H.L. Mencken is a favorite author of mine. I found that I missed his birthday (Sept 12th), but I’d still like to post a selection of his quotes:

“The chief difference between free capitalism and state socialism seems to be this: that under the former a man pursues his own advantage openly, frankly and honestly, whereas under the latter he does so hypocritically and under false pretenses.”

“Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.”

“The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”

“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable….”

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

“Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man.”

And one last one:

“If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”

Raise a glass to this insightful curmudgeon. Better still, read his works while sipping from it.

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