Wednesday, May 18, 2022

To Do Good

The final end of government is not to exert restraint but to do good.

-- Rufus Choate (1799 - 1859), American lawyer, Whig politician, and orator, Speech in the Senate (2 July 1841)

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

More Anonymous

Every day you waste a chance, many chances in fact, of getting at your innermost consciousness by expressing yourself as you see yourself, and I say it is a pity because it makes you, year after year and day after day, more like anybody else and more anonymous.

-- Ernest Dimnet (1866 - 1954), French priest, writer, and lecturer, The Art of Thinking (1928), p. 250

Monday, May 16, 2022

Responsible For The Evil

Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.

-- Catechism of the Catholic Church as promulgated by Pope John Paul II (1992), § 2287

Friday, May 13, 2022

Either Or

An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.

-- Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936), Austrian journalist, satirist, aphorist, and poet, Die Fackel no. 270/71 (19 January 1909)

Thursday, May 12, 2022


Fraud includes the pretense of knowledge when knowledge there is none.

-- Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870 - 1938), long-time Justice of the Court of Appeals of New York; he was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1932, Ultramares Corp. v. Touche, 255 N.Y. 170, 179, 174 N.E. 441, 444 (1931)

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Not Many

Multum non Multa [Much, not many].

-- Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (61 - c.113) better known as Pliny the Younger, was very active in Ancient Rome's legal system and was a magistrate under the reigns of several disparate emperors.  "A letter from Pliny the Younger to Fuscus", in which he advised a friend regarding the idea of selecting a few books to read deeply rather than glancing at many.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

In The End

War: first, one hopes to win; then one expects the enemy to lose; then, one is satisfied that the enemy too is suffering; in the end, one is surprised that everyone has lost.

-- Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936), Austrian journalist, satirist, aphorist, and poet, Die Fackel no. 46 (9 October 1917)

Monday, May 09, 2022

A Kind Face

For most of us, our mother is our first teacher.  My mother first showed me compassion and one of the things about her was that she always presented a kind face.  As human beings, our lives begin in the shelter of our mother's care and affection, without which we would not survive.

-- Dalai Lama, via Twitter as @DalaiLama, 8 May 2022

Friday, May 06, 2022


PRECEDENT, n. In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases.  As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire.  Invention of the precedent elevates the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.

-- Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 - 1914), American satirist and author,  The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Thursday, May 05, 2022


You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older
And now you're even older
And now you're even older.
You're older than you've ever been
And now you're even older,
And now you're older still.

Time!... is marching on, 
And time... is still marching on.

This day will soon be at an end
And now it's even sooner
And now it's even sooner
And now it's even sooner
This day will soon be at an end
And now it's even sooner
And now it's sooner still.

-- John C. Flansburgh and John S. Linnell of They Might Be Giants, "Older" (1999)

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

A Blessing

Every single one of you, whether you like it or not, is a bastion of democracy.  And if you ever begin to doubt your responsibilities.  If you ever begin to doubt how meaningful it is, look no further than what's happening in Ukraine.  Look at what's happening there.  Journalists are risking and even losing their lives to show the world what's really happening.

You realize how amazing it is.  Like in America, you have the right to seek the truth and speak the truth, even if it makes people in power uncomfortable.  Even if it makes your viewers or readers uncomfortable.  Do you understand how amazing that is?

I stood here tonight and I made fun of the President of the United States, and I'm going to be fine.  I'm going to be fine, right?

Like, do you really understand what a blessing it is?

-- Trevor Noah (1984 -), South African comedian, television host, actor, and political commentator, "Remarks at the 2022 White House Correspondents' Dinner", C-SPAN (30 April 2022)

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

RIP Roe v Wade

Supreme Court of the United states


Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the court.

Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.  Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life.  Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman's right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality.  Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances, and those within this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed. 

For the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each State was permitted to address this issue in accordance with the views of its citizens.  Then, in 1973, this Court decided Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113.

-- Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority in a draft of his opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson which overturns Roe v. Wade, and which was leaked to the press 2 May 2022

Monday, May 02, 2022


Do not try to make the brilliant pupil a replica of yourself.

-- Gilbert Arthur Highet (1906 - 1978), Scottish-American classicist, writer, and literary historian, The Art of Teaching (1950)