Monday, March 31, 2014

Great Things

I see great things in baseball.

-- Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American poet, essayist, and journalist; attributed

Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Liberal Arts

The concept of the seven liberal arts goes back to ancient times.  By the Middle Ages, they had become codified: arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, grammar, logic, music, and rhetoric.

-- David Feldman (1950-), "Do Penguins Have Knees?" an Imponderables Book (2004)

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Douleur toujours nouvelle pour celui qui souffre et qui se banalise pour l'entourage.

Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him.

-- Alphonse Daudet, La doulou: (la douleur), In the Land of Pain (2002) p. 19.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Common Vision

We don't have a common vision of the situation.

-- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, on talks with Secretary of State John Kerry shortly before a referendum on Crimean independence, New York Times, 15 March 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The industry does not like uncertainty.  We will find out what happened.

-- Former National Transportation Safety Board chairman Mark Rosenker, on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, New York Times, 23 March 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.

-- P. C. Hodgell (1951-), American fantasy writer, artist, and professor, Seeker's Mask (1994)

Friday, March 21, 2014


To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.

-- Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British satirist, The Notebooks of Samuel Butler, Death, p 357

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Homosexuals now pervade and control American government at every level and branch.  Thus, only those churches that support and promote the militant homosexual agenda enjoy religious freedom.  Any church in America that dares to preach what the Bible says about soul-damning, nation-destroying moral filth of the vile homosexual beasts among us, loses all Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and speech rights.

-- Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. (13 November 1929 - 19 March 2014), American pastor who headed the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, prior to his 2013 excommunication, in a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, 5 July 1997

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Decision To Act

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.  The fears are paper tigers.  You can do anything you decide to do.  You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

-- Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American aviation pioneer and author

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"US hackers target Crimean referendum website," the Kremlin-run Voice of Russia reports Sunday.  The site,, uses Russia's Internet country code (.ru), rather than Ukraine's (.ua).

Voice of Russia goes on to quote organizers of today's vote, which asks people in Crimea to decide whether to join Russia:

"A new wave of a massive D-Dos attack hit our site at 1 o'clock pm last night.  Our IT safety experts managed to find out where those attacks came from.  It is University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.  The most powerful scanning of servers before the attack was carried out exactly from there.

The agency says of Urbana, "the technological and technical potentialities of this city exceed by thousands of times the needs of its residents."

-- NPR News, 16 March 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Present Phenomenon

There is but one indefectibly certain truth, and that is the truth that pyrrhonistic scepticism itself leaves standing, -- the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists.

-- William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher, The Will To Believe (1897)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Or What?

What I am is what I am.  Are you what you are -- or what?

-- Edie Brickell (10 March 1966-), American singer-songwriter, "What I Am", Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars (1988)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


On this date 40 years ago today, 12 March 1974, my first PLATO signon "donald appleman / cerl" was created for me by Bill Golden.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


But Mr. President, the recent actions that I have just laid out make this a defining moment for the oversight of our Intelligence Community.  How Congress responds and how this is resolved will show whether the Intelligence Committee can be effective in monitoring and investigating our nation's intelligence activities, or whether our work can be thwarted by those we oversee.

I believe it is critical that the committee and the Senate reaffirm our oversight role and our independence under the Constitution of the United States.

-- Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), asserting that the CIA may have violated the law by conducting searches of committee staff computers, 11 March 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Moscow's Eyes

I mean that.  I mean that Moscow -- look at it through Moscow's eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton.  Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia's borders.  Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia.  Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia's borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine.  So, that's the picture as Moscow sees it.  And it's rational. It's reasonable.  It's hard to deny.

-- Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, in an interview on Democracy Now, 20 February 2014

Friday, March 07, 2014

Editorial Independence

Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence and I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations' affairs. ...  What Russia did is wrong. ...  I will not sit here and apologise for or defend military action.

-- Russia Today TV Host Abby Martin, 4 March 2014

Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn't beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air.

We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin.

-- Statement by Russia Today, in response to the above, 6 March 2014

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Budapest Memorandum

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

-- Article 2 of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, a treaty signed on 5 December 1994

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Godwin's Law

Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 30s.  All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right.  "I must go and protect my people" and it's what's gotten everybody so nervous.

[Putin is a person] who believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness... When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.

-- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at an event in Long Beach, California, 4 March 2014

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Individual Notes

The culture as a whole is losing its individual notes, its diversity.  And this is ... it's not only sad.  It's devastating.  It's devastating because routine language means routine thought.  And it means unquestioning thought.

-- John Leonard (1939-2008), American literary, TV, film, and cultural critic, interview with Bill Moyers, "Now", PBS, 28 November 2003

Monday, March 03, 2014


And when it was my turn, I explained to them when I was their age, I was a lot like them.  I didn't have a dad in the house.  And I was angry about it, even though I didn't necessarily realize at the time.  I made bad choices.  I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do.  I didn't always take school as seriously as I should have.  I made excuses.  Sometimes I sold myself short.

-- President Barack Obama at a White House event to announce the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, 27 February 2014