Wednesday, March 21, 2018


"Everything you say is boring and incomprehensible," she said, "but that alone doesn't make it true."
--Franz Kafka,
"Description of a Struggle".

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Open II

"Open discussion of many major public questions has for some time now been taboo. We can’t open our mouths without being denounced as racists, misogynists, supremacists, imperialists or fascists. As for the media, they stand ready to trash anyone so designated."
--Saul Bellow
(1915-2005) Canadian author, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976

Monday, March 19, 2018


"That feeling of hopelessness only serves your masters."
--Mort Sahl

Sunday, March 18, 2018


"Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury."
--H.L. Mencken,
"In Defense Of Women"

Empire II

"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity--a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop."
--Issac Asimov,
"The Foundation Series"

Switch II

[Janie Crane presses a button on a television, turning it off.]
Janie Crane: "An off switch?"
Metrocop: "She'll get years for that. Off switches are illegal!"

--Max Headroom (TV Series)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ability IV

"I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. We don't have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It's not about duck hunting; it's about the ability of the individual. It's the same reason we have freedom of speech."
--Vince Vaughn
(1970-) American actor, producer, screenwriter, and comedian
Source: British GQ

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


"If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one's physical disability will not present a serious handicap. I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal. My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can."

--Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942 - March 14, 2018),
"Handicapped People and Science" by Stephen Hawking, Science Digest 92, No. 9 (September 1984): 92

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Reform VI

"Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons."
--John Ruskin
(1819-1900) British author, artist, social critic

Monday, March 12, 2018

Educated III

"It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought--that is to be educated."
--Edith Hamilton,
Saturday Evening Post (September 27, 1958)

Sunday, March 11, 2018


"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end."
--J.M. Barrie,
"Peter Pan"

Saturday, March 10, 2018


"Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Better IV

"Better to kill an innocent by mistake than spare an enemy by mistake."
--Pol Pot

"If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response."
--Richard B. Cheney

Thursday, March 08, 2018


"If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?"
--Steven Wright

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


"People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents."
--Andrew Carnegie

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Might IV

"Do not expect justice where might is right."
(429-347 BC)
Source: Phaedrus, 360 B.C.

Monday, March 05, 2018


"Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element."
--Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919)

Sunday, March 04, 2018


"There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches."
--Ray Bradbury

Saturday, March 03, 2018


"... political reporters love to write about politics as if they are merely disinterested observers of political events and the public's perceptions of them, when in fact they play a very key role in shaping those events and perceptions."
--Greg Sargent,
Columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Friday, March 02, 2018


"We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and--in spite of True Romance magazines--we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely--at least, not all the time--but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness."
--Hunter S. Thompson,
"The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967"

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Path II

"The path we’re embarked upon, in the name of good, is a familiar one. The unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism, and Maoism did not begin in the ‘30s and ‘40s with the men usually associated with those names. Those horrors were simply the end result of a long evolution of ideas leading to the consolidation of power in central government in the name of “social justice.” It was decent but misguided Germans, who would have cringed at the thought of extermination and genocide, who built the Trojan Horse for Hitler to take over. We Americans promote disrespect for our Constitution, rule of law and private property in our pursuit of “social justice.” But the scum that rises to the top has an agenda of command and control that’s leading toward totalitarianism. And, incidentally, it’s no coincidence that most of those at the top are lawyers -- people with a special, seemingly tutored, contempt for our Constitution and rule of law."
--Walter E. Williams
(1936- ) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University
Source: Conservative Chronicle, September 20, 1995

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


"Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation."
--Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


"The best antidote for crime is justice. The irony we often fail to appreciate is that the more justice people enjoy, the fewer crimes they commit. Crime is the natural offspring of an unjust society."
--Gerry Spence

Monday, February 26, 2018


"If you depart from moral absolutes, you go into a bottomless pit. Communism and Naziism were catastrophic evils which both derived from moral relativism. Their differences were minor compared to their similarities."
--Paul Johnson,

Sunday, February 25, 2018


"When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them. It's a remarkably shrewd and rather conservative arrangement when one thinks of it."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
Source: The Age Of Uncertainty (1977), Chapter 12, p. 330

Saturday, February 24, 2018


"All anyone needs to enjoy the state legislature is a strong stomach and a complete insensitivity to the needs of the people. As long as you don’t think about what that peculiar body should be doing and what it actually is doing to the quality of life in Texas, then it’s all marvelous fun."
--Molly Ivins,
Texas Observer, "Notes From A Rookie", March 26, 1971

Friday, February 23, 2018


"The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. ... Freedom and slavery are mental states. Therefore, the first thing to say to yourself: 'I shall no longer accept the role of a slave. I shall not obey orders as such but shall disobey them when they are in conflict with my conscience'."
--Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi
Source: M. K. Gandhi quoted in Gene Sharp, The Politics Of Nonviolent Action (1973), p. 59.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Framing II

"Framing is a process whereby communicators, consciously or unconsciously, act to construct a point of view that encourages the facts of a given situation to be interpreted by others in a particular manner."
--Jim Kuypers
Assistant Professor of Communications, Virginia Tech

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


"My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world."
--Billy Graham
(November 7, 1918 - February 21, 2018)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


"Since all culture is a kind of con game, the most dangerous candy you can hand out is one which causes people to start questioning the rules of the game."
--Terence McKenna

Monday, February 19, 2018


"Hunting Down the Secular Humanists" "...What makes them so dangerous is that Secular Humanists look just like you and me. Some of them could be your best friends without you knowing that they are Humanists. They could come into your house, play with your children, eat your food and even watch football with you on television, and you'd never know they have read Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Huckleberry Finn....

No one is safe until Congress sets up an Anti-Secular Humanism Committee to get at the rot. Witnesses have to be called, and they have to name names."

--Art Buchwald

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Space II

Thirty spokes unite at the single hub;
It is the empty space which makes the wheel useful.
Mold clay to form a bowl;
It is the empty space which makes the bowl useful.
Cut out windows and doors;
It is the empty space which makes the room useful.

--Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Anything V

Howard Beale: [laughing to himself] But, man, you're never going to get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you want to hear; we lie like hell. We'll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, or that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he's going to win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I'm speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF...

[collapses in a prophetic swoon as the audience erupts in thunderous applause]

--"Network" (1976)