Ross Mackenzie

A selection of quotations on current topics....

The British magazine, The Economist: "If (Obama) sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so....(The markets see Obama) as an American version of Vladimir Putin."

John Brennan, President Obama's chief national security adviser for counter-terrorism: "Our enemy is not terrorism because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not terror because terror is a state of mind and, as Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one's community."

Douglas Feith, President George W. Bush's undersecretary of defense for policy: "What Brennan has done, I think, (is to bend) over backward to avoid using the term Islam at all and it makes discussions of what we're really up against artificial, unrealistic, and strategically unhelpful....To say Islam has nothing to do with it is ridiculous."

Henry Olsen, vice president of the American Enterprise Institute: "America is suffering its largest (employment) drop since World War II. When the economy was at its Bush-era height, in 2007, a little over 63 percent of adult Americans had jobs. (This month's) report shows that only about 58.4 percent do, a decline of nearly five percentage points. While the unemployment rate remains steady at 9.5 percent, the employment/population ratio continues to fall each month. In April it was 58.8 percent, in May 58.7, and in June 58.5 percent. Since America has about 238 million non-institutionalized civilian adults of working age, this decrease means that we have nearly 12 million fewer jobs today than we would have if the employment-population rate were still at its 2007 level of 63 percent.

Sven Birkets, author of "The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age": "The printed book -- so we are assured by publishers and e-book mavens -- is not going to disappear any time soon....What is disappearing, with the speed of ink drying on a folio leaf, is the public profile of books, our sense of their literal and symbolic presence. We have all seen what is happening to libraries, as increasing numbers of them put their funds to digital use, moving books up, up, and away from what used to be the central ports of access -- the reading rooms -- to make more room for monitors. Bookstores have been the other great bulwark. Now comes the news that Barnes and Noble is putting itself up for sale."

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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