Search Quotes

Search Results (119)

Quote Author Cited
Incompetents invariably make trouble for people other than themselves. Larry McMurtry
I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there. Maureen Reagan
The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence. Elbert Hubbard
You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Politicians are never going to turn this country around. Our country's a mess. The politicians are going to destroy this country. They're weak and they're ineffective. Donald Trump
Development donors ... put a positive spin on awful recipient governments by asserting that while things are bad, they are getting better. William Easterly
"Post-conflict reconstruction" means you have to do deals with even worse gangsters than under peacetime conditions. And what incentives does it create to give aid money to the men of violence in post-conflict societies many of whom committed war crimes, while shunning peaceful democratic politicians? William Easterly
We should be tough on a bureaucracy that fails to turn aid money into critical services for the poor. William Easterly
In 44 states, the [parole] board is wholly appointed by the governor, and the well-paid positions can become gifts for former aides and political allies. While some state laws require basic qualifications, these statutes are often vaguely worded, with language that is easily sidestepped. Many states have no minimum requirements at all. Beth Schwartzapfel
The euro zone is only hurting itself by trying to keep Greece as a member. Jochen Bittner
Not since Crassus and the campaign against the Parthaginians was there such an incompetent a general as Shafter…. Theodore Roosevelt
Having found, from experience, that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scare-crow, they consider themselves secure for life; they skulk from responsibility to public opinion. Thomas Jefferson
The government itself is — and should be — accountable when its officials run amok. Royce C. Lamberth
I have never seen conduct of the Federal Government so egregious. Royce C. Lamberth
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. Laurence J. Peter
You can lead a man to Congress, but you cannot make him think. Anonymous
Not only do they give you a beautiful face and skin, but they also protect you from disease. Manto Tsnabalala-Msimang
There should be a mass purge of the CIA for incompetence…. There were 3,000 people killed on September 11, and not a single CIA operative has been fired. They missed that; they missed the weapons of mass destruction. Curt Weldon
There is no question that FEMA and the National Emergency Response System did not fail America the day that Katrina hit. They failed the day before and the days before that. David E. Liebersbach
If we permit ourselves to be ill served, to be served by corrupt and incompetent and inefficient men, then on our own head must the blame rest. Theodore Roosevelt
The planet is not yet safe. It suffers from the kind of greed that ignores not only global warming but an even more immediate bomb ready to detonate—the terrible gap on the globe between the rich and the poor, the technologically proficient and the majority left behind, the overfed and the starving, and the arrogance of our only superpower, my country, that sees only as far as the next election or tomorrow's Dow Jones Industrial Index. Benjamin H. Bagdikian
The Senate trying to govern cyberspace is analogous to King George believing he could still govern the colonies even though he had never been there. John Perry Barlow
We [Congress] weren't elected by the people of the District [of Columbia] to be the city's government, but we do have a federal responsibility. Thomas J. Bliley Jr.
[Referring to young mothers:] You've got to be poor, or unwed, or incompetent to get something from the government. Otherwise you get nothing. T. Berry Brazelton
It's hard to tell whether [Attorney General] Janet Reno is engaged in a cover-up or she's merely incompetent. Alphonse D'Amato
Some governments are corrupt but are known for their competency in running the city. Others are incompetent but are considered "clean." [Washington] DC's government is scandalously corrupt and hopelessly incompetent. John C. Danforth
The acquisition of Canada this year … will be a mere matter of marching and will give us experience for the attack on Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent. Thomas Jefferson
Your home is your castle—protect it. George P. Mahoney
How can we so organize political institutions that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage? Karl Popper
Do not change horses in mid stream unless horse lies to you and the stream is on fire. Katha Pollitt
There is little doubt that our guarantee fund system is seriously mismanaged and compromised. Howard M. Metzenbaum
Localities may be allowed to mismanage their own interests, but not to prejudice those of others, nor violate those principles of justice between one person and another of which it is the duty of the State to maintain the rigid observance. John Stuart Mill
The knowledge and experience of any local authority is but local knowledge and experience, confined to their own part of the country and its modes of management, whereas the central government has the means of knowing all that is to be learnt from the united experience of the whole kingdom, with the addition of easy access to that of foreign countries. John Stuart Mill
