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You can’t defeat what you can’t understand

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it. We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

– Maj Gen Michael J. Nakata, Army officer picked to train Syrians to combat the Islamic State

For a good explanation why our military and political leaders still don’t understand the threat, read The Council on Global Security’s white paper, The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Posted in Quotes Society

Reasoning with the unreasonable

It is useless to fight against people’s rigid ways, or to argue against their irrational concepts. You will only waste time and make yourself rigid in the process. The best strategy is to simply accept rigidity in others, outwardly displaying deference to their need for order. On your own, however, you must work to maintain your open spirit, letting go of bad habits and deliberately cultivating new ideas.

– Robert Greene

Posted in Quotes Society

Men without chests

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

– C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

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How to enslave a country

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”

– John Adams

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Moderation in war

“The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility.”

– Adm. John Arbuthnot Fisher

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How to fix Washington

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, thew will shortly be out of office.”

– Milton Friedman

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‘Pay any price, bear any burden’

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

“This much we pledge—and more.”

– John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address
January 20, 1961

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Power becomes tyranny

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

– Thomas Jefferson

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The Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Posted in Politics Quotes

Why higher education has become a problem

“Our aim is to turn out young men as unlike their fathers as possible.”

– Woodrow Wilson, during his tenure as president of Princeton University