Monday, October 31, 2022

Most American

In many ways, Halloween is the most American of holidays: secular, irreverent, and unashamedly consumerist.  And as with many American cultural products, it has become a wildly successful export.

-- Lisa Morton (1958 -), American horror author and screenwriter, in: Eugenia Williamson Böö! Halloween’s quest for world domination, The Boston Globe, 28 October 2012

Friday, October 28, 2022

It Didn't Take A Year

I don't think that that's something that baseball should really be proud of.  It looks bad.  It let's people know it didn't take a year or even a decade to get to this point.  But there is help on the way.  You can tell by the number of African American No. 1 draft choices.

-- Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker Jr. (15 June 1949 -), American baseball manager and former outfielder who is the manager of the Houston Astros in Major League Baseball, currently playing the 2022 World Series, regarding the fact that the 2022 Series features zero U.S.-born Black players for the first time since 1950, 27 October 2022

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Justice Is

I remember -- the interruption of the honorable Gentleman reminds me of the words of a great writer, who said that "Grace was beauty in action."  Sir, I say that justice is truth in action.  Truth should animate an opposition, and I hope it does animate this opposition.

-- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1804 - 1881), British politician, novelist, and essayist, serving twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speech in the House of Commons (2 February 1851)

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Progressive Discovery

Sixty years ago I knew everything.  Now I know nothing.  Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

-- William James Durant (1885 - 1981), American historian, philosopher, and writer, quoted in "Books: The Great Gadfly", Time magazine, 8 October 1965 (review of The Age of Voltaire by Will and Ariel Durant)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Last Fifteen Minutes

For the first half hour, you don't think of anything, the next 15 minutes you're thinking about how you can do something big and the last 15 minutes I wanted to fall off just to put an end to the agony.  I wanted to puncture, anything, and finish the bid there and then.  I just couldn't go on.

-- Italian cyclist Filippo Ganna who beat the Hour Record in Grenchen, Switzerland, pushing it to 56.792 kilometres, a huge jump on the previous total of 55.548, set by Brit Dan Bigham on 19th August 2022, also at the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen.  Ganna spoke to El País newspaper in an interview made during the Ineos Grenadiers training camp in Nice, 8 October 2022

Monday, October 24, 2022


How we live from day to day affects our future.  Warm-heartedness is the key factor.  I think about it always because it’s warm-heartedness that brings us peace of mind.

-- The Dalai Lama, via Twitter as @DalaiLama, 3 October 2022

Friday, October 21, 2022

Not An Act But A Habit

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; "these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions"; we are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

-- William James Durant (1885 - 1981), American historian, philosopher, and writer, The Story of Philosophy (1926) p. 87.  The quoted phrases within the quotation are from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7

Thursday, October 20, 2022

A Golden Rule

A golden rule is never to use more complex movements than are necessary to achieve the desired result.  Start with simple movements and only introduce compound ones when you cannot otherwise succeed.  To hit a worthy opponent with a complex movement is satisfying and shows one's mastery of technique; to hit the same opponent by a simple movement is a sign of greatness.

-- Lee Jun-fan (1940 - 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee, Hong Kong American martial artist and actor, Tao Of Jeet Kune Do (1975), p. 200

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Causal Role

Generally, people have been very resistant to attributing a causal role in history to stupidity.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006), Canadian-American economist and author, Washington Post interview (1994)

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


If you start with around a million coins and flip them, removing any coin that comes up tails, after another 20 tosses or so you'll be down to one coin.  That coin is going to think it is so much better and more gifted than the other coins.

-- Long-time friend and former bowling partner Patrick O'Halloran, replying to @KendraWrites as TheRealPatrick @TheRealPOH on Twitter, 17 October 2022

Monday, October 17, 2022

More, Not Less

The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less.

-- Arthur Asher Miller (17 October 1915 - 10 February 2005), American playwright, essayist, and author, commenting on After the Fall (1964) in The Saturday Evening Post (1 February 1964)

Friday, October 14, 2022

Something Happens

Something happens to a man when he puts on a judicial robe, and I think it ought to.  The change is very great and requires psychological change within a man to get into an attitude of deciding other people's controversies, instead of waging them.  It really calls for quite a changed attitude.  Some never make it -- and I am not sure I have.

-- Robert Houghwout Jackson (1892 - 1954), US Solicitor General (1938-1940), US Attorney General (1940-1941), and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941-1954), reported in Leon Friedman and Fred L. Israel, 4 The Justices of the United States Supreme Court 1789-1969, 2563 (1969)

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Application To Vacate

Trump, Donald J. V. United States

The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.

