“So not only are the investment banks siphoning off hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy with financial gimmicks like CDOs; they are using our best engineering graduates to help them do it. […] We need them to, instead, develop new types of medical devices, renewable energy sources, and ways for sustaining the environment and purifying water, and to start companies that help America keep its innovative edge.” (>>)
“I sip my drink. Beth and Dawn chug down their mojitos and order another round. I think all servers drink their first postshift drink quickly. A waiter’s first drink is medicinal, his second is relaxing, but his third is anesthesia.
” ‘So you got ’em?’ Beth says to Dawn, her voice dropping to a whisper.’
“Dawn fumbles in her purse and pulls out a medicine bottle.
” ‘What’s that?’ I ask
” ‘Xanax,’ Dawn says.
” ‘You’re not gonna take that now, are you?’ I say.
” ‘What are you,’ Dawn says, ‘my father?’
” ‘Xanax and mojitos don’t mix.’
” ‘I have a perscription.’
“Beth and Dawn take their pills and wash them down with a rum and mint chaser. In a few minutes the drugs will kick in and they’ll forget their own names. I’ve seen it happen before.
“I shake my head and look down at my martini. It’s still half full. I take another sip. The best advice I ever got about drinking was from my grandfather. ‘Drink till you’re mellow,’ he’d say. ‘After that it’s all downhill.’ ” (>>)
“And so, more testimonial evidence that the real evangelical religious enterprise in America is building full service family-friendly activity centers…” (>>)
“In the book, what Iâ€™m mostly interested in is just showing people, people answered these questions. Serious, faithful, devout followers of Jesus have wrestled with these questions and have entered into the speculation and have all sorts of ways they thought about this and talked about this. Iâ€™m not interested in dying on any one of those hills, Iâ€™m interested in dying on the hill that says, ‘Thereâ€™s lots of hills, and thereâ€™s lots of space here.’ ” (>>)
“Patrons don’t want to know that illegal immigrants are cooking their meals or busing their tables. They don’t want to know that the staff’s working for an amoral ogre. They don’t care that the bus girls might not have enough money for food or that their waiter’s sweating the rent. Most customers care about only one thing — getting what they want when they want it. They watch celebrity chefs on the Food Network and think that restaurants are magical places designed to jerk off their taste buds. They don’t realize restaurants are places where people struggle to make a living. I’ve found that most people are cravenly indifferent to what happens in the back alleys of affluence — whether it’s behind a restaurant or a Wal-Mart.” (>>)
“Two pundits want to discuss the political ramifications of an event. Pundit #1 (letâ€™s call him Jack) makes an alleged statement of fact about the event. Pundit #2 (letâ€™s call her Jill) disagrees, and alleges that the truth of what transpired is something else entirely. In this case, these aren’t subjective claims, these are claims of fact, about something that reasonable people could agree on were the evidence presented to them. Just to be clear, this isnâ€™t something like ‘Obama is a communist,’ where there are endless opportunities for nuance, obtuseness, and subjective interpretation. This is something that could be objectively determined. And now Jack and Jill have made opposing statements of fact about the matter. This is an impasse. One of two things should happen: Jack and Jill should investigate the matter and find out who is mistaken (it must be one of them, but could even be both of them), or they should move on to a topic where the basic facts are not in dispute.” (>>)
“Just like at the seminary and in my previous job, I once again found myself surrounded by well-educated people who looked good, said the right things, and behaved dishonestly.” (>>)