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exploring how the world works and why it works that way …


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We were just having fun making posters. There was no time to think about what we were doing. It was a furious time, but I think most great art is created in a furious moment.

— Stanley Mouse, artistic partner of Alton Kelley; the pair created hundreds of classic psychedelic rock posters and threw “the world’s first psychedelic dance-concerts at Longshoreman’s Hall in September 1965, essentially starting the San Francisco scene”; Mr. Kelley died this week at age 67; June 3.

When it comes to issues like this, [corporations] don’t want to be anywhere near them and they will cave very, very quickly — anything to stop the pain, anything to stop the press from calling.

— Eric Dezenhall, the head of the crisis public relations firm Dezenhall Resources, on Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to remove an ad from its Web site featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray after conservative bloggers complained her scarf resembled a keffiyeh, labeling it “jihadi chic“; May 30.

Tell people the truth, and then they have an easier time adjusting to it. The city is out of control. There is no law. There is no consequence for people’s actions. The whole attitude of ‘Me first and to heck with my neighbor’ has become the status quo here, and it is a serious, serious problem.

— J. Stan McCauley, a former Hartford, Conn., mayoral candidate and cable access television personality, likening Hartford to an alcoholic in the wake of “a Thursday hit-and-run accident that was caught on tape left Angel Arce Torres, 78, paralyzed, lying in the middle of a street under full view of passing motorists and onlookers”; June 6.

You cannot say what people are gonna like or not gonna like. You have to stick it out there and find out! If they taste it, and they like the way it tastes, you can bet they’ll eat some of it!

— Bo Diddley, “a singer and guitarist who invented his own name, his own guitars, his own beat and, with a handful of other musical pioneers, rock ’n’ roll itself,” on facing audiences; Mr. Diddley died this week at 79; June 2.

We are a people in a quandary about the present. We are a people in search of our future. We are a people in search of a national community. We are a people trying not only to solve the problems of the present, unemployment, inflation, but we are attempting on a larger scale to fulfill the promise of America. We are attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.

— from the 1976 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention by Texas Rep. Barbara Jordan, who died in 1996.

We know questions are inevitable given the revelations in the sport. But that doesn’t trouble us for two reasons. One, there is a thing called conscience. Two, Usain doesn’t even want to take vitamin C. We know he is as clean as a whistle.

— Glen Mills, coach of 21-year-old sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica, after Mr. Bolt set a world record of 9.72 seconds at 100 meters in only his fifth professional race at that distance; June 2.

In all these crises that the Burmese face, there always is the teaser to take the pressure off the government. They seem like they are going to cooperate, and just as soon as comment dies down, anything that is going to be useful dies with it. Look back at the ‘saffron revolution,’ when they made all kinds of promises about what they were going to do and nothing happened.

— Josef Silverstein, an expert on Myanmar at Rutgers University, on attempts to provide aid to cyclone victims in Myanmar; the “saffron revolution” refers to “a peaceful uprising led by monks that was crushed in September”; June 2.

Cheers! Tears!! I’m here!

— a “tweet” from the the Phoenix Mars lander after touchdown to users of Twitter, a Web microblogging service; the tweets are written by Veronica McGregor, the news services manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.; according to a Times story, “In the past few years, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s media team has adopted many Web 2.0 technologies, producing podcasts, posting videos on YouTube, blogging and setting up a Facebook page”; May 31.

Politicians think in four-year blocks, so it’s O.K. as long as it doesn’t run out on their watch. People think about it, but they don’t really think about what happens tomorrow. They don’t worry until they turn on the tap and nothing flows.

— Raquel Montón, a climate specialist at Greenpeace in Madrid, reflecting on a growing water crisis in Spain; June 3.

As President Bush’s health chief, Tommy Thompson trumpeted millions of taxpayer dollars to help workers sickened by the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, even amid complaints that his agency wasn’t doing enough.

Now, Thompson’s private company has won an $11 million contract to treat some of those same workers — the latest twist in a fitful government effort to determine how many people were made ill by the toxic debris — and to care for them.

— lede of a Washington Post story by Devlin Barrett reporting the award of a health-care contract to Logistics Health Inc., a La Crosse, Wis.-based company of which Mr. Thompson is president; June 4.

And the best way to [marginalize extremists] is to use our national resources to strengthen the institutions of freedom. Institutions, of course, include a democratic system of government, a vibrant free press, independent judiciary, a free enterprise system, places of worship where people are free to practice their faith. These institutions include an education system that provides citizens a link to the world, health infrastructure that combats plagues like HIV/AIDS and malaria, and women’s organizations that help societies take advantage of the skills and talents of half their population.

