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April 2012

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

- Terry Pratchett,
A Hat Full of Sky

March 2012

I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.

- Frank Howard Clark

February 2012

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

- Carl Sagan

January 2012

A year from now you will wish you had started today.

-Karen Lamb

December 2011

Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?

- Robert G. Ingersoll

November 2011

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.

- Mark Twain

October 2011

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~Albert Camus

September 2011

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.

- Virginia Woolf

August 2011

A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead.

- Leo Rosten

July 2011

Action is the antidote to despair.

- Joan Baez

June 2011

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.

- J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings
(Haldir - The Fellowship of the Ring)

May 2011

Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.

- Ellis Peters

April 2011

All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming"

- Helen Keller

March 2011

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

- Socrates

February 2011

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion –- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.

- Mark Twain

January 2011

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

~Anatole France

December 2010

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.

~Shunryu Suzuki

November 2010

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

- Thomas Jefferson

October 2010

To appreciate the wild and sharp flavors of these October fruits, it is necessary that you be breathing the sharp October or November air.  What is sour in the house a bracing walk makes sweet. 
Some of these apples might be labeled, “To be eaten in the wind.” It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit. . . The era of the Wild Apple will soon be past.  It is a fruit which will probably become extinct in New England.  I fear that he who walks over these fields a century hence will not know the pleasure of knocking off wild apples.  Ah, poor soul, there are many pleasures which you will not know! . . . the end of it all will be that we shall be compelled to look for our apples in a barrel.

-   Henry David Thoreau

September 2010

{N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

- Thomas Jefferson

August 2010

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

- A.A. Milne

July 2010

The years teach much which the days never know.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

June 2010

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

~John Lubbock

May 2010

Doubt 'til thou canst doubt no more...doubt is thought and thought is life. Systems which end doubt are devices for drugging thought.

- Albert Guerard

April 2010

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

- George Bernard Shaw

March 2010

Little by little, one travels far.

- J. R. R. Tolkien

February 2010

Truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.

- William Shakespeare

January 2010

And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?

- Tillie Olsen

December 2009

Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.

- Steven Wright

November 2009

I intend to live forever, or die trying.

- Groucho Marx

October 2009

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

– Siddhartha Buddha

September 2009

There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.

– Francois de La Rochefoucauld

August 2009

The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.

– H. G. Wells"

July 2009

I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.

~John Burroughs

June 2009

From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle; we just decided to go.

- Tom Hanks

May 2009

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

- George Carlin

April 2009

Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they're almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.

- Robert Heinlein

March 2009

There are worlds on which life has never arisen. There are worlds that have been charred and ruined by cosmic catastrophes. We are fortunate: we are alive; we are powerful; the welfare of our civilization and our species is in our hands. If we do not speak for Earth, who will? If we are not committed to our own survival, who will be?

- Carl Sagan

February 2009

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

- Buddha

January 2009

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

- Douglas Adams

December 2008

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

- H. L. Mencken

November 2008

A final victory is an accumulation of many short-term encounters. To lightly dismiss a success because it does not usher in a complete order of justice is to fail to comprehend the process of achieving full victory.

- Martin Luther King Jr.

October 2008

Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

- Bernard Baruch

September 2008

He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.

- Joseph Joubert.

August 2008

Call it "nationalism" when you affix a flag to your car, and leave the word "patriotism" for your efforts to make this country a kinder, more egalitarian place, and one that is less dangerous to the rest of the world.

- Barbara Ehrenreich

July 2008

Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought, the true poetry of life.

- Sir William Osler

June 2008

Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them.

- Steve Eley

May 2008

Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long they live, although it is in the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long.

- Seneca the Elder

April 2008

Sticks and stones are hard on bones Aimed with angry art, Words can sting like anything But silence breaks the heart.

-Suzanne Nichols

March 2008

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

- Mohandas K. 'Mahatma' Gandhi

February 2008

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to... The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.

- Vincent van Gogh

January 2008

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

- Bertrand Russell

December 2007

How a minority,
Reaching majority,
Seizing authority,
Hates a minority

- Leonard H. Robbins

November 2007

Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.

Octobber 2007

There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.

- Richard Lederer

- Robert K. Merton,
Social Theory

September 2007

He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all un-wisdom.

