P. J. O'Rourke

Born: November 14, 1947

Occupation: Satirist

Quotes of P. J. O'Rourke

P. J. O'Rourke

I didn't see any NRA officials killing babies in Waco...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

[T]he Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A dugout is much superior to a conventional manufactured canoe because you can get soaking wet without bothering to capsize it.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

This is the most elaborate and luxurious method of convincing others that you can cook. Take everybody out on your yacht until they're green in the face. Then you can rave for weeks about your sauce marinara...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I don't think I'll ever be a real boat reporter. My Rolex isn't big enough.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If the wind is blowing like stink and everything is working right, a twelve-meter sailboat can go eleven and a half or twelve miles an hour, the same speed at which a bond lawyer runs around the Cental...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The America's Cup is like driving your Lamborgini to the Gran Prix track to watch the charter buses race.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are a lot of mysterious things about boats, such as why anyone would get on one voluntarily.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In Western Australia they don't even know how to make that vital piece of sailboating equipment, the gin and tonic.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Never steal anything so small that you'll have to go to an unpleasant city jail for it instead of a minimum-security federal tennis prison.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It's better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When a couple decides to divorce, they should inform both sets of parents before having a party and telling all their friends. This is not only courteous but practical. Parents may be very willing to pitch...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Mercedes Benz : A mechanical device that increases sexual arousal in women.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A girl who is really pretty - whether she wraps herself in an abayah, a nun's habit, or the front hall rug - never wraps herself so that the world can't tell.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The government is huge, stupid, greedy and makes nosy, officious and dangerous intrusions into the smallest corners of life - this much we can stand. But the real problem is that government is boring....

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When are the world's political parties going to get appropriate symbols: snake, louse, jackal, ... trash can, clown face, ... dollar bill with bat wings on it?

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The very existence of the bicycle is an offense to reason and wisdom.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Never fight an inanimate object.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Never wear anything that panics the cat.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I think it's been hard for people to understand how Islam can be a good religion, and yet the Islamists are evil. Those of us who have had experience with Islam understand this, just as we understand the...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Gossip is what you say about the objects of flattery when they aren't present.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Children must be considered in a divorce considered valuable pawns in the nasty legal and financial contest that is about to ensue.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If government were a product, selling it would be illegal.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Fortunately, I'm married to someone who's a pretty excellent parent!

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I rarely meet a politician that I don't like personally. They are generally well endowed with charm. Therein lies the danger.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Never be unfaithful to a lover, except with your wife.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's something about Marxism that brings out warts; the only kind of growth this economic system encourages.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a 'learning experience.' Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a 'learning experience.' It makes me feel less stupid.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Staying married may have long-term benefits. You can elicit much more sympathy from friends over a bad marriage than you ever can from a good divorce.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The idea of capitalism is not just success but also the failure that allows success to happen.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you can not only be nothing, you can do nothing too.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There is one thing women can never take away from men. We die sooner.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

After all, what is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Soldiers are not policemen, and it's very unfair, even for those soldiers who have some police training, to burden them with police duties. It's not what they're trained for, or equipped for.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government does it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Finland is a rich country. What have they got? They got Nokia phones and plywood. How'd they get so rich? Because they're free.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Let's reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools - and use it on the teachers.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Nobody likes insurance companies, especially health insurance companies.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

What would annoy the most people most often? That is the true left-wing test of government intervention.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I like making things. I have a wood shop at home. I am a terrible carpenter but I love doing it.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I read good. I was an English major.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm really tired of virtue.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Southern California is a nice place, if you could cut out the show-business cancer. It just keeps spreading.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

We need a government, alas, because of the nature of humans.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Crazy old people are our entire source of polling information.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the archetypal extremely smart person who went into politics anyway instead of doing something worthwhile for his country.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Hubris is one of the great renewable resources.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I do have to travel a lot for speaking engagements.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I don't even know which end of a computer one is supposed to gaze into. I've never used a computer.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm a political conservative.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm a rather decisive type.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm old enough to remember when the air over American cities was a lot dirtier than it is now.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Political systems are run by self-selecting politicians. We don't draft people; it's not jury duty.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Satire doesn't effect change.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There isn't much room for an outsider point of view in print any more.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Who, other than a crazy person, does anything besides hang up on a robo-call? Any call, any person, anywhere, under any circumstances.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You don't despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Fiscal conservatism is just an easy way to express something that is a bit more difficult, which is that the size and scope of government, and really the size and scope of politics in our lives, has grown...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Positive rights are the right to shelter, the right to education, the right to health care, the right to a living wage. These things are - these are, I would call them, more properly, political rights...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's a certain kind of behavior in the Arab world that, to me, resembles the way young men behave when there is no significant influence from women in their lives.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

