Quotabull: "We shouldn't have to give employers complete control over our private life so they can save a few dollars on medical care."

You get used to listening to that Alvin and the Chipmunks voice.

— New York state Gov. David Paterson, who is legally blind, on the special tape recorder he uses to listen to long articles or books played “at speeds so fast, it is difficult for others to comprehend”; April 21.

We shouldn’t have to give employers complete control over our private life so they can save a few dollars on medical care.

— Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, which advocates for employee privacy, on a report that Whirlpool Inc. “suspended 39 workers who signed insurance paperwork claiming they don’t use tobacco and then were seen smoking or chewing tobacco on company property”; April 23.

A coal-fired power plant in Bergheim, Germany.

Building new coal-fired power plants is ill conceived. Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available. We need a moratorium on coal now.

— James E. Hansen, a leading climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, on plans to build more coal-burning power plants in Europe; April 23.

Each conflict prompted debates over whether senior military officers were being too deferential or not deferential enough to civilians, and whether civilians in turn were either too receptive, or not receptive enough to military advice. Then, as now, the American people relied on the candor and credibility of military leaders in order to judge how well a campaign is going, and whether the effort should continue. … If as an officer you don’t tell blunt truths — or create an environment where candor is encouraged — then you’ve done yourself and the institution a disservice. [emphasis added]

— Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in an address to 4,000 cadets at West Point; April 22.

The services continue to ensure that numerical recruiting missions are met with above-average young men and women from across America. Low unemployment, a protracted war on terror, a decline in propensity to serve and a growing disinclination of influencers to recommend military service make the current environment a challenging one for recruiters.

— Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder, a Defense Department spokesman, on felony waivers for enlistees; The New York Times reported: “The number of waivers issued to active-duty Army recruits with felony convictions jumped to 511 in 2007, from 249 in 2006. Marine recruits with felony convictions rose to 350 from 208,” about 1 percent of all enlistees; April 22.

I feel way too young to be giving life advice, but this is a great platform to have. This reaches outside racing. This is about finding something you love to do, and following through with it.

— Indy car driver Danica Patrick after winning her first race in 50 starts; April 21.

I was very against pink and purple when I was young, because they were girls’ colors. But that was only because I didn’t want people to write me off for what I can do. When I got into my 20s, I decided that was stupid. God gave me gifts. Some of them have to do with beauty, some of them have to do with talent.

— Danica Patrick in an interview at a TriBeCa party celebrating the 2008 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in which she appeared; March 23.

We use the 8-year-old rule. If an 8-year-old is in the room, would it be appropriate for them to watch?

— Charles Humbard, founder and president of ad-supported Gospel Music Channel, on how his cable channel defines “family-friendly” programming; March 10.

It’s about introducing kids to the outdoors. It’s about getting PlayStations out of kids’ hands and getting them outdoors. We’re trying to get them excited about the outdoors.

— Michelle Scheuermann, director of communications for The Sportsman Channel; according to the Web site of host Haley Heath, “Family Traditions with Haley Heath is a newly created outdoor televesion [sic] program designed to showcase families enjoying the sport of hunting together”; March 10.

The message is that the Marine Corps offers a unique opportunity to earn that title and be shoulder to shoulder with your male counterparts. That’s an important aspect for the young women seeking that challenge, women seeking an opportunity for a great and selfless endeavor.

— Marshall Lauck, JWT lead executive on the advertising account for the Marine Corps, which has begun “marketing itself to women in a concerted way for the first time. It is running ads in magazines like Shape, Self and Fitness, which appeal mainly to female readers, as well as through more mainstream outlets like ‘American Idol,’ where the message is a unisex one of patriotism rather than macho swagger”; April 21.

This is a story about smoking, blood pressure and obesity.

— Majid Ezzati of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health, a co-author of a research paper that argues life expectancy for women is declining in the certain parts of the United States for the first time since the Spanish influenza of 1918; April 22.

I want to thank the U.S. Chamber for hosting this reception in honor of the North American Leaders’ Summit between Canada, the United States and Mexico. And for all of you here from Canada and Mexico, welcome to New Orleans, one of America’s greatest cities.

— President Bush, addressing a United States Chamber of Commerce reception during the North American Leaders’ Summit; April 21.

