Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Quote of the Quarter
Archived from my main page each calendar quarter:



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3rd Quarter 2021 "Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts."
- E. B. White (American essayist, author, and literary stylist.)
2nd Quarter 2021 "We executed many people by firing squad without knowing if they were fully guilty. At times, the Revolution cannot stop to conduct much investigation; it has the obligation to triumph."
- Che Guevera in his May 18, 1962 speech
1st Quarter 2021 "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains."
- Henry David Thoreau from his book, Walden (Chapter 2, "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For")


4th Quarter 2020 "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness."
- Pierre Simon Laplace (23 Mar 1749 - 5 Mar 1827)
3rd Quarter 2020 "Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
- George Orwell in his book, 1984
2nd Quarter 2020 "For this country is moving and it must not stop. It cannot stop. For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a party is not to our party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed., to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
"So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation's future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause--united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future--and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance."
- John F. Kennedy in remarks intended for delivery to the Texas Democratic State Committe in the Municipal Auditorium in Austin, November 22, 1963 [UNDELIVERED]
1st Quarter 2020 "The right to bear arms is not about hunting, it's not about target practice. The right to bear arms is a political right designed to safeguard freedom so that no government can take away from you the rights which God has given you. And it was written by people who had spent their lifetime fighting the greatest empire in the world. And they knew that if they had not the right to bear arms they would have been enslaved, and they did not want us to be enslaved, and that is why they guaranteed us the right to protect ourselves. It is a political right of the deepest importance to the survival of freedom in America."
- Newt Gingrich in a 2016 speech


4th Quarter 2019 "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
- George Orwell in his 1949 novel, 1984
3rd Quarter 2019 "Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed? You think China doesn't run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it's only the other fellow who's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you're talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it's exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system."
- Milton Friedman
2nd Quarter 2019 "The worst thing that will probably happen - in fact is already well underway - is not energy depletion, economic collapse, conventional war, or the expansion of totalitarian governments. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired in a few generations. The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us."
- Edward O. Wilson in his book, Biophilia (p. 121)
1st Quarter 2019 "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."
- Carl Sagan


4th Quarter 2018 "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag,
  to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'"
- President Donald J. Trump, September 2017
3rd Quarter 2018 It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error;
it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.
- Robert Jackson
2nd Quarter 2018 If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
- Lao Tzu
1st Quarter 2018 "Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda."
- Walter Duranty, as Moscow Bureau Chief of The New York Times in their August 23, 1933 edition


4th Quarter 2017 "Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy."
- Winston Churchill, Perth, Scotland, May 1948
3rd Quarter 2017 "Love people and use things because the opposite never works."
- The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
2nd Quarter 2017 "But grief is a walk alone. Others can be there, and listen. But you will walk alone down your own path, at your own pace, with your sheared-off pain, your raw wounds, your denial, anger, and bitter loss. You'll come to your own peace, hopefully, but it will be on your own, in your own time."
- Cathy Lamb, The First Day of the Rest of My Life
1st Quarter 2017 "We have to remember that we're actually all on one team... We're not Democrats first, we're not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We're patriots first. We all want what's best for this country."
- President Obama - November 9, 2016


4th Quarter 2016 "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
- Stephen Grellet
3rd Quarter 2016 "I have been feeding pigeons, thousands of them for years. But there was one, a beautiful bird, pure white with light grey tips on its wings; that one was different. It was a female. I had only to wish and call her and she would come flying to me. I loved that pigeon as a man loves a women, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life."
- Nikola Tesla
2nd Quarter 2016 In a Freudian slip, Former President Bill Clinton had this to say while campaigning for his wife, "If you believe we can rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy [of President Obama] of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before [of President Bush] that where we were practicing trickle-down economics, then you should vote for her,..."
- Former President Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife on Monday, March 21, 2016
1st Quarter 2016 "Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the big secret to success."
- Particle Physicist Savas Dimopoulos


