Friday, December 29, 2006


There is always some specific moment when we become aware that our youth is gone; but, years after, we know it was much later.

-- Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, December 28, 2006


God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.

-- James M. Barrie

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RIP, Jerry Ford

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

-- Gerald R. Ford (July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006), 38th president & 40th vice president of the United States, on being sworn into office August 9, 1974 following the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

Ford remains the only US president to hold office without ever winning a national election.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Godfather Of Soul

Thank God for the journey.

-- James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, May 3, 1933(?) - December 25, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Requisites For Contented Living

Nine requisites for contented living: Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength enough to battle with difficulties and overcome them. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some goods in your neighbor. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.

-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German Poet, Dramatist, Novelist

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Anything But Live For It

Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it, anything but live for it.

-- Charles Caleb Cotton

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Price Of Freedom

The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.

-- Robert Jackson

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Astronomies Change

The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.

-- Harry Emerson Fosdick, preacher and author (1878-1969)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Test Of A Good Religion

It is the test of a good religion whether you can make a joke about it.

-- British author G. K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton

Friday, December 15, 2006

Easier To Get In

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

-- Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, writing in the 1970s; cited in James Mann, "Rumsfeld versus Rumsfeld" (Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2006)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Information Progression

void -> noise -> signal -> data -> information -> knowledge -> wisdom -> enlightenment -> nirvana

The right side is religion, and the left is physics.

-- Chuck Fuller

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.

-- Heywood Campbell Broun, 1888 - 1939

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


The highest result of education is tolerance. Long ago men fought and died for their faith; but it took ages to teach them the other kind of courage, the courage to recognize the faiths of their brethren and their rights of conscience. Tolerance is the first principal of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.

-- Helen Keller

Monday, December 11, 2006


Sometimes democracy must be bathed in blood.

-- Augusto Pinochet (November 25, 1915 - December 10, 2006), former military ruler of Chile

Friday, December 08, 2006

RIP Jeane Kirkpatrick

Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world's policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world's midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war.

-- Jeane Kirkpatrick (November 19, 1926 - December 7, 2006), U.S. public official. "Dictatorship and Double Standards, Commentary" (New York, Nov. 1979).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Iraq Study Group

The current approach is not working, and the ability of the United States to influence events is diminishing.

-- Lee H. Hamilton, co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, New York Times, 12/7/2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Music Bath

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1809 - 1894)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plague Of Mankind

The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity.

-- Thomas Szasz

Monday, December 04, 2006


Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening.

-- Barbara Tober

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ice Storm

Life in the Midwest. Sometimes it's hot out, sometimes cold. Last night it turned cold after being warmer than average for more than a week (mid-60s on Thanksgiving Day).

We woke up December 1st to the results of an overnight ice storm. Our two 50-foot Chinese Elms bore the brunt of the damage. Here's what it looked like first thing in the morning.


Either I've been missing something or nothing has been going on.

-- Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Too Many TVs

The average American home now has more television sets than people according to Nielsen Media Research. There are 2.73 TV sets in the typical home and 2.55 people, the researchers said.

-- New York Times, November 22, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


There are no ex-KGB officers, just as there are no ex-German Shepherds.

-- Alexander Nikitin, a former submarine officer accused of treason

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Long War

Yesterday, the Iraq conflict marked its 1,349th day, surpassing the length of World War II and its 1,348 days.

Monday, November 27, 2006


No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.

-- Elbert Hubbard

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Toast!

Enjoy the present hour,
Be thankful for the past,
And neither fear nor wish
Th' approaches of the last.

-- Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Put That Banner Away

The neoconservatives' moment in the sun may have been cathartic for those Americans who wanted a credo that would echo their self-righteous rage. But it has left America despised and weakened globally, strengthened our enemies, and divided our country. It's time to put the crusaders' banner away.

-- Gary Kamiya,, November, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran

... [P]repar[ing] to bomb Iran should be a top priority for the movement in the next two years. Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office. We need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes.

