — Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. — Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this. — Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’ — Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
— 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.
— Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. — Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value. — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

Everything that can be invented has been invented. — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction. — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.
— Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

640K ought to be enough for anybody. — Bill Gates, 1981

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year. — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.– Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.

This fellow Charles Lindbergh will never make it. He’s doomed. — Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast.

Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances. — Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television.

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.
— Dr. W.C. Heuper of the National Cancer Institute, as quoted in the New York Times on April 14, 1954.

For the majority of People, smoking has a beneficial effect. — Dr. Ian G. Macdonald, Los Angeles surgeon, quoted in “Newsweek”, Nov.18th 1963.

All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self-evident. –Schopenhauer.

Can anyone be so foolish as to believe that there are men whose feet are higher than their heads, or places where things may be hanging downwards, trees growing backwards, or rain falling upwards? Where is the marvel of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon if we are to allow of a hanging world at the Antipodes? — Lactantius


More miscellaneous

“Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house,” – Lewis Grizzard

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist.” – Dom Helder Camara

Women will change the nature of power, rather than power changing the nature of women. Bella Abzug

A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

There are two kinds of people: those who think they can, and those who think they can’t, and they’re both right.
Henry Ford

Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance as if nobody’s watching.
Christine Comaford

It is not our feelings or even our visions that matter. It is instead the quality of our actions. Mary McDermott Shideler

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is, an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo

We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody. Buckminster Fuller

Look to this day! Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision. But today, well-lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. author unknown

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other is wings. Hodding Carter Jr.

Put your heart, mind, spirit and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. Swami Sivananda

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. James Dean

It’s important that people know what you stand for. It’s equally important that they know what you won’t stand for.
Mary Waldrop

“In Germany, the Nazis came for the Communists and I didn’t speak up because I’m not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up beacuse I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for me. By that time there was no one to speak up for anyone.” – Martin Niemoller

“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.” – Albert Einstein

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. ~ H. G. Wells

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. ~ Samuel Johnson

“See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” – Robin Williams

Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again. Frances Rodman

You always admire what you really don’t understand. Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you can with what you have where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

Without the means to prevent, and to control the timing of conception, economic and political rights have limited meaning for women. If women cannot plan their pregnwncies, they can plan little else in their lives. Alice Rossi

Women want to be free to choose from the same range of options that men take for granted. In our quest for equal pay, equal access to education and opportunities, we have made great strides. But until women can move freely and think freely in their homes, on the streets, in the workplace without the fear of violence, there can be no real freedom.
Anita Roddick

Equal pay for equal work continues to be seen as applying to equal pay for men and women in the same occupation, while the larger point of continuing relevance in our day is that some occupations have depressed wages because women are the chief employee. The former is a pattern of sex discrimination, the latter of institutionalized sexism.
Alice Rossi

Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well. Jean Jacques Rousseau

I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so. Romain Rolland (1866-1944)

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.” – Dave Barry

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. ~ Noam Chomsky

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. ~ Mark Twain

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.~ P. J. O’Rourke

“People who follow authority are dangerous motherfuckers. More crimes are committed in the name of obedience than disobedience. It’s always the people who do what they’re told who end up carrying out genocides and gas attacks.” –“Bansky”, British graffiti artist

We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder “censorship,” we call it “concern for commercial viability.” ~ David Mamet

Consistency is the last resort of the unimaginative. Oscar Wilde

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

I don’t want to join the kind of a club that accepts people like me as members. – Groucho Marx

If his father was alive today he’d be turning over in his grave. – Leo Rosten

I have more paternity suits than I have leisure suits. ~ Englebert Humperdink

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ~ Albert Einstein

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts. ~ Orson Welles

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute. ~ Rebecca West, 1913

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants. ~ A. Whitney Brown

How did a fool and his money GET together? ~ George Carlin

If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, Of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? ~ Albert Einstein

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.~ Erma Bombeck

Start every day with a smile and get it over with.~ W. C. Fields

History is a vast early warning system. ~ Norman Cousins

We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?~ Lee Iacocca

I have opinions of my own — strong opinions –but I don’t always agree with them. ~ George H.W. Bush

I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.
Woody Allen

Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.
Rita Mae Brown

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. Confucius

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli, statesman

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. Albert Einstein

Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity. Sigmund Freud

The nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk about other people. Lucille S. Harper

A theory is no more like a fact than a photograph is like a person. Edgar Watson Howe

