Monday, August 31, 2009

Quotes of the day

You're like a sword without a sheath. You cut well. But the best sword is kept in its sheath.--Mutsuta's Wife

There’s a way, keeping full integrity, of answering the questions you want to answer. The thing that scared me was not a question I didn’t know the answer to. Just say, ‘I don’t know.’ The thing that scared me was some question that I knew, and answered correctly, and I’d be in deep doo-doo! ... I see nothing easy in Washington. I see either analytically simple things that are politically complex, or those that are politically complex and analytically complex. I mean, look at immigration reform, you know? It is, I think, analytically easy, but politically very, very complex and very difficult. ... I always talk publicly about ‘extreme risk aversity,’ or something. Treasury secretaries don’t use ‘fear.’ But there was this—you know—there was fear, OK?--Hank Paulson

The prospect of suing the Government of the United States of America to collect a contracted fee on a nonexistent deal strikes me as one of the least intelligent decisions any major Wall Street investment bank could possibly consider nowadays.--Epicurean Dealmaker

I would pay a lot of money if people would make stuff up and pretend I said it.--Andy Roddick

It was only in a British newspaper that the American author Joyce Carol Oates was able last week to publish the following (factually accurate) account: “Kennedy chose to flee the scene leaving the young woman to die an agonising death, not of drowning, but of suffocation over a period of hours. It was over 10 hours before Kennedy reported the accident, by which time he’d consulted a family lawyer. The senator’s explanation for this unconscionable, despicable, unmanly ... behaviour was never convincing.” ... Kennedy did indeed have an extraordinarily faithful record in defending the interests, as he saw them, of the most deprived — a faithfulness that he seemed almost pathologically unable to provide in his personal affairs. The same man who treated women with abominable callousness (Kopechne was the least fortunate) was genuinely committed as a legislator for women’s rights. --Dominic Lawson

Middle-aged Russians of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's generation—who now make up its ruling elite—grew up being told their country was the greatest in the world. They then spent the best years of their lives watching it implode. And it's not just ex-Soviet hard men like Putin who nurture this sense of grievance; smart young professionals (like Medvedev) share it as well. Small wonder, then, that Russia's quest for respect—for equality or revenge—often seems to stray beyond the rational. ... But rather than pining for the past, Russia would do well to look to Great Britain, another fallen empire, for lessons in how to stay relevant in a post-imperial world. Britain ran into disaster in 1956 when it tried to assert itself militarily in its old imperial space by making a grab for the Suez Canal. Since then, London has contented itself with slowly building new constructive relationships with its neighbors, former colonies, and big powers like the U.S. The result might not be as grand or as satisfying as macho strutting and military adventures, but it has helped keep Britain at the center of world politics long after the sun set on its empire.--Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova

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