Tag Archives: Idiotic quotes

They Said That? 6/29/17

From Zero Hedge, “Some Really Stupid Things Uttered By Some Really Smart People”:

Submitted by Doug Kass via Seabreeze Partners,

 “Remain calm, all is well.”

–Kevin Bacon, “Animal House”

History is littered with very smart people saying very stupid things.

Here are some examples of quotes that their authors would like to take back:

* Irving Fisher (economics professor at Yale University in 1929): ” Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
* Albert Einstein: “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”
* The president of Michigan Savings Bank urging Henry Ford not to invest in The Ford Motor Company:  “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is a novelty, a fad.”
* Ken Olsen (president of Digital Equipment and MIT graduate): “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” 
* Tom Watson, IBM chairman (1943): “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
* Bill Gates (2004): “Two years from now spam will be solved.”
* You Tube Founder Steve Chen: “(I am worried that) there’s just not that many videos people want to watch.”
* Robert Metcalfe (inventor of ethernet): “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
* Darryl F. Zanuck (founder of 20th Century Fox studio): “People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
* Clifford Stoll (astronomer and author of Silicon Snake Oil (1995): “Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon use books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure!”
* And another head scratcher From Bill Gates: “No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody.”
* Linus Torvalds (founder of Linux): “Really, I’m not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.”
* Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO (2007): “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”
* Steve Jobs (2008) in discussing Amazon Kindle: “The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read any more.”
* New York Times (1936): “A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.”
* Henry Morton, president of Stevens Institute of Technology on Thomas Edison’s light bulb (1880): “Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure.”
*  Variety passing judgment on rock ‘n roll (1955): ” It will be gone by June.”
* Book publishing executive writing to J.K. Rowling (1996): ” Children just aren’t interested in witches and wizards anymore.”
* Astronomer Simon Newcomb (1888): “We are probably nearing the limit of all we can know about astronomy.”
* Newsweek predicting where popular holidays will be in the late 1960s: “And for the tourist that really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam.”
* Senator James Inhofe (R-Ok) in 2004: “God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we human beings would be able to change what HE is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”


“All this time I’ve been going through such pain and personal ANGUISH … SUCH HELL, for NOTHING!”


“Life is a fragile thing, Har. One minute you’re chewin’ on a burger, the next minute you’re dead meat.”

–Lloyd, “Dumb and Dumber”

Dumb: Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, who famously made the following statements shortly before The Great Recession during the 2005-07 period:

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.” (July, 2005)

“With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.” (November, 2005)

“Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.” (February, 2006)

“At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency.” (March, 2007)

And to cap all these extraordinarily stupid quotes over the years, on Tuesday at a presentation in England we got:

“Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? … You know, probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be.”

 –Janet Yellen

I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.


He Said That? 8/5/16

Notice that this quote is tagged as an “Idiotic quote.” From President Barack Obama:

“I do think that because of our extraordinary efforts, a homeland is significantly safer than it otherwise would be.”


You can’t accuse Obama of lying, because he said: “a homeland,” not “the homeland” or “our homeland.” There’s probably a homeland that is safer now than when Obama took office. It’s just not the United States. Cuba perhaps. And Obama uses the old trick of making a statement that cannot be disproved because the counterfactual cannot be tested. (“SLL believes that the world is a far better place because of SLL than it would have been without it”). And what “extraordinary efforts” is Obama talking about? Deposing Muammar Ghaddafi and replacing his regime with utter chaos? Deposing a government in Ukraine in favor of neo-Nazi US puppets? The Syrian fiasco? The failure to end US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq? If these are extraordinary efforts, one shudders to think what disasters ordinary efforts have caused.

They Said That? 7/28/16

The Russians have been accused by the Democratic National Committee of hacking their computers and releasing the emails that caused the Committee so much consternation. The reason the Russians purportedly did so was to help their good buddy Donald Trump. So Trump, making sports, said: “Russia—if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” referring to Hillary Clinton’s infamous 30,000 deleted emails. The powers that be went batshit crazy. From Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA:

If he is talking about the State Department emails on her server, he is inviting a foreign intelligence service to steal sensitive American government information.

Of course Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server surely wasn’t an invitation for anybody and everybody to “steal sensitive American government information.”

And Timothy Naftali, co-director of New York University’s Center for the United States and the Cold War, said he was “flabbergasted” by Mr. Trump’s comments.

Even in jest, a presidential candidate should not give any foreign power anything but zero tolerance about espionage. He sent a signal to foreign powers that it’s open season on U.S. secrets.

