Friday, December 29, 2017

Fire And Fury

Imagine how future historians might try to summarize 2017: A U.S. president, his family and his political aides came under investigation by a special counsel for possibly helping a foreign government meddle in the election.  Talk of impeachment swirled through Congress, where the fracturing Republican Party was in the midst of an identity crisis -- and the Democrats were, too.  Twitter became a source of official U.S. policy.  A wave of sexual harassment allegations took down U.S. senators and congressmen, top judges and reporters, and high-profile political candidates -- but not the president, who had been caught on tape admitting to grabbing women "by the pussy."  We learned that the Pentagon has secretly been studying UFOs.  All while the leaders of North Korea and the United States exchanged threats to rain down nuclear "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

-- Elizabeth F. Ralph, in Politico Magazine, 29 December 2017

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pretty Simple

Because we are rich as hell and we don’t need it all, and other people need it.  And you are an ass if you don’t give it.  Pretty simple.

-- NBA San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, on why it's important to give to charity, quoted on Twitter by Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News, 27 December 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rich Period

The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation's most significant legacies to future generations.  Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation.

-- The Library of Congress in a statement announcing as of 1 January 2018 it will no longer archive every public tweet, a practice dating to 2010 and encompassing every tweet since the 2006 founding of Twitter, 26 December 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Drawing Lots

Democrats have lost their one-vote lead in a state election that will determine control over the Virginia House of Delegates.  The race is now a tie, and the State Board of Elections will determine a winner by drawing lots.  If Democrat Shelly Simonds wins, Democrats will break the GOP’s 20-year chokehold on power in the House.  If Republican David Yancey wins, the GOP will retain unified control of the state legislature.

-- Mark Joseph Stern, at, 20 December 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Pace Of Disruption

The pace of disruption has only hastened.

-- Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive and chairman, on how shifts in viewing habits led to his company's decision to buy most of 21st Century Fox, New York Times, 15 December 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tossed Into The Wrangling

It crushes me to think we're in an environment where kids' health is up for debate - that this somehow got tossed into the wrangling.

-- Dr Todd Wolynn, a pediatrician in Pittsburgh, on Congress's inability to agree how to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, which ran out of money on 30 September, New York Times, 6 December 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Slender Threads

Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come.

-- Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (1878 - 1968), prolific American author who wrote in many genres, often advocating Socialist views, 100%: the Story of a Patriot, Section 1 (1920)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stinging Disrespect

I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times.  With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department's experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers.

-- Elizabeth Shackelford, a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, in her resignation letter addressed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, 7 November 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Decency Wins

I'm standing by to hear from the loser, Roy Moore.

-- Wolf Blitzer on CNN, just after CNN called tonight's special Senate election in Alabama for Democrat Doug Jones, about an hour ago, 12 December 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Don't Believe It

When we say, "This is going to create eight million jobs," people don't believe it.  And they don't care.  They care about one job: their job.

-- Corry Bliss, executive director of the American Action Network, a conservative group helping lead the effort to sell the Republicans' tax overhaul to voters who doubt it will benefit them, New York Times, 7 December 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017


When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing

-- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, @SarahHuckabee via Twitter, 2:12 PM - 3 November 2016

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Some Irony

[T]oday I am announcing that, in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.

I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.

-- Senator Al Franken (D-MN), in a speech on the Senate floor announcing his resignation after multiple allegations of sexual impropriety, 7 December 2017

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Not Constrained By The Facts

Promoting public confidence in our work is sometimes challenging, particularly in the modern era of nonstop so-called breaking news.  Talking heads and commentators are not constrained by the need to find credible eyewitnesses and determine the facts beyond any reasonable doubt before reaching a verdict.  Sometimes critics are not constrained by the facts at all.  But we must remain focused on the things that matter.

-- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in Opening Remarks at the 2017 Criminal Division Awards Ceremony, Washington, DC, 5 December 2017

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

RIP John Anderson

I had no great sense of failure.  I didn’t come out of the campaign with the sense that I’d thrown my career away or thrown my life away on what was a fruitless, feckless endeavor.  I felt that I had made my mark on the pages of history and laid down some markers for others possibly to follow.

-- John B. Anderson (15 February 1922 - 4 December 2017), American poliitician and social activist, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 1980 independent candidate for President of the United States, as quoted in No Holding Back : The 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign (2011) by Jim Mason, p. 412

I cast my first vote for president for John Anderson.

Monday, December 04, 2017

I'd Say So

When you're choosing Michigan's next attorney general, ask yourself this: Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting?

Is it the candidate who doesn't have a penis?

I'd say so.

-- Michigan attorney general candidate Dana Nessel, in a campaign ad released on Youtube, Detroit Free Press, 30 November 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

Set Things Right

I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.

-- Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in a statement after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, 1 December 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Too Much Money

There is too much money in the world.

-- Lawrence Luhring, a New York art dealer, expressing his astonishment over the sale at auction of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" for $450.3 million, a new record by far, New York Times, 16 November 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I reject your judgment with contempt.  I have taken poison.

