Tuesday, September 30, 2008


T-shirt designWhen considering what a police state might look like, I never imagined it would include commemorative t-shirts.

-- Commentor "izz" at RawStory.com, regarding a story on T-shirts produced by Denver's police union -- "We get up early, to beat the crowds," the shirt reads, followed by "2008 DNC." The words flank a grinning police officer holding a baton and wearing a hat with a crossed-out number "68," presumably making reference to activist organization Recreate 68, which staged several anti-war demonstrations during the convention.


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Other Attitude

Paul Newman (1968)I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me.

-- Paul Leonard Newman (1925-01-26 - 2008-09-26), American actor and film director, founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donated all profits and royalties to charity, in "Paul Newman's Road To Glory", interview with Paul Fischer, Film Monthly, 1 July 2002

Friday, September 26, 2008


John William Waterhouse's The Remorse of the Emperor Nero after the Murder of his MotherTrue remorse is never just a regret over consequences; it is a regret over motive.

-- Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Innovative Products

John McCainOpening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

-- Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain in the September/October 2008 issue of "Contingencies", the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review NOT

ReviewSec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

-- From the draft bill authorizing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to spend ~$700,000,000,000 in tax money to purchase toxic debt from ailing financial institutions

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Yankee Stadium (exterior)The new stadium is beautiful, but I don't know if the ghosts are going to be there. You can feel that, standing here -- Babe Ruth, DiMaggio. It's not going to be the same.

-- Alex Alicea, Yankees fan from Union City, NJ, on the last game played at Yankee Stadium, New York Times, 22 September 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Savor It

Alberto Contador, 2008 Vuelta, MadridThe truth is, I'm still not fully conscious of what I have achieved. Perhaps with the passage of time, I'll be able to savor it.

-- Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, on winning the 2008 Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain), rounding out his record 15-month sweep of the three Grand Tours, the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a Espana

Friday, September 19, 2008

Old Fashioned

Uncut $2 BillsWe make money the old fashioned way. We print it.

-- Art Rolnick, former Chief Economist, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything. ... I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States. I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, "I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia." That kind of thing is insulting to the American people.

-- Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel on Republican vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, Omaha World-Herald, 18 September 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Constitution Day

Constitution of the United StatesThe disdain and uncooperative nature that this administration has shown toward Congress is so egregious that I can no longer assume that it is simply bureaucratic incompetence or isolated mistakes. Rather, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress' rightful and constitutional duties.

This administration is setting a terrible precedent. What people have to understand is when there is a liberal Democrat in the White House, the President will have set [the precedent] that Members of Congress can simply be dismissed, and that when they are trying to do a congressional investigation need not be cooperated with, in fact, can be obstructed. Is that the type of President that we want? Is that acceptable? It shouldn't be acceptable to Democrats and it shouldn't be acceptable to Republicans.

It is truly with a heavy heart, Madam Speaker, that I stand here reciting example after example of the maliciousness and condescending attitude exhibited by this administration. It is a problem that's flowing from the top. When I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle accusing this administration of stonewalling, of coverups, or thwarting investigations, I sadly must concur with them.

-- Representative Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), 26 February 2008

Happy Constitution Day, September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big Hand

Hurricane Ike (infrared)The ocean rose up like a big hand and just went right through our house.

-- Deeann Sherman, who was trapped on Bolivar Peninsula in Texas by Hurricane Ike, New York Times, 16 September 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Musical Chairs

Musical ChairsInvestors are like hyperactive first graders playing musical chairs.

-- Sam Stovall, of Standard & Poor's Equity Research, on a downward spiral affecting the shares of financial companies, New York Times, 14 September 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


Mark TwainA newspaper is not just for reporting the news, it's to get people mad enough to do something about it.

-- Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), American writer and humorist

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Procedure Is Everything

BureaucracyYou will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats, procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.

-- Thomas Sowell (30 June 1930-), American economist, political writer, and commentator

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

LHC Day 1

Inside the CERN LHC tunnelDon't cross the streams.

-- Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters, 1984


You can think of each experiment as a giant digital camera with around 150 million pixels taking snapshots 600 million times a second.

-- CERN's Ian Bird, who leads the LHC Grid project, a network of 60,000 computers to analyze what happens when protons are hurled at each other


If you can read this, then the Large Hadron Collider did not create any earth-consuming black holes today.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Abraham LincolnCorporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people ... until wealth is aggregated in a few hands ... and the Republic is destroyed.

-- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, September 08, 2008

Likely Very Expensive

Lawrence SummersToday's necessary but likely very expensive action for taxpayers is the consequence of regulatory neglect and of a broader political system's reluctance to take on what should have been clearly seen as festering problems.

-- Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, on the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, New York Times, 8 September 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Whose Problem?

J Paul GettyIf you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.

-- J. Paul Getty (1892-1976) American industrialist

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We Often Borrow

Kahlil GibranWe often borrow from our tomorrows to pay our debts to our yesterdays.

-- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) [Sand and Foam]

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rivet Their Chains

Thomas JeffersonIf we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.

-- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Too Easy A Disguise

Edith WhartonHow much longer are we going to think it necessary to be "American" before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries? It is really too easy a disguise for our shortcomings to dress them up as a form of patriotism!

-- Edith Wharton