Sunbeams  April 2008 | issue 388

I was walking down Fifth Avenue today, and I found a wallet. I was going to keep it, rather than return it, but I thought: Well, if I lost $150, how would I feel? And I realized I would want to be taught a lesson.

Emo Philips

The thief. Once committed beyond a certain point, he should not worry himself too much about not being a thief anymore. Thieving is God’s message to him. Let him try and be a good thief.

Samuel Butler

Once one of the monks with Saint Francis asked if he might own just one book. Francis replied, “No, if you have a book, pretty soon you will need a bookshelf for your book. Then you will need a house for your bookshelf. After that you will need a lock on your door to protect your book from thieves breaking in and stealing it.”

Loretta Ross-Gotta

That is mine which none can steal from me.

Henry David Thoreau

It’s universally wrong to steal from your neighbor, but once you get beyond this one-to-one level and pit the individual against the multinational conglomerate, the federal bureaucracy, . . . or the utility company, it becomes strictly a value judgment to decide who exactly is stealing from whom. One person’s crime is another person’s profit.

Abbie Hoffman

White criminals commit the biggest crimes. A brother might rob a bank. A white man will rob a pension fund. The brother is going to get ten to fifteen years because he had a gun. The white guy will get a Congressional hearing because he had a job and a nice suit.

Wanda Sykes

What a shame. If you had stolen a railroad, they would have made you a senator.

Mother Jones,
to a man imprisoned for having stolen a pair of shoes

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

Louis D. Brandeis

America’s one of the finest countries anyone ever stole.

Bobcat Goldthwait

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.

Robert Orben

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

John Wayne

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other 2 percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.

Lily Tomlin

Questioned by the British television interviewer David Frost about his approval of a plan of action that entailed such criminal ingredients as burglary and the opening of other people’s mail, Richard Nixon replied, “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes

As one reads history . . . one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalized by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.

Oscar Wilde

Good lawyers know the law; great lawyers know the judge.

Source unknown

The moment a man gets money, so many men are trying to get it away from him that in a little while he regards the whole human race as his enemy, and he generally thinks that they could be rich too if they would only attend to business as he has. Understand, I am not blaming these people. . . . We must remember that these rich men are naturally produced. Do not blame them. Blame the system.

Robert Ingersoll

I’m convinced that every boy, in his heart, would rather steal second base than an automobile.

Tom Clark

Nobody tries to steal your troubles, and no one can take your good deeds.

Yiddish folk saying