Incompetency, criminal negligence, and almost treasonable administration of national defense. Fiorello H. La Guardia
Have you already in your mind a plan wholly or partially formed? If you have, prosecute it without interference from me. If you have not, please inform me, so that I, incompetent as I may be, can try and assist you in the formation of some plan for the army. Abraham Lincoln
It is a huge bureaucracy. It is so inept. But it does function. Elizabeth Neuffer
Bush is an incompetent leader. As a matter of fact he is no leader at all. Nancy Pelosi
The militiaman is best employed at his plough Harmanus Bleecker
As soldiers the militia are not worth their rations Ebenezer Huntington
This really vital and sensitive military installation has been wrecked – more thoroughly than any Soviet saboteur could have dreamed of doing it… [through] the process of witch-hunting, sheer bigotry, cowardice, race prejudice and sheer incompetence. Walter Mills
Civil servants who tell the truth are fired and those who are incompetent are retained. Michael Howard
Armed with purity of intentions and firmness of purpose, I may reasonably entertain the hope of being able to clear the administrative agency of all corruption and incompetency, and impart to it the maximum of honesty and efficiency. I now warn my officials of all ranks that I have fully made up my mind to put down corruption and intrigue wherever they may be found. Partap Singh
The rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Franklin D. Roosevelt
The devastating Hurricane Katrina, which revealed to the entire world the great helplessness in dealing with the destruction caused by this hurricane, because of the tremendous attrition of the American army's resources in Iraq and Afghanistan. Abu Musab Zarqawi
He suffers from delusions of adequacy. Walter Kerr
Counter insurgency is unworkable without a responsive and politically popular national government. Richard Burt
… massive waste, fraud and abuse Christopher Shays
I voted for George W. Bush, but we’ve lost our way. Lee Iacocca
Russians were screened for political orthodoxy before placement in significant jobs. Bush apparatchiks did the same. David K. Shipler
If your ruler is just, then praise God; but if he is unjust, pray to God to rid you of him. Omar I; Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
Scientifically Flawed Testimony -- Inaccurate Testimony -- Testimony Beyond the Examiner's Expertise -- Improper Preparation of Laboratory Reports -- Insufficient Documentation of Test Results -- Scientifically Flawed Reports -- Inadequate Record Management and Retention System -- Failures by Management to resolve serious and credible allegations of incompetence Department of Justice
The FBI made errors in their application of the latent fingerprint methodology that reflected systemic problems with the FBI Laboratory’s operations. Department of Justice
Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job! George W. Bush
Corruption in Nigeria is blocking development even though they have all this oil wealth. Bill Gates
Black people and women suffer from a presumption of incompetence. The burdens of proof are different. It just gets so tiresome. Carol Moseley-Braun
The Federal Government did not know about the people at the New Orleans Convention center until today. Michael Brown
We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. Aaron Broussard
I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees. George W. Bush
Better a hundred times an honest and capable administration of an erroneous policy than a corrupt and incapable administration of a good one. Edward John Phelps
He has demonstrated his incompetence to hold the said office of Sheriff, by reason of his ignorance of the duties of his office and the laws of this State pertaining to the same, and by reason of the appointment to and retention in office under him of incompetent and unworthy persons; that he has sworn falsely under oath at public hearings before the Joint Legislative Committee; that he has failed to account for or to explain the receipt and possession of large sums of money in excess of his salary as a public officer or income received from any admitted occupation or from investments, upon all of which grounds and by reason of any and all the charges hereinabove enumerated, it is respect fully submitted that said Thomas M. Farley should cease to be an incumbent of the office of Sheriff of New York County. Samuel Seabury
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. John Paul Stapp
The people do not approve of Congress. Count me among them… Congress has always been a mockery since the beginning of our country. Nancy Pelosi
There have been over the past 100 years consistent and disastrous failures by the Corps [of Engineers] in public works areas … resulting in enormous and unnecessary costs to ecology and the taxpayer. Arthur E. Morgan
UNRWA has a very poor idea of whether its vehicles are used in terrorist attacks. We have seen tapes of vehicles, clearly marked on their roof as UNRWA vehicles with RPG weapons being loaded to carry out attacks Mark Kirk
Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Antiquated War Offices, weak, incompetent, or arrogant Commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant Fortune, ugly surprises, awful miscalculations — all take their seats at the Council Board on the morrow of a declaration of war. Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance. Winston Churchill
Now, at that juncture, and, in fact, up to the present moment, there was, and is, a most fierce and bitter outcry, and detraction loud and low, against General McClellan, accusing him of sloth, imbecility, cowardice, treasonable purposes, and, in short, utterly denying his ability as a soldier, and questioning his integrity as a man. Nor was this to be wondered at; for when before, in all history, do we find a general in command of half a million of men, and in presence of an enemy inferior in numbers and no better disciplined than his own troops, leaving it still debatable, after the better part of a year, whether he is a soldier or no? The question would seem to answer itself in the very asking. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Reform campaigns which periodically rock our large cities,—and our small ones, too,— … are not intellectual wars upon erroneous principles, but emotional wars upon errant men: they always revolve around the pursuit of some definite, concrete, fugitive malefactor, or group of malefactors. That is to say, they belong to popular sport rather than to the science of government. H. L. Mencken
“The Wisdom of Crowds” suggests that if enough bumbling people act in concert, they’ll find their way to a less bumbling place. Frank Bruni
The autopsy was rushed and bungled, and we are still dealing with the consequence of it. Philip Sheenan
It was gross negligence…. We failed in carrying through some of the salient aspects of the Oswald investigation. It ought to be a lesson to us all, but I doubt if some even realize it now. J. Edgar Hoover
a direct admission that we are responsible for negligence which might have resulted in the assassination of the President [JFK]. Cartha DeLoach
In covert operations, quality is much more important than quantity. A small number of competent people can be much more useful than a large number of incompetents. James Harold Doolittle
For some of us who have seen the other side of Allen Dulles, we don’t see too many Christian traits. I personally consider him a ruthless, ambitious, and utterly incompetent government administrator. Jim Kellis
Secrecy helps give oil wealth its democracy-repelling powers: citizens are satisfied with low taxes and seemingly generous benefits only when they do not realize how much of their country’s wealth is being lost to theft, corruption, and government incompetence. Michael L. Ross
Most of these missions weren’t sent for intelligence. They were sent to supply nonexistent or fictitious resistance groups. They were suicide missions. They were suicidal and irresponsible. Peter Max F. Sichel
It is interesting to see all you fellows here . It will even be more interesting to see how many of you will be here a few months from now. Walter Smith
Stop blaming the world—look inside! Farahnaz Ispahani
There can be no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions. The failure of these institutions to function and the instability of these regimes in Muslim countries, manifest in frequent changes and coups d'état, is most often the consequence of their a priori opposition to Islam, as the fundamental and foremost feeling of the people in those countries. Alija Izetbegovic
The Vietnam War was not clearly a wrong war, but it was clear that it was stupid. P. J. O'Rourke
Here we have drug that is not like opium. Opium has all of the good of Dr. Jekyll and all the evil of Mr. Hyde. This drug is entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured. Some people will fly into a delirious rage, and they are temporarily irresponsible and may commit violent crimes. Other people will laugh uncontrollably. It is impossible to say what the effect will be on any individual. Those research men who have tried it have always been under control. They have always insisted upon that. … It is dangerous to the mind and body, and particularly dangerous to the criminal type, because it releases all of the inhibitions. Harry J. Anslinger
… a bunch of dysfunctional jerks … a pack of idiots Porter Goss
If the King’s ministers had searched through the world for a person the best-fitted to ruin their cause, and procure union and success for these colonies, they could not have found a more complete Agent than Lord Dunsmore. Richard Henry Lee
My experiences with … SEC officials proved to be a systemic disappointment and led me to conclude that the SEC securities lawyers, if only through their investigative ineptitude and financial illiteracy, colluded to maintain large frauds such as the one to which Madoff later confessed. Harry Marcopolos
… the independent Afghan government that followed the ouster of the Taliban descended into catastrophic corruption, incompetence, and double-dealing, and many Afghans blamed America intervention for the mess in their country. Richard K. Betts
The trust that was reposed in the CIA has faded. The agency is so battered that its utility for espionage is subject to question James R. Schlesinge
It’s [the CIA’s] broken. It’s so broken that nobody wants to believe it. Carl W. Ford Jr.
