Alexander Pope

Men dream of courtship, but in wedlock wake.

12 August 2017 | 21:09 | No Comments


John Selden

Equity is a roguish thing. For Law we have a measure, know what to trust to; Equity is according to the conscience of him that is Chancellor, and as that is larger or narrower, so is Equity. ‘T is all one as if they should make the standard for the measure we call a “foot” a Chancellor’s foot; what an uncertain measure would this be!

28 July 2017 | 10:38 | No Comments


Ronald Reagan

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

30 June 2017 | 19:48 | No Comments


Bismarck

Politics is gambling for high stakes with other people’s money… Politics is a job that can be compared with navigation in uncharted waters. One has no idea how the weather or the currents will be or what storms one is in for. In politics, there is the added fact that one is largely dependent on the decisions of others, decisions on which one was counting and which then do not materialise; one’s actions are never completely one’s own. And if the friends on whose support one is relying change their minds, which is something that one cannot vouch for, the whole plan miscarries… One’s enemies one can count on – but one’s friends!

12 June 2017 | 10:05 | No Comments


Marcus Tullius Cicero

Nothing is more fickle than people in a crowd, nothing harder to discover than how men intend to vote, nothing trickier than the whole way in which elections work.

8 June 2017 | 10:04 | No Comments


Upton Sinclair

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

28 May 2017 | 15:32 | No Comments


Ludwig Wittgenstein

Does an ‘explanation’ make it any less impressive.

26 May 2017 | 21:38 | No Comments


Catherine Aird

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.

24 May 2017 | 16:22 | No Comments


Thomas Jefferson

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

14 May 2017 | 0:15 | No Comments


C S Lewis

If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work.

9 May 2017 | 22:38 | No Comments


Robert Conquest

Three Laws of Politics:

1) Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2) Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3) The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

8 May 2017 | 14:23 | No Comments


Alphonso X

Burn old logs
Drink old wine
Read old books
Keep old friends,

1 May 2017 | 20:29 | No Comments


Plato

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.

12 April 2017 | 20:09 | No Comments


Edward Thomas

(on the centenary of his death at the Battle of Arras)

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.

9 April 2017 | 12:54 | No Comments


Najwa Zebian

These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

7 April 2017 | 22:46 | No Comments


Pablo Picasso

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

4 March 2017 | 16:30 | No Comments


Non Phonetic Alphabet

A as in Aisle
B as in Bdellium (the b is silent)
C as in Czar
D as in Djinn
E as in Eye
F as in Felinfoel (Welsh town, pronounced Velinfoe)
G as in Gnat
H as in Hour
I as in Irk (or Ian)
J as in Junta
K as in Know
L as in Llullaillaco (South American volcano pronounced Yu.Yai.Ya.ko)
M as in Mnemonic
N as in Ndebele
O as in One (or indeed Oestrogen or Ouija)
P as in Pneumatic (or indeed phonetic)
Q as in Quay
R as in Rzeznik (the polish pronunciation has a silent R)
S as in Szilard (or Sgraffitto)
T as in Tzar (it is an added bonus to have one word that represents two letters but if you think that might be confusing somehow you can use Tsunami instead) 
U as in Urn
V as in Veni vidi vici (each word pronounced with a w)
W as in Whole
X as in Xhosa
Y as in Yvonne (or Ylang Ylang)
Z as in Zhivago

bonus phonetic but confusing

A as in H
D as in W
E as in F, E, M, N or X
S as in C (Sea)
W and in Y (Why)
Y as in U (You)

17 February 2017 | 20:24 | No Comments


Enver Hoxha

This year will be harder than last year. On the other hand, it will be easier than next year.

7 January 2017 | 17:44 | No Comments


C S Lewis

You can begin as if nothing had ever gone wrong. White as snow.

1 January 2017 | 1:49 | No Comments


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Everything before the “but” is meant to be ignored by the speaker; and everything after the “but” should be ignored by the listener.

1 January 2017 | 0:07 | No Comments


G K Chesterton

There were three things prefigured and promised by the gifts in the cave of Bethlehem concerning the Child who received them; that He should be crowned like a King: that He should be worshiped like a God; and that He should die like a man. And these things would sound like Eastern flattery, were it not for the third.

25 December 2016 | 23:58 | No Comments


Arkell v. Pressdram

29th April 1971

Dear Sir,

We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd. His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory. We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter.

Mr Arkell’s first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.

Yours,

(Signed)

Goodman Derrick & Co.

——————————

Dear Sirs,

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr. J. Arkell.

