Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rampant ipsedixitism

Until Election 2016, I hadn’t been putting together as many current events pages of quotations as I did in years past. But there are just so many historical quotes relevant to what’s been going on in the U.S.A. So I’ve compiled a page of quotes about many of the issues coming up in the first several days of the new Trump administration. You can read the quotes here:  www.quotegarden.com/trump-administration-2017.html

THE PRESS MUST BE FREE. It has always been so, and much evil has been corrected by it.— If Government finds itself annoyed by it, let it examine its own conduct, and it will find the cause,— let it amend it, and it will find the remedy.” ~Thomas Erskine, 1792

P.S. Ipsedixitism is when a declaration is made dogmatically, assertively, emphatically and without proof, as if no supporting evidence is needed. Ipse dixit, n.: a dogmatic and unproven statement.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Prayer of the Nation

God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands!
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor, and who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And scorn his treacherous flatteries without winking.
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking!
—J. G. Holland (1819–1881), “The Prayer of the Nation,” circa mid‑1850s

This poem has a storied history and has been used over this past 160 years by many persons and groups who believe themselves to be in the right, even some groups that many of us see as evil — even some persons and groups that the opposing side would simultaneously claim as their own impassioned battle cry.

But for those of us who are inclined to do so, let’s not overanalyze the poetic prayer or argue politics. For the moment, let’s just have this without regard to gender or religion, free from distractions of wandering connotations or intents, put aside for now the malleability of human minds and the multitudes of viewpoints; and let’s simply enjoy this poem for the plainness of its words, the timelessness of its ideas, and the inspiration of its call. I intend it here primarily as an interesting example of old words made new, of vintage literature meets current events.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Politics meets literature meets (rigged) social media

Here are my picks for the best of #TrumpBookReport and #TrumpBookReports on Twitter, October 19th–23rd 2016:

Trump's foreign policy answers sound like a book report from a teenager who hasn't read the book. "Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath!" @AntonioFrench

Alas, poor Yorick: and let me tell you, he was poor. He lived in hell, with some mean hombres. I knew him. I knew him well. @GemmaJKenny

Les Misérables, of course they are miserable, the inner city is a mess folks, believe me. People stealing bread everywhere. @calydonianbore

Look, I don't know Voldemort. He said nice things about me. If we got along with the Death Eaters, wouldn't be so bad. @mayapraff

Pride and Prejudice? Two of my best qualities, my pride and my prejudice. No one prouder or more prejudiced than me folks. @politislob

Gatsby? He says he was great. I don't know. People are saying maybe not so great. I'll make Gatsby great again. @briandfrancis

Hamlet? Such a disaster. Can't decide to be or not. Bigly indecisive. And Ophelia? Not my first choice. @KDanielGleason

I can show you how to kill a mockingbird. I could stand in the middle of 5th Ave and kill a mockingbird and not lose votes. @Lemons_N_Laughs

To Kill A Mockingbird? Believe me — if those mockingbirds had guns they wouldn't have been killed. @GloriaBB2

I prefer the Mockingbirds that don't get killed. @BarrettAll

Juliet. Such a nasty woman. She made Romeo kill himself. And believe me he could have done better. Look at her. @CatherineQ

Sleeping Beauty? The Prince just started kissing her. Didn't even ask. When you're a prince they let you do it. @sameernoorani

The first rule of Fight Club is I don't have to accept the results of any fight I lose in Fight Club. @faithchoyce

Hester Prynne. Very nasty woman. Very nasty. There has to be some form of punishment. There has to. @B9lyEquivocal

That Giving Tree was a loser. It gave and gave and gave. Horrible deals. Ends up a stump. Schmuck. @warrenleightTV

It was the best of times. Wrong. It was the worst of times. Many people were saying it. These two inner cities. Disasters. @Eggface

Two things, okay? War. And peace. Many, many people, and we're talking powerful people, say to me: "You're a great reader." @DanKennedy_NYC

