Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Day

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February eight-and-twenty all alone,
And all the rest have thirty-one:
Unless that leap-year doth combine,
And give to February twenty-nine.

-- Return from Parnassus (London, 1606)

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Undefeated

But Father Time remains undefeated.  I am no longer the young man sitting in the back, hoping colleagues would remember my name.  It is time for the next generation of leadership.

So time rolls on.  There will be a new custodian of this great institution.  There will be other times to reminisce.  I'm immensely proud of the accomplishments I have played some role in obtaining for the American people.

Today is not the day to discuss all of that because, as I said earlier, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.  I still have enough gas in the tank to thoroughly disappoint my critics and I intend to do so with all the enthusiasm which they have become accustomed.

To my colleagues, thank you for entrusting me with our success.  It has been an honor to work with each of you.  There will be plenty of time to express my gratitude in greater detail as I sprint towards the finish line, which is now in sight.

-- Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), announcing on the Senate floor that this will be his last term as Republican Leader (28 February 2024)

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Necessity

Money is the necessity that frees us from necessity. 

-- Wystan Hugh (W. H.) Auden (1907 - 1973), Anglo-American poet known for his vast poetic work in many forms on many themes, "A Poet of the Actual", p. 266

Monday, February 26, 2024

Standing Up

[F]orgive me if this sounds pompous, but it's better to die standing up than live on your knees.

-- Alexei Anatolievich Navalny (4 June 1976 - 16 February 2024), Russian opposition leader, dissident, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist, as quoted in "Net Impact: One man's cyber-crusade against Russian corruption" (4 April 2011), by Julia Ioffe, The New Yorker

Friday, February 23, 2024

Of Many Persuasions

But we must not forget that in our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic, and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds -- that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous.

-- Robert H. Jackson (1892 - 1954), United States Solicitor General (1938-1940), United States Attorney General (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954), American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 438 (1950)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Odysseus

What we can confirm, without a doubt, is our equipment is on the surface of the moon and we are transmitting.  So congratulations.  Houston, Odysseus has found its new home.

-- Intuitive Machines Chief Technology Officer Tim Crain, on the success of their lunar lander Odysseus, which today became the first US vehicle on the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, New York Times, 22 February 2024

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Beyond My Power

Of all the things that are beyond my power, I value nothing more highly than to be allowed the honor of entering into bonds of friendship with people who sincerely love truth.  For, of things beyond our power, I believe there is nothing in the world which we can love with tranquility except such men.

-- Benedictus de (Baruch) Spinoza (1632 - 1677), social and metaphysical philosopher known for the elaborate development of his monist philosophy, Spinoza, Correspondence, 146, Letter xix