Friday, December 29, 2023

Goodbye, 2023

When a thing is done, it's done.  Don't look back.  Look forward to your next objective.

-- General George C. Marshall (1880 - 1959), American army officer and statesman, Chief of Staff of the US Army under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense under Truman, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953, as quoted in "George C. Marshall and the Marshall Plan: A Model of Transformational Diplomacy" (2005) by Tom Callahan

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Checks And Restraints

Those in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation.

-- William O. Douglas (1898 - 1980), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, longest-serving justice with a term lasting 36 years and 209 days; We the Judges: Studies in American and Indian Constitutional Law from Marshall to Mukherjea, New York: Doubleday (1956) p. 256

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

A Little Kinder

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?

-- Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860 - 1937), Scottish novelist and dramatist, more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, most famous as the author of the play Peter Pan, The Little White Bird (1902) Ch. 4

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


[T]he aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

-- Henry Valentine Miller (1891 - 1980), American writer and artist, The Wisdom of the Heart (1941) "Creative Death", p. 2

Monday, December 25, 2023

Happy Christmas

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fears

-- John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Happy Christmas (War Is Over), Imagine (1971)

Friday, December 22, 2023

To Will The Good

To love is to will the good of the other.

-- Saint Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225 - 1274), Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church, Summa Theologica (1265–1274) I-II, q. 26, art. 4

Thursday, December 21, 2023


Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit.

-- Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982), American writer, whose published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction, VALIS (1981)

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The First Time

Anything done for the first time unleashes a demon. 

-- David Victor Sim (1956 -), Canadian comic-book writer and artist, Church & State volume I (1987) Cover and title of Cerebus #65, August 1984, collected in Church & State I, p. 7 and 273

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Little Room

To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations.

-- Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), American poet, The Letters of Emily Dickinson (1958), edited by Thomas H. Johnson

Monday, December 18, 2023


Congratulations to my daughter Tia who on Saturday graduated with a Bachelors in Health & Human Services from Eastern Illinois University.  On Sunday, she received word that she has been accepted into the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Illinois.  It was a busy weekend.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Destruction Of The Tea

This is the most magnificent movement of all!  There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire.  The people should never rise without doing something to be remembered -- something notable and striking.  This destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important consequences, and so lasting, that I can't but consider it as an epocha in history!

-- John Adams (1735 - 1826), American lawyer, author, statesman, and diplomat, second president of the United States (1797-1801), first vice president (1789-1797), and as a Founding Father was a leader of American independence from Great Britain, on the Boston Tea Party which took place 250 years ago Saturday, 16 December 1773 (quote from 17 December 1773)

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Strong Message

The Senate's vote today to pass my bipartisan bill to prevent any U.S. President from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO reaffirms U.S. support for this crucial alliance that is foundational for our national security.  It also sends a strong message to authoritarians around the world that the free world remains united.

-- Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), regarding a provision he co-sponsored with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the Defense Authorization Act passed today requiring an act of Congress or Senate approval to withdraw from NATO, Business Insider, 14 December 2023

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Not Accidents

Pluralist societies are not accidents of history.  They are a product of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world's peoples.

-- The Āgā Khān IV (13 December 1936 -), 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, in a speech on Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society delivered at the Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway (7 April 2005)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Some Things

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. 

-- Willa Cather (1873 - 1947), American author and novelist, The Song of the Lark (1915), Thea, in Part VI, Ch. 7

Monday, December 11, 2023

Method And Principle

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.  Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.

-- Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 - 3 August 2008), Russian philosopher, novelist, dramatist and historian, 1970 Nobel laureate in literature, Nobel lecture (1970), as quoted in Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record (1974) edited by Leopold Labedz

Friday, December 08, 2023

Invisible And Intangible

Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible.  No one can take them.  You, and you alone, can give them.  You will receive abundance for your giving.  The more you give -- the more you will have!

-- William Clement Stone (1902 - 2002), American businessman, author, and philanthropist, Be Generous

Thursday, December 07, 2023


A man settles where he finds his peace.  Not beauty, not money, not status, not anything else but peace.

