Ross and Kathryn Petras were collecting other people’s stupidities, and have published a book named The 776 stupidest things ever said.
Here are a few of them:
On Bombing, the true meaning of:
“You always write it’s bombing, bombing, bombing. It’s not bombing, it’s air support.”
~ US Air Force Colonel David Offer, air attaché in Cambodia, complaining to reporters about their coverage of the Vietnam War. ~
On Death, Government Ability to communicate after:
“Beginning in February 1976 your assistance benefits will be discontinued… Reason: it has been reported to our office that you expired on January 1, 1976.
~ Illinois Department of Public Aid ~
On the Death penalty, thought-provoking questions about:
“Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years, with time off for good behavior?”
~ New York State Senator James H. Donovan on capital punishment ~
On suicide, how to stop it:
“The only way to stop this suicide wave is to make it a capital offense, punishable by death.”
~ Irish Legislator in Parliament ~
On telling the truth:
“If I tell a lie it is only because I think I’m telling the truth.”
~ Phil Gagliardi, Minister of Highways, in British Columbia, Canada ~
“I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue.”
~ Richard Nixon, discussing Watergate in a 1978 interview ~
On jumping the gun:
“I am in control here. As of now, I am in control here in the White House.”
~ Alexander Haig, then Secretary of State, after President Reagan was shot, forgetting that in actuality he was fourth in line of succession ~
“Don’t you know I’m a fascist? You know, a guy who says one thing and means another?”
~ Danny Osark ~
“Don’t talk to me while I am interrupting.”
~ Director Michael Curtiz ~
On guilty, innocent until proven:
(Hijackers) should be given a rapid trial with due process of law at the airport, then hanged.”
~ Edward Davis, police chief of Los Angeles in 1973 ~
“I’m no linguist, but I have been told that in the Russian language there isn’t even a word for freedom.”
~ President Ronald Reagan on why Russia was still – and presumably always would be Communist, overlooking the word svoboda, or freedom ~
On the Mid East crisis:
“Why can’t the Jews and the Arabs just sit down together and settle this like good Christians?”
~ Overheard during a congressional debate; also attributed to Arthur Balfour, British statesman, Primer Minister and Foreign Secretary ~
On modern art, Hitler’s sensitivity to:
“Anyone who sees and paints a sky green and pastures blue ought to be sterilized.”
~ Adolph Hitler, painter of stiff, inhuman city scopes and sponsor of the Aryan art movement which lost popularity after April 1945 ~
On Shakespeare, Soviet confirmation of little-known facts about:
“I asked one of the principal actors of the dramatic theater about Shakespeare, and he told me that he is just learning German, so that he may soon be able to read Shakespeare in the original.”
~ From the Soviet literary magazine Literaturnaya Gazeta, 1940 ~
Jogi Berra’s Finest Lines:
“If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”
“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
“You can observe a lot by watching.”
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“How can you think and hit at the same time?”
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
“I will get it when I die.” (Explaining why he brought a large life insurance policy)
“We made too many wrong mistakes” (Explaining why the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series)
If women are allowed to drive cars, there will be more gay men because none of the women will be virgins anymore.
Q & A – With John Bloom
Q. Who is “God”?
A. That’s the guy who goes by about 337 names, including Allah, YHWH, He Who Cannot Be Pronounced, and The Big Kahuna. The Wittenburg Door has asked Him repeatedly to clarify His identity, preferably by stopping by the offices in person to show ID. So far, he has remained elusive.
Q. Who is “Son of God”?
A. We’ve got that guy nailed. His name is Jesus. Born in Bethlehem and immediately part of a paternity dispute. Raised in Egypt and western Jordan. Home-schooled. Tradesman. Attempted a public speaking career with some early success, but fell on hard times when he was identified as the leader of a small cult. Eventually tried and convicted on charges of sedition. Remembered today mostly for the way he was executed, which was fairly spectacular, even by A. D. 33 standards.
Q. Who is “Son of Man”?
A. Some guy!
Q. How can he be both “Son of God” and “Son of Man”?
A. Hey that is 335 fewer names than His Daddy. We’re not complaining.
Q. So who was His Dad?
A. Duh. Are you listening? The YHWH dude. We can’t get any more specific than that.
Q. Could not you check his DNA?
A. We would love to have some Jesus DNA. A man named Joseph also claimed to be His Father, but his claim was not considered credible. He got a funny look on his face any time you asked him just what night the baby was conceived.
Q. Well then, who’s the mother of Jesus?
A. No question about that one. Mary. Nice lady. Didn’t say much. People loved her.
Q. Couldn’t you ask Mary who impregnated her?
A. Yeah, well, she says it wasn’t Joseph. It’s a complicated story. You know how women can be dramatic sometimes.
Q. So the father is not the man she was married to?
A. It wasn’t anything sleazy. More lime a sperm-donor sort of thing. Well, yeah, OK, it looks bad.
Q. I’m more interested in “God” than in this little peasant family that apparently didn’t do anything except wander around.
A. More like migrant workers. They had some adventures.
Q. Whatever. Why are you focusing on them when what everybody wants to know is, Where is God?
A. Very good point. Unfortunately, this is all He gave us to work with.
Q. What are you saying? God is hiding out?
A. Pretty much, yeah. From time to time we think we get a bead on the location, and it just turns out to be a tortilla or something.
Q. Well, didn’t anybody ask Jesus where God is?
A. He said a few things about it, but He was fairly close-mouthed with the information. The last business He set before His trail was to broker access to God.
Q. What, like His agent or something? He takes a commission?
A. Normally He just asks for a couple of meetings.
Q. With God?
A. No, he conducts the meetings.
Q. And then after you meet with Him, you can meet with God?
A. Unfortunately, no. This has been a problem for a while now. He takes the message in for you but He won’t set up a face-to-face.
Q. So how can you trust Him?
A. A good question! You never know what He’s gonna do.
And goes on, and on …
Copyright The Wittenburg Door November/December, 2003, pages 36 & 37. More here: http://wittenberg-door.blogspot.com/
Mankind has achieved so much, made incredible progress in so many fields, and performed extraordinary technological feats. We are taught all about these achievements but rarely about man’s stupidity and the ways in which he deceives himself.
“No one ever thinks they are stupid, it’s part of their stupidity.” (From The Wire, as a detective interrogates a suspect).
Harlan Ellison stated that stupidity is the most common element in the universe, along with hydrogen.
I enjoyed Harlan's writing and editing.
“K is for "Kenghis Khan"; He was a very nice person. History has no record of him. There is a moral in that, somewhere.”
― Harlan Ellison
This was not a stupid thing to say; just a very wrong prediction. In the 1950s computer manufacturers had estimated that six computers could serve the needs of the entire United States. By January 1968 fifty thousand computers were operating in the country, of which fifteen thousand had been installed in the past year.