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Quotes of the day: Dixy Lee Ray

Published Friday, January 02, 2015 @ 7:18 AM EST
Jan 02 2015

Dixy Lee Ray (September 3, 1914 – January 2, 1994) was a scientist who served as the 17th Governor of the U.S. state of Washington. Variously described as idiosyncratic, and "ridiculously smart," she was the state's first female governor and was known for her leadership of the state during the devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens, for her strident support of atomic energy, and for her personal eccentricities. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A nuclear power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year. (1977)

Activist environmentalists are mostly white, middle to upper income and predominantly college-educated. They are distinguished by a vocal do-good mentality that sometimes successfully cloaks a strong streak of elitism which is often coupled with the belief that the end justifies the means and that violence and coercion are appropriate tactics.

Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one testicle.

Despite all the evidence of our physical well-being beyond the dream of all previous generations, we seem to have become a nation of easily frightened people- the healthiest hypochondriacs in the world!

Given an average life expectancy that exceeds 75 years, we must be doing something right- junk food, nuclear waste, and all.

I was much too old to start at the bottom, so I decided to start at the top.

If our tongues were as sensitive as these radiation detectors, we could easily taste one drop of vermouth in five carloads of gin.

It's awfully easy to get a law passed. It's awfully difficult to get it unpassed.

It's relatively easy to pass regulations, make rules, but they're seldom retracted. I suppose it's human nature. Nobody likes to admit having made a mistake.

Reporters no longer ask for verification, thus they print charges no matter how outlandish they may seem, and once having done that, when the truth comes out, it's buried in the back page or never makes it on the air at all.

The general public has long been divided into two parts those who think science can do anything, and those who are afraid it will.

The popular press tends... to pick out things that are sensational and develop them, and I think they have been responsible, in many cases, for unnecessarily frightening people.

There is clearly a dichotomy between what is known and understood by the mainstream body of scientific experts and what the public believes because of the information it gets.

There's nothing that isn't open to a woman if she has the talent and the interest and the will to do it.

There's one area of the popular press where they report accurately, they never misspell a name, they never give an inaccurate figure, and they report things as they happen quite objectively and that's the sports.

We need to ask our policy makers and those we elect to office who are supposed to make decisions to give us the evidence of the facts that are behind the decisions that we make. We should be skeptical.

We shouldn't accept things just because somebody says so.

Without deliberate human intervention, nature would soon eradicate the world's food producing capacity and unleash plagues of long forgotten virulence. Huge numbers of humans would suffer and die.


(January 2 is also the birthday of Barry Goldwater and Isaac Asimov.)

Categories: Dixy Lee Ray, Quotes of the day


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