There were periods when I didn’t think that. Are things ever going to settle down? When is some normalcy going to settle in in your life? It never really does.

— Vietnam War veteran Mike Kentes, who attended the Nov. 13, 1982, dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, says he believes he is better for his service although did not realize that until later in life.

I often wonder, if I hadn’t served, what would I have missed? I think my life became richer. You learn about yourself. . . . I know who I am.

— Vietnam War veteran Hugh M. Jordan, who attended the Nov. 13, 1982, dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.

— Ho Chi Minh, founder and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, to the French in 1946.

Once upon a time our traditional goal in war and can anyone doubt that we are at war? — was victory. Once upon a time we were proud of our strength, our military power. Now we seem ashamed of it. Once upon a time the rest of the world looked to us for leadership. Now they look to us for a quick handout and a fence-straddling international posture.

— the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, 1962.

We still seek no wider war.

— from President Lyndon Johnson’s midnight television speech after North Vietnamese gunboats attacked the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin.

It’s silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home for Christmas.

— Ronald Reagan, interview with the Fresno Bee, 1965.

Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America — not on the battlefields of Vietnam.

— media theorist Marshall McLuhan, 1975.

When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

—the late Sen. Barry Goldwater in a 1994 interview with The Washington Post.

To me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists. … We need a leader with a bold vision who is not afraid to tackle the challenges ahead.

— evangelical Christian and televangelist Pat Robertson endorsing Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, Nov. 7.

President Bush’s Actions are Moving Our Economy Forward
110,000 Jobs Created in September 2007
Over 8.1 Million New Jobs Created Since August 2003
Unemployment Rate Remains Low at 4.7 Percent

— from a scrolling graphic on the home page at

It’s true, as the Bushies never tire of reminding us, that the U.S. economy has added eight million jobs since that 2003 tax cut. That sounds impressive, unless you happen to know that a good part of that gain was simply a recovery from large job losses earlier in the administration’s tenure — and that the United States added no fewer than 21 million jobs after Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich, a move that had conservative pundits predicting economic disaster.

— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Sept. 10.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You know, one of the things about these situations is you don’t really know till it happens. They’re — we are concerned about it; we get reports obviously from all the various sectors that you would expect. But I think, you know, you don’t really know. And what you need to do is have a set of principles and have a set of policies that advance our interests, and then work with a strategy to try and achieve them. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

— from a White House transcript headlined “Press Background Briefing on Pakistan and Turkey by a Senior Administration Official”; Nov. 5. The official was not identified.

Q: Thank you. Dana, six years and $11 billion of the U.S. taxpayers’ money to Pakistan and (inaudible) and Pakistan has become a haven for terrorism. You think President believes really that this money has worked and —

MS. PERINO: Well, we know one thing for sure, which is that Pakistani officials have certainly helped us find individuals like — terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. That’s how we were able to get him and actually help prevent another terrorist attack. So there has been help; we cannot lose sight of that.

— exchange between reporter and White House press secretary Dana Perino at a Nov. 5 White House press briefing.

Air travelers are asking for trouble if they show up for a flight with 3.5 ounces of shampoo in their carry-on bags. But the Department of Homeland Security has decided that the government should not even trouble chemical plants to account for the storage of anything under 2,500 pounds of deadly chlorine.

— Nov. 7 New York Times editorial headlined “Chemical Industry 1, Public Safety 0.”

Nothing influences a person more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.

— Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, explaining its new “social advertising” program Nov. 6 in which “Facebook began selling ads that display people’s profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about.”

While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies.

— Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, excoriating Yahoo executives Jerry Yang, the chief executive, and Michael J. Callahan, the general counsel, for Yahoo’s role that led to the jailing of a Chinese journalist.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues appearing Thursdays.

6 replies »

  1. Every week I read countless thousands of words on our current socio/political/economic situation – analysis, reports, commentaries, rants, diatribes, etc. But I’m not sure anything quite beats me down like Quotabull. Something about the simplicity of reading what people said, period.


  2. Now imagine the stuff I leave out … and how much putting Quotabull together depresses me.

    Back in my newsroom life, I was taught that if you give folks enough rope, their own words will eventually hang them. Quotabull is proof of that.

  3. I especially like the Goldwater quote – and the fact that lots of socially conservative Republicans like to paint themselves as Goldwater Republicans as they subvert the Constitution.

  4. . . . if you give folks enough rope, their own words will eventually hang them.”

    What a great gallows scaffold Quotabull provides.

    Re Giuliani and Robertson: Saw them on TV last night. They bride and groom (think Giuliani’s the latter ’cause he probably courted Robertson) look like they’ll be very happy in their marriage of convenience.

  5. Brilliant as always, Denny.

    But you know what’s depressing? That “Senior Administration Official” sounds as dumb as George W. Bush…how could the White House have another official in a senior post who’s that dumb…? Oh, you mean, that WAS…? Oh….

  6. The Quotabull [tm] Product Development Team appreciates your support, folks. (We really ought to sell Q-Bull t-shirts and baseball caps …)