"Maybe the most disturbing implication of the famous sentence 'They create a desolation and call it peace' is that apologists for violence, by means of euphemism, come to believe what they hear themselves say." -- David Bromwich, "Euphemism and American Violence", The New York Review of Books, v.55,#5, 2008-04-03
"Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad." -- James Madison (b. 1751-03-16, d. 1836-06-28; US President 1809-1817; principal author of US Constitution; co-author of the Federalist Papers), 1798-05-13 (letter to Thomas Jefferson)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-02-13:
"Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." -- Vaclav Havel
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"Snipers aren't deadly because they carry the biggest guns; they're deadly because they've learned how to weaponize math." -- Robert Evans, "5 Weapon Myths You Probably Believe (Thanks to Movies)", Cracked.com 2012-10-14 (spotted via link in a friend's locked LJ entry)
From Orion Shall Rise by Poul Anderson (1983, Timescape Books):
"Sir President, honored Seniors, Clansfolk and people of the Domain, let me first thank you sincerely and humbly for your patience. This occasion is unprecedented and therefore twice difficult--"
Not altogether meaningless noise. Monkeys groom each other with fingers, humans with words.
"... I don't even have an adjective to accurately describe it. I bet the Germans have one. They are light years ahead of our linguistic technology." -- Crave, author/artist of Between Failures, 2013-06-10 (author's note below comic)
[I don't know enough German to evaluate this claim, but I liked the phrasing.]
"It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life." -- Marcia Wieder
As requested (suggested?), a recent photo of Perrine (in the wee hours of this morning) to mark the decade she's been with me. Sorry about the funky cropping -- it was a shot-of-opportunity, and between the size of the room, which lens I had on the camera, and where Perrine decided to pose, it was either a potentially distracting crop or definitely distracting visual clutter eating the right side of the picture.
I feel so lucky to have her around. I hope she feels the same way. To celebrate, last night I brushed her until she decided she'd been brushed enough. (This can take a while.) This afternoon we played with string.
Unrelatedly, a cute bird that I'd shot a day and a half earlier:
"Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre." -- attriubuted to Cardinal Richelieu (b. 1585-09-09, d. 1642-12-04) nearly every place I've seen it, but Wikiquote notes that the attribution is disputed.
Translation: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."
"A home without a cat -- and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat -- may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?" -- from Pudd'nhead Wilson (1893) by Mark Twain (b. 1835-11-30, d. 1910-04-21)
Wow, has it been ten years already? Yeah, it has.
"I gave up the guitar in 1965. Didn't want to see a guitar. I'd go out and get drunk. When I came out of the heart surgery, the doc said, 'Promise me you'll work hard.' I said, 'I thought working hard is what got me here.' He said, 'No, working is what will keep you alive.'" -- Les Paul, (b. 1915-06-09, d. 2009-08-13)
"Sometimes, you have to go through a phase whether you like it or not." -- Tina Weymouth (b. 1950-11-22)
"Yet despite all this manificence Loiza la Vakako's private quarters, both aboard the air-car and wherever he stopped to spend the night, were always strangely austere: a thin mattress on the floor, plain white wall-hangings, a pitcher of water by his side. It was as if he accepted the gandeur as something necessary, a requirement of office, but gladly put it all aside when h could be alone. If you would see the truth of a man, look at the room where he sleeps." -- Yakoub, narrator of Star of Gypsies by Robert Silverberg (1986, Agberg Ltd.)
[Hush, Sheepie -- I know you know what an absolute wreck my bedroom is.]
"The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power, and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Since the Tiananmen uprising of 1989, China's rulers have loosened the economic strictures enough to allow remarkable growth -- testament to the vibrancy of the Chinese people given even half a chance. Out of this, China's rulers have devoted enormous resources to projects meant to suggest they run a modern nation -- sending astronauts into space, convening conferences on the climate, and hosting the 2008 Olympics.
"Count me unimpressed. The real sign of modernity will come when China opens up its political system enough so that the country's leaders no longer fear June 4 but treat the Tiananmen uprising with the honor it deserves."
-- Claudia Rosett, "What I Saw at Tiananmen", The Wall Street Journal, 2009-06-04
"In terms of US history [the biggest lie or omission] was the fact that we were taught that 'racism ended with the civil rights movement' and nobody told me about restrictive convents or redlining. The segregation in Cleveland (where I grew up) is plain as day. There are these bombed out inner city neighborhood (all black) and I could not understand why it was segregated like that. My history class didn't do much to help me understand the world I was living in. The history of racial struggle ended with MLK's 'I have a dream speech' ... and they lived happily ever after.
"Looking back I feel sort of betrayed. [...] I ended up hating history. That's why I study math. Mathematics makes sense."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-05-29:
"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -- Robin Williams, comic and actor.
(submitted to the mailing list by M. McGuffin)
"If someone offers to give you the moon as a romantic gesture, don't accept. Humanity needs that for tides and science." -- @SarcasticRover, 2013-05-31
"He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things." -- George Savile (b. 1633-11-11, d. 1695-04-05), first Marquess of Halifax
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