Ross Mackenzie

Comments by knowledgeable individuals on topics near and far....Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, on Democratic plans for socialized medicine: "We should start over. We're headed down the wrong path."

Author and Hoover Institution research fellow Shelby Steele: "The Sotomayor nomination commits the cardinal sin of identity politics: It seeks to elevate people more for the political currency of their gender and ethnicity than for their individual merit. (Here, too, is the ugly faithlessness in minority merit that always underlies such maneuverings.) (Barack) Obama is promising one thing and practicing another, using his interracial background to suggest an America delivered from racial corruption even as he practices a crude form of racial patronage. From America's first black president, and a man promising the 'new,' we get a Supreme Court nomination that is both unoriginal and hackneyed."

George Orwell, author of "1984," in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language": "The person who uses (words in a consciously dishonest way) has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different."

Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School: "In Cairo, Mr. Obama said the U.S. had no permanent designs on Iraq and declared, 'We will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner, and never as a patron.' Indeed. But until the Iraqi government is strong enough to monopolize independently the use of force, a vacuum will exist and the most violent factions will fill it. Power and prestige matter. Withdrawal from Iraq's cities is good politics in Washington, but when premature and done under fire, it may very well condemn Iraqis to repeat their past."

The late counterinsurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson, on the abiding lesson of Vietnam (a war managed by the recently deceased Robert McNamara): "Don't have the United States as your ally."

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny, following his dalliance with an Argentine bar dancer: "Am I OK? You know what, I have great faith and I have great friends and great family. And you know, we have a good Lord in this world, and I know I'm going to be fine. Not only will I survive, I'll thrive....I don't know whether (Mark will) be with me, but I'm going to do my best to work on our marriage because I believe in marriage. I believe in raising good kids; it's the most important thing in the world."

Ross Mackenzie

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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