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P. J. O'Rourke

  • American comedian
  • Born November 14, 1947

Patrick Jake O'Rourke (born November 14, 1947) is an American political satirist and journalist. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. Since 2011, he has been a columnist at The Daily Beast.In the UK, he is known as the face of a long-running series of television advertisements for British Airways in the 1990s.


Ending wars is very simple if you surrender.




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 uncomfortable, unwieldy, intrusive and inefficient.




When I was fifteen, I dreamed of living in the big city, as many a young person does if he is artistic and sensitive. By 'artistic and sensitive' I mean short, skinny, unkissed, bad at sports, and carrying a C average in high school.




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




Neither liberal nor conservative politicians can resist the temptation to stand as mighty sequoias of rectitude amid the lowly underbrush of fundraising.




As murderous industrial magnates go, Alfred Nobel is right up there with Ray Kroc, franchiser of McDonald's.




In its worse forms, conservatism is a matter of 'I hate strangers and anything that's different.'




I think the Baby Boom does have a tendency to get its nose in everything. The Greatest Generation had a better tendency to leave people alone. Of course, they also had a better tendency to hate everybody's guts.




The U.S. tax code was written by A students. Every April 15, we have to pay somebody who got an A in accounting to keep ourselves from being sent to jail.




Bill Clinton is not a hypocrite. If a man believes that it is just and moral to redistribute wealth, there is nothing hypocritical in his attempts to redistribute some of that wealth to himself.




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 get elected and prove it.




There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.




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.




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.




The 18,000 NASA employees are full of galactic talents and abilities and are ready to accomplish whatever they're directed to do.




We've come into the world of '1984,' but it turns out to be '1984'-Lite.




The budget doesn't have much control over the government. Then again, the government doesn't have much control over the budget.




Politics is - once in a while - a forum for serious debate about political philosophy.




Thank you, Occupy Wall Street. With your vivid example of anticapitalist squalor, I've been able to convince all three of my children to become investment bankers.




The perpetuation of slavery, the exile and extermination of American Indians, and the passage of Jim Crow laws weren't carried out at the bidding of a few malefactors of great wealth.




There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.




If we heard that somebody starved to death in Sweden or Switzerland, we would be shocked.




Most people sort of enjoy going to work because of the socialisation, a chance to flirt with co-workers and so on, but actually hate the job they do.




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 that person.




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




Fascism is very much a mob movement.




I've only been to New Zealand once, about 1989. It was incredibly beautiful, kind of like the ideal of where I live in New England - all that and then some - but I can't say I was there long enough to get any very clear idea.




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




Call a man 'ignorant,' and you have license to show the world your vast fund of knowledge and wise him up.




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, greed and love of power.




Arguing, in the sense of attempting to convince others, has gone out of fashion with conservatives.




America gives every appearance of being a nation besotted with trashiness - divorce, illegitimacy, casual Fridays.




My working hypothesis is that stupidity in popular culture is a constant. Popular culture cannot get more stupid.




I'm a rather decisive type.




Kuwait City is not gorgeous, actually, but it's got a kind of Epcot Center thing going for it. It's not pretty. But it's striking, I'll give it that. It's not as over-the-top as Abu Dhabi or Dubai. But nearly.




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



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