July 31

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

History would be an excellent thing if only it were true. ~ Leo Tolstoy
Blue Moon, now I'm no longer alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own. ~ Lorenz Hart (a Blue moon occurred on 31 July 2004)
I think I'd most like to spend a day with Harry. I'd take him out for a meal and apologise for everything I've put him through. ~ J. K. Rowling, (born 31 July 1965)
I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. ~ Milton Friedman (born 31 July 1912)
In order for the wheel to turn, for life to be lived, impurities are needed, and the impurities of impurities in the soil, too, as is known, if it is to be fertile. Dissension, diversity, the grain of salt and mustard are needed: Fascism does not want them, forbids them, and that’s why you’re not a Fascist; it wants everybody to be the same, and you are not. But immaculate virtue does not exist either, or if it exists it is detestable. ~ Primo Levi
The future of humanity is uncertain, even in the most prosperous countries, and the quality of life deteriorates; and yet I believe that what is being discovered about the infinitely large and infinitely small is sufficient to absolve this end of the century and millennium. What a very few are acquiring in knowledge of the physical world will perhaps cause this period not to be judged as a pure return of barbarism. ~ Primo Levi
I beg the reader not to go in search of messages. It is a term that I detest because it distresses me greatly, for it forces on me clothes that are not mine, which in fact belong to a human type that I distrust; the prophet, the soothsayer, the seer. I am none of these; I'm a normal man with a good memory who fell into a maelstrom and got out of it more by luck than by virtue, and who from that time on has preserved a certain curiosity about maelstroms large and small, metaphorical and actual. ~ Primo Levi
Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable. ~ Milton Friedman
The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it's one of the reasons that some people don't like the books, but I think that it's a very healthy message to pass on to younger people that you should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth. ~ J. K. Rowling
In countries and epochs in which communication is impeded, soon all other liberties wither; discussion dies by inanition, ignorance of the opinion of others becomes rampant, imposed opinions triumph. … Intolerance is inclined to censor, and censorship promotes ignorance of the arguments of others and thus intolerance itself: a rigid, vicious circle that is hard to break.
~ Primo Levi ~
The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather "What can I and my compatriots do through government" to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom? And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect? Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.
~ Milton Friedman ~
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.
~ J. K. Rowling ~
We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.
~ J. K. Rowling ~
The wizards represent all that the true "muggle" most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!
~ J. K. Rowling ~
NEVER let your guard down!
You expect a battle to be fair! — A battle will never be fair!
~ "Antiope" ~
~ Wonder Woman (2017 film) ~
A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.
~ Primo Levi ~
Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters; for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy.
~ J. K. Rowling ~
The bond between a man and his profession is similar to that which ties him to his country; it is just as complex, often ambivalent, and in general it is understood completely only when it is broken: by exile or emigration in the case of one's country, by retirement in the case of a trade or profession.
~ Primo Levi ~
One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
~ Milton Friedman ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

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

  • Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. ~ Milton Friedman

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.


In history and in life one sometimes seems to glimpse a ferocious law which states: "to he that has, will be given; from he that has not, will be taken away." ~ Primo Levi

The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well. ~ J. K. Rowling

  • 2 Kalki 22:00, 30 July 2007 (UTC) Very significant line of the Harry Potter series, but no strong desire to use it this year.
  • 1 Zarbon 14:52, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Agree with Kalki--would someone like to research the HP timeline and identify the (future) year when this line takes place, and maybe we should plan to use it then. Matchups 15:39, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Matchups and Kalki; this line occurs in the Potter universe on the 1st September, 2017 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Harry_Potter_series)
  • 1 //Gbern3 (talk) 14:11, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
  • 2 (major spoiler, so I wouldn't use it) DanielTom (talk) 03:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

With some notable exceptions, businessmen favor free enterprise in general but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves. ~ Milton Friedman

Governments never learn. Only people learn. ~ Milton Friedman

In this day and age, we need to revise the old saying to read, "Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." ~ Milton Friedman

I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere. ~ Milton Friedman

I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse. ~ Milton Friedman

I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal. ~ Milton Friedman

The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both. ~ Milton Friedman