Friday, June 29, 2007


The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

-- Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in the majority opinion on school integration, June 28, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Exit Blair

Some may belittle politics but we who are engaged in it know that it is where people stand tall. Although I know that it has many harsh contentions, it is still the arena that sets the heart beating a little faster. If it is, on occasions, the place of low skulduggery, it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes. I wish everyone, friend or foe, well. That is that. The end.

-- Tony Blair's last official words as Prime Minister, said at Prime Minister's Questions on 27 June 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

-- Augusten Burroughs

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Aimed Rather Low

If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.

-- George Carlin

Monday, June 25, 2007

Properly Free

I myself am human and free only to the extent that I acknowledge the humanity and liberty of all my fellows .... I am properly free when all the men and women about me are equally free. Far from being a limitation or a denial of my liberty, the liberty of another is its necessary condition and confirmation.

-- Mikhail Bakunin

Friday, June 22, 2007

Driving In Illinois

When you're driving in Illinois, watching the buildings in the distance move SO SLOWLY, you're watching a kind of movie that you've been watching all your life, and that isn't playing in any other cinema.

-- Ernie Metzger, Glasgow, Scotland, formerly of Urbana, IL

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bloomberg On Politics

Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles, and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology.

-- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, New York Times, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ready Booted And Spurred

I never would believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.

-- Walt Whitman, American poet (1819-1892)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sacrifices Must Be Made

For you to be successful, sacrifices must be made. It's better that they are made by others but failing that, you'll have to make them yourself.

-- Rita Mae Brown (November 28, 1944-), American writer

Monday, June 18, 2007

Real ID

The REAL ID Act is one of the largest identity management undertakings in history. It would bring more than 200 million people from a large, diverse, and mobile country within a uniformly defined identity system, jointly operated by state governments. This has never been done before in the USA, and it raises numerous policy, privacy, and data security issues that have had only brief scrutiny, particularly given the scope and scale of the undertaking.

It is critical that specific issues be carefully considered before developing and deploying a uniform identity management system in the 21st century. These include, but are not limited to, the implementation costs, the privacy consequences, the security of stored identity documents and personal information, redress and fairness, "mission creep", and, perhaps most importantly, provisions for national security protections.

The Department of Homeland Security's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking touched on some of these issues, though it did not explore them in the depth necessary for a system of such magnitude and such consequence. Given that these issues have not received adequate consideration, the Committee feels it is important that the following comments do not constitute an endorsement of REAL ID or the regulations as workable or appropriate.

-- The Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security

Strength Of Character

Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. Even with the violence of emotion, judgment and principle must still function like a ship's compass, which records the slightest variations however rough the sea.

-- Carl von Clausewitz

Friday, June 15, 2007


You can look at practically any part of anything manmade around you and think "some engineer was frustrated while designing this." It's a little human connection.

-- xkcd, 6/14/07, (check it out)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Liberty V. Security

The very point of protecting liberty is to demand that sacrifices to liberty are not in vain and that security interests, which compromise civil liberties, are sufficiently effective to warrant the cost.

-- Daniel J. Solove, Data Mining and the Security-Liberty Debate, George Washington University Law School

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ironic Way Of Failing

It's not about money, it's about freedom. If you think it's about money you've missed the point. I want to use a computer in freedom, to cooperate, to not be restricted or prohibited from sharing. The GNU/Linux system is catching on somewhat more now. The system is becoming popular for practical reasons. It's a good system. The danger is people will like it because it's practical and it will become popular without anyone having the vaguest idea of the ideals behind it, which would be an ironic way of failing.

-- Richard Stallman in a Software Libre article by Richard Hillesley, 3/18/07

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Refuse To Recognize

To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them "enemy combatants," would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution -- and the country.

We refuse to recognize a claim to power that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.

-- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ordering the release from military detention of Ali al-Marri

Monday, June 11, 2007

Young And Foolish

To be young and foolish you need to be both young and foolish. One without the other is no good.

-- Wayne Howell

Romney Is An Idiot

As I slowly winnow away at the list of candidates, Romney makes it easy to elminate him from contention ... here's an excerpt from an article about the June 5 candidates' debate --

At the Republican candidates' debate on June 5, White House contender Mitt Romney remarkably claimed that weapons inspectors were barred from entering Iraq before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. But Romney's error was little noted by the mainstream media.

Asked if he thought it was "a mistake for us to invade Iraq," Romney declared the question a "null set," and explained:

"If you're saying let's turn back the clock, and Saddam Hussein had opened up his country to IAEA inspectors, and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein, therefore, not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in. But he didn't do those things, and we knew what we knew at the point we made the decision to get in."

Romney's suggestion that weapons inspectors were not permitted into Iraq before the war started is, of course, incorrect. Weapons inspectors from UNMOVIC (the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) returned to Iraq on November 18, 2002. Led by Hans Blix, the inspectors spent months in Iraq, issuing reports on Iraqi compliance that were a crucial part of the debate over whether to invade Iraq.

-- From "Romney's Iraq Gaffe Ignored, GOP contender's bizarre pre-war history" 6/8/07, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pro Patria

I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Rather a thousand times the county jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the words, "Pro Patria."

What do they mean, anyway?

-- From the "Spoon River Anthology"

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rearing Our Children In Captivity

We are rearing our children in captivity -- their habitat shrinking almost daily. In 1970 the average nine-year-old girl would have been free to wander 840 meters from her front door. In 1997 it was 280 metres. Now the limit appears to have come down to the front doorstep.

-- Mark Easton, Home editor, BBC News, 4 June 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Eat Before You Are Hungry

Eat before you are hungry. Drink before you are thirsty. Rest before you are tired. Cover up before you are cold. Peel off before you are hot. Don't drink or smoke on tour. Never ride just to prove yourself.

-- Paul de Vivie (Velocio, 1853-1930) inventor of a two speed derailleur in 1905, on cycling

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tattoo Your Name On Their Chest

If you can persuade your customer to tattoo your name on their chest, they probably will not switch brands.

-- An Indiana University professor (re: Harley-Davidson owners)

Monday, June 04, 2007

If We Quit Vietnam

If we quit Vietnam, tomorrow we'll be fighting in Hawaii, and next week we'll have to fight in San Francisco.

-- President Lyndon Johnson, quoted by Ron Hutcheson in "Some See Troubling Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam" (Common Dreams, September 18, 2003)

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Own Funeral

I feel like I've been attending my own funeral, listening to all these speeches.

-- Billy Graham, at the dedication of a library honoring his ministry, May 31, 2007