Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Free To Starve, Beat, Or Lash?

No one can claim, nor since the time of slavery has anyone to my knowledge successfully claimed, that persons held within the United States are totally without constitutional protection.  Whatever the fiction, would the Constitution leave the Government free to starve, beat, or lash those held within our boundaries?  If not, then, whatever the fiction, how can the Constitution authorize the Government to imprison arbitrarily those who, whatever we might pretend, are in reality right here in the United States?  The answer is that the Constitution does not authorize arbitrary detention.  And the reason that is so is simple: Freedom from arbitrary detention is as ancient and important a right as any found within the Constitution’s boundaries.

-- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the minority with Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor in dissent in Jennings v Rodriguez, in which the majority held that a noncitizen can be held indefinitely without appeal to the courts for a bail hearing, 27 February 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Undesirable Elements

We're all undesirable elements from somebody's point of view.

-- Edward Paul Abbey (1927 - 1989), American writer noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, and criticism of public land policies, Abbey's Road (1979)

Friday, February 23, 2018


Teachers have to teach, and that's what they should be doing.  It doesn't matter what a pistolero you are, or think you are.  You don't need to be in school in charge of protecting children.

-- Joel Myrick, a former assistant principal who survived a school shooting, on moves to arm teachers, New York Times, 22 February 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Prolong Civilization

Asimov certainly was influential because he was seriously paralleling Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but he applied that to a sort of modern galactic empire.  The lesson I drew from that is you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age, and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.

-- Elon Musk (1971-), South African-born Canadian American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor, on the influence of Isaac Asimov on his life goals, in an interview with Neil Strauss, 15 November 2017

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RIP Billy Graham

I feel sorry for the man who has never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine. Like a shot of adrenaline, it floods the spirit with vitality.

-- William Franklin Graham, Jr. (7 November 1918 - 21 February 2018), better known as Billy Graham, Evangelical Christian and an evangelist, "A Time for Moral Courage", Reader’s Digest (July 1964)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I Love A Parade

I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.  America is the most powerful country in all of human history, everybody knows it, and we don't need to show it off.

-- Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, on President Trump’s desire to hold a military parade in Washington, New York Times, 8 February 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Throwing Stones

Picture a bright blue ball, just spinning, spinnin free,
Dizzy with eternity.
Paint it with a skin of sky,
Brush in some clouds and sea,
Call it home for you and me.
A peaceful place or so it looks from space,
A closer look reveals the human race.
Full of hope, full of grace
Is the human face,
But afraid we may lay our home to waste.

There's a fear down here we can't forget.
Hasn't got a name just yet.
Always awake, always around,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

-- Grateful Dead lyrics by John Perry Barlow, Throwing Stones (with Bob Weir), recorded on In the Dark for Arista Records (1987), Cora, WY, August through December, 1982

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Calculations Would Like To Use Your Computing Power

You can support by allowing them to use your processor for calculations.  The calculations are securely executed in your Browser's sandbox.  You don't need to install anything.

-- Pop-up at offering an ad-free experience in exchange for allowing cryptocurrency mining with your spare CPU cycles, as quoted in Ars Technica, 13 February 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Snowman Of Peace

The female ice hockey players from the two Koreas are now holding a small snowball in their hands.  Now, if we put our hearts and minds together, it will continue to grow larger and larger and turn into a snowman of peace.

-- President Moon Jae-In of South Korea, referring to the joint Korean women's ice hockey team and prospects of warming relations with North Korea, New York Times, 11 February 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Feel Uncomfortable

The reason I'm here tonight is to put people on the spot.  I want people to feel uncomfortable.  I want them to have to answer people at home who said, "How come you were against President Obama's deficits and then how come you're for Republican deficits?"

-- Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), on why he is holding up the Senate vote on a budget deal, 8 February 2018

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

RIP John Perry Barlow

Imagine discovering a continent so vast that it may have no end to its dimensions.  Imagine a new world with more resources than all our future greed might exhaust, more opportunities than there will ever be entrepreneurs enough to exploit, and a peculiar kind of real estate that expands with development.  Imagine a place where trespassers leave no footprints, where goods can be stolen infinite number of times and yet remain in the possession of their original owners, where business you never heard of can own the history of your personal affairs ....

-- John Perry Barlow (3 October 1947 - 7 February 2018), American writer and internet activist, who co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as quoted in Who Controls the Internet? : Illusions of a Borderless World (2006) by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful launch system on Earth, roared into the sky on Tuesday afternoon atop a pillar of smoke.

The rocket's three reusable boosters lifted the vehicle skyward, ultimately helping send Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster on a journey toward Mars orbit.

"It looks so ridiculous and impossible.  You can tell it's real because it looks so fake, honestly," Musk said at the post-launch press conference.

But he added: "The imagery of it is something that's going to get people excited around the world, and it's still tripping me out.  I'm tripping balls here."

-- Elon Musk, as quoted in Business Insider, 6 February 2018

Monday, February 05, 2018

It Will Fluctuate

When asked what the stock market will do: It will fluctuate

-- J. P. Morgan, quoted by Benjamin Graham in The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business, revised 2003), p. 54

Friday, February 02, 2018

Money Quote

Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

-- Money quote from the House Intelligence Committee's "Nunes Memo", publicly released 2 February 2018

Thursday, February 01, 2018

On Mars

I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact.

-- Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla founder, in a keynote address at SXSW, 9 March 2013