Thursday, April 30, 2015


"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."
--Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak (January 27, 1904)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I met, not long ago, a young man who aspired to become a novelist. Knowing that I was in the profession, he asked me to tell him how he should set to work to realize his ambition. I did my best to explain. 'The first thing,' I said, 'is to buy quite a lot of paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen. After that you merely have to write.'
--Aldous Huxley, "Sermons in Cats"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


"When a President is both wrong and unpopular, to refuse to oppose him is both a moral abdication and a political stupidity,"
--Allard Lowenstein

Monday, April 27, 2015



Kilroy, mustered out at last, stepped
down from his long vigil on the walls
above the whole damned world's

and wept.  Old Adam Kilroy, the first man
anywhere, hero to us all and saint
to combat soldiers, has packed it in,
refusing to negate his magnificent
career in defense of the last state
by serving in Viet Nam.

--John Haag

Saturday, April 25, 2015


"When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken."
--Che Guevara

Friday, April 24, 2015

Only II

"Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals."
--Theodor W. Adorno, attributed, "The Apocalyptic Animal of Late Capitalism"


"It doesn't matter what I say as long as I sound different from other politicians."
--Jerry Brown, Current Occupant of the California Governor's Office

Thursday, April 23, 2015


"To the gross senses the chair seems solid and substantial. But the gross senses and be refined by means of instruments. Closer observations are made, as the result of which we are forced to conclude that the chair is “really” a swarm of electric charges whizzing about in empty space. … While the substantial chair is an abstraction easily made from the from the memories of innumerable sensations of sight and touch, the electric charge chair is a difficult and far-fetched abstraction from certain visual sensations so excessively rare (they can only come to us in the course of elaborate experiments) that not one man in a million has ever been in the position to make it for himself. The overwhelming majority of us accept the electric-charge chair on authority, as good Catholics accept transubstantiation."
--Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."
--Samuel Adams, Essay in the Public Advertiser, 1749

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


"The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it."

--Albert Camus, review of Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, published in the newspaper Alger Républicain (October 20, 1938), p. 5;
also quoted in Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd (2002) by Avi Sagi, p. 43.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Standing III

"Standing armies consist of professional soldiers who owe their livelihood and income to the government. Unlike civilians who render periodic service in local militia, professional soldiers do not own property and therefore do not have any source of income other than the government’s military paymaster. Thus, they are more likely to serve the government’s interests, regardless of whether its leaders are dishonest and corrupt or not. In fact, standing armies may even promote rapacious foreign or domestic policies if such policies enrich the army. In contrast, arms bearing, property owning citizen militiamen have a stake in the health of the republic as a whole and can be trusted to act in the republic’s best interests, whether those interests call for action in support of or against the political leadership of the nation."
--Anthony J. Dennis
Officer and lawyer for Aetna Life and Casualty Company, author, B.A. cum laude from Tufts University; J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law
Source: Article: Clearing the Smoke from the right to Bear Arms and the Second Amendment, 29 AKRON L. REV. 57, 76-77 (Fall 1995).

Saturday, April 18, 2015


"Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence. We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge."
--Robert F. Kennedy

Friday, April 17, 2015

Working II

"Congress no longer declares war or makes budgets. So that's the end of the constitution as a working machine.
--Gore Vidal, "America First? America Last? America at Last?," Lowell Lecture, Harvard University (April 20, 1992)

Greatness II

"You gave him an opportunity of showing greatness of character and he did not seize it. He will never forgive you for that."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, April 16, 2015


"The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself."
--Noam Chomsky

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


"An unarmed people are slaves or are subject to slavery at any given moment."
--Huey P. Newton, "In Defense of Self-Defense"

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


"Our children will not survive our habits of thinking, our failures of the spirit, our wreck of the universe into which we bring new life as blithely as we do. Mostly, our children will resemble our own misery and spite and anger, because we give them no choice about it. In the name of motherhood and fatherhood and education and good manners, we threaten and suffocate and bind and ensnare and bribe and trick children into wholesale emulation of our ways."
--June Jordan

Monday, April 13, 2015


"Short of changing human nature, therefore, the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war."
--Richard M. Nixon, "Real Peace" (1983)

Saturday, April 11, 2015


"It is now very clear that techniques of machine-human interfacing, pharmacology of the synthetic variety, all kinds of manipulative techniques, all kinds of data storage, imaging and retrieval techniques--all of this is coalescing toward the potential of a truly demonic or angelic kind of self-imaging of our culture... And the people who are on the demonic side are fully aware of this and hurrying full-tilt forward with their plans to capture everyone as a 100% believing consumer inside some kind of a beige furnished fascism that won't even raise a ripple."
--Terence McKenna, "Non-Ordinary States Through Vision Plants" (1988)

Chaos II

"The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he, by peddling second rate technology, led them into it in the first place, and continues to do so today."
--Douglas Adams, The Guardian (1995), and in "Biting back at Microsoft" (June 5, 2001)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Humane II

"Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity."
--Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)
American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Source: The Ordeal of Change (1963), Chapter 15

Thursday, April 09, 2015


"Frank O'Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall--and then they had no choice but to follow them."
--John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


"Anyone who tells you that 'It Can't Happen Here'
is whistling past the graveyard of history.
There is no 'house rule' that bars tyranny coming to America.
History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent
and descended into imperial butchery and chaos."
--Mike Vanderboegh
(1953- ) Alabama Minuteman

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


"I firmly believe that if the whole material medical could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worse for the sea."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, April 06, 2015


"Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man."
--H.L. Mencken
    "Duty Before Security", The Smart Set, June 1919
    "The Incomparable Buzzsaw", Prejudices: Second Series, Ch. 10 (1920)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Alone IV

"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."
--William O. Douglas, Dissenting, Public utilities Commission v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, 467 (1952).

Saturday, April 04, 2015


"It was prettily devised of Aesop, The fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise!"
--Francis Bacon

Friday, April 03, 2015

Twenty II

"It takes twenty years or more of peace to make a man; it takes only twenty seconds of war to destroy him."

Thursday, April 02, 2015


"At the moment of death you let go lightly, you go out into the light, towards the one, towards God  The only thing that died, after all, was another set of thoughts of who you were this time around."
--Ram Dass

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


"Switzerland, on the other hand, insists that every male of military age must keep a powerful, fully automatic assault rifle in his home. Every home must be armed -- by law -- and some even keep mortars. Yet Switzerland has one of the most law-abiding citizenry, the lowest crime rate, and least violence of any country in the free world. And it has remained free for over a thousand years. Compare it to New York and Washington where handguns are completely banned. In fact, in Washington, Chief of Police Maurice Turner recently said that the District of Columbia gun ban law had completely failed, and he has called for armed citizen's police auxiliary to help restore order."
--Donald S. McAlvaney
Source: Toward a New World Order, 56 (2Nd Ed. 1992).