James Long, Ph.D., P.E. Retired Analog and RF Consulting Engineer
Some of My Favorite Quotes
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VW reliability is rapidly declining. Their expensive extended limited warranties are becoming very limited.
Over the years I have read many books and marked my favorite passages. Below are quotes from famous and not so famous people.
Terrorism [both international and domestic, such as individuals going on crime sprees to punish people they dislike] are only effective because of the publicity provided by journalists. If journalists ignored it, there would be less of a pay off for the perpetrators and it would occur less frequently. Journalists' claim that if they did not give it coverage, there would be fewer viewers and they would have to charge lower rates to advertisers, only illustrates the ancient saying that the love of money is the root of all evil. What is worse, is that journalists encourage such activities by reviewing how the person was able to delay capture, got caught easily, or produce more devastation in such detail that it trains the next person to be more skillful at evil. They also bandy about the records of greatest evil as if to encourage someone else to top the previous record. This so frequently triggers off other people to do the same that these are commonly called "copy cat crimes." This phenomenon is so common that an old folk saying about it is "monkey see, monkey do."
synthesized from several sources. See below for more on this topic.
The motto of the woman's fashion industry is "A fool and her money are soon parted."
The motto of the automobile industry is "A fool and his money are soon parted."
Foiled again, English bed wetting types.
I fart in your general direction.
You sons of electric donkey food trough wipers.
I blow my nose at you, so called King Arthur.
From Monty Python and the Holy Grail Insults said by the French soldiers to King Arthur.
Inspector Clouseau is forced to change clothes with a criminal women hitch hiker he gives a ride to. She steals the car and drives into a fiery ambush set by other criminals for Clouseau. Everyone thinks that he is dead. After making his way back to his apartment that Kato has transformed into a brothel, he meets an Asian woman who responds to his query as to her identity:
My name is Mrs. Wu, but you can call me madam.
She sees his woman's clothes and arranges for a woman dressed in a black leather cat suit to chase him around the room while whipping him. Kato rushes out and rescues Clouseau who remarks about himself to the gathered brothel customers who were watching:
I am not your run of the mill transvestite.
The movie ends up with the show down in a Hong Kong ship yard named "Lee Kee [pronounced leaky] Ship Yard."
From Revenge of the Pink Panther
What the fuck, over.
What the fuck, out.
Frequently heard on the radio nets in Vietnam.
What are they going to do? Turn you into a frog?
One of the Special Forces lieutenants at Fort Bragg.
You only have to be humble when you are not perfect.
Jokingly said by one of my high school chums, Jeffrey Barlow.
Why settle for the truth when you can have authenticity.
Author Ted Perry as quoted in Everything You Know is Wrong in explaining why he knowingly inserted false facts into a documentary.
Drums make a great noise because they are hollow.
Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening discussion of Proverbs 10:19 which addresses diarrhea of the mouth being caused by constipation of the brain. I think of this every time I see someone using the telephone while driving.
In general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to
create a sensation—to make a point—than to further the cause of truth. The
latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident with the former.
Edgar Allan Poe The Mystery of Marie Roget
Ben Tre was the capital of Kien Hoa
province in the Mekong Delta. During
the Tet Offensive half of the city of
35,000 was destroyed by US bombs and
shells. A US Army Major was quoted as
saying: “It became necessary to destroy
the town in order to save it.” The quote
was later revealed to have been made up
by an AP journalist to add more drama to
Philip Gutzman Vietnam, A Visual Encyclopedia page 73-74
The Viet Cong-controlled village, Cam
Ne, was situated in I Corps. During
Marine Corps operations around the village a CBS television reporter filmed
Marines burning some of the huts. In his
commentary he claimed that the action
was totally unnecessary though he had
never asked why it was being done. Such
uninformed reporting contributed to the
beginning of the conflict between the
military and the media in Vietnam.
Philip Gutzman Vietnam, A Visual Encyclopedia page 85-86
I did resent, however, the commonplace [journalist's] practice of distorted editorials and slanted headlines in the press and of outright misrepresentations in the daily offerings of the columnists and commentators. The worst offense of all was the editing and distorting of the facts in the news.
From Years of Trial and Hope pages 175-6.
There was a big difference between the facts as I saw them and as they were presented by the press and radio.
