Thursday, November 29, 2012

Non-Member Observer State

The General Assembly, ...

Decides to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice; ...

-- Excerpt from the one-sentence, four-page UN Resolution granting Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, 29 November 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


UPDATE:  For more coverage on The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People's Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc.  Exemplary reportage, comrades.

-- Update to an article declaring North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un sexiest man alive, after the satirical story was taken seriously and run in the People's Daily, The Onion, 28 November 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Transgression Of The Limit

It is in the nature of every application of violence that it tends toward a transgression of the limit within which it is tolerated and viewed as legitimate.  Even the best discipline cannot always prevent police officers from striking harder than circumstances require, or prison wardens from inflicting brutalities on inmates.

-- Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (1881-1973), Austrian economist, philosopher, author, and classical liberal, Omnipotent Government, p. 156

Monday, November 26, 2012


God's will and elections made me the captain of this ship.

-- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in response to protests over his seizure of unchecked authority, New York Times, 24 November 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Still Ticking

Today, my 1999 Saturn SC-2 reached 300,000 miles; and I'm still getting 35+ mpg.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Be Careful

Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

-- Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), American poet, historian, and novelist

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hungry To Smell Them All

In the meantime, I am celebrating, in my way.  I live for now.  I literally stop and smell the flowers.  I don't care what passersby think of the bald man sticking his nose into every flowering tree and shrub he can find. When Jan and I take evening walks, I try to track down the various perfumes that waft our way.  It's been a strange spring, with lots of blooming schedules pushed earlier and on top of each other, but it's been a great spring for a guy with a nose that's hungry to smell them all.

-- Joe Seeley (1960-2012), 3 April 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Some Crazy Cliff

I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff -- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I'd do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.  I know it's crazy.

-- J. D. Salinger (1919-2010), American author, Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Chapter 22

Thursday, November 15, 2012


To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is.  Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.

-- Norman Mailer (1923-2007), American author, actor, and political candidate, Esquire, Volume 126, Page 121 (1996)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bank Accounts

The battle for the airwaves cannot be limited to only those who have the bank accounts to pay for the battle and win it.  Democracy is in danger. Seats in Congress, seats in the state legislature, that big seat in the White House itself, can be purchased by those who have the greatest campaign resources, who have the largest bank accounts or own riches. That, I submit to you, is no democracy.  It is an oligarchy of the already powerful.

-- Walter Leland Cronkite Jr (1916-2009), American broadcast journalist, anchor for The CBS Evening News (1962-1981), Free the Airwaves! (2002)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We The People

... Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires.  Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their "personhood" often serves as a useful legal fiction.  But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.

-- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in his dissent to the Citizens United decision, 21 January 2010

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are And Forever Will Be

America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class.  I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love.  It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests.  We're not as cynical as the pundits believe.  We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states.  We are and forever will be the United States of America.

-- Barack Obama, in his re-election victory speech, 7 November 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

Not Hard-Add Enough

[I]f we lose this election there is only one explanation -- demographics. If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn't conservative enough I'm going to go nuts.  We're not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we're not being hard-ass enough.

-- South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, in an interview with Jonathan Martin of Politico, 5 November 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012


The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will.  This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through.  That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don't break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly.

-- Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, after Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, allowing for the legal, recreational use of marijuana, 7 November 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Put The People Before The Poltics

The nation, as you know, is at a critical point.  At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing.  Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work.  And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.

We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.  We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.  We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.  We look to job creators of all kinds.  We're counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.  And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

I believe in America.  I believe in the people of America.  And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America.  This election is over, but our principles endure.  I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

-- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, concesssion speech, 7 November 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

Much More Importance

American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's license age than at voting age.

-- Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian philosopher of communication theory, Understanding Media (1964)

Friday, November 02, 2012


Perhaps the best known, and certainly the most vaunted, "discovery" of modern public opinion research is the indifference and ignorance of a majority of the electorate in western democracies.

-- Sir Moses I. Finley CBE FBA (1912-1986), American and English classical scholar, Democracy Ancient And Modern (1985), Chapter 1, Leaders and Followers, p. 3

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Democracy Gap

The "democracy gap" in our politics and elections spells a deep sense of powerlessness by people who drop out, do not vote, or listlessly vote for the "least worst" every four years and then wonder why after every cycle the "least worst" gets worse.

-- Ralph Nader (1934-), American lawyer and Green Party politician, Green Party Presidential Candidacy Speech, 21 February 2001