“When the Blount report was made public in July [1893] its shock waves rattled all the interested parties. To the extent that [Lorrin A.] Thurston and [provisional government president Sanford B.] Dole relied on [former U.S. congressman James Henderson] Blount's Southern heritage to color his view of the racial component of the situation, the Georgia planter blasted their hopes without mercy. After stating what credit the native Hawaiians reflected upon themselves with their high literacy rate, Blount went on to characterize the natives as ‘over generous, hospitable, almost free from revenge, very courteous, especially to females. Their talent for oratory and the higher branches of mathematics is unusually marked. The small amount of thieving and absence of beggary are more marked than among the best races in the world. What they are capable of under fair conditions is an unsolved problem.’ In his report Blount did not venture to advise President Cleveland on a course of action. His conclusions, however, were unmistakable: ‘The undoubted sentiment of the people is for the Queen [Liliʻuokalani], against the provisional government and against annexation. A majority of the whites, especially the Americans, is for annexation.’”

James L. Haley
Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

“The Air Force loathed everything about the AX, which soon would be known as the A10. Jokes were made that it was so slow that it suffered bird strikes, from the rear. And that instead of carrying a clock the cockpit had a calendar. The aircraft was so ugly it was called the ‘Warthog’. Many in the Air Force said no airplane could perform or survive in combat as this airplane was supposed to perform. It would be almost twenty years before the A10 had the chance to demonstrate just how wrong its detractors were.”

Robert Coram
Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

“For me, it's all about leadership. It's easy for armchair quarter backs and politicians not in power to simply say ‘you must do the right thing’. Figuring out what that ‘thing’ is can be only half the problem. Then you must decide if you are willing to pay the price for being right. One of the most essential factors for me was loyalty to the people I led. That loyalty was my moral compass. I could not operate any other way. I was strengthened by the knowledge that the loyalty worked both ways and time and again my fidelity to my people was repaid many fold by their incredible support for me. When you make difficult decisions you must do so with the hope, but not the expectation, that in the end your actions will be validated and vindicated. The easiest thing in the world is to make no tough decisions. I could have had a much more placid and profitable life in recent years if I had elected to make no tough choices. Those who ‘go along to get along’ rarely suffer negative consequences. After years of investigation and scrutiny I believe my actions are vindicated and, I must tell you, that judgement felt sweet. But there are no guarantees. A leader has choices to make. I chose to pursue hard measures. I have no regrets. I would do it all again because it was the right thing to do, vindicated or not.”

Jose A. Rodriguez
Hard Measures: How Agressive CIA Actions After 9-11 Saved American Lives