-- The Supreme Court, declining former President Trump's request to intervene in the dispute over documents with classified markings taken from Mar-a-lago, 13 October 2022

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

RIP Nick Holonyak Jr

It's a good thing I was an engineer and not a chemist.  When I went to show them my LED, all the chemists at GE said, "You can't do that.  If you were a chemist, you'd know that wouldn't work."  I said, "Well, I just did it, and see, it works!"

-- Nick Holonyak Jr. (3 November 3 1928 - 18 September 2022), American engineer and educator.  He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light while working at General Electric's research laboratory in Syracuse, New York.  After leaving General Electric in 1963, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he later became John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics, as quoted by the Illinois News Bureau, "Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, dies" (18 September 2022)

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Composite Nationality

A Government founded upon justice, and recognizing the equal rights of all men; claiming higher authority for existence, or sanction for its laws, that nature, reason, and the regularly ascertained will of the people; steadily refusing to put its sword and purse in the service of any religious creed or family is a standing offense to most of the Governments of the world, and to some narrow and bigoted people among ourselves.

To those who doubt and deny the preponderance of good over evil in human nature; who think the few are made to rule, and many to serve; who put rank above brotherhood, and race above humanity; who attach more importance to ancient forms than to the living realities of the present; who worship power in whatever hands it may be lodged and by whatever means it may have been obtained; our Government is a mountain of sin, and, what is worse, its [sic] seems confirmed in its transgressions.

-- Frederick Douglass (1818 - 1895), American abolitionist, orator, author, and statesman during the American Civil War, born a slave in Maryland, in a speech in Boston, MA ,"Our Composite Nationality" (7 December 1869)

Monday, October 10, 2022


The world bestows its big prizes, both in money and honors, for but one thing.  And that is Initiative.  What is Initiative?  I'll tell you: It is doing the right thing without being told.  But next to doing the right thing without being told is to do it when you are told once.

-- Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 - 1915), American writer, publisher, and philosopher, Love, Life and Work (1905)

Friday, October 07, 2022

Historic Move

Today was a huge step in the right direction and really a historic move to see coming from a sitting president of the United States.

-- Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, speaking after President Biden pardoned thousands of people convicted on federal marijuana possession charges, NPR, 7 October 2022

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Aaron Judge Stands Alone

A little over 100 years ago, a charismatic and portly slugger named Babe Ruth began swatting balls over outfield fences by volume, helping establish the home run as one of the most coveted individual achievements in sports, and the Yankees as the most honored franchise.

Ruth's records, including 60 home runs in 1927, became sacred milestones, cherished for decades by millions.  In 1961, Roger Maris, as humble and retiring as Ruth was gregarious, broke the single-season record when he hit 61 homers, also for the Yankees.

Now Aaron Judge, as physically imposing as Ruth and as modest as Maris, has passed them both, homering against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Tuesday to reach 62 for the season, setting a new American League record.

From Ruth to Maris and now Judge, the A.L.'s single-season home run record is stitched together in pinstripes.

-- David Waldstein, "With His 62nd Home Run, Aaron Judge Stands Alone in A.L.", New York Times, 4 October 2022

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The Same Way

It’s a perfect set of circumstances to give us the time Yeats foretold, with the best having lost all conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity.  I’m an optimist.  In order to be libertarian, you have to be an optimist.  You have to have a benign view of human nature, to believe that human beings left to their own devices are basically good.  But I’m not so sure about human institutions ....  Most libertarians are worried about government but not worried about business.  I think we need to be worrying about business in exactly the same way we are worrying about government.

-- John Perry Barlow (1947 - 2018), American poet, essayist, and founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "John Perry Barlow 2.0", interview by Brian Doherty in ReasonOnline (August 2004)

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

RIP Loretta Lynn

Sometimes I think some people were disappointed when they met me and found out I wasn't any smarter or happier than they were.  I'm proud and I've got my own ideas, but I ain't no better than nobody else.  I've often wondered why I became so popular, and maybe that's the reason.  I think I reach people because I'm with 'em, not apart from 'em.

-- Loretta Webb Lynn (14 April 1932 - 4 October 2022), iconic country singer, Coal Miner's Daughter (1976) Ch. 19 : Performer

Monday, October 03, 2022

Wars Cannot Be Fought

As a military man who has given half a century of active service I say in all sincerity that the nuclear arms race has no military purpose.  Wars cannot be fought with nuclear weapons.  Their existence only adds to our perils because of the illusions which they have generated.  There are powerful voices around the world who still give credence to the old Roman precept -- if you desire peace prepare for war.  This is absolute nuclear nonsense.

-- Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC (1900 - 1979), British admiral and statesman, Speech in Strasbourg (11 May 1979), quoted in The Times (8 March 1980), p. 13