Friday, September 23, 2011

Quotes of the day

There are many good economic arguments for subsidizing health care (there are also many good counter-arguments). That’s yet another important debate that’s largely off-topic here. I want to focus attention on the narrower question of what compassion demands. Here’s my answer: If your compassion is constrained, blind or posturing, you’ll say “Of course we should save lives at the emergency room”. If your compassion is broad, perceptive and genuine — if you grasp and care about the underlying trade-offs — and if you believe you’re being baited by a constrained, blind, posturing journalist — you might very well burst forth with a (com)passionate “Let him die”.--Steve Landsburg

It is an oddity of our times that Christian pastors can now use swear words that Christian comedians can’t. Theologically, this is known as the mysterium tremendum.--John Ortberg

I know there are many reasonable people collecting paychecks and raising children in this very America for whom "Everybody Hurts" or "Shiny Happy People" can exist only in the space where Wimpiness and Pussiness get together to do unspeakable things to each other on grandma's favorite quilted duvet. But trust a bitter, old, forever-youngish, middle-aged man for a second: To a certain kind of person (white, relatively privileged, vaguely annoying) living through a certain kind of '80s (white, relatively privileged, vaguely annoying), R.E.M. was the gateway band — the gateway to the cooler bands, to bigger ideas, better politics, to culture itself, the way to slip out of something and into something else.--Jon Dolan

Snooki’s preparation for the arrival of her boyfriend Jionni was one of the happiest things we've ever seen. A woman so excited to see her love that she could not control herself. Spray-tan was applied, hundreds of outfits were auditioned, and the smush room was Febreezed. Jionni rang the bell and immediately Snooki embraced him, nuzzled his familiar (allegedly) PED-enhanced chest, and wept tears of joy. It was pure beauty. One of those moments that makes you believe that the meaning of life can be explained in one word — love. They ran upstairs, he kissed the cheeks of the ladies, awkwardly bro-hugged the fellas, and the couple retired to the smush room. All was well. When they two emerged, it was time to return to the environment in which they first met: one filled with Italians, thumping house music, and enough alcohol to rid the world of all bacteria. Snooki wore her finest attire, a hot-pink leopard-print number that looked like a bandana being held together with jumper cables. Being a sexually conservative gent, Jionni remarked that he might prefer something a little more demure, but love was in the air and booze needed to be in the bellies, so they left for the club. All was well. The presence of her lover transformed Snooki. She danced with a lust she had never felt before. She announced the she needed to dance where her soul was, above the crowd, on stage, to show the world her passion. Possessed by her love, she raised her dress and truly showed the world her passion. Jionni was not impressed. All was not well. Ashamed, Jionni fled. Shocked, no longer possessed by desire, Snooki gave chase. Unable to find her Guido, she melted onto the streets of Florence into a weeping heap of rage and sorrow. Inconsolable, she retreated to her bed and continued to wail. Hours later, Jionni returned, announced that her behavior at the nightclub was unacceptable, grabbed his suitcase, and left. Under her hot-pink satin comforter, Snooki found no comfort. Hours earlier she held her true love, but now she held only her stuffed alligator. Reliving it makes me want to cry myself — I must be on my period.--David Jacoby

Federal judges are entrusted with interpreting and applying rules fairly and consistently. Except, it seems, when it comes to hiring their own staff.--Catherine Rampell

Statistics are like a bikini. What they present is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.--Aaron Levenstein

Even as Civil War history has gone through several cycles of revision, one thing has remained fixed: the number of dead. Since about 1900, historians and the general public have assumed that 618,222 men died on both sides. That number is probably a significant undercount, however. New estimates, based on Census data, indicate that the death toll was approximately 750,000, and may have been as high as 850,000. ... So what? Above a certain count, do the numbers even matter? Well, yes. The difference between the two estimates is large enough to change the way we look at the war. The new estimate suggests that more men died as a result of the Civil War than from all other American wars combined. Approximately 1 in 10 white men of military age in 1860 died from the conflict, a substantial increase from the 1 in 13 implied by the traditional estimate. The death toll is also one of our most important measures of the war’s social and economic costs. A higher death toll, for example, implies that more women were widowed and more children were orphaned as a result of the war than has long been suspected. In other words, the war touched more lives and communities more deeply than we thought, and thus shaped the course of the ensuing decades of American history in ways we have not yet fully grasped. True, the war was terrible in either case. But just how terrible, and just how extensive its consequences, can only be known when we have a better count of the Civil War dead.--J. David Hacker

... with limited practice time and, to be honest, limited skills, kids need to focus on a few things and to get better at them — the jack of all trades is incredibly overrated.--Chris Brown

The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is any where directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.--Adam Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment