blank.gif (51 bytes) NUGGETS

compiled by  Diane Alden

ttempts to buy influence can come from any quarter. To the extent they succeed, even in small things, they will breed contempt for American government and somewhere down the road national security will suffer. Washington should be chastised by the famous words of Jugurtha, (a Roman general) leaving Rome after successfully bribing the Senate: "This is a city put up for sale, and its days are numbered if it finds a buyer."

—James Ring Adams, in
The American Spectator

How different folks might handle the dilemma of an overflowing water trough:
Federal Judge: Declare the area a wetland and take the property away from the former owners.
Sierra Club: File a lawsuit claiming mental anguish on behalf of all members and demand that all water troughs in the country be fenced off and emptied.
Media: Professor appears on Oprah’s TV show and postulates that the overflowing trough could drown the entire planet sometime during the next century.
Environmental Protection Agency: Require an expensive environmental impact statement before the trough can be declared a superfund site.
Realtor: Sell waterfront lots on the site of the future lake created by the leak.
Nature Conservancy: Determine if any endangered single celled amoebas have take up residence in the leaky ecosystem. If so, proceed to purchase the entire state in which the leak occurred for future resale to the federal government.
Cowboy: Turn off the faucet.

—Range Magazine, Spring 1997

According to the U.S. General Accounting Office of Congress, out of nearly 360 million acres of federal land in the West, unreclaimed mining sites represent less than one-tenth of one percent.

—Political Economy Research
Center, Bozeman, MT

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a man tied his dog to a tree and received a ticket for his transgression. In court the Judge gave him a choice, he could apologize and hug the tree or take a fine. The man replied, "Your honor, what planet am I on?" He took the fine.
In a similar breach of PC law a Minnesota man riding an old-fashioned high wheel bicycle was castigated by a woman walking her dog. Angrily she called him stupid, foolish and thoughtless because if he fell off the bike he might traumatize her Daschund — who was wearing a doggie helmet. Turning her wrath elsewhere she spied the man who had tied his dog to the tree and screamed, "Don’t you know you are traumatizing that tree!"

—Garage Logic Radio,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

When you think about differences between morality of one people and another, do you think that the morality of one people is better or worse than that of another? Have any changes been improvements? If not, then of course there could never be any moral progress. Progress means not just changing but changing for the better. If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than another, there would be no sense in preferring civilised morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality...we all do believe that some moralities are better than others.

—C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

People can be divided into troublemakers and trouble averters, those who make waves and those who pour oil on wavy waters, the governed who risk chaos to gain freedom and the governed who will risk totalitarianism to achieve stability ... the simple truth is that all of us lean one way or the other—toward moral rebellion or submission. When does a dissident put his conscience above the law?

—William Safire, The First Dissident:
The Book of Job in Today’s Politics.

When you scoff at feminine fashion trends;
When strangers resemble absent friends;
When you start forgetting the neighbor’s names;
And remembering bygone football games;
When you only drop in at the club to scold;
By gad, sir,
You are getting old.

—Ogden Nash, The Voluble Wheel Chair

Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness and perserverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from its direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady of maintainence in order and discipline, intimate with Indian character, customs and principles, habituated to the hunting life ... honest ... sound of understanding and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves ...

—Thomas Jefferson, writing about
Meriwether Lewis (recounted in Stephen
Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage)


Journal front | Search | Comment | Sponsors