"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future."
"Sometimes things turn out better than a pessimist like I believe they will. But someone has to take the reins. I despise the idea of doing it myself. But I also don't want that wagon to go over the cliff without at least being able to say I made a dive for the reins before it did. It's something that we all need to ask ourselves some hard questions about. If not now, when? Every year we wait, it's only going to be harder and more daunting and more laughable that puny efforts of citizens will work. I feel as though I have waited long enough."
"Let's recall that getting esteemed individuals and thinkers together to discuss ideas towards reform is how we got a Constitution written once upon a time. It's got a long and respected tradition and has been effective in the past. The key aspect to my effort is not to get the defenders of the status quo together (the George Wills or Thomas Friedmans or David Brooks types) but those who have already demonstrated that they understand that the status quo is a one-way trip off a historical cliff. There are a decent number of those non-status quo esteemed thinkers around, and if I could aid their efforts by bringing them together, I would sleep better at night thinking I had done something helpful and positive rather than just bitched about problems we all already realize are out there."
"People want to focus on the guns as the problem, but we have a culture in the U.S. where guns are ingrained and where they have been so for centuries. The use of them has seeped into us. It is the desire to use them that's different. To think the guns themselves are the problem we would have to believe that the Canadians, Europeans and others with lower homicide levels all would like to kill each other at our rates...they just lack the guns to make their wishes a reality. That's ridiculous."
"As I've said many times, these people saw sights, and lived lives, and experienced things that the vast majority of people in the modern world, not only will never experience, but can't even envision."
"We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins."
"We feel properly embarrassed when we are caught doing something that makes us look inept, knuckleheaded, or inappropriate. Maybe the difference is this: we feel embarrassed because we look bad, and we feel shame because we think we are bad. When we are embarrassed, we feel socially foolish. When we are shamed, we feel morally unworthy."