Thinks 488

William Neuman: “Venezuela is today a shell of the country it was when Chávez was president, emptied out by economic collapse, government repression, and the outflow of millions of refugees. But that hollowing out started with Chávez—and the story of the train, told here for the first time, illustrates an essential truth about Venezuela then and now and the rot that inevitably develops behind a charismatic leader’s cult of personality.”

Pilita Clark on email salutations: “Firing off an email without an opening greeting is becoming more common but is still unwise…If you know who you are writing to, but are not sure how to address them, a simple “Dear” before their name is usually fine. If unsure which is the first name and which the second, write both. Use a title, such as professor or doctor, if appropriate. Above all, write something. That way you stand a much better chance of also being read.”

Lionel Shriver: “All governments rob their people. It’s what they do.” [via CafeHayek]