Wednesday, February 29, 2012


BearcatThe argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios. Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that.

-- Mark Randol, a former terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service, "Local Cops Ready for War with Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons", The Daily Beast, 21 December 2011

We're going to have our own tank.

-- Mayor Kendall Lane of Keene, NH, in an aside to Councilman Mitch Greenwald during a December city council meeting, regarding a Bearcat, an eight-ton armored personnel vehicle, to be purchased with a $285K grant from the US Department of Homeland Security

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Every Advance

Gameboy AdvanceEvery advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.

-- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate in literature

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Animals arguringI once watched several criminals engage in an organized argument, while an audience of supporters cheered them on, but I was so disgusted that I had to turn off the political debate.

-- Jarod Kintz (1982-), American author, This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Blank maskAt all events, the next best thing to being witty one's self, is to be able to quote another's wit.

-- Christian Nestell Bovee, Thoughts, Feelings, and Fancies (1857)

Monday, February 20, 2012


Friendship 7Godspeed, John Glenn.

-- Mission Controller Scott Carpenter, as John Glenn was about to launch into orbit on Friendship 7 to become the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American (5th overall) in space, 20 February 1962

Thursday, February 16, 2012


MustardFailure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

-- Truman Capote (1924-1984), American writer, Portraits and Observations, The Essays of Truman Capote, "Self Portrait" (1972)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Ideas Grow

mitosisIt is a great thing to teach. I am never more complimented than when some one addresses me as "teacher". ... The teacher is one who makes two ideas grow where there was only one before.

-- Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), American writer, publisher, artist, anarchist and libertarian philosopher, Fra Elbertus: Elbert Hubbard's Selected Writings Part 6, Teachers and Teaching

Monday, February 13, 2012

Plenty Of Time For Silence

GravediggerBeware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the "transcendent" and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

-- Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), author and journalist, Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001)

Friday, February 10, 2012


Children learn to smile from their parents.

-- Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), violinist, inventor of the Suzuki method of music education

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Its Own Time

ClockThe place where children play is a sort of magic circle, outside and separate from the rest of the world; it has its own time, which cannot be measured by our clocks. Within this all is transformed and controlled by imagination, and a perfect world is possible.

-- Richard Dattner, Design for Play, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., (1969), page 15

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


HP Palm TouchPad tabletNew toy -- 32GB HP TouchPad

Obtained for less than 50% of its original price, freshly updated and tweaked to make it slick.

WebOS is now open source, and hopefully will survive and continue to mature. If not, it's already possible to run Android on the TouchPad in dual-boot mode, all the way up to the latest Android 4.x.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Proposition H8

NO H8All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of "marriage", which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.

-- Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, writing in a 2-1 ruling that California's 2008 law, popularly known as Proposition 8, violated the 14th Amendment's equal-protection clause by stigmatizing a minority group without legitimate reason, 7 February 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Power Corrupts

Power iconAll 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. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

-- John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902), 1st Baron Acton, English historian, letter to Mandell Creighton, 5 April 1887

Friday, February 03, 2012

Not Of That Party

party iconYou say that I have been dished up to you as an antifederalist, and ask me if it be just. My opinion was never worthy enough of notice to merit citing; but since you ask it I will tell it you. I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all. Therefore I protest to you I am not of the party of federalists. But I am much farther from that than of the Antifederalists.

-- Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 - 4 July 1826), author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, third President of the United States (1801-1809), political philosopher, letter to Francis Hopkinson (13 March 1789)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

How Much Has Changed?

Illinois quarterAlmost exactly three years ago to this day, I took the oath of office at this podium during one of the darkest moments in history. One former governor was in jail. Another was under arrest, impeached and removed from office. Both my predecessors had disgraced themselves and brought profound embarrassment to the people of our state.

At the same time, our entire nation was in the throes of a massive economic crisis, caused by disgraceful conduct and greed on Wall Street. Our large and small businesses were reeling. Our automakers were in dire straits. Across Illinois, families were losing their jobs, losing their homes, watching their savings disappear.

We were off course and adrift, lacking leadership, and weighed down by a culture of corruption.

-- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, State of the State address, 1 February 2012