I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.
E.V. Lucas

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Herman Melville, american author

If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. B F Skinner , american psychologist

When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I’ve never tried before. Mae West, american actress

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
~ Plato

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn’t. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. ~ Horace Walpole

The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad. ~ Salvador Dali

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

“Relationships are hard. It’s like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks’ notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.” – Bob Ettinger

“My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, ‘Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.” – Paula Poundstone

“The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner.” – Roseanne

“I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, ‘Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go west.'” – Richard Jeni

“Sometimes I think war is God’s way of teaching us geography.” – Paul Rodriguez

“My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty, and that’s the law.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic? Do tall people burn slower?” – Warren Hutcherson

“Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.” -Mae West

“Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.” – Billy Crystal

“If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.” – George Carlin

The penalty of success is to be bored by people who used to snub you. — Nancy Astor

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. — Erma Bombeck

When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking. — Elayne Boosler

If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle. — Rita Mae Brown

Before I met my husband I’d never fallen in love, though I’d stepped in it a few times. Rita Rudner

My mother buried three husbands – and two of them were only napping. — Rita Rudner

“It’s more like it is now than it ever has been.” Gerald Ford

If you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path. — Mary Webb

A gossip is someone who talks to you about others, a bore is someone who talks to you about himself, and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself. — Lisa Kirk

Remember that as a teenager you are in the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear the phone is for you. — Fran Lebowitz

The things that come to those who wait may be the things left behind by those who got there first.” — Steven Tyler

There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets? Dick Cavett

“Predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future” Neils Bohr

“Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out.” –Cardinal Wolsey

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Einstein

“Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” Einstein

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. Pablo Picasso

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.” Einstein

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

Sado-masochists should be exempted from the golden rule. (my very own)

I was gonna kill myself but I was in strict Freudian analysis and if you kill yourself you have to pay for the sessions you miss” – Woody Allen

“And the lamb shall lie down with the lion. But the lamb won’t get much sleep.” Woody Allen

Howard Scott:
“Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.”

Woody Allen:
“Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.”

Groucho Marx:
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Tallulah Bankhead (1903-1968):
“If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”

Ben Hecht:
“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.”

Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. –Sir Winston Churchill

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up and does not stop until you get into the office. — Robert Frost

Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts. –Serge Gainsbourg, French vocalist

Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt. — Kin Hubbard

Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. –Fletcher Knebel

Of course there’s a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don’t take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates…. –Dr. A. Lawrence Lowell

Everbody sets out to do something, and everybody does something, but no one does what he sets out to do.
George Moore

Only the mediocre can always be at their best. – H.L. Mencken

For people who like that sort of thing, that is about the sort of thing they would like. – Abraham Lincoln (see “Nice Guys Finish Seventh” by Ralph Keyes)

Very nice sort of place, Oxford, I should think, for people that like that sort of place. – George Bernard Shaw

Comin’s Law: People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

Langsam’s Laws: 1) Everything depends 2) Nothing is always 3) Everything is sometimes.

Religion is a defense mechanism against religious experiences. – Carl Jung

I’m a great housekeeper. I get divorced; I keep the house. – Zsa Zsa Gabor

They call television a medium. That’s because it is neither rare nor well done. – Ernie Kovacs

Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. – Samuel Johnson

If Christ had died in the 20th century, Catholics would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks. – Lenny Bruce

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home. –Robert Orben

The tendency of an event to occur varies inversely with one’s preparation for it. –David Searles

Moral indignation is, in most cases, 2% moral, 48% indignation, and 50% envy. –Vittorio de Sica

Youth is wasted on the young (paraphrased G.B. Shaw)

Ah! Don’t say that you agree with me. When People agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.
–Oscar Wilde

I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation. –Oscar Wilde, from Lady Windermere’s Fan

I’ve noticed that one thing about parents is that no matter what stage your child is in, the parents who have older children always tell you the next stage is worse. — Dave Barry

An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible. — Alfred A. Knopf

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in memory as the wish to forget it. — Montaigne

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf. — Lewis Mumford

Never raise your hand to your children; it leaves your midsection unprotected. — Robert Orben

A financier is a pawnbroker with imagination. — Arthur Wing Pinero

I want to have children and I know my time is running out: I want to have them while my parents are still young enough to take care of them. — Rita Rudner

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork and picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art. — Tom Stoppard

