The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
– Autobiographical dictation, 30 June 1907. Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2 (University of California Press, 2013)
Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term. One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism.
Carl Sagan Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium
Half the kids in the class didn’t vote for your nephew. What about them? You don’t give a crap about them because they aren’t on your side. People like you preach tolerance and openmindedness all the time but when it comes to middle America you think we’re all evil and stupid country yokels who need your political alignment. Just because you’re on TV doesn’t mean you know crap about the government. — Mr. Garrison yelling at Rosie O’Donnell
The Three Serpent: Ignorance, Intransigence, & Apathy
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you. into this copy include: awards won, distinctions given, number of products sold, company philosophy (just keep it short), interesting company history bits, and anything that makes a reader think you’d be awesome to do business with. — Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22