On the Virtues of Automobiles:
We're told cars are dangerous. It's safer to drive through South Central Los Angeles than to walk there. We're told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We're told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it's hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald's from a speeding train. And we're told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?
On the Role of the Journalist:
You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby. Or like getting a dog to quit chewing on your wallet, anyway. But what do you want us to do? Come on, you're the customer. You tell us. Should we go back to Washington and write hundred-column-inch cerebrum snuffing, eyeball-fibrillating articles on health care reform? How about some NAFTA follow-ups? A nine-part series on the Republic of Kyrgyzstan? Or maybe we should come over to your house and investigate you.
On the Pleasures of Fly-Fishing:
Here's a guy standing in cold water up to his liver, throwing the world's most expensive clothesline at trees. A full two-thirds of his time is spent untangling stuff, which he could be doing in the comfort of his own home with old shoelaces, if he wanted. The whole business costs like sin and requires heavier clothing. Furthermore, it's conducted in the middle of blackfly season. Cast and swat. Cast and swat. Fly-fishing may be a sport invented by insects with fly fishermen as bait.