Wednesday, May 30, 2012


"To sacrifice duty, that all encompassing obligation, to personal motives, and to feel in those personal motives something that was also all encompassing, and perhaps, superior; to betray society in order to remain true to your conscience -- that all these things should happen and should come and heap themselves upon him, absolutely floored him."
-Victory Hugo, Les Mis

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


"Then again, oddly enough, the first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity, in a young woman, daring.  This never ceases to amaze people, and yet nothing could be simpler.  It is just the two sexes coming together, and each taking on the characteristics of the other."
-Victory Hugo, Les Mis

Friday, May 25, 2012


"There was a mysteriousness in meeting them and wondering what kind of human resided inside the cocoon, and rarely have I been as aware of women, or as fascinated by them, as I was in Afghanistan, where I saw none."
-James Michener, Caravans


"Knowing she was beautiful, she felt thoroughly, if indistinctly, that she had a weapon.  Women play on their beauty as children play with knives, and they hurt themselves on it too."
-Victor Hugo, Les Mis

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


"He had never really thought about what the beauty of a woman was, but he instinctively understood that it was devastating."
-Victor Hugo, Les Mis 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


"Theodule was, I think we said, the favorite of dear old aunt Gillenormand, who preferred him because she never saw him.  Not seeing people allows you to think of them as perfect in all kinds of ways."
-Victor Hugo, Les Mis

Monday, May 21, 2012


"It is not given to princes, statesmen and captains to pierce the mysteries of the future, and even the most penetrating gaze reaches only conclusions which, however seemingly vindicated at a given moment, are inexorably effaced by time."
-Winston Churchill

Sunday, May 20, 2012


"You know, in war, you don't have to be nice.  You only have to be right."
-Winston Churchill

Saturday, May 19, 2012


"Military organizations may be understood not simply as professional organizations, but as political communities that struggle internally over fundamental issues.  They determine who will live and die, and how; who will be honored and who will sit on the sidelines when war occurs."
-Stephen Rosen, as quoted by Eliot Cohen in Supreme Command

Friday, May 18, 2012


"Historical judgement of war is subject to an inflexible law, either very imperfectly understood or very constantly lost sight of.  Military writers love to fight over the campaigns of history exclusively by the rules of the professional chess board, always subordinating, often totally ignoring, the element of politics.  This is a radical error.  Every war is begun, dominated, and ended by political considerations.  Without a nation, without a government, without money or credit, without popular enthusiasm which furnishes volunteers, or public support which endures conscription, there could be no Army and no war...War and politics, campaign and statecraft, are Siamese Twins, inseparable and interdependent; and to talk of military operations without the direction and interference of an administration is as absurd as to plan a campaign without recruits, pay or rations."
-Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History

Thursday, May 17, 2012


"The peculiar thing about prudery is that the less the fortress is under siege, the more it puts sentries around."
-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


"The greatest of the Chosen Ones misread things in this way.  Our Joys are shadows.  The ultimate smile is God's alone."
-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"Most victories come from instantly exploiting your enemy's stupid mistakes, and not from any particular brilliance in your own plan."
-Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon

Monday, May 14, 2012


"In government, one of the great undervalued strengths is the power of conviction."
-Les Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012


"A prudent commander should be modest in his aspirations, conscience of his limitations, and sparing with his exhortations."
-Eliot Cohen, Supreme Command

Saturday, May 12, 2012


"Never criticize a policy unless you can convincingly depict a better course of action."
-Raymond Aron, as quoted by Eliot Cohen in "Supreme Command"

Thursday, May 10, 2012


"In the words of Stephen Jay Gould, 'When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.'"
-Thomas Gilovich, How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason In Everyday Life

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"I don't intend to die.  But I'm not afraid of the risk of death. Sometimes a soldier has to put himself in harm's way in order to achieve victory."
-Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile

Monday, May 7, 2012


"Leading is a strange thing.  People see it happening, but they don't have a clue how it works."
-Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile


"Valentine well knew that complacency was the best possible attitude for one's rival and opponents to have."
-Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile

Friday, May 4, 2012


"Every officer learns how to function within the system that promoted him."
-Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


"In short, they had to think of the user of their work -- they needed to get information to him or to his staff in time for him to be able to read it and use it."
-Robert Gates, From the Shadows

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


"Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent."
-Robert Greene