Who knows For Whom the Bell Tolls? It should toll for me, but the bell is rigged. Very rigged. Hemingway golfed with Bill. @j2250

Anna Karenina. Such a nasty woman. @jpodhoretz

Noah was so bad. I'll deport the animals. All the animals love me. I'll build a beautiful ark. God will pay for the ark. @JamesMelville

Lady Macbeth? Nasty woman. MacDuff? One bad hombre, ok? The witches rigged the prophecies, believe me, total disaster. @amandasgardner

Anne Frank, Disgusting! And she was captured. I like people who weren't captured. She's no hero. @stlgotswagga

This book was a disaster. Could've solved the mystery myself. Nancy Drew? Not very attractive. Too nosy. Probably ISIS. @ira

Believe me, she loved to eat, that very hungry caterpillar. No self control. Sad! @a11ssa

The duckling was very ugly, ok? Some people were saying the duckling was a swan, but I saw it and believe me: total disaster. @marthacohara

Winnie the Pooh... don't get me started. Low energy. Lazy. Overweight and no stamina. Always eating. He should be drug tested. @Morgans_Twitt3r

I wouldn't have given Hester Prynne an A. I'd have given her a C, at most. @KarenBoman

Sauron, a great Lord. He respects me and I'll tell you what else, he has very strong borders. No one just walks into Mordor. @CharlieAndyFitz

Emily Dickinson is not nice. All those hidden poems? What else is she hiding? Bigly crooked. @mollybirdsmith

No one has more Sense & Sensibility than me. Austen knew it. You know it. Crooked Hillary can't accept it. Sad. @PanamaVeggie

The Bell Jar. No bells. No jars. Only empty promises. Sylvia Plath. Such a nasty woman. Total loser. Pulitzer rigged! @jgeveritt

Stupid title, The Bell Jar. No bells, no jars. Believe me, I've got the best bells. The best. Big, beautiful bells. @democracydiva

Hester Prynne is a nasty woman, believe me. She's a LIAR. I never grabbed her by the petticoats, ok? Total bimbo loser. @hmurrr

War and Peace? You can't have war and peace. I wanted peace. Crooked Hillary wanted war. Disgusting. @jwwatson63

I was against that war from the beginning. #warandpeace @petz4peace

Why'd Tolstoy tell em there'd be war AND peace? I'd use the element of surprise. 21 Medal of Honor recipients endorse me. @DustinSwonder

War and Peace: You have no idea if it was the Russians. @Blkbyrd

Charlie wins chocolate factory. It was rigged, folks. Believe me. @galbaseballgeek

Where The Sidewalk Ends — Hillary has had 30 years to complete the sidewalk. It's her fault the sidewalk ends. @twiticulture

Robin Hood? Total loser. Criminal. Should be jailed. Worst economic plan ever! Helping the poor for free? I'll prosecute. @GenXMedia

Leaves of Grass? Ah! too bigly, too many words! I don't have time to read... But that "Song of Myself" I like that one. @herbalista58

Moby Dick. I apologize if anyone was offended. It's just locker room talk. @cflash

We're gonna catch so much rye, you won't believe it. We're bringing those rye catching jobs to America. @steventurous

I was against the war in Troy. Ask Hannity. And Helen was maybe a 6. She wouldn't have been my first choice, believe me. @BrentSirota

There was much ado, believe me. So much ado. Many people are saying how much ado there was. And about what? Nothing! @marthacohara

Shakespeare didn't write anything, it was all me. The medieval media was rigged. @Nderavin1

Bill Shakespeare... To be or not, pick a lane. By the way — Juliet, I never touched her. @CheapSeatsComic

What language is this? Can't understand a word of it. Shakespeare, what a loser. @StoutYeoman

Crooked Hillary wants you to say farewell to your arms, but when I'm president no one will have to say farewell to arms. @brnwdbwlr