The Wall Street Journal, “Trump Urges Russia To Wade Into Race,” 7/28/16

Last time we checked, Hillary Clinton is a candidate for president, and if her email system shows zero tolerance for espionage, then her husband has been celibate the last three decades. Again, what could be more “open season” than her unsecured server?

The quotes say volumes about both the powers’ panic and its noxious hypocrisy.

He Said That? 4/19/16

It’s been a long time since SLL has read anything as stupid as the following, even in The Wall Street Journal. From Gerald F. Seib, the concluding two paragraphs of an article “The Damage Sanders’s Clinton Bashing May Do,” 4/19/16:

Mrs. Clinton appears to have the upper hand in a general-election matchup against either Mr. Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. But in either case, she’ll need Sanders voters to show up. And it appears that in a matchup against Mr. Trump, a fair share of her vote would come from people embracing her as the less of two evils.

The problem with the Sanders attacks is he is close to portraying her as representing a kind of evil in the system, which threatens to erode that particular advantage.

Hillary Clinton does not represent “a kind of evil in the system,” she’s the living embodiment of every one of the system’s evils. She is a thoroughly corrupt influence peddler and crony capitalist who has accomplished nothing except extraordinary damage in every position she has ever held and only has a shot at the Democrat’s nomination due to the perversities of identity politics. To call her two-faced would be to undercount by at least ten or twelve. She is hanging by a thread on her emails; anyone else except President Obama would have been indicted long ago. Those who have been paying attention the past twenty-four years can name at least a dozen odious scandals with which she was involved that have been swept under the rug. Clinton should be thanking her lucky stars that the Bern has been as gentle on her as he has been. Donald Trump will not be so nice.

He Said That? 3/31/16

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Seniors Head to Gun Ranges,”  (3/30/16) an increasing number of seniors are buying guns, getting trained on how to use them, and applying for concealed carry permits. They’re worried about crime, terrorism, and general societal breakdown. However, a Harvard professor thinks they’re misguided.

…David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard University, said “the evidence is pretty strong that [owning a gun] isn’t going to help you.” Having a gun at home increases the risks for suicide and accidental shootings, he said, and it is hard to shoot an intruder or assailant: “Your heart starts beating like crazy,” he said. “If they’re running at you, have half a second or something.”

So what can worried seniors do? “Get a dog, get a good lock, get good neighbors, get a cellphone,” Prof. Hemenway said.

This genius undoubtedly has tenure. Bad guys will be stopped cold by a good lock, and if they’re not, sic Fido on them, and if Fido goes down, you’ve got that half a second to make a cellphone call to your good neighbors or the police, and they’ll be there, magically and instantaneously. Trust the public health policy expert. The last thing you want when a crazed killer comes after you in your own home, or anywhere else, is a gun.

He Said That? 11/28/15

From a source in the Saudi Arabia justice ministry, threatening a Twitter user who compared Saudi Arabian justice to ISIS justice:

“Questioning the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of the Kingdom and its judicial system based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity,” a source in the justice ministry told the newspaper, according to a translation by Reuters. The ministry would not hesitate to sue “any media that slandered the religious judiciary of the Kingdom,” the source added.

From The Washington Post, as quoted on libertyblitzkrieg.com, “Another New Low – Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sue Twitter Users Who Compare it to ISIS

They Said That? 11/21/15

Give me liberty, or give me death!

– Partrick Henry, American Founding Father, 1775

They value their civil liberties more than they value life. I disagree with that. You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive.

– Billionaire Hillary Clinton donor Haim Saban, 2015

Just in case you’re wondering what the people bankrolling Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign think about civil liberties, you now have your answer.

Here’s what billionaire Haim Saban had to say about civil liberties during an interview with The Wrap:

What are people in Hollywood saying about the Paris terror attacks?

Many members of the Hollywood community are very liberal and they value their civil liberties more than they value life. I disagree with that. You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive. The reality is that certain things that are unacceptable in times of peace — such as profiling, listening in on anyone and everybody who looks suspicious, or interviewing Muslims in a more intense way than interviewing Christian refugees — is all acceptable [during war]. Why? Because we value life more than our civil liberties and it’s temporary until the problem goes away. But to say this is shameful — I disagree. [ISIS] said, ‘We’re going to Paris,’ and they went to Paris. They’re saying they’re now going to Washington. Watch out, they might. I’m not suggesting we put Muslims through some kind of a torture room to get them to admit that they are or they’re not terrorists. But I am saying we should have more scrutiny.


