Monday, April 30, 2007


I think it was Osama bin Laden's.

-- Presidential adviser Karl Rove, replying to the question of whose idea it was to start a preemptive war in Iraq; cited in Dan Froomkin, "Rove Watch; Bush Challenged on Iraq" (, April 19, 2007)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tenet Disses Bush, Cheney

There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat.

-- George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, in his new book, New York Times, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Amazing Variety

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.

-- Samuel McChord Crothers

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gorbachev On Yeltsin

I express the very deepest condolences to the family of the deceased [Boris Yeltsin] on whose shoulders rest major events for the good of the country and serious mistakes.

-- Mikhail Gorbachev (2 March 1931 - ), leader of the Soviet Union 1985-1991, Reuters, 04/23/2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Excuse Not To Think

Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.

-- Michael Rivero

Monday, April 23, 2007

RIP Yeltsin

Dissidents should be paid 13 months' salary for a year, otherwise our mindless unanimity will bring us to an even more hopeless state of stagnation. It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts.

-- Boris Yeltsin (1 February 1931 - 23 April 2007), first president of post-Soviet Russia, Against the Grain (1990), p. 172

Friday, April 20, 2007


Ultimately, the Court admits that "moral concerns" are at work, concerns that could yield prohibitions on any abortion. Notably, the concerns expressed are untethered to any ground genuinely serving the Government's interest in preserving life. By allowing such concerns to carry the day and case, overriding fundamental rights, the Court dishonors our precedent. ("Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.")

Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an anti-abortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem." Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the "bond of love the mother has for her child," the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution--ideas that have long since been discredited.

-- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent to the court's 4/18/07 5-4 decision upholding the federal partial-birth abortion ban, the first total ban on an abortion procedure with no exceptions for a woman’s life or health

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

If Only

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Source Of Evil

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

-- Joseph Conrad, 1857 - 1924

Monday, April 16, 2007


Over the weekend my 3 older brothers and I hosted a party for 39 people from at least 6 states to celebrate my father's upcoming 90th birthday. I hope his longevity is genetic.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Series Of Accidents

I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.

-- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan (1959)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

The only proof he needed
For the existence of God
Was music.

-- Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 - 2007-04-11), Vonnegut's Blues For America, 07 January, 2006 Sunday Herald

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not The Art Of The Possible

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fig Newton

Fig Newton: The force required to accelerate a fig 39.37 inches/sec.

-- Johnny Hart (February 18, 1931 - April 7, 2007), in the comic strip BC

Thursday, April 05, 2007


We have a political system that awards high office to the most ruthless, cunning, and selfish of mortals, then we act surprised when those willing to do anything to win power are equally willing to do anything with it.

-- Michael Rivero

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Conformists And Troublemakers

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

-- Mignon McLaughlin

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


There are four "defining freedoms" to free software:

1) The freedom to run the program as you see fit,
2) Study and adapt it for your own purposes,
3) Redistribute copies to help your neighbour, and
4) Release your improvements to the public.

-- Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation

Monday, April 02, 2007


I need a girl whose name doesn't end in .jpg

-- anonymous