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)