Random quotes about items currently in the news. . . .
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, at his inauguration: "Our principal promises are concerning the strengthening of the security sector and ensuring lasting stability throughout the country; the elimination of poppy cultivation and the fight against processing and trafficking of drugs; the disarmament and demobilization of former combatants; the eradication of poverty; . . . the rule of law, and the protection of civil liberties and human rights."
Walid Tabtabai, a member of the Kuwaiti parliament, in a newspaper column about the Sumatra tsunami as a message of God's wrath at injustice, immorality and wanton behavior: "We (Muslims) believe that what occurs in terms of disasters and afflictions is a test for believers and punishment for the unjust."
Historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson, on the U.S. and the U.N.: "Americans' once gushy support for the U.N. during its adolescence is gone. By the 1970s we accepted at best that it had devolved into a neutral organization in its approach to the West, and by the 1980s sighed that it was now unabashedly hostile to freedom. But in our odyssey from encouragement to skepticism, and then to hostility, we have now reached the final stage - of indifference. Americans do not get riled easily, so the U.N. will go out with a whimper rather than a bang. Indeed, millions have already shrugged, tuned out and turned the channel on it."
New York Times reporter Michael Janofsky, in an article about a Center for Public Integrity report on the effect of "527" political advocacy groups in the presidential election: "As a leading pro-Bush force, the group (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) . . . spent $22.4 million, the report said, a total that exceeded by $1.2 million one of Mr. Bush's greatest tormentors, the MoveOn.org Voter Fund, a 527 that made enormous use of the Internet to attract a lot of small donations. . . . 'In terms of political impact,' (said Public Integrity's founder and executive director), 'the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads were easily the most successful amid the overwhelming din of paid propaganda throughout the year.'"
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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