„If the development by the enemy as well as by us of thermonuclear weapons could have been averted, I think we would be in a somewhat safer world today than we are…I do not think we want to argue technical questions here, and I do not think it is very meaningful for me to speculate as to how we would have responded had the technical picture at that time been more as it was later.
However, it is my judgment in these things that when you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. I do not think anybody opposed making it; there were some debates about what to do with it after it was made. I cannot very well imagine if we had known in late 1949 what we got to know by early 1951 that the tone of our report would have been the same.“

Oppenheimer testifying in his defense in his 1954 security hearings, discussing the American reaction to the first successful Russian test of an atomic bomb and the debate whether to develop the "super" hydrogen bombs with vastly higher explosive power; from volume II of the Oppenheimer hearing transcripts http://www.osti.gov/includes/opennet/includes/Oppenheimer%20hearings/Vol%20II%20Oppenheimer.pdf, pg 95/266 (emphasis added)

Last update Feb. 22, 2021. History
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Robert Oppenheimer25
American theoretical physicist and professor of physics 1904 - 1967

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„And having you in this building has made this place work better. It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. You have made us think about how we are doing what we do and whether or not we’re able to deliver on what’s been requested by our constituents.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

On his reationship with the press in Washington, D.C. and its role in a democracy
2017, Final News Conference as President (January 2017)
Context: We have traveled the world together. We did a few singles, a few doubles together. I’ve offered advice that I thought was pretty sound, like don’t do stupid stuff.(LAUGHTER) And even when you complained about my long answers, I just want you to know that the only reason they were long was because you asked six-part questions.(LAUGHTER)But I have enjoyed working with all of you. That does not, of course, mean that I’ve enjoyed every story that you have filed, but that’s the point of this relationship. You’re not supposed to be (inaudible) fans, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions. You’re not supposed to be complimentary, but you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, and you have done that. And you have done it for the most part in ways that I could appreciate for fairness, even if I didn’t always agree with your conclusions. And having you in this building has made this place work better. It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. You have made us think about how we are doing what we do and whether or not we’re able to deliver on what’s been requested by our constituents.

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„I would have been surprised if you had not asked that question, because everywhere I am, I am asked how about the Chinese. There’s a lot of sudden interest on the Chinese and Africa. You know, what is it that we are trying to do in Africa? Africa as a continent in pursuit of development.“

—  Jakaya Kikwete Tanzanian politician and president 1950

On China's engagement with the continent.
Interviews, Interview with Financial Times, 2007-10-04 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d8a07e28-72a3-11dc-b7ff-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check1/

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„Johnson: What do you think about this Vietnam thing? I’d like to hear you talk a little bit.
Russell: Well, frankly, Mr. President, it’s the damn worse mess that I ever saw, and I don’t like to brag and I never have been right many times in my life, but I knew that we were going to get into this sort of mess when we went in there. And I don’t see how we’re ever going to get out of it without fighting a major war with the Chinese and all of them down there in those rice paddies and jungles. I just don’t see it. I just don’t know what to do.
Johnson: Well, that’s the way I have been feeling for six months.
Russell: Our position is deteriorating and it looks like the more we try to do for them, the less they are willing to do for themselves. It is a mess and it’s going to get worse, and I don’t know how or what to do. I don’t think the American people are quite ready for us to send our troops in there to do the fighting. If I was going to get out, I’d get the same crowd that got rid of old Diem [the Vietnamese prime minister who was overthrown and assassinated in 1963] to get rid of these people and to get some fellow in there that said we wish to hell we would get out. That would give us a good excuse for getting out.
Johnson: How important is it to us?
Russell: It isn’t important a damn bit for all this new missile stuff.
Johnson: I guess it is important.
Russell: From a psychological standpoint. Other than the question of our word and saving face, that’s the reason that I said that I don’t think that anybody would expect us to stay in there. It’s going to be a headache to anybody that tries to fool with it. You’ve got all the brains in the country, Mr. President—you better get ahold of them. I don’t know what to do about this. I saw it all coming on, but that don’t do any good now, that’s water over the dam and under the bridge. And we are there.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973

1960s, Telephone call with Senator Richard Russell (May 27, 1964)

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„Do you think your Mother and I should have liv'd comfortably so long together, if ever we had been married?“

—  John Gay English poet and playwright 1685 - 1732

Peachum, Act I, sc. viii
The Beggar's Opera (1728)

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„Rachel Maddow: Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don't serve black people?Rand Paul: I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form; I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what's important about this debate is not written into any specific "gotcha" on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of any racism or discrimination, and I don't in any form or fashion.I do defend and believe that the government should not be involved with institutional racism or discrimination or segregation in schools, busing, all those things. But had I been there, there would have been some discussion over one of the titles of the civil rights. And I think that's a valid point, and still a valid discussion, because the thing is, is if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about: do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well. Do you want to say that because people say abhorrent things — you know, we still have this. We're having all this debate over hate speech and this and that. Can you have a newspaper and say abhorrent things? Can you march in a parade and believe in abhorrent things, you know?“

—  Rand Paul American politician, ophthalmologist, and United States Senator from Kentucky 1963

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2010-11-17
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