Before he became the 26th Secretary of Defense, James Mattis was a general in the U.S. Marines Corps. He earned his nickname of "Mad Dog" with his characteristic bluntness and determination. He famously advised fellow Marines, "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
The father of Marxism did not think highly of the concept of final words. His final words, in fact, were, "Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!”
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were inseperable friends, but despite that, Tolkien felt the need to put his friend on notice prior to reading one of his newest works: "I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge."
The Duchess de la Rochefoucauld was overheard commenting on the prominent facial features of an unfortunate girl, "God forgives. The world forgets, but the nose remains."
Søren Kierkegaard earned the nickname "The Fork" in his youth, due to his ability to identify an opponent's weaknesses and stick it to him. Generally this took the form of surgical strikes from his rapier-sharp wit, but occasionally he could bluntly lob a cannonball, as well. When moved to frustration in his debates with Hans... Continue Reading →
"Three things ruin a man: power, money, and women. I never wanted power. I never had any money, and the only woman in my life is up at the house right now." -- President Harry S Truman
"About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop." -- Elihu Root, attorney and Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary of War Under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
"The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right." -- Mark Twain
Illinois Representative William McKendree Springer quoted Henry Clay during a debate in the US House of Representatives, saying, “As for me, I would rather be right than be president.” Speaker Thomas Reed immediately responded, “The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.” The Life of Thomas Brackett Reed, chapter 21, page 246 (1914)
Douglas Adams, best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, had a talent for expressing the human condition in a profound and entertaining way. Here are a few examples: Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their... Continue Reading →
Winston Church described Clement Attlee as, “a modest man, who has much to be modest about.” source
Charles Dickens didn't mince words when it came to King Henry VIII: "The plain truth is, that he was a most intolerable ruffian, a disgrace to human nature, and a blot of blood and grease upon the History of England."
"No one in this world, so far as I know - and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me - has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." -- H.L. Mencken
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." -- Mark Twain