Friday, April 30, 2021


It's always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth.

-- Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1919 - 1990), American businessman, and the publisher of Forbes magazine, as quoted by T. Duncan in Wealth Strategies: 9 1/2 steps to achieving physical, financial, and Spiritual abundance (2000) p. 196

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Madame Speaker, Madame Vice President

Madame Speaker.  Madame Vice President.  No president has ever said those words from this podium.  No president has ever said those words, and it's about time.

The First Lady, I am her husband.  The Second Gentleman, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet -- and distinguished guests.

My fellow Americans, ....

-- President Joe Biden, in the opening remarks of his first Presidential address to Congress, 28 April 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

RIP Michael Collins

The thing I remember most is the view of planet Earth from a great distance.  Tiny.  Very shiny.  Blue and white.  Bright.  Beautiful.  Serene and fragile.

-- Michael Collins (31 October 1930 - 28 April 2021), American astronaut who flew the Apollo 11 command module Columbia around the Moon in 1969 while his crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, made the first crewed landing on the surface, quoted by NPR, Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Dies, 28 April 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Mechanized Barbarians

It is impossible to understand the American public without taking into account the tremendous psychological effect of bringing up a generation of people in a daily environment of advertising.  It is impossible to escape the advertising man; his sales talk assaults us in the morning newspaper, in the street car, with billboards along the highways, and in his shameless use of the radio.  This means that from morning till night, in the midst of our work as in our recreation, we live constantly in an atmosphere of intellectual shoddiness.  Every popular prejudice and vulgar conceit is played upon and pandered to in the interests of salesmanship.  Everywhere material interests and herd opinion are strengthened to the loss of personal independence.  The tendency is to think and speak for effect rather than out of one's inner life.  There is a marked decline the ability to play with ideas, or to live the spiritual life for its own sake.  Hence a decline in civilization of interest, humor, and urbanity.  Advertising tends to make mechanized barbarians of us all.

-- Everett Dean Martin (1880 - 1941), American minister, writer, and advocate of adult education, The Conflict of the Individual and the Mass in the Modern World (1932), pp. 29-30

Monday, April 26, 2021

Equal Before The Law, But

We are all equal before the law, but not before those appointed to apply it.

-- Stanisław Jerzy Lec (1909 - 1966), Polish poet and aphorist

I try not to repeat myself at, so I often do a little checking before posting.  Since 2005, I've used quotations from Stanisław Lec only twice.  I noticed this while preparing Friday's Trvth.  The above Trvth from April 2008 seems particularly appropriate still in April 2021.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Joint Reality

All of our separate fictions add up to joint reality.

-- Stanisław Jerzy Lec (1909 - 1966), Polish poet and aphorist, Unkempt Thoughts (1957), as translated by Jacek Galazka (1962)

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Extraordinary Possibilities

The countries that take decisive action now to create the industries of the future will be the ones that reap the economic benefits of the clean energy boom that's coming.

We have to move.  We have to move quickly to meet these challenges.  The steps our countries take between now and Glasgow will set the world up for success to protect livelihoods around the world and keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius.  We must get on the path now in order to do that. 

If we do, we'll breathe easier, literally and figuratively; we'll create good jobs here at home for millions of Americans; and lay a strong foundation for growth for the future.  And that can be your goal as well.  This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative, a moment of peril but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities. 

-- Remarks by President Biden at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate Opening Session, 22 April 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Mutual Disposition

[I]f we do not learn to sacrifice small differences of opinion, we can never act together.  Every man cannot have his way in all things.  If his own opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at others.  Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society. 

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), third president of the United States (1801-1809), letter to John Dickinson (23 July 1801), published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, Federal Edition, Paul Leicester Ford, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904, Vol. 9, pp. 280-282

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Noble Profession

Policing is a noble profession, and it is a profession.  You met several Minneapolis police officers during this trial.  You met them.  They took the stand, and they testified.  Make no mistake, this is not a prosecution of the police, it is a prosecution of the defendant, and there's nothing worse for good police than a bad police who doesn't follow the rules, who doesn't follow procedure, who doesn't follow training, who ignores the policies of the department, the motto of the department to protect with courage, to serve with compassion.

-- Prosecution attorney Steve Schleicher in his closing statement in Derek Chauvin's trial for the murder of George Floyd, 19 April 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021


We upload the commands we want to run, and then we die inside for hours waiting to learn what happened.  Then, when all the data comes back, we frantically get online and look at it to make sure that everything went the way we wanted it to go.

