Monday, September 30, 2013

Lemmings With Suicide Vests

Lemmings with suicide vests.  They have to be more than just a lemming. Because jumping to your death is not enough.

-- Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) on House Republicans who are willing to see the government shut down over their opposition to Obamacare, quoted on the Washington Post's "Post Politics" blog, 30 September 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013


As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.

-- H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925), English writer of adventure novels, King Solomon's Mines (1885)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

He Knows Already

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

-- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian writer, The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894), Chapter III

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dangerous Gift

To be apt in quotation is a splendid and dangerous gift.  Splendid, because it ornaments a man's speech with other men's jewels; dangerous, for the same reason.

-- Robertson Davies (1913-1995), Canadian novelist, Dangerous Jewels (1960)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Silence Is The Element

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.

-- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, Sartor Resartus, Book III, chapter 3 (1833-1834)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Eagle

As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.

-- Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968), American writer and social activist

Monday, September 16, 2013

Truth Burns Up Error

Truth burns up error.

-- Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), aka Isabella Bomefree, former slave, author, and social activist, in The Narrative of Sojourner Truth

Thursday, September 12, 2013


It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments.  But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.

-- President Obama, on a proposal for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria's chemical weapons, 10 September 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Defence Wanted

In International
        the players must reckon
            to reap what they've sown.

We have a defence
    against other defences,
        but what's to defend us
            against our own?

-- Piet Hein (1905-1996), Danish poet and scientist, "Defence Wanted"

Monday, September 09, 2013

Those Days

I haven't gone horseback riding in four years.  I haven't ruled that out entirely.  But water skiing, those days are over.

-- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, on concessions she has made to aging, though she remains healthy, New York Times, 25 August 2013

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

War Powers

But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I'm also mindful that I'm the President of the world's oldest constitutional democracy.  I've long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  And that's why I've made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress.

-- President Obama speaking about Syria, 31 August 2013

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Props To Diana Nyad

I have three messages: One is, we should never, ever give up.  Two is, you are never too old to chase your dream.  And three is, it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.

-- Diana Nyad (22 August 1949-), 64-year-old American endurance swimmer, author, and motivational speaker, after she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage or swim fins, swimming from Havana to Key West, 2 September 2013