— from remarks by President Bush at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the United States Institute of Peace; June 5.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

— President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Europe, who planned D-Day on June 6, 1944.

I’ve been doing everything I can to kill him off for 30 years, but he seems to be coming back.

— Walter Williams, creator of Mr. Bill, who directed his Saturday Night Live character in a “Priceless” ad for MasterCard debit cards in which “Mr. Hands pours hot coffee on him (“coffee: $2”), a personal trainer launches him off a treadmill (“gym: $59/mo.”), and an opened briefcase flips him onto the windshield of a city bus (“briefcase: $120”); June 3.

I couldn’t believe it. I know they’re people too, but couldn’t they have gone on doing what they were doing without getting our community involved?

— Sofia Kamma, a resident of Tilos, a tiny island in the eastern Aegean Sea, after its mayor married two gay couples in defiance of “statements by a senior Greek prosecutor last week that such unions were illegal”; June 3.

Q: Dana, is the President disappointed in the South Korean President’s leadership now that he’s backed off his pledges to reopen the South Korean beef market entirely to U.S. beef?
MS. PERINO: Well, we are going to continue to try to work with and understand the South Koreans’ position, and work with our Congress and our industry as we try to move forward. Obviously the President’s position on the safety of American beef is well known. And so we’ll continue to work with the Koreans and monitor their process.

exchange between reporter and press secretary Dana Perino at a White House press briefing; June 3.

The hype-to-reality ratio of that one is essentially infinity. Seeing an exponential change in the yield curve is unlikely.

— James E. Specht, a soybean genetics expert at the University of Nebraska, on the announcement by Monsanto, a leader in agricultural biotechnology, that it would “develop seeds that would double the yields of corn, soybeans and cotton by 2030 and would require 30 percent less water, land and energy to grow … [using] a new technique called marker-assisted selection”; June 4.

It’s going on big time. There is considerable interest in what we call ‘owning structure’ — like United States farmland, Argentine farmland, English farmland — wherever the profit picture is improving.

— Brad Cole, president of Cole Partners Asset Management in Chicago, which runs a fund of hedge funds focused on natural resources, on reports that “[h]uge investment funds have already poured hundreds of billions of dollars into booming financial markets for commodities like wheat, corn and soybeans … by buying farmland, fertilizer, grain elevators and shipping equipment”; June 5.

There are limits to which we can keep consumer prices unaffected by rising import prices. I know that the price increases we have had to announce today will not be popular, even though they are only modest. We remain dependent on imports. We are, therefore, vulnerable to global trends in oil prices.

— Manmohan Singh, prime minister of India, announcing “gasoline prices would rise by the equivalent of 55 cents per gallon, about 11 percent, and diesel by 32 cents, almost 10 percent”; India’s “state-run refiners and oil marketing companies … have been posting losses of about $1 billion a week”; June 5.

We’re at the edge of the cliff right now. It’s still at an embryonic stage, like where we were in 1973 or 1974, not as bad as things were in 1979. But it could move in that direction if the Fed isn’t aggressive.

— Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo, reflecting economists’ view that “[p]rices have been soaring long enough and fast enough … that the nation is at risk of a self-reinforcing cycle of inflation like that experienced in the 1970s”; June 4.

I never wear a tie. Because I believe when a woman gets dressed for the evening, she should leave at least one thing to the imagination.

— Fran Lebowitz, a satirist and “fixture in the fashion scene since the era of Studio 54,” quoting Coco Chanel at the annual awards night for the Council of Fashion Designers of America; June 3.

We have a strict non-discrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved.

— Rebecca Hale, spokeswoman for the Seattle Mariners baseball team, after reports that “a lesbian complained that an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date because it was making another fan uncomfortable”; June 5.

Take a snip of this then play a little riff, don’t be afraid to try

Don’t need no airplane to get off the ground there’s more than one way to fly

Have a little taste, Baby, don’t hesitate, every hit don`t have to be a song

Gonna take you to the cosmos, Baby, and boogie with you all night long

— from “Cocaine” by the Grateful Dead.

art, photo credits:

• Janis Joplin poster: Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley
• Bo Diddley: Jeff Christensen, Reuters
• Mars lander photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
• General Dwight D. Eisenhower: U.S. Army photograph, No. SC 194399
• poster for 1967 Grateful Dead concert: Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

xpost: Scholars & Rogues


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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