From Mr. Citizen page 74.
Unfortunately, history is too often a combination of official records and source material, with an interpretation by some historian of what he presumes to have been in the minds of the people he writes about. Many modern historians, I find, rely too much on published contemporary history, with inadequate knowledge of or even research into the accuracy of such published material.
From Mr. Citizen page 233.
The astonishing degree of inaccuracy of facts and events and the deliberate distortions of intentions, particularly in recent times, have often disturbed me as I read the newspapers and magazines and listen to the radio reports. [This was written before TV became wide spread.]
From Mr. Citizen page 233.
The speculation and assumptions, for example, about my feelings on the use of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were as contradictory as the varying stories written on the subject, and most of them had no foundation in fact.
From Mr. Citizen page 234.
Sir Winston Churchill
While we were in Bermuda all sorts of statements were made by the press, whose fertility and imagination were remarkable. On the one hand, I was charged with trying to prevent the President from making his speech and, on the other, with having largely written it for him.
From a speech to the House of Commons December 17, 1953
That evening at ten o'clock, Fahmy [a high ranking Syrian dignitary] took my party to the Sheraton Hotel for a late dinner -- but mainly to see Nagwa Fuad, the famed belly dancer. ... The journalists accompanying me for once found a subject worthy of their intellectual and cultural interests.
From Years of Upheaval page 968.
The queries from the press were perhaps best described by John Osborn when he called them "A disgrace to journalism and to the journalist concerned"
From Years of Renewal page 574.
The above was a description of the attempts by the journalists to make the interviewed hostages tell falsehoods about the way they were rescued by the US Marines. These attempts were done by asking "Have you stopped beating your wife?" type questions. Fortunately, the ship's captain was accustomed to dealing with moral scum bags and was not taken in by the questions. He made his own statements praising the Marines.
In the state you will find it true that for the most part those least capable of conducting the affairs of state administer them.
From Luther's Works Vol. 3, commentary on Genesis 16:6 (page 53).
Human nature doesn't change. This problem is with us today with government agencies staffed by people too incompetent to qualify for a job in the industry or activity they are regulating. The legislatures suffer from this problem too. As the government gets larger, these defects will prove disastrous to society that cannot carry the burden of waste and inefficiency mandated by the incompetent government officials.
I acquired an ability for talking convincingly on a basis of very little, if any, knowledge; an accomplishment equally useful in education, journalism, and television. I also learned at an early age the great truth that the twentieth century is an age of almost inconceivable credulity ..... It is on this basis that our great newspapers, television and radio networks .... are conducted.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 1 The Green Stick page 85.
[On the process of making historical dramatizations:] When all the recording, compiling, and documenting have been completed, it will be forever impossible to know what happened about anyone or anything; history, in dramatizing its records, abolishes itself.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 1 The Green Stick page 165.
They had to learn that in the Soviet Union - as, later, everywhere - happenings occur exclusively on communications media, never in life. It is put out by Tass, therefore it is. Or, it has been shown on television, therefore it is. It amounts to the same thing.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 1 The Green Stick page 234.
Sentimentally virtuous people like Lord Halifax or Mrs. Roosevelt do far more harm in the world than recognizable villains. .... she was easily persuaded that the [Stalin's concentration/death] camp was a humanely conducted institution for curing the criminally [read that political dissenters] inclined. A truly wicked woman would be ashamed to be so callous and so gullible.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 45.
Journalists and diplomats, even historians thrive on such fantasies; I have, in the exercise of my [BBC journalistic] profession, aired many, not one of which had any validity.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 110.
Diplomats and intelligence agents are even bigger liars than journalists.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 149.
Roosevelt .... did everything in their power to insure that, when Germany finally collapsed, Stalin easily occupied and dominated the countries adjoining his frontiers ....and our young spy-masters [such as Kim Philby etc.] showed a like determination so to arrange matters that, in countries far away, he [Stalin] was presented with a well-armed, well-financed, and well-organized underground army.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 199.
The worst feature of propaganda, advertising, or any form of organized lying, is that, try as one will, one comes to believe it; as press lords come to believe what they read in their own newspapers, and television producers what they see on the screen.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 209.
The interesting thing was that no one invented the [elaborate, but totally false journalistic] story. It just emerged, ready-made; begotten by the Media out of the prevailing nuclear hysteria.
