Inflections & Such

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity – in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

– Edmund Burke, A Letter To A Member Of The National Assembly In Answer                      To Some Objections To His Book On French Affairs 1791

There’s nothing new under the sun, but if it’s new for you, it’s new for you.

– Mike Herrera

I will venture to assert, there is but one principle which activates either the Government or the People of America, viz., the narrowest view of Commercial benefit…Their only mode of viewing or arguing any point is merely on the score of Profit and loss, to every other feeling they are perfectly dead.

– General Thomas Maitland, 1799

A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he’s headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

– Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules

Poverty is playing into the hands of the extremists. There is nothing like poverty, hunger and not having access to basic services, such as decent housing to create discontent. These are very much conditions people will grow tired of.

– Ercan Murat, former U.N. head of mission for Kyrgyzstan

Live faster. Love stronger.

– Hey Monday, Hurricane Streets

What I’m not sure about is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save.  We all Complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we live through…or feel we’ve had enough time.

– Kathy, Never Let Me Go [Based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day]

The emerging church is not an evangelistic strategy. It is the last rung for evangelicals falling off the ladder into liberalism or unbelief.

– Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of Love Wins [Rob Bell]

[W]hat’s most bothersome about Pulp Fiction is its success. [T]he way that this picture has been so widely ravened up and drooled over verges on the disgusting. Pulp Fiction nourishes, abets, cultural slumming.

So much of what inundates us these days–in film, in various kinds of pop music–is calculated grunginess, of climate and temper. So much of what goes on in (what I hear of) rock music revels in the lower end of every kind of spectrum, grungy ideas and diction delivered by grungy people. So much of modern film seems to compete in grunginess. Very little of this stuff seems to have anything to do with the lives actually lived by its avid public. Most of it seems designed as guided tours of an underworld for people otherwise placed–career-oriented students, job-holding others. Escapism always has been one function of theater and film, and for ages it was cloyingly pretty-pretty. Boy, has the pendulum swung.

– Stanley Kauffmann, Review of Pulp Fiction, 1994

Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.

– Marcus Aurelius

Thinking needn’t dampen joy, but can enhance it; emotion needn’t obliterate judgments, but might initiate them. (To understand this is to be an intellectual without apology – or tears.)

– Susie Lindfield, The Treason of the Intellectuals (Again)

I have to this old age complied with…advice to indict no man for assault or sue him for slander.

– President Andrew Jackson

Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says, ‘No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: I am God incarnate.'” …So what you’re left with is either Christ was who He said He was – the Messiah – or a complete nutcase. …The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside down by a nutcase, for me that’s farfetched.

– Bono, Bono in Conversation

I don’t agree with the term (Islamic Feminism). Feminism is a Western phenomenon, and inside Iran, this is not a good term. I prefer to call it an ‘Islamic campaign for women’s advancement.’ Men and women are equal before God, but this is different than the egalitarian approach in the West. In Iran, family is central. We don’t want to emphasize the individual too much because that will rip apart the family.

– Massoumeh Ebtekar in Paradise Beneath Her Feet, auth. Isobel Coleman

[A]ll greatness is tempered by mortality, every soul is equal, and distinctions among men cannot be owned; they are on loan from God, who takes them back and evens accounts at the end.

– U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, 20 September 2010  speech at Hillsdale College


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