Monday, September 12, 2011

Quotes of the day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.--Laurence Binyon

There are always groups trying to get America to change the anthem. It's a hard song filled with violence and questions and
exceedingly high notes. But, our anthem tells a uniquely American story. No, it does not go on about fruited plains or home sweet home or Captain Washington on a slapping stallion. It just says very simply that through the night, through the fire, through the bombings, the flag was still there. They won't play games this weekend as New York still burns and America takes tentative first steps back to everyday life. That's OK. The games will be back soon enough. We should still play and sing the national anthem this weekend, loud enough for everyone to hear. Yes, it's a much scarier world today that it was before Tuesday. But it's also been 187 years since Francis Scott Key saw the dawn's early light. The flag is still there.--Joe Posnanski, just after 9/11, 2001

Once upon a time, you see, I lost something, and prayed to get it back, but when I lost it the second time, I didn't, and now this was it, the missing word, the unuttered promise, the prayer I'd been waiting to say a very long time.--Tom Junod

This book haunts me a month after I finished it. I can’t fritter away time on the internet anymore with a clear conscience. I wake up earlier so I can take time to write and focus my thoughts for the day. I find myself trying harder and doing more work at work. It sucks. I miss my life as a slacker.--slamb817

I’m very close to thinking the United States shouldn’t be in Basel any more. I would not have agreed to rules that are blatantly anti-American. Our regulators should go there and say: ‘If it’s not in the interests of the United States, we’re not doing it’.--Jamie Dimon

The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country. Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are.--Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO

16. Non-Disparagement. You agree, other than with regard to employees in the good faith performance of your duties with the Company while employed by the Company, both during and for five (5) years after your employment with the Company terminates, not to knowingly disparage the Company or its officers, directors, employees or agents in any manner likely to be harmful to it or them or its or their business, business reputation or personal reputation.--Carol Bartz's employment agreement with Yahoo

From the failed Microsoft sale negotiations, to a subsequent bungled and disappointing search deal with Microsoft, through a series of misguided CEO selections, and most recently the Alipay debacle, this Board’s failures have destroyed value for all Yahoo stakeholders. Ms. Bartz’s exit and Mr. Morse’s elevation to interim CEO makes him Yahoo’s fourth CEO in four years and further demonstrates the poor corporate governance Yahoo investors have been saddled with for too long. Even before Ms. Bartz’s hire, Yahoo’s shares materially underperformed the market and their peer group, as graphically evidenced in the Company’s most recent 10-K. Against this background, it is evident that merely replacing the Company’s CEO – yet again – will not be enough to alter the direction of the Company. Instead, a reconstituted Board with new Directors who will bring fresh eyes, relevant industry expertise and increased investor alignment to the table is immediately necessary.--Dan Loeb

I love DSK. I love his wife. They are great people and when they came back to Paris I sent them flowers. But you know, for people in politics, it’s very embarrassing. On the left they had hoped he wouldn’t come back, because I think other people want his job. And on the other side…but even in America, Clinton survived his blow job. But there was not a lot of doubt that that was consensual. They all do it in the political world. They get horny from politics, from power. And he had unbelievable charms. He is really charming. He’s fun, he’s great. He’s a sweet guy—as long as you’re not a woman. That’s the problem.--Karl Lagerfeld

... [JFK] never missed church one Sunday that we were married or all that, but you could see partly — I often used to think whether it was superstition or not — I mean, he wasn’t quite sure, but if it was that way, he wanted to have that on his side. He would say his prayers kneeling on the edge of the bed, taking about three seconds and crossing himself. It was just like a little childish mannerism, I suppose like brushing your teeth or something. But I thought that was so sweet. It used to amuse me so, standing there.--Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

By the end of my two minutes in the private room with the TSA, I was essentially standing in a pool of my own sweat. I’m not sure what you are supposed to call being groped against your will, but somehow I found myself remembering my Crim Law professor lecturing on sexual battery. The thought of my wife going through the same thing made me violently angry, yet I was terrified of even appearing concerned about what was happening, lest they determine that I’m resisting and cast me down with the sodomites. And I had what I think was a pretty standard TSA experience. Consider what happened ... Do you think a TSA administrator would want his wife to go through that? Do you think the Secret Service would allow the President to be touched in that manner by any person other than his doctor or the First Lady?--Elie Mystal

... Greek data are further from the Benford distribution than that of any other European Union member state. Romania, Latvia and Belgium also have abnormally distributed data, while Portugal, Italy and Spain have a clean bill of health. Would a Benford-style analysis have helped spot Greece’s problems? In principle, yes. In practice, one wonders whether politics would have trumped statistics. A shame: according to Benford’s Law, Greece’s data were particularly odd in 2000, just before it joined the euro.--Tim Harford

I have no idea how closely [Moneyball] hews to reality, but ultimately, what I took away from this wasn't a particular feeling this way or that about Beane or the A's or even baseball. I just walked away invigorated by the idea that it pays to gamble sometimes, and that just because something is done a certain way, there's no reason to think it can't be done better. This is a film about faith and risk and the enormous rewards of both, and it is somehow far more commercial and inviting than I would have imagined possible. It's a major accomplishment. Yes… I'd even call it a home run.--Drew McWeeny

[Football] has a role to play, a small role. It's a unifying role. Rich and poor, liberals and conservatives, love football. We just need to show we're all together.--Jason Garrett

... the greatest contests, the ones whose outcomes are most exalting for the winners and most devastating for the losers, are the ones most likely to be decided by infinitesimal turns of luck.--Brian Phillips

The cut in payroll taxes is supposed to have two positive effects on the economy. It would temporarily reduce the cost of labor to companies and thereby encourage them to hire more workers, and it would increase the spending of workers through increasing their take home pay. Such temporary cuts in wage costs to employers will increase employment only a little, and it will be mainly for low skilled low wage jobs that can be easily eliminated after the cuts expire. Since spending by households responds much more to their long term income prospects than to short run changes in their incomes, households would tend to save rather than spend most of their higher incomes due to a temporary cut in social security taxes. Therefore, the employment bang for the buck will be small per dollar of tax cut.--Gary Becker

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