The Corner

Two Bons Mots

Earlier this morning, a reader was quick to supply a couple of apt quotes — this was in response to my Impromptus today. The first quote is from Joe Louis; the second is from Mark Twain.

Biden was criticizing Palin for not saying the words “middle class.” Well, if you plainly represent the middle class — do you have to speak the words? Only if you’re an upper-level Ted Kennedy type do you have to say the words.

Her husband works the night shift, for heaven’s sake: She does not have to express the noblesse oblige that others find necessary.

Anyway, here’s Joe Louis on being tough: “If you have to say you are, you aren’t.” (Some people render this in the vernacular. Whether Louis expressed the idea, I don’t know — but the idea is certainly right.)

(By the way, here’s Reagan on deterrence: “Nobody ever picked a fight with Jack Dempsey.”)

At the end of my column, there’s a quirky item about establishing a reputation, or earning trust. If people know you to be a certain thing — or to have a certain character — you can deviate now and then, and people will overlook it or forgive you.

Mark Twain: “Once a man acquires a reputation as an early riser, he can start sleeping until noon every day.”

The opposite is true too: Once word gets out, or the impression is given, you’re a lazybones, you can rise at dawn and work like John Henry every day for the rest of your life, and it won’t matter.

Silly old world . . .

(BTW, some of my fellow midwesterners — of a certain vintage — say “work like a Trojan.”)

Most Popular

U.S.

The Media Fell for Elizabeth Warren’s Spin

Do you want to know what media bias looks like? Earlier today, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that confirmed that she misled employers, students, and the public about her Native American heritage for years. Bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as ... Read More
U.S.

Native Americans React to Warren’s DNA Test

Many in the Native American community reacted angrily Monday after Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test showing that she has a distant Native American ancestor. Warren has long said she is part Native American, prompting mockery from Republicans and President Trump, who nicknamed her ... Read More