Brevity is the soul of wit, and an aphorism can package a great deal of truth in a short quip. I collect aphorisms sent by other people and occasionally try my hand at crafting my own. I have forgotten so many that I resolved to start writing them down.
My own aphorisms:
Any proposition is true if your paycheck depends on its being true.
Any proposition is politically incorrect if it threatens your paycheck.
Success is not a matter of finding an interesting job; it is a matter of finding your job interesting.
A fundamentalist doesn’t believe in evolution.
A liberal believes evolution among humans stopped cold 50,000 years ago, when we migrated out of Africa.
A realist believes in evolution.
Deism posits the supreme moral authority as a cosmic hippy shambling down a hill with ten suggestions written in icing on sugar cookies about celebrating diversity and not eating animals or littering.
Liberalism starts with a world-view and attempts to force reality into its perspective. Conservatism is empirical: look at the facts and see where they lead. This is why people inevitably drift to the right as they gain experience in life.
Have you ever met a hungry bureaucrat? For food, that is – hunger for control over you and your money is a given.
It beats me why the self-styled better people want to fertilize the dandelions in the garden of life rather than the dahlias. Dandilions are doing all right without our encouragement, and few of them turn out to be very ornamental.
What profiteth it a WASP, if he giveth his whole life for the world, and the world crappeth on him anyhow?
I take a tragic view of mankind. Herbert Spencer said a century ago"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." We do and will repeat our mistakes, and it is the height of hubris to imagine that government can change human nature. Just as allowing deadwood to accumulate only exacerbates the inevitable forest fire, the welfare state’s attempt to raise people above where their native talents would take them will result in chaos when it falls apart.
Jews are the most aggressive victims in history. They cajoled and browbeat me into granting a lot of sympathy over the years. If they want more, they can return the favor by showing a bit of sympathy for us beleaguered WASP males.
Women chose to make men their peers, that they and society might prosper financially. They could have chosen to make us their true spouses, that society would blossom through our children. As with the serpent in the garden, they chose badly -- the poisoned apple of material success.
Women have finally won the right to do whatever they want in life --- now if they could just make up their minds!
The long-term interests of society are never aligned with the short-term interests of politicians.
When gold is the standard, economies experience both inflation and deflation. People may, but political systems do not handle deflation well. Conversely, politicians love printing money – because they are the ones who get to spend it.
People who feel a God-given right to be angry seldom have the God-given wit to know when.
Tolerance is the virtue of working through recognized differences. Multiculturalism is the sin of failing to recognize that they exist in the first place.
Collected, many from my brother Duncan:
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. --George Bernard Shaw
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
Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. --James Bovard (1994)
Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. --Douglas Casey (1992)
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. --P.J. O'Rourke
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. --Frederic Bastiat
Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan (1986)
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --Will Rogers
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. --P.J. O'Rourke
If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist. --Joseph Sobran (1995)
In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. --Voltaire (1764)
Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. --Pericles (430 B.C.)
No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. --Mark Twain (1866)
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. --Mark Twain
Talk is cheap-except when Congress does it. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. --Ronald Reagan
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. --Winston Churchill
The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. --Mark Twain
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer (1891)
There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress. --Mark Twain
There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. --P.J. O'Rourke (1993)
We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill
What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. --Edward Langley
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. --Anonymous
What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass. (Lord Melbourne, ca. 1840)
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. Albert Einstein
An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex.
If the facts do not agree with the theory, so much the worse for the facts
attributed to Hegel
We must remember that those who tolerate intolerance abuse tolerance itself, and an enemy of tolerance is an enemy of democracy
And wise quotes:
Seek the company of those who seek the truth, and run away from those who have found it. -- Andre Gide
The nearer to the church, the further from God -- John Heywood (b 1497)
Living well is the best revenge – George Herbert (b 1598)
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage -- Martin Luther.
The only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest. – John Stuart Mill
Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round. David Lodge
A hypothesis is never disproved by a single contradictory fact but only by another hypothesis that can fit in more facts than it can itself. "Truth" is thus the working hypothesis most suitable to pave the way to that other hypothesis which is able to explain more. Konrad Lorenz