The Five Standard Excuses
From the British sitcom, "Yes, Minister."
(Sir Humphrey can explain anything)
Jim: Five standard excuses?
Sir Humphrey: Yes. First there's the excuse we used for instance in the Anthony Blunt case.
Jim: Which was?
Sir Humphrey: That there is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for everything, but security forbids its disclosure.
Second, there is the excuse we used for comprehensive schools, that it has only gone wrong because of heavy cuts in staff and budget which have stretched supervisory resources beyond the limits.
Jim: But that's not true is it?
Sir Humphrey: No, but it's a good excuse. Then there's the excuse we used for Concorde, it was a worthwhile experiment, now abandoned, but not before it had provided much valuable data and considerable employmenpt.
Jim: But that is true isn't it? Oh no, of course it isn't.
Sir Humphrey: The fourth, there's the excuse we used for the Munich agreement. It occurred before certain important facts were known, and couldn't happen again.
Jim: What important facts?
Sir Humphrey: Well, that Hitler wanted to conquer Europe.
Jim: I thought everybody knew that.
Sir Humphrey: Not the Foreign Office.
Sir Humphrey: Five, there's the Charge of the Light Brigade excuse. It was an unfortunate lapse by an individual which has now been dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures."
1. There is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for everything but security prevents its disclosure. (The Anthony Blunt excuse.)
2. The situation results from heavy cuts in staff and budget which have stretched supervisory resources beyond the limit. (The Comprehensive Schools Excuse.)
3. It was a worthwhile experiment now abandoned, but not before it provided much valuable data and considerable employment. (The Concorde excuse.)
4. It occurred before certain important facts were known and could not happen again. (The Munich Agreement excuse.)
5. It was an unfortunate lapse by an individual now being dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures. (The Charge of the Light Brigade excuse.)
"[The] impersonal process of the market ... can be neither just nor unjust, because the results are not intended or foreseen." - -- Fredrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
"The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors." -- Henry Becque
(1837-1899) French dramatist
"Democracy, though slowly attained and never by revolutionary jumps, is the best government on earth when it tries to make all its citizens aristocrats. But not when it guillontines whoever is individual, superior, or just different." -- Peter Viereck
[Peter Robert Edwin Viereck] (1916-2006) American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, political thinker, professor of history at Mount Holyoke College
An excellent read
Nobody, except a few Brahmins in Delhi and two or three Trotskyites in New York, still believes that the earthly paradise can be achieved by nationalizing General Motors and turning the corner grocery store over to the Mayor's office.
"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression."
-- W. E. B. Du Bois
(1868-1963) Professor, Civil Rights Activist, NAACP Founding Member
"Liberty is not merely a privilege to be conferred;
it is a habit to be acquired."
-- David Lloyd George
[1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC] (1863-1945) first Welsh Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
"When I contemplate the natural dignity of man; when I feel ... for the honor and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon."
-- Thomas Paine