Genuine courage presupposes fear that is overcome. If there is no fear at all, there can be no courage. Similarly, if there is no wrath, forbearance is no longer a virtue; it dissolves into some strange alchemy of niceness and moral indifference.--Don CarsonPhoto links here and here.
Being frank burns too many bridges.--Eric Falkenstein
If what such girls experience isn’t slavery, that word has no meaning. It’s time for a 21st-century abolitionist movement in the U.S. and around the world.--Nicholas Kristof
Every province in China is Greece.--Larry Lang, chair professor of Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.
We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren't really blind because they're managed by family members or friends.)
No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.
This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this. The tea party's mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realize that Washington politicians have been "Occupying Wall Street" long before anyone pitched a tent in Zuccotti Park.--Sarah Palin
But the way it’s structured here is, I’ll take responsibility for all the plays that are called. I have the final say on it. If I don’t want to run the play, then I can call it off – that’s my right as a head coach. Any of the bad ones, you can blame me for because ultimately I could change them if I wanted to.--Bill Belichick
On the budget, I propose a plan to cut every Federal government expense by 10% and increase every Federal tax by 10%. I'd call that the default plan, meaning I prefer a better plan, but I wouldn't expect anyone to come up with one. The advantage of this plan is that it's bad for every American. That's a little something I call "fair."--Scott Adams
As the deadline looms for the congressional super committee, there's seems to be a growing sense that tax revenue for the government is like income for the household. That's wrong. Raising taxes is nothing at all like earning income. Instead, it's a lot more like visiting the ATM. The government's debt is the American people's debt. If we pay down that debt through higher taxes, we will, for the most part, pay those taxes by drawing down our savings. That's no more "responsible'' than drawing down those savings to finance overconsumption within the household. If you buy a kayak you don't need and can't afford, you're unlikely to placate your spouse by saying "Don't worry, dear, I withdrew the money from our retirement account.'' If your government insists on maintaining social programs we don't need and can't afford, nobody should be placated by a congressional agreement to finance that program with money withdrawn from those same accounts.--Steve Landsburg
I remember learning, in one of the few West Wing episodes I watched, that Aaron Sorkin had awarded President Bartlett the Nobel Prize in economics. No doubt this sounded super-awesome to Sorkin, but if you've ever met a Nobel prizewinner, it's ludicrous. The talents required to win the Nobel prize in economics include things like incredibly single-minded focus on one idea at a time, a willingness to ignore the opinions of others, and a positive enjoyment of the vast amounts of time you will spend alone in your office, thinking. I understand why Sorkin thinks that these would be very admirable qualities for a president to have . . . but I doubt he'd actually hire this person as, say, a producer on one of his shows. The type of person who is good at the one is not good at the other--and being president probably looks slightly more like producing a television show than winning the Nobel Prize.--Megan McArdle
My only regret is not suggesting that it would be a “worthwhile Canadian initiative” for our northern neighbors to “test drive” the [NGDP targeting] policy before we tried it here in the much more important American economy.--Scott Sumner
You know how things end for Sonny Corleone — he ignores his consigliere, makes it personal and ends up gorging on a bowl of bullets parmigiana. His brother, Michael, assumes command and remains all-business for his first few years, slowly losing perspective and becoming more and more paranoid. He stops trusting his inner circle, grows apart from his family and murders his bumbling brother. Killing Fredo is strictly business for Michael, a warning that nobody should ever cross him. He can't see anything beyond making money and keeping power. He's dead inside. No different than Sonny, really. What does this have to do with the NBA lockout? The owners wanted to blow up their current model; the players gave them gas and matches. But why? I think the answer lies in that Godfather scene. The owners treated these negotiations as a natural extension of their business, only caring about their bottom line and nothing else. The players took the proceedings much more personally.--Bill Simmons
In short, grade inflation in the humanities has been contributing to college students moving away from science, technology, engineering, and math fields, as well as economics, for the last half century. It's time for the pendulum to start swinging back. A gentle starting point would be to making the distribution of grades by institution and by academic department (or for small departments, perhaps grouping a few departments together) publicly available, and perhaps even to add this information to student transcripts. If that answer isn't institutionally acceptable, I'm open to alternatives.--Timothy Taylor
A new experiment appears to provide further evidence that Einstein may have been wrong when he said nothing could go faster than the speed of light, a theory that underpins modern thinking on how the universe works. The new evidence, challenging a dogma of science that has held since Albert Einstein laid out his theory of relativity in 1905, appeared to confirm a startling finding that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos could travel fractions of a second faster. The new experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory, using a neutrino beam from CERN in Switzerland, 720 km (450 miles) away, was held to check findings in September by a team of scientists which were greeted with some skepticism.--Kate Kelland
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) recently reported that Americans will pay more to feed 10 people for Thanksgiving dinner this year than since the mid-1980’s. The average turkey feast for 10 this year will cost $49.20 – that’s $5.73 more than it cost just last year. Shoppers at Walmart will pay 1/3 (31%) less for the same Thanksgiving groceries and will have an extra $15 in their wallet with this savings.--Walmart