John Leo

  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il issued a sort of aphorism this month: “The Destiny of a Nation Is a Destiny of an Individual and the Latter’s Life is Guaranteed by the Former’s Life.” This needs work. Try this version, KJI: “Live for the state and the state will live for you.”
 Author Tammy Bruce, writing about the cult of victimology, wrote: “When your victimhood is your empowerment, recovery is the enemy.” “Heroes don’t have to be public figures; they can be right in your family,” said Billy Crystal, referring to his mother and father.  Crediting his mother, law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy write: “Other people’s children always grow up more quickly.”

“Any law named after a person is bad law,” wrote law professor and blogger Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit. “The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended,” said Andrew Sullivan, “You can’t defend except by offense,” said Donald Rumsfeld, taking the offensive. “Corruption keeps us safe and warm,” says a cynical character in the movie Syriana Michael Kinsley wrote: “If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, piousness is virtue paying tribute to itself.” Writer Mark Steyn said, “Multiculturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome.” In the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus wrote: “Diversity at the expense of quality is no virtue, but quality without diversity is nonetheless a vice.” Aphorist Mauro Cherubini said, “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”

 “There is nothing quite so powerful as an idea whose time has passed,” said David Frum. “Many people think the purpose of their faith is to make THEM feel good,” said aphorist Lee Frank.“Politics is kind of like sport for old guys” said Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts. “On a net basis, modernity is good for you,” said the late Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley.

 The late media critic David Shaw, lamenting the number of chatterers it takes to broadcast Air America, said: “It shouldn’t take a village to raise a radio program.” Entrepreneur Bo Peabody said: “The vast majority of the press is not concerned in covering what is actually happening. They are interested in covering what they think people want to think is actually happening.” “Falsetto is the highest expression of emotion,” said press critic Jack Shafer. Chris Browne, the cartoonist of “Hagar the Horrible, “ said “Everybody has to believe in something-I believe I’ll have another drink.”

The aphorism "We campaign in poetry, we govern in prose," spoken by  President Jed Bartlet on West Wing, was coined years earlier by New York Governor Mario Cuomo.  The "I believe I'll have another drink" line came from W.C. Fields.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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