Friday, June 30, 2023

A Dollar In The Hands

The unattractive lesson of the majority opinion is this: What's mine is mine, and what's yours is yours.  The lesson of the history of public accommodations laws is altogether different.  It is that in a free and democratic society, there can be no social castes.  And for that to be true, it must be true in the public market.  For the "promise of freedom" is an empty one if the Government is "powerless to assure that a dollar in the hands of [one person] will purchase the same thing as a dollar in the hands of a[nother]." Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U. S. 409, 443 (1968).  Because the Court today retreats from that promise, I dissent.

-- Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissenting in 303 Creative LLC v Elenis, in which the majority found a free speech right for a business to deny service, 30 June 2023

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Affirmative Action

Of course, students on my campus and countless others across the country were -- and continue to be -- granted special consideration for admissions.  Some have parents who graduated from the same school.  Others have families who can afford coaches to help them run faster or hit a ball harder.  Others go to high schools with lavish resources for tutors and extensive standardized test prep that help them score higher on college entrance exams.  We don't usually question if those students belong.  So often, we just accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justifiable forms of affirmative action, while kids growing up like I did are expected to compete when the ground is anything but level.

And while I know the strength and grit that lies inside kids who have always had to sweat a little more to climb the same ladders, I hope and I pray that the rest of us are willing to sweat a little, too.  Today is a reminder that we've got to do the work not just to enact policies that reflect our values of equity and fairness, but to truly make those values real in all of our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

-- Statement by former First Lady Michelle Obama in response to the Supreme Court decision against affirmative action in college admissions, 29 June 2023

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Working And Playing

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing.  To himself he always seems to be doing both.  Enough for him that he does it well.

-- Lawrence Pearsall Jacks, Education through Recreation (1932)

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Canadian Wildfires

And he opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke ascended out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun was darkened, also the air, by the smoke of the pit.

-- Book of Revelation Chapter 9, Verse 2; To make this apropos for today, simply substitute "Canadian wildfires" for "pit of the abyss"

Monday, June 26, 2023

Structure The Flow

Music's exclusive function is to structure the flow of time and keep order in it.

-- Igor Fyodorovitch Stravinsky (1882 - 1971), Russian-born composer, Quoted by G├ęza Szamosi, The Twin Dimensions: Inventing Time and Space (New York, 1986), p. 232

Friday, June 23, 2023

Birthday Gathering

Whatever with the past has gone
the best is always yet to come.

-- Lucy Larcom (1824 - 1893), American poet, "Poems" (1869) p.179

[Tonight I wish my Aunt Margaret a happy 90th birthday!  I'm with my 3 brothers in Lincoln, Nebraska, along with our cousins, to help her celebrate the occasion.]

Thursday, June 22, 2023


We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost. 

These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans.  Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.  We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew. 

-- Statement from OceanGate regarding the loss of their Titan submersible, 22 June 2023

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Nothing Begins

Nothing, of course, begins at the time you think it did.

-- Lillian Florence Hellman (1905 - 1984), American playwright, An Unfinished Woman (1969)

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The First Price

Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things.  It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.

-- Adam Smith (1723 - 1790), Scottish-born economist and philosopher, widely considered the "father of modern economics", The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book I, Chapter V, p. 38

Monday, June 19, 2023


This weekend I had the pleasure of joining Bill (Superfoot) Wallace (standing, far right, in the photo; I'm kneeling, in white, near the middle) for a sparring seminar.  Per Wikipedia, from 1974 to 1980 he was the Professional Karate Association (PKA) World Full-Contact Champion, and the Middleweight Kickboxing Champion, retiring with a 23-0-0 record.

The 3-hour seminar was held at The Way Martial Arts in the Indianapolis area on Saturday June 17th.  It consisted of punching and (mostly) kicking, with an emphasis on offensive footwork.

Bill Wallace is currently 77 years old and impressively fit.  He does the splits, kicks above head height, and leads 3-hour sparring seminars around the country.  If I get a chance to sign up for another (nearby) seminar, I will.  Good fun.

Friday, June 16, 2023

RIP Daniel Ellsberg

The American public was lied to [about the Vietnam War] month by month by each of these five administrations [Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon].  It's a tribute to the American public that their leaders perceived that they had to be lied to.  It's no tribute to us that it was so easy to fool the public.

-- Daniel Ellsberg (7 April 1931 - 16 June 2023), United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, released in 1971 the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers, Hearts and Minds (1974), a documentary of the Vietnam War [1:17:35 onward]

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Wandering Attention

The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgement, character, and will.

-- William James (1842 - 1910), pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, Principles of Psychology (1890) Chapter XI "Attention" (h/t Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, on the Hidden Brain podcast, episode "Seeking Serenity: Part 1")

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

As He Wills It

The processes of teaching the child that everything cannot be as he wills it are apt to be painful both to him and to his teacher.

-- Anne Sullivan, The Story of My Life: with her Letters by Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, pg 313, letter of 28 March 1887 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

RIP Cormac McCarthy

People were always getting ready for tomorrow.  I didn’t believe in that.  Tomorrow wasn't getting ready for them.  It didn't even know they were there.

-- Cormac McCarthy (born Charles Joseph McCarthy Jr.; 20 July 1933 - 13 June 2023), American novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and screenwriter, The Road (2006)

Monday, June 12, 2023

United States Of America v. Donald J. Trump

United States District Court
Southern District Of Florida
Case No. 23-80101-CR-CANNON/REINHART

United States Of America v. Donald J. Trump

Counts 1-31 Willful Retention of National Defense Information 
(18 U.S.C. 793(e))

Count 32 Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice
(18 U.S.C. 1512(k))

Count 33 Withholding a Document or Record
(18 U.S.C. 1512(b)(2)(A),2)

Count 34 Corruptly Concealing a Document or Record
(18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(1),2)

Count 35 Concealing a Document in a Federal Investigation
(18 U.S.C. 1519,2)

Count 36 Scheme to Conceal
(18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(1),2)

Count 37 False Statements and Representations
(18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2),2)

-- Federal charges (h/t brought against former president Donald Trump accusing him of mishandling and concealing secret documents after leaving office, 8 June 2023

Friday, June 09, 2023


It's fine work.  Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes.  That's our official slogan.

-- Guy Montag to Clarisse McClellan in "The Hearth and the Salamander" Pt. 1 of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953), p. 6

Thursday, June 08, 2023


This must be Thursday.  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

-- Arthur Dent in Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Tuesday, June 06, 2023


Nothing matters but the weekend
From a Tuesday point of view

--  John Picard and David Broadbent of The Kings, "Switchin' to Glide" from The Kings Are Here (1980)

Monday, June 05, 2023


In all possible universes, Monday was the same.

-- Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982), American writer, whose published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction, Eye in the Sky (1957), ch. 9 p. 119

Friday, June 02, 2023

Always, Every Moment

The only joy in the world is to begin.  It is good to be alive because living is beginning, always, every moment.  When this sensation is lacking -- as when one is in prison, or ill, or stupid, or when living has become a habit -- one might as well be dead.

-- Cesare Pavese (1908 - 1950), Italian author and poet, This Business of Living, (23 November 1937)

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Pull Over

If life is a journey, time should pull over at a rest stop sometimes -- we should all be given a chance to get off and stretch our legs, collect our thoughts and reorganize.

-- Rob Payne (1973 -), Canadian novelist, Working Class Zero (2003) Chapter 24, p. 191