Friday, March 30, 2007

Blood Is Flowing

In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war.

-- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Wednesday 3/28/07, at an Arab League meeting in Riyadh

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.

-- Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr. in his decision striking down the Child Online Protection Act, March 22, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it.

-- Kathleen Casey Theisen

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stem Cells

From my standpoint, it is clear today that American science will be better-served, and the nation will be better-served, if we let our scientists have access to more stem cell lines.

-- NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, Monday 3/19/2007 during a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing on NIH funding for fiscal year 2008

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dropped Objects

Dropped objects seek the point of least accessibility.

-- Scott Adams

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wars Do Not Resolve

Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore ... prove ultimately futile.

-- Pope John Paul II

Thursday, March 22, 2007

CNN Vs. The Onion

Several years ago, we reached the point where neither my friends nor I could not tell the difference between CNN and the Onion.

-- Wade J. Olsen, 3/20/07

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Forceps Of Our Minds

The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.

-- H. G. Wells, 1903

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Wait until it flies over Manhattan. It will block out the sun.

-- James Fazio, chief operating officer of JFK International Airport Terminal, on the Airbus A380 which made its maiden flight to the United States yesterday, New York Times, 3/20/2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

People Tend To Predict

In conditions of great uncertainty people tend to predict that the events that they want to happen actually will happen.

-- Roberta Wohlstetter

Friday, March 16, 2007

We Must Protest

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

-- Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (1928- )

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Truth Does Not Change

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.

-- Giordano Bruno

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Think In Front Of A Tiger

If you know the point of balance, you can settle the details. If you can settle the details, you can stop running around. Your mind will become calm. If your mind becomes calm, you can think in front of a tiger. If you can think in front of a tiger, you will surely succeed.

-- Mencius (Mengzi Meng-Tse) c.370-300 BC, Chinese Philosopher

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We Are Both Atheists

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

-- usenet .sig

Stray The Course

So the Bush administration appears to be doing some things right, like talking to Iran & Syria, as suggested by the Baker-Hamilton Commission. Is this an actual change in strategy (pushed by Condi?) or is there something else happening here?

I thought Bush would go with the commission's report as a CYA approach to dealing with inevitable failure. However, Bush instead chose his "stay the course" troop buildup, providing what is perhaps too few troops to accomplish "victory" (whatever that is defined as, now), though apparently with the intention of producing a positive outcome.

Those who think he irrevocably screwed up the Iraq war 3 or 4 years ago would argue that victory is no longer possible. Bush appears to think otherwise, as I don't see much advantage for him in simply drawing things out prior to accepting ultimate failure.

So, is this a strategic shift? Is Condi behind it? Is there an ulterior motive in either talking to Iran/Syria or the troop buildup? Is Bush pursuing something other than ill-defined victory in Iraq? Comments?

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Nearly Certain

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others.

-- Bertrand Russell, "Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?", 1947)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Three Natural Laws Of The Digital World

Bruce Schneier's Three Natural Laws of the Digital World:

I. Bits are inherently copyable, easily and repeatedly; digital files cannot be made uncopyable, any more than water can be made not wet.

II. Software has the ability to encapsulate skill.

III. The digital world lacks political boundaries.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I should clearly buy a breathalyser, connect it to my computer, and make sudo check it before allowing me to access the root account.

-- Fred Emmott (fred87), Planet KDE, March 8, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Snow Shadow

I wouldn't have thought it was possible. Over the weekend we had several hours of snow flurries, along with a steady breeze.

This picture shows the snow shadow. Apparently the wind direction did not vary as the snow fell, allowing all of the snow to sharply align with the edges of anything that blocked the wind. The shadow lasted until the next day. Snow was still (slowly) falling when I took this picture.

Ironic Times

We mistakenly quoted Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison calling for accountability from top White House aides Libby and Rove by saying, "Something needs to be said that is a clear message that the rule of law is intact and the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are not gray." In fact, when Senator Hutchison made the remarks, she was calling for accountability from President Clinton in 1999. More recently, in regard to accountability for Libby and Rove, she referred to perjury as a "technicality." We regret any confusion caused by our error.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true. It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of the phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And he lied about it afterward, under oath and repeatedly.

-- Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, "Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment" on (October 28, 2005)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Success In Your Field

You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play.

-- Warren Beatty

Friday, March 02, 2007

Of Course

Of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists. But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.

-- Senator Russ Feingold

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Mystery Cat

He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place - Macavity wasn't there!

-- T. S. Eliot, Macavity: The Mystery Cat