Evelyn C. Leeper's Quote File

Evelyn C. Leeper's Quote File


Quotations I've Used in My .signature File

Updated: 19 Jun 2017


Maybe life is a grindstone; whether it polishes you or wears you down depends on what you're made of.
                                                -Kay Fletcher

"As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days. The rising of the women means the rising of the race."
                                                -James Oppenheim, "Bread and Roses"

If you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.
                                                 -Sec. of Defense James Mattis 

Remember the MS St. Louis.



Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him.
                                                 -Paul Eldridge

[He] has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
                                                 -Winston Churchill

The unexamined life is not worth living--but the examined one is no bargain. -Socrates/Woody Allen
                                                 -Socrates/Woody Allen

We are all our own Persons from Porlock, these days. [commenting on our attachment to electronic devices & social media]
                                                 -Robert Silverberg

"Status quo" is Latin for the mess we're in.
                                                 -West Texas farmer

"If" is a word right in the middle of "life".
There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.
                                                 -Herman Melville

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
                                                 -Joseph Campbell

Global consciousness is that thing responsible for deciding that decaffeinated coffeepots should be orange.
                                                 -Danny Hillis

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
                                                 -Aldous Huxley

Eyes see surface, not reality.
                                                 -Rumi

Fere libenter homines id, quod volunt, credunt. (Men willingly believe what they wish.)
                                                 -Julius Caesar

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.
                                                 -Otto von Bismarck 

Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards.
                                                 -Soren F. Petersen 

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

Everyone is always in favor of general economy and particular expenditure.
                                                 -Anthony Eden

Many alligators will be slain, but the swamp will remain.




Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.
                                                 -Herodotus

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
                                                 -Samuel Butler

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

So many see themselves as aggrieved; so few see themselves as aggrievers.
                                                 -John Allen Paulos

In the end the problem isn't that you have the wrong sort of government for the People, but that you have the wrong sort of People.
                                                 -Sir Terry Pratchett, NIGHT WATCH

If being cold means there's no such thing as global warming, does being full mean there's no such thing as global hunger?
Have you noticed that many people who claim to believe in personal responsibility spend a lot of time blaming the government?
Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
                                                 -Mark Twain

Patience is something you admire greatly in the driver behind you but not in the one ahead of you.



Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
                                                 -Confucius

Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.
                                                 -A. Keightley

You can't ride the chairlift and call yourself Edmund Hillary.
                                                 -David McCullough, Jr.

Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the secret to success.
                                                 -Savas Dinopoulos

You can't ride the chairlift and call yourself Edmund Hillary.
                                                 -David McCullough, Jr.

It often comforts me to know that even in war's darkest days, in most parts of the world absolutely nothing is happening.
                                                 -GAME OF THRONES

Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.
                                                 -Edward R. Murrow 


Time [is] flowing in the middle of the night.
                                                 -Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The poor have objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
                                                 -G. K. Chesterton 

He mocks the people who proposes that the government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor.
                                                 -C. Arthur

Obviousness is relative.
                                                 -John Hertz, Vanamonde #919

Justice, like lightning, should ever appear to some men hope, to other men fear.
                                                 -Jefferson Pierce

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
                                                 -Philip K. Dick

Zeus does not bring to accomplishment all the thoughts of men.
                                                 -Homer, ILIAD

Art always opts for the individual, the concrete; art is not Platonic.
                                                 -Jorge Luis Borges

Perhaps the best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.
                                                 -Dean Acheson

When I realised that I was never going to be asked to tea by a half-man, half-goat, I knew that life was going to be a let-down.
                                                 -Ronni Acona

How small, of all that human hearts endure/That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
                                                 -Samuel Johnson

Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among men.
                                                 -J. R. R. Tolkien 

People who have what they want are very fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they don't want it.
                                                 -Ogden Nash

Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
                                                 -Albert Szent-Gyorgi 

Obama. Sandy. Win some, lose some.



Who's better for business? During Bush's second term the Dow Jones *dropped* 2000 points; during Obama's term it *rose* 5000 points.



