On Confusing Belief with Truth and Repition with Examination

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing”
-Mark Twain, Autobiography

I know its true ‘cause I just read it on a blog and heard Rush Limbaugh talk about it.



On Ribbons on Your Chest and Letters Around Your Name

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”
-Mark Twain

Honor is a thing that eventually reveals itself – one way or the other. It is best not to claim too loudly any honor that is not truly ours in solitude of our own contemplation. It is then that we realize that sort of “honor” is little more than hubris and foolishness.

On How, For the Good of the Country, One July 4th per Year Isn’t Enough

Have a Mark Twain Fourth of July“Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.”
-Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

Pass me that M-80 would ya’?

God Bless America

On Maintaining Perspective

“Now you begin to see, don’t you, that distance ain’t the thing to judge by, at all; it’s the time it takes to go the distance in that counts….It’s a matter of proportion, that’s what it is; and when you come to gauge a thing’s speed by its size, where’s your bird and your man and your railroad alongside of a flea?….A flea is just a comet, b’iled down small.”
-Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad

In all things, greatness. If you know how to put it in the right perspective.

On Remaining Curious

“If there wasn’t anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out and finding out; and I don’t know but more so.”
-Mark Twain

It’s impossible to know everything, and dangerous to think you do. But to remain curious, there’s the thing.

And if wanting to know as much about everything as you can doesn’t make the world a more interesting place, it might make you more interesting to the world.  

On Truth and the Public Trust

The Pen and the Sword - Which is Mightier?When an honest writer discovers an imposition it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence.
-Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

The writer is best when he is the impostor’s worst enemy.

Image source courtesy of


On Elections, Politics, and Human Nature

“If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.”
Mark Twain, Autobiography

Elections reflect the highest ideals of society, executed by the lowest means of human nature.  

On Justice – Sweet and Terrible

”The rain …falls upon the just and the unjust alike; a thing which would not happen if I were superintending the rain’s affairs. No, I would rain softly and sweetly on the just, but if I caught a sample of the unjust outdoors I would drown him.”
-Mark Twain

It doesn’t always seem as if everyone gets the justice they deserve, whether it be the sweet justice of a life well-lived or the terrible kind descending down upon the heads of the mean and wicked.

We may not always think it right, but justice, like the rain, will find its way – and will fall upon everyone’s head eventually.