"Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of
confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and
courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we
cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we
risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan
who comes along."
Carl Sagan
(1934-1996), Astro-physicist
"The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
You won't find that straw of truth while memorizing the stats of your favorite quarterback or watching America's got talent.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 1
    We have some real bamboozlers in our government today. We must not let them sucker us in to accepting Obama health care or Waxman cap and trade. These will be suicide for the USA.
     -- jim k, austin     
    Well that says it all doesn't it?
     -- Anon     
    Jim K, and lets not forget the overall "Gun Grab". When American's are defenseless they will find out that they are no longer sheep for fleecing ... but sheep for slaughter...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Practice and be thankful for the tough times, we do need to be ready, because the next charlatan is near. Get your guns NOW.
     -- M. Brown, Florida     
    Sadly, the charlatan has arrived, supported by the "suckers," and our nation has been "grabbed." The question is, how do we snatch ourselves back from the grasp of this charlatan and his cronies, before the damage is irreversible?
     -- Nancy, Franklin, KY     
    Notice that the term 'global warming' has been dropped since obviously it is not true, and thousands of scientists have found no evidence to support it. Now the the politicos say 'climate change' -- that is general enough that anytime the weather changes we need to do something about it -- particularly start taxing 'hot air.' The word should be "pollution" which is a very real problem with real consequences. Cap and trade is designed to raise money not curb pollution. CO2 is NOT pollution!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Archer, I was just reading that the Secretary General of the UN is pushing all western nations to "Seal the Deal on Global Warming"...whatever the hell that means....Oh Yeah! It means tax the sh*t out of us.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I wonder if he would have been sucked into the global warming crap. I doubt he would have to been worried about loosing his job for not supporting the GW hoax. Perhaps we would have been spared the whole thing.
     -- warren, olathe     
    The group in general seems to be leaning toward the radical right on most all quotes. Is there a left conservative group that isn't against gun ownership? Why does everyone worry so much about loss of gun ownership when your friends are allowed at public meetings brandishing assault weapons, and loaded guns in their hip holsters while the old folks meet to discuss health care? Carl Sagan was one of the first environmentalists along with Rachael Carson (sp?) the Silent Spring author. He would likely agree that human activity is affecting world conditions in a deleterious way.
     -- Judith     
    Judith, if humans are the problem then perhaps we should forget about environmental reforms and just allow them to destroy themselves. That should solve the planet's problems. By the way, who would a "left conservative" be....someone who doesn't say "old folks" or generalize about "gun ownership" and "your friends?"
     -- Nancy, Franklin, KY     
    "...Why does everyone worry so much about loss of gun ownership ..." Loss of gun ownership means loss of freedom and a move towards dictatorship. An armed populace is the only think left that is keeping the ever more socialist government in check. No guns, no freedom.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    In the U.S.A (Union of Socialist Amerika), a large part of the intelligent, vigilant, dedicated, and courageous, have sufficiently succumb to materialism, apathy, indifference, a debtor's existence, and 'I trust the government - its my friend - it will take care of me, give me what I want / need, help me how ever and when ever I want / need, tell me everything I need to know, etc.'. Having become confused and bamboozled, said people have become a nation of charlatans and suckers. Such peopled nation openly accepts compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, governmental larceny with impunity, a society of slaves, ways to reduce armed protection of self, a dummied down perception of freedom and liberty, and the loss of a whole host of inalienable rights.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Obviously there are a few here that are sucked it in by the worst charlatans of all Limbaugh and Faux news.
     -- RBESRQ     
    As we are witnessing today across the globe.

     -- Abby     
    We must halt and stop the sales and trafficking of marijuana in this country and the world. It is not correct for a good and decent gentleman to condone the use or distribution of this dangerous substance. We must illegalize and eliminate this dangerous substance from our developing environment.

     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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