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How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that when it is finally exposed, its principals shall forever be deserving of the maledictions of all.

Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) American politician, attorney
“America’s Retreat from Victory: The Story of Gen. George C. Marshall,” speech, US Senate (14 Jun 1951)

Part of a 65,000 word speech given by McCarthy, attacking Sec. of Defense George C. Marshall (and, by proxy, Harry Truman), alleging a string of sinister post-WW2 US diplomatic and military failures, culminating in Truman's firing of Douglas MacArthur.
Added on 14-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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The human race exaggerates everything: its heroes, its enemies, its importance.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship (1998)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
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There is another sort of lies, inoffensive enough in themselves, but wonderfully ridiculous; I mean those lies which a mistaken vanity suggests, that defeat the very end for which they are calculated, and terminate in the humiliation and confusion of their author, who is sure to be detected. These are chiefly narrative and historical lies, all intended to do infinite honor to their author. He is always the hero of his own romances; he has been in dangers from which nobody but himself ever escaped; he as seen with his own eyes, whatever other people have heard or read of; he has had more bonnes fortunes than ever he knew women; and has ridden more miles post in one day, than ever courier went in two. He is soon ridiculed, and as soon becomes the object of universal contempt and ridicule.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son, #126 (21 Sep 1747)
Added on 4-Feb-21 | Last updated 12-Oct-22
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It would never come into their [the masses’] heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) German leader
Mein Kampf [My Struggle], Vol. 1, ch. 10 (1925)
Added on 13-Oct-20 | Last updated 13-Oct-20
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“The first ten million years were the worst,” said Marvin, “and the second ten million years, they were the worst, too. The third ten million years I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, ch. 18 (1980)
Added on 12-Sep-16 | Last updated 12-Sep-16
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You mustn’t exaggerate, young man. That’s always a sign your argument is weak.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“Redbook Dialogue,” interview by Tommy Robbins, Redbook (1964-09)

Reprinted in Russell Society News, #37 (1983-02), p. 24.
Added on 2-Dec-08 | Last updated 19-Jul-23
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