What are the best P. J. O'Rourke quotes?

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  1. Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.


  2. Never fight an inanimate object.

    • funny

  3. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.


  4. Some people are better imagined in one's bed than found there in the morning.


  5. Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.


  6. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.


  7. Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.


  8. You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.


  9. Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.

    • funny

  10. Nothing bad is going to happen to us. If we get fired, it's not failure; its a midlife vocational reassessment.


  11. Marijuana is self-punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, what worse punishment could there be?


  12. When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.


  13. America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.


  14. Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.

    • funny

  15. Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.


  16. You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.


  17. Gossip is what you say about the objects of flattery when they aren't present.


  18. Staying married may have long-term benefits. You can elicit much more sympathy from friends over a bad marriage than you ever can from a good divorce.


  19. Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.

    • government

  20. A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you can not only be nothing, you can do nothing too.


  21. 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.


  22. Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.


  23. Good manners are a combination of intelligence, education, taste and style mixed together so that you don't need any of those things.


  24. Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.


  25. There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.


  26. Never be unfaithful to a lover, except with your wife.


  27. Politics are for foreigners with their endless wrongs and paltry rights. Politics are a lousy way to get things done. Politics are, like God's infinite mercy, a last resort.

    • politics

  28. The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.


  29. If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.


  30. Southern California is a nice place, if you could cut out the show-business cancer. It just keeps spreading.




P. J. O'Rourke image quotes

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About P. J. O'Rourke

Name P. J. O'Rourke
About Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke (born November 14, 1947) is an American political satirist, journalist
Quotes 500 quotes
Nationality American
Profession Comedian
Birthday November 14, 1947
Top topics people, politics, world, think, life

Where is P. J. O'Rourke from? P. J. O'Rourke is American who said awesome wise words. Well-known and respected in American society for wise sayings. The following quotations and images represent the American nature embed in P. J. O'Rourke's character.

What P. J. O'Rourke was famous for? P. J. O'Rourke is famous comedian with many good quotes. Influential and well recognized comedian all over the world. Browse a lot of P. J. O'Rourke books and reference books with quotes from P. J. O'Rourke on Amazon.


What are the best people quotes by P. J. O'Rourke?


    Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.

    • funny

    People are all exactly alike. There's no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic group. If we were dogs, we'd be the same breed. George Bush and an Australian Aborigine have fewer differences than a Lhasa apso and a toy fox terrier. A Japanese raised in Riyadh would be an Arab. A Zulu raised in New Rochelle would be an orthodontist. People are all the same, though their circumstances differ terribly.


    The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?


    There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.


    They are just really stupid people in Hollywood. You write them a script, and they say they love it, they absolutely love it. Then they say, 'But doesn't it need a small dog, and an Eskimo, and shouldn't it be set in New Guinea?' And you say, 'But it is a sophisticated romantic comedy set in Paris.'


    Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don't understand, such as working for a living.

    • people

    Why do elites hate the poor? It's xenophobia. They don't know any poor people - except their off-the-books Brazilian nanny and illegal immigrant cleaning lady from Upper Revolta who don't speak English.


    Preachers at black churches are the last people left in the English-speaking world who know the schemes and tropes of classical rhetoric: parallelism, antithesis, epistrophe, synecdoche, metonymy, periphrasis, litotes - the whole bag of tricks.


    I had always thought of Egypt as a rather secular country. And I think it is, but people are quite observant of the strictures of Ramadan.

    • people

    People are always angry at America. They're absolutely certain that America either caused their problems or is deliberately not fixing their problems. But the anger is always directed at America and never at Americans.


    Liberals consider people to be nuisances.

    • people

    There are 1.3 billion people in China, and they all want a Buick.

    • people

    Some people have facts; these can be proven. Some people have theories; these can be disproven. But people with opinions are mindless and have their minds made up about it.

    • people

    We will win an election when all the seats in the House and Senate and the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office and the whole bench of the Supreme Court are filled with people who wish they weren't there.