-- Denzel Washington (1954 -), American actor, director, and producer, attributed

Wednesday, December 06, 2023


[A]nything you don't understand is dangerous until you do understand it.

-- Larry Niven (1938 -), American science fiction author, most famous as the author of Ringworld (1970) and Niven's laws, Neutron Star (1968), Flatlander (p. 164)

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Warm Weather

'Tis very warm weather when one's in bed.

-- Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745), Anglo-Irish writer and satirist, Journal to Stella (8 November 1710)

Monday, December 04, 2023

You Will Be Assimilated

After 1,358 days since the WHO declared a global covid pandemic, I tested positive for covid on Saturday.  My Garmin watch agrees that today has been better than all of last week.  I'm bummed, but I've experienced worse.  Still, not recommended.

Friday, December 01, 2023

RIP Sandra Day O'Connor

Reasonable minds can disagree about how to apply the Religion Clauses in a given case.  But the goal of the Clauses is clear: to carry out the Founders' plan of preserving religious liberty to the fullest extent possible in a pluralistic society.  By enforcing the Clauses, we have kept religion a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat.  At a time when we see around the world the violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority by government, Americans may count themselves fortunate: Our regard for constitutional boundaries has protected us from similar travails, while allowing private religious exercise to flourish. [...]  Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?

-- Sandra Day O'Connor (26 March 1930 - 1 December 2023), American jurist, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 until 2006, serving as the first woman on the Supreme Court, McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) (concurring)

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Deaths And Suffering

Henry Kissinger.  While many in the United States still see Nixon and Ford's former secretary of state as an elder statesman, the rest of the world sees him as a war criminal responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions in Chile, Vietnam, Laos, Argentina, East Timor, and Cambodia, to name a few.

-- Amy Goodman (1957 -), American broadcast journalist, author, and co-founder (1996) and main host of Democracy Now!, a progressive global news program broadcast daily on radio, television, and the Internet, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2004)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

RIP Henry Kissinger

We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one.  We sought physical attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion.  In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose.  The conventional army loses if it does not win.  The North Vietnamese used their armed forces the way a bull-fighter uses his cape -- to keep us lunging in areas of marginal political importance.

-- Henry Alfred Kissinger (27 May 1923 - 29 November 2023), German-American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, "The Vietnam Negotiations", Foreign Affairs, Vol. 48, No. 2 (January 1969), p. 214

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


A leader takes people where they want to go.  A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.

-- Eleanor Rosalynn Carter (née Smith) (18 August 1927 - 19 November 2023), First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1980, as the wife of President Jimmy Carter, as quoted in Successful Leadership: 8 Essential Principles You Must Know (2007) by Barine Kirimi, p. 165

Monday, November 27, 2023

Beginner's Mind

In Japan we have the phrase, "Shoshin," which means "beginner's mind."  Our "original mind" includes everything within itself.  It is always rich and sufficient within itself.  This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind.  If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything.  It is open to everything.  In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.

-- Shunryu Suzuki (1904 - 1971), Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (1973)

Friday, November 24, 2023

Joy Of Living

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.  

-- Tecumseh (1768 - 1813), Native American Shawnee warrior and chief, as quoted in A Sourcebook for Earth's Community of Religions (1995) by Joel Diederik Beversluis (disputed)

Thursday, November 23, 2023

More Truly

For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful.  And more truly for what I have not received.

-- Margaret Ethel Storm Jameson (1891 - 1986), English journalist and author

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Conscious Of Our Treasures

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

-- Thornton Niven Wilder (1897 - 1975), Pulitzer prize winning American author and playwright, The Woman of Andros (1930)

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


Thanksgiving provides a formal context in which to consider the instances of kindness that have enlightened our lives, for moments of grace that have gotten us through when all seemed lost.  These are fine and sentimental subjects for contemplation.

-- Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle (24 November 2005)

Monday, November 20, 2023

Fit For More

Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing.  Let everyone know that you have a reserve in yourself -- that you have more power than you are now using.  If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it.

