They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

— Benjamin Franklin, 1755

Experience should teach us to be most on our Guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

— Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928

Necessity hath no law. Feigned necessities, imaginary necessities are the greatest cozenage that men can put upon the Providence of God, and make pretences to break known rules by.

— Oliver Cromwell, 1654

Why of course the people don't want war. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along. Whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament or a communist dictatorship, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger.

— Hermann Goering, at Nuremberg trials, 1945

Patriotism, n: The last resort of the scoundrel.

—Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.

With all due respect to Samuel Johnson, it is not the last resort. It is the first.

—Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

— Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

Members of Congress who refuse to applaud my speeches are committing treason.

Donald Trump, 2018.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.

— Mark Twain

The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

— W. Churchill, Nov 21, 1943

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.

— Thomas Jefferson

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

— Voltaire

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

— William Pitt, 1783

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

— Edmund Burke

Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.

— Heinrich Heine, 1821

Dulce et decorum est pro oleo mori.

— George W. Bush

“Freedom” used to be defined as the ability to do as you please. In the United States, it is now defined as the ability to keep others from doing as they please.

— Anonymous

La pensée ne doit jamais se soumettre, ni à un dogme, ni à un parti, ni à une passion, ni à un intérêt, ni à une idée préconçue, ni à quoi que ce soit, si ce n'est aux faits eux-mêmes, parce que, pour elle, se soumettre, ce serait cesser d'être.

(Thought must never submit, neither to a dogma, nor to a party, nor to a passion, nor to an interest, nor to a preconceived idea, nor to whatever it may be, save to the facts themselves, because, for thought, submission would mean ceasing to be.)

— Henri Poincaré , 1909

The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.

—George Carlin


Phone number: 512/345-3912

E-mail address:

Feel free to drop me a line about this web site, or about anything else that does not involve money being transferred from me to you, which will probably run afoul of my spam filter and wind up in the great bit bucket in the sky.)

SnailMail Address:

Remember, it's your tree and your stamp.

When wearing one hat or another, I am:

  Founder and former Sysop of the Central Texas PC User Group.

  Portrait and glamour Photographer. I have a brochure and price list in PDF format.

  Founder and forrmer leader of the Linux Beginners Special Interest Group (SIG).

    If you really want to know, you can get Personal Info about me, too.

  Words, Words, Words

One of my hobbies is reading dictionaries, and my few friends and many acquaintances have learned the hard way not to get me started on the subject of word origins. If you're game for examples of this showing off, check my Words Page to see why pen is unrelated to pencil and cube is unrelated to cubicle, while pork is related to porcelain, Queen Guinevere is related to a penguin, and an apple pie comes from a magpie! Have patience. This is a big page and can take a while to load and render, even with a fast connection and fast computer.

Another hobby is reading historical fiction, and recently I've put together a web page called You Can't Say That! on the subject of how the English language has changed over time, so that a novel set two hundred years ago, for example, can't use some now-common words, and the sense of others has changed greatly. If you don't believe me, check the link to find out about the four-year-old girl's violent orgasm, or the man drinking wine that had been defecated by his butler.

For an unpaid political announcement, click here.

Go here for pictures of the December, 1999 meeting with Lois Bujold and Elizabeth Moon. 

Linux Presentations

On January 5, 1999 I made a presentation on "Linux for the Windows User" to the Centex PC User Group. Due to many requests, I'm making it available here for browsing or download. Click this link. I plan to update it on the fly as (a) I get more information, and (b) I get better ideas. It was last tweaked on 03/30/99; suggestions for improvement are gratefully accepted.

This is a pitch on Emacs and Vi that I gave to the Austin Linux Group, and also to the Linux Beginners SIG on April 3, 2007.

This is a presentation on Intro to TCP and Packet Filtering that I gave to the Linux Beginners SIG on March 12, 2002. Note that the animated movie shown at that meeting is called "goodwarriors.mpg". The home page of the group that produced it is It's an interesting page, with a lot of info on how and why the movie was produced, as well as the ability to download it in several different resolutions and languages. The version shown was the highest-res version, it's about 125 MB in size. There's even a handy table pointing out that the big version would take twelve hours to download at 28.8 bps, so if you have a slow modem, I'd highly recommend cultivating a friend with a broadband connection and a CD burner. If another SIG would like to show the movie at their meeting, it's on the club laptop as D:\Linux\goodwarriors.mpg. It's 12 minutes long and well worth the time.

In July, 2012 I gave this presentation on file systems.

Kindle Stands

I am rather proud of these solid hardwood stands for the Amazon Kindle e-book readers. I made one for myself and then a few friends wanted me to make one for them, and then …. I really don’t want to go into business, but if you see something you like drop me a line. They’re $20 including shipping. In reality I’m floating this as a trial balloon to see if anyone is interested.

Email me a line at if you’re interested. If you’re a distributor or something, the wholesale price would be $10 each in quantities of at least ten.

Dorothy Dunnett Presentation

On September 23, 2000, I made a presentation at the Dorothy Dunnett seminar in Philadelphia.  Go here for a copy.

The graphical text images on these pages were generated by, a free site (Linux/Gimp powered) which renders fancy text, buttons, etc. online.

Recently, this site was honored with the following award:

All original material on this site is copyright © 1998-2012 and may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Last modified: Sun May 6 00:48:48 CDT 2018