Marching Backward
Talkin' Compensation

Thinkers & Harlequins?

Strange Heroes - Which Way Do You Lean?

The Thinkers

If you come upon a good quote, send it to us.  We may add it to this page, or depending on merit, put it in The Harlequins section.

Keith Richards

"You know, there's nothing more disturbing than two chicks whispering to each other."

Vincent (Vinny) Daniel, Josh Rosner

"A Home Without Equity is Just a Rental With Debt."

Ambrose Bierce

CLERGYMAN, n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of bettering his temporal ones. 

Keith Richards

"Occasionally you want to strangle even the closest of friends." 

Doris Hampton

"It's difficult for old hippies to fit into an organized church."

Keith Richards

"There's only one song, and Adam and Eve wrote it; the rest is a variation on a theme."

Charles Barkley (from John in SE Minnesota)

"I used to be a Chippendale and now I'm a Clydesdale".

Ambrose Bierce

ARENA, n. In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record.

John Quincy Adams

(lamented the fate of) "that hapless race of native Americans, which we are exterminating with such merciless and perfidious cruelty, among the heinous sins of this nation, for which I believe God will one day bring [it] to judgement."

Warren Young (it's my website so I'm a thinker)

(see above quote by John Quincy Adams) Do you suppose Jerry Falwell was mistaken as to which sins brought judgement upon this nation?

Oswald Chambers

"Domineering is the intellectual side of stubbornness, and is a sign of moral weakness."

Upton Sinclair

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Ambrose Bierce

DISTANCE, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep.

Ian Anderson

"People what have you done?   Locked Him in His golden cage."

Keith Richards

(Commenting on prison) "Neither the accomodations nor the fashion suited me at all. I like a little more room. I like the john to be in a separate area, and I hate to be woken up. The food's awful, the wine list is terrible and the library is abysmal."

Leo Tolstoy

 "The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

Ambrose Bierce

COMMERCE, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.

Keith Richards

(On the Stones' classic, "Satisfaction") "I always thought it was an album filler. It could just as well have been called 'Aunt Millie's Caught Her Tit in the Mangle.'"

Jim Hightower

"The rule of thumb over here is that the truth shrinks as the ad budgets expand."

Charles Barkley

(When asked if he felt dumb because he grew up in Alabama) "I'm very proud to be from Leeds, Alabama.  At least we're not like Arkansas or Mississippi."

Keith Richards

"I wouldn't warm to Chuck Berry if he was cremated next to me."

Albert Camus

(paraphrase taken from Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States) "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners."

Ambrose Bierce

DISCRIMINATE, v.i. To note the particulars in which one person or thing is, if possible, more objectionable than another.

Charles Barkley

"I take my hat off to Alvin (Gentry), it's about time he stopped playing girlie ball. The toughest team in Phoenix was the (WNBA's) Mercury, but not anymore!"

Keith Richards

(On Mick Jagger's tangled love life) "I'm always sorry for Mick's women, because they end up crying on my shoulder.  And I'm like, 'How do you think I feel?  I'm stuck with him.'"

From Proverbs of the Ages (published 1902)

Listen at the keyhole, and you'll hear news of yourself.

Ambrose Bierce

ANOINT, v.t. To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.

Keith Richards

"When I was younger, I said, 'If I live to thirty I'll shoot myself.'  You reach thirty and put the gun away."

Warren Young (it's my website so I'm a thinker)

When someone leads with "What people don't understand is...," I brace myself to be hit with a large load of vanity and highmindedness.

Ian Anderson (from Ian in Las Vegas)

"A lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money from children.”

Keith Richards

(On dental care)"Miraculously, due to abstinence and prayer, my teeth grew back."

Albert Einstein (from Ian in Las Vegas)

"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."


"The more the marble wears, the better the image grows."

Francis Jennings

"In history, the man in the ruffled shirt and gold-laced waistcoat somehow levitates above the blood he has ordered to be spilled by dirty-handed underlings."

Keith Richards

(On being in court) "You try saying, 'Guilty, Your Honor,' twenty-five times in Marlborough Street and keep a straight face"

Ambrose Bierce

CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

Charles Barkley (from Ian in Las Vegas)

"Poor white people and poor black people just don't know how much they have in common. Rich people don't give a damn about either group."

Jack Sparrow (from Ian in Las Vegas)

"Close your eyes and pretend it's all a bad dream. That's how I get by."

Ann Lamott (Grace, eventually)

"You can tell you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

Oswald Chambers

"If your religion does not make you a better man, it is a rotten religion.  The test of true religion is when it touches these four things--food, money, sex and mother earth.  These things are the test of a right sane life with God, and the religion that ignores them or abuses them is not right."

Ambrose Bierce

CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

The Harlequins

If you read one of these and say to yourself, "What's the matter with this?" you may be standing a bit close to Idiot America.

Hardwood Fundamentalism

A new professional basketball league is starting, with exclusively white Americans, reports The Augusta Chronicle. "I don't hate anyone of color," said Don Lewis, the commissioner of the All-American Basketball Alliance.  "But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now.  Here's a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like....Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?"

Pat Robertson on the Feminist Agenda

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." 

Compassionate Minutemen

The founder and president of the Minuteman Project is demanding the United States deploy Army Airborne brigades into Mexico to combat violence caused by drug trafficking.  "Do you mean to tell me the lives of women, children, and the good families in Mexico don't count?"  said Jim Gilchrist in a press release.  "The victims are human beings, families trying to live in peace, but it seems the U.S. political establishment has turned a blind eye to their suffering.  Well, the Minutemen haven't."

