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All Hallows’ Eve

It is, perhaps, a fact provocative of sour mirth that the Bill of Rights was designed trustfully to prohibit forever two of the favorite crimes of all known governments: the seizure of private property without adequate compensation and the invasion of the citizen’s liberty without justifiable cause…It is a fact provocative of mirth yet more sour that the execution of these prohibitions was put into the hands of courts, which is to say, into the hands of lawyers, which is to say, into the hands of men specifically educated to discover legal excuses for dishonest, dishonorable and anti-social acts.

______ H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: A Selection, pp. 180-82

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
H. L. Mencken

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
H. L. Mencken

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
H. L. Mencken

All government, of course, is against liberty.
H. L. Mencken

Scott Pelley reporting on the aftermath of “Frankenstorm”.


6 responses

  1. J Moser


    October 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

  2. Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
    H. L. Mencken

    October 31, 2012 at 10:59 pm

  3. J Moser

    I can’t read all that right now. I always thought it was OK for things to seem creepy on Halloween. If not creepy, then, could we say…”dark?” How about…depressing? You can’t be expecting a happy response to all that Mencken gloom (however accurate it may be), which seems reinforced by the gray tones and desolate feeling of the photos. But, still, I may be misinterpreting your intent. Sigh. Maybe the words of Marcel Duchamp would help: “The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative art.”

    November 1, 2012 at 10:35 am

  4. Creepy is right when the words of Mencken from 50 plus years ago ring true today. The constant claptrap on TV is unrelenting. If this country is stupid enough to listen to someone that will damage Public Broadcasting, god help us. Let’s hope that Halloween is just one day a year! Thanks for the Duchamp quote, he always makes my day!

    November 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

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