4th Quarter 2015 "In the environmental movement, our defeats are always final, our victories always provisional. What you save today can still be destroyed tomorrow, you see - and so often is."
- José Antônio Kroepf Lutzenberger
3rd Quarter 2015 "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
2nd Quarter 2015 "Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience - yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim - except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead."
- Erich Fromm, in his book The Art of Loving, p. 72
1st Quarter 2015 "I've never forgotten for long at a time that living is struggle. I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for - whether it's a field, or a home, or a country."
- Thornton Wilder, American playwright


4th Quarter 2014 "For me, the beauty of these undeveloped spaces is simply knowing that they are there, doing what they've been doing for millennia, without human intrusion."
- Ed Viesturs, mountaneer
3rd Quarter 2014 "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
- Thomas Jefferson
2nd Quarter 2014 "Our life is frittered away by detail."
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand;
instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail."
"Simplify, simplify."
- Henry David Thoreau in Walden
(Chapter 2, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.) p. 66
1st Quarter 2014 "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."
- Michelle Obama


4th Quarter 2013 "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?"
- Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during her testimony about Benghazi before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 01-23-2013
3rd Quarter 2013 "...I was born in another country, and I see America way different than the majority of people. So, before I even get started, let me just give you a perspective that's mine. I've been to a lot of other countries, and I'm gonna say this straight up - the United States of America, on our worst day, is better than any other country on their best day. Period, end of story."
- Carlos Mencia, on his DVD, New Terriotry, 2012
2nd Quarter 2013 "We are a plague on the Earth. It's coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,..."
- David Attenborough, RadioTimes.com, January 22, 2013
1st Quarter 2013 "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains."
- Rosa Luxemburg (1871 - 1919)


4th Quarter 2012 "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."
- Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde
3rd Quarter 2012 "The central reality of our era is extinction. Nothing is more important. Mass extinction is our legacy as a species so far. No other moral challenge is so great as controlling our destructive power over nature."
- Dave Foreman in his book, Rewilding North America (A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century), p.60
2nd Quarter 2012 "All manual labor can be a form of meditation, a process of centering, which leaves us with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that can never come from sitting behind a desk. Or standing in front of a camera. Go out in your back yard and dig a hole six feet deep. I guarantee you will feel better for it. If that's too overwhelming, try washing the dishes, dusting the yard . . . and as you do these manual tasks, put all your self into them. Concentrate on getting the dishes clean, the piano dust-free, the lawn free of leaves, and do the best job you're capable of. When you're finished, sit down and enjoy the fuits of your labors. IT will rid you of untold anxieties, tension, restlessness."
- Dirk Benedict in his book, Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, pp. 155-156
1st Quarter 2012 "Groupthink was a survival tactic when sieges and plagues threatened the futures of clans and cultures. Now it's an evolutionary remnant that we are free to discard."
- Anneli Rufus in her book, Party of One, p. 1


4th Quarter 2011 "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
- Denis Diderot (1713- 1784)
3rd Quarter 2011 "When you start your own company and become your own boss, you think, 'Life is good.' When you actually start making money and growing your business, you think, 'Life is great.' But when you're sitting in seat 1D of an airborne plane that's completely silent because the engines have been shut down, and you hear the pilot say, 'Brace for impact,' none of it really matters."
- CEO Ric Elias, of Red Ventures, as quoted during his 2011 Ted talk.
2nd Quarter 2011 "We have to change our way of thinking. And if we can't change our way of thinking, we won't survive. It's that simple. I've changed my thinking and millions and millions of other people are changing their thinking, and frankly, if you've never changed your mind about something, I say, you know, pinch yourself, you may be dead."
- Reverend Richard Cizik at the conclusion of the film, Countdown to ZERØ
1st Quarter 2011 "You never feel better than when you start feeling good after you've been feeling bad."
- William Least Heat-Moon (Blue Highways: A Journey into America)


4th Quarter 2010 "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
- Helen Keller
3rd Quarter 2010 "It is a mistake to rationalize that excessive consumption contributes to the well-being of others by giving them employment."
- John Heider in his book, The Tao of Leadership, p. 133
2nd Quarter 2010 Then the white humans came like some fatal disease           - Robert Hoyt, Red River
Built dams, brought in cows, and they cut down the trees
The salmon eggs died from the washed away land
Smothered by the mud and the sand

