Tag: Quote of the Day

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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 […]

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Quote of the Day: John Philip Sousa on Government-Subsidized Music


This quote comes from Sousa’s Memoirs, Marching Along.  He is describing what he found on a band tour of Europe in the year 1900.

I have the programmes of military band concerts given in the Luxembourg, the Palais Royal and other places [in Paris].  At the Luxembourg, Massenet contributes two numbers out of five, Delahaye one, Saintis one, and Weber is represented by a selection from his Freischutz.  At the Palais Royal there is not a foreign work on the programme.  Yet there must be some number in international musical literature that might have been dropped into the concert, if only to flavor it with the spice of exoticism, as it were.

Quote of the Day: Taking Aimless


“Sometimes being aimless helps you discover where to aim.” — Russ Roberts

All the talk these days about frivolous college studies has me remembering some of my endeavors at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1977-1981, that would make me question the academic and career seriousness of a kid doing so today.

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: Aristotle on Tyrants


In a sidebar column in the May 2022 issue of The Spectator World, I found this description of what Aristotle thought were the characteristics of a Tyrant.  The column is written by Peter Jones.

Seeing the turannos as a deviant type of king, Aristotle tested the distinction under four headings.  Was he subject to the law?  Did he rule for a set term, or for ever?  Was he elected?  And did he rule over willing subjects?  We may judge Aristotle’s answer from the image he drew of the tyrant as a master of slaves who, knowing that his subjects hated him, did everything in his power to ensure that they were incapable of moving against him.

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.

Quote of the Day: Inflation


“Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.” — Ronald Reagan

I graduated from college and began my career in 1979. Inflation had been out of control since the first oil shock in 1973. Jerry Ford, despite a well-intentioned attempt to Whip Inflation Now, had not.

Quote of the Day: Dangerous Water


Water is everywhere. If you turn the tap in your kitchen or bathroom, what flows out of the faucet is drinkable water (at least in most places).  City water all over America is normally inexpensive and available for people and animals to drink.  Depending on where you are, the tap water may be “hard” or “soft,” with those terms referring to the level of minerals in the water.  When we lived in Minneapolis, the city water was relatively hard, so we had to use more detergent than normal to get our clothes clean, and in the shower we had to use more soap and shampoo.  When we visited my husband’s relatives in rural North Dakota, the water there was so hard that the animals could not drink it, unless they had been born on the farm!  There was so much salt in the well water the family used that we needed to use bottled water to brush our teeth and shower!  The house had its own water-softener, and it was very expensive.

On the other hand, the water here in western Washington is so soft that they have to add minerals to it to make it palatable!  When we came back to Seattle in 1974, we got a rude awakening when we did our first load of laundry, and discovered that we only needed to use less than half the detergent than we used in Minneapolis!

I was fascinated by an article I read in the Wall Street Journal about the manufacturing of computer hard drives.  It seems that, in the process of making the hard disks and the semiconductors that are part of them, they need to use what is called “ultra-pure water.” Here is a description of that water: [italics mine]

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Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for? – Thomas Sowell A question especially valid this week, when Biden announced a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the upper class, in the form […]

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Quote of the Day: Planting the Almond Tree


“Look, one day I had gone to a little village. An old grandfather of ninety was busy planting an almond tree. ‘What, grandfather!’ I exclaimed. ‘Planting an almond tree?’ And he, bent as he was, turned around and said: ‘My son, I carry on as if I should never die.’ I replied: ‘And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.’” – Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

These are troubled times. We have had several threads here on Ricochet wondering whether the United States will dissolve into chaos in the next year or the one after that. I have been seeing those kinds of conversations on other blogs I frequent. And yes, I believe it could happen, and have written about getting prepared.

Quote of the Day: Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, on Beauty


We periodically receive in our email a little newsletter from Dr. Arnn titled “The Life of Hillsdale College.” They are always stimulating and reassuring that real education, not indoctrination, is taking place at Hillsdale. This one was received on March 1, 2022. Having spent a fair amount of time with Dr. Arnn, I can hear his voice speaking the words.

On Saturday, our chamber ensembles performed in our Christ Chapel. A week earlier the Chapel chorus performed Evensong. These events and many like them resounded in that magnificent structure, a blessing to us all designed by the splendid architect Duncan Stroik. They are the product of skill and work cultivated for years and decades. In that work, the students and teachers continue a line as long as civilization.

Quote of the Day: Taxpayers


“The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan

With the almost-certain passage of the Manchin-Schumer Bill, it appears they are raising our taxes again. But don’t worry, the new taxes will only be paid by people making more than $400,000 annually and corporations. Except it does not work that way. Those making more than $400K each year generally got there because they are smart. They will hire accountants and tax preparers to find ways to shelter that money and make less than $400K/year. As for corporations? They will pass the costs of the extra taxes to their customers in the form of increased prices. That results in inflation.

Quote of the Day: Corruption


“The problem is not that the system has become corrupt, but that corruption has become the system.” – Joe Mannix

Today, over 60% of Americans view the Federal government as corrupt.  That is up from 44% in 2017, a dramatic rise. We see plenty of evidence of it every day; a two-tiered justice system, laws and government handouts that favor a small elite, casual disregard of statute law by federal officials. Even on local levels, it has become endemic.  No one is held responsible for rising crime in our big cities. Even in small-town America, accountability seems absent. Not one person has been fired over the screwups in Uvalde that led to the death of 19 children. Corruption has become the system.

Quote of the Day: John Philip Sousa on ‘HMS Pinafore’


In 1879, Mr. Sousa conducted an amateur theatrical production of the new comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, HMS Pinafore, in Philadelphia. He says in his memoirs (Marching Along, published in 1928, book report coming soon):

The immediate success of Pinafore was, to some extent, due to an admirable topical joke.  Just before it was produced, Disraeli had appointed as First Lord of the Admiralty, W.H. Smith, head of a firm of publishers!  Mr. Smith was a keen business man, a clean politician, and an excellent administrator but the connection between books and battleships was not apparent to the sea-dogs of the British Navy.  Gilbert worked the joke for all it was worth in Sir Joseph Porter’s song, And Now I’m Ruler of the Queen’s Navee.

Quote of the Day: A Sense of Humor


“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.” — Henry Ward Beecher

Humorlessness really defines the Woke folk.  Beecher had the right of it. They are jolted by every pebble on the road. They cannot take a joke, nor can they allow others to tell jokes. Comedians have become their main target. Permissible jokes have become so circumscribed that those permitted really are not funny. Humor approved by the Soviet Board of Censors falls flat.

Quote of the Day: Going Too Far


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It was one of this nation’s greatest accomplishments. I watched the launch on my 14th birthday. Four days later, at a church picnic, I was one of scores of attendees who were ignoring a beautiful July summer day in Michigan to huddle around fuzzy portable televisions to watch the Moon landing. Unless you were there, you cannot imagine the impact that made.

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From an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on July 7, by Yulia Latynina, “Ms. Latynina was a journalist with Echo of Moscow and Novaya Gazeta, Russian press outlets that have been shut down during Russia’s war with Ukraine”. Rich, sedentary civilizations have always been vulnerable.  Plato wrote that the gods destroyed Atlantis because had […]

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Quote of the Day: Golden Eggs


“In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon.” – Thomas Sowell

Sowell wrote this many years ago — in the 1990s as I recall.  The goose was still alive. Now? If not dead, it is dying. If it is not dead by November, it will be soon afterward. The ordered, safe life we have enjoyed since the fall of the Soviet Union is coming to a close.