Friday, February 11, 2011

Quotes of the day

... the dictator, coddled in his isolation, surrounded by satraps and servants, immersed in his own sense of essential-ness, is the last to know.--David Remnick

Could Aid Watch respectfully suggest that US government officials, at this incredibly sensitive moment, follow the advice of two different Aid Watch posts reflecting the consensus of wise people everywhere: (1) First one: shut up. (2) Second one: shut up. Today’s additional recommendation: first follow steps (1) and (2).--William Easterly

Winning is the most important thing in war. Deception is the way to win. Sun Tzu plays the same role in Confucian China that Machiavelli plays in the Christian west: both writers say that the basic institutions and power arrangements of their society depend on qualities and behavior that can and frequently do violate that society’s deepest beliefs and ideals.--Walter Russell Mead

Okay, have a nice rest of your day.--Bess Levin, to several Level Global executives

Here's the big question for the GOP though. Will they have the political will to push truly big budget cuts through the House and long reaching budget reforms? If they settle for "Democrat lite" type budgets then their time in the majority will be short and failed.--Tim Phillips, President and CEO of Americans for Prosperity

If people are too dimwitted to choose on their own the foods they eat, how can they possibly be trusted to choose on their own the persons who represent them in government? The evidence does indeed suggest that Americans too often choose as their elected representatives greasy, pork-laden, and processed hot dogs who offer only empty calories as they clog the arteries of commerce.--Don Boudreaux

It was a mistake to pick up a girl in a bar in the first place, let alone bring her to another bar. It was like watching "Schindler's List"and complaining it wasn't funny enough. I realized, though, I had no idea where else to take women on a first date. A drink had always been just right -- less pressure than going out to dinner, but more substantial than going out for coffee. Sobriety wasn't just forcing me to get more responsible. It was forcing me to get more creative, too.--Joe Berkowitz

... the most critical response had to do with the founder of the church, L. Ron Hubbard. In some of the material that I had been reading and in some of my interviews, there was a big question about Hubbard's - his war record and his medical history. He had said that at the end of World War II, he was blind and a hopeless cripple, and that he had healed himself through these measures that later became the basis of "Dianetics," which is the book that he wrote in 1950, out of which Scientology arises. And I'd find that - I had found evidence that Hubbard was never actually injured during the war. And so in one very interesting moment, Davis said: Of course, if it's true that Hubbard, Mr. Hubbard was never injured during the war, then he never did heal himself using "Dianetics" principles, then "Dianetics" is based on a lie, and then Scientology is based on a lie. The truth is that Mr. Hubbard was a war hero. And the way he phrased that, that everything depended on whether Hubbard had sustained these injuries and had healed himself, was like a wager on the table. And so we pressed him for evidence that there had been such injuries and that he had been the war hero that he described. And eventually, Davis sent us what is called a notice of separation. It's essentially discharge papers from World War II, which - along with some photographs of all of these medals that he had won, a Purple Heart with a palm, some other commendations from different countries, and so on. At the same time, we finally gained access to Hubbard's entire World War II records, and there was no evidence that he had ever been wounded in battle or distinguished himself in any way during the war. So we also found another notice of separation which was strikingly different from the one that the church had provided.--Terry Wright

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