We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

Yours,

Private Eye

14 December 2016 | 19:03 | No Comments


@giles_fraser

Extraordinary that all the people who self-describe as “free thinking” on Twitter all think roughly the same thing.

11 December 2016 | 8:16 | No Comments


A A Gill

Freedom of speech is what all the other human rights and freedoms balance on. That may sound like unspeakable arrogance when applied to restaurant reviews or gossip columns. But that’s not the point. Journalism isn’t an individual sport like books and plays; it’s a team effort. The power of the press is cumulative. It has a conscious humming momentum. You can — and probably do — pick up bits of it and sneer or sigh or fling them with great force at the dog. But together they make up the most precious thing we own. “It’s all very well for him,” I hear you say, “on his high horse about freedom, but just look at the papers. They’re full of lies and gossip and laziness. The theory’s fine, the practice is disgusting.” Well, let’s just look at that. I don’t know what it is you do, what you make or sell, but consider this. Consider starting each morning with three or so dozen blank sheets of broadsheet paper. And then having to fill them with columns of facts, opinions based on facts and predictions extrapolated from facts. I don’t know how many facts a newspaper has in it. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Millions. From the Stock Market to TV listings by way of courtrooms, parliaments, disasters, wars, celebrity denials, births, deaths, horoscopes and the pictures to go with them. Now tell me, how long did your last annual general report take? Days? Weeks? And you had all that information to hand. How long did the last letter you wrote take? You just made that up. Newspapers are the size of long novels. They’re put together from around the globe from sources who lie, manipulate, want to sell things, hide things, spin things. Despite threats, injunctions, bullets, jails and non-returned phone calls, journalists do it every single day, from scratch. What’s amazing, what’s utterly staggering, is not the things papers get wrong, it’s just how much they get right. Your business, no other business, could guarantee the percentage of accuracy that a newspaper does. And what’s more, if you live in Britain, you don’t get just one, you have the choice of a dozen national papers. Oh, and a small boy will come and put it through your letter box before you’ve even got out of bed. Nothing, but nothing, makes me prouder than being a hack.

10 December 2016 | 17:46 | No Comments


Sam Goldwyn

on first seeing a sundial

What will they think of next?

6 December 2016 | 13:30 | No Comments


Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

11 November 2016 | 19:19 | No Comments


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Virtue is what you do when nobody is looking. The rest is marketing.

30 October 2016 | 22:35 | No Comments


G K Chesterton

What we should try to do is make politics as local as possible. Keep the politicians near enough to kick them.

28 October 2016 | 19:56 | No Comments


Richard Ingrams

Editor of Private Eye giving evidence in a libel action against the magazine

The only things in Private Eye that aren’t true are the apologies.

3 September 2016 | 14:53 | No Comments


Croatian Proverb

All mushrooms are edible, but some only once.

31 August 2016 | 21:29 | No Comments


James Landale

On Boris’ first week at FCO

The foreign secretary spent much of the week looking rather like an old Labrador who has just flushed out a pheasant for the first time and is rather pleased with his unexpected success.
In contrast, his officials looked like children with a new bicycle that they can’t wait to take out for a ride but are worried they might crash.

23 July 2016 | 10:31 | No Comments


G K Chesterton

4 July 2016 | 0:15 | No Comments


Elie Wiesel

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

3 July 2016 | 0:30 | No Comments


Jonathan Swift

It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee house for the voice of a kingdom.

2 July 2016 | 20:00 | No Comments


Dominic Cummings

99% of expensive punditry is noise not signal, tune it out and think for yourself.

1 July 2016 | 17:34 | No Comments


John Gower

There are three things of such a sort that they produce merciless destruction when they get the upper hand one is a flood of water, another is a raging fire and the third is the lesser people, the common multitude; for they will not be stopped by either reason or by discipline.

25 June 2016 | 8:01 | No Comments


Brendan O’Neill

This is democracy in action, in all its messy, beautiful, order-upsetting glory. Behold the steadfastness of ordinary people, their willingness to act on their conviction even in the face of the threats and barbs of people with power. We hear a lot these days about how gullible the public is, how malleable are our putty-like minds, play-doh in the hands of demagogues. And yet yesterday, the people thought for themselves; they weighed things up and they decided to reject received wisdom and the Westminster / Washington / Brussels consensus. Such independence of spirit, such freedom of thought, is stirring.

24 June 2016 | 18:24 | No Comments


Tweet

@Michael1979

When you feel something is impossible, remind yourself that Leicester won the league.

