Friday, August 31, 2007

Do It Right

There is no labor a person does that is undignified, if they do it right.

-- Bill Cosby (1937-, American Actor, Comedian)

Thursday, August 30, 2007


This [war] is an endless story unless a miracle takes place in a time when miracles do not take place any more.

-- Waleed al-Ubaydi, a political analyst at Baghdad University, August 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Chain Of Change

And, oh! what beautiful years were these
When our hearts clung each to each;
When life was filled and our senses thrilled
In the first faint dawn of speech.

Thus life by life and love by love
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath and death by death
We followed the chain of change.

-- Langdon Smith

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Intelligent Work

The great difference between those who succeed and those who fail does not consist in the amount of work done by each but in the amount of intelligent work.

-- Og Mandino (1923-1996), American motivational author, speaker

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales Going Going Gone

To achieve victory at the cost of eroding civil liberties would not really be a victory. We cannot change the core identity of our Nation and claim success. And our identity has never been in doubt -- we are a free people, dedicated to liberty for the popular and the unpopular, committed to the ideal that the People govern themselves, and determined to have a government that cannot extinguish or suppress the rights that make us Americans.

-- Then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, November 20, 2006

Friday, August 24, 2007

Less And Less Obvious

Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.

-- R. Buckminster Fuller

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bodies Of Men

Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind; and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction, which is apt to mingle its poison in the deliberations of all bodies of men, will often hurry the persons of whom they are composed into improprieties and excesses, for which they would blush in a private capacity.

-- Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


For example, international terrorism annually causes the same number of deaths as drowning in bathtubs or bee stings. It would take a repeat of Sept. 11 every month of the year to make flying as dangerous as driving. Over a lifetime, the chance of being killed by a terrorist is about the same as being struck by a meteor .... In conclusion, an American's risk of dying at the hands of a terrorist is microscopic.

-- John Mueller, an Ohio State University political science professor

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waxing Eloquent

I can also say that this bike climbs like a monkey in a set of crampons, descends like a monkey in a set of crampons being droppd from a helicopter, handles corners like a prostitute, and accelerates like a particle in a particle accelerator that itself is just a tiny particle in a giant particle accelerator. Overall, the effect is like sitting in a cafe in a trendy Milan street while sipping a cappuccino and wearing fabulous clothes yet inexplicably traveling at or close to the speed of light. Pure Italian class.

-- Bike Snob NYC, waxing eloquent about the new Colnago Extreme Power bicycle

Monday, August 20, 2007

Neutron Loans

All of the old-timers knew that subprime mortgages were what we called neutron loans -- they killed the people and left the houses. The deals made in 2005 and 2006 were going to run into trouble because the credit pendulum at the time was stuck at easy.

-- Louis S. Barnes, a partner at Boulder West, a mortgage banking firm, NY Times, 8/19/07

Friday, August 17, 2007


You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

-- Franklin P. Jones

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When We Teach

When we teach a child to draw, we teach him how to see. When we teach a child to play a musical instrument, we teach her how to listen. When we teach a child to dance, we teach him how to move through life with grace. When we tach a child to read and write, we teach her how to think. When we nurture imagination, we create a better world, one child at a time.

-- Jane Alexander

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crying And Rejoicing

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

-- Cherokee proverb

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Never Have Children

Never have children, only grandchildren.

-- Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925-), novelist, essayist, playwright, and provocateur, quoting his grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Mother Is Born

Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.

-- Erma Louise Bombeck, 1927 - 1996

Friday, August 10, 2007


At 6:27 AM today my number two daughter Sheena gave birth to my first grandchild. Saiya Marie Schwartz weighed in on arrival at 8 pounds 6 ounces, and 20 inches long.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.

-- From Hank Aaron's video tribute to Barry Bonds on Bonds' record-breaking 756th career home run, August 7, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Security Consultant Bruce Schneier: By today's rules, I can carry on liquids in quantities of 3 oz or less, unless they're in larger bottles. But I can carry on multiple three-ounce bottles. Or a single larger bottle with a non-prescription medicine label, like contact lens fluid. It all has to fit inside a one-quart plastic bag, except for that large bottle of contact lens fluid. And if you confiscate my liquids, you're going to toss them into a large pile right next to the screening station -- which you would never do if anyone thought they were actually dangerous.

Can you please convince me there's not an Office for Annoying Air Travelers making this sort of stuff up?

Transportation Safety Administration Head Kip Hawley [who apparently has a sense of humor]: Screening ideas are indeed thought up by the Office for Annoying Air Travelers and vetted through the Directorate for Confusion and Complexity, and then we review them to insure that there are sufficient unintended irritating consequences so that the blogosphere is constantly fueled.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Any Event

Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.

-- Lee Simonson

Monday, August 06, 2007


You need a healthy ego to endure the abuse that comes with any sort of success. The trick is to think of your ego as your goofy best friend who lends moral support but doesn't know shit.

-- Scott Adams, The Dilbert Blog, 7/23/07

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pervading Evil

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.

-- Lord Acton (10 January 1834 - 19 June 1902), English historian, The History of Freedom in Antiquity (February 28, 1877)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Power Corrupts

All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.

-- Lord Acton (10 January 1834 - 19 June 1902), English historian, Letter to Mandell Creighton, April 1887

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Everything Secret Degenerates

Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.

-- Lord Acton (10 January 1834 - 19 June 1902), English historian, Letter (January 23, 1861)