May 29

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

2004
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. ~ Steven Wright
2005
Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn. ~ T. H. White (born 29 May 1906)
2006
It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. ~ G. K. Chesterton (born 29 May 1874)
2007
The pessimist is commonly spoken of as the man in revolt. He is not. Firstly, because it requires some cheerfulness to continue in revolt, and secondly, because pessimism appeals to the weaker side of everybody, and the pessimist, therefore, drives as roaring a trade as the publican. The person who is really in revolt is the optimist, who generally lives and dies in a desperate and suicidal effort to persuade all the other people how good they are. It has been proved a hundred times over that if you really wish to enrage people and make them angry, even unto death, the right way to do it is to tell them that they are all the sons of God. ~ G. K. Chesterton
2008
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ~ John F. Kennedy
2009
Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. ~ John F. Kennedy
2010
The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. ~ G. K. Chesterton
2011 
Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from them that beauty of danger. But there is only one way of really guarding ourselves against the excessive danger of them, and that is to be steeped in philosophy and soaked in religion. ~ G. K. Chesterton
2012
I have investigated the dust-heaps of humanity, and found a treasure in all of them. I have found that humanity is not incidentally engaged, but eternally and systematically engaged, in throwing gold into the gutter and diamonds into the sea.
~ G. K. Chesterton ~
2013
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.
~ John F. Kennedy ~
2014
The one thing that can never be told is the last notion of the President, for his notions grow like a tropical forest. So in case you don't know, I'd better tell you that he is carrying out his notion of concealing ourselves by not concealing ourselves to the most extraordinary lengths just now. … He said that if you didn't seem to be hiding nobody hunted you out. Well, he is the only man on earth, I know; but sometimes I really think that his huge brain is going a little mad in its old age. For now we flaunt ourselves before the public. … They say we are a lot of jolly gentlemen who pretend they are anarchists.
~ G. K. Chesterton ~
in
~ The Man Who Was Thursday ~
2015
It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. No one sees anything funny in a tree falling down. No one sees a delicate absurdity in a stone falling down. No man stops in the road and roars with laughter at the sight of the snow coming down. The fall of thunderbolts is treated with some gravity. The fall of roofs and high buildings is taken seriously. It is only when a man tumbles down that we laugh. Why do we laugh? Because it is a grave religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.
~ G. K. Chesterton ~
2016
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the liedeliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the mythpersistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
~ John F. Kennedy ~
2017
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
~ John F. Kennedy ~
2018 
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • Our chiefs said 'Done,' and I did not deem it;
    Our seers said 'Peace,' and it was not peace;
    Earth will grow worse till men redeem it,
    And wars more evil, ere all wars cease.

    ~ "A Song of Defeat" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton ~
  • Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. ~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. ~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. ~ John F. Kennedy
  • We must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we are only six percent of the world's population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other ninety-four percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem. ~ John F. Kennedy

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used. (This is the utmost ranking and should be used only for one quote at a time, per person, for each date.)
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


Suggestions[edit]

For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers. - G. K. Chesterton


When I was a child, I was told anyone can become president. Now, I'm starting to believe it. (Found on a "Good Earth" tea bag)

—This unsigned comment is by 198.236.184.8 (talkcontribs) .
  • 2 Kalki 06:26, 5 June 2007 (UTC) Interesting quote, but no clear author, and no clear relationship to the date.
  • 3 but I wonder who said it Zarbon 05:46, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 Unless source found. InvisibleSun 21:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
~ Clarence Darrow ~ bystander (talk) 05:39, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone. ~ Oswald Spengler


This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on. ~ Oswald Spengler

  • 3 Zarbon 04:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 21:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.

A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality. ~ John F. Kennedy

  • 2 Zarbon 04:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 21:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.

Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. ~ John F. Kennedy


If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. ~ John F. Kennedy

  • 3 Zarbon 04:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 21:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.

I believe in an America with a government of men devoted solely to the public interests — men of ability and dedication, free from conflict or corruption or other commitment — a responsible government that is efficient and economical, with a balanced budget over the years of the cycle, reducing its debt in prosperous times — a government willing to entrust the people with the facts that they have — not a businessman's government, with business in the saddle … not a labor government, not a farmer's government, not a government of one section of the country or another, but a government of, for and by the people.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us — recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state — our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions:
First, were we truly men of courage — with the courage to stand up to one’s enemies — and the courage to stand up, when necessary, to one’s associates — the courage to resist public pressure, as well as private greed?
Secondly, were we truly men of judgment — with perceptive judgment of the future as well as the past — of our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others — with enough wisdom to know what we did not know and enough candor to admit it?
Third, were we truly men of integrity — men who never ran out on either the principles in which we believed or the men who believed in us — men whom neither financial gain nor political ambition could ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?
Finally, were we truly men of dedication — with an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and comprised of no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?
Courage — judgment — integrity — dedication — these are the historic qualities … which, with God’s help … will characterize our Government’s conduct in the four stormy years that lie ahead.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

We are neither "warmongers" nor "appeasers," neither "hard" nor "soft." We are Americans, determined to defend the frontiers of freedom, by an honorable peace if peace is possible, but by arms if arms are used against us. And if we are to move forward in that spirit, we shall need all the calm and thoughtful citizens that this great University can produce, all the light they can shed, all the wisdom they can bring to bear. It is customary, both here and around the world, to regard life in the United States as easy. Our advantages are many. But more than any other people on earth, we bear burdens and accept risks unprecedented in their size and their duration, not for ourselves alone but for all who wish to be free.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

Acting on our own, by ourselves, we cannot establish justice throughout the world; we cannot insure its domestic tranquility, or provide for its common defense, or promote its general welfare, or secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. But joined with other free nations, we can do all this and more. We can assist the developing nations to throw off the yoke of poverty. We can balance our worldwide trade and payments at the highest possible level of growth. We can mount a deterrent powerful enough to deter any aggression. And ultimately we can help to achieve a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

Across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and our common vulnerability on this planet.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

The greater our knowledge increases the greater our ignorance unfolds.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation's purpose ... and is a test of the quality of a nation's civilization.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

Diplomacy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone would fail. A willingness to resist force, unaccompanied by a willingness to talk, could provoke belligerence — while a willingness to talk, unaccompanied by a willingness to resist force, could invite disaster.
~ John F. Kennedy ~

The basis of self-government and freedom requires the development of character and self-restraint and perseverance and the long view. And these are qualities which require many years of training and education.
~ John F. Kennedy ~