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Quotes to amuse and enlighten

Posted by Richard on August 28, 2005

This lovely Saturday evening, I’d rather compare the Glenmorangie and the Scapa (and, yes, they’re rather different single malts, aren’t they?) than try to write something serious. Instead of posting nothing, I thought I’d offer a quote, since it’s been a while.

Then — influenced by the Scotch, no doubt — I thought I’d offer several quotes. I’ve been collecting amusing, thoughtful, or otherwise worthwhile quotes for some time from a variety of sources. Here are a few, with attributions where I have them (some are from sig lines or other unattributed sources):

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government — and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.
 — Edward Abbey

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
 — Benjamin Franklin

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
— Albert Einstein

The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The engineer says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Nobody’s last words have ever been, "I wish I had eaten more rice cakes".
— Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Eliminate government waste no matter how much it costs!
  — graffiti reportedly scrawled in a restroom in a government building

Finding errors is easy. Finding truth is the hard part. If you focus all your energy on avoiding errors, you won’t have any time left to identify truth. And truth is NOT the absence of error.
— Andrew Plato

Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
— Albert Szent-Gyorgi

Here are a few specifically for those who write — professionally, as an avocation, or both:

Be a scribe! Your body will be sleek, your hand will be soft. … You are one who sits grandly in your house; your servants answer speedily; beer is poured copiously; all who see you rejoice in good cheer. Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day.
— Ptahotpe, c. 2350 B.C.

Some people have a way with words; some people… not have way.
— Steve Martin

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.
— H.G. Wells

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. 
— Franklin Jones

Your turn! Post a quote you like in the comments!

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6 Responses to “Quotes to amuse and enlighten”

  1. Eric said

    “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”, Alexis de Tocqueville

  2. tkc said

    “I’ve got a touch of hangover, bureaucrat. Don’t push me.” — John Wayne as George Washington McLintock

    “How can there possibly be liberty and justice for all, when, in the name of justice, people claim rights to income, food, housing, education, health care, transportation, ad infinitum? We can’t. Positive rights to receive such things, absent an obligation to earn them, must violate others’ liberty, by taking some of their income without their consent. They are really just wishes, convertible into benefits for some only by employing the government to violate others’ rights not to have what is theirs taken.” –Prof. Gary Galles of Pepperdine University

    “They’re thieves! They’re thieves! They’re filthy little thieves! Where is it? Where is it? They stole it from us, our precious. Curse them! WE hates them! It’s ours it is, and we wants it! We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Rovianses. Wicked, tricksy, false!”-Gollum (slightly altered to reflect the response to Bush’s re-election)

    “Holy dung, like I don’t have enough of my own local idiots to put up with. Do you realize how hard it is to find decent jihad recruits when you’re taking fire from infidels and Iraqis? Cripes, you should have seen the collection of numbnuts and droolers on the short bus from Saudi yesterday. Good Allah, I swear the only way we’re ever gonna turn these morons into martyrs is to plant detonation buttons inside their nostrils.” –Iowahawk

  3. David said

    Caught me offguard..

    There’s always “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” usually attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche..

    and then I kind of like “Peace through Superior FirePower”

    and the ultimate “When you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

  4. Obi-Wan said

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

    – Robert A. Heinlein

  5. Brad Warbiany said

    Honour is the gift man gives to himself – Liam Neeson as Robert MacGregor in Rob Roy

    Few players recall big pots they have won — strange as it seems — but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career. – Matt Damon as Mike in Rounders

  6. Anonymous said

    So far, I think I like the John Wayne quote best. Maybe because it’s so easy to relate to. 😉

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