Quotations in the News

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 4:09 AM

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systemic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for the purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware 'the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,' would be aghast." — U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, in a ruling that questions the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's bulk phone record collection.


"People don't really understand probabilities at all. Once you have a bunch of zeroes, it doesn't matter how many you have — one in 10,000, one in a million or one in a billion. ... People do understand the meaning of the word 'largest.' They overact to one dimension and underreact to the other." — George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, on why people buy lottery tickets for big jackpots with long odds.


"I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a voice now for many — for tens of thousands — of LGBT members in our church." — United Methodist pastor Rev. Frank Schaefer, who is under suspension by the denomination for performing a same-sex wedding, saying he will not resign from the clergy.