As I get older, all sorts of things become less funny. Once one has children, any cruelty involving children becomes far less amusing than when one was at the mercy of one's friends' and relatives' children.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

My wife and I both come from Irish families. There are two kinds of Irish families: the hitting kind and the kidding kind. If you're fortunate - and both of us are - you come from the kidding kind of Irish...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

One of the enduring problems with certain societies in the world - and this is certainly true of a lot of places in the Middle East - is that the capacity for self-governance and self-organizing just isn't...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politics are for foreigners with their endless wrongs and paltry rights. Politics are a lousy way to get things done. Politics are, like God's infinite mercy, a last resort.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The body is forever teaching us lessons. There are all sorts of things that we can't do, shouldn't do, had better not do very often or do for too long as we get older. The body makes its presence known.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The great thing about being a print journalist is that you are permitted to duck. Cameramen get killed while the writers are flat on the floor. A war correspondent for the BBC dedicated his memoir to 50...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The inherent purpose of American government is let people seek their own goals and to encourage them to be responsible on the various adventures they have on their way to those goals, good, bad, and otherwise.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I realised the bohemian life was not for me. I would look around at my friends, living like starving artists, and wonder, 'Where's the art?' They weren't doing anything. And there was so much interesting...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Little islands of human happiness, peace, and prosperity are so exceptional at this point in history that I'm not even sure we can draw lessons from them.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

No humorist is under any obligation to provide answers and probably if you were to delve into the literary history of humour it's probably all about not providing answers because the humorist essentially...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

People are always angry at America. They're absolutely certain that America either caused their problems or is deliberately not fixing their problems. But the anger is always directed at America and never...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are plenty of problems in the world, and doubtless climate change - or whatever the currently voguish phrase for it all is - certainly is one of them. But it's low on my list.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

People think the free market is a philosophy, they think that it is a creed. It is none of those things. Free market is a bathroom scale, it is a measuring tape, it's simply a measurement.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's not a woman in the book, the plot hinges on unkindness to animals, and the black characters mostly drown by Chapter 29.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

One of the problems with being a writer is that all of your idiocies are still in print somewhere. I strongly support paper recycling.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In case we have to shoot Democrats. It happened during the Civil War, and it could happen again.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something brussel sprouts never do.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The French are sawed-off sissies who eat snails and slugs and cheese that smells like people's feet. Utter cowards who force their own children to drink wine, they gibber like baboons even when you try...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors--psychology, sociology, women's studies--to prove that nothing is anybody's...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The free market is ugly and stupid, like going to the mall; the unfree market is just as ugly and just as stupid, except there is nothing in the mall and if you don't go there they shoot you.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can't shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Those who do not know history are probably also not doing well in English or math. P.J. O'Rourke

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politics is the art of achieving prestige and power without merit.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

To mistrust science and deny the validity of the scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You'd better go look for work as a plant or wild animal.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

People are all exactly alike. There's no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic group. If we were dogs, we'd be the same breed. George Bush and an Australian Aborigine have fewer differences...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Don't send funny greeting cards on birthdays or at Christmas. Save them for funerals when their cheery effect is needed.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about "character issues."

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If I give up drinking, smoking, and fatty foods, I can add ten years to my life. Trouble is, I'll add it to the wrong end.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Actually, there is no way of making vomiting courteous. You have to do the next best thing, which is to vomit in such a way that the story you tell about it later will be amusing.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Australia is not very exclusive. On the visa application they still ask if you've been convicted of a felony - although they are willing to give you a visa even if you haven't been.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

How much fame, money and power does a woman have to achieve on her own before you can punch her in the face?