“The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.” Kofi Annan, UN Sec. Gen., answering why he had not implemented organizational reforms after five months when ‘God created the universe in seven days’,1997

Now the only thing standing between you and a degree is, well, me. And 18 minutes.
S. Frederic Star, author, at Wooster College Graduation, 1995

I will try to follow the advice that a university president once gave a prospective commencement speaker. “Think of yourself as the body at an Irish wake” he said. “They need you in order to have the party, but no one expects you to say very much.” Anthony Lake, national security advisor, at University of Massachusettes, Amhurst, Grad. 1995

“A hotel is a place that keeps the manufacturers of 25-watt bulbs in business.” – Shelley Berman

“Don’t spend two dollars to dry clean a shirt. Donate it to the Salvation Army instead. They’ll clean it and put it on a hanger. Next morning buy it back for seventy-five cents.” – Billiam Coronel

“I’m desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.” – Dave Edison

“Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog’s face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window.” – Steve Bluestone

“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” – Rita Rudner

“Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.”
– Johnny Carson


Bertrand Russell:

  • Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • Happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly.
  • Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves.
  • I think it unlikely that God would possess so uneasy a vanity as to be offended by my views about his existence.
  • It’s a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.
  • The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.
  • No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
  • One should respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
  • Sin is geographical.
  • To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
  • To be without some of the things you want is an indispensible part of happiness.

Emo Phillips

Women: You can’t live with them, and you can’t get them to dress up in a skimpy Nazi costume and beat you with a warm squash.

Probably the worst time in anyone’s life is when you have to kill a loved one because they’re the devil. Other than that, though… it’s been a good day.

..and always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said “A truck!”

I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” I said, “You’ll be sorry.” He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?” I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”

I ran three miles today, finally I said “lady take your purse.”

I’m a great lover, I’ll bet.

People come up to me and say, “Emo, do people really come up to you?”

People come up to me and they’re worried…that I’ll reproduce.

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

When I wake up in the morning, I just can’t get started until I’ve had that first, piping hot pot of coffee. Oh, I’ve tried other enemas…

I was at a bar nursing a beer. My nipple was getting quite soggy.

I was walking down the street, something caught my eye…and dragged it fifteen feet.

I went into Gus’s artificial organ and taco stand. I said “Give me a bladder por favor.” The guy said “Is that to go?” I said, “Well what else would I want it for?”

You know, a lot of girls go out with me just to further their careers…damn anthropologists.

I was in a bar the other night, hopping from barstool to barstool, trying to get lucky—but there wasn’t any gum under any of them.

The other day a woman came up to me and said, “Didn’t I see you on television?” I said, “I don’t know. You can’t see out the other way.”
Emo Phillips was pulled over in Massachusetts for reckless driving. When brought before the judge, Emo was asked if he knew what the punishment for drunk driving in that state was. His reply: “I don’t know, reelection to the Senate?”

I love to go down to the schoolyard and watch all the little children jump up and down and run around yelling and screaming…They don’t know I’m only using blanks.

I discovered my wife in bed with another man, and I was crushed. So I said, “Get off me, you two!”

My grandmother’s brain was dead, but her heart was still beating. It was the first time we ever had a democrat in the family.”

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. so i ran over and said “stop! don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” He said, “Baptist!” I said, “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” He said, “Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” I said, “Me too! Are you
Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.

At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote.

The IRS sent back my tax return saying I owed $800. I said “If you’ll notice, I sent a paper clip with my return. Given what you’ve been paying for things lately, that should more than make up the difference.”

A friend of mine gave me a Philip Glass record. I listened to it for five hours before I realized it had a scratch on it.

You know what I hate? Indian givers…no, I take that back.

When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn’t work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me.

Back in high school, my buddies tried to put the make on anything that moved. I told them, “Why limit yourselves?”

People always ask me, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” Well, I don’t have an alibi.

My ex-girlfriend was very sexy. She reminded me of the Sphinx because she was very mysterious and eternal and solid…and her nose was shot off by French soldiers.

Oh, yes…I’ve tried my hand at sex. .


Henry Kissinger

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a bit longer.

The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. Each tends to ascribe to the other side a consistency, foresight and coherence that its own experience belies. Of course, even two blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small

Yogi Berra

You can observe a lot just by watchin’.”

“Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical”

“I want to thank all those who made this night necessary.”

“Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

He’s a big clog in their machine.

It’s like deja-vu, all over again.


Stephen Wright

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.
If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?
Just think how much deeper the ocean would be if sponges didn’t live there.
If a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose?
Whatever happened to preparations A through G?
If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from? I went for a walk last night and my kids asked me how long I’d be gone. I said, “The whole time.”
So what’s the speed of dark?
How come you don’t ever hear about gruntled employees? And who has been dising them anyhow?
After eating, do amphibians need to wait an hour before getting OUT of the water?
Why don’t they just make mouse-flavored cat food?
If you’re sending someone some Styrofoam, what do you pack it in?
I just got skylights put in my place. The people who live above me are furious.
Why do they sterilize needles for lethal injections?
Do they have reserved parking for non-handicapped people at the Special Olympics?
Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
When a man talks dirty to a woman, its sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it’s $3.95 per minute.
If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?
Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?
Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it?
Since light travels faster than sound, isn’t that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?
How come abbreviated is such a long word?
If it’s zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?
Why do you press harder on a remote-control when you know the battery is dead?
Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do Asians throw hamburgers?
Why are they called buildings, when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called builts?
Why are they called apartments, when they’re all stuck together?
Why do banks charge you a “non-sufficient funds fee” on money they already know you don’t have?
If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
If you got into a taxi and the driver started driving backward, would the taxi driver end up owing you money?
What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?
Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a near miss?? It sounds like a near hit to me!!
Do fish get cramps after eating?
Why are there 5 syllables in the word “monosyllabic”?
Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors?
Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?
Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?
Tell a man that there are 400 billion stars and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it.
How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
If “con” is the opposite of “pro,” then what is the opposite of progress?
Why is it that lemon juice contains mostly artificial ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?
Why buy a product that it takes 2000 flushes to get rid of?
Why do we wait until a pig is dead to “cure” it?
Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?
Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?
Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?
What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?
Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
Should you trust a stockbroker who’s married to a travel agent?
Is boneless chicken considered to be an invertebrate?
Do married people live longer than single people or does it just seem longer?
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?
Isn’t the best way to save face to keep the lower part shut? War doesn’t determine who’s right, just who’s left.
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place.
I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.
Last week, I went to a furniture store to look for a decaffeinated coffee table. They couldn’t help me.
What’s another word for “thesaurus”?
When I get real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask if I’m leaving.
When I was a kid, we had a quicksand box in the backyard. I was an only child . . . eventually.
I bought some batteries, but they weren’t included. So I had to buy them again.
For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
I have a switch in my apartment that doesn’t do anything. Every once in a while I turn it on and off. One day I got a call from a woman in France who said, “Cut that out!”
I replaced the headlights on my car with strobe lights. Now it looks like I’m the only one moving.
I wrote a song, but I can’t read music. Every time I hear a new song on the radio, I think “Hey, maybe I wrote that.”
I got my driver’s license photo taken out of focus on purpose. Now when I get pulled over the cop looks at it
(moving it nearer and farther, trying to see it clearly) . . . and says, “Here, you can go.”
I went to a general store, but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.
I turned my air conditioner the other way around, and it got cold out. The weatherman said, “I don’t understand it. It was supposed to be 80 degrees out today.” I said “Oops . . .”
I put contact lenses in my dog’s eyes. They had little pictures of cats on them. Then I took one out and he ran around in circles.
I spilled Spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.
My neighbor has a circular driveway. He can’t get out.
I bought some powdered water, but I didn’t know what to add.
I put instant coffee in a microwave and almost went back in time.
I have an answering machine in my car. It says, “I’m home now, but leave a message and I’ll call when I’m out.”
I bought a house on a one-way dead-end road. I don’t know how I got there.
A friend of mine is into Voodoo Acupuncture. You don’t have to go. You’ll just be walking down the street and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oohh, that’s much better.
I have a hobby. I have the world’s largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you’ve seen some of it.
I Xeroxed a mirror. Now I have an extra Xerox machine.
Last week I forgot how to ride a bicycle.
My school colors were clear.
I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wakeup letter.
I’m taking La maze classes. I’m not having a baby, I’m just having trouble breathing.
My grandpa used to make me stand in the closet for five minutes without moving. He said it was elevator practice…
It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it…
One day, I came back to my apartment, and realized someone had rearranged all the furniture in my bedroom. They put it in exactly the same place it was… When I told my roommate, he said `Do I know you?’

