Tag: 2019 September Quote of the Day

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We had a full harvest of September Quote of the Day posts, with many making the Main Feed. The leaves are turning, but you can still share your favorite quote on the October Signup Sheet. Even if daylight is getting shorter, we make it easy to “Start a Conversation” by including tips for finding great quotes. […]

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Quote of the Day: The Infallible Left


“A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened. Then, again, every major change in policy demands a corresponding change of doctrine and a revaluation of prominent historical figures.” — George Orwell, “The Prevention of Literature”, Polemic (January 1946)

Have you ever noticed the continuous tendency to remove “inconvenient” episodes from history? Consider that 1970s environmentalists believed in a new Ice Age and that Bill Clinton promoted the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s. Obama was opposed to gay marriage then he was in favor immediately after the Supreme Court decision. There are lots of problematic lines from prominent Democrats and leftists across history but the Democrats are always portrayed as right and on the side of all that is good. If people are perfectible, obviously their side is perfect and always was perfect. Any problems are someone else’s fault.

Quote of the Day: The Wright Brothers Were Ignored by the Media


Three brief excerpts from David McCullough’s book:

They [the Wright Brothers] could be highly demanding and critical of each other, disagree to the point of shouting “something terrible.” At times, after an hour of heated argument, they would find themselves as far from agreement as when they started, except that each had changed to the other’s original position.

QOTD: A Sunday stroll with Gilbert Keith


“It is customary to complain of the bustle and strenuousness of our epoch. But in truth the chief mark of our epoch is a profound laziness and fatigue; and the fact is that the real laziness is the cause of the apparent bustle. Take one quite external case; the streets are noisy with taxicabs and motor cars; but this is not due to human activity but to human repose. There would be less bustle if there were more activity, if people were simply walking about. Our world would be more silent if it were more strenuous. And this which is true of the apparent physical bustle is true also of the apparent bustle of the intellect. Most of the machinery of modern language is labour-saving machinery; and it saves mental labour very much more than it ought. Scientific phrases are are used like scientific wheels and piston-rods to make swifter and smoother yet the path of the comfortable. Long words go rattling by us like long railway trains. We know they are carrying thousands who are too tired or too indolent to walk and think for themselves.”

– G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Quote of the Day: One Standard


“The truth is most conservatives are fine accepting apologies for dumb stuff said or done years ago. Unfortunately, liberals refuse to forgive conservatives so we have no choice but to do the same to you. It doesn’t have to be this way. We only ask for one standard.” – Chris Barron (2019-09-18)

It’s not from an extremely famous figure (he is a Fox Business contributor). It’s not an extremely pithy one-liner.  In that tweet, however, you have the summary for so much of the current situation in the GOP.

Quote of the Day: Turning Vice into Virtue


“Even a person who comes to embrace sexual desires traditionally regarded as disordered, and publicly to define his identity in terms of them, will often feel a residual sense of shame and guilt – and this despite the fact that attitudes about sex have liberalized, and the fact that many sympathize with him and are keen to reassure him of his virtue and status as a victim of prejudice. An Augustine or Aquinas would attribute this to the voice of conscience. Knowledge of the natural law, they would say, is never entirely destroyed even in the person most in thrall to vice. It is only ever papered over with layer upon layer of rationalization. And sometimes the truth still shines through, albeit dimly.

“…nothing counteracts lingering feelings of shame and moral failure the way that feelings of pride and self-righteousness can. The former can be masked if one can work oneself into the latter. One can tell oneself: ‘It is those who call what I do shameful who should be ashamed. They are the bad people – they are the bigots, haters, oppressors. And I am doing something noble in rejecting their opinions and fighting against them! Yes, that’s it!’ By a kind of psychological alchemy, vice is transformed into virtue and virtue into vice, and one’s self-esteem is thereby salvaged and even enhanced.” Edward Feser

Quote of the Day: Constitution Day


ConstitutionPro [from Federalist No. 10]:

The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.