Global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese, my opponent claims it's 451 degrees Fahrenheit now. I don't think so. @ForrestLockwood

The Waste Land. Dry rocks and dry throats. Don't believe it, folks. Climate change is a hoax. Totally rigged. @PoetryArchive

"nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands" –ee cummings WRONG! Just look at my hands. The fingers. Long. Beautiful. @MDowdLambert

There's a Lord — and he's got rings. Lots of rings. The best rings. And two of the best Towers anyone has seen. @ageofkarl

Dorothy came to Oz illegally, murdered people. Should be in jail. Sad! @traydogg654

Gatsby, great parties, lots of locker room talk. I don't know him though. He's not my best friend. Daisy can do better. @claudia_nichole

Well, if you've got the crime, you've got to have the punishment. I believe in law and order, folks. Law. And. Order. @KevinMKruse

So the boy kept taking more and more from the tree every year without giving anything in return? That makes him smart. @LisaStuardi

And Troy just wants to bring this horse in without vetting it. It's full of Greeks and they're rapists and murderers. @steventurous

Be, don't be. This Hamlet guy needs to make up his mind. When I make up my mind, it's great. I make the best decisions. @roseknows

Hester? Nasty woman. Scarlet coming out of her eyes, out of her, wherever. @AtmnR

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret and I've got blood coming out of my wherever. @KinglaKing

There were mice AND men, I mean, and everyone has been saying it, these were some bad hombres... with mice. @joepete104

There's this student at Notre Dame, great guy, the best grades, crippled. Hunchback. Is Obamacare working? You tell me. @lawnrocket

I could teach that Sheriff of Nottingham a thing or two about Law and Order. Stop and frisk! Make our forest safe again! @JoePolizzi_PMP

Nowhere does it say that anything actually happened between Lolita and Humbert, it was just boy talk. @summerbrennan

I did not Pat the Bunny. That was just locker room talk. @MACarter73

The Raven, ok? It's about a yuge bird, believe me. And he's black! The black birds are living in hell, we all know it. @CaptNevermind

Dr. Dolittle. Loser. Talks to animals. No one respects animals more than me, folks. I'm famous, I can pet any cat I want. @MaydayCosmo

The wardrobe was tremendous, my sons shot the lion, and the witch is Hillary. @RuckCohlchez

Garden of Eden. Really nice asset. Adam should have known better than to listen to crooked Eve. Such a nasty woman. Sad! @heathwcarter

The Bible. Judas, good guy. Only one of the 12 that made money. Media crucified him. @dudearino1

The good book. BEST book. The son of God descends from heaven to teach us how to live. It's called "The Art of the Deal." @stirling79

Koran. Wrong! @7im

Thrasymachus totally crushed Socrates in the debate. RIGGED! Make Caves Great Again! @ethicistforhire

The wolf was very nice to Little Red Riding Hood, when she made up all kinds of nasty lies about him. And you look at her. @planespotted

It's all lies, folks. That wolf never touched Granny. All lies. Just look at her and you tell me. @annashenanigan

I did not grope her on a train or on a boat or on a plane. I did not grab her here or there... well maybe I did. @VentureValkyrie

Big Brother is watching. He will find those 30 thousand emails. Crooked Hillary. @jennfel

Henry VIII: Good guy. A lot like me. You don't ask. You just grab them by the girdle. When you're a king, you can. @jordanemoore

The Western Front was so quiet. Too quiet, I say. I would never have left the western front like Hillary and Obama did. @VocalMinorityNV

Mein Kampf. Great book. Tremendous. Story about a young boy's summer camping trip. My supporters love it. @Cave_DweIIer

War and peace is a horrible book. It should just be war. I love war. @rleader86

War and Peace? I love war, I'm very, very good at war. Wars make money; peace, not so much. Nuclear war the best. @pbsmithmd

