Tag: “Quote of the Day” Series

Quote of the Day: Bastiat on Socialism

 

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” – Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

In addition to our member , Frédéric Bastiat is a well-known author here on Ricochet, also used by our Editor Jon Gabriel for a Quote of the Day. Like many, I wasn’t exposed to Bastiat until the last 25 years or so, after New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduced the “broken windows” theory of government, which led me to Bastiat’s “broken windows fallacy.” Like many brilliant writers such as Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman, Bastiat can explain important ideas in plain language. The quote above seems so obvious, yet many on the left they continue to argue against it, saying that the right kind of Socialism hasn’t been tried yet.

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Quote of the Day: Science

 

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” – Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford was a physicist. (You could tell, couldn’t you?) Yet he hits on one essential truth with this quote: the more rigorous and replicable experiments in a field of science are, the more reliable the results. With physics, mathematics provides the rigor, and if an experiment is not replicable, there better be a really good reason — some reason that when factored in makes the result replicable. Stamp collecting is Rutherfords’s shorthand for ordering and collecting, which is about all you can do absent mathematics and rigorous analysis.

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Quote of the Day: Mucking About

 

A recent podcast from “The Mark Davis Show” quoted one of the founders of the Dallas Cowboys:

“Money is like manure. If you spread it around it does a lot of good, but if you pile it up in one place it stinks like hell.” — Clint Murchison, Jr.,
(As quoted in: Time, Volume 124, 1984, p. 96)

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Member Post

 

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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Quote of the Day – The Meaning of Laws

 

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” – Thomas Jefferson

The good news for woke activists judges and the Living Constitution advocates is that Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder and therefore anything he says that disagrees with their viewpoint can be disregarded. And certainly they will disagree with this – that the plain wording of the law is the plain meaning of the law. It was the foundation rock of this republic; the rock Progressives are trying to dissolve to sand.

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Reincarnation

 

Upon the news that Washington state passed a bill to allow the composting of human remains this poem came to mind:

Reincarnation, by Wally McRae

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Quote of the Day: Arrrmy Training!

 

Yesterday was the United States Army’s 244th birthday, 14 June 2019. For a brief background on how the Army came into existence, and the tie to Flag Day, also celebrated each 14th of June, see “Celebrating the Flag and the Army on June 14th.” On this occasion, consider the Army through the lenses of recruiting slogans and a song. What’s with the photograph? Wait until we get to the song.

Recruiting Slogans in the All-Volunteer Force:

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Quote of the Day: Chivalry and Civility

 

“WHEN WOMEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHIVALRY, I’m prone to point out that chivalry was a system, one that imposed obligations of behavior on women and girls as well as on men. Likewise, when David Brooks complains that Edward Snowden is an unmediated man, I must note that in the civil society Brooks invokes, Presidents and other leaders were also mediated; they were not merely checked by Congress, courts, etc., but they were also checked by themselves, and a sense of what was proper that went beyond “how much can I get away with now?” Obama, too, is unmediated in that sense. That Brooks couldn’t see beyond his sharply-creased pants to notice that when it was apparent to keen observers even before the 2008 election is not to his credit. If the system of civil society has failed, it is in no small part because its guardians — notably including Brooks — have also failed.” — Prof. Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com Jun 11, 2013

To say that I find the norms of chivalry (battlefield conduct) and courtly behavior (behavior befitting a noble at court) persuasive is obvious – look at my name. The Paladins / Paladines of Charlemagne was the idealized role model and cautionary tale for the medieval knight, and the modern fantasy vision of the paladin appeals to a similar code of heroic ethics. Similarly, I admire the civilized norms of the past, as one of the symbols of the greatness of our civilization.

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Quote of the Day – Handling Classified Information

 

I’m amused by people who make a living disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operative wringing their hands about whether I can handle classified information…. Sometimes people can convince themselves that what they’re doing is in the higher interest, the better good. They don’t realize that what they’re doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have. They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else. They can, in their own mind, they can have those kinds of motives. And sometimes they can look at evidence and facts through a biased prism that they themselves don’t realize.

– Attorney General William Barr, in an extended interview with CBS’s Jan Crawford.

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Quote of the Day: Filling the World with Fools

 

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of their folly is to fill the world with fools.”

– Julius Zincgref

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Quote of the Day: Design It for Fools

 

“Always invest in companies that could be run by any fool because sooner or later one will be running it. It’s funny, from dog clubs to HOAs to the US Congress to major corporations, events collude that cause humans to put idiots in charge of their affairs. It only isn’t the rule in small firms and start-ups. Not that it doesn’t happen there, but they fail so quickly that the public doesn’t become aware.” – Peter Lynch, Fidelity Magellan Fund

Peter Lynch led the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. In those 13 years, the fund posted an average annual return of 29%, building assets from $20 million to $14 billion. At that growth rate, your money doubles about every 2.5 years. Of course, the stock market was relatively moribund during the 1970s, due to oil embargoes and Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” economy. After Reagan took office, the economy boomed, which explains a significant portion of the gain. But in the quote above, Peter Lynch identified a truth about complex systems and management. The question is “how robust are the country’s important systems to fools?”

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Quote of the Day: Society and Government

 

“Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” – Thomas Paine

The only quibble I have with this quote is that some time since the beginning of this millennia, the government has ceased to restrain our vices, but now seems to encourage them. Government still creates distinctions, and still serves as a punisher. However, more and more it punishes those who still seek to restrain their own vices. And government is no longer in its best state.

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Member Post

 

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 it […]

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Member Post

 

“I don’t believe they’re ever going to quit and I don’t see any plan for victory—either militarily or diplomatically.” LBJ to Robert McNamara, 1965. From the book The Road to Disaster by Brian Van Der Mark. More

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Member Post

 

[T]he great Ulysses—the Yankee Generalissimo, surnamed Grant—has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on Saturday next, and celebrating the 4th of July by a grand dinner and so forth. When asked if he would invite Gen. Jo Johnston to join he said. ‘No! for fear there will be a row at the table.’ Ulysses […]

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Quote of the Day: Debate and Dissent are American Strengths, Not Weaknesses

 

“Our enemies have often assumed that we are soft and vulnerable, that we love luxury and tolerate dissent and argument to the point that it weakens us, They are mistaken. In the Cold War we persevered for almost fifty years (1946-1991), often against strong domestic opposition. It is because our democratic institutions tolerate — no encourage — debate and dissent that we found the resolve and the will to prevail.” — Hans Mark, from An Anxious Peace: A Cold War Memoir

This quote is from a book by Hans Mark that I am reading for review. Mark is best known for his work at NASA, but he spent a good chunk of his career developing nuclear weapons. Mark dedicated his life to fighting socialism, especially that of Communism. He viewed National Socialism through the same lens, seeing it as a second head of the two-headed monster. His family fled Austria when Mark was nine after the Nazis took over that country. He came to the United States as a refugee and became a citizen seven years later. He served in the US Navy in the 1940s.

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