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America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.

Norman Mailer (1923-?) American writer.

These are days when no one should rely unduly on his ''competence.'' Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) German philosopher.

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2007) Canadian-American economist.