Quote of the Day postsSaturday September 26, 2009
Quote of the Day
“But, sadly, any time a racist criticizes the President, someone cries 'racism.'”
Quote of the Day
"I like to be the good guy because the good guy gets to kill the bad guy."
— my nephew, Ryan, 6, talking about playacting, but encapsulating the schizophrenia at the heart of our culture, during a walk around Mountain Lake on Orcas Island.
Quote of the Day — Gates Case
“It is unwise for anyone of any race to raise their voice to a law enforcement officer. But the result at the end of the day is this was a man who violated no law, was in his own house, who is the top academic star at the top academic school in the nation, and he was still taken away and arrested.”
— Al Vivian, diversity consultant, Atlanta, in the New York Times article “Professor's Arrest Tests Beliefs on Racial Progress”
ADDENDUM: Stanley Fish has a great post comparing both Henry Louis Gates' troubles in North Carolina and now Cambridge with the non-issue of Pres. Obama's birth certificate: “It isn’t the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate that’s the problem for the birthers. The problem is again the legitimacy of a black man living in a big house, especially when it's the White House.”
Added thought: From Birchers to birthers. In 50 years, the extreme right in this country has managed to change nothing but one letter.
Jackass of the Day: Rob Moore
“[Critics] forget what the goal of the movie ['Transformers 2'] was. The goal of the movie is to entertain and have fun. What the audience tells us is, ‘We couldn’t be more entertained and having more fun.’ They kind of roll their eyes at the critics and say, ‘You have no idea what you’re talking about.’”
—Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount, which is distributing ”Transformers 2 for DreamWorks, in an uncredited AP article.
Breaking the Laws of Probability
“Until the spring of 1978, when Salomon Brothers formed Wall Street’s first mortgage security department, the term borrower referred to large corporations and to federal, state, and local governments. It did not include homeowners. A Salomon Brothers partner named Robert Dall thought this strange...
”The problem [with the inability to see big business in home mortgages] was more fundamental than a disdain for Middle America. Mortgages were not tradable pieces of paper; they were not bonds. They were loans made by savings banks that were never supposed to leave the saving banks. A single home mortgage was a messy investment for Wall Street, which was used to dealing in bigger numbers. No trader or investor wanted to poke around suburbs to find out whether the homeowner to whom he had just lent money was creditworthy. For the home mortgage to become a bond, it had to be depersonalized.
“At the very least, a mortgage had to be pooled with other mortgages of other homeowners. Traders and investors would trust statistics and buy into a pool of several thousand mortgage loans made by a savings and loan, of which, by the laws of probability, only a small fraction should default...”
— from Michael Lewis’ “Liar’s Poker,” pp. 83-85