Thursday, April 26, 2018

Their Voice

Democracy demands that our election system be protected, and without vigorously enforced campaign finance laws, the people of this country lose their voice.  The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice are committed to the prosecution of individuals who abuse the very system of which they seek to become a part.

-- U.S. Attorney George Holding, announcing a federal grand jury indictment against two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, for soliciting and covering up the secret spending of more than $925,000 to hide his mistress and their baby during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House, The Associated Press, 3 June 2011

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress.  If you're a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn't talk to you.  If you're a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.

-- Whitehouse Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, addressing the American Bankers Associations conference in Washington DC, 24 April 2018, New York Times via

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ideas About Reality

With our concept-making apparatus called "mind" we look at reality through the ideas-about-reality which our cultures give us.  The ideas-about-reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently.  It is only the ideas-about-reality which differ.  Real (capital-T True) reality is a level deeper than is the level of concept.

-- Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, in Principia Discordia, Psycho-Metaphysics (1965)

Monday, April 23, 2018


Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.

-- Carl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831), Prussian general and influential military theorist, in A Reader in International Relations and Political Theory (1993), p. 150

Friday, April 20, 2018

Submarine For Fish

An aquarium is a submarine for fish.

-- Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth), in Ghostbusters (2016)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It Has To Be Enough

I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God." Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life.  I'm not greedy.  I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough.  It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me.  It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more.  Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven.  I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

-- Penn Jillette (1955 -), American magician, in an essay titled "There Is No God (2005)" on NPR's This I Believe, 21 November 2005

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Off The Hook

I'll give you a strange answer.  I hope not because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty bound to do directly.  People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.

We'll fight about guns.  We'll fight about taxes.  We'll fight about all those other things down the road.  But you cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and Independents treasure.  That is the core of this country.  That's our foundation.  And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that.

-- Former FBI Director James Comey, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, when asked whether President Trump should be impeached, 15 April 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

RIP Barbara Bush

I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago.

-- Former First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush (8 June 1925 - 17 April 2018), in her final update in Smith Alumnae Quarterly, published March 2018.  On 6 January, the couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary, the longest presidential marriage in history

Friday, April 13, 2018

What You Get Out Of It

Life is like a sewer -- what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.  It's always seemed to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need today in these trying times of crisis and universal brouhaha.

-- Thomas Andrew Lehrer (9 April 1928 -), American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician, Introduction to "We Will All Go Together When We Go"

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Part Animal, Part Angel

You just never know.  You drift along, year after year, presuming certain values to be fixed; like being able to drive on a public thoroughfare without somebody trying to murder you.  You came to depend on that sort of thing.  Then something occurs and all bets are off.  One shocking incident and all the years of logic and acceptance are displaced and, suddenly, the jungle is in front of you again.  Man, part animal, part angel.

--Richard Matheson (1926-2013), American author and screenwriter of horror and science fiction, "Duel" (1971), a short story, which he later adapted into a screenplay for Duel (1971), Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Robin Trower

Thank you! Good night!

-- Guitarist Robin Trower (9 March 1945 -), at the end of his show at the Virginia Theater in Champaign, IL, 11 April 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Juggling The Demands

Parenthood isn't just a women's issue; it's an economic issue and one that affects all parents -- men and women alike.  As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a senator can be, I'm hardly alone or unique as a working parent.

-- Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), in a statement after becoming the first sitting US senator to give birth (to daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey), Washington Post, 9 April 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

No Limits

There are no limits to my daily amounts though -- of weed or distance.

-- Roger Boyd, 37, of Bristol, UK, who cycled 19,000 miles around the world in the past 2 years, and who documents his travels on his blog at, Bristol Post, 9 April 2018

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Vice Basket

Bloomberg’s Vice Basket tracks average retail prices for:

* A pack of cigarettes, popular and premium
* A bottle of alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and spirits
* A gram of amphetamine-type stimulants, including methamphetamine and/or ecstasy
* A gram of cannabis, including marijuana hashish resin and/or cannabis oil
* A gram of cocaine, regardless of salts, paste or base forms
* A gram of opioids, including heroin and/or opium.

Data are sourced from the UN, World Health Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

This year the United States cost is $617.10, up $217.90 from a year ago. The US is ranked 38th in affordability, with the Vice Basket costing 53.9% of an average weekly wage.

The cheapest overall cost is in the Congo, at $18.30, though most affordable goes to Luxembourg at $206.20, just 10.0% of that nation's average weekly income.

-- Bloomberg, 3 April 2018

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

One Thing

The one thing that would be dishonorable for us is to bring all this attention to the assassination of Dr. King and not have a resurrection of the efforts and the unfinished business dealing with systemic racism, systemic poverty.

-- The Reverend Dr William Barber II, a North Carolina pastor whose sermons and outreach efforts have tended to align with the religious left, New York Times, 4 April 2018