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

March 21, 2015
THE ANNUAL CLASSIC: George Washington goes into a bar - -


March 14, 2015
THE WAR ON DISSENT; the Ides of March are here again ("but not past")


March 6, 2015
THE WAR ON DISSENT: Bibi & 'Bama; Purim & the Ayatollah of Persia


February 28, 2015
The War on Dissent: Fibs, spin, statistics, and pure fiction


February 19, 2015
"The wicked man will always find an excuse for evil-doing" [500 BC]


February 11, 2015
Evolution: The Thalidomide of social silver bullets


February 7, 2015
Close Encounters: the shortest yard and a pass too far; Seahawks go green


January 29, 2015
The Trouble with Tolerance: Myopia on the way to Utopia (the whole 9 yards)


January 21, 2015
Fiction vs. Non-fiction: "Life isn't all beer and skittles"!


January 17, 2015
Swing LEFT, Sweet Chariot: Delusions of the alpha-offended (part 2)


More articles

 

Alan Keyes
'A Bucket Brigade': The most simple, feasible way to take back America!

Stephen Stone
Will Obama be impeached now that Republicans control both houses of Congress?

Desmond McGrath
Remembering Mr. Lee Kuan Yew

Kevin Price
The incredible, shrinking global economy

Tim Dunkin
Principles of constitutionalism: the rule of law versus the rule of rules

Bryan Fischer
Dear Ms. Ali: the Islamic "reformation" has already happened

Lloyd Marcus
Hysteria over Cruz illustrates what we're up against

Chuck Baldwin
Ted Cruz: pros and cons

Clenard Childress
Black life matters, to whom

Michael Bresciani
When the political door closes and the prophetic door opens

Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
What ever happened to Confession?

Michael Webster
Gov Susana Martinez petitions court to reject Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache Tribe's legal request

Laurie Roth
Airplane horror brings even more scary questions

Matt C. Abbott
The controversy surrounding Catholic Relief Services
  More columns

Cartoons


Michael Ramirez

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

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

Sister sites