Thursday, May 13, 2021

American Renewal

Alongside dozens of prominent Republicans, ex-Republicans and independents, we are announcing "A Call for American Renewal," a nationwide rallying cry against extremist elements within the GOP, and highlighting the urgent need for a new, common-sense coalition.

We urge fellow Americans to join us.

We will not wait forever for the GOP to clean up its act.  If we cannot save the Republican Party from itself, we will help save America from extremist elements in the Republican Party.

America cannot have just one party committed to preservation of its democratic institutions.  There must be at least two, if not more.

We still hope for a healthy, thriving Republican Party, but we are no longer holding our breath.

-- Former Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), G W Bush Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, former Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, and former Governor Christine Todd Whitman (R-NJ), "The GOP has lost its way.  Fellow Americans, join our new alliance", Washington Post, 13 May 2021

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Remaining Silent

Remaining silent and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar.

-- Former House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming, quoted by Alex Woodward in "Liz Cheney denounces Trump on eve of GOP vote", The Independent, 11 May 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Purpose Of Aphorisms

The purpose of aphorisms is to keep fools who have memorized them from having nothing to say.

-- Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992), Russian-born American biochemist who was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, In Memory Yet Green (1979), p. 188

Monday, May 10, 2021

A Cult

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.  The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992), Russian-born American biochemist who was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, "A Cult of Ignorance", Newsweek (21 January 1980)

Friday, May 07, 2021


Men have been Laughed out of Faults which a Sermon could not reform.

-- Francis Hutcheson (8 August 1694 - 8 August 1746), Irish philosopher, The Dublin Weekly Journal, No. 12 (19 June 1725)

Thursday, May 06, 2021

History Is Watching

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.  In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened -- we had witnessed it firsthand.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law.  Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution.  The electoral college has spoken.  More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president's arguments, and refused to overturn election results.  That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

History is watching.  Our children are watching.  We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process.  I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

-- House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming, "The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us", Washington Post, 5 May 2021

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Plot Twist

Since turning 60 a couple of years ago I've had a retirement plan targeted at age 68, six years from now, retiring with 16 years pension credit at the University of Illinois, on top of 26 years of existing credit with Social Security.  The university has been hit hard by costs related to the pandemic, and they're aiming to cut long-term employees with a cash incentive for those already eligible to retire.  As it happens, I'm eligible to repurchase 4 years pension credit from past employment at the Beckman Institute, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and 40 years ago when I worked on the PLATO computer system.  For me, the incentive is pretty much the same as the cost to repurchase that pension credit.  By retiring and taking my pension now, I'll be making more in 6 years than if I waited and retired in 6 years.

As a result of this arithmetic, I will be retiring from the university on July 1st of this year, at age 62.  I'll need to make some money to supplement my retirement, and to delay taking Social Security for a while.  Over the next 6 years, I plan to greatly expand my martial arts practice in Monticello.  I didn't expect an opportunity to reinvent myself at this point in my life, but I'm happy to give it a try.

Today is my birthday, and my last day, June 30th, is 8 weeks from today.