Tag Archives: quote

The Arid West

This quote puts into perspective the current drought and battles over the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta ecosystem for city/ag water use.

The consequences of aridity multiply by a kind of domino effect. In the attempt to compensate for nature’s lacks we have remade whole sections of the western landscape. The modern West is as surely Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Fort Peck reservoir, the irrigated greenery of the Salt River Valley and the smog blanket over Phoenix, as it is the high Wind River Range or the Wasatch or the Grand Canyon. We have acted upon the western landscape with the force of a geological agent. But aridity still calls the tune, directs our tinkering, prevents the healing of our mistakes; and vast unwatered reaches still emphasize the contrast between the desert and the sown.

Wallace Stegner, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, page 47.

The quote came up while researching my water law paper.


IMG_5384A river dammed – American River in Sacramento.

A quote to live by:

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world” — Mohandas Gandhi

So true. We can’t wait around for the world to change for us, and we can’t expect someone else to change the world on their own. Together, we must be that force of change.

Quote: “Every book in literature, science and art, borrows …”

“[I]n truth, in literature, in science and in art, there are, and can be, few, if any, things, which in an abstract sense, are strictly new and original throughout. Every book in literature, science and art, borrows, and must necessarily borrow, and use much which was well known and used before.”

— Justice William Story in Emerson v. Davies, 3 Story 768, 8 F.Cas. 615, C.C.Mass. 1845 (1845).

It is a great quote, although it has a lot of commas. Strunk and White were probably horrified if they ever read this quote.

A wonderful quote about our Constitution

“(The Constitution) is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar, or novel, and even shocking, ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution of the United States.”

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 76 (1905)

The right to be let alone

I’m working on a paper and presentation about the zones of privacy and keep running across this quote from Justice Brandeis’s dissent in Olmstead v. United States. I like it a lot so I am sharing it:

“The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect, that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And the use, as evidence in a criminal proceeding, of facts ascertained by such intrusion must be deemed a violation of the Fifth.”