Friday, October 29, 2021

Thrift And Industry

A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune.

-- Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, Jr. (1858 - 1919), American statesman, author, explorer, and soldier, 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, Seventh annual message to the US Senate and House of Representatives (3 December 1907), published in A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1908, Vol. 11, p. 1242

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Good And Bad Things

I think Facebook is the next Microsoft in both the bad and the good senses.  That's an amazing company that is going to do a lot of good and bad things.

-- Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (1966 -), American-British Internet entrepreneur and wiki pioneer who is most famous as one of the founders of Wikipedia, "Jimmy Wales on tech's future", Orlando Sentinel, 3 November 2007

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Five Principles

1. Carefully observe oneself and one's situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one's environment,

2. Seize the initiative in whatever you undertake,

3. Consider fully, act decisively,

4. Know when to stop,

5. Keep to the middle.

-- Jigoro Kano's Five Principles of Judo, Jigoro Kano (28 October 1860 - 4 May 1938), founder of the Japanese martial art of judo, quoted in Budo Secrets: Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters (2002) by John Stevens

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Decreased Fatalities

I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range.

-- Trump administration coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx in closed-door testimony before the House Select Coronavirus Subcommittee, estimating that 130,000 lives could have been saved with an increased federal response in the early days of the pandemic, October 12 & 13, 2021

Monday, October 25, 2021

Odium And Infamy

How long will men dare to call anything expedient that is not right?  Can odium and infamy be of service to any empire, which ought to be supported by glory and by the good-will of its allies?

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), Roman philosopher, politician, and orator, De Officiis - On Duties (44 BC), Book III, Sect. 22

Friday, October 22, 2021


Anxiety destroys scale, and suffering makes us lose perspective.

-- Saul Bellow (1915 - 2005), acclaimed Canadian-born American writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976 and the National Medal of Arts in 1988, "The Sealed Treasure" (1960), p. 62

Thursday, October 21, 2021


A sense of humour is a sense of proportion.

-- Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931), usually referred to in English as Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist, Sand and Foam (1926)

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Respect For The Truth

[R]espect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. 

-- Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. (1920 - 1986), American science-fiction writer, most famous for his Dune novels, Dune (1965), Book 2: Muad'Dib, from Conversations with Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Political Party

[I]f a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

-- Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 - 1969), American soldier and politician, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, and 34th President of the United States, remarks at the Fourth Annual Republican Women's National Conference (6 March 1956)

Monday, October 18, 2021

RIP Colin Powell

Naysayers are everywhere.  They feel it's the safest position to be in.  It's the easiest armor to wear...  And they may be right in their negativity; reality may be on their side.  But chances are very good that it's not.  You can only use their naysaying as one line in the spectrum of inputs to your decision.  Listen to everyone you need to, and then go with your fearless instinct.  Each of us must work to become a hardheaded realist, or else we risk wasting our time and energy pursuing impossible dreams.  Yet constant naysayers pursue no less impossible dreams.  Their fear and cynicism move nothing forward.  They kill progress.  How many cynics built empires, great cities, or powerful corporations?

-- Colin Luther Powell (5 April 1937 - 18 October 2021), American politician, diplomat and four-star general who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership (2012), p. 27

Friday, October 15, 2021

Trump Traitor Alert


You're a traitor...

You abandoned Trump.

We were told you were a tried &
true, lifelong patriot.  But when 
Trump said he'd run for President
if we took back the House from 
Nancy Pelosi....  You did nothing.
Was Trump wrong about you?

This is your final chance to prove
your loyalty or be branded a
deserter.  We're giving you one
final chance to stand with Trump.
You only have 17 min >>>

-- Fundraising message from the National Republican Congressional Committee, October 2021 (Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet)

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Should Not Comment

[T]he Parties agree that Executive Branch officials outside the Department of Justice and its components should not comment publicly on ongoing career civil service employee disciplinary matters ... so as not to create any appearance of improper political influence.

-- US Department of Justice in a settlement reached with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in which the DOJ agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits and provide some attorney fees, 14 October 2021

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Ignorant And Free

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), third president of the United States (1801-1809), political philosopher, and one of the most influential founders of the United States, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey (6 January 1816) ME 14:384

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Precondition For Democracy

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.  Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.  At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.

-- Norwegian Nobel Committee, in their official announcement of Nobel Peace Prize 2021 (8 October 2021)

Monday, October 11, 2021

Enjoy Halloween

You're outdoors, for the most part -- at least when my children were out there doing trick-or-treating.  And enjoy it.  I mean, this is a time that children love.  It's a very important part of the year for children.  I know my children enjoyed it. 

If you look at the history of the surges and the diminution in cases over a period of time, they can bounce back.  So we don't want to always be on our edge that it's going to happen because it won't if we do what we should be doing, namely getting more people vaccinated.  But go out there and enjoy Halloween, as well as the other holidays that will be coming up.

-- Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union", 11 October 2021

Friday, October 08, 2021

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Since time immemorial, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures -- safeguarding land, language, spirit, knowledge, and tradition across the generations.  On Indigenous Peoples' Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government's trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.

On Indigenous Peoples' Day, we honor America's first inhabitants and the Tribal Nations that continue to thrive today.  I encourage everyone to celebrate and recognize the many Indigenous communities and cultures that make up our great country. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2021, as Indigenous Peoples' Day.  I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of our diverse history and the Indigenous peoples who contribute to shaping this Nation.  

-- President Joe Biden, A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples' Day, 2021, 8 October 2021

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Overcoming Evil

The good and the bad mix themselves so thoroughly in our thoughts, even in our aspirations, that we must look for excellence rather in overcoming evil than in freeing ourselves from its influence.

-- Anthony Trollope (1815 - 1882), successful and prolific English novelist of the Victorian era, He Knew He Was Right (1869), Ch. 60

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Honest And Honorable

The drafters of the Constitution had made one simple but far-reaching error.  They'd assumed that the people selected by The People to manage the nation would be as honest and honorable as they'd been.  One could almost hear the "Oops!" emanating from all those old graves. 

-- Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (1947 - 2013), American author of both fiction and non-fiction, mostly related to the military, terrorism, and international affairs, The Bear and the Dragon (2000), Ch. 12 : Conflicts of the Pocket

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

A Melmotte

You can keep your house free from him, and so can I mine.  But we set no example to the nation at large.  They who do set the example go to his feasts, and of course he is seen at theirs in return.  And yet these leaders of the fashion know, --  at any rate they believe, -- that he is what he is because he has been a swindler greater than other swindlers.

What follows as a natural consequence?  Men reconcile themselves to swindling.  Though they themselves mean to be honest, dishonesty of itself is no longer odious to them.  Then there comes the jealousy that others should be growing rich with the approval of all the world -- and the natural aptitude to do what all the world approves.  It seems to me that the existence of a Melmotte is not compatible with a wholesome state of things in general.

-- Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882), successful and prolific English novelist of the Victorian era, The Way We Live Now, Clerical Charities (1875), page 29, h/t @John Dickerson

Monday, October 04, 2021

One Moment

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

-- Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH (1904 - 1991), prolific English novelist, playwright, and short story writer whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, The Power and the Glory (1940), Pt. I, ch. 1

Friday, October 01, 2021

Annual Bill

A catastrophic failure of US journalism and politics is that something like Biden's 10-year, $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill is not called a $350 billion annual bill...but the Pentagon's budget, which will exceed $7.5 trillion over a decade, is called a $750 billion annual bill

-- Dr. Steven W. Thrasher, journalist and professor at Northwestern University, via Twitter as @thrasherxy, 29 September 2021