-- American Enterprise Fellow Joshua Muravchik, in the latest edition of Foreign Policy Magazine

I hope this guy got the November 7th memo from the voters.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Guillermo Mota

Regarding drugs in sports, don't you wish that just one guy who got caught would accept responsibility for his actions? Maybe say something like ...

"I have no-one to blame but myself. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept MLB's suspension. I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable. To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me. To baseball fans everywhere, I understand that you are disappointed in me, and I don't blame you."

-- NY Mets Reliever Guillermo Mota, 11/1/06, on receiving a 50-game suspension for violating MLB drug policy

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Life Is Like A Box Of Congressmen

About $2.6 billion was spent on the 468 House and Senate races. (Scandalized? Don't be. Americans spend that much on chocolate every two months.)

-- George F. Will (Washington Post, November 9, 2006)

Finger Pointing 101

James Baker of the Iraq Study Group is Bush I's go-to guy when W gets in real trouble (as in Florida 2000).

I imagine he sees his mandate as preserving the Bush legacy. That being the case, we now have Rumsfeld as the absent scapegoat for the current situation. Baker & the ISG will come up with a plan (doesn't matter what the plan is); Congress will be quick to endorse it, because otherwise they'd have to come up with their own plan, which would entail responsibility for its efficacy (something they *really* don't want).

Bush then will be able to say that the ISG & Congress have shown him the only politically practical way forward, and if that plan then fails, it won't be his fault, it will be the fault of the ISG & Congress. I'm sure W and his handlers already blame the electorate for being too weak-minded to support his proper plan of staying the course.

Does that secure the Bush legacy? Does it harm the newly-Democrat controlled Congress, or are they protected in the same way as Bush (i.e., if the plan fails, it's the ISG's fault)?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I do think we'll be able to measure progress. You can measure progress in capacity of Iraqi units. You can measure progress in megawatts of electricity delivered. You can measure progress in terms of oil sold on the market on behalf of the Iraqi people. There's ways to determine whether or not this government's plans are succeeding.

-- President George W. Bush, June 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006


Between 1983 and 2000 there were 568 plane crashes in the United States, with 53,487 people onboard. And 51,207 survived.

-- ABC News Nightline, 11/03/06

Friday, November 10, 2006

Public Opinion

Towering over presidents and [congress] ... public opinion stands out, in the United States, as the great source of power, the master of servants who tremble before it.

-- James Bryce, "The American Commonwealth," 1888; cited in Robert J. Samuelson, "What if We're to Blame?: Public Opinion and Muddled Policies" (Washington post, November 1, 2006)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Backing A Winner

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.

-- Mark B. Cohen

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Two Possible Outcomes

There's two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.

-- Enrico Fermi, Nobel Prize winning Italian Physicist (1901-1954)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The man who can right himself by a vote will seldom resort to a musket.

-- James Fenimore Cooper

Monday, November 06, 2006

Voters Decide Nothing

Voters decide nothing; people who count votes decide everything.

-- Joseph Stalin

Friday, November 03, 2006

Great Thing About Democracy

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.

-- Art Spander

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vote For Someone

You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.

-- Whoopi Goldberg

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.

-- Jay Leno

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For Principle

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

-- John Quincy Adams, 1767 - 1848

Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Danger From All Men

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

-- John Adams, Journal, 1772

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Black Cat

It is difficult to catch a black cat in a dark room -- especially if the cat isn't there.

-- Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Angriest People

The angriest people in this country are not those who opposed the war but those of us who supported it. I mean, we were completely deceived.

-- Pundit Andrew Sullivan; cited in Alex Koppelman, "Sullivan's Travels: Openly Gay Pundit Andrew Sullivan Maps His Transformation from Bush Disciple to Harsh Critic of the Administration" (Salon, October 16)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Relentless Drift

There is a time when we must firmly choose the course we will follow, or the relentless drift of events will make the decision for us.

-- Herbert Prochnow

Friday, October 20, 2006

People Say They Love Truth

People say they love truth, but in reality they want to believe that which they love is true.

-- Robert J. Ringer

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Only in an election year this complicated can Republicans be happy that Mark Foley knocked the Iraq war off the front page.

