Thursday, February 26, 2015

Net Neutrality

The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet.  It is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field.  Think about it.  The Internet has replaced the functions of the telephone and the post office.  The Internet has redefined commerce, and as the outpouring from four million Americans has demonstrated, the Internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression.  The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.

This proposal has been described by one opponent as "a secret plan to regulate the Internet." Nonsense.  This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.  They both stand for the same concepts: openness, expression, and an absence of gate keepers telling people what they can do, where they can go, and what they can think.

-- Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, announcing Net Neutrality rules for the Internet, 26 February 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Massive, Powerful Engine

Love U of I.  Critical asset.  Very important. ...  I'm going to be very focused on the U of I.  U of I is already a major driver for us.  I want to take it to a whole 'nother several levels up and really have the U of I a massive, powerful engine for economic growth for this state.

-- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Champaign, IL, 29 January 2015; in his 18 February 2015 budget speech, Rauner announced a 31.5% cut to state funding for the U of I

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

-- Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), colonial American Congregational preacher and theologian, Seventy Resolutions (1722-1723), No. 69

Monday, February 23, 2015


What the cinema can do better than literature or the spoken drama is to be fantastic.

-- Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894 - 1963), British author, most famous for his novel Brave New World, "Where are the Movies Moving?" in Essays Old and New (1926)

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Apple Cannot Be Stuck Back

The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less.

-- Arthur Asher Miller (1915-2005), American playwright, essayist, and author, commenting on After the Fall (1964) in The Saturday Evening Post (1 February 1964)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Arm Themselves

A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.  Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

-- James Madison (1751-1836), Fourth US President (1809-1817), co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, Letter to W.T. Barry (4 August 1822)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Clearly

Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.

-- Niels Henrik David Bohr (1885-1962), Danish physicist, 1922 Nobel laureate in physics, as quoted in Values of the Wise: Humanity's Highest Aspirations (2004) by Jason Merchey, p. 63

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

At What Point?

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger?  By what means shall we fortify against it?  Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow?  Never!  All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.  At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?  I answer.  If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad.  If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher.  As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

-- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States, The Lyceum Address (1838)

Monday, February 16, 2015

We All Like Our Own Best

One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.

-- Jane Austen (1775-1817), English novelist, Persuasion (1818), Chapter 13

Friday, February 13, 2015

Paper Tigers

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 aviator, attributed, in Nicole Davenport's "Stepping Into Destiny" (1954), pg 71

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Accustom To The Veneer Of Noise

Accustom to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.

-- John Lahr (1941-), American theater critic, in Carolyn Howard-Johnson The Frugal Book Promoter, Star Publish (2004) p. 147

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You Must Allow People To Be Right

You must allow people to be right, because it consoles them for not being anything else.

-- Andre' Gide (1869-1951), French author, 1947 Nobel laureate in literature, The Immoralist (1902)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reason To Think

There is reason to think, that, if men were better instructed themselves, they would be less imposing on others.

-- John Locke (1632-1704), English philosopher and social contract theorist, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) Book IV

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Traveller Is Unaware

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.

-- Martin Buber (1878-1965), Jewish philosopher, theologian, story-teller, and teacher, The Legend of the Baal-Shem (1955)

Friday, February 06, 2015

No Room Left

There is simply no room left for "freedom from the tyranny of government" since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare.  Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission.  Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it.

-- William Seward Burroughs II (5 February 1914 - 2 August 1997), American novelist, essayist, social critic, painter, and spoken word performer, Cities of the Red Night (1981)

Thursday, February 05, 2015


I said, "I'd rather you miss an entire semester than you get the shot."

-- Crystal McDonald, whose daughter was sent home from school during a measles outbreak because she had not been vaccinated, New York Times, 31 January 2015

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Like Money In A Bank

Unexpressed, rage is like money in a bank, deposited into a resentment account with seething interest compounded every minute.  There seems to be a point beyond which the vault can no longer contain that amount of currency, and it explodes.

-- Gordon Fellman, Chairman of Brandeis University's Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies Program, Rambo and the Dalai Lama pg 46

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Line Grows Thinner

I want to feel the nearness of something secure.  It is such a lonely, lost feeling that I am cut off from life.  I am nothing.  I belong nowhere and to no one.  There is just so much hurt, disappointment and oppression one can take.  The bubble of life grows larger.  The line between reason and madness grows thinner.

-- Rosa Parks (4 February 1913 - 24 October 2005), African-American Civil Rights activist, in hand-written journals recently made public at the Library of Congress

Monday, February 02, 2015

Then You Cash In

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris.  "We want them to be broken.  You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against...  We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men.  The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.  Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?  What's there in that for anyone?  But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt.  Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

-- Ayn Rand (1905-1982), Russian-American novelist and philosopher, Atlas Shrugged (1957), ch 3