Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet, Fitting Death

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
Ernest Hemingway (1935, Notes on the Next War)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Father's War

The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war. 
E. B. White

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wisdom and War

Wisdom is better than weapons of war.
Ecclesiastes 9:18

Friday, January 28, 2011

Heart of the Law

I have come to see legalism in its pursuit of false purity as an elaborate scheme of grace avoidance.  You can know the law by heart without knowing the heart of it.
Philip Yancy (1997, What's So Amazing About Grace)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today was Presidents' Day.  Congress commemorated George Washington's throwing a dollar across the Potomac by throwing $780 billion down a rat hole.
Jay Leno (unsourced)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hereditary Ills

During the years when you thought you were free you submitted like an ox to the yoke of your countless hereditary ills.
François Mauriac (1946, God and Mammon)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


To love a person, means to see him as God intended him to be.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Quoted in Helmut Thielicke's Waiting, pg 81)

Monday, January 24, 2011


Forgiveness is not just an occasional act: it is a permanent attitude,
Martin Luther King Jr. (1984, The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Never underestimate the power of a minority who cherish the vision of a just and gentle world,
Robert Bellah (Quoted in Speech by John Stott)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conditioning and Foretelling

The Führer once told his secretary that during one of the regular beatings given him by his father he was able to stop crying, to feel nothing, and even to count the thirty-two blows he received. 
As paraphrased by Alice Miller (1998)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Money and Wealth

money is neither a consumers' good nor a producers' good and that, therefore, its quantity is irrelevant for the wealth of a nation.
Jörg Guido Hülsmann summary of David Hume, Adam Smith, and Étienne de Condillac (2003, Deflation and Liberty).
  • David Hume (1752, On Money)
  • Adam Smith (1776, Wealth of Nations)
  • Étienne de Condillac (1795, Commerce and Government - translated title)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why do Christians hate so much?

I've been in politics long enough to expect criticism and hostility, but I was unprepared for the hatred I get from Christians.  Why do Christians hate so much?
Bill Clinton (as told by Phillip Yancey, 1994)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Church and State

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1963, Strength to Love)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I abhor violence. Non-retaliatory violence is a desperate act of intolerant men who cannot sort out their differences reasonably and peacefully.  Violence is the answer for those who lack the intellectual merit to win a battle of ideas and can only resort to more animalistic behavior to impress their point.
Simon Black (1/10/11)
Simon Black is a pseudonym for an unknown entrepreneur and international investor.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We want

We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?
Gaza Youth Breaks Out ~2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sour-Faced Saints

From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, spare us, O Lord,
Teresa of Ávila (The New Catholic Treasury of Wit and Humor)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

O, the Bible!

Don't the Bible say we must love everybody?
O, the Bible!  To be sure, it says a great many things; but, then nobody ever thinks of doing them.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin )

Friday, January 14, 2011

On Power

... power without love is reckless and abusive, ... Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice,
Martin Luther King Jr. (1967, Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Violence and Lying

Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1970, Nobel Prize Harvard address)

About the quote: This quote is often mis-attributed to Mikhail Gorbachev, who merely quoted the remark from Solzhenitsyn's Nobel prize Harvard address.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


What trivialities do we obsess over, what weighty matters of the law - justice, mercy, faithfulness - might we be missing?  Does God care more about nose rings or about urban decay?  Grunge music or world hunger?  Worship styles or a culture of violence?
Philip Yancy (1997, What's So Amazing About Grace)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary. Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States. 
US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner (1/6/2011, Letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid)

Monday, January 10, 2011


There will be no escape from wars, from hunger, from misery, from racial discrimination, from denial of human rights, and not even from missiles, if our hearts are not changed.
Milan Newspaper (~1982)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Deserving Grace

In the bottom-line realm of ungrace, some workers deserve more than others; in the realm of grace the word deserve does not even apply.
Philip Yancy (1997, What's So Amazing About Grace)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Economy and Debt

I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.
Thomas Jefferson (21 July 1816, Letter to William Plumer)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coined Freedom

Good money is coined freedom
Swiss Proverb (Taken from a placard at a small fair in Switzerland)

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe. 
HL Mencken  (Notes on Democracy, 1926, Part III, p. 148)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Financial Rule

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the United States since the days of Andrew Jackson.
US President Franklin Roosevelt (November 21, 1933, in a letter to Colonel E. Mandell House)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

President and the Press

No president should fear public scrutiny of his program, for from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition; and both are necessary. ... Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed—and no republic can survive.  That is why the Athenian law-maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment.
John F. Kennedy (April 27, 1961 - "President and the Press" Speech)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Command and Morality

Nothing is more dangerous for man’s private morality than the habit of command. The best man, the most intelligent, disinterested, generous, pure, will infallibly and always be spoiled at this trade. Two sentiments inherent in power never fail to produce this demoralization; they are: contempt for the masses and the overestimation of one’s own merits.
Mikhail Bakunin (Power Corrupts the Best, 1867)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

O Peace!

O peace! how many wars were waged in thy name.
Alexander Pope (3rd most quoted writer behind Shakespeare & Tennyson)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Save us from...

Lord save us from the off-handed, flabby cheeked, brittle boned, weak-kneed, thin-skinned, pliable, plastic, spineless, effeminate, ossified, three karat Christianity,
Billy Sunday (Evangelist)