Quote of the Day: On Not Being Offended


“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” – Benjamin Franklin

Few people today realize Ben Franklin became the 18th-century equivalent of Bill Gates by franchising print shops. He trained printers, provided them with standard print faces and printing tools, and lent them capital to set up their own print shops in towns throughout the colonies. In exchange, he got a piece of the action. He also farmed out large print jobs among his network of printers, keeping them busy and employed while permitting print runs in sizes in excess of what would otherwise be possible.

Quote of the Day: Beer and Books


“Beer is to dumb guys what books are to smart ones — Just having a lot of them makes you feel a whole lot smarter.” — Stephen Pastis

There is a lot of truth in both ends of that quote.  Drink enough beer and you do feel smarter.  You may not be smarter and you may not act smarter, but sure enough you feel a whole lot smarter.  It doesn’t matter if you are a dumb guy or a smart guy, either – at least not in my experience.

Quote of the Day: Words


“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

Quote of the Day: Today’s Times


“In times like these it is important to remember there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey

New Year’s Eve is a traditional day to take stock of the previous year and anticipate the upcoming year.  2022 was a particularly trying year, and 2023 does not really promise to be much better. For conservatives, 2022 brought a lot of disappointments. Some are calling it the Worst Year Ever, and claiming we are all in a handbasket sliding down to Hell.

Quote of the Day – The Meaning of Christmas


Your nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the light of knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the worshippers of the stars were by a star instructed to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know You as Orient from on high. Glory to You, O Lord.

This is the first of three special hymns sung during the Divine Liturgy on Christmas Day in the Orthodox Church. I am not Skipskul or Jon Gabriel when it comes to explaining Orthodox Christianity, but I am very much of an Orthodox Christian. I thought to share this with you on the eve of Our Lord’s birth. This I believe is the true meaning of Christmas. That God caused the light of knowledge to rise upon the world.

Quote of the Day: Capitalism and Socialism


“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill

How can you tell we are entering a socialist society in the United States? The tell is the amount by which shared miseries have grown. Fuel and food prices have soared. There are scarcities of critical items, including baby formula and amoxicillin, scarcities that once they start never seem to grow away. People are worried that what they say might get them fired or imprisoned. Not for actual crime, but for thoughtcrime. And violent crime is growing — as it seems to in every socialist society from the Soviet Union to Venezuela. (Of  course, the government denies that violent crime exists, except by wasters who oppose the government — January 6th trials, anyone?)

Quote of the Day: Obedience


“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.” – C.P. Snow, English novelist and scientist (1905 – 1980)

We are seeing this illustrated in China right now due to Xi’s Zer0 Covid policy. People were allowed to burn to death in a flaming apartment building rather than permit them to break Zero Covid by escaping. Forty-four died in that fire, trapped in a building. How many would have died of Covid had they been allowed to exit? Probably no one. Certainly less than 44. Similarly, we see the same thing unfolding in Iran, where the demand for absolute obedience to Sharia law is now taking a toll on hundreds of lives.

Quote of the Day: Gratitude


“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” — Doris Day

Yes, Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, but it is still worth considering its message: giving thanks for what we have; being grateful.  It is also worth considering gratitude’s flip side: ingratitude, which mostly comes out in the form of complaint.

Quote of the Day: ‘A Hell of a Beating’


“I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is humiliating as all hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back and retake it.” – Joseph Stilwell

Certainly, that is how many conservatives viewed the November 8 elections. Like the American army that got run out of Burma by Japan in 1942. Except it wasn’t. At this remove, it appears November 8 was a Republican victory, just not the big victory it was hoped for.

Quote of the Day: Well Done


Well done is better than well said. – Benjamin Franklin

Or good deeds trump good words. It seems today that people are more impressed by a slick set of words, carefully crafted than they are by actual accomplishments. Perhaps I should take some joy from that. After all, I make my living using words.

Quote of the Day: On Voting


“The most interesting incident Tuesday morning was my walking to a building on Thirty-fourth Street to enter a booth and push levers on a voting machine. I have never understood why anybody passes up that bargain. It doesn’t cost a cent, and for that couple of minutes, you’re the star of the show, with top billing. It’s the only way that really counts for you to say I’m it, I’m the one that decides what’s going to happen and who’s going to make it happen. It’s the only time I really feel important and know I have a right to.” — Rex Stout, A Family Affair

Do I have to remind anyone that Tuesday is election day, and it is (as it always seems to be lately) the most important vote of our lifetimes? On Ricochet, probably not.

