Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment IV

United States ConstitutionAmendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment III

United States ConstitutionAmendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment II

United States ConstitutionAmendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment I

Constitution of the United StatesThe Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution; Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama At 2004 DNC

Senator Barack ObamaThe pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states, red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too: We worship an awesome God in the blue states and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

-- Senator Barack Obama, address at the Democratic National Convention, Boston, 27 July 2004

Thursday, July 24, 2008


MistakeMistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

-- Al Franken, "Oh, the Things I Know", 2002

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Fascist Headquarters, Italy, 1934Fascism: Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal and democratic values are disparaged.

-- Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, via

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Borrowing To Buy To Burn

Al GoreWe're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that has to change.

-- Former Vice President Al Gore, urging that the United States abandon the use of carbon-based fuels for electricity within 10 years, New York Times, 18 July 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

16 Months

Nuri al MalikiObama's remarks that -- if he takes office -- in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq. Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.

-- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki, New York Times, 19 July 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Long Walk

Nelson Mandela (public domain)I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.

-- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918-), South African political activist, co-winner of Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk in 1993; in 1994, first President of South Africa elected in fully representative democratic elections, Long Walk to Freedom (1995)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

As President

President George W. BushAs president, I will order an immediate review of our overseas deployments - in dozens of countries. The longstanding commitments we have made to our allies are the strong foundation of our current peace. I will keep these pledges to defend friends from aggression. The problem comes with open-ended deployments and unclear military missions. In these cases we will ask, "What is our goal, can it be met, and when do we leave?" As I've said before, I will work hard to find political solutions that allow an orderly and timely withdrawal from places like Kosovo and Bosnia. We will encourage our allies to take a broader role. We will not be hasty. But we will not be permanent peacekeepers, dividing warring parties. This is not our strength or our calling.

-- Candidate George W. Bush, Thursday, September 23, 1999

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Knock Yourself On The Head

Horace MannDo not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.

-- Horace Mann, educational reformer (1796-1859)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fairly Straightforward

Elephant and Donkey in Luna ParkWhen I was young American politics were fairly straightforward: conservatives let you keep all your money in return for telling you how to live your life, while liberals let you live as you pleased in return for all your money. Now the only difference is whether they want your money or your life first.

-- D.A. Ridgely,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awful Privilege

William Kingdon CliffordAn awful privilege, and an awful responsibility, that we should help to create the world in which posterity will live.

-- William K. Clifford (4 May 1845 - 3 March 1879), English mathematician and philosopher, The Ethics of Belief (1877)

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Chaste Minds

Chastity beltThere are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.

-- Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lost Our Collective Minds

Wiffle bat and ballBack before we lost our collective minds and began shrieking with horror at the thought of kids having fun on their own (as in not part of an official league or otherwise organized activity), they used to do things like find a vacant field, turn it into a makeshift diamond and spend glorious hours in the summer sun.

-- The Greenwich Time newspaper, in an editorial in support of youths who built a wiffle ball field on an empty, city-owned lot in Greenwich, CT, 9 July 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More Wisdom

James MadisonIn no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.

-- James Madison (16 March 1751 - 28 June 1836), fourth US president (1809-1817), co-author of the Federalist Papers, traditionally regarded as the Father of the US Constitution, 1793

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

RIP Bozo The Clown

Frank Avruch as Bozo the ClownWe didn't have satellite, syndication and networking like today. So, I created my own network of local clowns and productions, a cross-country operation that kept me on the road for 50 weeks a year for decades.

-- Lawrence Weiss (2 January 1925 - 3 July 2008), American entertainer better known by the stage names Larry Harmon and Bozo the Clown, on training 200 actors to portray the clown for local TV stations and other programs franchised around the country

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jesse Helms Exit

I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I'm a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they Slants, Beaners, or Niggers.

-- Jesse Alexander Helms (18 October 1921 - 4 July 2008) 5-term U.S. Senator (R-NC), North Carolina Progressive, February 6, 1985

Thursday, July 03, 2008

False Confessions

What makes this document doubly stunning is that these were techniques to get false confessions. People say we need intelligence, and we do. But we don't need false intelligence.

-- Senator Carl Levin, on a military interrogation class that was based on a 1957 Air Force study of how China obtained confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners, New York Times, 2 July 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Bonds' 756th homer ball lands in Hall, finally
By Ben Walker, AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Now branded with an asterisk, the ball Barry Bonds launched for his record 756th home run nearly a year ago landed Tuesday night in the Hall of Fame.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty -- I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them -- or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?

-- Lee Iacocca, in his book "Where Have All The Leaders Gone?"