Thomas Powers, from last year:
At a moment of serious challenge, battered by two wars, ballooning debt, and a faltering economy, the United States appears to have lost its capacity to think clearly.
Saramago, from Blindness:
Were it not for the fact that we're blind this mix-up would never have happened, You're right, our problem is that we're blind.
"You can't talk sense to them," Bush said, referring to terrorists.
"Nooooo!" the audience roared.
An Englishman said to me recently, "You Americans live on a much higher plane of expectancy than we do. You constantly work toward some impossible goal of happiness and perfection, and you unfortunately don't have our ability just to give up. Really, it's much easier to accept the fact that some things can't be solved." He is right; we never accept it, and we kill ourselves trying.
But for everyone, surely, ... this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.
Very different is the mood today.
Who remains unyielding to overwhelming might?