Monday, June 30, 2014

Where Is The Stopping Point?

And where is the stopping point to the "let the government pay" alternative?  Suppose an employer's sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage or according women equal pay for substantially similar work.  Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the employer has a religion-based objection?

-- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent to the court's decision to allow Hobby Lobby to refrain, on religious grounds, from providing contraceptive coverage as required by Obamacare, 30 June 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Maybe There Is No Solution

I think the same questions could be asked of those who supported the Iraq War.  You know, were they right in their predictions?  Were there weapons of mass destruction there?  That's what the war was sold on.  Was democracy easily achievable?  Was the war won in 2005, when many of these people said it was won?  Um, they didn't really, I think, understand the civil war that would break out.  And what's going on now, I don't blame on President Obama.  Has he really got the solution?  Maybe there is no solution.  But I do blame the Iraq War on the chaos that is in the Middle East.  I also blame those who are for the Iraq War for emboldening Iran.  These are the same people now who are petrified of what Iran may become, and I understand some of their worry.

-- Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), when asked, "Do you think Dick Cheney is a credible critic of this president?" by Host David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press, 22 June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mock That Belief

The best way to solve a problem is to identify the core belief that causes the problem; then mock that belief until the people who hold it insist that you heard them wrong.

-- Scott Adams (1957-), American cartoonist and satirist, famous for Dilbert, DNRC Newsletter #58 (11 November 2004)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Unless The Phone Is

That is like saying a ride on horseback is materially indistinguishable from a flight to the moon.  Both are ways of getting from point A to point B, but little else justifies lumping them together.  Modern cell phones, as a category, implicate privacy concerns far beyond those implicated by the search of a cigarette pack, a wallet, or a purse. ...

A cell phone search would typically expose to the government far more than the most exhaustive search of a house: A phone not only contains in digital form many sensitive records previously found in the home; it also contains a broad array of private information never found in a home in any form -- unless the phone is.

-- US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in a ruling that a search of an arrestee's cellphone requires a warrant, 25 June 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.

-- Philip Zimmermann (1954-), creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the most widely used email encryption software in the world, Why I Wrote PGP (1991)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Forget Each Other's Sentences

I'm gay for marijuana.  We met in high school and we've been together ever since.  Sometimes we forget each other's sentences.

-- Bill Maher (1956-), American comedian and actor, interview with Conan O'Brien, 12 February 2013

Friday, June 20, 2014

Crayola Bomb

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A Beauty Bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air -- explode softly -- and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth -- boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn't go cheap either -- not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in.  With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination instead of death.  A child who touched one wouldn't have his hand blown off.

-- Robert Fulghum (4 June 1937 -), American author, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Hard Feelings

No hard feelings, but my job is to make their job hard.

-- Eric Grosse, Google's security chief, on the company's opposition to helping U.S. government surveillance, New York Times, 7 June 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

grandKids += 2;

Congratulations to my #2 daughter Sheena and her husband Cody on the birth of their son and daughter this morning.  Cutlyr Michael came first at 8:32, weighing 6 lbs 10 oz, and Layton Emalee followed at 8:33, weighing 6 lbs 13 oz; both were 20 inches.  The twins have two older sisters, ages 6 and 2.

All are doing fine.  They should all come home together this weekend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not Economical

It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins.

-- Chinese Proverb

Monday, June 16, 2014

Times Are Bad

Times are bad.  Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), Roman philosopher, statesman, orator, and writer, attributed

Friday, June 13, 2014


The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day.

-- Orlando Aloysius Battista (1917-1995), Canadian-American chemist and author

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Child / Parent / Child

Most parents learn to be parents by being children. ...  All the time a person is a child he is both a child and learning to be a parent.  After he becomes a parent he becomes predominantly a parent reliving childhood.

-- Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), American pediatrician and author

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Selective Ignorance

Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing.  You don't put kids under surveillance: it might frighten you.  Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.

-- Garrison Keillor (1942-), American novelist, humorist, and public radio personality, Leaving Home (1987), page 19

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Having A Piano

Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano at home makes you a pianist.

-- Michael Levine (1954-), American publicist, author, and motivational speaker, "Lessons at the Halfway Point" (1995)

Monday, June 09, 2014

Secure Your Weed

For crying out loud, secure your weed.  If you can legally possess it, that's fine.  But it has no place in an elementary school.

-- John Gates, a director of school safety and security in northern Colorado, New York Times, 1 June 2014

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A Liberating Force

Technology has been a liberating force in our lives.  It allows us to create and share the experiences that make us human, effortlessly.  But in secret, our very own government -- one bound by the Constitution and its Bill of Rights -- has reverse-engineered something beautiful into a tool of mass surveillance and oppression.  The government right now can easily monitor whom you call, whom you associate with, what you read, what you buy, and where you go online and offline, and they do it to all of us, all the time.

In the long, dark shadow cast by the security state, a free society cannot thrive.

-- Edward Snowden in a statement supporting "Reset the Net", a site advocating increased use of strong passwords and encryption by individuals to counter government surveillance, 5 June 2014

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Better Than You Think

A good design is better than you think.

-- Rex Heftman, cited in Jef Raskin's "The Humane Interface" (2000)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization.  Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity.  Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities.  So I believe that dreams -- day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing -- are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.  The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.  A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young.  I believe it.

-- Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919), American author, actor, and creator, with illustrator William Wallace Denslow, of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Introduction to The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)

Monday, June 02, 2014

Right To Be Forgotten

A simple way of understanding what happened here is that you have a collision between a right to be forgotten and a right to know.

-- Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, on the decision by a European court that search engines must consider individuals' requests to remove links to information about them, New York Times, 30 May 2014