-- Mark Campbell, a Republican strategist representing several Congressional candidates. New York Times, 10/19/06

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Few Things

Few things are needed to make a wise man happy; nothing can make a fool content; that is why most men are miserable.

-- Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


US Population now 300,000,000 (and change).

A birth every 7 seconds.
A death every 13 seconds.
Two new immigrants every minute.

A net change of +1 every 11 seconds.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Palm T|X

Palm T|X

... as of 9am this morning, with WiFi, and which theoretically can talk Bluetooth with my new cell phone to get Internet connectivity everywhere.

So, over the weekend I wanted to listen to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, but WDWS was carrying UI women's volleyball. I caught the game on ESPN radio out of Chicago, but reception was pretty poor.

But I found myself musing that with the phone delivering IP via Bluetooth to the Palm I could stream RealAudio over the web to the Palm, then deliver it to the car stereo with the FM broadcast module that plugs into the headphone jack on the Palm. That would be RealAudio over IP over Bluetooth over the cellular CDMA network delivered to the stereo via FM. I'll hafta try that.

Friday, October 13, 2006

SAFE Ports

The Safe Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 authorizes $3.4 billion over five years for safety measures, including installing radiation detectors at the 22 largest US ports by the end of next year, and increasing the number of random searches of the 11 million containers coming through US ports every year.
[Washington Post]

I'm glad to see Congress and the Administration doing something in this area. But I noticed that the $ amount quoted shines a bright light on the dollar cost of the Iraq war which, at about $1 billion per week, eats up as much as this 5-year allocation every 25 days or so.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Key To Understanding Kids

Jargon and slang speak volumes about the people who use them. Like a form of data compression, they can pack a tremendous amount of information -- the values, ideas, anxieties, and humor of a subculture -- into a single word or phrase. We can learn a lot about a subculture by decompressing its language.

-- Gareth Branwyn, American journalist and writer, "Jargon Watch", 1997

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Leading Edge

There's a fine line between being on the leading edge and being in the lunatic fringe.

-- Frank Armstrong [Preparing for Tomorrow's Challenges]

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

-- Mark Twain

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baseball, The Only Orderly Thing

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off.

-- Bill Veeck

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Method

My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.

-- George Bernard Shaw, Answers to Nine Questions. Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Thursday, October 05, 2006


When will we realize that the fact that we can become accustomed to anything, however disgusting at first, makes it necessary to examine carefully everything we have become accustomed to?

-- George Bernard Shaw, A Treatise on Parents and Children. Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Political Necessities

Political necessities sometimes turn out to be political mistakes.

-- George Bernard Shaw, St. Joan (1923). Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Political Capacity

We must either breed political capacity or be ruined by Democracy, which was forced on us by the failure of the older alternatives. Yet if Despotism failed only for want of a capable benevolent despot, what chance has Democracy, which requires a whole population of capable voters?

-- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903). Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Yawn

A yawn is an honest opinion.

-- George Bernard Shaw. Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Friday, September 29, 2006

What Really Flatters

What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.

-- George Bernard Shaw. Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist. 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature, 1856-1950

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Biggest Problem

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

-- George Bernard Shaw. Irish literary critic, playwright and essayist. 1925 Nobel laureate in literature, 1856-1950

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Negative Judgement

A negative judgement gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.

-- Jean Baudrillard

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I know all about America ... I've seen the Hallmark Channel.

-- Amal Nuradia, 27, a Somalian refugee; cited in Edmund Sanders, "All About America in 3 Days" (Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2006)

Monday, September 25, 2006


It is easier to make war than to make peace.

-- Georges Clemenceau, French politician, recently quoted by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in his speech to the American Legion in Salt Lake City

Friday, September 22, 2006


I'm a neoconservative who's been mugged by reality.

-- John Agresto, president of St. John's College in Santa Fe, N.M., who came to Iraq to build a whole new university system and left having accomplished almost nothing; cited in Sidney Blumenthal, "Emerald City Exposed" (Salon, 9/13)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

El Diablo

The devil himself is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Right here. It smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.

-- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the UN, 9/19/06, a day after President Bush spoke there

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

-- Winston Churchill, attributed

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It's a good idea to keep a lid on anything that has a lid.

-- Heather Appleman

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fine Line

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?

-- George Price

Friday, September 15, 2006

CIA Adage

The first time is happenstance, the second time is coincidence, but the third time is enemy action.

-- Old CIA Adage

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Window Pane

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.

-- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

-- Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


For too long, the philosophy in Washington has been that you can spend without consequence or sacrifice. That we can fight a war in Iraq and a war on terror, protect our homeland, provide our citizens with Medicare and Social Security and maintain our domestic priorities, all while cutting taxes for the wealthy and funding every local project there is.

-- Senator Barack Obama, (D-IL) in the Chicago Tribune, November, 2005

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering The Past

Remembering the past gives power to the present.

-- Fae Myenne Ng, Chinese-American author (1957-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

No Obligation

Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.

-- Margaret Mitchell

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Less Than A Second

Everything you ever do on a daily basis should take less than a second.

-- Linus Torvalds, April, 2005

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say is what it is I have found. Over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments, and I've found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could never have reached without you.

-- Andre Agassi, to the fans after the last match of his professional tennis career. New York Times, September 4, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rob Peter

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.

-- George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born dramatist, critic, novelist, and Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

Thursday, August 31, 2006


The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

-- George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born dramatist, critic, novelist, and Nobel laureate (1856-1950)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Looking For Trouble

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.

-- Ernest Benn

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

An Idealist

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

-- H. L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Cynic

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

-- H. L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Moral Standards

Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel.

-- H. L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

All Men Are Frauds

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

-- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Common Sense

It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

-- H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Common Sense

It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

-- H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reality Must Take Precedence

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

-- Richard Feynmann

Monday, August 21, 2006

Under The Law

With all its defects, delays and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations.

-- Supreme Court Justice J. Jackson's concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Drugs And Dreams

I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.

-- Maurits Cornelis Escher, 1898 - 1972

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nothing Is Enough

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.

-- Epicurus (c.341-270 BC, Greek philosopher)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Under Control

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

-- Mario Andretti (1940-, Italian-born American auto racer)

Friday, August 11, 2006


We are born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society.

-- Judith Martin, (Miss Manners)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Never Be A Civilized Country

This will never be a civilized country until we spend more money for books than we do on chewing gum.

-- Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hesitate To Say Anything Nice

I hesitate to say anything nice about him, for fear that it would be used against him. And that's a terrible commentary on the state of politics and the political climate today.

-- Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, on Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. New York Times, July 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Insult Instead Of A Stone

The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

-- Sigmund Freud, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis (1856-1939)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Right To Be Let Alone

The right to be let alone -- the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.

-- Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, (November 13, 1856 - October 3, 1941)

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Gift Of God

Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.

-- Freeman Dyson

Thursday, August 03, 2006

True Civilization

The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself.

-- Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and orator (1833-1899)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

War Is Hell

It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.

-- William Tecumseh Sherman, Union General in the American Civil War (1820-1891)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


One day before he was the leader, then he was defeated. But he was no coward, and thanks to his great heart, it is a very great performance.

-- Jean-Marie LeBlanc, director of the Tour de France, on the performance of Floyd Landis. New York Times, 7/26/07


Landis had the overall lead after the first really tough mountain stage in the Alps. He then lost the lead by eight minutes the next day, falling into 11th place. It appeared that his chances of winning were over.

The very next day Landis rode a solo, 145-km breakaway on the final mountain stage, winning by 7:30 and rising to second place, 30 seconds out. Two days later, in the final stage before the arrival in Paris, Landis won the individual time trial by a minute and a half, ultimately winning the overall by 59 seconds in one of the closest, most back-and-forth tours ever. Unfortunately, several days later it was revealed that Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone on the day of his epic comeback.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Wildness Is A Necessity

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

-- John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Indictments Of Civilization

One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.

