Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation build here at home.  Our service-members and their families have sacrificed far more on our behalf.  Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home.  From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation -- and world -- that we leave to our children.

So America is at a crossroads.  We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison's warning that "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." Neither I, nor any President, can promise the total defeat of terror.  We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society.  What we can do -- what we must do -- is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend.

-- Barack Obama, in a speech at National Defense University, 23 May 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

BSA Resolution


The following membership standard for youth members of the Boy Scouts of America is hereby adopted and approved, effective Jan. 1, 2014:

Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who  meet the specificmembership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs.  Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty toGod), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

-- Resolution of the Boy Scouts of America, adopted 23 May 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Is All This?

The basic drive behind real philosophy is curiosity about the world, not interest in the writings of philosophers.  Each of us emerges from the preconsciousness of babyhood and simply finds himself here, in it, in the world.  That experience alone astonishes some people.  What is all this -- what is the world?  And what are we?  From the beginning of humanity some have been under a compulsion to ask these questions, and have felt a craving for the answers.  This is what is really meant by any such phrase as "mankind's need for metaphysics."

-- Bryan Magee (1930-), British politician, broadcaster, and author, Confessions of a Philosopher: A Journey Through Western Philosophy (1997), p. 232

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jogger Vs. Runner

The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank.

-- George Sheehan (1918-1993), American author, physician, and runner

[My first 5K time was 25:43]

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This Is Not A Contract

It's up to you whether or not you want to do work with no contract.  I think artists do need to do work with no contract, because what we're motivated by is not money.  We're motivated by a need to express ourselves and to get our ideas out.  That's the motivation.  It turns out that when people like it they frequently will support you if you give them a means, but this is not a contract.

-- Nina Paley (3 May 1968-), American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist, Youtube video "Copying Is Not Theft: Against Copyright Tyranny", 25 March 2011

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Best Means

It is only when the People become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.  Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.  The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.  Let us, by all wise and constitutional measures, promote intelligence among the People, as the best means of preserving our liberties.

-- James Monroe (1758 - 1831), fifth President of the United States, author of the Monroe Doctrine, first Inaugural Address, 4 March 1817

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Dead Giveaway

Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms.  Something is wrong here.  Dead giveaway.

-- Charles Ramsey of Cleveland, in an interview after rescuing 3 kidnapped women including Amanda Berry, 6 May 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

Statistics Show

Birthdays are good for you.  Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.

-- Father Larry Lorenzoni, Salesian priest and author

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Raising My Hand

I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.  But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

-- Jason Collins, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran, announcing that he is gay, Sport Illustrated On-line, 29 April 2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Not Being Charged

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

-- Morris Davis, retired USAF Colonel, former Chief Prosecutor for the terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay, 29 April 2013