Random Quotes

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”–Joseph Heller, Catch-22


“Kenneth, what is the frequency?”…Words spoken to former CBS newsman Dan Rather on a Manhattan sidewalk in October of 1986 as the speaker beat Rather half to death.  The speaker was unknown for years but identified in 1997 as one William Tager, then serving time for the shooting death of a CBS employee.  Mr. Tager was paroled in 2010.  The beating incident inspired the (alternative rock) R.E.M. tune “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” a few years after the fact.


A Few Words from the VEEPS

“Not worth a bucket of warm piss.” – FDR’s first VP John Nance Garner assessing the Vice-Presidency. Blogger’s comment: the phrase was widely “Bowdlerized” for decades as “not worth a bucket of warm spit,” but the Calumet Law Blog is reluctant to censor such a rare comment from a politician giving his honest Opinion…Dave

“What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.” – Woodrow Wilson’s VP Thomas R. Marshall (also a Hoosier lawyer and state governor).

“Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”…”I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.”…”It’s wonderful to be here in the great State of Chicago”…”I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.” – All attributed to James Danforth Quayle, a Hoosier and VP under President George H. Bush (“Bush 41”).


A few Quotes about Lawyers:

“One of the things I was taught in law school is that I’d never be able to think the same again – that being a lawyer is something that’s part of who I am as an individual now.” Anita Hill

“The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.” 18th-19th Century English philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham

“It’s every lawyer’s dream to help shape the law, not just react to it.” Alan Dershowitz. Blogger’s comment: For the practicing lawyer the only real chance to shape or change the law is in appellate work. If you don’t file appeals, you’re not in the game…Dave

“No client ever had money enough to bribe my conscience or to stop its utterance against wrong, and oppression. My conscience is my own – my creator’s – not man’s. I shall never sink the rights of mankind to the malice, wrong or avarice of another’s wishes, though those wishes come to me in the relation of client and attorney.” Abraham Lincoln. Blogger’s comment: A lawyer who fails to set moral limits to what he is willing to do for an influential client has a deficit of integrity that cannot be remedied by an air of civility in doing that which should not be done…Dave

“A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” Abraham Lincoln

End of Lawyer Quotes

“Turn on, tune in, drop out.” A counterculture motto of the 1960’s popularized by Timothy Leary after the phrase was “given to him” by Marshall McLuhan.

“The future isn’t what it used to be.” A quote attributed to several persons including Yogi Berra and (my favorite) the alien G’Kar from Babylon 5.

“You can’t seriously want to ban alcohol. It tastes great, makes women appear more attractive, and makes a person virtually invulnerable to criticism.” Springfield Mayor “Diamond Joe” Quimby

“‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague?  it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.”
Juliet to Romeo from Act II Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”

“A rose is a rose is a rose.” Gertrude Stein, from various writings.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne, from his Meditation XVII.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
…From John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”…From “The Serenity Prayer” adopted in the early 1940’s by Alcoholics Anonymous

“Klaatu barada nikto.”  –  Helen Benson to the Robot Gort (regarding the resurrection of Klaatu/Mr. Carpenter and saving the planet from destruction) in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

“The child is father of the man.” –  William Wordsworth from The Rainbow.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass.

“It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” –  Proverbs 25:24 (NKJV)

“Now, gods, stand up for bastards.”  – From King Lear Act I Scene 2, Edmund’s soliloquy to the moon

“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a Whimper.”
From T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”– Abraham Lincoln (Blogger’s comment) Abe, that may be the best advice that I’ve ever chosen to ignore…Dave

“In order to conquer an animal, I have to think like an animal, and whenever possible, look like one.”– Carl Spackler

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”– Abraham Lincoln (Blogger’s comment) Just who are you talking about, Abe?…Dave

“War is the continuation of politics…It can therefore be said that politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.”– Quotations from Chairman Mao

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”– Maya Angelou

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”– J. Robert Oppenheimer (paraphrasing from the Bhagavad Gita)

“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.”– from Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”– Mark Twain

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