“So long as there is Putin, there will be Russia,”

  • “So long as there is Putin, there will be Russia,” the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, declared last fall. “Without Putin there is no Russia.”
  • Even today, the famous Serenity Prayer recited at Alcoholic Anonymous meetings is an incarnation of a   NYTimesStoic principle enunciated by Epictetus: “What, then, is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.” (“Discourses”)
  • The core tenets of a functioning democracy — the rule of law, respect for individual freedoms — are also the most basic of Islamic values bestowed upon us by God.  NYTimes
  • It seems to me that if secularism is going to be a positive creed, it can’t just speak to the rational aspects of our nature. Secularism has to do for nonbelievers what religion does for believers — arouse the higher emotions, exalt the passions in pursuit of moral action. Christianity doesn’t rely just on a mild feeling like empathy; it puts agape at the center of life, a fervent and selfless sacrificial love. Judaism doesn’t just value community; it values a covenantal community infused with sacred bonds and chosenness that make the heart strings vibrate. Religions don’t just ask believers to respect others; rather each soul is worthy of the highest dignity because it radiates divine light. David Brooks
  • A key to economic growth is investment, especially investment in health and education. Austerity measures that cut basic social safety nets not only cause widespread deprivation, but they also destroy any chance for economic growth.  FEB. 3, 2015
  • Garrison Bliss:  Pay frontline doctors a fixed monthly fee directly instead of through the byzantine insurance bureaucracy. Make the patient, rather than the paperwork, the focus of the doctor’s day.  (What about nurse practitioners replacing much of what the MD now does? There is a shortage of MDs and especially primary care physicians.)
  • A woful putrefaction threatens the Rising Generation; Barbarous Ignorance,  and the unavoidable consequence of it,  Outrageous Wickedness, wi!l make the Rising Generation Loathsome, if it  have not Schools to preserve it.  – Cotton Mather,  An address, Ad Fratres in Eremo,  1699
  • If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the  mediocre educational performance that  exists today, we might well have viewed  it as an act of war …. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.  – A Nation  At Risk, The National  Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983

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