Tag: Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: Science


“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” – Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford was a physicist. (You could tell, couldn’t you?) Yet he hits on one essential truth with this quote: the more rigorous and replicable experiments in a field of science are, the more reliable the results. With physics, mathematics provides the rigor, and if an experiment is not replicable, there better be a really good reason — some reason that when factored in makes the result replicable. Stamp collecting is Rutherfords’s shorthand for ordering and collecting, which is about all you can do absent mathematics and rigorous analysis.


Quote of the Day – The Meaning of Laws


“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” – Thomas Jefferson

The good news for woke activists judges and the Living Constitution advocates is that Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder and therefore anything he says that disagrees with their viewpoint can be disregarded. And certainly they will disagree with this – that the plain wording of the law is the plain meaning of the law. It was the foundation rock of this republic; the rock Progressives are trying to dissolve to sand.


Quote of the Day: No Foolin’


“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”.

 – Richard Feynman (1918-88)


Quote of the Day – Handling Classified Information


I’m amused by people who make a living disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operative wringing their hands about whether I can handle classified information…. Sometimes people can convince themselves that what they’re doing is in the higher interest, the better good. They don’t realize that what they’re doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have. They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else. They can, in their own mind, they can have those kinds of motives. And sometimes they can look at evidence and facts through a biased prism that they themselves don’t realize.

– Attorney General William Barr, in an extended interview with CBS’s Jan Crawford.


Quote of the Day: There Was No Leak


I live in an apartment. It’s a matter of choice. My wife said we would live here and I said, “Yes, dear.” (Note: I did not say it was my choice.) It has some drawbacks, but also some items in the plus column. When something goes wrong, the Maintenance Department is only a phone call away. They have always been fairly responsive, if not always as dependable as one could want. We have been living here for nearly twenty-five years. Recently, the apartment complex was acquired by a new company, and many of the old maintenance guys seem to be retiring or disappearing with young guys coming in to replace them. Still, the quality of service is high.

The other day my lavatory wall developed a small bulge in the paint above the bathtub/shower. I had seen this sort of thing before. When a leak gets in between the wallboard and a good Latex paint, the paint holds, but bulges outward. I watched it looking for more signs over the holiday weekend. Seemed like a small and intermittent leak with just the one bulge. Didn’t figure we needed emergency maintenance. I intended to call early on Tuesday morning. But, of course, things can slip one’s mind. I didn’t remember until later on Tuesday as I saw a new paint bulge. At that time, I was running out the door. When my wife and I got home from dinner and running errands, I went upstairs and told the neighbors they probably had a leak in their tub plumbing again (the last time was probably five years ago), and I would be calling maintenance the next morning. And I did.


Quote of the Day: Society and Government


“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” – Thomas Paine

The only quibble I have with this quote is that some time since the beginning of this millennia, the government has ceased to restrain our vices, but now seems to encourage them. Government still creates distinctions, and still serves as a punisher. However, more and more it punishes those who still seek to restrain their own vices. And government is no longer in its best state.


Quote of the Day: Painting Sunlight


“All I wanted to do is paint sunlight on the side of a house.” — Edward Hopper


Quote of the Day: Debate and Dissent are American Strengths, Not Weaknesses


“Our enemies have often assumed that we are soft and vulnerable, that we love luxury and tolerate dissent and argument to the point that it weakens us, They are mistaken. In the Cold War we persevered for almost fifty years (1946-1991), often against strong domestic opposition. It is because our democratic institutions tolerate — no encourage — debate and dissent that we found the resolve and the will to prevail.” — Hans Mark, from An Anxious Peace: A Cold War Memoir

This quote is from a book by Hans Mark that I am reading for review. Mark is best known for his work at NASA, but he spent a good chunk of his career developing nuclear weapons. Mark dedicated his life to fighting socialism, especially that of Communism. He viewed National Socialism through the same lens, seeing it as a second head of the two-headed monster. His family fled Austria when Mark was nine after the Nazis took over that country. He came to the United States as a refugee and became a citizen seven years later. He served in the US Navy in the 1940s.


Quote of the Day: Rewriting History


“If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we will find that we have lost the future.” – Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

Kate Smith’s statue gets covered over because of a song she sang 80 years ago. Dowling Street in Houston, named for a Confederate hero, gets renamed Emancipation. A set of paintings of George Washington are painted over because he was a slaveholder. These are just a few instances of history being erased, rewritten, or removed from the public view because standards have changed.