-- Slobodan Praljak, as he swallowed a fatal dose of poison from a small bottle in court at The Hague, where his sentence for war crimes convictions had just been upheld, New York Times, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.

In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015.  The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.

-- USA Today, 25 November 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Whatever's At The End

People's willingness to wait is, in some sense, proportional to the perceived value of whatever they're waiting to acquire.  Even if they don't know what the line is for, they reason that whatever's at the end of it must be fantastically valuable.

-- Richard Larson, a professor at M.I.T. who has spent years studying line behavior, New York Times, 24 November 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I Believe

I believe the women.

-- Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, on whether he believes women who have accused Roy S. Moore, a Senate candidate in Alabama, of sexual misconduct when the women were teenagers, New York Times, 14 November 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two Great Parties

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.  This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

-- John Adams (1735 - 1826), American lawyer, author, and political theorist, second president of the United States, Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p. 511

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Orange Glow

Orange dots beckon.  They welcome with temptation, power, and promise.  All 262,000 of them reach out with their unearthly glow.

-- P. Gregory Springer, as quoted in Brian Dear's "The Friendly Orange Glow -- The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture", released 14 November 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

I Really Believe

He said he didn't meddle.  He said he didn't meddle.  I asked him again.  And you can only ask so many times.  Every time he sees me, he says, "I didn't do that."  And I believe -- I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it. ... I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.

-- President Donald Trump, speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin, aboard Air Force One, NPR, 10 November 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Passing Grade?

If we gave each other Turing Tests how often would we grade each other as passing?

-- David Quinn, in an on-line conversation about Artificial Intelligence, November 2017

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.

-- Forbes Magazine, in a report removing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from its Forbes 400 list, and restating his wealth as ~$700M instead of $2.9B, 7 November 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Red And Blue Robes

I feel like we're taking off the black robes and we're putting on red and blue robes, and does that really serve the interests of justice?

-- Representative Marcia Morey, a Democrat who was a district court judge before entering the North Carolina legislature, on a Republican-led shift toward partisan elections for judges, New York Times, 19 October 2017

Friday, November 03, 2017

Laika Flight 60th Anniversary

Laika (c. 1954 - 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth.  Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.

Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so Laika's survival was never expected.  The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure a Micro-g environment, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

-- Wikipedia

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Last Day

Earlier today @realdonaldtrump's account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored.  We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

[Followed by]

Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day.  We are conducting a full internal review.

-- Twitter Government, @TwitterGov, at 7:04PM and 9:00PM, 2 November 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Public Disclosure

Defendant has indicated that he is willing to cooperate with the governmment in its ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  Public disclosure of the defendant's initial appearance, however, would significantly undermine his ability to serve as a proactive cooperator.

-- Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in a July court filing successfully seeking a seal on records related to George Papadopolous, a former Trump foreign policy adviser who admitted lying to the FBI, so Papadopolous could continue to cooperate with investigators

Monday, October 30, 2017

Why Would You Want That?

It’s just astonishing to me.  President Trump is not the person who I wanted to be in that office, and I've been very open about that.  That being said, he is the president.  If he fails, the country is in jeopardy.  It would be egotistical for anyone to say, "I hope he fails."  To that person I would say, fuck you.  Why would you want that?  So you can be right? ...

We've got to get away from this idea that our country is political football, and someone with a different opinion is the enemy.  Assume they love this country as much as you do, and there's always room for improvement.  How can we make it better?

-- Actor Bryan Cranston, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 October 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017


Frankly, I find it troubling that a governor would turn to Congress and Donald Trump to try to invalidate his own state’s constitution.

-- Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton, on an effort by Governor Bruce Rauner to get Congress to authorize changes to the Illinois public pension system that violate the pension protection clause of the state constitution, Sauk Valley News, 23 October 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Calm And Humble Life

A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.

-- Albert Einstein, in a signed note he offered as a tip to a bellboy, November, 1922. Einstein advised the bellboy to keep the note, as its value would someday exceed that of a normal tip. On 24 October 2017, the bellboy's nephew sold the note at auction for $1.3 million.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

True To Duty

Give us more senators who are true to duty as the needle to the pole.  Give us more legislators who are not afraid to call sin by its right name.  Lord, provide us with more patriots who will stand for right, regardless of the consequences.

-- Senate Chaplain and retired Rear Admiral Barry Black, in his morning invocation, 25 October 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We Must Stop Pretending

We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal.  They are not normal.  Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is," when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified. ...

When such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy.  Such behavior does not project strength -- because our strength comes from our values.  It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness. ...

The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters -- the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.

-- Senator Jeffry Lane Flake (R-AZ), in a speech on the Senate floor announcing he will not run for re-election, 24 October 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017


Risks, I like to say, always pay off.  You learn what to do, or what not to do.

-- Jonas Salk (1914 - 1995), medical researcher and author, inventor of the Salk vaccine against Polio, founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Academy of Achievement interview (1991)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

We Become The Heirs

Our identity as a nation -- unlike many other nations -- is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood.  Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.  We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence.  We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution.  We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. ...