The heresies we should fear are those which can be confused with orthodoxy.
                                                -Jorge Luis Borges

Time travel may be possible, but it is not practical.
                                                -Stephen Hawking

A good story beats vague, formless and somewhat artsy every time.
                                                -Jim Rittenhouse

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.
                                                -Jorge Luis Borges

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but unlike charity, it should end there.
                                                -Clare Boothe Luce

A classic is a book that doesn't have to be written again.
                                                -Carl Van Doren

Be careful of reading health books; you might die of a misprint.
                                                -Mark Twain

"I don't want to take my country back, I want to take it forward."
Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.
                                                -Jorge Luis Borges

In literature, as in love, we are astonished by what is chosen by others.
                                                -Andre Maurois

Even God cannot change the past.
                                                -Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
                                                -Tom Stoppard

I never trust anyone who's more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.
                                                -xkcd

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
                                                -Blaise Pascal

If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
                                                -Anatole France

Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.
                                                -anonymous

"I am so small I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me?" "Look at your eyes. They are small but they see enormous things."
                                                -Rumi

The only way to write about right now is to write about the future.
                                                -Gary Shteyngart

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
                                                -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.
                                                -George Washington

Many alligators will be slain, but the swamp will remain.
                                                -unknown

Every man desires to live long; but no man would be old.
                                                -Jonathan Swift

We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.
                                                -Harold Nicolson 

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.
                                                -Aldous Huxley 

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
                                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

... O fleeting joyes Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!
                                                -John Milton, Paradise Lost

Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.
                                                -Erich Fromm

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.
                                                -James Baldwin

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
                                                -Plutarch

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
                                                -William James

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
                                                -Salvor Hardin, Foundation

Patience is something you admire greatly in the driver behind you but not in the one ahead of you.
                                                -unknown

Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.
                                                -unknown

Men have become the tools of their tools.
                                                -Henry David Thoreau

One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.
                                                -unknown

Nobody believes the official spokesman ... but everybody trusts an unidentified source.
                                                -Ron Nesen, 1977

I know you can't live on hope alone but without hope life is not worth living.
                                                -Harvey Milk

Be braver. You cannot cross a chasm in two small jumps.
                                                -unknown

Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul.
                                                -Mark Twain

A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
                                                -Samuel Johnson

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed.
                                                -Irene Peter 

A great many people think they are thinking when they are only rearranging their prejudices.
                                                -William James

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
                                                -Abraham Lincoln

All art at some time and in some manner becomes mass entertainment, and if it does not it dies and is forgotten.
                                                -Raymond Chandler

Heretic: someone who disagrees with you about something neither of you knows anything about.
                                                -anonymous

Life is complex--it has real and imaginary parts.
                                                -anonymous

I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us.
                                                -Konrad Lorenz

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
                                                -John Stuart Mill

Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
                                                -Adam Smith

Faith is not so much a binary pole as a quantum state, which tends to indeterminacy when closely examined.
                                                -John Updike

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

Junk is something you keep for years, then throw away two weeks before you need it.
                                                -unattributed

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
                                                -Mark Twain

An era can be said to end when its illusions are exhausted.
                                                -Arthur Miller

Two is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2.
                                                -Grabel's Law

Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.
                                                -Dan Bennett

We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
                                                -David Brower

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.
                                                -Matthew Arnold

Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbor.
                                                -Arthur Toynbee

Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives, and the sincerest part of our devotion.
                                                -Jonathan Swift

A passionate commitment to social justice is no substitute for knowing what the hell you're talking about.
                                                -Thomas Sowell

When a philosopher says something that is true then it is trivial. When he says something that is not trivial then it is false.
                                                -Gauss

The foolish man wonders at the unusual; the wise man at the usual.
                                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
                                                -Andre Gide

The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.
                                                -Anatole France

Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
                                                -Niels Bohr

If the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust, this would be a better world.
                                                -Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days

I found a kind of party terrorism pervading and oppressing the minds of our best men.
                                                -James Garfield

The fundamental precept of liberty is toleration.
                                                -Calvin Coolidge

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
                                                -Thomas Jefferson

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
                                                -Theodore Roosevelt

People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
                                                -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

If you want to live like a Republican, you've got to vote for a Democrat.
                                                -Harry S. Truman

"Try to keep things in perspective. Fifty years from now, kids in history classes will be yawning over what panics us today."
                                              

Separate is not equal. The right time to do the right thing is always now. Those who say 'wait' usually mean 'never.'
                                                -Bonnie Tinker and The Rev. Cecil Prescod

If you won't be better tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for tomorrow?
                                                -Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav


We need to be creating a world that we would like to live in when we're not the biggest power on the block.
                                                -Bill Clinton

There are two futures, the future of desire and the future of fate, and man's reason has never learned to separate them.
                                                -J. D. Bernal

Dred Scott; 
Plessy v. Ferguson; 
Bowers v. Hardwick; 
RIP

Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of demons.
                                                -Aldous Huxley

What appears to be coming at you is coming from you.
                                                -Jack Flanders

Just as you choose to believe in determinism, I am forced to believe in free will.
                                                -(unknown)

Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among men.
    -J. R. R. Tolkien, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Book III, Chapter 2

At the foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded.
                                                -Ludwig Wittgenstein

Unless we dream the best dreams of which we are capable, the future will be poorer than it might be.
                                                -Brian Stableford

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
                                                -Jorge Luis Borges

Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.
                              -Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
                                                -Ezekiel 16:49

A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.
                                                -Adlai Stevenson

Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses-- for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it...
                                                -Herman Melville

There are infimal readers, readers who want to read the same book over and over, but will never read the same book twice.
                                                -Brian Stableford

Apatheism: The school of belief where one doesn't particularly care if there is/are god(s).
                                                -Taki Kogoma

We should be as passionately opposed to those who discriminate against gays and lesbians as we were passionate in our opposition to apartheid.
                                              
  - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, February 1999, Brown University

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it just screams, "Why don't you listen to me?" and lets fly with a big stick.
                                                -John W. Campbell, Jr.

Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea--massive, diffucult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it.
                                                -Gene Spafford, 1992

I'm coming to the conlcusion that the past really *is* another country, one that sends invading armies into this one.
                                                -Avram Grumer

Haiku for a New Year:
     2001: / A new odyssey led by / George W. Bush


Golden ages always shine more brightly from a distance.
                                                -Jack Shafer

Nations don't start out. There is not a particular moment when they unveil the essence of themselves. They are always a work in progress.
                                                -Simon Schama

Q: How many Floridians does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Four! No, Two! No ... um ... wait. Can I let you know in six hours?
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of sXXXch, ... or the right of the people peaceably to XXXemble, and to peXXXion the government for a redress of grievances.
                                                -from the First Amendment to the US ConsXXXution

I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed.
                                                -Marcus Aurelius

What is boredom? It is when there is simultaneously too much and not enough.
                                                -Jean-Paul Sartre

I will say this much for the nobility: that tyrannical, murderous, rapacious, and morally rotten as they were, they were deeply and enthusiastically religious.
                                                -Mark Twain, Conn. Yank.

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
                                                -Mikhail Baryshnikov

So many problems are solved simply by knowing enough verbs.
                                                -Teresa Nielsen Hayden

The biggest threat to traditional marriage is not two gay people who love each other, but shows like "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?"
GOP Ad: Call Al Gore. Tell him the only litmus test ought to be for patriotism.
Me: I thought that what people supporting gays in the military have been saying all along.
Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion.
                                                -Ann Wells

The artist is a kind of prison from which the works of art escape.
                                                -Jean Cocteau

In times of great stress, it is a relief to have the assurance that I can never falsely believe that I exist.
Personally, I'm no fan of Oprah. But if she can use television to get America to read, she has accomplished a feat more daunting than Hannibal moving elephants over the Alps.
                                                -Barnet Sherman

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
--Richard Feynman, Appendix to the Rogers Commission Report
on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident

There are two types of people in this world: those who think giant steam powered robotic spiders are stupid, and those who don't.
                                                -Bryan F. Theiss

If it's supposed to move and it doesn't, spray with WD-40; if it's not supposed to move and it does, wrap with duct tape; if it's more complicated than this, use a Swiss Army knife.
Publishing a book of poetry in the United States is liking dropping rose petals off the rim of Grand Canyon and listening for the echo.
                                                -Don Marquis

When you are trying to understand the world, it is unwise to assume that you occupy a privileged position in it.
                                                -Jim Holt

Even if one believes in nothing, there are moments in life when one is always of the religion of the temple which is nearest at hand.
                            -HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, book 11, chapter 1

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
                                                -Robert Graves

If everyone in Congress who has ever had an affair resigned, I have a feeling Barney Frank would have the place to himself.
                                                -Ailsa Murphy

A lot of writers can pull off being subtle, but it takes a genius like Melville to write a great book that is so utterly lacking in subtlety.
                                                -Fiona Webster

All work and no play makes Jack a valued employee.
That's how things are--you open the door to a possibility and the next thing you know, an actuality has you by the throat.
                                                -Russell Hoban

What has the study of biology taught you about the Creator, Dr. Haldane?
I'm not sure, but He seems to be inordinately fond of beetles.
Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 11:41.23 AM EST.
Never throw fruit at someone who understands the theatrics of the situation better than you do.
                                                -David Denby

Being gay, the last time I looked, had nothing to do with reading a balance book, fixing a broken bone or changing a spark plug.
                                                -Bill Clinton

