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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Memorable Quotes - Part 3

A follow on from:
- His mild, owlish looks certainly belie his attraction to women and, tasty as a creme caramel might be, French president Francois Hollande, aka "Monsieur Flanby", cannot relish being compared to a baked custard pudding.

Nonetheless, he stands, blinking anxiously, at the centre of a tumultuous love triangle, as his former partner of 30 years and the mother of his four children, the fellow socialist politician Segolene Royal, and his current lover, the journalist Valerie Trierweiler, rage like Furies around him.
- "Sexual satisfaction is a major contributor to quality of life, ranking at least as high as spiritual or religious commitment and other morale factors, so more positive attitudes towards mature sex should be vigorously promoted."
- The film takes its title from remarks by a former CIA director Michael Hayden: "Let me be very candid. We steal secrets. We steal other nations' secrets ... Some of the activities that nation-states conduct in order to keep their people safe and free need to be secret in order to be successful." Assange presumably would reject that argument, but I would have liked to hear his response to it.
- "In France, we have the feeling that we moved in the past year from denial to zigzag," Saint-Gobain's Chalendar said. "There's been some important progress, but a lot remains to be done."
- It is generally accepted that in approximately 90-95% of all road traffic accidents, human behaviour is partially or fully responsible. Autonomous driving opens up the possibilities of improvements in safety which would reduce these figures significantly, as well as offering improvements in fuel economy and traffic efficiency. However, the challenges hinge on public acceptance, legality, liability and infrastructure.
- Kevin Rudd is not always the person to give credit where credit is due, but his latest proposals about Labor Party reform owe quite a bit to the Paul Keating theory of resolving logjams. This involves throwing a hand grenade, or a lit stick of dynamite, into the middle of the blockage.

One never has any real idea of what will happen, what will be drowned by which ripples, and what species of animal, reptile or fish will float to the surface. Whatever, it will be different. And at least while everything and everyone is massively disturbed and shell-shocked, there is an opportunity to get some movement in the direction one wants. The essential problem - the obstruction - may not be actually dislodged, but it is now of a different nature, and debate will shift from settled positions.
- "I don't have to concern myself with a question that is not being asked at the moment. If a donkey were a cat, it would sit in the tree most of the day."
- "Europe is walking in place, yet moving forward"
- "Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup ... I'm ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious ... I am for secret, dark debates"
- We wanted dictatorship to be replaced by democracy. Instead it was replaced by the escalating collapse of nation states. In the squares and streets of Cairo, we can watch this in real time. There are plenty of men with weapons in the mob; guns have been flooding in from the Libyan surplus stockpiles and amateur armourers make improvised ones, called fards, that fire birdshot.
So the West's dilemma is more or less the same as it was two years ago: do we accept a military takeover that brings a semblance of stability to a strategically important country? Or do we speak out for a democratic process that is in part the product of our imaginations? My bet is that, in our funk, we will accept the army as the least-worst option and pretend to believe its self-portrayal as the guardian of the people.

But here's the rub: you can't have a coup d'etat without an etat. And there just isn't much of a state structure left, not in Egypt, not in Libya, not in Syria.
- Dempsey not so subtly drew a parallel between the past and Iraq/Afghanistan, saying, "As with Vietnam, negative impressions about our character eclipsed the courage and sacrifices of many of the men and women who served honorably." He added, "As we emerge from more than 10 years of war, we've got some rebuilding to do," which Dempsey compared to Yeats's famous quote about "the struggle between the swordsman and the saint."
- When you're an adult, no one can force you to keep reading or learning, any more than they can force you to eat your greens or go to bed early. Workplaces are becoming increasingly demanding, and after a day of being challenged and provoked by your job, it's tempting to come home to a night of sitcom repeats and cereal dinners. You might only pick up a book because you can't bear to tell your colleague you spent another night Instagramming your cat - but that book might stretch a muscle or trigger an idea that makes you try something new. Some people are afraid of being found out as philistines, but if that fear motivates us to learn it might give us the confidence to respect and add to the culture around us.
- In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though chequered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
- He had a good job working at a government aerospace laboratory in California, but he wanted to do something more with his life, something of value that might last, even outlive him. Then it came to him. In a single stroke he had what might be safely called a complete vision of the information age.
- We need muscles of moral courage, we need to flex them, we need to find them, we need to help others recognize them and find them in themselves. Nothing more is needed and nothing less will do at this moment of great turbulence, great promise, great peril.
- "Until you experience the complete loss of anonymity, that there is never a moment outside your most private of spaces that you're not observed or commented upon, until you actually live through that, you can intellectually understand it but really in your guts you can't feel it."
- "The mind's creations are no mere commodities and can't be treated as such."
- "What the American people are saying when they tell you not to do these things, they're not really telling you not to do these things. They're saying, 'You know, we've had a lot of bad experiences with improper involvements. We're skeptical of this. We're not sure it's our fight. We don't have all the money in the world. For God's sakes, be careful. That's really what they're telling you,'" he said. "They hire you to win. The president and the Congress are hired to win for American and for our values and our interests, to look around the corner and see down the road."

"When people are telling you 'no' in these situations, very often what they are doing if flashing a giant yellow light and saying, 'For god's sakes be careful, tell us what you are doing, think thinks through... But they still hire the president to look around the corner and down the street," he said. "In the end, trust the American people, tell them what you're doing, hope to god you can sell it, and hope you turn out to be alright."
- "Your role... consists in proposing laws, amending them or even repealing them," the pontiff told a delegation of MPs from France, adding that it is "necessary... to inject them with something more, a spirit, a soul which does not just reflect fashions and ideas of the time."
The laws should "provide the indispensable quality which raises and ennobles the human person," the 76-year-old said.
- Vladimir Putin said: "It's like frying a whole herring for the sake of the roe." Well, he didn't actually use those words, but his remark yesterday about chasing Edward Snowden, the leaky fugitive from US justice, amounted to the same thing. "It's like shearing a pig - plenty of squealing but not much wool," he said.
- Hurd, who has just published a book on the 19th-century prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, said his position was borne from his understanding of Britain's vocation. Disraeli believed nations could be glorious, and Britain should push itself to be so. Hurd said he equally felt that the country's future was not to be the equivalent of Sweden or Norway, benefiting from the single market but absent from the top table leading the continent.

