It’s a New Day- Quotes From the Famous and The Infamous

Collected by Thea Halo

Tragedy isn’t getting something or failing to get it. It’s losing something you already have.
— Euripides.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.1
— Robert J. Hanlon

President Trump had the facts about the coronavirus as early as February. If he had not taken bold and swift action, those facts could have spread like wildfire.2
— Kayleigh McEnany, President Trump’s White House press secretary.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
— Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
— Socrates

The United States, for all its faults, is still the greatest nation in the country.
— Spiro Agnew

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
— Will Rogers

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress….
But then I repeat myself.
— Mark Twain

Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
— Groucho Marx

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
— Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
— George Bernard Shaw

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
— James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
— Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
— P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
— Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you!
— Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
— Mark Twain (1866 )

Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it.
— Cullen Hightower

The true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success.
— Cullen Hightower

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
— Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
— Mark Twain

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save Congress.
— Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
— Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked for forgiveness.
— Emo Philips, comedian (1956- )

If his IQ slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.
— Molly Ivins about a local congressman.

She reminds us that dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed doors.
— Lewis Lapham, editor emeritus of Harper’s magazine about Molly Ivins.

The illegal we can do now; the unconstitutional will take a little longer.
—Henry Kissinger, in The Trial of Henry Kissinger )

I’m the commander—see … I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.
—George W. Bush from Bob Woodward’s Bush at War.

Bombing for peace is like f**king for virginity!!!
— unknown author, used during the Viet Nam war by protestors, but believed to be from an elderly female survivor of war.

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
— Socrates

You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.
— Bob Marley

If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.
― Muhammad Ali and other sources.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
— Socrates


  1. Similar statements have been made by Goethe, and indeed, Robert Heinlein: In The Sorrows of Young Werther Goethe declared, “Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence.” In his story Logic of Empire (1941) Heinlein declares: “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity”. He calls this the “devil theory” of sociology. His character Lazarus Long also voices a variation on the theme in the novel Time Enough for Love: “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”
  2. Andy Borowitz, Kayleigh McEnany claims no one has worked harder than Trump to Protect Americans From The Facts. The New Yorker. September 10, 2020.

Thea Halo is the author of Not Even My Name; a former news correspondent for WBAI in NYC; and a former member of both the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS). Ms Halo’s historical papers are published in a number of Academic books: Genocide in the Ottoman Empire; Sayfo 1915: An Anthology of Essays on the Genocide of Assyrians/Arameans during the first World War; and an upcoming anthology on the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks (during the first World War in Ottoman Turkey). You can view one of her presentations at the Boston State House @