Tag: “Quote of the Day” Series

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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Quote of the Day: Borders

 

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” — Acts 17:26, English Standard Version

While on the way to a Bible study months ago, John Lennon’s Imagine came on the radio. I started ranting to my wife about the insipid lyrics. I remembered a guest on “Red Eye” years ago who said that he hated “Imagine no possessions” worse than “Imagine no religion” as the latter can be chalked up to adolescent babbling, but private property is key to being free men or something like that.

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Quote of the Day: Rewriting History

 

“If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we will find that we have lost the future.” – Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

Kate Smith’s statue gets covered over because of a song she sang 80 years ago. Dowling Street in Houston, named for a Confederate hero, gets renamed Emancipation. A set of paintings of George Washington are painted over because he was a slaveholder. These are just a few instances of history being erased, rewritten, or removed from the public view because standards have changed.

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Member Post

 

“It is true, many people believe that economic policy should not bother at all about long-run consequences. They quote a dictum of Lord Keynes: “In the long run we are all dead.” I do not question the truth of this statement; I even consider it as the only correct declaration of the neo-British Cambridge school.” […]

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Quote of the Day: Two Will Become One

 

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery…” — Ephesians 5:31-32

Today marks what would have been my late wife’s 61st birthday. Janet did not make it to 60, as she died in January of that year, five months short of the day. I have been without her now for one year and five months.

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Member Post

 

From The Brothers Karamozov: For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. More

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Quote of the Day: Khrushchev Reflects

 

“Most of all the blood. My arms are up to the elbows in blood.”
– Nikita Khrushchev’s (1894-1971) response to playwright Mikhail Shatrov when asked during his retirement what he regretted.

“Paradise is a place where people want to end up, not a place they run from. What kind of socialism is that? What kind of [redacted] is that, when you have to keep people in chains? What kind of social order? What kind of paradise?”
– From tapes recorded by Khrushchev in his retirement. This passage was not included in the transcribed memoir his son helped to smuggle to the West and published in 1970 as Khrushchev Remembers; it came to light in 1990 when the full tapes became available.

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Quote of the Day: The Perils of Intelligence

 

“There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.” – Thomas Sowell

This phenomena is one I call the “smartest person in the room” paradox. Really smart people so generally out-think and out-perform those around them (especially in fields requiring intellectual activity) that over time they begin to fall into the trap of believing themselves omniscient. Given a complete set of facts they generally come up with the best solution.

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Quote of the Day: Climate Science

 

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
— Kenneth Watt, Ecologist, Earth Day 1970

Science is settled. All those people talking about global warming are science deniers! Glaciers are coming for us… slowly.

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Quote of the Day: Death and Delivery

 

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

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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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Member Post

 

George Herbert (1593-1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England, writing poetry in English, Latin, and Greek. Last year we discussed his poem Easter, split into two parts by composer Ralph Vaughn Williams in his 1911 work Five Mystical Songs. Herbert also wrote Easter Wings, published posthumously in The Temple (1633). As […]

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Quote of the Day: Facts and Feelings

 

“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” – Ben Shapiro

The reaction to the release of the Muller Report reminded me of this quote. There seem to be a large number of people whose feelings conflict with the facts presented. As a result, many have rejected the facts in favor of their feelings.

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