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Cool Quotes - E

Ear


What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears as easily as we open and shut our eyes!
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Earnestness


Earnestness is just stupidity sent to college.
P. J. O'Rourke

Ease


It is in vain, I perceive, to look for ease and happiness in a world of troubles.
George Washington

Economics


The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
Adam Smith

No nation was ever ruined by trade.
Benjamin Franklin

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.
Adam Smith

There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Milton Friedman

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
John Maynard Keynes

Blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protectionism teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.
Henry George

It is impossible to understand the history of economic thought if one does not pay attention to the fact that economics as such is a challenge to the conceit of those in power.
Ludwig von Mises

At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment.
Thomas Sowell

[The] zero-sum caricature [applies] much more accurately to socialism, which stifles the creation of new wealth and thus fosters a dog-eat-dog struggle over existing material resources.
George Gilder

The active, insatiate principle of self-love can alone supply the arts of life and the wages of industry; and as soon as civil government and exclusive property have been introduced, they become necessary to the existence of the human race.
Edward Gibbon

The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government union-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system.
Milton Friedman

There is no such thing on this earth as something for nothing.
William Graham Sumner

It is one of history's great ironies that capitalists built decent and humane societies on the basis of an amoral approach to the economics of pricing, whereas socialists built exploitative and inhumane societies on the basis of a morally inflamed approach to economics.
Kevin D. Williamson

There cannot be overproduction of anything which men and women want. And their wants are unlimited, except by the size of their stomachs.
Thomas Edison

Economist


An economist is someone who sees something working in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.
Ronald Reagan

Education


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Chinese Proverb

"Whom are you?" he asked, for he had attended business college.
George Ade

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats

I find the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.
Clark Kerr

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
Mark Twain

It takes me several days, after I get back to Boston, to realize that the reference "the president" refers to the president of Harvard and not to a minor official in Washington.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I've over-educated myself in all the things I shouldn't have known at all.
Noel Coward

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly
Michel de Montaigne

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
Alexander Pope

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
George Bernard Shaw

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

The learned are seldom pretty fellows, and in many cases their appearance tends to discourage a love of study in the young.
H. L. Mencken

The trouble is not chiefly that our universities are unfit for students but that many present-day students are unfit for universities.
Eric Hoffer

I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.
Max Beerbohm

. . . school teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
H. L. Mencken

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.
H. L. Mencken

More than any other class of blind leaders of the blind they are responsible for the degrading standardization which now afflicts the American people.
H. L. Mencken, on pedagogues

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
Carl Gustav Jung

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain

Give your ears, hear the sayings,
Give your heart to understand them;
It profits to put them in your heart.
Amenemope

The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.
Edward Gibbon

It is better to learn late than never.
Publilius Syrus

Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
Winston Churchill

When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
Cicero

[It] is not sufficiently considered, that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
Samuel Johnson

In the productions of the mind, as in those of the soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill . . .
Edward Gibbon

Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised, before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.
Edward Gibbon

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
Mark Twain

The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office, or even a newsstand.
Louis L'Amour

If I am through learning, I am through.
John Wooden

One of the benefits of a bad education is the constant pleasure of discovery.
Richard Brookhiser

No other society in human history has placed such a strong and consistent emphasis on education at all levels as the United States has from its very inception. But there has been a failure somewhere. . . . There is a universal complaint in Europe and North America that the young emerge from high school (and often from university) with only tolerable literacy, unable to write their own language well, ignorant of other languages, knowing little of their country's history, literature, and culture -- fitter candidates for a mob than for a citizenry.
Paul Johnson

The purpose of a college education is to give you the correct view of minorities, and the means to live as far away from them as possible.
Joseph Sobran

[Bilingual education:] a school system that can't teach its charges in one language has smoothly diversified into not teaching them in two.
Mark Steyn

Repetition is the mother of pedagogy.
Dennis Prager

In modern education, girls are treated as the gold standard, and boys are treated as "defective girls."
Dennis Prager

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
Author unidentified

Learn of [from] the skillful: He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master.
Author unidentified

Effort


In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present, merely means that there has been stored-up effort in the past.
Theodore Roosevelt

Ego


I don't let the hate go to my heart, and I don't let the praise go to my head.
Dennis Prager

Egotist


An egotist is a man who thinks that if he hadn't been born, people would have wondered why.
Dan Post

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Election


Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams

Emacs


Emacs is a nice [operating system], but a weird editor.
M. J. Blom

Empire


[An] extensive empire must be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression; in the centre, an absolute power, prompt in action and rich in resources; a swift and easy communication with the extreme parts; fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion; a regular administration to protect and punish; and a well-disciplined army to inspire fear, without provoking discontent and despair.
Edward Gibbon

One reason empires fail is that they are too big to run; they are easier to create than to administer, consolidate and defend.
Paul Johnson

End


Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill

All lovely things will have an ending,
All lovely things will fade and die,
All youth, that's now so bravely spending,
Will beg a penny by and by.
Conrad Aiken

The line, often adopted by strong men in controversy, of justifying the means by the end.
Saint Jerome

Enemy


A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde

Whoever has his foe at his mercy, and does not kill him, is his own enemy.
Sa'di

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Arabic proverb

He makes no friend who never made a foe.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We should forgive our enemies, but only after they have been hanged first.
Heinrich Heine

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
Thomas Jones

The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; and we may inquire, with anxious curiosity, whether Europe is still threatened with a repetition of those calamities, which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome.
Edward Gibbon