-- William Feather (1888-1981, American writer, businessman)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Acknowledge A Fault

Always acknowledge a fault quite frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

-- Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Every Great Advance

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

-- Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Memories Are Card Indexes

Our memories are card indexes -- consulted, and then put back in disorder, by authorities whom we do not control.

-- Cyril Connolly

Friday, July 21, 2006

To Punish Me

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.

-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Unthinking Respect

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Always Right

Under the law of war, the President is always right.

-- Justice Department representative Steven Bradbury; cited by Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2006

Monday, July 17, 2006

Undesirable To Believe

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.

-- Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928), "On the Value of Scepticism"

Friday, July 14, 2006

One Of The Commonest Mistakes

It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

-- C. W. Leadbeater

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Power Of The Symbol

The power of the symbol comes from the nature of perception and thought. The train whistle makes us see the train, the footstep in the hall reminds us of the family relative. The oranges bring back the breakfast table.

-- Delmore Schwartz

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Syd Barrett

My head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
Please, please, lift a hand
I'm only a person whose armbands beat
On his hands, hang tall
Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?

-- Syd Barrett (January 6, 1946 - July 7, 2006), Co-founder of British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, lyrics to "Dark Globe" from the album "The Madcap Laughs"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chastity Of The Intellect

Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon, or to the first comer.

-- George Santayana, 1863 - 1921

Monday, July 10, 2006

What And How

Once the "what" is decided, the "how" always follows. We must not make the "how" an excuse for not facing and accepting the "what".

-- Pearl Buck

Friday, July 07, 2006

Free And Unrestrained Press

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.

-- Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Skepticism A Virtue

Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.

-- Robert King Merton, sociologist (1910-2003)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.

-- Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Listen To The Mustn'ts

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

-- Shel Silverstein. American poet, cartoonist and composer best known in children's literature for his poetry, 1930-1999

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Weak And Sottish

There is no course of life so weak and sottish as that which is managed by order, method, and discipline.

-- Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist, lawyer, and policitian

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No Horse Gets Anywhere

No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.

-- Harry Emerson Fosdick

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bringing Up A Family

Bringing up a family should be an adventure, not an anxious discipline in which everybody is constantly graded for performance.

-- Milton R. Saperstein

Monday, June 26, 2006


Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.

-- Norman Podhoretz

Friday, June 23, 2006

Great End Of Education

The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers, rather than fill it with the accumulation of others.

-- Tryon Edwards

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.

-- Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Swedish Statesman, Secretary-general of U.N.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It's the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.

-- Ann Landers (1918-2003, American Advice Columnist)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Discipline Ourselves

If we do not discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.

-- William Feather (1888-1981, American writer, businessman)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ben Franklin

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

-- David Comins

Friday, June 16, 2006

If A Man Empties His Purse

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment of knowledge always pays the best interest.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Making Excuses

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Many Will Seem Few

If you desire many things, many things will seem few.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Very Odd Creatures

Mankind are very odd creatures: One half censure what they practise, the other half practise what they censure; the rest always say and do as they ought.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Suppress The First Desire

It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Actions Show Meaning

Words may show a man's wit, but actions his meaning.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Subject Of Controversy

When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.

-- William Hazlitt

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Not Forgotten

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wikipedia, Number of the Beast, 666

In honor of today's date, 6-6-6:

The number 666 retains a peculiar significance in the culture and psychology of Western societies, where some perceive it as "the Devil's number", even in contexts usually remote from superstition. The fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

For example:

* When the CPU manufacturer Intel introduced the 666 MHz Pentium III in 1999, they chose to market it as the "Pentium III 667", claiming that, since the actual clock speed was 666.666 MHz, 667 was the more accurate approximation, against their usual rounding practice, examples of which are the 66.666 MHz "486-66", the 466.666 MHz "Celeron 466" and the later 866.666 MHz "Pentium III 866".

* U.S. Route 666, "the Highway of the Beast", was renumbered as U.S. Route 491 in 2003 after controversy over the supposed reference to the Biblical beast, which also made the road signs a common target for theft.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Buying Pleasure

Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Friday, June 02, 2006

National Security Letters

According to the Justice Department, in 2005 the FBI issued 9,254 National Security Letters, a rate of approximately one every 57 minutes.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Necessity never made a good bargain.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Money Will Do Everything

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Curious Confusion

By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.