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

That doesn't mean that you should just sit back and just let accidents happen to you. No, you have to go out and cause them yourself. That way you're in control of the situation.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The only time a bachelor's bed is made is when it's in the factory.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The wise traveler [to Beirut] will pack shirts or blouses with ample breast pockets. Reaching inside a jacket for your passport looks too much like going for the draw and puts armed men out of countinence

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Tabasco sauce is to bachelor cooking what forgiveness is to sin.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The only really good vegetable is Tabasco sauce. Put Tabasco sauce in everything. Tabasco sauce is to bachelor cooking what forgiveness is to sin. The next best vegetable is the jalapeno pepper. It has...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The preamble to the Constitution states: "We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The typical old-fashioned diet (in the nineteenth century) was so bad it almost assembled modern dieting.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

All lies are told with a straight face. It is truth that's said with a dismissive giggle.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I like to do my principal research in bars, where people are more likely to tell the truth or, at least, lie less convincingly than they do in briefings and books.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It's better to make fun of yourself because you've always got someone around to make fun of, and they can't sue you.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In the end we beat them with Levi 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of Communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system has been brought to its...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Now majority rule is a precious, sacred thing worth dying for. But like other precious, sacred things .... it's not only worth dying for; it can make you wish you were dead. Imagine if all life were determined...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Children from the age of five to ten should watch more television. Television depicts adults as rotten SOB's given to fistfights, gunplay, and other mayhem. Kids who believe this about grownups aren't...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Imagine if all of life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza. Every pair of pants, even those in a Brooks Brothers suit, would be stone-washed denim. Celebrity diet and exercise...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The complexity of economics can be calculated mathematically. Write out the algebraic equation that is the human heart and multiply each unknown by the population of the world.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

We had a choice between Democrats who couldn't learn from the past and Republicans who couldn't stop living in it...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If we want the whole world to be rich, we need to start loving wealth. In the difference between poverty and plenty, the problem is the pverty, not the difference. Wealth is good.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

During the mid-1980s dairy farmers decided there was too much cheap milk at the supermarket. So the government bought and slaughtered 1.6 million dairy cows. How come the government never does anything...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The purpose of a funeral service is to comfort the living. It is important at a funeral to display excessive grief. This will show others how kind-hearted and loving you are and their improved opinion...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Marijuana is self-punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, what worse punishment could there be?

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Getting down on all fours and imitating a rhinoceros stops babies from crying. (Put an empty cigarette pack on your nose for a horn and make loud "snort" noises.) I don't know why parents don't do this...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state ... this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The neo-hippie-dips, the sentimentality-crazed iguana anthropomorphizers, the Chicken Littles, the three-bong-hit William Blakes- thank God these people don't actually go outdoors much, or the environment...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There is only one basic human right: the right to do as you please, without causing others harm. With it comes our only basic human duty: the duty to accept the consequences of our actions.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Violence is interesting. This is a great obstacle to world peace and also to more thoughtful television programming.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Thanksgiving is so called because we are all so thankful that it only comes once a year.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Anyhow, all mankind's ideas and interests, all human aims and motives, are exhibited, fully formed, in a three-year-old child. The kid is just operating on a smaller scale and lacks the advantage of having...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The sport of skiing consists of wearing three thousand dollars worth of clothes and equipment and driving two hundred miles in the snow in order to stand around at a bar and get drunk.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Neither conservatives nor humorists believe man is good. But left-wingers do.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Nothing bad is going to happen to us. If we get fired, it's not failure; its a midlife vocational reassessment.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Each child is biologically required to have a mother. Fatherhood is a well-regarded theory, but motherhood is a fact.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Smoking cigarettes seems to alarm peace activists much more than voting for Reagan does.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Dating is the social engagement with the threat of sex at its conclusion.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's no telling what might have happened to our defense budget if Saddam Hussein hadn't invaded Kuwait that August and set everyone gearing up for World War II. Can we count on Saddam Hussein to come...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Zen martini: A martini with no vermouth at all. And no gin, either.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Remember, your body needs 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. Straight up or on the rocks.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Whatever the occasion, do not neglect alcohol. No other refreshment will do. Yes, alcohol kills brain cells, but it's very selective. It only kills the brain cells that contain good sense, shame, embarrassment,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can smoke or drink on a golf course without interrupting the game, and you can take a leak - something you can't do on a squash court and shouldn't do in a swimming pool.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The average IQ in America is—and this can be proven mathematically—average.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The old woman was not only ugly with the ugliness age brings us all but showed signs of formidable ugliness by birth - pickle-jar chin, mainsail ears and a nose like a trigonometry problem. What's more,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can always reason with a German. You can always reason with a barnyard animal, too, for all the good it does.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Guns are always the best method for a private suicide. They are more stylish looking than single-edged razor blades and natural gas has got so expensive. Drugs are too chancy. You might miscalculate the...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Some jobs are worse than actual wives. Ad agency vs. Matrimony, for instance: Even the most capricious and demanding spouse is not going to divorce you for refusing to spend forty hours a week making up...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