From Chronicles of Wasted Time: Number 2 The Infernal Grove page 265.
The most notable among them was The New York Times' Walter Durante ... who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for deceitfully propagandistic dispatches from Russia which routinely denied or minimized horrors he knew to have taken place. Muggeridge was later to write that "Durante was the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism." Yet Durante and the British Communist Claud Cockburn helped to shape Franklin Roosevelt's impression of [Stalin's] Soviet Russia as "progressive." He recognized the Soviet Union diplomatically and sent "the corrupt and gullible Joseph Davies" as ambassador to Moscow in 1936 "with instructions to win Stalin's friendship at all cost." [And what a cost!]
From the introduction to Winter in Moscow, Muggeridge's novel based on his experience as a journalist in Moscow, page xix. 1987 Eerdman's printing
... news - the ultimate fantasy of the age ....
From Like It Was - The diaries of Malcolm Mugeridge page 8.
However, the essence of newspapers is that one never writes the truth in them.
From Like It Was - The diaries of Malcolm Mugeridge page 384.
Malcolm Muggeridge biography quotes
All of the following are from Malcolm Muggeridge, A Biography by Gregory Wolfe
From page 12. [A reflection on the people who were soon to become the socialist political party leaders] Though they were ostensibly champions of the common man, Malcolm remembered them as already surrounded with th aura of power, condescending towards others and endlessly repeating slogans and cliches.
From page 69. [The view a prominent socialist leader had of Malcolm's father.] One of his Fabian idols [Mrs. Webb] looked on him with the same sort of class-consciousness that was supposed to be incompatible with socialism.
From page 105. [ The journalist A. T. Cholerton's view of the Soviet show trials.] Everything is true except the facts.
From page 178. The crisis of authority, Malcolm argues throughout the book [The Thirties], is ultimately a moral crisis; the tendency to prefer fantasy to unpleasant truth leads to indecision and superficial solutions.
From page 238. Malcolm was inclined to agree with Clemenceau, who had said that Americans were the only people who had gone from barbarism to decadence without ever having passed through the stage of being civilized.
From page 282. ....when clergymen became political, they compromised allegiance to supernatural things. [As an aside, C. S. Lewis said that in history, the most despotic rulers with the worst effect on the ruled were clergy turned politician. A modern day example is the leader of the 700 club. He believes that God wants him to run the country and use any police state methods necessary to force people to lead ideal lives. Once that has happened for 1000 years (postmillennialism), God will come back to the earth.]
From page 299. Eaden: "the most disastrous Prime Minister in our history."
From page 305. "The welfare state," Malcolm concluded, "is a kind of zoo which provides its inmates with ease and comfort but unfits them for life in their natural habitat. Mangy and bleary-eyed, they grumble and growl as the walk up and down their cages wailing for slabs of welfare to be thrown to them at mealtime."
From page 405. .... always mocking ramble round the absurdities of the public drama of our time - what he called the "legend" - the self-deceiving follies of politicians and intellectual figures as our poor old civilization struggled on toward what he saw as its inevitable doom
He is famous for writing science fiction. One of his most famous books is Brave New World which is a dark, grim prediction of the future 600 years from the date of writing (1932). In 1958 he wrote Brave New World, Revisited in which he explained why he thought that the grim world predicted for 2532 was more likely to occur by 2008.
There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarianisms should resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that nowadays); it is demonstrably inefficient-and in an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.
From Brave New World, Revisited Foreword page xi.
Twenty seven years later ... I feel a good deal less optimistic than I did when I was writing Brave New World. The prophecies made in 1931 are coming true much sooner than I thought they Would.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 1.
Whenever [disasters, real or imagined, present or future, threaten a nation], the central government is forced to assume additional responsibilities for the general welfare. It must work out elaborate plans for dealing with a critical situation; it must impose ever greater restrictions on the activities of its subjects; .... More and more power is thus concentrated in the hands of the executives and their bureaucratic managers. But the nature of power is such that even those who have not sought it, but have had it forced upon them, tend to acquire a taste for more. "Lead us not into temptation," we pray-and with good reason; for when human beings are tempted to enticingly or too long, they generally yield.
From Brave New World, Revisited pages 8, 9.
