Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Information, Perception, Values

Usually in an argument, I can see the other person's point of view.  It comes down to three basic things: different information, different perception and different values.  Once you can see where people come from you can consider if the other person has better information and compare their values and perceptions to yours.  I am willing to listen.

-- Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono (1933 - 2021), British physician, author, inventor, and consultant, most famous as the originator of the term lateral thinking (structured creativity) and a leading proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking in schools, quoted in "Edward de Bono: 'Iraq? They just need to think it through'" by Angela Balakrishnan in The Guardian (27 April 2007)

Monday, May 30, 2022

This Poor Clay

We are met today to pay the impersonal tribute.  The name of him whose body lies before us took flight with his imperishable soul.  We know not whence he came, but only that his death marks him with the everlasting glory of an American dying for his country. ...

Standing today on hallowed ground, conscious that all America has halted to share in the tribute of heart and mind and soul to this fellow American, and knowing that the world is noting this expression of the Republic's mindfulness, it is fitting to say that his sacrifice, and that of the millions dead, shall not be in vain.  There must be, there shall be, the commanding voice of a conscious civilization against armed warfare.

As we return this poor clay to its mother soil, garlanded by love and covered with the decorations that only nations can bestow, I can sense the prayers of our people, of all peoples, that this Armistice Day shall mark the beginning of a new and lasting era of peace on earth, good will among men.

-- Warren G. Harding (1865 - 1923), 29th President of the United States: 1921 - 1923, Address at the Burial of an Unknown American Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, 11 November 1921

Friday, May 27, 2022

A Compound

All human power is a compound of time and patience.

-- Honoré de Balzac (1799 - 1850), French novelist, Eugénie Grandet (1833), translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, ch. VI

Thursday, May 26, 2022

All The Things

If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

-- Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931), American inventor and businessman, as quoted in Motivating Humans : Goals, Emotions, and Personal Agency Beliefs (1992) by Martin E. Ford, p. 17

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Honor The Sacrifice

Let's take a moment to honor the sacrifice of our brave schoolchildren who lay down their lives to protect our right to bear arms.

-- Randall Buck, as quoted by Trey Young at the March For Our Lives protest in Washington DC, 24 March 2018

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Embrace The Lies?

This sacred obligation to defend the peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president, except one. ...  

Standing on the east front of the United States Capitol on a snowy morning in 1961, President Kennedy said: 

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger."

Today, that role is ours as we face a threat we have never faced before -- a former president attempting to unravel our constitutional republic.  At this moment we must all summon the courage to stand against that.  The question for every one of us is in this time of testing, will we do our duty?  Will we defend our Constitution?  Will we stand for truth?  Will we put duty to our oath above partisan politics?  Or will we look away from danger, ignore the threat, embrace the lies, and enable the liar? 

-- Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), in remarks after she was awarded the 2022 Profile In Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, 22 May 2022

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Last Bee

The Last Bee

After the last  ee
had  uzzed its last  uzz,
the  irds and the  utterflies
did what they could.

 ut soon the fields lay  are,
few flowers were left,
nature was  roken,
and the planet  ereft.

--  rian  ilston (Brian Bilston), in a composition for #WorldBeeDay, 20 May 2022

Friday, May 20, 2022

RIP Roger Angell

We have these unreasonable expectations of all baseball heroes.  We want them to be good at life as well as good at baseball.  If you think about it, it’s unfair.  It’s hard enough to expect them to play baseball well.  I’m convinced there is the same division in baseball that there is in life itself: of true heroes; of people of strong principle; of ordinary everyday people; of rogues; of weaklings.

-- Roger Angell (19 September 1920 - 20 May 2022), American essayist known for his writing on sports, especially baseball, speaking in the Ken Burns Baseball documentary series, Inning 9: Home (1970 to 1994)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Flexible At All Times

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.

-- Everett McKinley Dirksen (1896 - 1969), Illinois Republican Senator and civil rights proponent, as quoted in Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, or, How to Survive Public Service (2001) by Kenneth H. Ashworth, p. 11

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)