But also that your thing is probably still impossible

2 May 2016 | 22:25 | No Comments


Freeman Dyson

My view of the prevalence of doom-and-gloom in Cambridge is that it is a result of the English class system. In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status. As a child of the academic middle class, I learned to look on the commercial middle class with loathing and contempt. Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher, which was also the revenge of the commercial middle class. The academics lost their power and prestige and the business people took over. The academics never forgave Thatcher and have been gloomy ever since

24 April 2016 | 0:34 | No Comments


Princess Elizabeth

I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.

21st April 1947

21 April 2016 | 22:14 | No Comments


Rumi

I choose to love you in silence…
For in silence I find no rejection,
I choose to love you in loneliness…
For in loneliness no one owns you but me,
I choose to adore you from a distance…
For distance will shield me from pain,
I choose to kiss you in the wind…
For the wind is gentler than my lips,
I choose to hold you in my dreams…
For in my dreams, you have no end…

23 March 2016 | 21:48 | No Comments


C. S. Lewis

What one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.

10 March 2016 | 23:21 | No Comments


G K Chesterton

I strongly object to wrong arguments on the right side. I think I object to them more than to the wrong arguments on the wrong side.

6 March 2016 | 0:01 | No Comments


Murray N. Rothbard

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.

3 March 2016 | 19:38 | No Comments


Boris Johnson

My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.

22 February 2016 | 0:08 | No Comments


Umberto Eco

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.

20 February 2016 | 13:38 | No Comments


C. S. Lewis

There have been men before…who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God himself.

15 February 2016 | 21:23 | No Comments


Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on–on–and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

15 January 2016 | 7:03 | No Comments


@policecommander

A Copper’s Christmas

And now for something just a little bit different…

…A retelling of the Christmas story using detail drawn from a little known historical source – the Daily Crime Bulletin of the Bethlehem Police Department (known by all as the ‘BPD’ – and by some as the ‘Thin Beige Line’).

Published daily by the local Constabulary, the Bulletin offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and men – whilst shining new light on an old tale.

————————————-

Bethlehem Police Department
Daily Crime Bulletin
(Date obscured)

Late Turn – Briefing for Operation Census

– Substantial number of migrants arriving at border during past week;
– Limited community tension reported – no incidents of note;
– Large crowds expected in Bethlehem this evening;
– No intelligence re: pre-planned disorder;
– Terrorism Threat Level remains at ‘Severe’;
– 12 officers on duty;
– Roads Policing Chariot in for repairs – no replacement available.

1400hrs
Start of shift;
2 PCs to fixed post at main Town Checkpoint;
2 PCs to ongoing crime scene at Caesar’s Nightclub;
2 PCs to constant watch in the cells;
Remaining officers out on foot.

1500hrs
Routine patrols – High Street.
Town Centre crowded but peaceful.

16.30hrs
Call to Civil Dispute in the foyer of the Judea Travelodge.
Apparent misunderstanding regarding double booking of two suites.
Situation deteriorated as it became apparent that there are no other rooms available – anywhere in the neighbourhood.
Suspects became violent. Two arrests. Now lodging with us overnight.

17.15hrs
Suspect detained for Theft of Wine from the Bethlehem Brasserie.
Evidence consumed prior to police arrival.
Suspect unfit for interview until tomorrow morning.

18.00hrs
Reports of possible UFO sighting.
Claims of a bright light – moving East to West at height of several thousand feet.
Area Search No Trace.
Possible Nuisance Call.

18.30hrs
Multiple calls to disturbance on hillside a mile outside town.
Reports of strobe lighting and loud music.
Initial suspicions of an illegal rave in progress.
On arrival, met by gang of Shepherds and a large quantity of sheep. Shepherds claiming to been visited by angels.
Despite lengthy enquiries and thorough searches, no sound system or lighting equipment found – and no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances. Not even a spliff.
Initially threatened Shepherds with arrest for wasting police time – but settled for a Verbal Warning when they explained that they were leaving anyway.
Last seen running towards Bethlehem Town Centre.

19.30hrs
Call from Judea Border Patrol.
They have stopped a group of Travellers who claim to have come from ‘afar’.
Have yet to establish where this is.
The three who appear to be in charge are well dressed and claim to know something about the earlier UFO report.
Search of luggage has revealed a quantity of gold and a container filled with an aromatic and suspicious looking resin.
Enquiries ongoing.

20.15hrs
Update from Border Patrol.
Travellers able to prove ownership of gold – and the resin turns out to be something called Myrrh. Checks confirm this isn’t a Controlled Drug.
Allowed on their way.

