Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they’re used.
Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.
I think that most people would rather face the light of a real enemy than the darkness of their imagined fears.
You have to make your own choices and live every agonizing day with the consequences of those choices.
Secrecy is a vacuum and nothing fills a vacuum like paranoid speculation.
Can you ever “solve” poverty? Can you ever “solve” crime? Can you ever “solve” disease, unemployment, war, or any other societal herpes? All you can hope for is to make them manageable enough to allow people to get on with their lives. That’s not cynicism, that’s maturity. You can’t stop the rain. All you can do is just build a roof that you hope won’t leak, or at least won’t leak on the people who are gonna vote for you.
But even with ideals like that there comes a point when you have to realize that the sum of all your blood, sweat, and tears will ultimately amount to zero.
Even those considered middle class enjoyed, or took for granted, a level of material comfort unheard of by any other nation at any other time in human history.
Action in the North Atlantic, this old, black-and-white war flick. There’s a guy in it, you know the “Skipper” from Gilligan’s Island, his old man.86 He had a line…“I’m putting an oar on my shoulder and I’m starting inland. And the first time a guy says to me ‘What’s that on your shoulder?’ that’s where I’m settling for the rest of my life.”
We were a shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction and grateful only for a tomorrow with perhaps a little less suffering than today.
We knew Phalanx was a placebo, and we were grateful for it. It calmed people down and let us do our job.
The more work you do, the more money you make, the more peons you hire to free you up to make more money. That’s the way the world works. But one day it doesn’t. No one needs a contract reviewed or a deal brokered. What it does need is toilets fixed. And suddenly that peon is your teacher, maybe even your boss. For some, this was scarier than the living dead.
In totalitarian regimes—communism, fascism, religious fundamentalism—popular support is a given. You can start wars, you can prolong them, you can put anyone in uniform for any length of time without ever having to worry about the slightest political backlash. In a democracy, the polar opposite is true. Public support must be husbanded as a finite national resource. It must be spent wisely, sparingly, and with the greatest return on your investment.
From 1973 onward, if nine intelligence analysts came to the same conclusion, it was the duty of the tenth to disagree. No matter how unlikely or far-fetched a possibility might be, one must always dig deeper.
Of course he was invited to appear before the “Truth and Reconciliation” hearings, and, of course, he refused. “I won’t pretend to have a heart simply to save my skin,” he stated publicly, adding, “No matter what I do, I’m sure they will come for me anyway.”