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May 2012

Some favorite quotes of Terence Tao

Terence Tao is a renowned mathematician, currently at UCLA. Among the quotes I hadn't seen before is Henry the K.'s clever--and scary?--takeoff of the famous military motto:

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.

(By the way: Professor Tao scored 760 on the Math SAT at a little less than 9 years old. His IQ is estimated at between 220 and 230. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton at age 20 and became the youngest ever full professor at UCLA at age 24. An interesting article on how his parents handled his early schooling is here.)

"Not the end of the world"

Not to jinx anything--my people would say "kinna hurra"--but the first half of this post by Steven Den Beste from November 4, 2008 is looking like one of the best political forecasts I've ever read. 

I think this election is going to be a "coming of age" moment for a lot of people. They say, "Be careful what you wish for" and a lot of people got their wish yesterday.

And now they're bound to be disappointed. Not even Jesus could satisfy all the expectations of Obama's most vocal supporters, or fulfill all the promises Obama has made.

I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results. Idealists often stub their toes on the wayward rocks of reality, and fall on their faces. And the world doesn't respond to benign behavior benignly.

But there's another reason why: Obama has been hiding his light under a basket. A lot of people bought a pig in a poke today, and now they're going to find out what they bought. Obama isn't what most of them think he is. The intoxication of the cult will wear off, leaving a monumental hangover.

For an excellent case on point, read Liberal Yves Smith: "Barack Obama, The Great Deceiver".

Those times of heady promise are now a cruel memory. Again and again, Obama has shown his true colors. It isn’t simply that Obama lied. Politicians lie. But there are norms for political lying. The depth and dependability of Obama’s misrepresentations constitute a difference in kind.

Bonus: Victor Davis Hanson, who among many other things has been chronicling the sad decline of California's Central Valley, is seeing a proverbial silver lining:

Rather than Obama destroying the economy, there is a sense emerging that he is merely restraining it. Should Obama lose in November, there will be the greatest collective sigh of relief since 1980 and a yell that all hell will break lose, in the good sense of business activity, commerce, investment, hiring, and resource utilization being unleashed.

Look at it this way: for four years Obama has poked and jabbed at the corralled stallion, and when the gate goes up he will roar out as never before. Or if you are a Greek, try this: for 30 years we have been lectured to death about global warming, the brilliant Ivy League technocrats, the genius of Keynesian borrowing, the need for multiculturalism in the White House, if only we had open borders, why lawyers and academics need to be in charge—all on the “what if” presumption that no one in his right mind would let any of the above become gospel. And so we had the constant liberal whine, “if only . . . .” Now we have it in the flesh, and in cathartic fashion Obama is going to purge us of that unhinged temptation for another generation.