21.00hrs
Call to believed Child Protection case.
Reports of newborn baby being cared for in wholly unsuitable circumstances – apparently in a stable, surrounded by livestock and with no heating or running water.
Unmarried teenage mother with no obvious means of support aside from someone claiming – without documentation – to be her ‘betrothed’.
On arrival, found earlier group of Shepherds in street outside.
Initially threatened them with arrest for Obstructing Police – then saw expression on their faces.
Decided to see for myself what was going on.

Ma’am, I’ve walked this beat for more than 20 years and I’ve seen most things that this line of work puts your way – but I have no words to describe what I saw last night.

No arrests necessary. No explanation adequate. But everything is different now.

By the time you read this, I’ll have finished my shift. If you have any questions about this report, you’ll find me back at the stable door.

If I may Ma’am – and if you have time – you really ought to come and see for yourself.

Bulletin ends.

25 December 2015 | 12:16 | No Comments


Kenneth Grahame

All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

‘Rat!’ he found breath to whisper, shaking. ‘Are you afraid?’

‘Afraid?’ murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. ‘Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet— and yet— O, Mole, I am afraid!’

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.

30 November 2015 | 9:18 | No Comments


Rowan Williams

Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

29 November 2015 | 17:11 | No Comments


Janan Ganesh

The problem is systemic. The tolerable price of democracy is its pesky resistance to strategic government. Every policy is an amendment upon an improvisation upon a half-forgotten contingency, agreed by quarrelling interest groups amid the blare of the electorate.

25 November 2015 | 18:37 | No Comments


Edmund Christopher Pery, 7th Earl of Limerick

the following poem was submitted as the Earl’s Candidature Statement for election as one of the 92 hereditary peers to have a seat in the House of Lords following a vacancy

The Upper House knows none so queer
A creature as the Seatless Peer.
Flamingo-like he stands all day
With no support to hold his sway.
And waits with covert eagerness
For ninety-two to be one less.
Then on to hustings he must pace
Once more to plead his special case.
Noble Lordships, spare a thought
For one so vertically distraught,
And from your seats so well entrenched,
Please vote that mine may be embenched.

5 November 2015 | 13:46 | No Comments


Yogi Berra

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

23 September 2015 | 9:26 | No Comments


Chanie Gorkin

Worst Day Ever?

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day

Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
And see what I really feel about my day.

17 September 2015 | 11:21 | No Comments


Edmund Burke

Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.

12 September 2015 | 11:44 | No Comments


Queen Elizabeth II

In the old days the monarch led his soldiers on the battlefield and his leadership at all times was close and personal.

Today things are very different. I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.

I believe in our qualities and in our strength, I believe that together we can set an example to the world which will encourage upright people everywhere.

9 September 2015 | 17:30 | No Comments


Japanese proverb

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

6 September 2015 | 22:03 | No Comments


Herodotus

Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give luster, and many more people see than weigh.

5 September 2015 | 19:05 | No Comments


Sterling Hayden

Measured in terms of enchantment, is there anything can compare with a chartroom?

30 August 2015 | 13:59 | No Comments


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

What I learned on my own I still remember.

28 August 2015 | 10:55 | No Comments


R S Thomas

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

27 August 2015 | 8:44 | No Comments


C S Lewis

But the most obvious fact about praise – whether of God or anything – strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honour. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless . . . shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise – lovers praising their mistresses [Romeo praising Juliet and vice versa], readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game – praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars

My whole, more general, difficulty about praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It’s not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are, the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.

17 August 2015 | 16:32 | No Comments


Clive James

I am much more interested in the great poem than great poetry.

16 August 2015 | 15:53 | No Comments


William James

Our science is a drop, our ignorance a sea.

12 August 2015 | 15:26 | No Comments


Alexis De Tocqueville

The American, is the Englishman left to himself.

4 August 2015 | 14:30 | No Comments


William Wilberforce

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.

31 July 2015 | 10:10 | No Comments


Nicholas Nassim Taleb

If you see fraud, and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.

21 July 2015 | 18:05 | No Comments


Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

For things to remain the same, everything must change.

19 July 2015 | 15:36 | No Comments


George Orwell

England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God save the King” than of stealing from a poor box.

3 July 2015 | 16:45 | No Comments


C S Lewis

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

14 June 2015 | 20:31 | No Comments


Tony Blair

The election in 2015 could be one in which a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result

8 May 2015 | 20:57 | No Comments


Emily Dickinson

My friends are my estate.

26 April 2015 | 23:31 | No Comments


Richie Benaud

on leadership:

I think there are two aspects of it, I think it needs to be 90% luck and 10% skill but I give you a very strict warning don’t try it without the skill.

10 April 2015 | 23:31 | No Comments


C S Lewis

Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.