- Arthur Desmond

August 2007

When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life. I suppose it's the discipline I need; but it's rather hard to love the things I do, and see them go by because duty chains me to my galley. If I ever come into port with all sails set, that will be my reward perhaps.

- Louisa May Alcott

July 2007

There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies.

- Walter Lippmann

June 2007

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.

- David Brooks

May 2007

How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.

- Christiaan Huygens,
c. 1690

April 2007

You are told, by astrologers, psychics and other such "experts", that you are not the capable, responsible and rather remarkable person that you really are. We belong to a species that has reached out a quarter of a million miles to set foot on the moon, and if that is not miracle enough for us all, I despair for our sense of wonder. The modern soothsayers suggest that you stop thinking for yourselves. They ask you to retreat to the caves from which our ancestors are said to have come, while you have the choice of going to the stars. I have opted for the stars, and I invite you to join me.

- James Randi, "The Mask of Nostradamus"

March 2007

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.

- Doug Larson

February 2007

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

- Abraham Lincoln

January 2007

Youth is not a time of life - it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of red cheeks, red lips and supple knees. It is a temper of the will; a quality of the imagination; a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty, more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.

- Samuel Ullman

December 2006

Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, and charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one tiny corner of the globe.

- Mark Twain

November 2006

t is typical that a nation where half the country thinks Evolution is a myth also believes in Survival of the Fittest.

- Garrison Keillor from the short essay The Older Scout

October 2006

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.

- Emo Phillips

September 2006

We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.

- Epictetus

August 2006

Whenever a poet or preacher, chief or wizard spouts gibberish, the human race spends centuries deciphering the message.

- Umberto Eco

July 2006

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

- Abraham Lincoln

June 2006

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

- William Arthur Ward

May 2006

The concept of a Supreme Being who childishly demands to be constantly placated by prayers and sacrifice and dispenses justice like some corrupt petty judge whose decisions may be swayed by a bit of well-timed flattery should be relegated to the trash bin of history, along with the belief in a flat earth and the notion that diseases are caused by demonic possession. Ironically, the case for the involuntary retirement of God may have been best stated by one Saul or Paul of Tarsus, a first-century tentmaker and Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, who wrote, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things' (I Corinthians 13:11). Those words are no less relevant today than they were two thousand years ago.

- John J. Dunphy

April 2006

As soon as one's convictions become unshakeable, evidence ceases to be relevant except as a means to convert the unbelievers. Factual inaccuracies... are excusable in the light of the Higher Truth.

- P.H. Hoebens

March 2006

To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

- Confucius

February 2006

Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.

- Ludwig Borne

January 2006

Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

December 2005

Much unhappiness has come into this world because of things left unsaid.

- Fyodor Dostoevsky

November 2005

For the media owners, allegations of a liberal bias make it easier for them to impose the conservative bias they prefer. For the pseudoliberals who work in the media system, confessing to a liberal bias is far more comfortable than admitting that they've sold out their beliefs for a nice salary. It's only because the mainstream media is so conservative that all these right-wing pundits can make accusations of liberal bias without opposition.

- John K . Wilson

October 2005

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest-- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

- Albert Einstein

September 2005

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.

- David Hume

August 2005

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

- Charles Darwin

July 2005

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.

- Benjamin Franklin

June 2005

To be sure, the vast majority of people who are untrained can accept the results of science only on authority. But there is obviously an important difference between an establishment that is open and invites every one to come, study its methods, and suggest improvement, and one that regards the questioning of its credentials as due to wickedness of heart, such as (Cardinal) Newman attributed to those who questioned the infallibility of the Bible. Rational science treats its credit notes as always redeemable on demand, while non-rational authoritarianism regards the demand for the redemption of its paper as a disloyal lack of faith.

- Morris Cohen,
"Reason and Nature" (1931)

May 2005

Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are laboring to dethrone; but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

- Ethan Allen

April 2005

To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.

- John Quincy Adams

March 2005

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

- Charles Darwin

February 2005

A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.

- Demosthenes

January 2005

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

- Albert Einstein

December 2004

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

- Justice Louis Brandeis

November 2004

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

- Aesop

October 2004

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.

- Pericles

September 2004

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

August 2004

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

- John Lennon

July 2004

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

- Susan Ertz

June 2004

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere: the dew is never all dried at once: a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

- John Muir

May 2004

The world is my country, and to do good my religion.