Yet this apparent security should not tempt us to forget, that new enemies, and unknown dangers, may possibly arise from some obscure people, scarcely visible in the map of the world. The Arabs or Saracens, who spread their conquests from India to Spain, had languished in poverty and contempt, till [Muhammad] breathed into those savage bodies the soul of enthusiasm.
Edward Gibbon

I have made plenty of enemies in my lifetime, but none has ever done me as much injury as I do myself.
Kathryn L. Nelson

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Engineer


There are three principal ways to lose money: wine, women, and engineers. While the first two are more pleasant, the third is by far the more certain.
Baron Rothschild, ca. 1800

If you can write code and understand systems, you're a geek. If you can communicate, coordinate, and control -- you're an engineer.
Author unidentified

England


To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.
W. Somerset Maugham

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.
Rupert Brooke

Industrialization came to England but has since left.
P. J. O'Rourke

English


The difference between the vanity of a Frenchman and an Englishman seems to be this: The one thinks everything right that is French, the other thinks everything wrong that is not English.
William Hazlitt

The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest about it.
James Agee

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
George Bernard Shaw

If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
"Ma" Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

The most dangerous thing in the world is to make a friend of an Englishman, because he'll come sleep in your closet rather than spend ten shillings on a hotel.
Truman Capote

The English find ill-health not only interesting but respectable and often experience death in the effort to avoid a fuss.
Pamela Frankau

Naturally I am biased in favor of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English, I would whip them hard for that.
Winston Churchill

Environment


People are easily anesthetized by overstatement, and there is a danger that the environmental movement will fall flat on its face when it is most needed, simply because it has pitched its tale too strongly.
John Maddox

Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
P. J. O'Rourke

Worshiping the earth is more fun than going to church. It's also closer.
P. J. O'Rourke

A pleasant natural environment is a good -- a luxury good, philosophical good, a moral goody-good, a good time for all. Whatever, we want it. If we want something, we should pay for it, with our labor or our cash. We shouldn't beg it, steal it, sit around wishing for it, or euchre the government into taking it by force.
P. J. O'Rourke

[The land] was then covered with morasses and forests, which spread to a boundless extent, whenever man has ceased to exercise his dominion over the earth.
Edward Gibbon

Once ecology became a fashionable good cause, as it did in the late 1960s, reason, logic and proportion flew out of the window. It became a campaign not against pollution, but against growth itself, and especially against free enterprise growth -- totalitarian communist growth was somehow less morally offensive.
Paul Johnson

Environmentalism


Truly environmentalism has displaced economics as the dismal science.
Steven Hayward

Environmentalist


Benign environmentalists are opposed to pollution, as all sensible people are; malign environmentalists are opposed to energy and most of what it enables.
Kevin D. Williamson

Envy


Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead.
Mark Twain

Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.
Job 5:2

[They] saw, they envied . . .
Edward Gibbon

The covetous man is ever in want.
Horace

Epitaph


If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
H. L. Mencken

Pause, stranger, when you pass me by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
So prepare for death and follow me.
Author unidentified

Equality


The Romans had aspired to be equal; they were leveled by the equality of servitude . . .
Edward Gibbon

The yearning after equality [in economic outcome] is the offspring of envy and covetousness, and there is no possible plan for satisfying that yearning which can do aught else than rob A to give to B; consequently all such plans nourish some of the meanest vices of human nature, waste capital, and overthrow civilization.
William Graham Sumner

Error


The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of the truth -- that error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
H. L. Mencken

Where error is irretrievable, repentance is useless.
Edward Gibbon

Eugenics


Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Go through the towns and ask yourselves whether these people should reproduce! Let them go to their whores!
Friedrich Nietzsche

Europe


Europe is secure from any future irruptions of Barbarians; since, before they can conquer, they must cease to be barbarous.
Edward Gibbon

When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome.
Charles Murray

In Europe, nothing is certain except death and welfare, and why let the former get in the way of the latter?
Mark Steyn

European Union


The world is already drifting into three huge trading systems -- the Americas, East Asia, and Europe. There is no doubt that the French, and the bulk of the Brussels machine, see the EC as an internal free-trading area, surrounded by a high protective wall -- Fortress Europe. If the French determine the European pattern, then the Big Three will emerge as fiercely antagonistic, repelling one another's trade and fostering their own. The scene would be set for the greatest trade wars the world has ever known -- and history teaches that trade wars lead to real ones. We could well face the nightmare of that tripartite world, engaged in perpetual warfare, foreseen in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Paul Johnson

Evil


The beginning of evil is the assault on truth. The first sin, of Adam, was preceded by the first lie, Satan's, and its unthinking repetition by Eve. The metaphor of Genesis teaches that anti-truth is the cause of active evil. Lying is the prolegomenon, the foreword, to the encyclopaedia of evil.
Paul Johnson

[Back] in Sudan, the killing went on: hundreds of thousands of people were murdered. With machetes. . . . The mound of corpses piled up around the world at the turn of the century was not from high-tech nuclear states but from low-tech psycho states.
Mark Steyn

Instead of learning to fight evil, the Germans learned that fighting is evil.
Dennis Prager (paraphrased)

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 97:10

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 8:13

Example


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Mark Twain

[Example] is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Edmund Burke

Experience


Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson.
Vernon Law

Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.
Oscar Wilde

Exploration


A few strike out, without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
Edgar Guest

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Last updated: November 13, 2017