Open thread

  • Sharebar

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Quote for the Day, When Evil Prevails Edition

  • Posted on: 9 September 2010
  • By: Open Thread


"When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail."

          - Pearl S. Buck, courtesy WisdomQuotes.


There are words in the quote above which appear to be from two other sources --

  1. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" -- often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, the source for the sentiment is actually Irish orator John Philpot Curran, in 1790: "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance."
  2. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -- almost universally attributed to Edmond Burke, but -- via WikiQuote,

    This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. These very extensively used "quotations" may be based on a paraphrase of some of Burke's ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in such a manner in any of his writings. It may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

As an aside, the Burke quote given in the WikiQuote reference also reminds me of "divide and conquer" and the famous Franklin quote "We must all hang together, or we shall all hang separately" (paraphrased from memory).

The quote from Pearl Buck, however, is a good one, regardless of how it was derived. It's also a very good lead-in to this, which is a Godwinesque warning against the current methods of divisive hatemongering currently being employed by the GOP and their teabagging monster, the "Tea Party" --

What are your thoughts on the above?

It's Thursday, 9 September 2010, and this is an Open Thread.

Friday Early Morning Open Thread: Stormy Weather, Hurricane Earl Edition

  • Posted on: 3 September 2010
  • By: Open Thread

Via the article Earl Bears Down by Andrew Ryan and Eric Moskowitz:


Hurricane Earl swelled yesterday into a massive storm almost the size of New England, swirling north up the Eastern Seaboard on a track expected to take it perilously close to Nantucket around midnight tonight.


Forecasters expect the full fury of the storm to pass just southeast of Nantucket as a Category 1 or 2 storm, enveloping the island, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and portions of Southeastern Massachusetts in hurricane-force winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour and bringing possible flash floods.


Here's hoping that folks in New England are taking care to be safe and batten down the hatches.

What's the weather like where you are?

This is an Open Thread.


Monday Morning Open Thread: Eclectic News Edition

  • Posted on: 30 August 2010
  • By: Open Thread

Here's an eclectic collection of stories to start the week off:

  1. From the BBC: Chile miners speak to loved ones for first time. Miners who have been trapped underground in Chile for more than three weeks have had their first telephone contact with loved ones.

    Families queued to use a special telephone cabin and were given one minute each to talk to the trapped men.

  2. From the LA Times: Foreclosures of million-dollar-plus homes on the rise. The number of homes in the $1-million-and-up slice of the market that have become bank owned has tripled during the last three years in Los Angeles County, and the trend has shown little sign of slowing.

  3. From CNN: Author: More teens becoming 'fake' Christians. [Kenda Creasy] Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

  4. From the Wall Street Journal: Cash-Poor Governments Ditching Public Hospitals. Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health-care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort.

    Keep in mind that the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and have a platter of salt grains available. -- GH

So, what's new in your neck of the woods?

This is an Open Thread.



Saturday Early Morning Open Thread

  • Posted on: 21 August 2010
  • By: Open Thread

This kid's got talent, and can certainly handle herself:

Kids are amazing. It's the ones who show such promise that give me a sense that there's still hope for our species even amid the global catastrophes caused by small groups of so-called 'adults' making stupid and destructive decisions.

This is an Open Thread -- Happy Saturday, folks.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Gulf Gushers and Tropic Systems Edition

  • Posted on: 24 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread


In the Gulf of Mexico, spill response vessels leave the Macondo drilling area in advance of an approaching and potentially problematic Tropical Storm Bonnie:

Meanwhile, the former Deepwater Horizon chief electronics technician Michael Williams testified that an alarm system designed to automatically alert the crew and prevent combustible gases from reaching potential sources of ignition had been deliberately disabled:


Williams told the panel that he understood that the rig had been operating with the gas alarm system in "inhibited" mode for a year to prevent false alarms from disturbing the crew.

Williams said that when he discovered that the alarm system was inhibited, he reported it to supervisors. He said they informed him that orders were to keep it that way.

If the safety system was disabled, it would not have been unusual. Records of federal enforcement actions reviewed by The Washington Post show that, in case after case, rig operators paid fines for allegedly bypassing safety systems that could impede routine operations.


Apparently, other critical were also impaired on the rig.

All in all, it was a far cry from what we might envision as being "operationally safe & secure" and certainly not anywhere close "regulationally compliant."

What's news in your neck of the woods? This is an Open Thread.


Open Thread: Hidden Notes

  • Posted on: 8 July 2010
  • By: Roxy

Sorry, rabid Dan Brown fan, so couldn't resist this real life mystery ...

A Musical Message Discovered In Plato's Works

It sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel, but a scholar in Manchester, England, claims to have found hidden code in the ancient writings of Plato. If true, the secret messages would have made the ancient philosopher and mathematician a heretic in his day.

Any hidden notes in your life?

This is an open thread ...

Saturday Evening Open Thread: Personal Jet Packs, Flying High Edition, Part Deux

  • Posted on: 4 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread

Personal jet packs have been around, theoretically, since 2007 from companies like Jetpack International and Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana. (really cool product offerings and images on the landing page of the TAM site -- GH) Now, the Martin Aircraft Company has delivered a fairly inexpensive ($90,000?) solution.

Are we going to start building undersea cities and extra-terrestrial stations & colonies next? And when...? (Thursday? ...maybe a week or two beyond? 5 years...? More?)

No matter what, or when, technology is advancing. If only we could do something to ensure that our capacity for wisdom and empathy could keep pace...

Welcome to Saturday Night. This is an Open Thread.

Saturday Morning Open Thread: The Terrafugia Transition, Flying High Edition

  • Posted on: 3 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread

It's finally here -- the flying car. It's been the stuff of legend and future-dreamers for decades, but now the dream has become reality. Introducing the Terrafugia Transition:

Way cool, eh?

More information is available here, here and here. Please share your thoughts about it in the comments below, and remember: this is an Open Thread.

Senator Robert C. Byrd Has Died

  • Posted on: 28 June 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

From the Sunday Gazette Mail online:


June 28, 2010
By Greg Moore,
The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Robert Carlyle Byrd, the longest-serving member of Congress in United States history, who spent much of his career as a conservative Democrat and ended it by fiercely opposing the war in Iraq and questioning the state's powerful coal industry, died Monday. He was 92.

"I am saddened that the family of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., tearfully announces the passing" of the senator, Jesse Jacobs, Byrd's press spokesman, said in a statement.

Byrd died at 3 a.m. at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., according to the statement.

Click here for full article.


May he rest in peace.


Open Thread: Stephen Colbert Discusses "Beck, The Prophet"

  • Posted on: 24 June 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Saturday Morning Open Thread: "Uh oh, Spaghetti-Os" Recall Edition

  • Posted on: 19 June 2010
  • By: Open Thread

I saw this over on DailyKos, in the Overnight News Digest:

15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs recalled

Campbell Soup Co. is recalling about 15 million pounds of canned "SpaghettiOs with Meatballs" because of possible under-processing, the U.S. agriculture department said.

Uh oh, Spaghetti Os.

Are you a big fan of Campbells or any other national canned food product? ...leave a comment below. And remember: This is an Open Thread.