For toddlers I suggest leaving their mittens on year-round, indoors and out. That way they can't get into aspirin bottles, liquor cabinets, or boxes of kitchen matches.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It is easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can't get something for nothing. Everybody remembers this except politicians.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Intelligence collection has been given an additional bureaucracy to correct the problems created by too much bureaucracy in intelligence collection.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The purpose of the Senate is to keep 100 middle aged knuckleheads out of the private sector where they can do real harm.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I try to ONLY ridicule people who's efforts are sincere. Very little trouble has been caused in the world by insincere efforts. An occasional seduction maybe. There were very few insincere Stalinists or...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

With Epcot Center, the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty - their power and privilege - to State,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

God has no role to play in politics except to make sure politicians go where they belong. To hell.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The American political system is like fast food - mushy, insipid, made out of disgusting parts of things and everybody wants some.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Veal is a very young beef and, like a very young girlfriend, it's cute but boring and expensive.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I wonder if it changes the nature of a society for beauty to be so common. Maybe in Vietnam "She has a wonderful personality" really means something. But I couldnt figure out a polite way to ask.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Now for good or ill, California is the place where trends tend to be set in Western civilization - if civilization indeed it is. California, for several generations now, has been the newest, biggest, most...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Greenpeace booth at all the rock and roll shows nowadays are akin to the old sorcerers who used to stand in the middle of villages warning of danger, 'When night wolf swallows mother moon, there will...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

We won't dispassionately investigate or rationally debate which drugs do what damage and whether or how much of that damage is the result of criminalization. We'd rather work ourselves into a screaming...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There was also a hunger strike in front of the National Press Club, which seemed an odd place to have a hunger strike (a cocktail fast, maybe). Although the Bangladeshis were savvy enough to know to know...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

One of the reporters must have flunked journalism school because he asked a question that went straight to the point.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Generally it's not a good idea to wear Banana Republic - type khaki journalist clothes in a war zone. You might look too much like something that's supposed to be shot, such as a journalist.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The day was warm and clear. Kids were playing soccer in the parking lots and women were sunning their babies and having their tea all over the lawns. The scene was entirely too cheery for journalism.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Journalists aren't supposed to praise things. It's a violation of work rules almost as serious as buying drinks with our own money or absolving the CIA of something.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If a journalist shows a facility for praise he's liable to be offered a job in public relations or advertising and the next thing you know he's got a big office, a huge salary and is living in a fine home...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Imagine having journalists in your own home and not even covering the furniture with plastic sheets first.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Liberals have a quaint and touching faith that truth is on their side and an even quainter faith that journalists are on the side of truth.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm a member of the working press; you'd think I'd know better than to listen to journalists.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm here as a radio journalist but am not even sure which part of a tape recorder takes the pictures.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In Washington journalists can afford to live almost as well as people who work for a living.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Journalists are notoriously easy to kid. All you have to do is speak to a journalist in a very serious tone of voice, and he will be certain that you are either telling the truth or a big, important lie.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Taxi drivers all over the world, by the way, are under Newspaper Guild contract to give easy quotes to foreign correspondents.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There was an austerely dignified award ceremony. By that I mean we had to buy our own drinks - in clear violation of the international journalists'code of truth, fairness and an open bar.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Only one way to cover a story like this, and make that a double, bartender, please.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I arrived in the middle of a press conference - as boring a thing to sit through if you don't know the language as it is if you do.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Writing this book required an enormous amount of help from friends. To them goes the credit. I'll take the money.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the government's charitable...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I'm a registered Republican and consider socialism a violation of the American principle that you shouldn't stick your nose in other people's business except to make a buck.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Anything that makes your mother cry is fun

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Who does Bill Clinton think got off the boat and stepped on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps volunteers?

