Thursday, December 20, 2007

Found on the Internet: Words of wisdom, words of folly

I'm more or less dehydrated these days, by which I mean to say there is nothing so urgent or stimulating that urges me ventilate my opinions. So it's time for a bit of fun.

I have a collection of quotes culled from Internet websites, blogs, message boards, etc., and saved on a file until such time as this, when I have nothing to say for myself. There are wise and informed quotes from wise, thoughtful, and informed people and there are galactically stupid quotes, the products of mediocre, semi-informed minds. I'll leave it to my discerning reader to judge which is whose:

“Free speech does not absolve anyone from professional incompetence,”

"Hochhuth's belief [was] that in moments of historical crisis, moral choice must take precedence over realpolitik"

"Remember - this is the liberal world, where disagreeing with Islamism is the same as hating Palestinians. Because, in this world, Palestinians aren't people - they're a rhetorical device. You'll score points in every argument as soon as you mention them."

"A grizzled old heavyweight rose, extended an arm in Amis's direction, and proclaimed to the audience "You could read views like this man's in the Daily Telegraph!" With this, the fight was over. For if there is one thing worse than killing Palestinians, which Amis obviously does on a daily basis, it is having a view that might, possibly, be agreed with by someone who writes for the Telegraph."

“The left are like old-style Tory imperialists, who believe rights are all very well for western Europe ... and that the liberation of women is essentially for white-skinned women, not brown-skinned women,” (Nick Cohen)

How to spot a phony liberal:

"If you think Bush is a fascist and Castro is a progressive, you are not a democrat.

If you think cultural traditions can trump women’s rights, you are not a feminist.

And if you think antisemitic rants are simply an expression of frustration with American and Israeli policy, you have learnt nothing from history." (Mick)

" There should be a law - I'll call it Hartley's Law - that ignorance expands to fill the space available." (Mick)

"It seems to me that there is an important difference between the old anti-Semitism and the new anti-Semitism. Traditionally, Jews were disliked and even hated because they were perceived as "different" from the societies in which they lived. Today, they are likely to be reviled *specifically because* they exemplify the values of their societies.

People on the left don't (for the most part) dislike Israel in spite of the fact that it is a technologically and economically advanced, democratic, Enlightenment-based societies...they dislike Israel *because* of these factors. (Roger L. Simon)

"Stupidity, ignorance and oh-so-fashionable political correctness are hardly the ideal basis for an opinion."

"He ought to follow through and spell out the logical end point of his thinking - on the principle that it's as well not to hide from yourself the furthest consequence of your own commitments." (Norm)

" This reminds me of the old joke about the Jew who took solace in reading a Nazi newspaper. When his friend asked why he would do such a thing, the response was "Look, in the Jewish papers I read how terrible things are for us, but in this Nazi paper I read that the Jews control the world, control the money, control the media -- it makes me feel so much better!"

"You don't silence other voices if you're a scholar, that's where I stand. You don't, if you're a thinker and a teacher, remove from the unending conversation of the mind those of whom you happen, rightly or wrongly, to disapprove.

"To say you intend knowingly and purposefully and on principle "not to listen" is to say you are waging a sort of war on your own faculties, because listening, if you are a reasoning person, is chief among the tools you reason with." (Howard Jacobson)

"My idea is that there's a need for a religious left to counteract the religious right."


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