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Human beings of any age need to approve of themselves; the bad times in history come when they cannot.
   —  Barbara W. Tuchman
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On This Day In:
2016 Me Too
2015 A Proper Price
2014 Well Hard
2013 Because I Can
Eloquence, n.
2012 Why Bother?
2011 Peculiar Notions

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  ―  Martin Luther King Jr.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!  And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
    —  Senator Barry Goldwater
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On This Day In:
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
     —  Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    —  Edmund Burke
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On This Day In:
2016 All About Control
2015 Liberty Is Extravagant
2014 Always Remember To Reach
Have You Registered To Vote Yet?
2013 Ripples From The Water’s Edge
Because I Was Alone
2012 POI vs Reality
Dear And Sacred
2011 Chilled Again

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Early on, I had an experience that, if you’re interested, made me aware that I ought to be a little careful about what I said or did.
We were invited down to James J. Kilpatrick’s – Jack Kilpatrick’s – home down in Virginia for the Sunday lunch.  And the helicopter took us off the lawn here and in about 35 minutes or soe, we were at his farm, landed.  And in walking to the house, Jack was telling me about how they’d been there for a few days, putting in the phones.
Well, this was a surprise to me.  And I said, “Wait – phones?”  And then he told me that I could reach anyone in the world from there.  And I said, “Well, you mean just to have lunch away from the White House, they have to put … Well, I guess it’s true, they do it for whatever might happen.”
But he was telling me that he didn’t believe them when they were putting in the phones, that they could reach anyone in the world.  And they said, “Well, name someone.”  Well, he had a son who was on guard in an embassy in the military in Africa.  And they got the son on the phone, and his mother got to talk to him and so forth.  So, he had another son that was an enlisted man and a quartermaster on the USS Pratt.
And he asked, “Well, okay, what about him?”  The Pratt was in the Mediterranean.  And they had to say to him no, they couldn’t get him because the fleet was on maneuvers.  And when the fleet was on maneuvers, only the White House could reach them.
When we got inside, I met the young man’s wife, the one that was on the destroyer – very lovely young lady and hadn’t seen her husband for months.
I went back out, said to these fellows, “Is this true, that I could reach someone on the USS Pratt?”  And they said, “Oh, yes, Sir.”  And I said, “Well, get him.”  And I went back in and got her.  And she got to talk to her husband.
I hadn’t really thought the thing through very much until I got a letter from him, the young man, and he told me what it was like when the fleet was on maneuvers.  I hadn’t even thought that the last part of the call has to go by air, and that the air is full of radio traffic – ships talking to ships, admirals talking to admirals.  And then a voice on the air said, “White House calling.”   And he said, “Someone said, ‘What code is that?’ ” And someone else says to him, “maybe it is the White House.”
And he said, “Even Hollywood couldn’t have silenced the air as quickly as it was silenced.”  And so the phone call went through.  And, of course, it must have been pretty public with the whole fleet listening in.
And in his letter, he then said this line, he said, “It was as if God had called the Vatican and asked for an altar boy by name.”
…  Suddenly – believe me, it sobered me a little bit to discover that I could just say this and then all of this could happen.  And I was almost scared to death of what I might have done to the fleet maneuvers.
   —  President Ronald Reagan
In a interview with Susan Watters of “M” magazine
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On This Day In:
2016 Rising From The Ashes
2015 Honor
2014 Disappointment
2013 Seeing Heart
2012 On Success
2011 What This Place Needs Is Another Theory

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The future we have been sold doesn’t work.  Applying the principles of the factory floor to the natural world just doesn’t work.  Farming is more than a business.  Food is more than a commodity.  Land is more than a mineral resource.
  —  James Rebanks
(An English farmer’s account of the changes he is seeing)
as quoted by:    Andrew Sullivan
From Sullivan’s opinion piece / article:  “Our President’s Emotional Bait and Switch
Which I found on www.msn.com at:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/our-president%e2%80%99s-emotional-bait-and-switch/ar-AAnKTg4
That, in turn referenced the New York Times at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/opinion/an-english-sheep-farmers-view-of-rural-america.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
Sullivan’s article originally appearing in: “Daily Intelligencer
Which is a section under New York Magazine
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On This Day In:
2016 Be Happy!
2015 Are You Feeling Cold?
2014 Never Asked
2013 In Praise Of Change
2012 John Carter Of Mars
Circular
2011 How Much And When

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What was really defeated in Vietnam, Baritz  concludes, was American culture, specifically business management techniques and the cult of technology.  These are our vaunted strengths, and it was these strengths that brought about our defeat.
From his account, Baritz draws two conclusions.  First, as long as our culture is bureaucratic and technological we should avoid situations that demand strength of character, political skill or a sense of history.  A bureaucratic culture does not value these skills and so cannot produce them.  Second, the only way to avoid future Vietnams is to revise ideals of citizenship, public service and military honor.  As long as individual Americans encourage themselves to “look out for number one”, the nation will continue to “crash around the world in the dumb and murderous way it did in Vietnam.”
[The above were quotes from a review of the book: “Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did” (1985©), written by Loren Baritz.   Unfortunately, my journal (circa 1985) does not indicate who wrote the review or where it was published.  It also does not indicate that I ever actually read the original work.  If anyone should happen to recognize the quotes, please let me know and I will provide an accurate attribution.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Feeling Endangered?
2015 One Day
2014 Too Bad
2013 Unfinished
2012 First Steps Along The Path
2011 A Small Part Of Future Webs

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The loneliness of the President is another well-established truism of essays on the presidential process.  It is only part of the story; for, during the rest of the time, no one in the country is more assailed by divergent advice and clamorous counsel.  This advice and counsel, indeed, are essential to the process of decision; for they give the President not only needed information and ideas but a sense of the possibilities and the limitations of action.  A wise President therefore gathers strength and insight from the Nation.  Still, in the end, he is alone.  There stands the decision — and there stands the President.  “I have accustomed myself to receive with respect the opinions of others,” said Andrew Jackson, “but always take the responsibility of deciding for myself.”
   —  President John F. Kennedy
Quoted by: Theodore C. Sorensen
From the Foreword to his book:  “Decision-Making in the White House
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On This Day In:
2016 Compensation
2015 Charlie Redux
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog

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