-- G. K. Chesterton

Friday, May 26, 2006

Amateur Hour

You get a lot more authority when the workforce doesn't think it's amateur hour on the top floor.

-- General Michael V. Hayden, President Bush's newly-confirmed C.I.A. director, New York Times, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

There Is Always Danger

In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Every Crisis

Every crisis offers you extra desired power.

-- William Moulton Marston

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bad Season

Remember that it only takes one hurricane in your neighborhood to make it a bad season.

-- Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New York Times, May 23, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Producer Of Meanings

One way to describe the great struggle of our time is as the endeavor to become a producer of meanings rather than a consumer of them -- in an age when meaning as advertising and marketing, as others' definitions of pleasure and terror, is daily forced down our throats.

-- Rebecca Solnit, author, commencement address for the English Department at UC Berkeley, May 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Political Anxiety

Political anxiety in an election year is to blame for a lot of the bad bills Congress passes.

-- Representative Jeff Flake, R-AZ, on a (now-dead) proposed $100 rebate to taxpayers to compensate for higher gas prices. New York Times, 5/2/06

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Complicate Simplicity

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.

-- Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian ethnologist, 1914-2002

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ride Of Silence

Across the nation, over 600 cyclists are killed on the road every year (662 in 2002, to 626 in 2003 according to NHTSA). A small number compared to the estimated 300,000 premature deaths estimated to result from overweight and obesity-related illnesses.
-- American League of Cyclists

Bicycling is part of the solution to many of our nation's problems: the obesity epidemic, traffic congestion, air pollution and more. Some 64% of adults and over 15% of kids are overweight today, resulting in 300,000 premature deaths and a cost to society of $117 billion a year. Over 22% of all motor vehicle trips Americans take are less than one mile long, and 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work, an easily bikeable distance. If the average person biked to work or shopping once every two weeks instead of driving, we could prevent the pollution of close to one billion gallons of gasoline from entering the atmosphere every year. The League of American Bicyclists' new television and radio PSA campaign encourages Americans to visit and bike to work instead of driving. The League promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works for a bicycle-friendly America.
-- League of American Cyclists

"No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." -- Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Death

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

-- Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Don't Rust

Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

-- Leonardo Da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Knocked Down More

I got knocked down more than any champion and I got up more than every champion.

-- Floyd "The Gentleman of Boxing" Patterson (January 4, 1935 - May 11, 2006), American heavyweight boxer

Thursday, May 11, 2006

River Of Time

In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.

-- Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 - 1519

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Healthy Male Adult Bore

A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.

-- John Updike

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Younger Generation

In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.

-- Roger Allen

Friday, May 05, 2006

Live To Be One Hundred

If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age.

-- George Burns

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Firm Anchor In Nonsense

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 - April 29, 2006) Canadian-born economist, Harvard professor

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

If All Else Fails

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 - April 29, 2006) Canadian-born economist, Harvard professor

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Modern Conservative

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 - April 29, 2006) Canadian-born economist, Harvard professor

Comfort The Afflicted

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 - April 29, 2006) Canadian-born economist, Harvard professor, in London Guardian, July 29, 1989

Monday, May 01, 2006

All The Rich People

If all the rich people in the world divided up their money among themselves there wouldn't be enough to go around.

-- Christina Stead, House of All Nations (1938) "Credo"

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ignorance Begets Confidence

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

-- Charles Darwin, 1871

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Change And Stress

I have always argued that change becomes stressful and overwhelming only when you've lost any sense of the constancy of your life. You need firm ground to stand on. From there, you can deal with that change.

-- Richard Nelson Bolles

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Your Own Image

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

-- Anne Lamott, author

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb

OU agrees to replace destroyed bicycle
Friday, March 31, 2006
Jim Phillips

ATHENS, Ohio - A graduate student whose bike was mistaken for a pipe bomb and destroyed by authorities will get a new ride at Ohio University's expense.

