From the time I arrived in New York from Puerto Rico at age 11, I was
brought up Democratic. And when I went into politics—as a U.S. congressman,
Bronx borough president and deputy mayor—I did so as a Democrat. Last week,
after more [than] 30 years in Democratic politics, I joined the Republican
In recent years I have found myself questioning inflexible Democratic
policies. I have seen a disturbing lack of vision among local Democratic
leaders. As two New York Republicans—Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Rudy
Giuliani —reinvented and revitalized government, Democratic leaders
doggedly fought to preserve failed, anachronistic policies.
This inertia has been most evident in their approach to schools. In the
City University system (of which I am vice chairman of the board of
trustees), there are schools like Hostos Community College, where students
not even fluent in English have been awarded degrees. And when I challenge
the practice of social promotion in elementary and secondary schools and
call for academic standards, prominent Democrats attack me.
This defense of low standards reflects a fundamental Democratic problem:
Many Democrats believe that some ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, should
not be held to the same standards as others. This is a repellent and
destructive concept, a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.
-- Herman Badillo, congressman from New York, in a 1998 op-ed for the Wall --
While I have not been here too long, I have noticed that partisan debate is
sharp, and dissent is not always well received. Honest differences of
opinion and principled compromise often seem to be the victim of a
determination to score points against one's opponents.
But the American people sent us here to be their voice. They understand
that those voices can at times become loud and argumentative, but they also
hope we can disagree without being disagreeable. At the end of the day,
they expect both parties to work together to get the people's business
What they do not expect is for one party, be it Republican or Democrat, to
change the rules in the middle of the game so they can make all the
decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet.
The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in
this Chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if
they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then
the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.
-- Barack Obama, a senator at the time, speaking in the Senate on April 13,
2005, about the "nuclear option" to change the chamber's filibuster rule
One From One Leaves Two (1934)
Abracadabra, thus we learn
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you're given,
The less you lead, the more you're driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need,
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If some Soul Commission hasn't got it before I wake.
-- Ogden Nash
It is never worth a first class man's time to express a majority
opinion. By definition, there are plenty of others to do that.
-- G.H. Hardy
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay
any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose
any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
-- John F. Kennedy
When Byrd became senator in 1959, West Virginia ranked No. 39 in median
family income, and No. 42 in per capita income. Today, it's No. 48 in both
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on
society." Mark Twain
The struggle in the world today for the hearts of and minds of mankind
is based on one simple question: Is man born to be free, or slave? In
country after country, people have long know that the answer to that
question. We are free by divine right. Ronald Reagan, 1982, during the
crackdown on Solidarity
The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can
bribe the people with their own money. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy
in America, 1835
"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Barack Obama, on the campaign trail in 2008
"Atlas Shrugged", Ayn Rand, 1957
"By the way, How to design program is very great and beautiful literary
work. My brother and I enjoy it very much as we enjoy Victor Hugo's
Les Miserables. Even, HTDP is easier to understand than many
discourses in Les Miserables(with part on Generative Recursion as the
only exception)." Regards, Eko Hermiyanto
I wonder how far Moses would have gone if he'd taken a poll in Egypt? What
would Jesus Christ have preached if he'd taken a poll in Israel? Where
would the Reformation have gone if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn't
polls or public opinion of the moment that counts. It is right and wrong,
and leadership--men with fortitude, honesty and a belief in the right
that-makes epochs in the history of the world. Harry Truman
You know the difference between a liberal and a cannibal? A cannibal eats
only his enemies. Lyndon Johnson
The maxim "Nothing but perfection" may be spelled "Paralysis".
(Was he thinking of programming languages?)
Despite many scholars finding calculating with Indian symbols helpful in
their work, the business community continued to use their finger arithmetic
throughout the tenth century. Abu'l-Wafa, who was himself an expert in the
use of Indian numerals, nevertheless wrote a text on how to use
finger-reckoning arithmetic since this was the system used by the business
community and teaching material aimed at these people had to be written
using the appropriate system.
the Arabic numeral system
On Research: I'm talking about a specific, extra type of
integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show that
you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And
this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists,
and I think to laymen. Richard P. Feynman, "Surely you're joking
On theory vs practice: Once there were two research
groups, one American and one French. The American group had solved a practical
problem. The French group looked at their solution and said "very nice,
but will it work in theory?"anonymous