Little women? All liars! Plan to sue! Never touched them. @RockyMountain

What was it called? Belittle Women? Great book. @Steg68

Darcy? Great man. Tremendous man. Has 10,000 a year. Attractive wife but she's got a mouth on her. @clementine_ford

They knew how to do it in olden times. Women who were up for action wore an A on their tops. A for Action. @Nina1172

Hester Prynne, very sloppy. Still hasn't lost the baby weight. I'd give her a big scarlet F — for fatty. @ReformedintheQT

I don't read. If I want to read a book, I just have my people make it into a movie. Then I watch that. It's true, Folks. @thechaosmanager

Sure, I read the book, but I won't tell you the end. I'll leave you in suspense. @sarahjbury

Still not one book report from Crooked Hillary! Too busy unrolling red carpet for ISIS. Plenty of time to read in prison. @TrumpBookReport

#TrumpBookReport is the best thing on Twitter right now. The. Best. Bigly. All the polls say so. Bigly! @ChrisWadeJ1519 {#TrumpDrSeuss is pretty good too but nowhere near the same LOL factor. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g}

Friday, October 21, 2016

Some old pen names

Here are some of the interesting pseudonyms I’ve come across in my readings over the years. After each nom de plume is the real author name.


  • Alice Addertongue (Benjamin Franklin, 1706–1790)
  • Ray Adverb [character] (Dave Barry, b.1947 — anagrammatic)
  • Æ (George William Russell, 1853–1919 — a.k.a. Æon)
  • Anthony Afterwit (Benjamin Franklin, 1706–1790)
  • Aristides (William Lloyd Garrison, 1805–1879)
  • Samuel A. Bard (Ephraim George Squier, 1821–1888)
  • Caustic Barebones (Thomas Bridges, 18th century)
  • Honey Bee (Eliza A. E. Smith, 1819–1905)
  • Benevolus (Benjamin Franklin, 1706–1790)
  • Cantell A. Bigly (George W. Peck, 1817–1859)
  • Hilarius Bookbinder (Søren Kierkegaard, 1813–1855)
  • Boz (Charles Dickens, 1812–1870)
  • Mrs. Margaret Caudle (Douglas W. Jerrold, 1803–1857)
  • Cobweb (Joseph Tinker Buckingham, 1779–1861)
  • The Cocoa-tree (Philip Francis, 1708–1773)
  • Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Washington Irving, 1783–1859)
  • Shirley Dare (Susan Dunning, 19th century)
  • Silence Dogood (Benjamin Franklin, 1706–1790)
  • Dolly Dawdle (Mary C. Painter Lukens, b. circa 1841)
  • ΕΛΑΧΙΣΤΟΣ (Thomas Foster Barham, 1766–1844)
  • Fax (Augustine Barnum, 19th century)
  • The Ghost of Harry the Eighth's Fool (A. H. Forrester, 1804–1872)
  • Benjamin Goosequill (James Makittrick Adair, 1728–1802)
  • Spiral Groove (Wilson MacDonald, 19th century)
  • Winning Hazard (Albert De Vere, 19th century)
  • Parenthenopeus Hereticus (Mr Gordon, 18th century)
  • Forlorn Hope (Matilda A. Bailey, 19th century)
  • Dr. Humbug (Joseph Reed, 1723–1787)
  • Mr. Inkle (Christopher Anstey, 1724–1805)
  • Dud Jermyn (Walter R. Benjamin, 1854–1943)
  • Cupid Jones (F. S. Saltus, 1849–1889)
  • Dick Kitcat (Richard Doyle, 1824–1883)
  • Lady who prefers to be anonymous (Emily Jolly, 19th century)
  • Mrs. Literary (S. Elizabeth Hillyer Ballard Maynard, 19th century)
  • George Washington Makewright (Frank Cahill, 19th century)
  • Massachusettensis (David Leonard, 1740–1829)
  • Scriblerus Maximus (James Love, 1721–1774)
  • Minnie Mayflower (Catharine Stratton Ladd, 1808–1899)
  • Magnus Merriweather (Charles Remington Talbot, 1851–1891)
