Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Quote of the Day (Joe Moran, on Shy Writers)

“Shyness is often seen as just a shrinking away from the crowd, a retreat from social life. But it also involves redirecting our social instincts into other areas, like writing. We write partly because we feel that other kinds of dialogue have failed, and that we need to speak at one remove if we are to speak at all. Writing draws, just as shyness does, on what the French call l’esprit de l’escalier: that conversation we carry on in our heads after the other person has gone.”—Joe Moran, “Do Shy People Make the Best Writers?”, The Daily Beast, March 11, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quote of the Day (Robert Benchley, on Thunderstorms)

“Just where any of us in the human race get off to adopt the Big Man attitude of ‘What is there to be afraid of?’ toward lightning is more than I can figure out. you would think that we knew how to stop it. You would think that no one but women and yellow dogs were ever hit by it and that no man in a turtle-neck sweater and three days’ beard on his chin would give it a second thought. I am sick of all this bravado about lightning and am definitely abandoning it herewith.”—American humorist Robert Benchley (1889-1945), “The Truth about Thunderstorms,” in The Best of Robert Benchley: 72 Timeless Stories of Wit, Wisdom and Whimsy (1983)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quote of the Day (St. Augustine, on the Poor and the Rich)

“The poor and the rich God made of one clay; the same earth supports alike the poor and the rich.”— Christian theologian and philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), Tractates (Lectures) on the Gospel of John, Tractate 6 (John 1:32-33)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Movie Quote of the Day (‘Dressed to Kill,’ In Which Holmes Shows Watson, Once Again, Why It’s ‘Elementary’)

Dr. John Watson (played by Nigel Bruce) (opening the curtains): "Look, Holmes, it's morning." 

Sherlock Holmes (played by Basil Rathbone): "Allow me to congratulate you on a brilliant piece of deduction!" —Dressed to Kill (1946), screenplay by Leonard Lee, adapted by Frank Gruber from a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Roy William Neill

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quote of the Day (David Sarnoff, on Competition)

"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.”—U.S. broadcasting pioneer David Sarnoff (1891-1971), attributed in Montgomery Van Wart, Dynamics of Leadership in Public Service: Theory and Practice (2011)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Quote of the Day (James Madison, on War as an Enemy of Liberty)

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”— James Madison, "Political Observations," Apr. 20, 1795, Founders Online, National Archives

Remember that even Madison, with his clear-eyed view of the dangers of conflict, yielded to the temptation to enter the War of 1812, a conflict for which neither he nor his predecessor had propertly prepared the nation. 

Then, think of the man who now occupies his office in DC—someone with nowhere near his intellect, experience or gravitas—and start praying immediately as you consider the ramifications of “fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”