Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category


“There is one thing in the world more wicked than the desire to command, and that is the will to obey.”

–quoted by Charles T. Sprading in Liberty and the Great Libertarians


Simone Weil

“The great error of nearly all studies of war, an error into which all socialists have fallen, has been to consider war an episode in foreign politics when it is especially an act of internal politics, and the most atrocious act of all.

“Since the directing apparatus has no other way of fighting the enemy than by sending its own soldiers, under compulsion, to their deaths — the war of one state against another state resolves itself into a war of the state and its military apparatus against its own people”

–Simone Weil, Politics (1945)


Porter Wagoner

I had a woman
I guess every man does
And every man thinks his is the best
Mine was
Stuck by me through thick and thin
Till it just got too thin

–Porter Wagoner, “Confessions of a Broken Man

For other perversely wonderful Porter Wagoner tunes check out “Sorrow on the Rocks” and “The Rubber Room.”


“The Teskin are one of the most specialized carnivores in the known galaxy. They evolved over the millennia to infiltrate cocktail parties, wedding receptions, and class reunions. Once inside they corner their unsuspecting prey and regale them with hours of banal anecdotes about office politics, family vacations, and medical issues. A successful hunt ends when the target kills himself out of desperation.”

–Patrick S. Tomlinson, Gate Crashers


Iain M. Banks

“There is a saying that some foolish people believe: what does not kill you makes you stronger. I know for a fact, having seen the evidence — indeed often enough having been the cause of it — that what does not kill you can leave you maimed. Or crippled, or begging for death in one of those ghastly twilights experienced — and one has to hope that that is entirely not the right word — by those in a locked-in or persistent vegetative state. In my experience the same people also believe that everything happens for a reason. Given the unalleviatedly barbarous history of every world we have ever encountered with anything resembling Man on it, this is a statement of quite breathtakingly casual retrospective and ongoing cruelty, tantamount to the condonation of the most severe and unforgivable sadism.”

–“Tem” in Iain M. Banks’ Transition

(In the first sentence, Banks is referring to Nietzsche’s most idiotic aphorism: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” from Twilight of the Idols)


Ursula Le Guin

“There’s always room for another story. There’s always room for another tune, right? Nobody can write too many tunes. So if you have stories to tell and can tell them competently, then somebody will want to hear it if you tell it well at all. To believe that there is somebody who wants to hear that story is the kind of confidence a writer has to have when they’re in the period of learning their craft and not selling stuff and not really knowing what they’re doing.”

Ursula Le Guin interview with Choire Sicha


Sidelife, by Steve Toutonghi, front cover“. . . he picked up Sophie’s [the cat’s] food dish and began to rinse it in the sink, his finger burrowing into the remainder of Sophie’s previous meal,  a dried brown gunk. . . . he was mildly repulsed by a mental image of the cultivation of small animals, caged hens swelling like fat bacteria in a large damp petri dish of a factory before being rousted by numbed workers who shackled their feet so they’d hang upside down as they were dragged through a paralyzing electric bath, their throats cut, blood drained, bodies plucked, shredded and ground, passed on a belt through an oven, pressed and canned, the cans stacked on a pallet and shipped from one country to another, one state to another, to a central warehouse and then all the way to a local grocery; and from there in his car to this house where he would peel open the sealed band of metal and scoop out a gelatinous paté, a cream of chicken bodies, mash and stir it . . . so that Sophie could nourish herself on a small portion of it and leave the rest to dry into this cadaverous glue he was now rinsing into the garbage disposal.”

–Steve Toutonghi in Sidelife

In keeping with our no-euphemisms, no-bullshit policy, the above is an accurate portrayal of the horrors involved in the production of chicken-based wet cat food. If you have cats and choose to feed them this gross, expensive crap, literally based in industrial-strength cruelty, you are complicit in this appalling abuse.

(If you’re wondering, I had a cat — Spot Bob, my best buddy — for 15 years, and still miss him. I mostly fed him dry food [which is bad enough], but occasionally would give him wet food, including cans of chicken. Like almost all cat owners, I chose to be unaware of the miserable lives and deaths of the poor birds my pal, Spot Bob, was eating. As an aside, his rather odd name came from two places, the first obvious to most sci-fi fans; the second from a girlfriend I had at the time who grew up in a double-wide in a junkyard — her dad managed the place — and who insisted that the proper middle name of all males was “Bob,” as in Jim Bob, Joe Bob, and hence Spot Bob. But I digress . . . . .)

If you feel that you absolutely have to give your kitty wet food, please give them fish-based wet food. It consists mostly of “trash” fish caught by fishing fleets, and doesn’t involve the horrendous animal suffering inherent to chicken-based cat food. If your cat won’t eat fish-based wet food, he or she won’t die from lack of the worst form of canned cruelty.

Please think about it