Archive for the ‘quotes’ Category

“Listen, I just want to say one thing”

Tom Brokaw was thinking back to the 60’s on inauguration day, and he chose to emphasize that well-worn playbook page on divisiveness.  Curious choice – shouldn’t “hope” and “change” be an optimistic focus on the future rather than a pining for the worst of the bad ol’ days? From

Listen, I just want to say one thing. Having been in the South in the ’60s and Los Angeles, in Watts and northern urban areas, when we were evolving as a country, I’m thinking of all the bigots and rednecks and people I met along the way. I’m saying to them, “Take this.” You know?

Tom Brokaw, on “Morning Joe”, MSNBC, 1/20/2009

James Madison, how far we’ve strayed

Would today’s self-proclaimed sultans of smart running around D.C. muster any shame at all if James Madison could see them now?  I doubt they’d be wise enough to feel appropriately awkward in such an encounter.  While a heavy dose of humility and contrition would be in order, these boorish oafs would likely dismiss him as too shy and soft-spoken, instead.


From “Locke, Jefferson, and the Justices“, by George M. Stephens:

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
James Madison, 1794

obscene, excessive, windfall profits

Now that oil prices are hovering around $50/barrel, perhaps the Rahm Emanuel-style window of “opportunity” is less open now than it was back in the spring when Obama and Clinton were both talking windfall profits taxes.

But we must remain vigilant whenever retread ideas like this rear their ugly heads.  Again, from Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” originally published in 1946:

The best profits, from the standpoint not only of industry but of labor, are not the lowest profits, but the profits that encourage most people to become employers or to provide more employment than before.  If we try to run the economy for the benefit of a single group or class, we shall injure or destroy all groups, including the members of the very class for whose benefit we have been trying to run it.  We must run the economy for everybody.

regarding dying industries

According to yesterday’s WSJ article (by Hitt, McCracken, and Dolan), the U.S. automakers somehow fancy themselves to be “above” bankruptcy:

Ford CEO Alan Mulally said Ford studied a bankruptcy scenario and believes “it is not a viable” option.

Have we been here before?  Yes.  From Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson,” originally published in 1946:

The lobbies of Congress are crowded with representatives of the X industry.  The X industry is sick.  The X industry is dying.  It must be saved.  […]

Paradoxical as it may seem to some, it is just as necessary to the health of a dynamic economy that dying industries be allowed to die as that growing industries be allowed to grow. The first process is essential to the second. It is as foolish to try to preserve obsolescent industries as to try to preserve obsolescent methods of production: this is often, in fact, merely two ways of describing the same thing. Improved methods of production must constantly supplant obsolete methods, if both old needs and new wants are to be filled by better commodities and better means.

bailouts defy common sense

From Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson“, originally published in 1946:

When the government makes loans or subsidies to business, what it does is to tax successful private business in order to support unsuccessful private business.

shame on you, Representative Broun

I’m no Obama supporter.  I’m no PC policeman.  But Representative Broun, the ignorance of these words is staggering:

That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did.

Congressman, don’t go throwing statements like that around, and then expect everything to be Georgia-peachy by apologizing later.  Obama’s been soft on exactly zero Gulags in the USA, and he’s been responsible for exactly zero Jewish murders.  Since you’re apparently not up to speed on the most basic aspects of Stalin and Hitler history, then you’re welcome to say nothing at all on the subject in the future.

FDR policies, unintended consequences

In his January 4, 1935 State of the Union Address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the following statement (quoted from The Cato Journal; I originally discovered this quote in Alfred S. Regnery’s “Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism“):

The lessons of history, confirmed by evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence on relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is a violation of the traditions of America.

Given the benefit of hindsight, this statement exposes not blind luck prescience, but rather stunning historical recognition of the probable implications of his own proposals (if made permanent).

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Nixon and the Great Society skyscraper

From George Packer’s May 26, 2008 New Yorker article “The Fall of Conservatism“, Patrick Buchanan said of his time in the Nixon administration:

L.B.J. built the foundation and the first floor of the Great Society.  We built the skyscraper. Nixon was not a Reaganite conservative.

I originally discovered this quote in Alfred S. Regnery’s “Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism“.

where free speech matters

Quoted from “Liberal Fascism“, by Jonah Goldberg (Introduction: Everything You Know About Fascism Is Wrong):

Free speech, too, is under relentless assault where it matters most – around elections – and it is being sanctified where it matters least, around strippers’ poles and on terrorist Web sites.

rhetoric engine

From “The Miner’s Friend; Or, An Engine To Raise Water By Fire, Described.  And Of The Manner Of Fixing It In Mines; With An Account Of The Several Other Uses It Is Applicable Unto; And An Answer To The Objections Made Against It.“, by Thomas Savery, Gent.  The following excerpt is a plea to King William III of England, in 1702:

It is upon this consideration I am encouraged, with a profound respect, to throw this performance of mine, with the author, at your Majesty’s royal feet, most humbly beseeching your Majesty, that, as it had birth in your Majesty’s auspicious reign, you will vouchsafe to perpetuate it to future ages by the sanction of your royal approbation, which is the utmost ambition of, may it please your Majesty, Your Majesty’s most humble, most loyal, and most obedient Subject, Thomas Savery.

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