Those who do not learn from the future are destined to make mistakes in it.
                                                -Warren Miller (New Yorker)

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
                                                -Jonathan Swift

Life is not a "brief candle." It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
                                                -George Bernard Shaw

The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we *can* suppose.
                                                -J.B.S. Haldane

For there is a truth which cannot be bought or sold, imposed by force, resisted or escaped.
                                                -Greg Egan

Das Schone ist nichts als des Schrecklichen Anfang. [Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror.]
                                                -Rainer Maria Rilke

If it's not fun and it's not important then why am I doing it?
                                                -Bill Hyde, Bell Laboratories

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
                                                -Voltaire

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
                                                -Martin Luther King

The destiny of Western civilization turns on the issue of our struggle with all that Madison Avenue stands for.
                                                -Arnold Toynbee

El sueno de la razon produce monstruos.
                                  -caption to plate 43 of Goya's Caprichios

If you threw all the liars out of Hollywood, Pompeii would look like a bustling metropolis, by comparison.
                                                -Peter Reiher

The tendency toward good in human nature has a force which no creed can utterly counteract, and which insures the ultimate triumph of that tendency over all dogmatic perversions.
                                        -George Eliot, Evangelical Teaching

There isn't a limited amount of love in Iowa. It isn't a non-renewable resource. If Amy and Barbara or Mike or Steve love each other, it doesn't mean that John and Mary can't.
                                                -Rep. Ed Fallon, Iowa

Enveloped in a common mist, we seem to walk in clearness ourselves, and behold only the mist that enshrouds others.
                                     -George Eliot, Leaves from a Note-Book

People are worried about online porn on the Internet. It's the endless `Who's better--Kirk or Picard?' threads that should scare them.
                                            -Jim Mullen, Entertainment Weekly

I like anarchy, but it's kind of hard to enforce.
                                                -Brian Westley

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.
                                                -Joseph Joubert

If there were a verb meaning 'to believe falsely,' it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.
                                                -Ludwig Wittgenstein

I don't care what may be his politics. I don't care what may be his religion. I don't care what may be his color. I don't care who he is. So long as he is honest, he shall be served by me.
                                                -Theodore Roosevelt

No one is ever fanatically devoted to something they have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it is. Whenever someone is fanatically devoted to a set of beliefs or dogmas or goals, it is only because those beliefs or goals are in doubt.
                                                -Robert M. Pirsig

As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place.
                       -Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg on her visit to Auschwitz

The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.
                                                -Albert Einstein

Am I politically correct today? Do I do crystals and New Age? Obviously, women's music's for me--Edith Piaf, Bessie Smith, and Patti Page.
                                                -Lynn Lavner

Remember, high-tech means breaks down next week, while cutting edge means breaks down this afternoon.
                                                -Bruce Sterling

Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
Sircar's Corollary: If the USENET discussion touches on homosexuality or Heinlein, Nazis or Hitler are mentioned within three days.
[Your propagation may vary.]
Note to General Powell, Senator Dole, Senator Nunn, et al: Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time, and in the same place.
                                                -Justice Thurgood Marshall

To make the point [that homosexuals hamper military effectiveness] I'd say that you would have to sift through your military history till you find an instance in which failure has been attributed to the presense of homosexuals on the losing side. I'm not aware of any such case in the past 2500 years, but I'd be interested to hear what you find.
                                                -Nathan Engle

God does not play dice with the universe.
                                                -Albert Einstein
Albert, stop telling God what to do.
                                                -Niels Bohr

God does not play dice with the universe.
                                                -Albert Einstein
Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws the dice where they can't be seen.
                                                -Stephen Hawking

IQ describes how big your gas tank is, but it doesn't tell if you're running on empty.
                                                -Harvey Newstrom

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
                                                -Isaac Asimov

I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.
                                                -Galileo

Why can't they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand gay guys with M16s going, "Who'd you call a faggot?"
                                                -John Stewart

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest thing: The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war is worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
                                                -John Stuart Mill

Oh, Irony! We don't get that here. No, the last time we had irony was '82, when I was the sole practitioner of it and I got tired of being stared at.
                                                -Steve Martin, ROXANNE

Never was the advice "Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt" been as true as on Usenet.
                                                -Evelyn C. Leeper

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
                                                -Edmund Burke

If I am not for myself, who is for me? If I am only for myself what am I? And if not now, when?
                                                -Hillel

Evelyn C. Leeper (eleeper@optonline.net)

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