Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday Snippet: More deplorable wisdom


Back in May 2023, and again in August of that year, I put up a selection of excerpts from Richard Wabrek's excellent collection of "Deplorable Wisdom" - quotations from all over about anything and everything that had caught his fancy over 30 years of collecting them.

I continue to enjoy the collection on a regular basis.  It's the kind of book where you dip into it during free moments whenever you feel like it, and you're sure to find something to amuse or interest you, or make you think.  It's a great collection, and I'm grateful to Mr. Wabrek for compiling it.

Here's another selection from the book.  Enjoy!

“A product demonstrator at the Las Vegas SHOT Show was speaking of a competitor’s product: ‘When their part was installed, the guns went civil service in under 1,000 rounds.’  After he used this term a few times, an audience member asked what he meant.  The instructor replied with a smile: ‘The gun went civil service. That means it won’t work, and you can’t fire it’.” — Anonymous

“Andersen’s (?) Law of Survival for Low-Level Managers: “Never be right too often.” — Anonymous

“Blair’s (?) Observation: The best-laid plans of mice and men are about equal.”

A variation on a verse by Robert Burns in his poem, To a Mouse: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley.”

“Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.” — Anatole France, Nobel-Prize-winning French author (1844–1924)

“The angels take no interest in the sports of man, save archery.” — Persian saying

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” — Aldous Huxley, English writer and philosopher (1894–1963)

“If you are guided by opinion polls, you are not practicing leadership—you are practicing followship.” — Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom, known as “The Iron Lady” (1925– 2013)

“Just be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.” — Will Rogers, American vaudeville performer, actor, columnist, humorist, and social commentator (1879–1935)

“Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” — Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the US (1911–2004)

“When there is lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned.” — Herbert Hoover, American politician and engineer, 31st president of the US during the Great Depression (1874–1964)

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” — Greek proverb

“When liberty becomes license, some form of one‑man power is not far distant.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the US, author, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and pioneering conservationist (1858–1919)

“Give the vote to the people who have no property, and they will sell them to the rich, who will be able to buy them.” — Gouverneur Morris, the author of the Preamble to the US Constitution and Founding Father (1752–1816)

“Scientifically, a raven has seventeen primary wing feathers, the big ones at the end of the wing.  They are called pinion feathers.  A crow has sixteen.  So, the difference between a crow and a raven is only a matter of a pinion.” — Anonymous

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies.” — Gene Hill, American author and outdoors columnist (1928–1997)

“I’m all in favor of the democratic principle that ‘one idiot is as good as one genius,’ but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that ‘two idiots are better than one genius’.” — Leo Szilard, Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor, holder of the patent on the nuclear fission reactor, collaborator with Albert Einstein (1898–1964)

Szilard was one of the five, Jewish-Hungarian scientists known as “The Martians.”  Someone once remarked that the only explanation for five geniuses originating from the same small part of Hungary at the same time was that they were all really Martians and chose Hungary because the language was about as intelligible as Martian.  I first read this anecdote in The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes et al.  Highly recommended.

“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it.” — Charles Spurgeon

“Never argue with an idiot.  They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” — Mark Twain, American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer (1835–1910)

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is—try to please everybody.” — Herbert Bayard Swope, American editor and journalist (1882–1958)

“A recent traveler returning from Pakistan reports that there is no racial discrimination in that country—only a good deal of ethnic homicide.” — Jeff Cooper, Lt. Colonel of Marines and the father of modern practical shooting (1920–2006)

“Masculine republics give way to feminine democracies, and feminine democracies give way to tyranny.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher and polymath (384–322 BC)

In a similar vein:  “Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.” — Aristotle

“A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.” — G. Gordon Liddy, American lawyer, FBI agent, talk show host, actor, and convicted felon (1930–2021)

Liddy was the chief operative in the Nixon administration Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon.

“What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.” — Edward Langley, British mathematician and author (1851–1933)

“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.” — Will Rogers, American vaudeville performer, actor, columnist, humorist, and social commentator (1879–1935)

“Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.” — Baltasar Gracian

“There are more things on this planet with fangs, claws, poisons, and scales than there are things that are warm, fuzzy, and full of love.  It’s a simple fact.” — Master at Arms James Albert Keating

“The problem with ‘post-modern’ society is there are too many people with nothing meaningful to do, building careers around controlling the lives of others and generally making social nuisances of themselves. They justify their meddling by discovering ‘social problems’ and getting the media to magnify them out of all proportion.” — Graham Strachan, attorney and author

“If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside.” — Robert X. Cringley, the pen name of technology journalist, Mark Stephens

“I do benefits for all religions.  I would hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.” — Bob Hope, British-American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, and film star (1903–2003)

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” — Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist (1942–2018)

“Under capitalism, man exploits man.  Under communism, it’s the opposite.” — J.K. Galbraith, Canadian-born, American economist, diplomat, and public official (1908–2006) 

“What is a communist?  One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings,
Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing,
To fork out his copper and pocket your shilling.”
 — Ebenezer Elliott, English poet (1781–1849)

There you are - your compendium of thoughts for today, and the coming week.



Anonymous said...

Got the book on your recommendation. Thought I'd sit down and zip through it. Uh,no. It is na easy read that generates much reflection. Thanks to you for putting me on it and the author for writing it. Cheers

Old NFO said...

And they're NOT wrong... sigh

Anonymous said...


"“Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” — Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the US (1911–2004)"

This came from my first lecture in Geology way back in BC, presenting a different view -

Louis Bromfield in reply to a serviceman's letter -

"Agriculture is the oldest profession - older even than the one you are thinking of".

Idea being that they had to eat first.

LL said...

Yesterday, Good Friday, Pedo Joe Biden announced that Easter (March 31) would be Transexual Day in the USA. You ask yourself how low they can go? Sodomy Day on Easter.

I'm sure that given the choice, the Swamp and woke America will celebrate Sodomy rather than Easter. How much clearer can the lines be drawn?

Juan said...

thanks for sharing.
i too will look for the book.