Monday, January 11, 2010

Quotes of the day

I have friends who are very left wing in terms of political opinions, but they consistently express personal values that reflect individual responsibility. They complain about people who make bad personal choices. All of the cultural signals that they send are conservative, even though they vote liberal. If the Democratic Party is having a hard time changing the rules to reflect collectivist ideology, in part that is because in our hearts very few of us are collectivists.--Arnold Kling

Tim Geithner is in a lot of hot water. But he won’t quit or be forced to leave office until after the mid-term elections. ... In 2006, Donald Rumsfeld resigned as Defense Secretary just one day after the midterm elections. George Bush sung his praises when it was announced but behind the scenes it was Bush who made the decision that Rumsfeld had to go. That is the very likely what will happen to Geithner in November of this year.--John Carney

It was pretty unsettling to watch White House adviser Christina Romer on the Sunday talk shows. She was subdued. She meandered. You got the feeling that even she’s not convinced Obamanomics is working. Certainly, judging by the awful Friday’s jobs report, it isn’t. Another 85,000 jobs lost. Over 660,000 folks left the workforce. Real unemployment rose again to 17.3%. Predictably Romer said, “The sense that we need to do more is overwhelming.” By “do more”, she appeared to mean more of the same - more deficit spending, more taxing. And by “do more”, she really meant, “we don’t know what else to do.” This White House has no Plan B to get the jobs machine going. And it badly needs one sooner rather than later.--Evan Newmark

... now, we have the new alpha male: ├╝bernerd Peter Orszag. This guy probably experienced his share of weggies in junior high, but as Henry Kissinger noted, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, so it seems Orszag left his earlier wife (all for 'change'), had an out-of-wedlock child with an attractive heiress, and has a future wedding to 31-year-old journalist Bianna Golodryga. I guess lines like 'Mind if I compute the rotation coefficients of that symmetric bilinear pairing?' work, as long as you are minding a $3.5T budget.--Eric Falkenstein

[Senator Byron] Dorgan is a strident protectionist, so there was nothing unusual about his slap at NAFTA. Except this: The same week that Dorgan came out for Obama, the US Commercial Service reported that North Dakota had ranked first in the nation for export growth the previous year. And the top destinations for the North Dakota merchandise exported in 2007? Canada and Mexico.--Jeff Jacoby

For all our self-recrimination, however, we may have yet to face one of the most remarkable effects of American-led globalization. We have for many years been busily engaged in a grand project of Americanizing the world’s understanding of mental health and illness. We may indeed be far along in homogenizing the way the world goes mad.--Ethan Watters

For all the high drama of the Obama-Clinton battle and the historic import of the former’s general-election victory over McCain, Edwards’s story is equally, lastingly resonant: an archetypal political tragedy in which the very same qualities that fuel any presidential bid—ego, hubris, vanity, neediness, a kind of delusion—became all-consuming and self-destructive. And in which the gap between public fa├žade and private reality simply grew too vast to bridge.--John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

I have to believe [that my husband is not the father of Rielle Hunter's child]. Because if I don’t, it means I’m married to a monster.--Elizabeth Edwards

Now the secular world still has to make sense out of its own invisible, psychological drama—in particular, its feelings of guilt and indignation. Environmentalism, as a substitute for religion, has come to the rescue. Nietzsche's argument about an ideal God and guilt can be replicated in a new form: We need a belief in a pristine environment because we need to be cruel to ourselves as inferior beings, and we need that because we have these aggressive instincts that cannot be let out. ... The same demographic group for whom religion has little or no hold (namely white liberals) turns out to be the most virulent champions of all things green. Is it possible that these folks must vent their moral spleen on environmentalism because they don't have all the theological campaigns (e.g., opposing gay marriage, opposing abortion, etc.) on which social conservatives exercise their indignation?--Stephen Asma

The world-wide shortage of organs is going to get worse before it gets better, but we do have options. Presumed consent, financial compensation for living and deceased donors and point systems would all increase the supply of transplant organs. Too many people have died already but pressure is mounting for innovation that will save lives.--Alex Tabarrok

Freedom is priceless and where it is present almost any kind of life is enjoyable. When it is absent life can never be enjoyed; it can only be endured. Though millions have died in freedom's defense and though her praise is in everyone's mouth, yet she has been tragically misunderstood by her advocates and sorely wounded in the house of her friends. I think the difficulty lies with our failure to distinguish freedom from liberty, which are indeed sisters but not identical twins. Freedom is liberty within bounds.--A.W. Tozer

To anyone who bothers to think a bit it should be evident that there is in the universe no such thing as absolute freedom. Only God is free.--A.W. Tozer

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