Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Quotes of the day

It’s time for me to confess: I’ve barely seen any movies this year, and know little about the industry. But I didn’t want to get left out of the water-cooler conversations about the Oscars. And so these forecasts were simply a fun application of prediction markets. By quickly scanning the latest market prices, I managed to become an insta-expert. In fact, I managed to become such an insta-expert that I’ll be returning to the water cooler today to gloat about my successful picks in all the major award categories.--Justin Wolfers

Unless [anger] is leavened with reason, and moderated by the acknowledgement that no-one is perfect, hate and anger can be highly corrosive. Justifiable anger is a wonderful source of energy, and a marvelous spur to action. But nurtured, coddled, and sustained overlong, anger can constrict the vision, dull perceptiveness, and calcify the brain. It can blind you to the good in others, to the alternatives available to you, and, in the end, to the truth. If left untreated too long, eventually others tire of your stridency and self-righteousness, and you sink back into justified and bitter obscurity, another valued voice in the debated stifled by irrelevance. And that is an outcome none of us should be aiming for.--Epicurean Dealmaker

Well, as my old man always told me, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” A crop of stupid like this doesn’t just spring up on its own. Stupid has to be lovingly tended. Plenty of stupid fertilizer and stupid water. The one thing you don’t want to do, if you want to win the big “Stupid” prize at the county fair next fall, is prune your dumb.--Jules Crittenden

There was a time when Obama was against a mandate. That was when he was running against Hillary Clinton, who supported mandates.--William Jacobson

Student loan defaults are up. Graduate performance in the job market is down. Bankrupt states are unable to keep public university employees in the style to which they've grown accustomed. Harvard's endowment got wiped out by future White House economic advisor Larry Summers. Yet for-profit colleges are booming, and their students are pulling down ever greater sums in federal grants and guaranteed loans.--Tim Cavanaugh

Four such truths are underlined in [Reinhold Niebuhr's] The Irony of American History: the persistent sin of American Exceptionalism; the indecipherability of history; the false allure of simple solutions; and, finally, the imperative in appreciating the limits of power.--Andrew Bacevich

Now, as the European Union thrashes out a possible rescue plan for debt-stricken Greece, the importance of Germany has been thrown back into relief. French President Nicolas Sarkozy can come out and pledge all the support to Greece he wants, but in the end, it’s Germany that matters. This isn’t just because it has Europe’s most powerful economy and its largest population. It’s because Germany has proved to be a paragon of its own virtues -- thrift and hard work. That can’t help but annoy its more profligate neighbors.--Celestine Bohlen

Look, folks: CDS did not kill Greece, short sellers did not kill Bear Stearns, and no one is metaphorically buying insurance on their neighbor's house and burning it down. Greece burned down their own house with years of poor fiscal decisions. --Kid Dynamite

Another sign that Israel expects to be attacked; air force ground crews are being trained to perform dangerous "hot refueling." This procedure is used to speed up refueling of combat aircraft that have just landed, so they can take off quickly and get back to the fight. It's called "hot" because the engine is kept running while the very explosive fuel is pumped in.--StrategyPage

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