How did the Red River come by its name
Did it run red with salmon when the salmon runs came
But now all that has come to an end
Will the Red River run red again

1st Quarter 2010 "...it has to be admitted that war is an outrageously successful activity. History demonstrates this over and over again. In a world dominated by material possessions - whether of goods, land, or natural resources - a population of people may win for themselves enormous advantage through military victory over another group; the benefits gained must, of course, outweigh the costs of combat (time, resources, and lives). A materially based world undoubtedly provides a favorable environment in which warfare can flourish. And it has flourished more and more with the steady rise in the complexity of social structure."
- Paleoanthropologist Richard E. Leaky and Science Editor Roger Lewin in their book, People of the Lake (Mankind & Its Beginnings), pp. 217-218


4th Quarter 2009 "As for the pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs."
- Henry David Thoreau in Walden, the Economy chapter, p. 44
3rd Quarter 2009 "Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear, the stuff he pulled. It always makes us laugh. Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are just too bright... and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice... but still, the place you live is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."
- Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (Morgan Freeman) talking about Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in the 1994 movie Shawshank Redemption
2nd Quarter 2009 "What failure of imagination had caused me to forget that life was full of other possibilities,...?"
- Nora Ephron in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck (Moving On)
1st Quarter 2009 "You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed, and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes."
- Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) describeing the effects of the two pills to Neo (Keanu Reeves) in the 1999 movie The Matrix


4th Quarter 2008 "Ignorance and incuriosity are two very soft pillows."
- French proverb
3rd Quarter 2008 "Your soul doesn't need cleansing because it isn't dirty and anyone who tells you different is telling you for their benefit and not for yours. Because the purpose of religion is the employment and the empowerment of clergy. That's it's only purpose. You don't matter, you've never mattered."
- Pat Condell from one of his many YouTube videos...
2nd Quarter 2008          We, who can still hear the jaguar scream,
         We dream of a day when all things wild will again be free.
         We long for a time when every species will be loved
         and honored equally. It is a dream we may never see fulfilled.
         But in answer to our own wild hearts,
         It is a dream we will fight for
         until the day we die.
- From the back cover of the May-June 2001 Earth First! Journal
1st Quarter 2008 "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." "That's it. That is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy..."

- In Defense of Food author Michael Pollan in an 01-01-2008 interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR's Morning Edition


4th Quarter 2007 "It is an honor to be a visitor in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, as it is an honor and a privilege to be alive, hovever briefly, on this marvelous planet we call ~ Earth ~ "

- Edward Abbey (I first discovered this quote, posted in handwritten form, on the stone wall at Phantom Ranch in August '92 - Roger)

3rd Quarter 2007 "Even though Homo sapiens is destined for extinction, just like other species in history, we have an ethical imperative to protect Nature's diversity, not destroy it."

- Richard E. Leaky in his book, The Sixth Extinction, p. 221

2nd Quarter 2007 "General [George] Crook, commander of the Department of the Platte, was at least a century ahead of his time in the integrity with which he dealt with aboriginal people, and deserved having his name writ in land if for no other reason than his reply when someone asked him if the campaigns of the Indian wars were difficult work. He said, 'Yes, they are hard. But the hardest thing is to go out and fight against those who you know are in the right.'"

- John McPhee in his book, Rising from the Plains, p. 20

1st Quarter 2007 "Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."

- Thomas Henry Huxley


4th Quarter 2006 "The diet that best supports health and healing for humans is a pure vegetable diet
centered around starch foods with the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables"

- John A. McDougall, M.D. & Mary A. McDougall from their book, The McDougall Plan, p. 17

3rd Quarter 2006 "Thirty thousand years ago, when men were doing cave paintings at Lascaux, they worked twenty hours a week to provide themselves with food and shelter and clothing. The rest of the time, they could play, or sleep, or do whatever they wanted. And they lived in a natural world, with clean air, clean water, beautiful trees and sunsets. Think about it. Twenty hours a week. Thirty thousand years ago."

