P. J. O'Rourke

The U.S. tax code was written by A students. Every April 15, we have to pay somebody who got an A in accounting to keep ourselves from being sent to jail.P. J. O'Rourke

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Not much was really invented during the Renaissance, if you don't count modern civilization.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Civilization, You, Modern

The 20th century was a test bed for big ideas - fascism, communism, the atomic bomb.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Ideas, Communism, Test

Some day you will be wheeled in for a heart bypass operation, and a surgeon will be the person who is now behind the counter when you renew your car registration at the department of motor vehicles.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Car, Day, Heart

Never wear anything that panics the cat.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Pet, Never, Cat

Infant mortality and life expectancy are reasonable indicators of general well-being in a society.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Life, Society, Well-Being

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different perspective.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Poverty, Perspective, Learn

Don't send funny greeting cards on birthdays or at Christmas. Save them for funerals, when their cheery effect is needed.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Funny, Christmas, Cards

In Henry Adams, I discovered not only the prototype of the modern thinker but also someone who is more interesting: a viper-toothed, puling, supercilious crank, thwarted in ambition, aging gracelessly, mad at the cosmos, and ashamed of his own jejune ideals. He is nevertheless very dear to me.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Ambition, Me, Aging

Public schools helped create the idea of America and inculcate Americans with a few rudiments of knowledge. To judge by that very American item, the Internet, a few rudiments is all anyone cares to have.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Knowledge, Internet, America

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Work, Politics, Government

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Life, Stupid, Hat

I rarely meet a politician that I don't like personally. They are generally well endowed with charm. Therein lies the danger.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Meet, Danger, Politician

Fiscal conservatism is just an easy way to express something that is a bit more difficult, which is that the size and scope of government, and really the size and scope of politics in our lives, has grown uncomfortable, unwieldy, intrusive and inefficient.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Politics, Government, Easy

The great majority of Baghdad is a slum - a lot of it's new, but it's still slum. It's usually this concrete-block, one-room design with a door and a window, arranged one-up, one-down, often with a shop with nothing in it on the first floor, and then a one-room apartment above it. There's street after street after street of that stuff.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Great, Design, Door

Adam Smith pointed out that there were three things that make us more prosperous, in a general sort of way: freedom to pursue our own self-interest; specialization, which he called division of labor; and freedom of trade.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Freedom, Three, Way

You're not a baby boomer if you don't have a visceral recollection of a Kennedy and a King assassination, a Beatles breakup, a U.S. defeat in Vietnam, and a Watergate.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Baby, Defeat, King

Everybody with a gun has a checkpoint in Lebanon. And in Lebanon, you'd be crazy not to have a gun. Though, I assure you, all the crazy people have guns, too.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Crazy, People, Gun

Writing on a computer makes saving what's been written too easy. Pretentious lead sentences are kept, not tossed. Instead of sitting surrounded by crumpled paper, the computerized writer has his mistakes neatly stored in digital memory.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Mistakes, Memory, Writing

Computers seem a little too adaptively flexible, like the strange natives, odd societies, and head cases we study in the social sciences. There's more opposable thumb in the digital world than I care for; it's awfully close to human.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Computers, World, Care

Sheep farming is heavily subsidized in Great Britain. Without the subsidies, the green grazing in the valley of the River Exe would be gone. The handsome agricultural landscape of which the British are so proud, carefully husbanded since Boudicca's day, would be replaced by natural growth. The most likely growth is real-estate developments.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Day, Growth, Great

The perpetuation of slavery, the exile and extermination of American Indians, and the passage of Jim Crow laws weren't carried out at the bidding of a few malefactors of great wealth.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Great, Wealth, Slavery

Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Health, Government, People

Global warming is a fact. Now it's up to liberals to make it a reality. Hence there is crucial importance in preventing powerful, greedy free market forces from getting in the way of worsening storms and rising sea levels. The Kyoto Accord is a good first step.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Good, Sea, Reality

It could be that all awful dictators are frustrated artists - Mao with his poetry and Mussolini with his monuments. Stalin was once a journalistic hack, and I can personally testify to how frustrated they are. Pol Pot left a very edgy photo collection behind. And Osama seems quite interested in video.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Poetry, I Can, Video

The great thing about being a print journalist is that you are permitted to duck. Cameramen get killed while the writers are flat on the floor. A war correspondent for the BBC dedicated his memoir to 50 fallen colleagues, and I guarantee you they were all taking pictures. I am only alive because I am such a chicken.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote War, Great, I Am

Finland is a rich country. What have they got? They got Nokia phones and plywood. How'd they get so rich? Because they're free.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Free, Rich, Country

Each child is biologically required to have a mother. Fatherhood is a well-regarded theory, but motherhood is a fact.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Mother, Motherhood, Child

A 'farm' today means 100,000 chickens in a space the size of a Motel 6 shower stall.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Today, Space, Size

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered.P. J. O'Rourke

0 likes view quote Freedom, Gun, Empowerment
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