Quotations about public questions -- culled from recent reading....
Lech Walesa, Solidarity founder and Polish champion of liberty -- in a Chicago speech: "Today (the United States) leads the world. Nobody has doubts about it militarily. They also lead economically, but they're getting weak. But they don't lead morally and politically anymore. The world has no leadership. The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations. There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States. Today, we (have) lost that hope."
Ben Stein -- writer, actor, economist and lawyer: "These are perilous times. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our secretary of state, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to 'protect us' from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man. Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America."
Stephen Green, chairman of London's HSBC bank: "The fundamental aspect of globalization is urbanization, which is spreading everywhere. There isn't a single country in the world that isn't getting more and more urbanized, even the ones that are already quite urbanized, like (Britain) and America. Last year was the year when we crossed the point where more than half the world's population is in big cities. By 2050 it will be 80 percent of people who live in cities."
The 2011 Obama budget, now before Congress: "Household net worth fell from the third quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2009 by $17.5 trillion or 26.5 percent, which is equivalent to more than one year's GDP."
Investor's Business Daily: "Based on new estimates, we've lost 8.4 million jobs since the start of the recession, more than 4 million last year alone. If we averaged 200,000 new jobs a month, it would take more than eight years to get back to even, after factoring in work-force growth."
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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