Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Knife's Edge

Knife SOG mod. BowieRight now we are balanced on a knife's edge. We do not like the Americans, but we also thank God when we see them with the Iraqi Army, because we know we can trust them more than the government forces.

-- Hamid Majeed, a Sunni Muslim in Baghdad, New York Times, 30 June 2009, as US troops withdraw from Iraqi cities

Monday, June 29, 2009

No Cure

Collage of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and Billy MaysThere is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

-- George Santayana (1863-1952), philosopher, essayist, and poet, Soliloquies in England, 1922, "War Shrines"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Wrinkles

Joyce Carol OatesWhen you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven't thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity -- but actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.

-- Joyce Carol Oates (16 June 1938-), American author and creative writing professor, interview in The Guardian (London, 18 August 1989)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Quiet Voice And A Business Suit

TSA uniformThere are men -- now in power in this country -- who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit.

-- John V. Lindsay (1921-2000), US politician, Congressman, Mayor of New York City

Monday, June 22, 2009

And Lets Fly

old police batonHistory does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, "Can't you remember anything I told you?" and lets fly with a club.

-- John W. Campbell (1910-1971), American science fiction editor and writer, Analog Science Fiction/Fact magazine (1965)

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Dale Sinder in AlaskaRetirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.

-- Gene Perret, Emmy award-winning comedy writer, author

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Palestinian State

Israeli and Palestinian flagsWe will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.

-- Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, speaking the words "Palestinian State", New York Times, 15 June 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


2009 Iranian election protests, 13 June 2009These people are not seeking a revolution. We don't want this regime to fall. We want our votes to be counted, because we want reforms, we want kindness, we want friendship with the world.

-- Ali Reza, a young actor who watched a long river of protesters march silently in Tehran, New York Times, 16 June 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009


CigarettesThis is a historic step, changing the nature of tobacco in society forever.

-- Clifford E. Douglas, director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network, on legislation allowing the government to regulate cigarettes, New York Times, 12 June 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Single Body

Photo of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from the 1920sMankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say "What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?" If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness.

-- Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938), founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Respect His Theory

Caroline Bonaparte, wife of Marshal Joachim Murat, with their kidsWe must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), writer, editor, and critic, Minority Report : H.L. Mencken's Notebooks (1956)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

World Peace

Windows XP BSODIf the militaries of all nations standardize on Windows, then eventually they will all be immobilized by malware -- thus bringing about world peace.

-- Comment by jhansonxi on the Linux Insider Blog, June 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Obama Does Cairo

President Barack Obama speaks at Cairo University in Cairo, Thursday, June 4, 2009It's easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others than to look inward. It's easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There's one rule that lies at the heart of every religion -- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples -- a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written. The Holy Koran tells us: "O mankind! We have created you male and female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another." The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace." The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you.

-- Remarks by US President Barack Obama on a new beginning, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, 4 June 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Habit That Grows

Protester v tank, Tiananmen Square, 4 June 1989Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love--it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they're conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.

-- Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member, speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October 1956

If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.

-- Same guy, Now-Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, evoking the ghost of Deng Xiaoping whilst endorsing the Tiananmen Square massacre, Straits Times, 17 August 2004

(September 16, 1923-), Singapore politician, Singapore Prime Minister 1959-1990

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Guns And Money

Guns and moneyWhen a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state ... this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.

-- P. J. O'Rourke (1947-), American political satirist, journalist, and writer

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Political Leader

Follow the leader: The US Air Force ThunderbirdsA political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren't still there, he's no longer a political leader.

-- Bernard Baruch (1870-1965), American financier, stock-market speculator, statesman, and political consultant, as quoted in his obituary, New York Times, 21 June 1965

Monday, June 01, 2009


Judges toolsIf they cannot be convicted, then you release them. That's what it means to have a justice system.

-- Jameel Jaffer, ACLU lawyer, on President Obama's plan to hold terrorism suspects without trial, New York Times, 23 May 2009