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)