In my house, there’s this one light switch that doesn’t do anything. Every now and then, I flick it on and off… The other day, I got a call from a woman in Detroit. She said, `Cut that out.’
When I have a kid, I want to buy one of those strollers for twins. Then I could put the kid in the stroller, and look around, looking frantic. When he gets older, I’d tell him he used to have a brother who didn’t obey…
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?
If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?
If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?
Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot at them?
If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made out of the stuff?
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
And whose cruel idea was it for the word “Lisp” to have a “S” in it?
I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house, and four people died…


Bumper stickers

“Change is inevitable, unless you’re expecting it from a vending machine.”


I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather … … Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car …

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to become a vegetarian.

If swimming is so good for you, how do you explain whales?

182,000 miles per second-not just a good idea, it’s the LAW.








Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they anticipate the trip.


“When you do a good deed, get a receipt in case heaven is like the IRS.”

“Be nice to your kids. They’ll choose your nursing home.”

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.”

Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal.


Stupidity and other inspirations

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome. — Oscar Levant

“I’ve never looked forward to a birthday like I’m looking forward to my new daughter’s birthday, because two days after that is when I can apply for reinstatement.” Pete Rose, baseball player and prison inmate, 1989

“Everyone rises to their level of incompetence.” The Peter Principle, Dr. Lawrence J. Peter

Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity. Unknown?

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” H.L. Mencken

“If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” Dorthy Parker:

Nothing more clearly show how little God esteems his gift to men of wealth, money, position and other wordly goods, than the way he distributes these, and the sort of men who are most amply provided with them.
— Jean De La Bruyere

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” Mark Twain

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Mark Twain

Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day. Polish Proverb

It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. ~ Dorothy Parker

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. ~ Carl Sagan



Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.

I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don’t give a damn.

I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.

What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?

I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.

I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

Ahhh…I see the fuck-up fairy has visited us again…

I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.

Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

No, my powers can only be used for good.

How about never? Is never good for you?

I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.

You’re starting to sound reasonable… Better check my medication.

I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.

I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message…

I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.

Who me? I just wander from room to room.

My toys! My toys! I can’t do this job without my toys!

It might look like I’m doing nothing, but at the cellular level I’m really quite busy.

At least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits.

You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

Someday, we’ll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.


Anonymous words of Wisedom

Eagles may soar, but weasels aren’t sucked into jet engines.
If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
He who hesitates is probably right.
Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.
No one is listening until you make a mistake.
Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.
The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Two wrongs are only the beginning.
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before (Talullah Bankhead?).
Don’t sweat the petty things….and don’t pet the sweaty things.
A fool and his money are soon partying.
Money can’t buy love. But it CAN rent a very close imitation.
Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
Always try to be modest. And be damn proud of it!
How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hands….
I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Everybody repeat after me…..”We are all individuals.”
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
-The Bayou, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.
-Revolution Books. New York, New York
Death to all fanatics!
Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
Borrow money from pessimists-they don’t expect it back.
Beware of geeks bearing gifts.
When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane and going the wrong way.
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it’s the scenic route.
Half the people you know are below average.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.

No matter what hits the fan, it’s never distributed evenly.

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.

An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure.

Question Authority and the authorities will question you.

A company is known by the people it keeps.

Most of the time we don’t communicate; we just take turns talking.

Q: What’s the male equivalent of the maternity dress?
A: The paternity suit.

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. No one can count the apples in a seed.

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research.

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience–well, that comes from poor judgment

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity. The rest is overhead for the operating system.

The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks. “Do you want fries with that order?”

If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum. –Anonymous

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t there more happy people?

If you think nobody cares you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity. (Tallulah Bankhead?)

The nice thing about standards is, there are so many to choose from.

Quantum particles: The dreams that stuff is made of.

Teenagers are people who express a burning desire to be different by dressing exactly alike.

There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can’t.

While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.

Remember when it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing.

Better be ill spoken of by one before all than by all before one.
Scottish Proverb

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
Chinese Proverb

Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.
Spanish Proverb

Don’t throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.
Swedish Proverb

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Chinese Proverb

Go often to the house of a friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path.
Scandanavian Proverb

If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
Chinese Proverb

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
–Hector Berlioz



If Bob Barr (conservative republican congressman from Georgia) caught on fire and I was holding a bucket of water, it would be great act of discipline to pour it on him. I would do it, but I’d hate myself in the morning. – Barney Frank (Dem, Maryland) 1999

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Hannah Arendt

Voltaire (1694-1778):
“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. Joseph Stalin

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”

Nikita Khrushchev:
“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.”

