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What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

— Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975)

cocacola_l

(Thanks to Thom for pointing me down the road to this quote.)

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[H]istory contains no record of a British political party losing an election because it was perceived as insufficiently pro-French.

Walter Russell Mead

Facts are not good or bad; they are correct or incorrect. And a policy based on hysterical refusal to consider all possible facts is neither good, nor correct.

— Megan McArdle, Climate Science Shouldn’t Be Religion for Left or Right

The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.

— Joseph Smith, Jr., Epistle to the Church from Liberty Jail (March 25, 1839)

As often as I consider these things, I am ready to say with my self, that God has bestowed his Blessings upon Men that have neither hearts nor skill to use them.  For, why are we surrounded with the Sea?  Surely that our Wants at home might be supply’d by our Navigation into other Countries, the least and easiest Labour.  By this we taste the Spices of Arabia, yet never feel the scorching Sun which brings them forth; we shine in Silks which our Hands have never wrought; we drink of Vinyards which we never planted; the Treasures of those Mines are ours, in which we have never digg’d; we only plough the Deep, and reap the Harvest of every Country in the World.

— Henry Martyn, Considerations on the East-India Trade, p. 37 (1701).

An inspired treatise on free trade 75 years before Adam Smith.  It also brought to mind one of my favorite songs.

For if you can give her one gold piece,
Then I can give her three.
For I am bold John Barbour,
And I plough the raging sea.

John Barbour by Great Big Sea.

(HT EconTalk)

The NYTimes has discovered a new constitutional principle: “selective incorpodumbassicity.” This means that the stupidity of some voters is incorporated, using a fabricated interpretation of the 14th Amendment, to rewrite the 2nd Amendment so that legitimate gun ownership, by responsible law-abiding citizens, is treated exactly the same way as if you robbed a bank.

In Dr. Munger’s response to this NY Times editorial.

People increasingly need to prove themselves victims in order to achieve any kind of equity.  This demeaning demonstration creates nothing less than a nation of powerless petitioners and petty litigants appealing to an unresponsive paternalism.  It creates the very class which voted for brute fascism, permitted the Holocaust and a World War, because it believed that social stability was something easily achieved by a few simple, mindless actions, by violence, by “strong leaders”, by “discipline”.

— Michael Moorcock, Introduction to Von Bek

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