Curtis Dahlgren
"The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time" (honest God's Truth); part 3
By Curtis Dahlgren
July 28, 2010

"New estimates from the White House on Friday predict that the budget deficit will reach a record $1.47 trillion this year. The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends." — news item, page 2; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 7-24-10 ("Briefing")

I'M EMBARRASSED. This is the third part of a book review, and last week I mismangled the title of the book, calling it "The Greatest Thoughts of All Time." Maybe I just did that to see if anyone is actually out there on the worldwide grapevine. I just wish the Federalis were as embarrassed about the job they've been doing!

Mark Belling pointed out the other day that 1.4 trillion dollars in an annual shortfall equates to $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in China — which is supposedly going to keep floating us loans forever? — and the "White House estimate" assumes a recovery from the recession!

the book I'm reviewing is entitled "The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time (In Two Lines or Less)," by John Shanahan, and briefly here are a few examples more:

- "Two and two the mathematician continues to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five." — James Whistler ((1834-1903)

- "Show me a liar, and I'll show you a thief." — George Herbert (1593-1633)

- "Beware the flatterer: He feeds you with an empty spoon." — C. De Gregio

- "Nothing is truer in a sense than a funeral oration. It tells precisely what the dead man should have been." — Gustave Vapereau (1909-42)

- "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." — Oscar Wilde

- "The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped." — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

- "The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities." — Sophocles (496-406 BC)

- "Never claim as a right what you can ask as a favor." — John Collins (1848-1908)

- "We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it." — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

- "Rich man down and poor man up — they are still not even." — Yiddish proverb

- "How many people become abstract as a way of appearing profound." — Jos. Jaubert (1754-1824)

- "That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false." — Paul Valery

- "A man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe." — Euripedes (485-406 BC)

- "Who lies for you will lie against you." — Bosnian proverb

- "That man, who flees from truth, should have invented the mirror, is the greatest of historical miracles." — Christian Hebbel (1813-63)

- "The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more clever than others." — Francois Du de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

- "Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love the truth." — Joseph Joubert

- "If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup." — Turkish proverb

- "There are only two ways of telling the complete truth — anonymously and post-humously." — Thomas Sowell

[and finally]

- "Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few." — George Berkeley (1685-1753)

P.S. Just a few more things:

- "Many a crown shines spotless now that yet was deeply sullied in the winning." — von Schiller (1775-1854)

- "A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him." — Nicholas Boileau-Despereaux

- "With someone who holds nothing but trumps, it is impossible to play cards." — Hebbel

PPS: For moments such as this one, the term "vigilance" was invented. We must say our piece now, or forever hold our peace, because powerful forces in high places are busily stuffing their coat-sleeves with trumps. The closing quotation-for-the-day is this one:

"Trust everyone, but cut the cards."
Finley Dunne (1865-1936)

[THE GOOD NEWS IS: The "race card" and the "race suit" are NOT always going to be TRUMP!]

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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