Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Only The Good

Paul Auster in New York City 2008For only the good doubt their own goodness, which is what makes them good in the first place. The bad know they are good, but the good know nothing. They spend their lives forgiving others, but they can't forgive themselves.

-- Paul Auster (1947-), American novelist and poet, Man In The Dark, p 63 (2008)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Proud Daddy (again)

Graduation ThinkerCongratulations to #4 daughter Brittany Appleman on her graduation from Bement High School tonight! Four down, one to go. Brittany is an amazing kid who will find her own way going forward; I can hardly wait to see what she accomplishes in her life.

And plus plus congrats to my Brazilian foreign exchange student, Rodrigo Martins, on completing his year at Bement High School; he'll march with the graduates tonight and receive a Certificate of Completion in lieu of a diploma, as he has one more semester to go when he returns to Brazil in July.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surveillance State

CCTV surveillance camera mounted on the wallThat is what the Surveillance State, at its core, is designed to achieve: the destruction of privacy for individual citizens and an impenetrable wall of secrecy for those with unlimited surveillance power.

-- Glenn Greenwald (1967-), American lawyer, columnist, blogger, and author, The always-expanding bipartisan Surveillance State, Salon.com, 20 May 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Lived!

Joplin, MO - Rangeline Tornado DamageYou lived!

-- Becky Carithers, exclaiming to a neighbor she hadn't seen since a tornado struck Joplin, MO on Sunday, New York Times, 25 May 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Slaves To Indoor Life

What a pitiable thing it is that our civilization can do no better for us than to make us slaves to indoor life, so that we have to go and take artificial exercise in order to preserve our health.

-- George Wharton James (1858-1923), journalist, author, and speaker, What the White Race May Learn from the Indian (1908), Chapter IV "The Indian and Out-Of-Door Life"

Monday, May 23, 2011

CDC Zombie Apocalypse

The typical zombieThere are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

-- Post on the Emergency Preparedness and Response blog of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 May 2011, by Ali S. Khan

Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh Boy

This bus is going to look stupid on 22 May 2011I'll say, "Oh, what are we going to do this summer?" She's going to say, "The world is going to end on May 21, so I don't know why you're planning for summer," and then everyone goes, "Oh boy."

-- Kino Douglas, on his sister, New York Times, 20 May 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Got That Right

Red-spotted newtI don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.

-- Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, on Representative Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposed changes to Medicare, Face The Nation, 15 May 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Afraid Of The Dark

Absolute darknessI have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.

-- Stephen Hawking (1942-), English theoretical physicist, in a Guardian Newspaper interview, 15 May 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Torture NOT

Torture using waterboardingI've sought further information from the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and they confirmed for me that, in fact, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee -- information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti's real role in al-Qaeda and his true relationship to Osama bin Laden -- was obtained through standard, non-coercive means, not through any "enhanced interrogation technique." In short, it was not torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden. I hope former Attorney General Mukasey will correct his misstatement. ...

Ultimately, this is about morality. What is at stake here is the very idea of America -- the America whose values have inspired the world andinstilled in the hearts of its citizens the certainty that, no matter how hard we fight, no matter how dangerous our adversary, in the course of vanquishing our enemies we do not compromise our deepest values. We are America, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. That is what is really at stake.

-- Senator John McCain R-AZ, speech on the Senate floor, 12 May 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday The Thirteenth

thirteenFriday the Thirteenth came on a Sunday this month, and it lasted for two days.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Proud Daddy

Parkland CollegeCongratulations to #2 daughter Sheena Appleman on her graduation from Parkland College tonight, where she's been studying Elementary Education and Psychology. In the fall she'll be a student at Eastern Illinois University to work on her bachelor's in Elementary Education.


Thursday, May 12, 2011


Bob Marley live in concert in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 1980We don't have education we have inspiration; if I was educated I would be a damn fool.

-- Robert Nesta Marley (6 February 1945 - 11 May 1981), better known as Bob Marley, Jamaican singer, guitarist, songwriter, and social activist, in Time Will Tell (1992) a documentary by Declan Lowney

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Words That Make Us Think Forever

trvth.org tag cloud for entries tagged with 'philosophy'All of us encounter, at least once in our life, some individual who utters words that make us think forever. There are men whose phrases are oracles; who condense in one sentence the secrets of life; who blurt out an aphorism that forms a character or illustrates an existence.

-- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British politician, novelist, essayist, and twice UK Prime Minister, Coningsby, Book III, Chapter 2 (1844)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Criticism In Time Of War

Escaping Criticism, 1874, by Pere Borrell del CasoAs a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government ... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism. If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

-- Robert Taft (1889-1953), Republican Senator from Ohio, 1939-53, speech at the Executive Club of Chicago, 19 December 1941

Monday, May 09, 2011

More Adults

ESRB Adults Only ratingThe race needs more responsible adults who can actually do the job.

-- Fergus Collin, a Republican seeking a broader presidential field, New York Times, 1 May 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Ellsberg Vs. Manning

Daniel EllsbergNo, it wasn't the same thing. What it was, Ellsberg's material wasn't classified in the same way.

-- President Barack Obama, responding at a San Francisco fundraiser to a question comparing U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning to Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, detailing the secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The material disclosed in the Pentagon Papers was in fact designated Top Secret -- the highest secrecy designation under law -- whereas the material allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks was marked "secret" or "classified," among the lowest-level secrecy designations, 22 April 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011


The four members of Pink Floyd.Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town,
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain,
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you,
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun
But it's sinking, racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older,
Shorter of breath, one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time,
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say.

Home, home again, I like to be here when I can.
When I come home, cold and tired,
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire.

Far away across the field, tolling on the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees, to hear the softly spoken magic spell.

-- Pink Floyd, Time, Deniece Willians and Maurice White

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mostly Plants

In Defense of FoodEat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

-- Michael Pollan (1955-), author, journalism professor, In Defense Of Food (2008)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Fair Opportunity

Santi di Tito’s famous portrait of Niccolò MachiavelliNo enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution. Nothing is of greater importance in time of war than in knowing how to make the best use of a fair opportunity when it is offered.

-- Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), Florentine political philosopher, Dell'arte della Guerra (The Art of War), Book 7 (1520), translated by Neal Wood (1965)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama bin Laden Vs. US Navy Seals

bin Laden wanted poster (deceased)The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort.

-- President Barack Obama in his address to the nation on the occasion of the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, 1 May 2011