[O]ur young people need positive role models.  Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children.  The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.

-- Former president George W. Bush in a speech at the George W. Bush Institute, 19 October 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pandora With Commercials

No.  I'm not doing that.  I'm not turning on data roaming.  I'm not buying no apps.  I still got Pandora with commercials.

-- NBA star LeBron James on Dwayne Wade calling him the cheapest guy in the NBA, CBS Sports, 16 October 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Gone

ObamaCare is finished.  It's dead.  It's gone.  You shouldn't even mention it, it's gone.  There is no such thing as ObamaCare anymore.

-- President Donald Trump, during a Cabinet meeting, in regards to last week's executive order and decision to cease Cost-Sharing Reduction payments to insurance companies, The Hill, 16 October 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Experienced Patriots

If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its Ruin.

-- Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803), American revolutionary and organizer of the Boston Tea Party, governor of Massachusetts from 1793 to 1797, Letter to James Warren (24 October 1780)

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    As Irrationally As Possible

    This is quite a funny question.  I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible.

    -- Richard H. Thaler, who won the 2017 Nobel in Economic Science for his work showing that people are predictably irrational, on how he would spend the $1.1 million prize money, New York Times, 10 October 2017

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Still Ticking

    If you've followed Trvth over the years, you've probably seen me write about my 1999 Saturn SC-2.  I bought the car in February 2001 with 28,000 miles on it.  I drove it until March 2015 when I handed it down to my youngest daughter with 366,000 miles on it.  During the time I had it, it averaged better than 30 MPG, year-in and year-out. 

    I'm happy to say that this car continues to serve my daughter well.  On 29 September 2017 she sent me a text message with an image of the odometer showing 400,000 miles.

    Monday, October 09, 2017


    The belief of some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided, but also dangerous, for it incites proliferation and undermines disarmament.  All nations should reject these weapons completely -- before they are ever used again.

    This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror.  The specter of nuclear conflict looms large once more.  If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.

    -- International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Official statement after winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, 6 October 2017

    Wednesday, October 04, 2017

    Greatest Threat

    I think the greatest threat to our nation is us.  The way we handle our finances, we as a nation are the greatest threat to our nation.  It's not ISIS.  It's not North Korea.  It's not ascendant China.  It's not Russia.  We are the greatest threat.

    -- Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, questioning the effects of proposed tax cuts, New York Times, 29 September 2017

    Tuesday, October 03, 2017

    RIP Tom Petty

    An act like ours wouldn't even be around today if someone hadn't brought us along and let us make mistakes and grow at our own pace.  Today it seems that if you don't have a hit -- or even if you do -- they have no use for you the next time.

    -- Tom Petty (20 October 1950 - 2 October 2017), American singer-songwriter, Rolling Stone interview (2002)

    Monday, October 02, 2017

    Viva Las Vegas

    I have seen this headline three times in my life; Virginia Tech, Orlando, and now Las Vegas.

    I am only 22 years-old.

    -- T. J. Clark‏, @theTeedge on Twitter, re-tweeting an AP headline declaring the 1 October 2017 Las Vegas shooting the most deadly in recent US history

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Space For Forgetting Things And Creating Things

    The fortunate thing is that I'm still the same person as when I began.  I have no plans for retirement.  I wake up early, 6.30, I sleep about four to five hours.  In the brain, there's space for forgetting things and creating things.  We all have problems.  There's a proverb that says every roof has a shingle broken.  Everyone has his problems.

    -- Ernesto Colnago (9 February 1932-), Italian entrepreneur, cyclist, and bicycle manufacturer, Cycling Weekly "Inside Colnago: The making of a legendary brand", 16 September 2017

    Monday, September 18, 2017

    Thank You, Cassini

    The signal from the spacecraft is gone, and so will be the spacecraft in the next 45 seconds.  This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft, and you're all an incredible team.  I'm going to call this the end of mission....  Thank you, Cassini, and farewell.

    -- Mission Manager Earl Maize, at the end of the 20-year Cassini Probe mission 932 million miles from earth as the spacecraft was deliberately crashed into Saturn, 13 September 2017

    Thursday, September 14, 2017


    Mother, an exercise in torture porn, may be the vilest movie ever released by a major Hollywood studio. ...  To experience the final half-hour is to understand what it must feel like to be a clump of broccoli in a Cuisinart.  Loud, extravagant, and obnoxious, Mother is the kind of film that makes you want to walk out, demand your money back, then file for a restraining order that would forbid the director from coming within 500 miles of any filmmaking equipment again.

    -- Kyle Smith, in his review of Darren Aronofsky's new film "mother!", National Review, 14 September 2017

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    Talking About Nothing

    For so many years, talking about the weather was talking about nothing.  Now it really is our survival.

    -- Terry Tempest Williams, author and naturalist, on thoughts that turn apocalyptic in light of a preponderance of staggering hurricanes and wildfires and a powerful earthquake, New York Times, 9 September 2017