Last updated on January 26th, 2022 at 05:07 pm

Herein are memorable quotations from a wide variety of sources.

A System

Everything is connected;

All things related;

The living and the dead;

The animate and the inanimate;

A system;

All power functioning to serve the whole.


– Chani, explaining the origins of Spice to Muad’ Dib. Frank Herbert’s Dune (Sci-Fi TV Miniseries).

Absolute Security

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.


-Dwight D. Eisenhower

All The Facts

Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.


– William S. Burroughs

Bushy Tail

Captain Blood: “Hagthorpe, do we have an English battle flag aboard?”

Hagthorpe: “We have every manner of battle flag, including a lady’s purple petticoat.”

Captain Blood: “Wait. I’ve a better idea: When an English lion sneaks up on French foxes, it does well to wear a bushy tail. Hoist the French flag.”


– Dr. Peter Blood, the climax, at the battle at Port Royal. Captain Blood, Republic Pictures, 1935.

Daily Trivia

In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.


– Robert A. Heinlein

Delicate Souls

Delicate souls can’t handle too much reality.


– T.S. Elliot


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.


– H.L. Mencken


Time-tested techniques, applied to a tactical situation.


– A Training NCO from the 101st Airborne Division. Camp Grayling, Michigan, USA. 1995.


Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.


– Robert A. Heinlein’s Lazarus Long.

Economic and Political Means

There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others.… I propose … to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.”


The State. Franz Oppenheimer. Fox & Wilkes (January 1997)


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.


– Mark Twain

Enlightened Self-Interest

The universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements. Energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest.


– G’Kar. J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon Five Series. 1994.

Enough Said

Delenn: “John Sheridan was a good, kind, and decent man.”

Dr. Jim Latimere: “Delenn, wait! You came all this way just to say that?”

Delenn: “You came just this far to say less?”


– Delenn and Dr. Jim Latimere in the “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.


Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.


– Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Faith Sustains

Faith sustains us in the hour when reason tells us that we cannot continue, that the whole of our whole lives is without meaning.


– Brother Alwyn in “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.

Get Out

I was not a drop out; I was a get out.


– Dr. Gary North

Good Sense

Not many men have both good fortune and good sense.


– Livy (59BC-17AD)

Keynesian Haircut

Here is the Keynesian rule: Always ask the barber if you need a haircut.


– Dr. Gary North


Deirdre: “I see you’re working on our problem.”

Sam: “Well, either your part of the problem, or you’re part of the solution, or you’re just part of the landscape.”


John Frankenheimer’s Ronin, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists

Long Habits

A long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT.


– Thomas Paine

Moral System

The free market is a moral system, not because it makes men moral, but because it rewards those who serve others efficiently and penalizes those who don’t.


– Dr. Gary North


General of the Army George Catlett Marshall one said, “Morale is a state of mine. It is steadfastness and courage and hope…confidence and zeal and loyalty…élan, esprit de corps, and determination.” Morale, he said, “is staying power, the spirit which endures to the end—the will to win.”


About Face, page 38. By David Hackworth. Touchstone Books, Simon & Shuster. 1989.

No Errors

Nature commits no errors; right and wrong are human categories.


— Pardot Kynes, Arrakis Lectures

No Harm

Each fancies that no harm will come to his neglect.


– Thucydides

No Whinning

Spence: “What do you use, weapons-wise?”

Sam: “Hmm?”

Spence: “Weapons. I’m a…I’m a weapons man.”

Sam: “Weapons man?”

Spence: “Yeah.”

Sam: “Great.”

Spence: “They tend to settle the argument. So what do you favor?”

Sam: “Oh you know, it’s a toolbox. I don’t care. You put the tools in for the job.”

Spence: “What?”

Sam: “You know, I actually favor the old 1911.”

Spence: “Forty-five? Old gun.”

Sam: [Nodding] “It served my country well, a long time.”

Spence: [Scoffs] “Your country. Not done too well, have you, last few wars?”

Sam: “Perhaps not, but at least we don’t go around whining about it.”


John Frankenheimer’s Ronan, United Artists Pictures, 1997.

