Favorite Quotations


  • "It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free.  Their passions forge their fetters."  --Edmund Burke

  • "...optimism is dangerously immune to simple facts and the hard lessons of experience." --John Krakauer ("On Being Tentbound,"  Eiger Dreams)

  • "Ho Chi Minh never went to Harvard Business School." --Paul Hendrickson (NPR interview, 9/6/96)

  • "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol."  --Steve Martin (The New Yorker, 6/24/96)

  • "I find righteous denunciations of the present state of the language no less dismaying than the present state of the language." --Lionel Trilling (The Atlantic, 12/96)

  • "If 'utility' has anything to do with happiness, above the poverty line the long term marginal utility of money is almost zero." --Robert Lane (The Atlantic, 6/97)

  • "The difference between a kleptocrat and a wise statesman, between a robber baron and a public benefactor, is merely one of degree:  a matter of just how large a percentage of the tribute is extracted from producers is retained by the elite, and how much the commoners like the public uses to which the redistributed tribute is put."  --Jarred Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel)

  • "Fear won't always save you, but it will take some of the pressure off your luck." --Tobias Wolff (In Pharoah's Army)

  • "Nobody is more wary of religious fanatics than the object of their devotion."  --Sterling and Peggy Seagrave (The Yamato Dynasty)

  • "The very stability of our economy is threatened by any form of education that might change the nature of the human product schools now turn out; the economy schoolchildren currently expect to live under and serve would not survive a generation of young people trained, for example, to think critically." --John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down)