Being Fair About It

Sunday, March 13, 2011 – Being Fair About It

I think perfect objectivity is an unrealistic goal; fairness, however, is not. ~ Michael Pollan

These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have. ~ Abraham Lincoln

For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. ~ John Maynard Keynes

Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means. ~ Arthur Koestler

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not. ~ Oscar Wilde

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. ~ Lao Tzu

Be a terror to the butchers, that they may be fair in their weight; and keep hucksters and fraudulent dealers in awe, for the same reason. ~ Miguel de Cervantes

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. ~ George Orwell

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy? ~ George Orwell

I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor? ~ Bill Watterson

If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking “Do you want fries with that?” ~ John Cleese

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead. ~ Johnny Carson

Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all. ~ William Goldman

Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent. ~ Laurence J. Peter

Girls have an unfair advantage over men: if they can’t get what they want by being smart, they can get it by being dumb. ~ Yul Brynner

We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre. ~ Dick Gregory

Fair play with others is primarily the practice of not blaming them for anything that is wrong with us. We tend to rub our guilty conscience against others the way we wipe dirty fingers on a rag. This is as evil a misuse of others as the practice of exploitation. ~ Eric Hoffer

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. ~ Abraham Lincoln

The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be. ~ Raymond Chandler

A court is a place where what was confused before becomes more unsettled than ever. ~ Henry Waldorf Francis

Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they’re fair with you. ~ Alan Alda

Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way. ~ Arthur Miller

Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are. ~ Jean Rostand

It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. ~ Felix Frankfurter

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration – courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth. ~ Henry Louis Mencken

The plain truth is that I am not a fair man, and don’t want to hear both sides. ~ Henry Louis Mencken

One of the great things about the universe is that it’s fair. ~ Alan Bean

The long and distressing controversy over capital punishment is very unfair to anyone meditating murder. ~ Geoffrey Fisher

Wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us, come because we actually deserve them? So now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe. ~ Marcus Cole

I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect. ~ Oscar Wilde


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