- from page 285 of Micahael Crichton's Jurassic Park

2nd Quarter 2006 "I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part
of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural
traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking."

- Carl Sagan from his book, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, p. 258

1st Quarter 2006 "It's time to get real. Government is not a business and we're not customers - we're citizens."

- Jim Hightower October 19, 2004


4th Quarter 2005 "Alpinism is the art of suffering."

- Voytek Kurtyka

3rd Quarter 2005 "Happiness is being with Nature, seeing Nature and discoursing with her."

- Olenin, writing a letter to no one in particular, in Leo Tolstoy's The Cossacks

2nd Quarter 2005 "When we want anything from the rich, we'll take it!"

- Edward Abbey, speaking at the United Methodist church, 1820 Broadway, Denver, Colorado Tuesday 29 March 1988

1st Quarter 2005 "If a pickpocket meets a Holy Man, he will see only his pockets."

- Hari Dass Baba


4th Quarter 2004 "What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"

- Jean Jacques Rousseau

3rd Quarter 2004 "Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads."

- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, The Conclusion

2nd Quarter 2004 "... they must also find others who feel the same and form circles of friends who give one another confidence and support in living in a way that the majority find ridiculous, naive, stupid and simplistic. But in order to do that, one must already have enough self-confidence to follow one's intuition - a quality very much lacking in broad sections of the populace. Most people 
follow the trends and advertisements and become philosophical and ethical cripples."

  - Mountaineer Arne Ness, in Deep Ecology

1st Quarter 2004 "I want us to stop living in a world where it's not cool to care. I want to live in a world where we honor each other, that we care about this world."

 - Julia Butterfly Hill, on Spiritual Activation.


4th Quarter 2003 "This president has treated the truth in a manner his predecessor treated an intern."

 - David Corn, in the introduction to his book,
The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception

3rd Quarter 2003 "The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."

 - Günther Grass, Novelist and Nobel Prize winner

2nd Quarter 2003 "Listen to this; we have discovered several things - primarily that to live with intelligence is the most important thing. To live a way of life which is supremely intelligent demands an extraordinary alertness of mind and body, and we've destroyed the alertness of the body by unnatural ways of living. We are also destroying the mind, the brain, through conflict, through constant repression, constant explosion and violence."

 - J. Krishnamurti

1st Quarter 2003 "The good news is that never have so many candidates been elected to Congress claiming to care deeply about the air, the water, and the land. The bad news is that an unprecedented number of them didn?t mean it."

 - Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope on NPR, November 6, 2002


4th Quarter 2002 "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fevered pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar"

 - Attributed to Julius Caesar but revealed to be a wishful fabrication... (Still, I love the sound of it!)

3rd Quarter 2002 "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. . . ."

 - Thomas Jefferson, Third President and author of the Declaration of Independence

2nd Quarter 2002 "Every being in the universe knows right from wrong."

 - Prot, in the movie K-PAX

1st Quarter 2002 "I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

 - Woody Allen


4th Quarter 2001 "I like to do all the talking myself.  It saves time, and prevents arguments."

 - Oscar Wilde

3rd Quarter 2001 "Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanac

2nd Quarter 2001 "Now, I'm a minister, but if I have to remove the Bible, remove the cross from the wall, remove the Ten Commandments to get that government money, I'll do it."

 - The Reverend Larry Fryer ( New York Times - March 24, 2001)

1st Quarter 2001 "Someday our grandchildren will very likely look back at the individual, selfish control of the wealth of the world by a small elite the same way we view slavery today."

-  Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson/Spiritual Politics


4th Quarter 2000 "Yes," he said softly after a long pause. "One of us here has to change, and fast.  One of us here has to learn again that death is the hunter, and that it is always to one's left.  One of us here has to ask death's advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them."

-  don Jaun to Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan

3rd Quarter 2000 "...And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere."

-  Folk Singer Dar Williams

Spring 2000 "Free speech not only lives, it rocks."

- Oprah Winfrey after defending herself in court against the Texas Cattlemen



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