OU Director of Legal Affairs John Burns said he'll write a check to 28-year-old Patrick Hanlin "once I figure out how much."

The university has agreed to replace Hanlin's bike, which bomb squad personnel dismantled looking for an explosive device earlier this month because the bike had a sticker on it promoting the punk band This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Never Invest

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing.

-- Billy Rose

Friday, April 21, 2006

T E Lawrence On Iraq

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. ... We are today not far from a disaster.

-- T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), Sunday Times, August 1920; cited in Dahr Jamail, "The Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq" (, April 19)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Easier To Be Critical

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

-- Benjamin Disraeli, Speech at the House of Commons, January 24, 1860

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Something Must Be Done

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.

-- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.

-- William H. Mauldin

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sad Truth

The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.

-- Shana Alexander

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Complexity Kills

Complexity kills.

-- Ray Ozzie, chief technical officer, who joined Microsoft last year; cited in Steve Lohr and John Markoff, "Windows Is So Slow, but Why?" (New York Times, March 27)
Ray is also a former member of the PLATO (now NovaNET) system staff

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Your True Value

Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with.

-- Bob Wells

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fearful People

Fearful people are more dependent, more easily manipulated and controlled, more susceptible to deceptively simple, strong, tough measures and hard-line postures. ... They may accept and even welcome repression if it promises to relieve their insecurities.

-- George Gerbner, who headed the Annenberg School for Communication for 25 years; cited in Molly Ivins, "The 'Long War'? Oh, Goodie" (Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado), March 18/Common Dreams)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Rain Without Thunder And Lightning

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.

-- Frederick Douglass

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Satisfaction Is Death

As long as I have a want I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.

-- George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You Never Know

You never know how well an election will go for an indicted person.

-- Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX), in an interview with Reuters shortly before winning the 2006 Republican house primary

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 5th at 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1am it will be 01:02:03 on 04/05/06.

Monday, April 03, 2006

All Religions Are Equally Good

All religions are equally good. God is the fruit of any religion truly practised. Make no mistake about it. God is one. Truth is one. The colour of the cow may be different, but milk is white.

-- Sivananda (1887 - 1963)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Not Lucky To Be Alive

No, I don't feel lucky to be alive! I feel lucky I'm not dead. There's a difference.

-- Paul Dooley as Ray Stohler in "Breaking Away"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fear Is What They're Going To Have

From an interview with Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, and a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit.

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat - thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn't confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed. ... It has been a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public's attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it's gonna fall apart. But somebody's gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it's done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Let x be the probability that you look like (and perhaps feel like) hell on a given day. Let y be the maximum value that x can take on. Then we have the following conjecture.

If today is a day on which you must have your picture taken for an ID, then x=y.

-- Josh Paley

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Here we were, begging the world to stop sending any arms to Iran, and there was this horrible proposal that we try to buy the friendship of these fanatics by giving them arms and violating all of the things we were doing in trying to persuade the rest of the world that they shouldn't sell them arms.

-- Caspar W. Weinberger (August 18, 1917 - March 28, 2006), President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense

Monday, March 27, 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

What A Concept

I am responsible for my own well-being, my own happiness. The choices and decisions I make regarding my life directly influence the quality of my days.

-- Kathleen Andrus

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Some Say The World Will End In Fire

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Not Words, Choices

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

-- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Blind Myself

Because you're not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.

-- Madeline L'Engle

Monday, March 20, 2006

Not Understanding

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

-- Upton Sinclair, novelist and reformer (1878-1968)

Friday, March 17, 2006

An Irish Blessing

May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

-- An Irish Blessing

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One-Word Description

When asked for a one-word description of Bush, the most frequent response [in an independent Pew Research Center poll] was "incompetent," followed by "good," "idiot" and "liar." In February 2005, the most frequent reply was "honest."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Price You Paid

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

-- Mignon McLaughlin

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Music Business

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

-- Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, March 13, 2006

Failure To Understand Reality

It's our failure to understand reality that has caused us to be late throughout this experience of the last three years in Iraq.