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I believe that Western civilization, after some disgusting glitches, has become almost civilized. I believe it is our first duty to protect that civilization. I believe it is our second duty to improve...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The real slums are another matter. The bad parts of Tondo are as bad as any place I've seen, ancient, filthy houses swarmed with the poor and stinking of sewage and trash. But there are worse parts - squatter...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You'll note that politicians no longer spend money, they invest it. Don't worry about paying more to the [IRS]. You aren't being taxed; you're taking a plunge on a fly-by-night stock issue.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Man developed in Africa. He has not continued to do so there.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered coporate lawyer - Hillary - in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You can't get good chinese takeout in China and cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That's all you need to know about communism.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

To grasp the true meaning of socialism, imagine a world where everything is designed by the post office, even the sleaze.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Coffee and cigarettes are much better if you want an instant breakfast.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

One nice thing about the Third World, you don't have to fasten your seat belt. (Or stop smoking. Or cut down on saturated fats.) It takes a lot off your mind when average life expectancy is forty-five...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Never Refuse Wine. It is an odd but universally held opinion that anyone who doesn't drink must be an alcoholic.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

A woman should dress to attract attention. To attract the most attention, a woman should be either nude, or wearing something as expensive as getting her nude is going to be.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The interesting thing about staring down a gun barrel is how small the hole is where the bullet comes out, yet what a big difference it would make in your social schedule.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Well the planet I've got a chance to visit is Earth, and Earth's principal features are chaos and war. I think I'd be a fool to spend years here and never have a look.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The founding fathers, in their wisdom, devised a method by which our republic can take one hundred of its most prominent numbskulls and keep them out of the private sector where they might do actual harm.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

How did an allegedly free people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body politic?

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I can understand why mankind hasn't given up war. During a war you get to drive tanks through the sides of buildings and shoot foreigners - two things that are usually frowned on during peacetime.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Stepanakert, capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, rioted over much needed spelling reform in the Soviet Union.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politics should be limited in scope to ware, protection of property, and the occasional precautionary beheading of a member of the ruling class.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In comparative terms, there's no poverty in America by a long shot. Heritage Foundation political scientist Robert Rector has worked up figures showing that when the official U.S. measure of poverty was...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It's the squares who know how to fly the fighter planes and operate the missiles and the bombs and work the M-16s. Liberals would still be fumbling with the federally mandated trigger locks.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It takes a lot of weapons to do good works (as Richard the Lionhearted could have told us). And this is not just a Somali problem. We have poverty and deprivation in our own country. Try standing unarmed...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Imagine a weight-loss program at the end of which, instead of better health, good looks, and hot romantic prospects, you die. Somalia had become just this kind of spa.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The morning meal was served in traditional socialist fashion - very slowly, with the courses out of order so that the jelly arrived half an hour after the toast and the coffee didn't come until we'd called...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Of course, the humans in Haiti have hope. They hope to leave.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When government does, occasionally, work, it works in an elitist fashion. That is, government is most easily manipulated by people who have money and power already. This is why government benefits usually...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If we're going to improve the environment, the first thing we should do is duck the government. The second thing we should do is quit being moral. Screw the rights of nature. Nature will have rights as...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Even a band of angels can turn ugly and start looting if enough angels are unemployed and hanging around the Pearly Gates convinced that all the succubi own all the liquor stores in Heaven.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's a lot of debate on this subject - about what kind of car handles best. Some say a a front-engined car, some say a rear-engined car. I say a rented car. Nothing handles better than a rented car....

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

So-called Western Civilization, as practised in half of Europe, some of Asia and a few parts of North America, is better than anything else available. Western civilization not only provides a bit of life,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Just as some things are too strange for fiction, others are too true for journalism.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Not being a liberal, I have very little grasp of things that I know nothing about.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Our democracy, our culture, our whole way of life is a spectacular triumph of the blah. Why not have a political convention without politics to nominate a leader who's out in front of nobody? Maybe our...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

How a peaceful, uncrowded place with ample wherewithal stays poor is hard to explain. How a conflict-ridden, grossly over-populated place with no resources whatsoever gets rich is simple. The British colonial...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Women are successful in the business world because the business world was created by men. Men are babies. And women areGood With Kids.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Money is preferable to politics. It is the difference between being free to be anybody you want and to vote for anybody you want. And money is more effective than politics both in solving problems and...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