Groucho Marx (1890-1977):
“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

All power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people and for the people all springs, and all must exist. Benjamin Disraeli

Naturally the common people don’t want war… but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along… All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. – Hermann Goering, 1936

Asking an incumbent member of Congress to vote for term limits is a bit like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders. Bob Inglis, 1995.

Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made. –Otto von Bismarck

Democracy is the worst possible political system, except for all the others.

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name. — Henry Kissinger



If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
Khalil Gibran

In case of doubt it is best to lean to the side of mercy.
Legal Proverb

No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.
Taoist Proverb

Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.
Malayan Proverb

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
African Proverb

Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.
Native American Proverb

Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.
Japanese Proverb

Where God has his church the Devil will have his chapel.
Spanish Proverb

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.
Navajo Proverb

Love your neighbor, but don’t tear down your fence.
German Proverb

Mark Twain

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is the lightening that does the work.” – Mark Twain

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. ~ Mark Twain

“Buy land. They’ve stopped making it.”

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.”

As Mark Twain approached his death he was seen reading the Bible, most unusual for him. Someone asked him if he was repenting as his time drew near. Twain replied, “No, I’m looking for loopholes.”


from Dan Quayle (VP of President George H.W. Bush)

Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here. Dan Quayle, IN senator and US vice president, during a speech in Hawaii, 1989

If you give a person a fish, they’ll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they’ll fish for a lifetime. ~ Vice President Dan Quayle while at a job training center in Atlanta 10/13/92.

“Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”

“Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.”

“Mars is essentially in the same orbit… Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”

“What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” (during a fundraising event for the United Negro College Fund…”a mind is a terrible thing to waste”…)

“The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. I mean in this century’s history. But we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century”

“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.”

“One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.”

“May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world.” [not a beacon of literacy though]-Quayle xmas card

“Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”

“We don’t want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.”

“I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future.”

“The future will be better tomorrow.”

“We’re going to have the best-educated American people in the world.”

“People that are really weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”

“I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.”

“We have a firm commitment to NATO. We are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.”

“Public speaking is very easy.” Quayle to reporters in 10/88

“I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.”

“I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

“When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.”

“Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.”

“Murphy Brown is doing better than I am. At least she knows she still has a job next year.”

“We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

“For NASA, space is still a high priority.”

“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.”

“The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.”

“We’re all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made.”

“[It’s] time for the human race to enter the solar system.”

From Marion Barry (former mayor of Washington, DC, some of these sound too good to be true)

Quotes by the twice elected Mayor of Washington, DC:

“The contagious people of Washington have stood firm against diversity during this long period of increment weather.”

“I promise you a police car on every sidewalk.”

“If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate.”

“First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second, what can I say? I’m a night owl.”

“Bitch set me up.”

“I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where’s Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.”

“The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist.”

“I am making this trip to Africa because Washington is an international city, just like Tokyo, Nigeria or Israel. As mayor, I am an international symbol. Can you deny that to Africa?”

“People have criticized me because my security detail is larger than the president’s. But you must ask yourself: Are there more people who want to kill me than who want to kill the president? I can assure you there are.”

“The brave men who died in Vietnam, more than 100% of which were black, were the ultimate sacrifice.”

“I read a funny story about how the Republicans freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who created slavery by law in the 1600’s. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and he was not a Republican.”

“What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?”

“People blame me because these water mains break, but I ask you, if the water mains didn’t break, would it be my responsibility to fix them then? WOULD IT!?!”

“I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.”


This posting claims the following are actual excerpts from officer
fitness reports filed to the British Royal Navy and Marines.

  • “This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
  • “His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.”
  • “I would not breed from this Officer.”
  • “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”
  • “This Medical Officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.”
  • He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier.
  • “He has a knack for making strangers immediately.”
  • “When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.”
  • “A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.”
  • “Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.”
  • “Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.”
  • “It’s hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.”
  • “Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.”
  • “She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”
  • “In my opinion this pilot should not be authorized to fly below 250 feet.”
  • “Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”


This is a commencement address given by Mary Schmich and originally published in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, June 1, 1997 (it’s been wrongly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.