    People think the free market is a philosophy, they think that it is a creed. It is none of those things. Free market is a bathroom scale, it is a measuring tape, it's simply a measurement.

    • people

    The minute somebody joins a committee... they immediately suffer from committee brain. They become wildly over-enthusiastic, over-optimistic, over-pessimistic. Committees turn people into idiots, and politics is a committee.

    • politics

    The foundation of collectivism is simple: There should be no important economic differences among people. No one should be too rich.


    Even the dumber parts of our government are not run by idiots. These are ordinary people like us, doing a job. By and large, they're trying to do it as well as they can. Or at least as often as people in the private sector try to do as well as they can.

    • people

    Rich people don't like to be in the military. The shoes are ugly and the uniforms itch. Rich people don't go in much for revolution or terrorism, either.


    Crazy old people are our entire source of polling information.


    There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as 'caring' and 'sensitive' because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money.


    If you spend 72 hours in a place you've never been, talking to people whose language you don't speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don't understand, and you come back as the world's biggest know-it-all, you're a reporter. Either that or you're President Obama.

    • people

    People say free trade causes dislocation. In actual fact, it's the lowering of trade barriers that causes the dislocation.

    • people

    I think the Baby Boom does have a tendency to get its nose in everything. The Greatest Generation had a better tendency to leave people alone. Of course, they also had a better tendency to hate everybody's guts.


    What would annoy the most people most often? That is the true left-wing test of government intervention.

    • people

    Political systems are run by self-selecting politicians. We don't draft people; it's not jury duty.

    • people

    People love to be told what they know already.

    • love

    People say, 'Oh, politics is so polarized today,' and I'm thinking... '1861, that was polarized.'

    • politics

    Modern elites live in bubbles of liberal affluence like Ann Arbor, Brookline, the Upper West Side, Palo Alto, or Chevy Chase. These places used to have impoverished neighborhoods nearby, but the poor people got chased out by young singles living in group homes, hipsters, and urban homesteading gay couples.


    The real purpose of welfare is to get rid of poor people entirely. Everybody knows welfare has bad effects; that's the point.

    • people

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What are the best politics quotes by P. J. O'Rourke?


    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

    • politics

    Politics are for foreigners with their endless wrongs and paltry rights. Politics are a lousy way to get things done. Politics are, like God's infinite mercy, a last resort.

    • politics

    Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.


    The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich.

    • politics

    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.

    • politics

    Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants.

    • politics

    Politics is the attempt to achieve power and prestige without merit.

    • politics

    The minute somebody joins a committee... they immediately suffer from committee brain. They become wildly over-enthusiastic, over-optimistic, over-pessimistic. Committees turn people into idiots, and politics is a committee.

    • politics

    The best and brightest don't go into politics. The best and brightest are at Goldman Sachs.

    • politics

    The Bible is very clear about one thing: Using politics to create fairness is a sin.

    • politics

    People say, 'Oh, politics is so polarized today,' and I'm thinking... '1861, that was polarized.'

    • politics

    The baby boomers' politics have covered a wide band of silliness, from the Weather Underground to the Timothy McVeigh types. The great majority of us are well in the middle of that spectrum, but still, there's been both leftie silliness and right-wing silliness.

    • politics

    If there are three words that need to be used more in American journalism, commentary, politics, personal life... it's the magic words 'I don't know.'


    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.

    • politics

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the archetypal extremely smart person who went into politics anyway instead of doing something worthwhile for his country.

    • politics

    Politics won't allow for the truth.

    • politics

    Politics is a necessary evil, or a necessary annoyance, a necessary conundrum.

    • politics

    I think that humor has become a principle means of communication among Americans about politics.

    • politics

    Conservatives really don't believe in politics as the primary instrument of getting along in life and therefore don't tend to put their energy into it a way people left of center do.

    • life

    Politics is the one field you don't age out of.

    • politics

    The more aspects of life that can be moved from private reign to public realm, the better it is for politics.

    • life

    Politics is - once in a while - a forum for serious debate about political philosophy.

    • politics

    Is Bill Clinton so good at politics, or are other politicians so bad?

