Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
EEK! A GIANT FLYING CONDOM. MORE HERE.
The night before the government secured a guilty plea from the manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, a senior Justice Department official called the
attorney handling the case and, at the behest of an executive for the drugmaker, urged him to slow down, the prosecutor told the Senate Judiciary Committee. U.S.
John L. Brownlee, the U.S. attorney in Roanoke, testified that he was at home the evening of Oct. 24 when he received the call on his cellphone from Michael J. Elston, then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general and one of the Justice aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year.
Brownlee settled the case anyway. Eight days later, his name appeared on a list compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials had suggested be fired.
, where Frank Zappa has a huge following, has named a street after him. It's a nasty little street in the former Germany East Berlin, but at least it's an enclave of musicians. Though, to me, it just doesn't seem to be enough. I mean . . . why not a whole town? Doesn't Zappa deserve that? They could call it: Zappadorf!
The Second Gulf War has severely shaken
's smug confidence in invincible technology, and our corresponding assumption of moral and religious superiority. We are learning the lesson that Michael Adas documented a decade-and-a-half ago: The equation of technological preeminence with cultural superiority has a long and dishonorable history. America
In recounting that history, Adas quotes the famous 19th-century missionary-explorer David Livingston, summarizing the advantages for Europeans in
Africaof vastly superior firearms: "Without any bullying, firearms command respect, and lead [African] men to be reasonable who might otherwise feel disposed to be troublesome." Livingstonbelieved that Western technology justified the European colonization of Africa, even against the "troublesome" wishes of Africans. For him, as for Mary Kingsley, technological sophistication was the measure of human worth.
Science and technology can be boons to humankind, but they do not in themselves convey moral or cultural preeminence. This is apparently a lesson that every generation must learn anew.
-- CHET RAYMO
Ever wondered how much your individual gestures of compassion or cruelty go towards forming the impression people have of your nationality, religion, even the high school you attended?
-- SAM de BRITO
For several decades, the debate over the myriad problems of America's inner cities has been dominated by two schools of thought: on one side, liberals who have emphasized the structural factors (racism, poverty) at their root; on the other, conservatives who've stressed the behavioral pathologies (out-of-wedlock birth, criminality) they believe are to blame. Yet over the past decade, a new theory has emerged to explain why some areas fare better than others even when their residents face similarly daunting odds. It stresses neither jobs nor personal behavior but something at once more elementary and more difficult to capture: the nature of the social interactions taking place among neighbors, and the degree to which they foster a shared capacity to solve problems and enforce collective norms. These qualities appear to have a powerful effect on everything from the level of violence in a community to the conduct of adolescent youth to the likelihood that a neighborhood will remain poor, which is perhaps why a growing number of scholars and policy-makers are interested in teasing out what exactly fosters such traits.
-- DAVID BROOKS
Traffic in space is getting so congested that flight controllers in the past few weeks have had to nudge three spacecraft out of harm’s way, in one case to prevent the craft from colliding with its own trash.
Investors saw the launch of Amazon Prime as the latest manifestation of (Amazon CEO Jeff) Bezos' fixation on free shipping, a profit drainer. They hammered Amazon shares down to $30 two years ago after the
company began offering the unlimited free two-day shipping service for a $79 yearly fee. Seattle
"Wall Street hates it when we lower prices, give away free shipping, and offer Amazon Prime," Bezos said in an e-mail interview. "But we know in our bones that siding with the customer pays off for everyone in the end."
Now, Prime is starting to look like a linchpin to Amazon's remarkable run of increases in quarterly sales — and investors no longer appear kerfuffled. After the online retailing giant last week reported a singularly sharp rise in sales for its second quarter, its shares shot up 25%, topping $86 — a seven-year high.-- BYRON ACHOHIDO
If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in
and Mecca . Medina-- TOM TANCREDO
After 9/11, our calling was to write a new chapter in the American story. To devise new strategies and build new alliances, to secure our homeland and safeguard our values, and to serve a just cause abroad. We were ready. Americans were united. Friends around the world stood shoulder to shoulder with us . . .
We did not finish the job against Al Qaeda in
. We did not develop new capabilities to defeat a new enemy, or launch a comprehensive strategy to dry up the terrorists' base of support. We did not reaffirm our basic values, or secure our homeland. Afghanistan
Instead, we got a color-coded politics of fear. Patriotism as the possession of one political party. The diplomacy of refusing to talk to other countries. A rigid 20th century ideology that insisted that the 21st century's stateless terrorism could be defeated through the invasion and occupation of a state. A deliberate strategy to misrepresent 9/11 to sell a war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
-- BARACK OBAMA
On the heels of the Dow Jones deal, Rupert Murdoch has made an offer to acquire the assets of the nearly bankrupt Bush Administration, reliable sources reported today.
Insiders speculate that, among other moves, the media baron plans to merge the White House Press Secretary’s Office with Fox News in a 24/7 effort to counter liberal media bias.-- ROBERT STEIN