Quote of the Day: Two Will Become One


“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery…” — Ephesians 5:31-32

Today marks what would have been my late wife’s 61st birthday. Janet did not make it to 60, as she died in January of that year, five months short of the day. I have been without her now for one year and five months.


Quote of the Day: The Perils of Intelligence


“There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.” – Thomas Sowell

This phenomena is one I call the “smartest person in the room” paradox. Really smart people so generally out-think and out-perform those around them (especially in fields requiring intellectual activity) that over time they begin to fall into the trap of believing themselves omniscient. Given a complete set of facts they generally come up with the best solution.


Quote of the Day: Facts and Feelings


“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” – Ben Shapiro

The reaction to the release of the Muller Report reminded me of this quote. There seem to be a large number of people whose feelings conflict with the facts presented. As a result, many have rejected the facts in favor of their feelings.


Quote of the Day: Homespun Wisdom of Bluegrass Legend Ralph Stanley


Ralph Stanley and his brother Carter were born in rural Virginia in the late 1920s. They lived through the Depression, but it didn’t affect them much since they lived on a high ridge, where their parents grew much of their own food, and their mother made their clothes. Ralph says in his memoir Man of Constant Sorrow:

The worst of it was over by the time I was old enough to remember much. Franklin Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, when I was five and already in school. So we had the Works Progress Administration and other government welfare programs coming in to help people out. Our family was never involved in that, either with the work or the welfare. We didn’t pay much attention to what they was doing or what they was all about. We’d see the WPA crews by the roadside, leaning on their shovels and smoking cigarettes. They always looked to be taking breaks and goofing off. We was more used to hard work, and we thought they was soft and lazy. We had our own name for them: the “We Piddle Around” boys.


Quote of the Day – Dare to Fail Greatly


Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy

Yes, the man who said this is Bobby Kennedy, a man disliked by the right and who should be distrusted by the left. (Robert Kennedy worked for Joe McCarthy and at the time apparently liked the work.) But when someone is right about something, pay attention, perhaps especially if you dislike the person.


Quote of the Day: From a Devil


Screwtape: Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking “Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?” they will neglect the relevant questions. And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make.

Screwtape (a fictional character from C.S. Lewis) is a devil, a demon, a minion of Satan, a deceiver and tempter of men. Here he’s giving some advice to a younger devil on how to deceive. The devils want us to ignore genuine reason and commit fallacies. Like ad populum fallacies–appealing to the preference of a majority when the majority lacks knowledge.


Quote of the Day: Helping People


“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear. People with careers as ethnic leaders usually tell their followers what they want to hear.” – Thomas Sowell

I thought of this quote watching Democrats pandering to minority groups as they run for President. It seems the campaign is based on who can promise the most to certain ethnic groups — reparations, unlimited entrance to this country, immunity from prosecution based on race and sexual orientation. Promise sufficient goodies to enough different minorities and you have just over the 50 percent you need to get elected.


Quote of the Day: James Freeman on Reparations for Slavery


Last week, in his Wall Street Journal “Best of the Web” newsletter, James Freeman discussed Elizabeth Warren’s call for a “thorough national conversation on Reparations.” Here is what he said:

The basic idea is that the federal government will apportion among the citizens living now the historical guilt for heinous acts committed by people long dead against other people long dead. Then money would flow from people who have not been convicted of any crime to people who have not been found by any court to have been victimized by a crime.


Quote of the Day – The purpose of propaganda


In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. – Theodore Dalrymple

You can replace the word communist with progressive and it explains a lot of the ridiculousness being spouted today: gender fluidity, the patriarchy, the joys of socialism. Whatever the current cause de jour for the woke folk, it has to be ridiculous on its face, yet asserted with total sincerity. It is not enough to have you state the ridiculous is true. You must believe what you state. Otherwise they will devour you the way the demons devoured Wormwood at the end of the Screwtape Letters.


Member Post


“There are two kinds of statistics: those you look up and those you make up.” — Nero Wolfe, Death of a Doxy Statistics or anecdote? Which pulls more weight with you? If there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, how do you trust them? Is knowledge power (Bacon), or power knowledge (Lyotard)? For me, when the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


“When facts become secondary to emotion, truth dies. And a society that doesn’t value truth cannot survive.” – Ben Shapiro It does not seem to matter what the crisis de jour, political flashpoint, or cultural conflict is — immigration, education, terrorism, gun rights, vote fraud, whatever. It always seems to center on appeal to emotions, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.