Friday, June 29, 2012

Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not

-- Author unknown

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax.  This is sufficient to sustain it.

-- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, upholding the mandate in the Affordable Care Act, 28 June 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Trees And Cages

God loved the birds and invented trees.  Man loved the birds and invented cages.

-- Jacques Deval (1895-1972), French playwright and director, as quoted in "A Dictionary of Environmental Quotations" (1992)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Four Numbers

The basic problem can be summed up with four numbers:

  1. 0.26% of Americans give more than $200 in a congressional election;
  2. 0.05% max out;
  3. 0.01% give more than $10,000;
  4. .000063% -- 196 Americans -- have given more than 80% of the superPAC money spent so far in this election.

-- Larry Lessig: The corruption of the American political system, Durham, NC, posted 13 June 2012 by Melanie Chernoff

Monday, June 25, 2012

Revenge Of The Nerds

[It's] the ultimate revenge of the nerds, the greatest way of getting back at all the guys that stuffed people from Google into lockers from high school and stole all their prom dates.  And you can't fight against Google, because they've got billions of dollars.

But, I love their search engine.

-- Nathanial Moon, a bodybuilder at Gold's Gym in Venice, CA, on Google office space opening nearby, New York Times, 19 June 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Public Sucks

In the midst of all my bitching, you might have noticed that I never complain about politicians.  I leave that to others.  And there's no shortage of volunteers; everyone complains about politicians.  Everyone says they suck.  But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky; they don't pass through a membrane from a separate reality.  They come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, and American businesses.  And they're elected by American voters.  This is what our system produces, folks.  This is the best we can do.  Let's face it, we have very little to work with. Garbage in, garbage out.

Ignorant citizens elect ignorant leaders, it's as simple as that.  And term limits don't help.  All you do is get a new bunch of ignorant leaders.  So maybe it's not the politicians who suck; maybe it's something else.  Like the public.  That would be a nice realistic campaign slogan for somebody: "The public sucks.  Elect me." Put the blame where it belongs: on the people.

-- George Carlin (1937-2008), American comedian, actor, and author, Napalm And Silly Putty (2001)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


People, I just want to say, can we all get along?  Can we get along?  Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?

-- Rodney Glen King (2 April 1965 - 17 June 2012), American citizen and victim of vidoetaped police brutality on 3 March 1991, speaking during the LA riots triggered by the acquittal of the charged officers, 1 May 1992

Monday, June 18, 2012


I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it's doable I'm going to do it.  Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades.  And they stay below the radar by creating a network of corporations to funnel their money.  I have my own philosophy and I'm not ashamed of it.  I gave the money because there is no other legal way to do it.  I don't want to go through ten different corporations to hide my name.  I'm proud of what I do and I'm not looking to escape recognition.

-- Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, on his willingness to donate up to $100M to a Republican presidential candidate, Forbes Magazine interview, 12 March 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


History is merely a list of surprises. ...  It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.  Please write that down.

-- Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), American novelist, Slapstick ch. 48 (1976)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I came to the conclusion that I want to go out while I can still contribute and make a difference.  To be able to compete for 19 years as a professional cyclist has been something I would have never dreamed of doing.  But at the same time, it's also going to be good to spend more time with my kids, who are getting to be the age where they miss me when I'm gone.

-- US cyclist George Hincapie, announcing his impending retirement, 11 June 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012


I'll be paying this forever.

-- Chelsea Grove, 24, who dropped out of Bowling Green State University and owes $70,000 in student loans, New York Times, 13 May 2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Digression is the soul of wit.  Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.

-- Ray Douglas Bradbury (22 August 1920 - 5 June 2012) American -- fantasy, horror, and science fiction writer, Coda, Afterword to the 1979 edition of Fahrenheit 451 (1979)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

For And To

Here is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: you get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things FOR you carries with it the equivalent power to do things TO you.

-- Albert Jay Nock (1873-1945), American author and libertarian political philosopher, The Criminality of the State, American Mercury Magazine (March 1939)

Monday, June 04, 2012


It might be crazy to expect a high government official to speak the truth. It might be crazy to believe that government policy will be something more than the handmaiden of the most powerful interests.  It might be crazy to argue that we should preserve a tradition that has been part of our tradition for most of our history -- free culture.  If this is crazy, then let there be more crazies.  Soon.

-- Lawrence Lessig (3 June 1961), American academic and political activist, Free Culture (2004)