COACHES HOT SEAT

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, February 2, 2016 – John Quincy Adams


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“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

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“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

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“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

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“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”

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“All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.”

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“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

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“Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.”

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“All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.”

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“Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.”

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“In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill will to any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow men, not knowing what they do.”

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“To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is … the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.”

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“This is the last of Earth! I am content.” Last words, February 21, 1848

Wikipedia:  John Quincy Adams

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – Thomas Paine

 

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A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.

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“Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

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“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

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“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

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“I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

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“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.”

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“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best stage, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

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“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”

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“There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.”

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“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

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“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

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“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

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“We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the event of a few months.” Common Sense, 1776

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“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” The American Crisis, 1776

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“It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” The American Crisis, 1776

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“The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it.” The Rights of Man, 1791

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“It is the nature and intention of a constitution to prevent governing by party, by establishing a common principle that shall limit and control the power and impulse of party, and that says to all parties, thus far shalt thou go and no further. But in the absence of a constitution, men look entirely to party; and instead of principle governing party, party governs principle.” First Principles of Government, 1795

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“I never tire of reading Tom Paine.” Abraham Lincoln, as quoted in A Literary History of the American People, 1931

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“I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles.” Thomas Alva Edison

Wikipedia: Thomas Paine

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, February 29, 2016 – John Wayne

 

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“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”

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“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

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“Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

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“If everything isn’t black and white, I say, ‘Why the hell not?'”

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“I stick to simple themes. Love. Hate. No nuances. I stay away from psychoanalyst’s couch scenes. Couches are good for one thing.”

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“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

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“I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.”

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“Sorry don’t get it done, Dude.” John T. Chance (Rio Bravo)

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“A lot of guys make mistakes, I guess, but every one we make, a whole stack of chips goes with it. We make a mistake, and some guy don’t walk away – forevermore, he don’t walk away.” Sergeant John M. Stryker (Sands of Iwo Jima)

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“Yup. The end of a way of life. Too bad. It’s a good way. Wagons forward! Yo!” Hondo Lane (Hondo)

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“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else.” Capt. Rockwell Torrey (In Harm’s Way)

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“Republic. I like the sound of the word.” Col. David Crockett (The Alamo)

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“I eat as much as I ever did, I drink more than I should, and my sex life is none of your goddamned business.” Playboy interview, May 1971

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“I’ve always followed my father’s advice:  he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally.  If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to.  And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.”

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“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.”

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“Don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one I suggest you make damn sure you win.”

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“I want to play a real man in all my films, and I define manhood simply:  men should be tough, fair, and courageous;  never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.”

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“Words are what men live by….words they say and mean.”

Wikipedia:  John Wayne

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Sunday, February 28, 2016 – H. L. Mencken

 

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“A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”

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“A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.”

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“A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.”

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“A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.”

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“A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.”

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“A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.”

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“All government, of course, is against liberty.”

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“All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.”

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“Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.”

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“Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.”

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“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.”

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“Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.”

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“Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.”

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“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.”

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“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

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“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

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“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

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“I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.”

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“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

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“I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.”

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“I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.”

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“If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.”

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“It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.”

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“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.”

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“It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.”

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“It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.”

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“Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.”

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“Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon.”

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“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.”

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“Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.”

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“Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

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“Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.”

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“Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.”

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“Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.”

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“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.”

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“The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”

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“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”

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“The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.”

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“The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God’s children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.”

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“To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!”

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“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.”

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‘When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.”

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“It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.”

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“To sum up: 1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. 2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.”

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“The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty — and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.”

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“The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.”

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“I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech — alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.”

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“I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. I am against any man and any organization which seeks to limit or deny that freedom. . . [and] the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.”

Wikipedia:  H. L. Mencken

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Saturday, February 27, 2016 – Will Rogers

 

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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.”

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“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”

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“A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.”

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“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.”

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“Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.”

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“An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.”

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“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?”

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“Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.”

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“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.”

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“Communism to me is one-third practice and two-thirds explanation.”

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“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

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“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

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“I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him “father.””

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“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”

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“I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this – no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one.”

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“If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.”

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“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”

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“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”

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“Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.”

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“Money and women are the most sought after and the least known about of any two things we have.”

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“Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators.”

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“The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can’t make anybody believe that he has it.”

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“The more that learn to read the less learn how to make a living. That’s one thing about a little education. It spoils you for actual work. The more you know the more you think somebody owes you a living.”

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“The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.”

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“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

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“Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.”

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“You can’t say that civilization don’t advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.”

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“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”

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“We are the first nation to starve to death in a storehouse that’s overfilled with everything we want.”

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“We are here just for a spell and then pass on. So get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you are ahead.”

Wiikipedia:  Will Rogers

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Friday, February 26, 2016 – Andrew Jackson

 

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“Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission.”

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“As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending.”

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“Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.”

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“Fear not, the people may be deluded for a moment, but cannot be corrupted.”

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“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.”

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“Never take counsel of your fears.”

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“One man with courage makes a majority.”

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“Our government is founded upon the intelligence of the people. I for one do not despair of the republic. I have great confidence in the virtue of the great majority of the people, and I cannot fear the result.”

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“The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the government, the sovereign power.”

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“The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer… form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws.”

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“There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses.”

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“The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe.”

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“The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.”

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“Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”

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“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.”

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“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”

Wikipedia: Andrew Jackson

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, February 25, 2016 – General Robert Neyland

 

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“General Neyland’s 7 Maxims

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE.