Many historians ... have written at length, and with a deep concern, about the price that Western man has had to pay and will go on paying for technological progress. ... democracy can hardly be expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized. But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralization of power.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 14.
[Many people] still cherish "the illusion of individuality," but in fact they have been to a great extend deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But "uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too....
From Brave New World, Revisited page 16.
Too much organization transforms men and women into automatia, suffocates the creative spirit and abolishes the very possibility of freedom. ... The dehumanizing effects of over-organization are reinforced by the dehumanizing effects of over-population. Industry, as it expands, draws an ever greater proportion of humanity's increasing numbers into large cities. But life in large cities is not conductive to mental health .... nor does it foster the kind of responsible freedom within small self-governing groups, which is the first condition of a genuine democracy.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 18.
Who will mount guard over our guardians, who will engineer the [social] engineers? - The answer is a bland denial that they need any supervision. There seems to be a touching belief among certain Ph.D.'s in sociology that Ph.D.'s in sociology will never be corrupted by power. Like Sir Galahad's, their strength is as the strength of ten because their heart is pure - and their heart is pure because they are scientists and have taken six thousand hours of social studies.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 22.
There are two kinds of propaganda - rational propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with the enlightened self-interest of those who make it and those to whom it is addressed, and non-rational propaganda that is not consonant with anybody's enlightened self-interest, but is dictated by, and appeals to passion.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 26. Journalists frequently use this technique to motivate people to do things that they would not do upon rational reflection. See above for more on this topic.
Jefferson, it is true, was a realist as well as an optimist. He knew by bitter experience that the freedom of the press can be shamefully abused. "Nothing," he declared, "can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper."
From Brave New World, Revisited page 28.
... the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant.
From Brave New World, Revisited pages 28, 29.
[Nazi Albert Speer's observation on why Hitler was so effective] It was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development. .... Through technical devices like the radio... eighty million people were deprived of independent thought.
From Brave New World, Revisited page 31.
In its present form, the social order depends for its continued existence on the acceptance, without too many embarrassing questions, of the propaganda put forth by those in authority...
From Brave New World, Revisited page 87.
[Quoting a passage from the Russian novelist Dostoevsky] "In the end," says the Grand inquisitor in Dostoevsky's parable, "in the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, 'make us your slaves, but feed us.'"
From Brave New World, Revisited page 96.
C. S. Lewis
These quotes have been paraphrased on order to not violate the strict application of the copyright laws by the current owners of the Lewis literary estate. When Lewis was alive, he freely gave of his time and talents to help others. He even arranged for his publishing royalties to be paid into an "agape fund" charity for distribution to total strangers who were in financial need. In stark contrast, the present owners of the estate do not allow any use that does not line their pockets. They have even "discovered" hitherto unknown works by Lewis that are published and sold. These works have either no, or documented fake provenances. The works are of inferior literary quality and contain Americanisms, and subject matter that Lewis despised with a purple passion and condemned in his scholarly works on literature. The "discovered" revisions of the poetry have the allusions to Lewis' favorite literature, classic Greek and Roman literature, removed from them. The person who discovered them is an American with very low artistic and literary skills and is totally lacking in classical knowledge.
The output of journalists and socialist economists is 100% syntax without any meaning.
From Rehabilitations page 156.
As bad as external sins are, it is the inner ones that are the worse. A self-righteous, false fronted person who goes to church is closer to hell than a prostitute.
From Mere Christianity page 80.
Our experienced is colored from watching movies, television and the news. It is difficult to separate the knowledge we think we have into real truths about the world and untrue knowledge from fake synthetic experiences with the media.
From Mere Christianity page 85.
It is not the duty of the church to help the state in appeasing inferiority complexes and encouraging the ordinary person's hatred of excellence.
From Christian Reflections pages 97 98.
The content of newspapers is totally disconnected from reality.
From Christian Reflections page113.
A person who has lived in many ages by reading their history and literature is relative immune from the flash, trash, hype and jive that gushes forth from the press and microphone of modern times.
From The Weight of Glory page 51.
In speaking of legends, stories that are frequently repeated even though they are false: Christian legends, heathen legends, and modern journalistic legends.
From God in the Dock paperback version page 57.
The transcript of an audio tape recording of an Inklings meeting in his college rooms contains the line, "Oh, you cannot find an ashtray. Use the carpet."