"For me it is a political argument," he said. "And that is the basis on which Margaret Thatcher fought that campaign [to stay in the common market] all those years ago. She believed that Europe needed increasingly to work together in order to pull its weight in the world. What is the position of William Hague going to be as British foreign secretary, outside the EU? OK, we will be like Norway, we will be like Sweden; that may well be right, but is that really our destiny, is that what we want to be? We have got a different history, we have got a different background, a different contribution to make."
- "His shortcoming is that he's a man of checkers rather than chess."
 - "Many people fell prey to the dubious products, or so-called subprime loans. Japanese banks were not so much attracted to these products, compared with European banks," Mr Aso told a seminar in Tokyo. "There was an American who said Japanese banks are healthy, but that's not true at all.

"Managers of Japanese banks hardly understood English, that's why they didn't buy," he said.
- "I think the thesis of deglobalization is a reactionary thesis, like all those theses that call for a return to the past," Mr. Lamy told Europe 1 radio. "What matters is not the past but the future."
- Humans suffer from a mismatch between our thinking about what we do and the truth of what we do. Our brains make sense of a multifaceted world by ignoring much of its complexity -- a trait Van der Leeuw calls "low dimensional" thinking. In engineering a dam, assessing how agricultural runoff influences an estuary or figuring out how automobile emissions might alter the atmosphere, our conceptual models (or those of our scientists and engineers) at best consider only a few of the true pathways of cause and effect. As Van der Leeuw puts it, "every human action upon the environment modifies the latter in many more ways that its human actors perceive, simply because the dimensionality of the environment is much higher than can be captured by the human mind."
- It is politicians, not public servants, who are the final arbiters of how much outspokenness can be tolerated. Ministers and government members take exception if a public servant's comments give political ammunition to the opposition. Opposition politicians, in turn, object if a public servant's enthusiastic support for government policy compromises his or her capacity to serve them when they return to office. Where these lines are drawn varies over time and with the political context. But professional public servants, who are obliged to maintain the trust of all sides of politics, learn to watch their step.
- It's only right and proper that Tony Abbott has been pants down all week, getting measured up for a drawer full of brand spanky new prime ministerial Speedos. For come September he will surely plunge into the pool at the Lodge and it would not do to have the prime ministerial junk, engorged with the excitement of high office, suddenly sprung on an unsuspecting nation by some disastrous wardrobe failure. Abbott will be waving his junk in our faces for many years to come and it is best he and we prepare.
- [Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
-- Richard Collins
- The obvious truth is no economists are consistently good at forecasting the economy. It's those non-economists who forget this - ... - who are the fools, not the economists who cater to humankind's irrational but unquenchable desire to pretend the future can be known.
- Part of the problem here is linguistic: nuclear weapons are not themselves "the deterrent"; rather, they "produce" deterrence when deployed correctly. Deployed incorrectly, they produce aggression incentives, crisis escalation, and elevated nuclear danger.
- "Young people today are faced with three options if the current eurocrisis is not resolved -- leaving Europe, staying in Europe without hope or going into politics and starting a revolution."
- After next year's elections "as much as a quarter or third of MEPs could be Eurosceptic," said Prof Hix.

But for the first time the main political blocs in the parliament will field candidates for the powerful post of European Commission president.

"That will change the debate about Europe - what kind of Europe do we want?" said Prof Hix, adding that national parties would have to express their views about the rival candidates.

Mr Verhofstadt agreed that "more than in the past the elections will turn on European issues - up until now they have been national".

The debate in Westminster was hosted by the European Parliament office in the UK.
- Joseph Stiglitz and others have been arguing to the point of exhaustion that the working and middle classes are more likely to spend to keep the economy moving and hence to produce jobs for the abandoned young. More wealth for the wealthy generates more frequent and more severe booms and busts. This is not a future worth having but it is the future we are getting. The experience of the west since the crash has taught us that the rich are always with us. The novel question for today is: can the rest of society afford them?
- as a human being... born... asking the question...

HMRC have been asked... it appears they can't point anyone to a law that says what you say is true...

they simply say 'of course you have to pay tax..'

i'm not disagreeing that what you say 'is commonly held' to be truth.. but who says it is? on what authority can they demand and force a human being to pay tax...

What if .... over many years it became 'commonly held belief' that the 'TV collector man' could come into your home and take your television. Your dad told you you had to .. his dad told him...

.. of course he would have a nice photo I.D. now and also be able to take your iPhone audio... because the law says

You might not like... but i guess you'd let him take.. and tell your son/daughter too..

Sounds stupid... no-one would believe in the 'TV collector man'?

Law is assumption and presumption - im not arguing the point of whether one should morally pay tax... or claim benefits..

What gives any 'body' - the right to demand money .. unless you agree or they have authority over you (own you).
- A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. - Thucydides
- "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte
- In the global maneuvering of big powers, "weakness is provocative," as former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once warned.
- "What is at stake is social unrest and a risk of a lost generation," said Brzeski from ING. "A generation that was supposed to embrace the idea of Europe, but is now turning its back on it."
- "The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable [...] The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success."

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Quick Beef Stew Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/11/chinese-style-congee-jook-recipe...