  • Doctor Merry (J. Wyndham, 19th century)
  • Vieux Moustache (Clarence Gordon, 1835–1920)
  • Nemo Nobody, Esq. (James Fennell, 19th century)
  • Nobody Nothing, of Nowhere (James Alexander Young, 1810–1870)
  • Sir Gregory Nonsense (John Taylor, 1580–1653)
  • Cornelius Scriblerus Nothus (Thomas Burgess, 1756–1837)
  • Oliver Oldschool, Esq. (Joseph Dennie, 1768–1812)
  • Jonathan Oldstyle (Washington Irving, 1783–1859)
  • Maurice O'Quill (Martin Van Buren Denslow, 19th century)
  • Peter Paragraph (James Makittrick Adair, 1728–1802)
  • Parallax (Samuel Rowbotham, 1816–1884)
  • Anser Pen-Dragon (Samuel William Henry Ireland, 1775–1835)
  • Ebenezer Pentweazle (Christopher Smart, 1722–1771)
  • Periwinkle (Louisa May Alcott, 1832–1888)
  • Philo-Veritas (Thomas D'Arcy M'Gee, 1825–1868)
  • Phœnix (Henry Martin, 19th century)
  • Q (Edmund Hodgson Yates, 1831–1894)
  • Queen of Hearts (Mrs. E. M. Patterson Keplinger, 19th century)
  • Queerquill (Mary T. Waggamon, 1846–1931)
  • Peter Query (Martin Farquhar Tupper, 1810–1889)
  • Mrs. Ramsbottom (Theodore Edward Hook, 1788–1841)
  • Sarah Search (Frederick Nolan, 1784–1864)
  • Σ (Thomas Sharp, 1771–1841)
  • Sigma (Lucien Manlius Sargent, 1786–1867)
  • Solomon Secondthoughts (John Pendleton Kennedy, 1795–1870)
  • Harry Wandsworth Shortfellow (Mary Cowden Clarke, 1809–1898)
  • Abel Shufflebottom (Robert Southey, 1774–1843)
  • Johannes de silentio (Søren Kierkegaard, 1813–1855)
  • Gabriel Silvertongue (James Montgomery, 1771–1854)
  • Smelfungus (Patrick Proctor Alexander, 1823–1886)
  • Sophie Sparkle (Jennie E. Hicks, 19th century)
  • Mr. Sparrowgrass (Frederick Swartwout Cozzens, 1818–1869)
  • Simon Spunkey (Thomas Green Fessenden, 1771–1837)
  • Patience Strong (Winifred Emma May, 1907–1990)
  • The Greatest Hypocrite in England (John Wesley, 1703–1791)
  • The Most Impudent Man Living (William Warburton, 1698–1779)
  • The Most Unpatriotic Man Alive (Charles James Fox, 1749–1806)
  • Theodore Thinker (Francis Channing Woodworth, 1812–1859)
  • Arminius, Baron von Thunder-ten-Tronckh (M. Arnold, 1822–1888)
  • Herman Thwackus (Jonas Clopper, 19th century)
  • Christopher Twist-wit, Esq. (Christopher Anstey, 1724–1805)
  • Tydus-Pooh-Pooh (John Bowring, 1792–1872)
  • Uniche (Mrs. R. A. Heavlin, 19th century)
  • U. Donough Utis (Richard Grant White, 1822–1885)
  • Vagabondia (Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1849–1924)
  • Veni Vidi (Mrs. J. Cunningham Croly, 1829–1901)
  • Daddy Violet (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769–1821)
  • Forest Warbler (M. R. McCormick, 19th century)
  • Wh†††††††d (George Whitefield, 1714–1770)
  • Who Thinks-I-To-Myself? (Edward Nares, 1762–1841)
  • Deep Will (William Pitt, 1759–1806)
  • Edgar E. Wordy (Edward Gorey, 1925–2000) Gorey also used several other names — many anagrammatic — including: E. G. Deadworry, Drew Dogyear, Gary Dredwoe, Addée Gorrwy, Om, and Ydora Wredge.
  • Demetrius Wyseman (Duke Willis, 19th century)
  • Xenette (Pamela S. Vining, 19th century)
  • Xo Ho (Horace Walpole, 1717–1797)
  • F. Yrubslips (Francis Spilsbury, 18th century — anagrammatic)
  • Mr. Zigzag, the Elder (John Wykeham Archer, 1808–1864)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Current events & old literature