From On Stories and Other Essays on Literature page 149.
So called intellectuals are the most easily suckered and fooled segment of society
From That Hideous Strength Chapter 5 section 1.
I am reminded of the phrases "educated fool" and "ivory tower theorists"
[In describing a Soviet official in Spain] I had never met a professional liar before - excepting journalists.
from Homage to Catalonia page 140
[In describing a newspaper in India] Their paper was rather above the average Indian level, and it supplied, of course, just such news as they, themselves, approved, and no other. That obscure Indian paper forecast the logical goal of modern journalism.
from The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell vol. 1, page 13
This business of libel is becoming a nightmare - it appears that there now exist firms of crook solicitors [attorneys] who make a regular income by blackmailing publishers.
from The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell vol. 1, page 165
[On being refused a job in government service during WWII because of his poor health] It is a terrible thing to feel oneself useless and at the same time on every side to see halfwits ... filling important jobs.
from The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell vol. 2, page 29
Most of the newspapers, for instance, have continued to publish without any query as to their truthfulness the American claims to have sunk the entire Japanese fleet several times over. ... On more than one occasion I have known a newspaper to have printed a piece of news - and news unfavorable to Britain - on no other authority than the German radio.
from The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell vol. 3, page 128
Laws frequently continue in force long after the circumstances which first gave occasion for them, and which could alone render them reasonable, are no more.
From Wealth of Nations page 383.
The man [or nation] who borrows in order to spend will soon be ruined, and he who lends to him will generally have occasion to repent of his folly.
From Wealth of Nations page 350.
If the prodigality of some was not compensated by the frugality of others, the conduct of every prodigal, by feeding the idle with the bread of the industrious, tends not only to beggar himself, but to impoverish the country.
From Wealth of Nations page 339.
Men of no more than ordinary discernment never rate any person higher than he appears to rate himself. He seems doubtful himself, they say, whether he is perfectly fit for such a situation or such an office, and immediately gives the preference to some imprudent blockhead who entertains no doubt about his own qualifications.
From The Theory of Moral Sentiment page 260. [Human nature never changes. Incompetent managers promote incompetent subordinates.]
Meic Pearse the famous historian specializing in minorities
[In a discussion of how some people are so lacking in intellectual ability that they group vastly different people into simplified categories.] One notes wearily the same tendency at work in our day; outsiders lump all 'American Fundamentalists' - or Middle-Eastern Islamic parties, or nationalists groups - together, and on the basis of their alleged insanity, fail (or refuse) to give serious consideration to their ideas.
from The Great Restoration page 231
Samuel Johnson the famous British literary figure from 250 years ago comments on journalists and some women
Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages. A peace will equally leave the warrior and relator of wars destitute of employment: and I know not whether more is to be dreaded from streets filled with soldiers accustomed to plunder, or from garrets filled with scribblers accustomed to lie.
from The Idler No. 30. Saturday November 11, 1758
It may be particularly observed of women, that they are for the most part good or bad, as they fall among those who practice vice or virtue; and that neither education nor reason gives them much security against the influence of example. Whether it be that they have less courage to stand against opposition, or that their desire of admiration makes them sacrifice their principles to the poor pleasure of worthless praise, it is certain, whatever the cause, that female goodness seldom keeps its round against laughter, flattery, or fashion.
from The Rambler No. 70. Saturday November 17, 1750
It is my observation that the clothing and automobile industries in this country take advantage of this characteristic of women to part most of them from the funds that would have provided for their comfort in their old age. What is ironic is that these women have delusions that they are impressing strangers that in reality do not notice that they even exist.
That the world is over-run with vice, cannot be denied; but, vice however prominent has not yet gained an unlimited dominion. Simple and unmingled good is not in our powers, but we may generally escape a greater evil by suffering a less; and therefore, those who undertake to initiate the young and ignorant in the knowledge of life, should be careful to inculcate the possibility of virtue and happiness, and to encourage endeavors by prospect of success.
from The Rambler No. 119. Tuesday May 7, 1751
Too frequently people think that teaching children about all of the evil in the world, such as by having current events classes in school, does them good. It only makes them cynical and unwilling to try to be good. "Screw others before they screw you" is what they are in effect taught.