The CIA is a stilted bureaucracy incapable of even the slightest bit of success. Porter Goss
Nobody [at the CIA] had any idea of who was doing what where Charles Thomas Fingar
There are limits beyond which your folly will not carry you. Isaac Asimov
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent Isaac Asimov
The men with the muckrakes are often indispensable but only if they know when to stop raking muck. Theodore Roosevelt
In the name of national security, the Commission’s hearings were held in secret, thereby continuing the policy which has marked the entire course of the case. This prompts my second question: If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the issue of national security? Indeed, precisely the same question must be put here as was posed in France during the Dreyfus case: If the Government is so certain of its case, why has it conducted all its inquiries in the strictest secrecy? Bertrand Russell
There can be no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions. The failure of these institutions to function and the instability of these regimes in Muslim countries, manifest in frequent changes and coups d'état, is most often the consequence of their a priori opposition to Islam, as the fundamental and foremost feeling of the people in those countries. Alija Izetbegovic
Russia is corrupt, treacherous, shifty and incompetent. Theodore Roosevelt
For our [Japanese] own safety, we must govern this country [Korea]. We hope that in time the Koreans will realize that they need our assistance. They can do nothing by themselves. Saito Makoto
...though it is England's right to enforce the law of Europe [i.e. treaties] as between contending states, she has no claim, so long as her own interests are untouched, to interfere in the national affairs of any country, whatever the extent of its misgovernment or its anarchy. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The United States is unused to Colonial rule and lacks a trained body of colonial administrators and civil servants. William Howard Taft
Do nothing Congress. Syracuse Herald
With the present state of the Egyptian judiciary, they [the government] can convict anybody of anything. David Kiirkpatrick
Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept.. Frank Herbert
The League of Nations is the greatest humbug in history. They cannot even protect a little nation like Armenia. They do nothing but pass useless resolutions. David Lloyd George
Mexico is a competent, strong state. A little corrupt here and there, a little ineffective here and there, but a strong state. Jorge Castaneda
A large portion of pauperism and misery is really attributable to bad government and injustice. Arnold J. Toynbee
The Playground of Foreign Aid Experimentation: From 2006 to 2011, development aid from countries and multilateral organizations amounted to more than $30 billion, with limited results, much of the funds fueling mismanagement and corruption. Jenny Nordberg
Of the 750 murder case investigations, only one had been done the correct way from A to Z. Michael Race
We think of the GAO as non-partisan, but non-partisan does not mean competent. Kris W. Kobach
Relying on the Iraqi Army to fight ISIS in Iraq is problematical, but there are no other options. Moshe Ya'Alon
Do not be deceived by the way men of bad faith misuse words and names…. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade. Raphael Aloysius Lafferty
The Hapsburg Empire’s generals waltzed better than they fought. Max Hastings
The panel itself was unable to examine the brain because it is among certain autopsy materials which are unaccounted for. House of Representatives
I have found in my years of working in the government than when I face a choice of explanations of venality or incompetence in explaining some government activities, it is almost always incompetence that explains it. It often appears to be venality because we do not realize how incompetent government and large private organizations can be sometimes. Lewis D. Eigen
The problem is never the populist’s imperfect capacity to represent the people’s will; rather, it’s always the institutions that somehow produced the wrong outcomes. So even if they look properly democratic, there must be something going on behind the scenes that allows corrupt elites to continue to betray the people. Conspiracy theories are thus not a curious addition to populist rhetoric; they are rooted in and emerge from the very logic of populism itself. Jan-Werner Müller
Let’s throw the economists out and use common sense instead. Ben Carson
A growing body of psychology research shows that incompetence deprives people of the ability to recognize their own incompetence. To put it bluntly, dumb people are too dumb to know it…. Along the same lines, people who aren't talented in a given area tend not to be able to recognize the talents or good ideas of others, from co-workers to politicians. This may impede the democratic process, which relies on citizens having the capacity to identify and support the best candidate or policy. Natalie Wolchover
For people at the bottom who are really doing badly — those in the bottom 10th or 15th percentile — they think their work falls in the 60th or 55th percentile, so, above average. People at the bottom still think they're outperforming other people. David Dunning
The Republicans are the party that says that government doen't work, and then they get elected and prove it. P. J. O'Rourke
The twelfth article is of high honesty To every mason wheresoever he be, He shall not his fellows' work deprave, If that he will his honesty save; With honest words he it commend, Freemasonry
The poor sinner was weak and ill, so she had to be led to the scaffold. When she sat down on the chair, Master Valtin the executioner walked around her like a cat walks around hot broth. He held the sword a span from her neck, took aim, and struck the blow, but missed her neck and struck off a slice of her head as big as a coin, knocking her from the chair. Then the poor soul got up quicker than she had sat down, this blow having done no harm to her. Then she started to beg to be let go, as she had been so brave. But to no avail. She had to sit down again. The assistant then wanted to take the sword from Master Valtin and strike her himself, but the master would not permit this and struck her again himself. The second blow was a little stronger and she fell from the chair. Then he cut off her head as she lay on the scaffold. The executioner received his reward as he went. He would have been stoned to death if the town guard and their arms had not rescued him. As it was, much blood was already streaming from his head. Bamberg, Germany
Just because you can’t execute collusion well, doesn’t mean that it isn’t collusion. Jeffery Goldberg