Edith.  It seems in the deep waters of social life, as in those of the sea, we should not be able to get the beautiful things they contained, if it was not that storms threw them on our shores. We can discern much, as you say, when they are clear, but their greatest treasures are only given up after agitation. The waters must be troubled before they heal.

Lyulph.  I am afraid our waters are as restless as the ocean, so they should at least be always healing. Human progression is a strange thing, such oscillations backwards and forwards, it is often most difficult to see that any advance is made....

Edith.  Antagonism and division seem ruling spirits of our age. We struggle for union and seek the wells of contentment, and find only the waters of strife; but let us have comfort and remember that when the waters are troubled it is only that they may heal.

—Henry James Slack, The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation XIII: A Rocky Lane in Summer," 1850

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

James Lendall Basford: Watchmaker by Trade, Aphorist by Leisure

I’ve stumbled upon a “new” author I like, amongst the dusty shelves of Google Books. Mr James Lendall Basford was a watchmaker and jeweler in Massachusetts who published two books of his own aphorisms — Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone in 1882 and Seven Seventy Seven Sensations in 1897 — “the result of ideas which have forced themselves into expression during a period of the author’s life, extending from early youth to middle age, amidst the many cares and perplexities of a business life.”

Basford was born 1845 January 27th in Livermore Falls, Maine and passed away 1915 January 30th in Wareham, Massachusetts. He doesn’t seem to be quoted anywhere on the Web, so I'm excited to revive selections from his writings at The Quote Garden. Below are some samples. Enjoy!


James Lendall Basford
James Lendall Basford (New England, 1845–1915)
watchmaker & jeweler by trade, aphorist by leisure

{photo & signature from Google Books
modified by t.g. using cameran collage}


Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

“How often do our thoughts play 'hide-and-seek' with us in our memory!” ~James Lendall Basford

“Deep thinkers often lose two good thoughts by coming to the surface to record one.” ~James Lendall Basford

“Most of what is said under excitement is regretted when we become ourselves again.” ~James Lendall Basford

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts, has too much of something else.” ~James Lendall Basford

“No monarch is so well obeyed as that whose name is Habit.” ~James Lendall Basford

“Men usually take better care of their boots than of their stomachs.” ~James Lendall Basford


Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

“Gray locks,—Nature’s flag of truce.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“Joy comes to us like butterflies, but sorrow like wasps.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“The Present gallops away with clattering feet, while the Future steals noiselessly upon us.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“Men sin and the law punishes; the law sins and the devil rewards.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“Life is a long road on a short journey.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“Life is a series of ever-changing color, and each day has its hue of romance.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“Let us fly from the Past on the wings of Faith.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“One neglect makes ten regrets.” ~J. Lendall Basford

“The healthiest herbs in literature are prov‑erbs.” ~J. Lendall Basford


Sunday, June 19, 2016

More than I could ever ask for

Emily Saliers quote I asked my father for a dollar and he gave it a ten dollar raise
{cameran collage}

“But there was a time I asked my father for a dollar
And he gave it a ten dollar raise
And when I needed my mother and I called her
She stayed with me for days...”
—Emily Saliers, “Prince of Darkness,” 1989


Happy Father’s Day to my Papa
who always gives me more than I could ever ask for —
not in money but in time, love, support, responsibility,
happiness, great memories, and valuable life lessons!