Publius / Nov. 24, 2015

Tuesday Short Cuts

Insight: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” —Edward Bernays (1891-1995)

Demo-gogues: “I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business.” —Barack Obama on the UN climate summit

The BIG Lie: “Some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn’t tackle these issues [related to climate change] you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought… [T]here’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years.” —Prince Charles

Getting it right: “I don’t think [Obama’s] approach is sufficient to [do] the job. … I’m concerned that we don’t have the time, and we don’t have years. We need to be aggressive now, because ISIL is a quasi-state. ISIL has 30,000 fighters. It’s got a civil infrastructure. It’s got funding. It’s spreading in other countries. And it’s a big, big problem.” —Dianne Feinstein, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee

Good advice, but how?: “Your options are run, hide, or fight. If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.” —Cathy Lanier, police chief in DC, who rarely approves gun permits

Annals of the absurd: “Yes, we should have free speech. Yes, we should have diversity of ideas. Yes, we should be encouraging vigorous debate and all kinds of things. But when young people don’t feel safe, feel absolutely isolated, feel absolutely intimidated, made to not feel welcome — that’s something else. We have to make sure that kids feel they belong on campus, that they belong in this world. And we have some work to do.” —Education Secretary Arne Duncan (These remarks are exactly the problem.)

And last… “How to tell when another terrorist attack has occurred? Obama is on TV expressing his anger at Republicans.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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