No Winners

There are no winners in an interrogation; only degrees of loss.


– Intelligence community maxim.

Nothing Personal…

Nothing personal, and no hard feelings…


– Buck Brannaman talking to a colt he was “starting” as he put significant pressure on the colt to motivate its compliance.

On Propaganda

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.


– Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928


Men prefer a false promise to a flat refusal.


– Quintus Cicero

Remarkable Illusion

Susan Ivanova: “I have to admit, I’m a little bit skeptical about that.”

Lorien: “Skepticism is the language of the mind. What does your heart tell you?”

Ivanova: “My heart and I don’t speak anymore.”

Lorien: “So I’ve noticed.”

. . .

Lorien: “To live on as we have is to leave behind joy, and love, and companionship, because we know it to be transitory, of the moment. We know it will turn to ash. Only those whose lives are brief can imagine that love…is eternal. You should embrace that remarkable illusion. It may be the greatest gift your race has ever received.”


– Susan Ivanova and Lorien in the “Into the Fire” episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.


If you want creative insubordination, hire men. If you want faithful implementation, hire women.


– Dr. Gary North

Smooth Explanation

Joel Cairo: “You always have a smooth explanation.”

Sam Spade: “What do you want me to do? Learn to stutter?”


The Maltese Falcon. Republic Pictures. 1941.

Strange Creature

Clerk of the Court: “Peter Blood. How do your plead, guilty or not-guilty?”

Dr. Peter Blood: “It’s entirely innocent, I am.”

Prosecutor: “Did you know that it is against the King’s law to aid, comfort, or succor a rebel?”

Dr. Peter Blood: “I knew only my sacred duty as a physician.”

Prosecutor: “Your sacred duty, you ROGUE, IS TO YOUR KING!”

Dr. Peter Blood: (subdued retort) “I thought it was to my fellow man.”

Dr. Peter Blood: “What strange creature, must sit on the throne, that lets a man like you deal out his justice.”


– Dr. Peter Blood, the scene in the King’s Court, being condemned as a traitor. Captain Blood, Republic Pictures, 1935.

The Crisis

Management By Crisis requires a[ny] present crisis as the vehicle for control. It’s just a matter of selling something as a present crisis. That is to say, it matters less which shoe drops, as long as a shoe drops.


– Harry Hobbes

The Need for Freedom

No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we…will…be…free.


– Citizen G’Kar. J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.

The Scientific Euphemism for “Fudge”

We prefer to call it “intellectual phase-locking.”


– Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion BANNED TED TALK

The Shoes on Your Feet

Faith and reason are the shoes on your feet. You can travel further with both than you can with just one.


– Brother Alwyn in “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.

To Know

You do not wish to know…anything. You wish only to speak. That which you know, you ignore, because it is inconvenient. That which you do not know, you invent. But none of that matters, except that he was a good man, a kind man, who cared about the world, even when the world cared nothing for him.


– Delenn responding to criticism of John Sheridan in J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series: “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars” episode.

To What Extreme?

How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?


– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Uncertain World

Faith, it’s an uncertain world entirely!


– Geofrey Blood. Captain Blood. Republic Pictures. 1935.

Understand Your Way

Patience is also a weapon when used properly.

We will arrive when we arrive, and we will have the weapons we have.

You cannot win this war through force.

You must understand your way out of this.

Sheridan knows.

What remains to be seen is whether he knows that he knows.


– Lorien to Susan Ivanova in the “Into the Fire” episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Series. 1994.

Uninformed Privilege

This guy abuses the privilege of being uninformed.


– Dr. Gary North

Very Human

Ivonova: “I wish I knew how things were going out there. The Captain’s idea about hitting Vorlon targets, delaying them long enough to put our fleets in the killing zone, between the Vorlons and Shadows.”

Lorien: “A brilliant strategy. He’s making a crucible, which he hopes will force out the truth. Quite brave. Possibly futile. But, very human.”


Babylon 5, Fourth Season, Episode 6: “Into The Fire”

Vincible Ignorance

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.


– Aldous Huxley

Where You’re Going

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.


– Yogi Berra