Quotable Archive

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Quotations:

Political;   Technical;    Environmental;     Entrepreneurial;     Managerial;       Epitaphs & Last Words;   merely Amusing.  

 

 

 

Political:   [and, in no apparent order]

"I belong to no organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

 

"quid pro quo":  [Latin] something for something; one thing in return for another.

 

"If you can't drink their booze, take their money, fool with their women and then vote against 'em, you don't belong in politics."

Jess Unruh, late Speaker of the California Assembly

(allegedly his advice to all new legislators)

Quoted by Mark Shields, on PBS Evening News, early 2000

[The editor of this site is grateful to Mr. Shields and his assistant, Diane Andrusia, for providing a corrected quote and identifying its originator.]

 

"post hoc, ergo propter hoc": [Latin] if A preceded B, then A caused B.  [Students of statistics and logic: please note; and if you accept this logic, go to the rear of the class.]

 

"To govern is to choose."   -  unknown

 

"Th' newspaper does ivrything f''r us.  It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, conthrols th' ligislachure, baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward."        - Finley Peter Dunne [Mr.  Dooley] (1867 - 1936)

 

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  -John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Lord Acton (1834-1902)

 

"There is nothing so powerful, not all the armies in the world, as an idea whose time has come."  -  Victor Hugo (1802-1885)  [This quotation may have been paraphrased from Hugo's statement that, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." It appears that Hugo spoke on this topic many times and with many variations. Another quotation, translated accurately from the French, was, "One can resist the invasion of armies, but not the invasion of ideas."]

 

"Handler: a person who trains, assists and advises a candidate or an office holder; a relatively new usage of the term, which was formerly confined to the showing of dogs and training prizefighters; this person may or may not be the campaign manager; a generally obnoxious term, which suggests a mindless candidate requiring close control, e.g. that, which is required over livestock. Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary movie director, once denied having said that actors 'were cattle'. What he claimed he had said was that 'Actors should be treated like cattle.'  It is recommended that the candidate (and the campaign manager) discourage the use of the term ("handler") among supporters and staff."  -  The Political Handbook for Student Government Operations, 7.5th Edition [Glossary]

 

As an object lesson to anyone tempted to take on a heckler in a crowd is this item, believed to have occurred in Iowa, involving Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt paused in his speech to confront the heckler and inquired as to the heckler's political affiliation.

HECKLER: I'm a Democrat.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT: May I ask the gentleman why he is a Democrat?

HECKLER: My grandfather was a Democrat; my father was a Democrat; and I am a Democrat.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT: My friend, suppose you grandfather had been a jackass and your father was a jackass, what would you be?

HECKLER: A Republican!

[It should be noted, as demonstrated here, that family political views and affiliations tend to be passed from generation to generation. This is likely, as in most things, due to hereditary and environmental factors.  -  hcl]

 

 

 

Technical:  

"When you've got a lot of horses in the barn, you've got to feed 'em."  - Phil Atlas, Aviator, A & P Mechanic, College Administrator Extraordinaire [Referring to the high fuel consumption of over-powered automobiles]

"The accessory device which is left off of the airframe causes no parasitic drag, has no weight, has no cost, requires no maintenance, and cannot fail."  -  Igor Sikorsky        [Again, Thank you, Mr. Atlas.]

"I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree, ... Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree into an airplane."  -  William Stout, designer of metal airplanes [Our apologies to Joyce Kilmer]

"The more an airliner resembles a bomber, the less successful it will be."  -  Boeing designer

"Give me where to stand, and I will move the Earth."   -  Archimedes, c. 287-212 B.C.  [Often quoted as "Give me a lever long enough and a place to put the fulcrum, and I will move the Earth."]

"There are four chief obstacles to grasping truth, which hinder every man, however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to knowledge; namely submission to faulty and unworthy authority, influence of custom, popular prejudice, and concealment of our own ignorance accompanied by the ostentatious display of our knowledge." - Roger Bacon

 

 

 

Environmental: 

 

"Think globally but act locally"  -  Réné Dubos

"Rules of scientific research: hypothesis; experimentation; proof; replication" - authority unknown

 

 

 

Entrepreneurial:  

"One gets paid for satisfying a want and doing so with excellence.  One does not get paid for making efforts or for spending a lot of money.  One makes extraordinary profit not by doing a little better what we already know how to do,  but by doing, albeit poorly, something new that no one else knows how to do at all."  -  Peter Drucker 

 

 

 

Managerial:  

"The fastest way to destroy the motivation of professionals is to prevent them from doing what they were trained to do."  -  Peter Drucker

"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit"  - plaque on the desk of Robert Winship Woodruff, President, Chairman of the Board, Coca-Cola Co.,   1923 through 1954

 

Amusing:  

"If once a man indulges himself in murder,

very soon he comes to think little of robbing;

and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking,

and from that to incivility and procrastination."  

- Thomas De Quincey, On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts        [To those of us whom have served in the Halls of Academia, you may substitute this for the last phrase: "and from that to returning homework and/or exams late."]

 

"I keep six honest serving men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who."  

- from The Just-So Stories [1902]. The Elephant's Child  - Rudyard Kipling

 

"The race doesn't always go to the swift nor the contest to the strong, but that's the way to place your bets."

- Ring Lardner

 

Epitaphs & Last Words  

"The Body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer

(Like the cover of an old book,

Its contents torn out

And stript of its lettering and guilding),

Lies here, food for worms;

But the work shall not be lost,

For it will (as he believed) appear once more

In a new

And more elegant edition,

Revised and corrected

by the Author."

- Benjamin Franklin

 

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