July 15

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so. ~ Bertrand Russell
Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought. ~ Walt Kelly
Eternal vigilance must be maintained to guard against those who seek to stifle ideas, establish a narrow orthodoxy, and divide our nation along arbitrary lines of race, ethnicity, and religious belief or non-belief. ~ Jesse Ventura (born 15 July 1951)
Patriotism is voluntary. It is a feeling of loyalty and allegiance that is the result of knowledge and belief. A patriot shows their patriotism through their actions, by their choice... No law will make a citizen a patriot. ~ Jesse Ventura
Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality. ~ Iris Murdoch (born 15 July 1919)
Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things which you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know. ~ Rembrandt (born 15 July 1606)
Choose only one master — Nature. ~ Rembrandt
There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. ~ Walter Benjamin
It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. ~ J. K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (opening day of final film in the Harry Potter series 15 July 2011)
There's a great need in our government right now for honesty. I speak my mind. You might not always like what you hear, but you're gonna hear it anyway. I call it like I see it; I tell the truth. And if I don't know something, I'll say so. Then I'll try to find the answer.
~ Jesse Ventura ~
This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
Only a thoughtless observer can deny that correspondences come into play between the world of modern technology and the archaic symbol-world of mythology.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
In the fields with which we are concerned knowledge exists only in lightning flashes. The text is the thunder rolling long afterwards.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
We know that the Jews were prohibited from investigating the future. The Torah and the prayers instruct them in remembrance, however. This stripped the future of its magic, to which all those succumb who turn to the soothsayers for enlightenment. This did not imply, however, that for the Jews the future turned into homogeneous empty time. For every second of time was the strait gate through which the Messiah might enter.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize "how it really was." It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
Every expression of human mental life can be understood as a kind of language, and this understanding, in the manner of a true method, everywhere raises new questions.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
In what time does man live? The thinkers have always known that he does not live in any time at all. The immortality of thoughts and deeds banishes him to a timeless realm at whose heart an inscrutable death lies in wait. ... Devoured by the countless demands of the moment, time slipped away from him; the medium in which the pure melody of his youth would swell was destroyed. The fulfilled tranquility in which his late maturity would ripen was stolen from him. It was purloined by everyday reality, which, with its events, chance occurrences, and obligations, disrupted the myriad opportunities of youthful time, immortal time. ... From day to day, second to second, the self preserves itself, clinging to that instrument: time, the instrument that it was supposed to play.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
All purposeful manifestations of life, including their very purposiveness, in the final analysis have their end not in life but in the expression of its nature, in the representation of its significance.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished.
~ Rembrandt ~
Because he never raises his eyes to the great and the meaningful, the philistine has taken experience as his gospel. It has become for him a message about life's commonness. But he has never grasped that there exists something other than experience, that there are values — inexperienceable — which we serve.
~ Walter Benjamin ~
The choice we make in this election will shape the future of America and the world for decades to come. I believe that with all my soul. I know that millions of my fellow Americans believe it as well. And some have a different view as to the direction our country should take. Disagreement is inevitable in American democracy. It is part of human nature. Politics must never be a killing field. I believe politics ought to be an arena for peaceful debate, to pursue justice, to make decisions guided by the Declaration of Independence and our constitution. We stand for an America not of extremism and fury, but of decency and grace. All of us now face a time of testing as the election approaches. The higher the stakes, the more fervent the passion becomes. This places an added burden on each of us to ensure no matter how strong our convictions, we must never descend into violence.
~ Joe Biden ~
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More glorious to merit a sceptre than to possess one ~ Napoleon Bonaparte who surrendered on July 15th.

A king should sacrifice the best affections of his heart for the good of his country; no sacrifice should be above his determination. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

I ran for governor to find out if the American dream still exists in anyone's heart other than mine. I'm living proof that the myths aren't true. The candidate with the most money isn't always the one who wins. You don't have to be a career politician to serve in public office. ~ Jesse Ventura (date of birth)

A well-wrapped statistic is better than Hitler's "big lie"; it misleads, yet it cannot be pinned on you. ~ Darrell Huff (date of birth)

  • 3 Ningauble 17:22, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 05:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 17:17, 14 July 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 3 //Gbern3 (talk) 07:33, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

There is terror in numbers... Perhaps we suffer from a trauma induced by grade-school arithmetic. ~ Darrell Huff (date of birth)

  • 3 Ningauble 17:22, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 05:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 17:17, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 //Gbern3 (talk) 07:33, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man ~ Dr Johnson

—This unsigned comment is by D is for d (talkcontribs) .
  • 1 Kalki 22:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC) no clear relation to the date
  • 2 if it is on the correct date. - Zarbon 18:13, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 //Gbern3 (talk) 07:33, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

If you can't prove what you want to prove, demonstrate something else and pretend they are the same thing. In the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind, hardly anyone will notice the difference. ~ Darrell Huff

The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the "state of emergency" in which we live is not the exception but the rule.
~ Walter Benjamin ~

There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply.
~ Walter Benjamin ~

Everyone who achieves strives for totality, and the value of his achievement lies in that totality — that is, in the fact that the whole, undivided nature of a human being should be expressed in his achievement. But when determined by our society, as we see it today, achievement does not express a totality; it is completely fragmented and derivative. It is not uncommon for the community to be the site where a joint and covert struggle is waged against higher ambitions and more personal goals. ... The socially relevant achievement of the average person serves in the vast majority of cases to repress the original and nonderivative, inner aspirations of the human being.
~ Walter Benjamin ~

The enslavement of language in prattle is joined by the enslavement of things in folly almost as its inevitable consequence.
~ Walter Benjamin ~

Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. … Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.
~ Walter Benjamin ~