Retorts: Speak softly, or don’t

LISTEN TO WHAT Elton John doesn’t say (Flickr/Yuichi Sakarabai)

There’s only a short time until the end of the year, so it’s time for a short column with some short quotes about the issues of the day.


“When you wrestle a gorilla, the fight’s not over when you give up. It’s only over when the gorilla gives up.” – Anonymous

Joe Biden’s (un)popularity

“ What have you done for me lately?” – Janet Jackson


“You will kill 10 of our men and we will kill one of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it.” – Ho Chi Minh

On movie heroes

“I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened.” – George S. Patton

Political fanaticism

“Those who speak do not know. Those who know do not speak.” – Lao Tsu

Advice to the Class of 2022

“The less I say, the more my work gets done.” – Elton John

On Vladimir Putin

“Appeasement is the policy of feeding your friends to a crocodile, one at a time, in hopes that the crocodile will eat you last.” – Winston Churchill

On success

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” – Kerry Goyette

On making mistakes

  • “Take chances. Make mistakes. That’s how you grow” – Mary Tyler Moore
  • “The person who never makes a mistake probably doesn’t accomplish very much.” – Jim Tortolano

See you in 2022, a whole new year with no mistakes in it. Yet.

Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” is posted every other week, alternating with “Usually Reliable Sources.”



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