    • politics

    No doubt the ridiculous politicians are right to like politics. They have found careers in which success can be achieved by being ridiculous. Imagine Jimmy Carter or George W. Bush rising to the top of any other profession.


    There are two factors in American politics that may seem strange to Europeans: race and religion.

    • politics

    Space has always been confusing to politics.

    • politics

    In the language of politics, there is only one translation for the phrase 'hope and change,' to wit: 'big, fat government.'


More politics quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best world quotes by P. J. O'Rourke?


    Globalization is simply opening the free marketplace to encompass the entire world.


    Preachers at black churches are the last people left in the English-speaking world who know the schemes and tropes of classical rhetoric: parallelism, antithesis, epistrophe, synecdoche, metonymy, periphrasis, litotes - the whole bag of tricks.

    • black

    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.

    • world

    The world is being run by irresponsible spoiled brats.

    • world

    Will Generation X and the Millennials do a better job running the world than the boomers have? Let's hope so.


    There's a love of rhetorical skill in the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden doesn't just go on tape cassettes and say, 'America sucks.' He recites poetry; he finds things that 'America sucks' rhymes with.

    • love

    I believe in God. God created the world.


    If you spend 72 hours in a place you've never been, talking to people whose language you don't speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don't understand, and you come back as the world's biggest know-it-all, you're a reporter. Either that or you're President Obama.

    • people

    Call a man 'ignorant,' and you have license to show the world your vast fund of knowledge and wise him up.


    The idea of a world where all people are alike - in wealth or in anything else - is a fantasy for the stupid.

    • people

    There's a certain kind of behavior in the Arab world that, to me, resembles the way young men behave when there is no significant influence from women in their lives.


    There are plenty of problems in the world, and doubtless climate change - or whatever the currently voguish phrase for it all is - certainly is one of them. But it's low on my list.

    • change

    One of the enduring problems with certain societies in the world - and this is certainly true of a lot of places in the Middle East - is that the capacity for self-governance and self-organizing just isn't there. It has to do with history.


    We've come into the world of '1984,' but it turns out to be '1984'-Lite.

    • world

    We Americans, who invented traffic, are always being startled by the forms into which it has evolved around the world.

    • world

    Wealth brings great benefits to the world. Rich people are heros.

    • people

    Democrats hate America being a world power because world power gives power to the nation instead of to Democrats.

    • hate

    I don't mind America becoming a Third World country. The weather is better in the Third World than it is where I live in New Hampshire. And household help will be much cheaper.

    • live

    Jack Abramoff is the world's best lobbyist - for the Federal Penitentiary System.


    The great apologist has to have lived large and wild. If he's going to kiss the world's boo-boos and make up, he'd better plant some bruises first. A master apologizer has to be a Lord Byron, a Rick in Casablanca, a Lee Atwater, anyway.

    • world

    There are a few things that people all around the world need to admit to themselves. Trade restraints slow economic growth, the euro is not a reserve currency, and scoreless sports ties are boring.


More world quotes or go to table of contents


What are the best think quotes by P. J. O'Rourke?


    The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?

    • administration

    I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a "learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid.


    Banning paper and plastic and making shoppers carry their groceries home in their mouths like dogs is just the thing to make a little tin humanist in the Obama West Wing think he's admiral of the Uzbek Navy.


    I had always thought of Egypt as a rather secular country. And I think it is, but people are quite observant of the strictures of Ramadan.

    • people

    If you think health care is expensive now, just wait 'til it's free.


    People think the free market is a philosophy, they think that it is a creed. It is none of those things. Free market is a bathroom scale, it is a measuring tape, it's simply a measurement.

    • people

    Now, do I think the baby boomers tend to be self-absorbed? I do.


    I think every high school student who was alert during the early '60s got very embittered by the slow progress and the violence surrounding the Civil Rights Movement.


    I think the Baby Boom does have a tendency to get its nose in everything. The Greatest Generation had a better tendency to leave people alone. Of course, they also had a better tendency to hate everybody's guts.