-- Retired Army Major General William L. Nash, a former military commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Friday, March 10, 2006

Potentially Suitable

We have found an environment that is potentially suitable for living organisms.

-- Carolyn Porco, of the Space Science Institute, discussing a moon of Saturn. NY Times, 3/10/06

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ignorance Of Experts

Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding generation. ... Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

-- Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, (Perseus Books, New York, 1999), pp. 186-187.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Levels Of Thinking

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

-- Albert Einstein

Monday, March 06, 2006

National Archives

The idea is to let people get on with their research and not reclassify documents unless it's absolutely necessary.

-- Allen Weinstein, the nation's chief archivist, announcing a "moratorium" on reclassification of documents by intelligence agencies.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Absorb The Most

The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation.

-- Adam Smith

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Accomplice To The Crime

The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.

-- Bess Myerson (b. 1924), U.S. government official, columnist. Quoted in: Claire Safran, "Impeachment?" (published in Redbook, New York, April 1974).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Intellectual Labor

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.

-- Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell's "Life of Johnson"

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Our Strength

Our strength is often composed of the weakness that we're damned if we're going to show.

-- Mignon McLaughlin

Monday, February 27, 2006

Friday, February 24, 2006

Quantum Computing

It is very bizarre that you know your computer has not run but you also know what the answer is. A non-running computer produces fewer errors.

-- Onur Hosten, member of a University of Illinois team working on quantum computing.
Journal reference: Nature (vol 439, p 949)
From issue 2540 of New Scientist magazine, 22 February 2006, page 21

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nothing Is As Frustrating

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.

-- Sam Ewing

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Never Make The Mistake

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.

-- Edward Gibbon

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Like Long Walks

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

-- Noel Coward

Friday, February 17, 2006

May Your Trails Be Crooked

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-- Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Grow Up

It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.

-- E. E. (Edward E.) Cummings (1894-1962, American Poet)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Every Step

Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.

-- Clarence Seward Darrow, 1857 - 1938

Monday, February 13, 2006

Loneliness Vs. Solitude

Language has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone, and the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.

-- Paul Johannes Tillich

Friday, February 10, 2006


Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

-- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

End Move In Politics

The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.

-- R. Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

All The World's A Stage

If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door.

-- Paul Beatty

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Only Way To Predict The Future

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future. Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophesies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.

-- Eric Hoffer

Monday, February 06, 2006

Data Banks

The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.

-- Marshall McLuhan

Friday, February 03, 2006


Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.

-- Richard Kline

Thursday, February 02, 2006

They Defend Their Errors

They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.

-- Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

People Only See

People only see what they are prepared to see.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Challenger Anniversary

Space Shuttle Mission 51-L lifted off from Pad B at Cape Canaveral at 11:38 am Eastern, twenty years ago tomorrow, January 28, 1986. It was the 25th Shuttle launch, the 10th for Challenger (OV-099). Challenger had made 987 orbits of the earth and spent 69 days in space in her first nine flights. On board were Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory B. Jarvis, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe. The mission ended in a fireball 46,000 feet above the Atlantic, 73 seconds into the flight.

I didn't hear what had happened for several hours, though I did notice while on a bike ride that day climbing Lake Jennings Park Road outside Lakeside, CA that flags were flying at half staff at the county facility at the side of the road. I didn't own a TV, so at about 6pm I listened to NPR and heard the news. I knocked on my neighbor's door and asked to watch the 6 o'clock news with them where I saw the video for the first time.

That night President Reagan got it right when he quoted John Gillespie Magee's "High Flight": "We will never forget them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Win Your Peace Or Buy It

You may either win your peace or buy it; win it by resistance to evil; buy it by compromise with evil.

-- John Ruskin (1819-1900)


And that compromise with evil doesn't mean only compromise with one's opponent; to compromise one's ideals or morals is another way to spend one's own worth in lieu of striving.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Be Not Blind With Patriotism

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.

-- Malcolm X

Monday, January 23, 2006

Life Demands Struggle

All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.

-- Ralph Ransom