She Said That? 11/15/15

From Ali Michael, Ph.D., Director of P-12 Consulting and Professional Development at the Center for the Study of Race Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, in an article on huffingtonpost.com, “I Sometimes Don’t Want to Be White Either”:

Rachel Dolezal is a fascinating case study in White racial identity development.* [Rachel Dolezal was the head of Spokane’s NAACP branch who was revealed to be a white woman who “identified” as black and had assimilated into black culture.] She is stuck in the immersion/emersion stage, in which White people, having learned extensively about the realities of racism, and the ugly history of White supremacy in the U.S., “immerse” themselves in trying to figure out how to be White in our society, and “emerge” with a new relationship to Whiteness. Only in the case of Dolezal, her way of dealing with the pain of the reality of racism, was to deny her own Whiteness and to become Black.

She is an extreme example of a common phenomenon. The “immersion” stage is typified by White people taking more responsibility for racism and privilege and often experiencing high levels of anger and embarrassment for racism and privilege, which they sometimes direct towards other Whites. They sometimes try to immerse themselves in communities of color, as Dolezal did. She’s not alone.

I definitely experienced this. There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors… and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.


**White racial identity development was first theorized and written about by Dr. Janet Helms.


Thank you, Ali Michael, for not propagating your privilege biologically. We only wish that all people who feel the way you do would make the same decision. As Yale University and the University of Missouri have recently demonstrated, this country already has way too many screwed up kids.

He Said That? 11/12/15

From Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, in a client note:

A nasty—and ignorant—anti-Wall Street climate prevails in both parties, and it’s something our industry has to worry about.

The Wall Street Journal, “Populism Rises In GOP Race,” 11/12/15

There’s that nasty, ignorant populism again (see “ASSHOLES,” SLL, 11/12/15). The banks that promoted, then sliced, diced and repackaged garbage mortgages and sold them all over the world were magnanimously satisfying a need for yield during the housing bubble, and besides, that’s ancient history. And who can blame Wall Street for making “friends” in the federal government? Who can blame the government for taking care of its friends, spending trillions of dollars of taxpayer money not letting them go bankrupt? And those zero percent interest rates we’ve had the last seven years, a speculators’ Nirvana courtesy of the Federal Reserve? They have been officially blessed by a number of Nobel Prize-winning economists. It’s unfortunate that savers, especially retirees, had to be thrown under the bus, but hey, that’s the price of “recovery” and a bull market. The Fed’s debt bubble is now bursting, but nobody could have seen that coming. That anti-Wall Street climate is absolutely inexplicable.

He Said That? 11/8/15

Do you ever wonder about the kinds of people who worry about a threat from terrorism that is, statistically speaking, less than the threat of being electrocuted in one’s own bathtub, and who will accept anything from the government that’s labelled “protection from terrorism”? Those people are out there, undoubtedly a majority, probably not a one of them an SLL reader. Eyewitness News in Los Angeles, ABC Channel 7, published the following story.

Mysterious maneuvers over the Pacific are forcing a change in Los Angeles International Airport landings late at night, meaning noise for thousands of people in the flight path.

Instead of landing from the east over Inglewood, planes begin flying from the west and over the ocean to keep noise levels down, but due to secret military operations, the airspace over the Pacific is closed to incoming flights for the next week.

“We clearly understand that neighbors and communities east of the airport will experience noise and we apologize for that,” said Nancy Castles, LAX public relations director.

The military is not saying what exactly is causing the change, and LAX claims it’s also in the dark. Castles said all they know is planes can’t be flying at low altitudes to our west.

Six years ago, ABC7 cameras captured a military operation in downtown LA. Helicopters were seen swooping between high-rises, close enough that residents were able to see armed soldiers in camouflage outside their window.

Authorities claimed it was part of a training exercise designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments and to prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployment.

What’s going on this week is a mystery.

Now the money quote, from a Steve Devosion of Inglewood, a community near the airport.

“And plus if it’s a military thing it’s a good thing, that means they’re making it safer for us so I wouldn’t let it bother me,” said Steve Devosion of Inglewood. “I’d be more interested in them not doing something about what’s going on than them doing something about what’s going on.”


“Military” things are automatically good things; they make it “safer for us.” Even though Mr. Devosion has no idea why the military is interfering with the operations of the airport or what threat to his safety they may be responding to, he issues a blanket endorsement. Are the Russians or Chinese going to launch a bombing attack on Los Angeles? Unlikely. How about Islamic extremists? Again, unlikely, since they don’t have aircraft. No matter, if the military acts, it’s okay, regardless of reasons. Mr. Devosion expects them to act. The seemingly incomprehensible deaths of over 100 million people by tyrannical governments in the 20th century become ever more comprehensible. It’s like watching animals line up on their own at the abattoir.