3. If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don’t let up… put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle… for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.”

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“You never know what a football player is made of until he plays Alabama”

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“The team that makes the fewest mistakes wins”

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“To defeat a weak opponent is not the problem: The problem is to win when he is as good or better than you”

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“Gentlemen, touchdowns follow blocking as sure night follows day”

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“If my teams win, my press will be good. If we lose, the press can’t help me anyhow.”

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“People think I’m the greatest damn coach in the world,” said the great Bear Bryant, “but Neyland taught me everything I know.”

Wikipedia Page: General Robert Neyland

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – Joe Louis


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“Every man’s got to figure to get beat sometime.”

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“Once that bell rings you’re on your own. It’s just you and the other guy.”

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“I made the most of my ability and I did my best with my title.”

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“I hope they’re still making women like my momma. She always told me to do the right thing. She always told me to have pride in myself; she said a good name is better than money.”

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“He can run, but he can’t hide.”

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“There is no such thing as a natural boxer. A natural dancer has to practice hard. A natural painter has to paint all the time. Even a natural fool has to work at it.”

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“Your job helps your family, and your family is forever.”

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“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

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“Yeah, I’m scared. I’m scared I might kill Schmeling.”

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“I just give lip service to being the greatest. He was the greatest.” – Muhammad Ali

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“(I define fear as) standing across the ring from Joe Louis and knowing he wants to go home early.” – Max Baer

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“As soon as the bell rang, they folded like tulips.” – Ray Arcel, on Louis’ opponents

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“He’s a credit to his race—the human race.” – Jimmy Cannon

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“Louis is to good to be true and he is absolutely true.” – Ernest Hemingway

Wikipedia:  Joe Louis

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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Sunday, June 14, 2015 – Galileo Galilei

 

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“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

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“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.”

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“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”

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“Doubt is the father of invention.”

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“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.”

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“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”

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“Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.”

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“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go”

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“By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.”

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“If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.”

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“Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.”

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“I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”

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“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.”

Wikipedia Page:  Galileo Galilei

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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, February 22, 2016 – Carl Sagan

 

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“All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.”

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“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

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“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

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“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

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“I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.”

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“I can find in my undergraduate classes, bright students who do not know that the stars rise and set at night, or even that the Sun is a star.”

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“If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?”

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“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

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“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”

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“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.”

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“Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.”

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“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”

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“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

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“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

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“The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.”

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“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”

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“The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.”

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“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

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“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

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“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

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“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth — never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.”

And

“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever it has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?”

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“The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science.”

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“Matter is composed chiefly of nothing.”

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“Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid.”

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“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

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“Humans are very good at dreaming, although you’d never know it from your television.”

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“In the fabric of space and in the nature of matter, as in a great work of art, there is, written small, the artist’s signature.”

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“We on Earth have just awakened to the great oceans of space and time from which we have emerged. We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution. We have a choice: We can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us, or we can squander our 15 billion-year heritage in meaningless self-destruction. What happens in the first second of the next cosmic year depends on what we do, here and now, with our intelligence and our knowledge of the cosmos.”

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“As a boy Kepler had been captured by a vision of cosmic splendour, a harmony of the worlds which he sought so tirelessly all his life. Harmony in this world eluded him. His three laws of planetary motion represent, we now know, a real harmony of the worlds, but to Kepler they were only incidental to his quest for a cosmic system based on the Perfect Solids, a system which, it turns out, existed only in his mind. Yet from his work, we have found that scientific laws pervade all of nature, that the same rules apply on Earth as in the skies, that we can find a resonance, a harmony, between the way we think and the way the world works. When he found that his long cherished beliefs did not agree with the most precise observations, he accepted the uncomfortable facts, he preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions. That is the heart of science.”

And

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

And

“A scientific colleague tells me about a recent trip to the New Guinea highlands where she visited a stone age culture hardly contacted by Western civilization. They were ignorant of wristwatches, soft drinks, and frozen food. But they knew about Apollo 11. They knew that humans had walked on the Moon. They knew the names of Armstrong and Aldrin and Collins. They wanted to know who was visiting the Moon these days.”

And

“Education on the value of free speech and the other freedoms reserved by the Bill of Rights, about what happens when you don’t have them, and about how to exercise and protect them, should be an essential prerequisite for being an American citizen — or indeed a citizen of any nation, the more so to the degree that such rights remain unprotected. If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we’re just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.”

And

“When we consider the founders of our nation: Jefferson, Washington, Samuel and John Adams, Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine and many others; we have before us a list of at least ten and maybe even dozens of great political leaders. They were well educated. Products of the European Enlightenment, they were students of history. They knew human fallibility and weakness and corruptibility. They were fluent in the English language. They wrote their own speeches. They were realistic and practical, and at the same time motivated by high principles. They were not checking the pollsters on what to think this week. They knew what to think. They were comfortable with long-term thinking, planning even further ahead than the next election. They were self-sufficient, not requiring careers as politicians or lobbyists to make a living. They were able to bring out the best in us. They were interested in and, at least two of them, fluent in science. They attempted to set a course for the United States into the far future — not so much by establishing laws as by setting limits on what kinds of laws could be passed. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights have done remarkably well, constituting, despite human weaknesses, a machine able, more often than not, to correct its own trajectory. At that time, there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States. Today there are about a hundred times more. So if there were ten people of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jefferson’s today. Where are they?”

Wikipedia:  Carl Sagan

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