Quote of the Day: The Educational Benefits of Diversity


MR. PARK: Diversity is our nation’s greatest source of strength, but as our Reconstruction founders understood and our nation’s history confirms, it also poses unique challenges to the American experiment. We live in a large and sometimes unwieldy democracy, and for that democracy to flourish, people of all different backgrounds and perspectives have to learn to live together and unite in common purpose….

JUSTICE THOMAS: Mr. Park, I’ve heard the word “diversity” quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means.…I’d like you to give us a specific definition of diversity in the context of the University of North Carolina. And I’d also like you to give us a clear idea of exactly what the educational benefits of diversity at the University of North Carolina would be.

MR. PARK: …And so we value diversity of all different kinds in all the ways that people differ in our society. On — on the educational benefits question, Your Honor, I don’t think it’s actually disputed here that there are real and meaningful educational benefits that come with diversity of all kinds. SFFA’s own expert…conceded and agreed enthusiastically, in fact, on the stand that a racially diverse and a diverse — diversity of all kinds leads to “a deeper and richer learning environment,” leads to more creative thinking and exchange of ideas, and, critically, reduced bias between people of different backgrounds and not solely for racial backgrounds.

Quote of the Day: Silencing the Opposition


“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – Harry S. Truman

We have seen that before, and never more spectacularly than in Truman’s lifetime. He observed the actions of three socialist governments — the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy — over the prime of his lifetime. All three became a source of terror to its citizens and created countries where everyone lives in fear. It was what Rudyard Kipling warned about in his poem The Old Issue a generation earlier. In it, his forecast of the king “under any name”:

Quote of the Day: Artificial Stupidity


“Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.” — Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell states the importance of a good education and ensuring those that provide it are competent to teach better than I can. Education is the great sleeper issue of this campaign, buried beneath the economy and crime. But nothing has done more to cause traditional Democrat constituencies to vote Republican than the misuse of the education system at the hands of the educational establishment. The purpose of the American education system, in their eyes, is to enrich the employees and use it to sell their cultural agenda. The quality of education provided is at the bottom of their priorities, to be given sufficient lip service to convince the suckers financing this country’s public schools and institutions of higher education to continue funding it.

Quote of the Day: Fascism


“The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” – Eric Blair (George Orwell)

I recently listened to a discussion between Nick Gillespie, Jonah Goldberg, and Zach Weissmueller about whether Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s incoming prime minister, was a fascist and whether it really did indicate Italy was returning to fascism.  (Be warned if you click, it is 87 minutes long.)

Quote of the Day: Who Benefits?


“Cui bono?” – Cicero

“Who benefits?” That is part of a longer quote by the Roman politician and lawyer Cicero. In full it runs: “L. Cassius ille, quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat, identidem in causis quaerere solebat, ‘cui bono fuisset?’ (Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a most honest and most wise judge, was in the habit of asking time and again in lawsuits: ‘to whom might it be for a benefit?'”)

Quote of the Day: The Economy and Government Mismanagement


“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.” – Milton Friedman

We are going to see a repeat of this over the next year or two.  We are headed for recession, and possibly depression (although no one will call it that) even if the Republicans take over control of both houses of Congress next year. Part of that is due to existing inflation. But an even larger part will be due to government mismanagement.

Quote of the Day: A College Degree


“In the end, a college degree is either valuable or it isn’t. If it’s valuable, it will pay for itself. If it’s not valuable, no one should pay for it. Either way, there’s no reason for the government to be involved in higher education. The more involved it does get, the worse the problem becomes.” — Antony Davies

If one could graph the decline of the institutes of higher education in this country, it would follow a curve inverse to the level of government involvement in academia. I am not talking about the 19th-century land grant schools created by the Morell Act. Yes, state and federal governments established colleges and funded them over the next 100 years, but it was a period of benign neglect. The government pretty well let the institutions run themselves.

Quote of the Day: Longevity


“If you’re starting a new job today and intend to match Queen Elizabeth’s work longevity you’ll have to keep working there through April 11, 2093.” – Keith Olbermann

Yes, I am quoting Keith Olbermann. On Ricochet. But sometimes even the worst man in the world has a valid point, one worth hearing. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. This is one such time.