-- James A. Garfield (1831 - 1881), 20th president of the United States of America in 1881, and the second U.S. president to be assassinated, "Elements of Success", as published in President Garfield and education: Hiram college memorial (1882), compiled by B. A. Hinsdale, p. 327

Friday, November 17, 2023


The business of software building isn't really high-tech at all.  It's most of all a business of talking to each other and writing things down.  Those who were making major contributions to the field were more likely to be its best communicators than its best technicians.

-- Tom DeMarco (1940 -), author, teacher, and speaker on software engineering topics, Why Does Software Cost So Much?: And Other Puzzles of the Information Age (1995), p. 218

Thursday, November 16, 2023

That Bubble Is Me

In infinite time, in infinite matter, in infinite space, is formed a bubble-organism, and that bubble lasts a while and bursts, and that bubble is me.

-- Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910), Russian writer, philosopher and social activist, Anna Karenina, C. Garnett, trans. (New York: 2003), Part 8, Chapter 9, p. 729

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Apology For Printers

Being frequently censur'd and condemn'd by different Persons for printing Things which they say ought not to be printed, I have sometimes thought it might be necessary to make a standing Apology for my self, and publish it once a Year, to be read upon all Occasions of that Nature. 

I request all who are angry with me on the Account of printing things they don't like, calmly to consider these following Particulars.  ...

That if all Printers were determin'd not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed.  ...

That if all the People of different Opinions in this Province would engage to give me as much for not printing things they don't like, as I can get by printing them, I should probably live a very easy Life; and if all Printers were every where so dealt by, there would be very little printed.  ...

I consider the Variety of Humours among Men, and despair of pleasing every Body; yet I shall not therefore leave off Printing.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and statesman, Apology for Printers, The Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 June 1731 (h/t Zandar)

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Code Of Conduct




The undersigned Justices are promulgating this Code of Conduct to set out succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court. For the most part these rules and principles are not new: The Court has long had the equivalent of common law ethics rules, that is, a body of rules derived from a variety of sources, including statutory provisions, the code that applies to other members of the federal judiciary, ethics advisory opinions issued by the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct, and historic practice. The absence of a Code, however, has led in recent years to the misunderstanding that the Justices of this Court, unlike all other jurists in this country, regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules. To dispel this misunderstanding, we are issuing this Code, which largely represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct.

-- Introduction to the statement of the court announcing a code of conduct for the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, 13 November 2023

Monday, November 13, 2023

Haidong Gumdo Seminar #2

This past weekend I participated in my second Haidong Gumdo (Korean swordsmanship) seminar with Grandmaster Jeong-Woo Kim (Chief of Education for the World Haidong Gumdo Federation).  We first trained with him in April of this year.

We quickly reviewed the material presented at his previous visit.  The rest of the weekend was spent learning the remaining six sword forms that complete the requirements for First Degree Black Belt.  

Master Kim will return in another 6 months or so to review our progress.  If at that time we are able to demonstrate all of the skills taught so far, then we will be allowed to begin teaching Haidong Gumdo.  I believe mandatory training for instructor certification will continue until we reach Second Degree Black Belt.

The eleven-hour seminar was exhausting, and my wrists and forearms are still sore, but I believe I picked up a lot of new knowledge.  Good times.

Friday, November 10, 2023

I Rise

I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything.  I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers.

-- Ulysses S. Grant (1822 - 1885), 18th president of the United States of America, from 1869 to 1877, and Commanding General of the U.S. Army during the American Civil War, U.S. Grant's "perfect speech" which he used on several occasions beginning in 1865, as quoted in Grant: A Biography (1982) by William S. McFeely, p. 234

Thursday, November 09, 2023


Reversal by a higher court is not proof that justice is thereby better done.  There is no doubt that if there were a super-Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of our reversals of state courts would also be reversed.  We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.

-- Robert Houghwout Jackson (1892 - 1954), United States Solicitor General (1938-1940), United States Attorney General (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954).  He is the only person in US history to have held all three of those offices, concurring in Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 540 (1953)

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Good Ancestors

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.

-- Jonas Salk (1914 - 1995), medical researcher and author, inventor of the Salk vaccine against Polio, and founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, as quoted in Learning from the Future : Competitive Foresight Scenarios (1998) by Liam Fahey and Robert M. Randall, p. 332

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Deceive Ourselves Twice

We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love -- first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.

