December 31

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

2003
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
2004
Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame:
And down the wave and in the flame was borne
A naked babe...

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson in Idylls of the King ~
2005
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

~ "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns ~
2006
When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective. ~ George Marshall
2007
For my part I have never avoided the influence of others. I would have considered it cowardice and a lack of sincerity toward myself. ~ Henri Matisse (born December 31, 1869)
2008
It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy... Let's go exploring! ~ Bill Watterson - Final strip of Calvin and Hobbes, published December 31, 1995
2009
The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. ~ George Marshall
2010
At each stage I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness — I re-enter through the breach — and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again. ~ Henri Matisse (born 31 December 1869)
2011
Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars. ~ George Marshall
2012
I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me.
~ Henri Matisse ~
2013
The most important thing for the world today in my opinion is a spiritual regeneration which would reestablish a feeling of good faith among men generally. Discouraged people are in sore need of the inspiration of great principles. Such leadership can be the rallying point against intolerance, against distrust, against that fatal insecurity that leads to war. It is to be hoped that the democratic nations can provide the necessary leadership.
~ George Marshall ~
2014
If man does find the solution for world peace it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known.
~ George Marshall ~
2015
You study, you learn, but you guard the original naiveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.
~ Henri Matisse ~
2016
Life is a slow-motion avalanche, and none of us are steering.
~ Donald E. Westlake ~
2017
I need not tell you that the world situation is very serious. That must be apparent to all intelligent people. I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. … it is of vast importance that our people reach some general understanding of what the complications really are, rather than react from a passion or a prejudice or an emotion of the moment. … It is virtually impossible at this distance merely by reading, or listening, or even seeing photographs or motion pictures, to grasp at all the real significance of the situation. And yet the whole world of the future hangs on a proper judgment. It hangs, I think, to a large extent on the realization of the American people, of just what are the various dominant factors. What are the reactions of the people? What are the justifications of those reactions? What are the sufferings? What is needed? What can best be done? What must be done?
~ George Marshall ~
2018 
Rank or add further suggestions…

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]

There is no freedom without justice. ~ Simon Wiesenthal

  • There was a quotation by him in September, 2005 ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki·· 00:34, 31 December 2017 (UTC) Good quote, but this is a misattribution, in that it did not originate with his uses of it — it is still possibly usable with better sourcing. 3 Kalki·· 23:34, 28 December 2013 (UTC) (it appears this IS his day of birth — don't know how I had missed this earlier) 1 Kalki 11:11, 30 December 2006 (UTC) Good quote, but no clear relation to the date.
  • 1 InvisibleSun 14:34, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • 0 Zarbon 21:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Lyle 18:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

~ Robert Burns ~ (Traditional New Year's Eve song)

  • 1 Kalki 11:11, 30 December 2006 (UTC) 4 ~ Kalki 23:33, 29 December 2005 (UTC) Downgraded from 4 to 1 as a variant of this has already been used — last year... and which indicates to me I better start updating the date pages more regularly — one of my resolutions for the coming year... ~ Kalki 01:11, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 14:34, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 21:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

War is very uncertain in its results, and often when affairs look most desperate they suddenly assume a more hopeful state. ~ George Meade

  • 3 Zarbon 05:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Lyle 18:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 20:30, 11 December 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 22:25, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Never fear your enemies, fear your actions. ~ George Meade

  • 2 Zarbon 05:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Lyle 18:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 Kalki·· 23:36, 30 December 2015 (UTC) I cannot currently find any reliable sources for this attribution — I had intended to use it for QOTD, but cannot do so now. 4 Kalki·· 23:30, 30 December 2015 (UTC) 3 Kalki 20:30, 11 December 2008 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.

Nobody gets everything in this life. You decide your priorities and you make your choices. I'd decided long ago that any cake I had would be eaten. ~ Donald E. Westlake Two Much (recent death)


Only bad books have good endings. If a book is any good, it's ending is always bad - because you don't want the book to end.
~ The Name of this Book is Secret ~

—This unsigned comment is by 99.74.178.131 (talkcontribs) .


It is not enough to fight. It is the spirit which we bring to the fight that decides the issue. It is morale that wins the victory.
~ George Marshall ~

We must present democracy as a force holding within itself the seeds of unlimited progress by the human race. By our actions we should make it clear that such a democracy is a means to a better way of life, together with a better understanding among nations. Tyranny inevitably must retire before the tremendous moral strength of the gospel of freedom and self-respect for the individual, but we have to recognize that these democratic principles do not flourish on empty stomachs, and that people turn to false promises of dictators because they are hopeless and anything promises something better than the miserable existence that they endure. However, material assistance alone is not sufficient. The most important thing for the world today in my opinion is a spiritual regeneration which would reestablish a feeling of good faith among men generally. Discouraged people are in sore need of the inspiration of great principles. Such leadership can be the rallying point against intolerance, against distrust, against that fatal insecurity that leads to war. It is to be hoped that the democratic nations can provide the necessary leadership.
~ George Marshall ~
  • 3 Kalki·· 23:52, 30 December 2017 (UTC) though part of this was already used, in 2013