The coverage that you’ll see over the next couple of days for the city of New Orleans and for this event that you’re going down to is really strong among the business community, among civic activists. They are willing to tell their story, they’re anxious to tell their story about how they’re driving change, driving reform, and are the engines beyond the recovery effort. This is both the elected community, elected officials, but most importantly, are non-profit leaders and the business leaders.

— Paul Conway, chief of staff to the president’s Gulf Coast coordinator, addressing a White House press briefing before President Bush’s trip to New Orleans; April 21.

Q: How often does [the president] actually talk to the Pope?
MS. PERINO: Not very often. Obviously he was there last year when he saw him in June. I can’t even remember if there’s been a phone call, so it’s not very often.
Q: Is there ever a regular — is there ever a phone call? I mean, would he ever be in the rotation of world leaders?
MS. PERINO: Let me check for you.

— exchange between reporter and White House press secretary Dana Perino prior to the president’s meeting with the pope during his recent visit; April 15.

In my closet I have the neatly folded American flag that came off my father’s casket. As a young corporal he served on the front lines in France in World War I. During World War II (and in my lifetime) he was an air-raid warden.

During that war — and Korea and Vietnam — he never wore a flag pin in his lapel. After he opened a car dealership in 1948, he never flew an American flag in his sales lot (not to mention dozens of them). Should I now assume that he wasn’t sufficiently patriotic?

To this day I am offended by salesmanship pretending to be patriotism.

— a letter to the editor of The New York Times by William Tuohy of Berkeley, Calif.; April 20.

Oil prices are at an extraordinary high level today. I have been repeatedly stating my strong sense of crisis that the global economy would suffer a setback if these conditions are left as they are.

— Japan’s economy minister, Akira Amari, expressing alarm at high energy costs; April 22.

OPEC has put the maximum supply on the market. This is not a problem of supply, it’s a problem that is very connected to the financial problems in the U.S. economy.

— Venezuela’s oil minister, Rafael Ramírez, on rising energy costs; April 22.

There may be [a fair price] but it would be difficult to get consumers and producers to ever agree on it. Ideally, if there was a more competitive market, we might find out. But it’s not the world we’re living in today.

— Guy F. Caruso, administrator of the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration; April 11; emphasis added.

This really is a test of wills, a test to see if the United States is willing to stand up for American soldiers and others killed and wounded in attacks or for the oil companies and their profits.

— Thomas Fortune Fay, who represents 37 American military service members injured in the bombing of a Berlin disco in 1986, discussing, said The New York Times, “The Libyan government, once a pariah, and the American oil industry have hired high-profile lobbyists, buttonholed lawmakers and enlisted help from the Bush administration, all in an effort to win an exemption from a law that Congress passed in January that is intended to ensure that victims of terrorist attacks are compensated”; April 22.

October 2006
Interview with Mortgage Banking magazine:

“You know, this is a record-setting housing market that we’re in.”

“If we can pass the FHA mortgage reform that we’re trying to pass, I think that would be extremely helpful — what we call it is the FHA Modernization Act. What that does is give us a great amount of flexibility. One of the problems that has occurred with FHA is all of the regulations have really hampered us, and we have lost a large portion of the market.”

June 2007
Speech on housing crisis at the National Press Club:

“There is no reason to believe we can’t reignite the housing market. I’m convinced this spring we will see the market again begin to soar.”

March 27, 2008
Speech to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals:

“Now, the boom is over. We meet this time in a more sobering environment, a time of distress, worry and much concern. . . . We saw some of the coming danger in 2005. That is why we tried to get FHA modernization through, then and now. We could have possibly saved hundreds of thousands of people from going through foreclosure.”

— varying assessments of the housing market by Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who left office this month as investigators sought to determine whether his agency directed housing contracts to friends and political allies; April 10.

One in three women will encounter violence in some way, shape or form against them in their lifetime. That’s an extraordinary statistic. Yet do we ever hear it?

— Nicole Kidman at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York City; April 23.

photo credits:
coal-fired power plant: Ralph Orlowski, Getty Images
Danica Patrick: Chicago Tribune
Danica Patrick: Ben Watts, Sports Illustrated
Haley Heath:
Nicole Kidman: Michael Nagle, Getty Images

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

2 replies »

  1. Pingback:
  2. Thanks, Dr. D., for another disturbing set of quotes. Especially those about the Berlin disco bombing of 1986.