    • alone

    I think it's always easy to be sympathetic to parts of the government in detail; in their concrete manifestations. Because obviously, we don't have government for no reason.

    • think

    Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance.


    Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.


    I don't think anybody's really been successful with theorizing about value or creating a price theory.

    • think

    I think the Baby Boom has enjoyed itself, maybe sometimes a little too much, and we're continuing to enjoy ourselves, maybe a little too much.

    • think

    I think that humor has become a principle means of communication among Americans about politics.

    • politics

    I like Michael Moore, but I think of him more as a rabble-rouser. On his TV show, when he went to the home of the guy who invented the car alarm and set off all the car alarms on the block... pretty funny.

    • funny

    America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don't think that way. We don't think much at all, thank God.

    • god

    I have no idea if some societies, anthropologically speaking, aren't really suited for democracy. I don't think that's true.


    Some people think that welfare reform should have hurt Bill Clinton with black voters.

    • black

    You can't destroy America by destroying our elite. Think about America's elite. Think about it down through history. Destroy our elite, and about half the time, you're doing us a favor.


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What are the best life quotes by P. J. O'Rourke?


    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.

    • greet

    Infant mortality and life expectancy are reasonable indicators of general well-being in a society.

    • life

    A person has got to balance work and life and family in order to be a balanced person.

    • life

    I realised the bohemian life was not for me. I would look around at my friends, living like starving artists, and wonder, 'Where's the art?' They weren't doing anything. And there was so much interesting stuff to do, so much fun to be had... maybe I could even quit renting.

    • life

    Woodstock had a tremendous impact on American artistic life.

    • life

    A deadly sins addendum is long overdue. Life has changed since Pope Gregory the Great scribbled his initial list in the sixth century.

    • life

    Soccer matches should be something special, something people eagerly look forward to, something that brightens life.

    • life

    If there are three words that need to be used more in American journalism, commentary, politics, personal life... it's the magic words 'I don't know.'

    • life

    There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.

    • life

    My life would have gone along perfectly well, politically speaking, if it hadn't been for girls.

    • life

    Conservatives really don't believe in politics as the primary instrument of getting along in life and therefore don't tend to put their energy into it a way people left of center do.

    • life

    The more aspects of life that can be moved from private reign to public realm, the better it is for politics.

    • life

More life quotes or go to table of contents


More quotes by P. J. O'Rourke

Want some more good quotations by P. J. O'Rourke? Explore the rest of 500 sayings by P. J. O'Rourke.


Of all the American educational system's problems, none is more severe than the academic year beginning before Labor Day.


Corporate corruption has ecological merits. It's helping to preserve that species known as Democrats - thought to be endangered as recently as the year 2000.


The idea of a world where all people are alike - in wealth or in anything else - is a fantasy for the stupid.

  • people

Until I carried my wife off to New Hampshire, she defined wilderness as the Bronx.


Demolishing pretensions, especially worthy ones, is a hallmark of the baby boom.


'You're stupid,' is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama.


Head lice have their own animal-rights group, or may as well. The National Pediculosis Association doesn't exactly advocate letting lice live with dignity, but it does oppose pediculicidal treatments.

  • live

Sometimes the right response to evil is an appeal to powerful and effective social organization - an appeal to civilization itself.


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.


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.


Fortunately, I'm married to someone who's a pretty excellent parent!


A fundamental American question is, 'What's the big idea?'


There are selves too big for one person to contain. You cannot call them selfish. There is nothing -ish about such selves. They are the self, as it were, itself.


Politics is the attempt to achieve power and prestige without merit.

  • politics

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.


Satire doesn't effect change.

  • change

There is only one thing that gives me hope as a Republican, and that is the Democrats. It's going to be hard to do a worse job running American than the Republicans have, but if anybody can do it, it's the Democrats.

  • hope

The real purpose of welfare is to get rid of poor people entirely. Everybody knows welfare has bad effects; that's the point.

  • people

In Israel, waves of anger and fear circulate all the time, but so do jokes and gossip and silky evening breezes. So, too, in America.


Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance.

  • ignorance

The idea of a stag hunt evokes chivalry - knights in jerkins and hose, ladies on sidesaddles with wimples and billowing dresses, a white stag symbolizing something-or-other, and Robin Hood getting in the way. An actual stag hunt is more like a horseback meeting of a county planning commission.


Liberals are always proposing perfectly insane ideas, laws that will make everybody happy, laws that will make everything right, make us live forever, and all be rich. Conservatives are never that stupid.


There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.

  • life

A U.S. dollar is an IOU from the Federal Reserve Bank. It's a promissory note that doesn't actually promise anything. It's not backed by gold or silver.


We need a government, alas, because of the nature of humans.


A humorist doesn't really do that much note-taking.


By the end of the 1950s, American cars were so reliable that their reliability went without saying even in car ads. Thousands of them bear testimony to this today, still running on the roads of Cuba though fueled with nationalized Venezuelan gasoline and maintained with spit and haywire.


Medical researchers don't know much about head lice because they don't much care. The reason that they don't much care is, paradoxically, that they know a lot. That is, they know one important thing: there is no evidence that head lice transmit disease.


Children must be considered in a divorce considered valuable pawns in the nasty legal and financial contest that is about to ensue.


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.


I'm fascinated by political enthusiasm.


No humorist is under any obligation to provide answers and probably if you were to delve into the literary history of humour it's probably all about not providing answers because the humorist essentially says: this is the way things are.

  • history

The prevalence of mobile homes does not correspond with the prevalence of poverty, or with much of anything else. All that can be confidently said about America's mobile homes is that they are massed in places where you wouldn't want to be in one. Florida's mobile homes lie athwart the path of hurricanes. Georgia's are in the way of tornadoes.


Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.

  • thinking

Lyndon Johnson faced some clear moral issues.


Political discourse has become so rotten that it's no longer possible to tell the stench of one presidential candidate from the stink of another.

  • political

Network television has been attempting to lure viewers for years with its low-interest programming only to have those viewers discover later that their brains are bankrupt.


Children live in the only successful Marxist state ever created: the family. 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need' is the family's practice as well as its theory. Even with today's scattershot patterns of marriage and parenting, a family is collectivist to a more than North Korean degree.


Richard Nixon was the best thing that ever happened to journalism. I mean this guy was wonderful. Just when you thought he could get no worse, he got worse.

  • best

I look around my house, and everything except the kids and dogs was made in China. And I'm not sure about the kids. They have brown eyes and small noses.


I've only been to New Zealand once, about 1989. It was incredibly beautiful, kind of like the ideal of where I live in New England - all that and then some - but I can't say I was there long enough to get any very clear idea.


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.


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.


All business is capitalistic. You require capital for any sort of business endeavour.


I just wasn't cut out to be a Chinese Tiger Mom. I'm more of an Irish Setter Dad.


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.

  • world

We journalists don't have to step on roaches. All we have to do is turn on the kitchen light and watch the critters scutter.


I had always thought of Egypt as a rather secular country. And I think it is, but people are quite observant of the strictures of Ramadan.

  • people

Who, other than a crazy person, does anything besides hang up on a robo-call? Any call, any person, anywhere, under any circumstances.

  • crazy

After the events of the 20th century, God, quite reasonably, left Europe. But He's still here in the United States.

  • god

I like fiction and the kind of history that gives the grace and flavor of fiction to the past. No bloviation on current events, please. I can write that junk myself.


The most brilliant satire of all time was 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift. You'll notice how everything got straightened out in Ireland within days of that coming out.

  • time

Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.

  • face

Maybe climate change is a threat, and maybe climate change has been tarted up by climatologists trolling for research grant cash. It doesn't matter.

  • change

Majority rule is a precious, sacred thing worth dying for. But -- like other precious, sacred things, such as the home and the family -- it's not only worth dying for; it can make you wish you were dead. Imagine if all of life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza. Every pair of pants, even those in a Brooks Brothers suit, would be stonewashed denim. Celebrity diet and exercise books would be the only thing on the shelves at the library. And -- since women are a majority of the population -- we'd all be married to Mel Gibson.


Fascism is very much a mob movement.


The District of Columbia is an extreme example of disconnect between financial input and educational outcome. Unfortunately, extreme is not the same as abnormal.


War expands government powers. The trouble is that, when the war goes away, the government powers do not.

  • war

If ever there were a place where people not only tend not to face economic facts, but it's almost their purpose not to face economic facts, it's Washington.

  • face

Jack Abramoff is the world's best lobbyist - for the Federal Penitentiary System.

  • best

I don't understand anything about America's culture.


America gives every appearance of being a nation besotted with trashiness - divorce, illegitimacy, casual Fridays.


I knew Hunter Thompson since the '70s, and I loved him, but he would wear me out as I got older.


Kabul is a walled city, which sounds romantic except the walls are pre-cast reinforced concrete blast barriers, 10 feet tall and 15 feet long and moved into place with cranes. The walls are topped with sandbags, and the sandbags are topped with guard posts from which gun barrels protrude.


Upbeat is for people who want to feel good about their cause: the reformers, the progressives, the revolutionaries, the utopians, the collectivists, and the rest of the altruistic scum of the earth. Why do these people want to feel good? They want to feel good in order to convince themselves that they are good.

  • people

Guns are the ultimate bulwark against government misbehavior.

  • government

I think it's always easy to be sympathetic to parts of the government in detail; in their concrete manifestations. Because obviously, we don't have government for no reason.

  • think

If it were not for government regulation of big corporations, executives at companies like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, they could have cheated investors out of millions.

  • government

In the language of politics, there is only one translation for the phrase 'hope and change,' to wit: 'big, fat government.'

  • change

The body is forever teaching us lessons. There are all sorts of things that we can't do, shouldn't do, had better not do very often or do for too long as we get older. The body makes its presence known.


My working hypothesis is that stupidity in popular culture is a constant. Popular culture cannot get more stupid.

  • culture

All religions must be made child-proof. Our teachers' unions have done good work in this field, K through 12. Delaying first communions and bar mitzvahs until age 21 would be another positive step.


Lack of romance is my real objection to writing on a computer.


Our regulatory bodies strive to create honest dealings, fair trades, and a situation in which no one has an advantage over anyone else. But human beings aren't honest. And all trades are made because one person thinks he's getting the better of the other, and the other person thinks the same.


In a free country, government is a dull and onerous responsibility. It is a parent-teacher conference.


Jeans fit the mature male one of two ways, both dirigible in nature. You make a public impression that's either Hindenburg or Goodyear blimp.

  • nature

Like it or not, I've come to appreciate soccer. Any kid can play, which fits with the inclusive agenda of progressive schools. Although the corollary to 'any kid can play' is that every kid must play because there is an iron grip to the warm hug of progressive inclusionism.


I like to argue with the radio.


Charles McCarry is the best modern writer on the subject of intrigue - by the breadth of Alan Furst, by the fathom of Eric Ambler, by any measure.

  • best

Death is so important that God visited death upon his own son, thereby helping us learn right from wrong well enough that we may escape death forever and live eternally in God's grace.

  • god

The only advantage to being a middle-aged man is that when you put on a jacket and tie, you're the Scary Dad. Never mind that no one has had an actually scary dad since 1966. The visceral fear remains.

  • fear

The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?

  • administration

Obama, in pursuit of power, has been as greedy and irresponsible as any Wall Street tycoon in pursuit of money.

  • money

Political leaders are expert at saying nothing.


On inspection, Gaudi's architecture isn't whimsical at all.


Will Generation X and the Millennials do a better job running the world than the boomers have? Let's hope so.

  • hope

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.


Tel Aviv is new, built on the sand dunes north of Jaffa in the 1890s, about the same time Miami was founded. The cities bear a resemblance in size, site, climate, and architecture, which ranges from the bland to the fancifully bland.

