Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Brain Candy for New Year’s Eve

“Ideas count for nothing in Washington, whether they be political, economic or moral. The question isn’t what a man thinks, but what he has to give away that is worth having”; “There are Congressmen, I have no doubt, who regret their lost honor, as women often do in films. Tossing in their beds on hot, sticky Washington nights, their gizzards devoured by bad liquor, they may lament the ruin that the service of Demos has brought to their souls.”
--H. L. Mencken, “Prejudices: The complete series,” highlighted in the TLS, November 26, 2010

“Little Canada is easy to define: parochialism working against other parochialisms, or parochialism sharpening itself by working against Ottawa, with provincial politicians appealing to the lowest common denominator of local prejudices. In a hypercompetitive international world, the internal dynamics of Little Canada are a recipe for a slow, debilitating slide toward complacency, irrelevance and mediocrity. There are, alas on the political and economic landscape of contemporary Canada, plenty of preachers of Little Canada but no one articulating and defending a vision of Big Canada.”
—Jeffrey Simpson, “The parochialism of Little Canada is killing us,” The Globe and Mail, December 17, 2010

Really, things are now what they always were, and to be disappointed in them is extremely shallow. We may not be strong enough to live in the present. But to be disappointed in it!”
—Saul Bellow quoted in New York Times Book Review, November, 21, 2010

Happy New Year!

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