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“Exactly. The most significant development of 11 September is that it marks the day America began to fight back: 9/11 is not just Pearl Harbor but also the Doolittle Raid, all wrapped up in 90 minutes. No one will ever again hijack an American airliner with boxcutters, or, I’ll bet, with anything else — not […]

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Quote of the Day: The Architecture of Happiness


“In literature, too, we admire prose in which a small and astutely arranged set of words has been constructed to carry a large consignment of ideas. ‘We all have strength enough to bear the misfortunes of others,’ writes La Rochefoucauld in an aphorism which transports us with an energy and exactitude comparable to that of a Maillart bridge. The Swiss engineer reduces the number of supports just as the French writer compacts into a single line what lesser minds might have taken pages to express. We delight in complexity to which genius has lent an appearance of simplicity.”
– Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

I ran across this quote while developing a list of potential quotes for discussion. Since I’m in the middle of designing my third house, I appreciate the views of other architects and artists as to what is “good” vs. “bad” architecture. I’ve found the British author Alain de Botton’s book interesting, as he relates architecture to various other art forms, most notably common items such as bowls, plates, and water jugs. He properly criticizes architecture based on elitism and the self-congratulation of architects such as Le Corbusier, whose flat roofs leaked within one week of being occupied. Yet, de Botton properly related Le Corbusier’s 1931 interior staircase to a 1768 design in Versailles nearby. Even Modernist architects looked to architecture to support a way of life that appealed to them.

Most anyone would see the Robert Maillart designed 1930 Salginatobel Bridge above as beautiful. It was designated as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991. Like many breakthrough designs, it lacked durability, such as bridge deck waterproofing, low concrete coverage, and poor drainage, which led to extensive repairs in 1975-1976. Unfortunately, de Botton compares this bridge to Isambard Brunel’s 1864 Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England. Yes, Brunel’s was crude, but it has stood the test of time, and led the way to the beautiful 1883 Brooklyn Bridge.

QOTD: Fragility of Cultural Memory


Civilization hangs suspended from generation to generation, by the gossamer strand of memory. If only one cohort of mothers and fathers fails to convey to its children what it has learned from its parents, then the great chain of learning and wisdom snaps. If the guardians of human knowledge stumble only one time, in their fall collapses the whole edifice of knowledge and understanding.

–Jacob Neusner

Quote of the Day: Receipts = Rope


Receipt is Rope“The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them” — Unknown (attributed variously to Lenin, Stalin, and Marx)

As quotable as some of these old communists may be, it turns out that this quote cannot be definitively sourced to any of them. The meaning, nevertheless, is clear. People acting in their own short-term interest will fall into the hands of those with the will to power. While both the White Russian liberal reformers and the majority “moderate” wing of the Reds, the Mensheviks, dithered and acted as if they were in normal political space, the Bolsheviks acted decisively, initiating a 70-year reign.

Today, we see the left, supposedly defeated when the Soviet empire fell, controlling the commanding heights of American culture, including the new mountains of social media. The long march through the institutions has even led to dominance in corporate America, the capitalists who would supposedly sell the left the rope to hang the capitalists. Yet, the truth is that communism has translated to corporatism, with economic elites holding much of the agenda of the left, especially in their mutual contempt and hatred of “bitter clingers,” “Bible thumpers,” and a written constitution that may thwart illiberal elite desires.

Quote of the Day: Never Their Fault


60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL—mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation. Keep our name out of your mouth.”  – Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Mayor and national disgrace

This was said in response to Ted Cruz describing the failure of gun control in Chicago. This ignores the continuous and persistent refusal of the local prosecutors to attach serious penalties to gun crime, in some case not even requiring bail. This ignores the inability of the CPD to stop illegal guns from being smuggled into the city. It ignores the massive disparity in gun crime between the other states and Chicago

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Bad lovers face to face in the morningShy apologies and polite regretsSlow dances that left no warning ofOutraged glances and indiscreet yawningGood manners and bad breath will get you nowhere But even presidents have newspaper loversMinisters go crawling under coversShe’s no angelHe’s no saintThey’re all covered up with white wash grease paintAnd you say: Preview […]

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Quote of the Day: “How About a Co-Cola?”


My mother was born and raised in the small town of Ridge Spring, SC on a large farm with a huge columned house. My older brother was born there shortly after our father went off in WWII. When I was growing up, my family would often go down for several weeks during the summers and sometimes, my father would drive back home to work for several weeks and then come back to get us at the end of the summer. For most of the summer, all we did was play outside.

Even though there was a lot of shade from the trees, there was no air conditioning and us kids would get pretty hot in the mid-afternoon after playing outside all day.

Quote of the Day: How to Get Killed


…One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring, a drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina, the girl that I loved.

So in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

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We’ve had a wet Spring and a hot / dry Summer, and next month starts the Fall harvest season. You can add to the bounty with a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. Many Quote of the Day posts make the Main Feed, and some even garner over […]

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The Quote of the Day is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. You don’t have to be intelligent, pithy, or eloquent yourself. You can share a written passage that you find interesting, or even something from a favorite movie. You can present the naked quote, or add your thoughts on how […]

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