- Thomas Paine

April 2004

If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them. If slaves are freed, man must free them. If new truths are discovered, man must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of man. The grand victories of the future must be won by man, and by man alone.

- Robert Ingersoll

March 2004

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water and breeds reptiles of the mind.

- William Blake

February 2004

Learning without thinking is useless. Thinking without learning is dangerous.

- Kong Fuzi (Confucius)

January 2004

Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. Routines have their purposes, but the merely routine is the hidden enemy of high art.

- Cecil Beaton

December 2003

Man must not check reason by tradition, but contrariwise, must check tradition by reason.

-Leo Tolstoy

November 2003

To educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave.

-Frederick Douglass

October 2003

Jirikurun men o men ji la, a te ke bama ye.

("No matter how long a log stays in the water, it doesn't become a crocodile.")

(Bambara Proverb)

September 2003

Our glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall.

- Confucius

August 2003

They who say that we should love our fellow-citizens but not foreigners, destroy the universal brotherhood of mankind, with which benevolence and justice would perish forever.

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

July 2003

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

-Thomas Jefferson

June 2003

Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness, speak cheering words while their ears can hear, and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier by them.

-Williams Childs

May 2003

Grab your ticket and your suitcase,
Thunder's rolling down the tracks.
You don't know where you're goin',
But you know you won't be back.
Darlin' if you're weary,
Lay your head upon my chest.
We'll take what we can carry,
And we'll leave the rest.

Big Wheels rolling through fields
Where sunlight streams,
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

I will provide for you,
And I'll stand by your side.
You'll need a good companion for
This part of the ride.
Leave behind your sorrows,
Let this day be the last.
Tomorrow there'll be sunshine,
And all this darkness past...

This Train,
Dreams will not be thwarted.
This Train,
Faith will be rewarded.
This Train,
Hear the steel wheels singin'.
This Train,
Bells of freedom ringin.

-Bruce Springsteen
Land of Hope and Dreams

April 2003

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.

- George Orwell

March 2003

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

- John Lennon

February 2003

For the first time in my life, I saw the horizon as a curved line. It was accentuated by a thin seam of dark blue light - our atmosphere. Obviously, this was not the "ocean" of air I had been told it was so many times in my life. I was terrified by its fragile appearance.

- Ulf Merbold, German space shuttle astronaut (1988)

January 2003

We fall short of presenting all, or even a goodly part, of the news each day that a citizen would need to intelligently exercise his franchise in this democracy. So as he depends more and more on us, presumably the depth of knowledge of the average man is diminished. This clearly can lead to a disaster in democracy.

- Walter Cronkite

December 2002

Where now is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

-The Lord of the Rings
(The Two Towers)
(Rohirrim poem for Eorl the Young as sung by Aragorn)
J.R.R. Tolkien

November 2002

This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: The freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: Any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.

- John Steinbeck

October 2002

A true patriot would keep the attention of his fellow citizens awake to their grievances, and not allow them to rest till the causes of their just complaints are removed. . . . Our ship is in the hands of pilots . . . who are steering directly under full sail to a rock. The whole crew may see [this course to violate our liberties] in full view if they look the right way.

-Sam Adams, an original member of the Sons of Liberty, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence

September 2002

When did ignorance become a point of view?

-Dilbert (Scott Adams)

August 2002

A people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.

- James Madison
4th President of the United States - "master builder of the Constitution."

July 2002

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.  

-Thomas Paine

June 2002

. . . the weal of the race, and the cause of humanity, here and now, are enough to give life meaning and death as well.

-Edgar Lee Masters

May 2002

We cannot be any stronger in our foreign policy for all the bombs and guns we may heap up in our arsenals than we are in the spirit which rules inside the country. Foreign policy, like a river, cannot rise above its source.

-Adlai Stevenson (1900–1965),
(U.S. Democratic politician)

April 2002

Find expression for a sorrow, and it will become dear to you. Find expression for a joy, and you will intensify its ecstasy.

-Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

March 2002

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

-Bertrand Russell

February 2002

To live for results would be to sentence myself to continuous frustration. My only sure reward is in my actions and not from them.

-Hugh Prather

January 2002

Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

-JRR Tolkien
The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings

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