I believe our students must first seek to understand the conditions, as far as possible without national prejudices, which have led to past tragedies and should strive to determine the great fundamentals which must govern a peaceful progression toward a constantly higher level of civilization. There are innumerable instructive lessons out of the past, but all too frequently their presentation is highly colored or distorted in the effort to present a favorable national point of view. In our school histories at home, certainly in years past, those written in the North present a strikingly different picture of our Civil War from those written in the South. In some portions it is hard to realize they are dealing with the same war. Such reactions are all too common in matters of peace and security. But we are told that we live in a highly scientific age. Now the progress of science depends on facts and not fancies or prejudice. Maybe in this age we can find a way of facing the facts and discounting the distorted records of the past.
~ George Marshall ~

Peace could, I believe, be advanced through careful study of all the factors which have gone into the various incidents now historical that have marked the breakdown of peace in the past. As an initial procedure our schools, at least our colleges but preferably our senior high schools, as we call them, should have courses which not merely instruct our budding citizens in the historical sequence of events of the past, but which treat with almost scientific accuracy the circumstances which have marked the breakdown of peace and have led to the disruption of life and the horrors of war.
~ George Marshall ~

A very strong military posture is vitally necessary today. How long it must continue I am not prepared to estimate, but I am sure that it is too narrow a basis on which to build a dependable, long-enduring peace. The guarantee for a long continued peace will depend on other factors in addition to a moderated military strength, and no less important. Perhaps the most important single factor will be a spiritual regeneration to develop goodwill, faith, and understanding among nations. Economic factors will undoubtedly play an important part. Agreements to secure a balance of power, however disagreeable they may seem, must likewise be considered. And with all these there must be wisdom and the will to act on that wisdom.
~ George Marshall ~

There has been considerable comment over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a soldier. I am afraid this does not seem as remarkable to me as it quite evidently appears to others. I know a great deal of the horrors and tragedies of war. ... The cost of war in human lives is constantly spread before me, written neatly in many ledgers whose columns are gravestones. I am deeply moved to find some means or method of avoiding another calamity of war. Almost daily I hear from the wives, or mothers, or families of the fallen. The tragedy of the aftermath is almost constantly before me.
~ George Marshall ~

The refusal of the British and Russian peoples to accept what appeared to be inevitable defeat was the great factor in the salvage of our civilization.
~ George Marshall ~

For the moment the maintenance of peace in the present hazardous world situation does depend in very large measure on military power, together with Allied cohesion. But the maintenance of large armies for an indefinite period is not a practical or a promising basis for policy.
~ George Marshall ~

We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, Our Flag will be recognized throughout the World as a symbol of Freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.
~ George Marshall ~

Don’t fight the problem, decide it.
~ George Marshall ~

An essential part of any successful action on the part of the United States is an understanding on the part of the people of America of the character of the problem and the remedies to be applied. Political passion and prejudice should have no part. With foresight, and a willingness on the part of our people to face up to the vast responsibility which history has clearly placed upon our country, the difficulties I have outlined can and will be overcome ... to my mind, it is of vast importance that our people reach some general understanding of what the complications really are, rather than react from a passion or a prejudice or an emotion of the moment.
~ George Marshall ~

Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist. Such assistance, I am convinced, must not be on a piecemeal basis as various crises develop. Any assistance that this Government may render in the future should provide a cure rather than a mere palliative. Any government that is willing to assist in the task of recovery will find full cooperation, I am sure, on the part of the United States Government. Any government which maneuvers to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us. Furthermore, governments, political parties or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States.
~ George Marshall ~

I have done my best, and I hope I have sown some seeds which may bring forth good fruit.
~ George Marshall ~

There must be effort of the spirit — to be magnanimous, to act in friendship, to strive to help rather than to hinder. There must be effort of analysis to seek out the causes of war and the factors which favor peace, and to study their application to the difficult problems which will beset our international intercourse. There must be material effort — to initiate and sustain those great undertakings, whether military or economic, on which world equilibrium will depend.
If we proceed in this manner, there should develop a dynamic philosophy which knows no restrictions of time or space. In America we have a creed which comes to us from the deep roots of the past. It springs from the convictions of the men and women of many lands who founded the nation and made it great. We share that creed with many of the nations of the Old World and the New with whom we are joined in the cause of peace.
~ George Marshall ~

I am certain that a solution of the general problem of peace must rest on broad and basic understanding on the part of its peoples. Great single endeavors like a League of Nations, a United Nations, and undertakings of that character, are of great importance and in fact absolutely necessary, but they must be treated as steps toward the desired end.
We must depend in large measure on the impartiality of those who teach. Their approach must be on a scientific basis in order to present the true facts. The scientists, no matter of what nationality, make a common approach to their problems.
~ George Marshall ~

No longer can we compound attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. No longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to these assaults.
~ Jeff Flake ~

Between the mighty and the modest, truth is the great leveler.
~ Jeff Flake ~

The range and regularity of the untruths we see that should be cause for profound alarm, and spur to action.
~ Jeff Flake ~

If we compromise the truth for the sake of our politics, we are lost.
~ Jeff Flake ~