January 19

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic. ~ Frank Herbert in Dune
My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them, or indisposed me to serve them; nor in spite of failures, which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge; or of the present aspect of affairs; do I despair of the future.
The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope. ~ Robert E. Lee
They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~ Edgar Allan Poe (born 19 January 1809)
Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got. ~ Art Buchwald (recent death)
From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov'd— I lov'd alone.

~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
Thou wouldst be loved? — then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love — a simple duty.

~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less. ~ Robert E. Lee
I cannot consent to place in the control of others one who cannot control himself. ~ Robert E. Lee
It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it. ~ Robert E. Lee
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — out of TIME.
~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
If there be such a principle as justice, or natural law, it is the principle, or law, that tells us what rights were given to every human being at his birth; what rights are, therefore, inherent in him as a human being, necessarily remain with him during life; and, however capable of being trampled upon, are incapable of being blotted out, extinguished, annihilated, or separated or eliminated from his nature as a human being, or deprived of their inherent authority or obligation.
~ Lysander Spooner ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
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.


DOB: Auguste Comte · David Starr Jordan · Robert E. Lee · Edgar Allan Poe · Lysander Spooner · James Watt

Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart — one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a stupid action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgement, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? ~ Edgar Allan Poe

In reading some books we occupy ourselves chiefly with the thoughts of the author; in perusing others, exclusively with our own. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 ~ Kalki 21:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbours, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world! ~ Robert E. Lee

  • 3 Kalki 00:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 04:44, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  • 3 DanielTom (talk) 18:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki·· 22:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC) with a lean toward 3, but I can think of many other EA Poe quotes I would prefer.

There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living. ~ David Starr Jordan

Far away in the thirties and forties she (the girl you want to be) is waiting her turn. Her body, brain, her soul are in your girlish hands. She cannot help herself. What will you leave for her? … Will you throw away her inheritance? ~ David Starr Jordan

  • 3 (source not so good, though) DanielTom (talk) 21:05, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going. ~ David Starr Jordan

Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it. ~ David Starr Jordan

  • 3 DanielTom (talk) 21:43, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki·· 16:14, 18 January 2015 (UTC) I actually was going to use this one, as a very good statement, in itself, but questions of the virtue of the author, in working to cover up the scandal of an apparent murder gave me pause, and I went on to realize it was the birthday of Lysander Spooner and, as a rather anarchistic absurdist, much prefer quite a few by him. ~ Kalki·· 16:14, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

A man's natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, (or by any other name indicating his true character,) or by millions, calling themselves a government.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Majorities and minorities cannot rightfully be taken at all into account in deciding questions of justice. And all talk about them, in matters of government, is mere absurdity.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that—however bloody—can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Every man who puts money into the hands of a "government" (so called), puts into its hands a sword which will be used against himself, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its arbitrary will.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

If a man wants "protection," he is competent to make his own bargains for it; and nobody has any occasion to rob him, in order to "protect" him against his will.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

The science of mine and thine—the science of justice—is the science of all human rights; of all a man’s rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

The ancient maxim makes the sum of a man’s legal duty to his fellow men to be simply this: “To live honestly, to hurt no one, to give to every one his due.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenceless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant.  But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will, perform them.  But of his legal duty—that is, of his duty to live honestly towards his fellow men—his fellow men not only may judge, but, for their own protection, must judge.  And, if need be, they may rightfully compel him to perform it.  They may do this, acting singly, or in concert.  They may do it on the instant, as the necessity arises, or deliberately and systematically, if they prefer to do so, and the exigency will admit of it.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Certainly no man can rightfully be required to join, or support, an association whose protection he does not desire.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Children learn the fundamental principles of natural law at a very early age.  Thus they very early understand that one child must not, without just cause, strike or otherwise hurt, another; that one child must not assume any arbitrary control or domination over another; that one child must not, either by force, deceit, or stealth, obtain possession of anything that belongs to another; that if one child commits any of these wrongs against another, it is not only the right of the injured child to resist, and, if need be, punish the wrongdoer, and compel him to make reparation, but that it is also the right, and the moral duty, of all other children, and all other persons, to assist the injured party in defending his rights, and redressing his wrongs.  These are fundamental principles of natural law, which govern the most important transactions of man with man.  Yet children learn them earlier than they learn that three and three are six, or five and five ten.  Their childish plays, even, could not be carried on without a constant regard to them; and it is equally impossible for persons of any age to live together in peace on any other conditions.
It would be no extravagance to say that, in most cases, if not in all, mankind at large, young and old, learn this natural law long before they have learned the meanings of the words by which we describe it.  In truth, it would be impossible to make them understand the real meanings of the words, if they did not understand the nature of the thing itself.  To make them understand the meanings of the words justice and injustice before knowing the nature of the things themselves, would be as impossible as it would be to make them understand the meanings of the words heat and cold, wet and dry, light and darkness, white and black, one and two, before knowing the nature of the things themselves.  Men necessarily must know sentiments and ideas, no less than material things, before they can know the meanings of the words by which we describe them.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

If there be no such principle as justice, there can be no such acts as crimes; and all the professions of governments, so called, that they exist, either in whole or in part, for the punishment or prevention of crimes, are professions that they exist for the punishment or prevention of what never existed, nor ever can exist.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

If justice be not a natural principle, governments (so-called) have no more right or reason to take cognizance of it, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance of it, than they have to take cognizance, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance, of any other nonentity; and all their professions of establishing justice, or of maintaining justice, or of rewarding justice, are simply the mere gibberish of fools, or the frauds of imposters.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

If justice be not a natural principle, then there is no such thing as injustice; and all the crimes of which the world has been the scene, have been no crimes at all; but only simple events, like the falling of the rain, or the setting of the sun; events of which the victims had no more reason to complain than they had to complain of the running of the streams, or the growth of vegetation.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

Majorities, as such, afford no guarantees for justice. They are men of the same nature as minorities. They have the same passions for fame, power, and money, as minorities; and are liable and likely to be equally — perhaps more than equally, because more boldly — rapacious, tyrannical and unprincipled, if intrusted with power. There is no more reason, then, why a man should either sustain, or submit to, the rule of the majority, than of a minority.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

All human legislation is simply and always an assumption of authority and dominion, where no right of authority or dominion exists.  It is, therefore, simply and always an intrusion, an absurdity, an usurpation, and a crime.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

If there be any such principle as justice, it is, of necessity, a natural principle; and, as such, it is a matter of science, to be learned and applied like any other science.  And to talk of either adding to, or taking from, it, by legislation, is just as false, absurd, and ridiculous as it would be to talk of adding to, or taking from, mathematics, chemistry, or any other science, by legislation.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

if justice be a natural principle, then it is necessarily an immutable one; and can no more be changed — by any power inferior to that which established it — than can the law of gravitation, the laws of light, the principles of mathematics, or any other natural law or principle whatever; and all attempts or assumptions, on the part of any man or body of men — whether calling themselves governments, or by any other name — to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion, in the place of justice, as a rule of conduct for any human being, are as much an absurdity, an usurpation, and a tyranny, as would be their attempts to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion in the place of any and all the physical, mental, and moral laws of the universe.
~ Lysander Spooner ~

The dead govern the living.
~ Auguste Comte ~

Foreknowledge is power.
~ Auguste Comte ~

To understand a science it is necessary to know its history.
~ Auguste Comte ~