30 March 2015 | 6:15 | No Comments


Robert Burns

On Commissary Goldie’s Brains

Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?

29 March 2015 | 13:16 | No Comments


Walter Terence Stace

Religion can get on with any sort of astronomy, geology, biology, physics. But it cannot get on with a purposeless and meaningless universe. If the scheme of things is purposeless and meaningless, then the life of man is purposeless and meaningless too. Everything is futile, all effort is in the end worthless. A man may, of course, still pursue disconnected ends, money, fame, art, science, and may gain pleasure from them. But his life is hollow at the center. Hence the dissatisfied, disillusioned, restless, spirit of modern man.

28 March 2015 | 23:21 | No Comments


Mother Teresa (based on a text by Dr Kent Keith)

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

16 March 2015 | 17:36 | No Comments


Monsignor Ronald Knox

The 10 Rules of Detective Fiction

1. The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.
2. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.
3. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
4. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.
5. No Chinaman must figure in the story.
6. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.
7. The detective must not himself commit the crime.
8. The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.
9. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.
10. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.

1 March 2015 | 9:31 | No Comments


Miroslav Volf

To remember wrongdoing untruthfully is to act unjustly.

13 February 2015 | 23:58 | No Comments


Christopher Tolkien

Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time. The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.

3 February 2015 | 12:37 | No Comments


Avril Anderson

Drop English earth on him beneath
Do our sons; and their sons bequeath
His glories and our pride and grief
At Bladon.

For Lionheart that lies below
That feared not toil nor tears nor foe.
Let the oak stand tho’ tempests blow
At Bladon.

So Churchill sleeps, yet surely wakes
Old Warrior where the morning breaks
On sunlit uplands. But the heart aches
At Bladon.

30 January 2015 | 13:28 | No Comments


Adam Smith

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

22 January 2015 | 11:55 | No Comments


Cardinal Richelieu

Nothing is as dangerous for the state as those who would govern kingdoms with maxims found in books

20 January 2015 | 20:45 | No Comments


Publilius Syrus

Mighty rivers can be easily leaped at their source

16 January 2015 | 18:54 | No Comments


E E Cummings

be of love(a little)
More careful
Than of everything
guard her perhaps only
A trifle less
(merely beyond how very)
closely than
Nothing,remember love by
frequent
anguish(imagine
Her least never with most
memory)give entirely each
Forever its freedom
(Dare until a flower,
understanding sizelessly
sunlight
Open what thousandth why
and
discover laughing)

4 January 2015 | 13:57 | No Comments


C S Lewis

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

1 January 2015 | 10:09 | No Comments


Frank Johnson

“Stravinsky (I think) said, in a most elaborate jibe, that ‘Richard Strauss is the Puccini of music’. Well, James Callaghan is the Harold Wilson of politics.”

27 December 2014 | 21:21 | No Comments


W H Auden

We would rather be ruined than changed

25 December 2014 | 21:16 | No Comments


Needles

Needles

21 December 2014 | 14:29 | No Comments


Robert Burns

Be Britain still to Britain true,
Among ourselves united;
For never but by British hands
Must British wrongs be righted!

18 September 2014 | 0:12 | No Comments


William Wilberforce

on the human condition

Truly we must pronounce him “majestic though in ruin”.

8 September 2014 | 9:05 | No Comments


Crispin’s Razor

In any argument every time the word “clearly” is used apply the following definition.

Clearly: (adverb) an incantation uttered in the hope that a reader or listener will not notice that, whilst the truth of the statement that follows it is essential to case being posited, there is in fact no evidence for the truth of that statement nor does it follow logically from any premise already established. Synonyms “undoubtedly”, “naturally”.

27 August 2014 | 5:17 | No Comments


Wanda Landowska (harpsichordist)

I never practice, I always play.

26 August 2014 | 15:12 | No Comments


Misunderstanding

“Your adorable” she texted
“No YOU’RE adorable” I texted back
and now she thinks I like her and all I was doing was correcting her English.

25 August 2014 | 20:59 | No Comments


Steve Jobs (in 1983)

[Apple’s] strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes … and we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.

24 August 2014 | 21:27 | No Comments


Milton Friedman

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.

23 August 2014 | 11:45 | No Comments


H L Mencken

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

22 August 2014 | 19:06 | No Comments


Christian Bovee

Example has more followers than reason.

21 August 2014 | 17:10 | No Comments


Einstein and Chaplin (possibly)

Einstein: What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you.

Chaplin: It is true but your glory is even greater: The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.

19 August 2014 | 20:26 | No Comments