-- Albert Camus (7 November 1913 - 4 January 1960), French Pied-Noir author, absurdist philosopher, and winner of the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature, A Happy Death (1938), first published as La mort heureuse (1971), as translated by Richard Howard (1972)

Monday, November 06, 2023


On the sixth day God saw He couldn't do it all, it read, so He created engineers.

-- Lois McMaster Bujold (2 November 1949 -), American author of science fiction and fantasy works, Falling Free (1988), Chapter 1 (p. 14)

Friday, November 03, 2023

No Art Or Learning

No art or learning is to be pursued halfheartedly ... and any art worth learning will certainly reward more or less generously the effort made to study it.

-- Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 - c. 1014 or 1025), Japanese novelist, poet, and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court in the Heian period, The Tale of Genji

Thursday, November 02, 2023

It Just Gets More So

One thing you don't really get until middle age is this absolutely wild perspective where you've seen people go from zero to twenty five and others from twenty five to fifty and from fifty to seventy five and seventy five to dead. 

It used to be I'd seen people of every age, now I've seen people span wide swaths of their lives.  It's beautiful and intense and scary and rich and immense. 

I imagine it just gets more so.

-- Hank Green, Long-time Internet guy, posting on Twitter as @hankgreen, 2 November 2023

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Texas Rangers Win World Series

The Texas Rangers have claimed their first World Series title in team history.

They bested the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 on Wednesday night, 5-0.

It's a first in the 63-season history of a franchise that started as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961.

The team did not lose a postseason game on the road this year, finishing it out 11-0.  

-- The Associated Press, "Texas Rangers are World Series champs for first time in team's 63-year history" (1 November 2023)

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  Despite the 35-degree temperature and the blustery north wind, I had 74 trick-or-treaters stop by my house this evening.  My youngest (age 25) daughter decorated my house, and worked at a haunted house, and kids and grandkids generally had a good time.  I hope you all did as well.

Monday, October 30, 2023


It's not so much where my motivation comes from but rather how it manages to survive.

-- Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010), French-American artist and sculptor, quoted in The Guardian, "She'll put a spell on you" (14 October 2007)

Friday, October 27, 2023


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. 

-- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), English author and satirist, most famous for his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of radio plays and books, Last Chance to See, Chapter 4: Heartbeats in the Night, p. 116

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Political Contests

If the minority is as powerful as the majority there is no use of having political contests at all, for there is no use in having a majority.

-- Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (27 October 1858 - 6 January 1919), American statesman, author, explorer, and soldier who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, speech before the Federal Club, New York City, (6 March 1891), as published in New York Daily Tribune (7 March 1891)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Chanute AFB

RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Chanute Air Force Base is officially in the hands of the Village of Rantoul after 30 years of environmental cleanup and redevelopment efforts.

Air Force and village officials held a ceremony celebrating the completion of the transfer on Wednesday.  The base was established in 1917 as a training center for pilots and ground crews.  It closed in 1993 as part of the base realignment and closure program, leaving behind more than 2,000 acres of land and hundreds of buildings.

Since then, acres have slowly been given back to the village.  Now, they own it all.

-- Will Simmons, "Rantoul celebrates official transferring of Chanute Air Force Base",, 25 October 2023

[My dad went through meteorologist training at Chanute AFB at the beginning of WW II, and stuck around to teach for a year or so before being dispatched to the Pacific.  When I first started "trvth" on CERL PLATO in 1981 I was working as a PLATO lab manager and developer for the Department of Defense (3330th TCHTW/TTGH) at Chanute AFB as appleman/chanute.]

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Only As Young

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

-- Timothy Leary (1920 - 1996), American writer, psychologist, and counterculture icon, as quoted in Office Yoga : Simple Stretches for Busy People (2000) by Darrin Zeer, p. 52

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Mistakes Of Others

You must learn from the mistakes of others -- you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.

-- Harry Myers and Mason M. Roberts, credited to an unnamed person in their book Human Engineering (1932)