  • time

Popular culture has become engorged, broadening and thickening until it's the only culture anyone notices.

  • culture

Never wear anything that panics the cat.


I read good. I was an English major.


I think that humor has become a principle means of communication among Americans about politics.

  • politics

Hubris is one of the great renewable resources.


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.


The good thing about SUVs is they have storage.


Globalization is simply opening the free marketplace to encompass the entire world.

  • world

To mistrust science and deny the validity of scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You'd better go look for work as a plant or wild animal.


The subculture of felons is in great vogue among adolescents. Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and so forth allow us Republicans to say to America's young people, 'We be thugs.' The GOP may capture the youth vote at last.


Why can't death - if we must have it - be always glorious, as in 'The Iliad?'


I like making things. I have a wood shop at home. I am a terrible carpenter but I love doing it.

  • love

I've never been able to get it straight about what these people who are worried about the trade deficit are worried about.

  • people

The average IQ in America is - and this can be proven mathematically - average.

  • america

As I get older, all sorts of things become less funny. Once one has children, any cruelty involving children becomes far less amusing than when one was at the mercy of one's friends' and relatives' children.

  • funny

Supposedly, summer vacation happens because that's when the kids are home from school, although having the kids home from school is no vacation. And supposedly the kids are home from school because of some vestigial throwback to our agricultural past.

  • home

If you spend 72 hours in a place you've never been, talking to people whose language you don't speak about social, political, and economic complexities you don't understand, and you come back as the world's biggest know-it-all, you're a reporter. Either that or you're President Obama.

  • people

There's something about Marxism that brings out warts; the only kind of growth this economic system encourages.


TV ushered in the age of postliteracy. And we have gone so far beyond that. I mean, what with the Internet and Google and Wikipedia. We have entered the age of post-intelligence.


Predicting innovation is something of a self-canceling exercise: the most probable innovations are probably the least innovative.


I come from Toledo, Ohio, a town that has been hurt badly by the shift of the automobile business towards Japan. And yet I remember how the car workers lived in the neighborhood that I grew up in. My father was a car salesman, and I remember how we lived. I remember how modestly we lived.


I'm old enough to remember when the air over American cities was a lot dirtier than it is now.


Any terrorism is an attack on libertarian values.

  • terrorism

Adam Smith is misread as being amoral precisely because people don't read his first book, because they don't read 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments.'

  • people

As a longtime former resident of 15 years in Washington, I wish that everybody would stay off the Mall with their political cause so that we can get out there, you know, and play flag football or Frisbee, or walk the dog or something - you know, which is, you know, what the National Mall should be for, in my personal opinion.


Mistreatment of al Qaeda members and their friends and hangers-on is something I number among my moral concerns. But it's number 1,000,000,001.


Liberals want to live downtown. All over America - in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Georgetown - there are crowds of liberals living in the gritty, ugly, dirty neighborhoods sensible people are trying to flee.

  • live

No Americans wants to see somebody lose their house because of health bills. Their boat? Maybe. Maybe the boat. But not the house.

  • health

Detroit's industrial ruins are picturesque, like crumbling Rome in an 18th-century etching.


Pete Seeger is a modest, unassuming, cheerful, and kind-natured man. He's a good folk singer, if you can stand folk singing. And he's such an excellent banjo player that you almost don't wish you had a pair of wire cutters.


There is the love and marriage and family kind of happiness, which is exceedingly boring to describe but nonetheless is important to have and dreadful not to have.

  • love

The best and brightest don't go into politics. The best and brightest are at Goldman Sachs.

  • politics


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When was P. J. O'Rourke birthday? P. J. O'Rourke was born on November 14, 1947.

Who is P. J. O'Rourke? Some facts about P. J. O'Rourke from biography. Patrick Jake "P. J." O'Rourke (born November 14, 1947) is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and ... Read more about P. J. O'Rourke on Wikipedia or watch videos with quotes from P. J. O'Rourke on YouTube. Browse a lot of books about P. J. O'Rourke on Amazon to get more reference.

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