11 September 2001>Commentary>Funny Questions

Funny Questions
Mark Swindle

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
Jules de Gaultier

I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
Woody Allen

War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.
Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929)

The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.
George Orwell (1903 - 1950)

You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.
Carl Sandburg

A diplomat...is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Caskie Stinnett

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.
H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.
Jack Benny (1894 - 1974)

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
It is well that war is so terrible, or we should get too fond of it.
Robert E. Lee

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
Ronald Reagan

Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.
Fred Hoyle

The idea of all-out nuclear war is unsettling.
Walter Goodman

War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military.
Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929)

I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Walden

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
Jeannette Rankin (1880 - 1973)

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.
Dan Quayle, 5/22/89
We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.
Dan Quayle

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.
James Thurber (1894 - 1961)

Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it.
Ted Morgan

I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave.
E. M. Forster, as a small child

Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of.
Douglas Adams, Arthur Dent in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

War is a series of disasters which result in a winner.
Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929)

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
Rich Cook

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert Heinlein

The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky
Solomon Short

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary
War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.
Georges Clemenceau (1841 - 1929)

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
August Strindberg

I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight.
Rita Rudner

What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death.
Dave Barry

War is not nice.
Barbara Bush

The words _figure_ and _fictitious_ both derive from the same Latin root _fingere_. Beware!
M.J. Moroney

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.
John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946)

I have given two cousins to war and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife's brother.
Artemus Ward (1834 - 1867)

Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies.
W. L. George

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
Arthur Koestler
CNN is one of the participants in the war. I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power.
Arthur C. Clarke

We seem to believe it is possible to ward off death by following rules of good grooming.
Don Delillo
Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday...The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.
Ayn Rand

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.
Clifton Fadiman

It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides.
George Sand

People fail forward to success.
Mary Kay Ash

Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye, and you will be drawn toward it.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

I simple cannot understand the passion that some people have for making themselves thoroughly uncomfortable and then boasting about it afterwards.
Patricia Moyes

It has been my experience that one cannot, in any shape or form, depend on human relations for lasting reward. It is only work that truly satisfies.
Bette Davis, The Lonely Life, 1962

I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
Ayn Rand, Anthem, 1946
It never pays to deal with the flyweights of the world. They take far too much pleasure in thwarting you at every turn.
Sue Grafton, 'H' Is for Homicide, 1991

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969), speech, April 2, 1957

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), The Conduct of Life, 'Fate,' 1860

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.
George Eliot (1819 - 1880)

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
Vernon Sanders Law

Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.
Joaquin Setanti

Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward.
Patricia Sampson

Be aware that a halo has to fall only a few inches to be a noose.
Dan McKinnon
To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
Margaret Fairless Barber

Beware of too much laughter, for it deadens the mind and produces oblivion.
The Talmud

Your first appearance, he said to me, is the gauge by which you will be measured; try to manage that you may go beyond yourself in after times, but beware of ever doing less.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances.
La Fontaine

Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry.
Spanish Proverb

When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective.
George C. Marshall

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backwards.
James Thurber (1894 - 1961)

If you are a terror to many, then beware of many.

Be sure that it is not you that is mortal, but only your body. For that man whom your outward form reveals is not yourself; the spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which and be pointed out by your finger.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 AD - 43 AD)

When you jump for joy, beware that no one moves the ground from beneath your feet.
Stanislaw Lec

Beware of the man who won't be bothered with details.
William Feather

You are going to let the fear of poverty govern you life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Let tears flow of their own accord: their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony.
Seneca (3 BC - 65 AD)

When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
Hugh White

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.
Richard M. Nixon (1913 - 1994)

Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933)

Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.
John Keats

'Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.' Under the influence of this pestilent morality, I am forever letting tomorrow's work slop backwards into today's, and doing painfully and nervously today what I could do quickly and easily tomorrow.
J. A. Spender
Remember! Things in life will not always run smoothly. Sometimes we will be rising toward the heights - then all will seem to reverse itself and start downward. The great fact to remember is that the trend of civilization itself is forever upward, that a line drawn through the middle of the peaks and the valleys of the centuries always has an upward trend.
Endicott Peabody

Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Dedicate some of your life to others. Your dedication will not be a sacrifice. It will be an exhilarating experience because it is an intense effort applied toward a meaningful end.
Dr. Thomas Dooley

In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness, and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood...now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit to its full height!
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), 'The Life of King Henry V'

Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.
Ulysses S. Grant

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.
Irving Wallace

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.
Dr. David M. Burns

Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas, ease after war, death after life does greatly please.
Edmund Spenser, 1590
A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), speech in the House of Commons, November 29, 1944
Even when someone battles hard, there is an equal portion for one who lingers behind, and in the same honor are held both the coward and the brave man; the idle man and he who has done much meet death alike.
Homer (~700 BC)

You will certainly not be able to take the lead in all things yourself, for to one man a god has given deeds of war, and to another the dance, to another lyre and song, and in another wide-sounding Zeus puts a good mind.
Homer (~700 BC)

The outcome of the war is in our hands; the outcome of words is in the council.
Homer (~700 BC)

Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
Aesop (~550 BC)

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects

[The superior man] acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects

Of all human ills, greatest is fortune's wayward tyranny.
Sophocles (495 BC - 406 BC), Ajax

A coward turns away, but a brave man's choice is danger.
Euripides (485 BC - 406 BC), Iphigenia in Tauris, circa 412 B.C.
In peace, children inter their parents; war violates the order of nature and causes parents to inter their children.
Herodotus (485 BC - 425 BC), The Histories of Herodotus

Idleness and lack of occupation tend - nay are dragged - towards evil.
Hippocrates (460 BC - 377 BC), Decorum

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
Plato (428 BC - 348 BC), The Republic

We make war that we may live in peace.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Nichomachean Ethics

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
Sun-tzu (~300 BC)

Endless money forms the sinews of war.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), Philippics

Think to yourself that every day is your last; the hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise.
Horace (65 BC - 8 BC), Epistles

It is not easy for men to rise whose qualities are thwarted by poverty.
Juvenal (55 AD - 130 AD), Satires

Let him who desires peace prepare for war.
Flavius Vegetius Renatus (~375 AD)

A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527), The Prince
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 1961

Either war is obsolete or men are.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983), New Yorker, Jan. 8, 1966

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), Telegram, 24 May 1946

One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), Second World War (1948)

One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.
Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976), Autobiography (1977)

The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts.
Omar Bradley (1893 - 1981), Speech to Boston Chamber of Commerce, 1948

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 3

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Macbeth", Act 2 scene 1

Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war.
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Julius Caesar", Act 3 scene 1