Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Quote File: The Bush Administration and Responding to It

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." – Barbara Bush on the refugees in the Astrodome, Sept. 6, 2005

  • If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers. – Thomas Pynchon
  • Where it is a duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. – John Morley
  • 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
  • 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, on her visit to Auschwitz
  • The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. – Thomas Carlyle
  • The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. – Andre Gide
  • Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas? – Joseph Stalin
  • It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defense of our nation worthwhile. – Earl Warren
  • Were we to choose our leaders on the basis of their reading experience and not their political programs, there would be much less grief on earth. I believe . . . that for someone who has read a lot of Dickens to shoot his like in the name of an idea is harder than for someone who has read no Dickens. – Joseph Brodsky
  • The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns ... instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. – George Orwell
  • The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. – George Bernard Shaw
  • Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. -- Marian Anderson
  • Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy and the handicapped. –Hubert Humphrey
  • Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. – Bertrand Russell
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. – John Stuart Mill
  • The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. – Maureen Dowd
  • If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. – Noam Chomsky
  • Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway. – Robert Henri
  • There is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to write as well as one can. The best argument is an undeniably good book. – Saul Bellow
  • Action is the antidote to despair. – Joan Baez
  • You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. – Jessica Mitford


  1. Isn't it amazing? Isn't it just simply amazing how those idiots can't *not* embarrass themselves? It's like all their decades of bad karma are building to a head. I can only hope the release is centralized and only affects them when it finally comes to pass.

  2. I'm curious of the context of this quote from the former First Lady. Do you have a link to the entire transcript of the conversation or interview this came from?

  3. Certainly. The raw tape of her interview on NPR's "Marketplace" is here:; the quotation under discussion is at 2:45 on the 3:22 recording.

  4. Drat...RealAudio. I hate all the junk that RealPlayer installs just so you can use their software. Oh well - here goes.
    (end rant)