Monday, February 29, 2016

One Question

Ms. Eisenstein, one question.  Can you give me -- ­­ this is a misdemeanor violation.  It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?

-- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (1948-), asking a question from the bench for the first time since 22 February 2006, in Voisine v. United States, 29 February 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bats In The Belfry

My party has gone batshit crazy.

-- Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on the GOP's embrace of Donald Trump, 25 February 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just Wow

So, we won the evangelicals.  We won with young.  We won with old.  We won with highly educated.  We won with poorly educated -- I love the poorly educated -- with the smartest people, with the most loyal people.  And you know what I really am happy about?  Because I’ve been saying it for a long time -- 46 percent with the Hispanics, 46 percent, number one with Hispanics.  I’m really happy about that.

-- Presidential hopeful Donald Trump after winning the Nevada Republican Caucuses, 23 February 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Stain

For many years, it’s been clear that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay does not advance our national security. It undermines it.  This is not just my opinion.  This is the opinion of experts.  This is the opinion of many in our military.  It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists, because they use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit. ...  Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values.  It undermines our standing in the world.  It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law.

-- President Barack Obama, 23 February 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

No Eye To Our Convenience

Scientific discovery consists in the interpretation for our own convenience of a system of existence which has been made with no eye to our convenience at all.

-- Norbert Wiener (1894 - 1964), U.S. mathematician, as quoted in Comic Sections (1993) by D MacHale

Monday, February 22, 2016

Many Lunatics

The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved.  To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history.

-- Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872 - 1970), British philosopher, logician, mathematician, 1950 Nobel Laureate in Literature, The Conquest of Happiness (1930), Ch. 1: What Makes People Unhappy?

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them.  But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.  They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

-- Apple CEO Tim Cook in an open letter to customers announcing his company’s decision to fight a court order to compel Apple to assist the investigation in unlocking the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook,  16 February 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Actions express priorities

-- Charles A. Garfield, author and motivational speaker, Peak Performers (1987)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This Fight

This fight has been fought by both sides for decades.

-- Ed Whelan, former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and a prominent legal commentator, on the battle between conservatives and liberals over judicial appointments, New York Times,  16 February 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

RIP Antonin Scalia

If you're going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach.  If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong.

-- Antonin Gregory Scalia (11 March 1936 - 13 February 2016), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, speech at Chapman Law School (August 2005)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fooling Ourselves

Our first priority was making sure we weren’t fooling ourselves.

-- Keith Riles, University of Michigan physicist and member of the LIGO Detection Committee, on the successful detection of gravity waves, quoted in Cosmos Magazine, 12 February 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Life Is Very Simple

Life is very simple ...  It merely consists in learning how to accept the impossible, how to do without the indispensable, how to endure the insufferable.  What could be easier?

-- Kathleen Norris (1880-1966), American novelist, Foolish Virgin, a Novel (1927), p 178

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


A new post, Minister of State for Happiness, will align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction.

-- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, on a new office established amid a sweeping government reorganization, New York Times, 10 February 2016

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

No Earthly Idea

I am truly, completely undecided.  I have no earthly idea what I'm going to do at the end of the day.

-- Barbara Wilson, 64, an undecided voter in Henniker, N.H., who said she likes Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio,  New York Times, 9 February 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

Please Clap

Please clap.

-- Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush during a speech to a New Hampshire audience that didn't respond to an applause line, 2 February 2016

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Now, Less So

Trump has been looking good mainly because the sane vote has been so broken up, so fractured.  Now, less so.

-- Gordon Humphrey (1940-), former US Senator from New Hampshire, New York Times, 2 February 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Groundhog Is Jesus

Michael Bronski, a film critic for The Forward who teaches a course in Jewish film history at Dartmouth, said he sees strong elements of not only Jewish but also Christian theology.  "The groundhog is clearly the resurrected Christ, the ever hopeful renewal of life at springtime, at a time of pagan-Christian holidays," he said, adding: "And when I say that the groundhog is Jesus, I say that with great respect."

-- Alex Kuczynski, on diverse interpretations of Groundhog Day (1993 film), in "Groundhog Almighty", New York Times, 7 December 2003

Monday, February 01, 2016

Real Liberty

Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.

-- Alexander Hamilton (1755?-1804), American politician, Debates of the Federal Convention, 26 June 1787