Curtis Dahlgren
July 25, 2010
"The Greatest Thoughts of All Time"; a few words more
By Curtis Dahlgren

"One of the misfortunes of our time is that in getting rid of false shame, we have killed off so much real shame as well." Louis Kronenberger (1904-80)

A SOCIETY THAT CANNOT BLUSH PROBABLY CAN'T BE SAVED. And I ain't seen anyone blushing of late. There's a biblical principle that says people get the government they deserve and in 2008 our chickens evidently came home to roost.

My previous column was basically a book review on "The Greatest Thoughts of All Time (In Two Lines or Less)"; I hadn't heard of it until a friend lent it to me, but I hope that it's still in print or at least available (Cliff Street Books). The compiler of quotations, John M. Shanahan, did a prodigious job, and as I said last week, some of the choicest ones are good introductions to my series on Bolsehvist history.

Why do Americans assume we will always avoid the national disasters that have repeatedly stricken Europe and other parts of the world? Unless we do something about "the human condition" our chances of solving national problems are slim and none. Here are a few proverbs more, from "Greatest Thoughts":

  • "The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree I planted." Lord Byron (1788-1824)

  • "Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." Charles Spurgeon (1834-92)

  • "It is often the failure who is the pioneer in new lands, new undertakings, and new forms of expression." Eric Hoffer (1902-83)

  • "It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance." Saint Jerome (342-420)

  • "I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is to try to please everybody." Herbert Swope (1882-1958)

  • "If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock." Justice Arthur Goldberg (1908-90)

  • "I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution." Werner von Braun

  • "Fear leads you directly into the path of that which you fear." anonymous

  • "Every individual or national degeneration is immediately revealed by a directly proportional degradation in language." Joseph Marie-de Maistre (1753-1821)

  • "He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander." Napoleon

  • "Talkers are no good doers." Shakespeare

  • "Conscience is thoroughly well bred, and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it." Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

  • "Ah, if [only] the rich were rich as the poor fancy riches." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "A show of envy is an insult to oneself." Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1933- )

  • "Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, 48 percent indignation, and 50 percent envy." Vittorio de Sice (1901-74)

  • "It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those we intend to commit." Josh Billings (1818-85)

  • "Men are not punished for their sins but by them." Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

  • "Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true." Demosthenes (384-322 BC)

  • [and finally] "Truth does not blush." Tertullian (160-240 BC)

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in the frozen tundra of Michigan's U.P., and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Curtis Dahlgren: Click here

Latest articles

 

Alan Keyes
Why de facto government (tyranny) is replacing the Constitution (Apr. 2015)

Stephen Stone
Will Obama be impeached now that Republicans control both houses of Congress? (Nov. 2014)

Cliff Kincaid
Obama/Trump back Russian invasion of Syria

Madeline Crabb
A result of rejecting God – socialism

Jerry Newcombe
The irony of banning God from the public square

Tim Dunkin
What do you do when the government loses its legitimacy?

Russ J. Alan
Can Ted Cruz win with 3rd place in New Hampshire?

Robert Meyer
"Making a Murderer" documentary shows the power of advocacy journalism

Bryan Fischer
Constitution prohibits NASA from banning Jesus

Curtis Dahlgren
Presidents' Month or Black History Month? Who says so?

Michael Bresciani
Top twelve reasons not to give the GOP nomination to Donald Trump

Judie Brown
Assisted suicide: an American state of mind

Donald Hank
Security conscious Americans entrust the most vital security task of all to amateurs

Ellis Washington
Trump, Jeb and eminent domain
  More columns

Cartoons


Michael Ramirez
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites