Friday, September 30, 2005

Hot Lead

US Forced To Import Bullets From Israel As Troops Use 250,000 For Every Rebel Killed - Andrew Buncombe (Independent, September 25, 2005)

US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan -- an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed -- that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Saying What We Think

Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know.

-- Cullen Hightower

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Support The Troops

You can support the troops but not the president.

-- Representative Tom Delay (R-TX) on Clinton's actions in Bosnia

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Swing Again

We will swing again in that place.

-- Kermit Ruffins, a trumpeter, on New Orleans, New York Times, Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday, September 26, 2005

RIP Don Adams

I may never get to play with the Philharmonic, but on the other hand, is Leonard Bernstein licensed to kill?

-- Don Adams (April 13, 1923 - September 25, 2005) as Agent Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart"

Friday, September 23, 2005


They said today that we should stock up on canned goods. So I went out and bought a case of beer.

-- John Gretchen III, preparing for a hurricane, 1984

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sharing Religious Views

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

-- Dave Barry, author and columnist (1947- )

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Example Of Nonconformity

In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service.

-- John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nuke Em

... In an article in the Asia Times, independent journalist Jim Lobe interviews Ivan Oelrich, of the Federation for American Scientists, who says one of the things that concerns him about the [draft Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations plan] is the way that it conflates several different levels of threats into one form of WMD threat.

"What we are seeing now is an effort to lay the foundations for the legitimacy of using nuclear weapons if [the administration] suspects another country might use chemical weapons against us," he said. "Iraq is a perfect example of how this doctrine might actually work; it was a country where we were engaged militarily and thought it would deploy chemical weapons against us."

Philip Giraldi, former CIA analyst and member of the Defense Intelligence Agency, wrote in The American Conservative last month that Vice President Dick Cheney's office has requested the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) to draw up a plan to respond to another "9/11 type attack on the US."

The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Taking Stock Of The Forever War

Instead of fighting the real war that was thrust upon us on that incomprehensible morning four years ago, we stubbornly insisted on fighting a war of the imagination, an ideological struggle that we defined not by frankly appraising the real enemy before us but by focusing on the mirror of our own obsessions. And we have finished -- as the escalating numbers of terrorist attacks, the grinding Iraq insurgency, the overstretched American military and the increasing political dissatisfaction at home show -- by fighting precisely the kind of war they wanted us to fight.

-- Mark Danner, Taking Stock of the Forever War, New York Times, September 11, 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005


Morality, I suppose, is the wisdom that prevents sacrificing long-term happiness for short-term happiness.

-- Gerald M. Weinberg, Understanding the Professional Programmer, 1988

Thursday, September 15, 2005

No Inevitability

There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening.

-- Marshall McLuhan

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared.

-- P.J. Plauger, Computer Language Magazine, March 1983

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Paid For Our Suspicions

There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.

-- Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

Monday, September 12, 2005

For Every Credibility Gap

For every credibility gap, there is a gullibility fill.

-- Richard Clopton

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Modern Atlantis

Direct Hit in New Orleans Could Mean a Modern Atlantis

More than 1.2 million people in metropolitan New Orleans were warned to get out Tuesday as [the] 140-mph hurricane churned toward the Gulf coast, threatening to submerge this below-sea-level city in what could be the most disastrous storm to hit in nearly 40 years.

-- Headline & opening paragraph, USA Today, September 14, 2004 as Hurricane Ivan approached New Orleans

The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of [the] hurricane ... looked sinisterly like Strom Thurmond's version of the Rapture. Affluent white people fled the Big Easy in their SUVs, while the old and car-less -- mainly Black -- were left behind in their below-sea-level shotgun shacks and aging tenements to face the watery wrath.

-- Mike Davis, TomDispatch (, September, 2004

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Misery & Ignorance

We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered it.

-- Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ragamuffin, Barefoot Irreverence

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.

-- Jacob Bronowski [The Ascent of Man] (1908-1974)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Never Despair

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.

-- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Nothing More Weak Than Water

In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.

-- Lao Tzu

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Growing Up

Growing up is giving up.

-- Graffitist Borf; cited in Libby Copeland, "The Mark of Borf: with Graffitist's Arrest, Police Put a Name to the Familiar Face" (Washington Post, July 14, 2005)