George Washington, Native Neighbors

"The gradual extension of our settlements will as certainly cause the savage, as the wolf, to retire; both being beasts of prey,  though they differ in shape."

Thomas Jefferson, Free of Blot or Mixture

(predicted that the newly liberated colonies would drive the indigenous population) "with the beasts of the forests into the stony mountains," and the country will ultimately be "free of blot or mixture," red or Black (with the return of slaves to Africa after eventual ending of slavery).

Chuck Norris, Theologian

Movie star Chuck Norris wrote a column in which he suggested that if a government-run health care plan had existed in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth, the shame of Mary's out-of-wedlock pregnancy would have pushed her into aborting her child, reports  Norris wrote, "Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?"

The Health Care Threat

Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx said on the House floor that the Democrats' health care reform plans are more dangerous than Al Queda.  "I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country," said Foxx.

John Wayne on Native Americans (1971)

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation... seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money."

Wal-Mart Homework

Four high schools in Detroit are partnering with Wal-Mart to provide job training and after-school jobs.  "Sean Vann, principal at Douglass, said thirty students at that school will get jobs at Wal-Mart," reports the Detroit Free Press.  "He said the program will allow students an opportunity to earn money and to be exposed to people from different cultures--since all of the stores are in the suburbs."

God's Punishment

Virginia legislator Bob Marshall says disabled children are God's punishment for having an abortion, reports The Gainesville Times.  "The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why?  Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.  "In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord.  There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."  Marshall later said his comments were taken out of context.

The Rosa Parks of Gigolos?

"Markus," the first legal male sex worker in Nevada, told Details magazine he wants to be called a gigolo instead of a prostitute.  "There has to be some kind of change in terminology to describe a person like myself," he said.  "And it's more of a civil rights thing now.  Basically this is the first time in the economy of the United States that a male has stood up and said, 'I want to do this for a living,' and be protected under law to do it. It's just the same as when Rosa Parks decided to sit at the front instead of the back." 

Starve the Poor

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer said giving food to needy people encourages dependence, reports  "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals," Bauer told a Greenville-area crowd.  "You know why?  Because they breed.  You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply.  They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that.  And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior.  They don't know any better." 

Pat Robertson on Haiti's Deal with the Devil

"It may be a blessing in disguise. ... Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other."  

Jesus's Rifles

"Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company," reports ABC News.  "The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers.  The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army."  After public outcry, the company announced that it will no longer imprint the verses on the sides of scopes intended for the U.S. military, and will also provide clients with kits to remove the Bible verse numbers from existing scopes."

$25,000 Goes To Lesbians

A conversation outside a 2004 Bush rally in Columbus, Ohio, from Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg:                      

"'Jesus! Jesus!' screamed twenty-six-year-old Joe Robles, pointing to his Bush-Cheney sign.  'The man stands for God,' he said of the president.  'We want somebody who stands for Jesus. I always vote my Christian morals.'  Robles, a student at Ohio State university, told me that Kerry's daughter was a lesbian.  I said I thought it was Dick Cheney's daughter, but he shook his head no with confidence.             

Robles said that Kerry would make it illegal for preachers to say that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  In California, he informed me gravely, such preaching had been deemed a hate crime, and pastors who indulge in it are fined $25,000, which 'goes to lesbians.'

Where had he heard this? From his pastor at World harvest Church, he said.  From Rod Parsley."

John Wayne on White Supremacy (1971)

"I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.... The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically.... I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves. Now I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and can't play football like the rest of us."

It's a Nit

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour thinks Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell didn't need to apologize for failing to include a mention of slavery in a declaration of April as Confederation History Month.

When CNN "State of the Union" anchor Candy Crowley asked Barbour, a onetime lobbyist and former head of the RNC, if the slavery omission was a mistake, he said, "I don't think so, my legislature has made an active holiday of Confederate Memorial Day... Anyone who thinks that you have to explain that slavery is a bad thing, it goes without saying... It's sort of feeling that it's a nit, it's not significant, it's trying to make a big deal." 

How to Pay My PCP

Sue Lowden, Republican senatorial candidate from Nevada, has a solution for the high cost of health care. "And I would have suggested, and I think that bartering is really good. Those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry," she said. "And I would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor." 

Subprime: The American Dream

From 2001, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm. "Some people look at subprime lending and see evil. I look at subprime lending and see the American dream in action."

Spin Doctor

BP has hired someone new to head its American public relations operation: Ann Womack-Kolton, the former campaign press secretary for Vice President Dick Cheney, reports "It was not a popularity contest for which we chose her," said a BP spokesman. "It was based on her merits."

Proper Vicitms

Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers guest hosted The Dan Patrick Show and made invidious comparisons between Katrina survivors and recent flood survivors in Nashville, reports Media Matters for America. The Tennesseans are "tax-paying, legal American citizens," Myers said. "We have disasters, issues when people pull together and help themselves, and I thought the people in Tennesee, unlike--I'm not going to name names--when a disaster hits, people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, OK. They helped each other out through this."

Oily Bench

More than half of the federal judges in Gulf Coast districts with pending oil spill lawsuits have financial ties to the oil and gas industry, reports AP.