-- Ingenuity lead operations manager Tim Canham, discussing the Ingenuity helicopter, which made history early Monday when the small but intrepid drone became the first powered craft to fly on another world, Wall Street Journal, 19 April 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Climate Of Opinion

Professor Whitehead has recently restored a seventeenth century phrase -- "climate of opinion."  The phrase is much needed.  Whether arguments command assent or not depends less upon the logic that conveys them than upon the climate of opinion in which they are sustained.

-- Carl Lotus Becker (1873 - 1945), American historian of early American intellectual history and on the Enlightenment, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-century Philosophers (1932)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

We Think We Know

It is what we think we know that keeps us from learning.

-- Chester Irving Barnard (1886 - 1961), American business executive and public administrator, as attributed in: Brand, Richard A. "Hypothesis-based research", Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 28.2 (1998): 71-73

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Longest War

I'm now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats.  I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.

After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world, I have concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. ...

We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago.  That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021. 

War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. ...  And it’s time to end the forever war. 

-- Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan, 14 April, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Not Governing

[I]f you aren't making news, you aren't governing.

-- Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz (1982 -), Firebrand (2020), stating a basic political premise of his which appears to be the opposite of true

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cho Dan Student

On Saturday afternoon I watched from the sidelines as my most advanced Taekwondo student successfully tested for Black Belt.  It was nerve wracking, but awesome.  This 13-year-old is the first student I've taken all the way from White Belt to Black Belt, a journey of about three years.

Friday, April 09, 2021

RIP Prince Philip

Constitutionally, I don't exist.

-- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, (10 June 1921 - 9 April 2021), husband from 20 November 1947 (73 years) of Queen Elizabeth II (coronation 2 June 1953).  He was the longest-serving, oldest-ever spouse of a reigning British monarch, and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family, as quoted in "Royal wedding: Should the royals have real jobs?", BBC News (27 January 2011)

Thursday, April 08, 2021


Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience.  Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.

-- Philip Milton Roth (1933 - 2018), American novelist, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his novel American Pastoral, The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography (1988), Opening letter to Nathan Zuckerman

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Fathers Of Our Actions

This habit of forming opinions, and acting upon them without evidence, is one of the most immoral habits of the mind. ...  As our opinions are the fathers of our actions, to be indifferent about the evidence of our opinions is to be indifferent about the consequences of our actions.  But the consequences of our actions are the good and evil of our fellow-creatures.  The habit of the neglect of evidence, therefore, is the habit of disregarding the good and evil of our fellow-creatures.

-- James Mill (6 April 1773 - 23 June 1836), Scottish utilitarian philosopher.  He was the father of the political philosopher John Stuart Mill, The Westminster Review, vol. 6 (1826), p. 13

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Outlier For Death

No harder measure of the coronavirus pandemic's toll exists: death from any cause rose 23% nationwide in 2020.

That meant 522,368 excess deaths from March through the end of 2020 compared with a projection from the prior 5 years, Steven Woolf, MD, MPH, of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and colleagues reported in JAMA.

It's well above the unofficial tally of COVID-19 deaths, which reached about 339,000 deaths by the end of 2020.  COVID directly accounted for about 72% of the excess mortality, Woolf's group found.

The rest might have been "either immediate or delayed mortality from undocumented COVID-19 infection, or non–COVID-19 deaths secondary to the pandemic, such as from delayed care or behavioral health crises," they suggested.

-- Crystal Phend, "Just How Much Was 2020 an Outlier for Deaths?", MedPage Today, 2 April 2021

Monday, April 05, 2021

Fair Use

We reach the conclusion that in this case, where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google's copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.  The Federal Circuit's contrary judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

-- Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the 6-2 majority of the Supreme Court of the United States in Google LLC, Petitioner, v. Oracle America, Inc, ruling that software APIs are not protected by copyright, and specifically that Google's Android OS does not violate Oracle's Java copyright, 5 April 2021

Friday, April 02, 2021


Stoning prophets and erecting churches to their memory afterwards has been the way of the world through the ages.  Today we worship Christ, but the Christ in the flesh we crucified.

-- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948), commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, as quoted by Philip Yancey in Soul Survivor (16 February 2012), p. 179

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Short Lent

Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, in The Way to Wealth: Advice, Hints, and Tips on Business, Money, and Finance (2011), p. 14