November 20

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. ~ Margot Fonteyn
The Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is. ~ Nadine Gordimer (born 20 November 1923)
Art defies defeat by its very existence, representing the celebration of life, in spite of all attempts to degrade and destroy it. ~ Nadine Gordimer (date of birth)
Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly. … Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change. ~ Robert F. Kennedy (born 20 November 1925)
A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability. ~ Robert F. Kennedy
My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents. Yet when I look back I see a pattern. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in "inventing" something. It's an arrogance that some enjoy, and others do not. Now I reach beyond arrogance when I proclaim that fractals had been pictured forever but their true role remained unrecognized and waited for me to be uncovered. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
For most of my life, one of the persons most baffled by my own work was myself. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot
Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.
~ Nadine Gordimer ~
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
Many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. "Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered. We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
Let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
Only earthbound man still clings to the dark and poisoning superstition that his world is bounded by the nearest hill, his universe ends at river shore, his common humanity is enclosed in the tight circle of those who share his town or his views and the color of his skin.
It is — It is your job, the task of young people in this world, to strip the last remnants of that ancient, cruel belief from the civilization of man.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
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.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land.
Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution. But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
If we would lead outside our borders, if we would help those who need our assistance, if we would meet our responsibilities to mankind, we must first, all of us, demolish the borders which history has erected between men within our own nations — barriers of race and religion, social class and ignorance.
Our answer is the world's hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and the obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger which comes with even the most peaceful progress. This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.
They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.
A victory for "We the People."
We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.
I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.
I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.
Who doesn't see Red and Blue states, but a United States.
And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.
For that is what America is about: The people.
~ Joe Biden ~
I believe the American people — the vast majority — are with us. I think they see much more clearly what you’ve all been fighting for your whole lives now. It’s in stark relief.
The bad news: We had a President who appealed to the prejudice. The good news is that he took the — he ripped the Band-Aid off, made it absolutely clear what’s at stake. And I think the American people will follow us.
But guess what? Whether they will or not, we have no choice. We have to continue to fight.
God bless you all. May God protect our troops.
~ Joe Biden ~
Democracy begins and will be preserved in we, the people’s, habits of heart, in our character: optimism that is tested yet endures, courage that digs deep when we need it, empathy that fuels democracy, the willingness to see each other not as enemies but as fellow Americans. Look, our democracy is imperfect. It always has been. … But history and common sense tell us that opportunity, liberty, and justice for all are most likely to come to pass in a democracy.
~ Joe Biden ~
America reaches out all across the Pacific, building bridges mightier than the Golden Gate, spanning … more space and time than the great expanse that the water has. Bridges linking pride in our past. The immigrants and workers who sunk their sweat … in the foundations of this nation. And our hope for the future and the untold heights to which we're going to climb together. Bridges connecting diverse communities. All across the traditions, cultures, and languages, we find the common dreams we share for ourselves and for our children. Bridges that carry the ideas of entrepreneurs: "What if? Why not? What next?"… I'm looking forward to seeing all the progress we're going to make and all the bridges between our people we're going to continue to build in the months and years ahead.
~ Joe Biden ~
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Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why. ~ Nadine Gordimer, born that day

The facts are always less than what really happened. ~ Nadine Gordimer (date of birth)

  • 3 Kalki 21:29, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:48, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 06:44, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Lyle 15:42, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity. ~ Nadine Gordimer

It's this way:
being captured is beside the point,
the point is not to surrender. ~ Nazim Hikmet

  • 4 because dying with one's fundamentals is better than living without them. Zarbon 02:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 19:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Lyle 15:42, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

The strangest of our powers
Is the courage to live
Knowing that we will die,
Knowing nothing more true. ~ Nazim Hikmet

  • 2 Zarbon 02:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 19:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

You're my bondage and my freedom,
my flesh burning like a naked summer night,
you're my country.
Hazel eyes marbled green,
you're awesome, beautiful, and brave,
you're my desire always just out of reach. ~ Nazim Hikmet

  • 2 Zarbon 02:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 19:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Being a language, mathematics may be used not only to inform but also, among other things, to seduce. ~ Benoît Mandelbrot

  • 2 Zarbon 02:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 19:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I've come to think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version. ~ Don DeLillo

  • 3 Zarbon 02:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 19:01, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Lyle 15:42, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I kept trying to tell people that just because I was young didn't mean I could speak for all young people. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a great deal of pressure, in the one particular area at least, to prostitute our ideas, if not our integrity. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 and leaning toward a 4. Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

A better man might have handled the situation with more grace than I did. A better man would have been able to separate his personal life from his career. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 and leaning toward a 4. Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC) no clear context provided.

I didn't argue that the war in Vietnam was immoral; it was merely stupid and a horrendous waste of time, money, and lives based on a flawed premise. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 and leaning toward a 4. Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

The fabric of our complex society is woven too tightly to permit any part of it to be damaged without damaging the whole. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't built to look the other way because the law demanded it. The law might be wrong. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 Zarbon 19:48, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

It required a lot less energy, intelligence, and competence to run against government than to try to make government work. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 Zarbon 21:45, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I, too, believe there are natural rights that predate any written political or legal documents; we have these rights merely because we're children of God. ~ Joe Biden

  • 3 Zarbon 21:45, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Almighty Framer of the Skies!
O let our pure devotion rise,
Like Incense in thy Sight!
Wrapt in impenetrable Shade,
The Texture of our Souls were made,
Till thy Command gave Light.

~ Thomas Chatterton ~

  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

How shall we celebrate the day,
When God appeared in mortal clay,
The mark of worldly scorn;
When the Archangel's heavenly Lays,
Attempted the Redeemer's Praise,
And hail'd Salvation's Morn!

~ Thomas Chatterton ~

  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

We are Goddes stewards all, nete of oure owne we bare.
~ Thomas Chatterton ~

  • 3 Kalki 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.

Years ago I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory. They make raids on human consciousness. What writers used to do before we were all incorporated.
~ Don DeLillo ~

All do not develop in the same manner, or at the same pace. Nations, like men, often march to the beat of different drummers, and the precise solutions of the United States can neither be dictated nor transplanted to others. What is important is that all nations must march toward increasing freedom; toward justice for all; toward a society strong and flexible enough to meet the demands of all its own people, and a world of immense and dizzying change.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~

There is a Chinese curse which says, "May he live in interesting times." Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. And everyone here will ultimately be judged — will ultimately judge himself — on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~

We have to never forget that we can change and bend the arc of history for the better if we make up our mind to do it, that together we can harness the power of the Pacific to grow our economies, to uplift our workers, to protect our planet, and to connect our people to one another and the future of greater prosperity and dignity for all.
So much of history of the world will be written in the Asia-Pacific in the coming years. We must never forget that it's a history that belongs to all of us.
Hopes that have always brought us forward. Hopes that, in fact, we share — 3 billion people … that we represent share in common.
~ Joe Biden ~

We're going to see more changes in the next 10 years than we've seen in the last 50 years. … The questions we must answer today are not about how much we trade, but about how we build resilience, lift up working people, reduce carbon emissions, and set up our economies to succeed over the long run.  How to deliver growth from the bottom up and the middle out so no one gets left behind.
~ Joe Biden ~