If libertarianism were easy to explain, and it weren't easy to exaggerate the effects of libertarianism, I think it would have been done already. Many many very intelligent people have applied themselves...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Wealth is, for most people, the only honest and likely path to liberty. With money comes power over the world. Men are freed from drudgery, women from exploitation. Businesses can be started, homes built,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are twenty-seven specific complaints against the British Crown set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To modern ears they still sound reasonable...in large part, because so many of them can...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When I became a man, I put away childish things and got more elaborate and expensive childish things from France and Japan.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Newsmen believe that news is a tacitly acknowledged fourth branch of the federal system. This is why most news about government sounds as if it were federally mandated -- serious, bulky and blandly worthwhile,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Automobiles are free of egotism, passion, prejudice and stupid ideas about where to have dinner. They are, literally, selfless. A world designed for automobiles instead of people would have wider streets,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I am a journalist and, under the modern journalist's code of Olympian objectivity (and total purity of motive), I am absolved of responsibility. We journalists don't have to step on roaches. All we have...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Farm policy, although it's complex, can be explained. What it can't be is believed. No cheating spouse, no teen with a wrecked family car, no mayor of Washington, D.C., videotaped in flagrante delicto...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Term limits aren't enough. We need jail.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Anyone who thinks he has a better idea of what's good for people than people do is a swine.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The poor of the world cannot be made rich by the redistribution of wealth. Poverty can't be eliminated by punishing people who've escaped poverty, taking their money and giving it as a reward to people...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Three Branches of Government: Money, Television, and Bullshit

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There is that kind of happiness. There is the love and marriage and family kind of happiness, which is exceedingly boring to describe but nonetheless is important to have and dreadful not to have,

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

I write because I like to make things and the only things I am good at making things with are words,

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The idea of a news broadcast once was to find someone with information and broadcast it. The idea now is to find someone with ignorance and spread it around.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Where self-interest is suppressed, it is replaced by a burdensome system of bureaucratic control that dries up the wellsprings of initiative and creativity.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

They don't like anyone who isn't Korean, and they don't like each other all that much, either. They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards, 'the Irish of Asia'.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Australian language is easier to learn than boat talk. It has a vocabulary of about six words.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politicians are wonderful people as longa as they stay away from things they don't understand, such as working for a living.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. ... Government contains impure ingredients - as anybody who's looked at Congress can tell you. ... government practices deceptive advertising....

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to egalitarians, to people obsessed with fairness, to American presidential candidates in the year 2000 - to everyone who believes that wealth should...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they?...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Microeconomics is about money you don't have, and macroeconomics is about money the government is out of.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Collectivism doesn't work because it's based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person's "fair share" of wealth. The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

We're told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We're told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it's hard to reach the...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When politics are used to allocate resources, the resources all end up being allocated to politics.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

This country was founded by religious nuts with guns.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

When you think of the good old days, think one word: dentistry.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There are no kinder or better people in the world than those who listen to you when you are 18.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Smoking is very bad for you and should only be done because it looks so good. People who don't smoke have a terrible time finding something polite to do with their lips.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Government does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The main reason to be opposed to political control of smoking is to keep power -even the smallest and silliest kind of power - out of the hands of ... members of a dangerous class -the class that knows...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Government isn't a good way to solve problems ... [G]overnment is concerned mostly with self-perpetuation and is subject to fantastic ideas about its own capabilities. ... [G]overnment is wasteful of the...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Politics doesn't work. Look at the parts of America where government has had the most power, where government has spent the most money. Look at the housing projects we've got the poor people in.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The three branches of government number considerably more than three and are not, in any sense, 'branches' since that would imply that there is something they are all attached to besides self-aggrandizement...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Think of what big governments have gotten up to in this century : not one, but two world wars, the gulag, the holocaust, aerial bombing of civilian population centers, the Berlin Wall, nuclear explosions,...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Stay away from girls who cry a lot or who look like they get pregnant easily or have careers.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Long conversations with pals when neither you nor they have had a drink can be a test of palship.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

In the past a man was expected to give his seat on a bus to a woman. Today it would be much more courteous for that man to give her his job.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

There's a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

The Constitution is an equally forthright piece of work and quite succinct ... giving the complete operating instructions for a nation of 250 million people. The manual for a Toyota Camry, which only seats...

Read more


P. J. O'Rourke

Drugs have taught an entire generation of kids the metric system

Read more


“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss