"This muscular approach will help them."

ABBAS MILANI, director of the Iranian Studies Program, commenting on concerns that Washington may overplay its hand and strengthen Iran's hardliners by stoking fears of American intervention in the country. U.S. moves raise the possibility that some part of Iran's opaque power structure will miscalculate or lash out against American interests, and draw U.S. military retaliation. U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 21.

"If he has any realistic chance to turn the tide of history in America, people will have to push back the legacy of the American past. When they go in the voting booth, will Americans in large enough numbers really say, 'I can vote for this guy who is half-black and let the legacy go?' It's a rocky, rocky road. But even if he slips and falls, he's a very ambitious guy, and he'll be a household name when this is all through."

ALBERT CAMARILLO, professor of history, commenting on Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's likely candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 19.

"To some degree, once he became a public figure, it inhibited him expressing some of his more radical views. He was a strong critic of capitalism. He rejected it as atheistic, materialistic and as a response to the failures of Christianity."

CLAYBORNE CARSON, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, on King and the recent release of the sixth volume of his writings. San Mateo County Times, Jan. 15.

"It seems to me that fewer cases are being filed because there's less fraud. Today's executives know if they are accused of fraud, the probability of them being terminated is much higher than it was before."

JOSEPH GRUNDFEST, professor of law and business, on the plummeting number of federal class-action lawsuits alleging securities fraud last year. Stanford Law School's annual report of the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse reported 110 cases were filed in 2006, a 38 percent drop from 2005. San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 3.