Tuesday, November 29, 2005
NY Daily News - W deaf to bad news on Iraq
Same old, same old... Incompetent and just plain dumb...
W deaf to bad news on Iraq:
"Bush and his inner circle are so determined to follow their own plan that generals fear saying what's wrong in Iraq - and senior advisers are snubbed if they have bad news.
'I tried to tell' the President about problems in Iraq, one former senior official told the magazine. 'And he couldn't hear it.'
The News quoted another Bush confidant yesterday saying that Team Bush has an 'unyielding belief in the wisdom of what they're doing' in Iraq and elsewhere, and that 'they're talking to people who could help them, but they're not listening.'
New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh said that Bush is motivated in part by religious fervor and that he believes the war must be judged on a time line of decades, not years. 'He's a utopian, you could say, in a world where maybe he doesn't have all the facts and all the information he needs and isn't able to change,' Hersh said on CNN yesterday.
'I'll tell you, the people that talk to me now are essentially frightened because they're not sure how you get to this guy.'
Hersh said such tunnel vision helps explain why the Bush administration went ballistic when Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Vietnam War hero, recently declared the war is tanking and it's time to bring the troops home.
"The generals know him and like him," Hersh said. "His message to the White House was much more worrisome than maybe to the average person in the public. [White House officials] know that generals are privately telling him things that they're not saying to them.""
Think Progress » Exclusive: Classified Pentagon Document Described White Phosphorus As ‘Chemical Weapon’
"To downplay the political impact of revelations that U.S. forces used deadly white phosphorus rounds against Iraqi insurgents in Falluja last year, Pentagon officials have insisted that phosphorus munitions are legal since they aren’t technically “chemical weapons.”"
So why did they call it a chemical weapon in a 1995 document referring to Iraq's use of it against the Kurds? Curioser and curioser...
Monday, November 28, 2005
t r u t h o u t - Seymour M. Hersh: Where Is the Iraq War Headed Next?
Sey Hersh says we're pulling out.
Juan Cole: Informed Comment
Juan Cole talks about Seymour Hersh and his reporting that GWB has decided to draw down ground troops in Iraq. Sounds like Nixon when he famously told Kissinger, We say this for the public consumption, but we actually will do this, namely illegally bomb Cambodia:
"Let me finish with a word to W. As for your legacy two decades from now, George, let me clue you in on something--as a historian. In 20 years no Iraqis will have you on their minds one way or another. Do you think anyone in Egypt or Israel is still grateful to Jimmy Carter for helping bring to an end the cycle of Egyptian-Israeli wars? Jimmy Carter powerfully affected the destinies of all Egyptians and Israelis in that key way. Most people in both countries have probably never heard of him, and certainly no one talks about the first Camp David Accords anymore except as a dry historical subject. The US pro-Israel lobby is so ungrateful that they curse Carter roundly for all the help he gave Israel. Human beings don't have good memories for these things, which is why we have to have professional historians, a handful of people who are obsessed with the subject. And I guarantee you, George, that historians are going to be unkind to you. You went into a major war over a non-existent nuclear weapons program. Presidents' reputations don't survive things like that. Historians are creatures of documents and precision. A wild exaggeration with serious consequences is against everything they stand for as a profession. So forget about history and destiny and the divine will. You are at the helm of the Exxon Valdez and it is headed for the shoals. You can't afford to daydream about future decades."
Moyers has his say
Bill Moyers is interviewed on media bias and his feud with former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson:
"Right-wing partisans like Tomlinson have always attacked aggressive reporting as liberal.
We were biased, all right—in favor of uncovering the news that powerful people wanted to keep hidden: conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior, secret meetings between Vice President Cheney and the oil industry, backdoor shenanigans by lobbyists at the FCC, corruption in Congress, neglect of wounded veterans returning from Iraq, Pentagon cost overruns, the manipulation of intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq.
We were way ahead of the news curve on these stories, and the administration turned its hit men loose on us."
Maureen Farrell: Tired of Being Lied to? Modern History You Can't Afford to Ignore
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
~ Albert Einstein
"Be loyal to your country always, and to the government only when it deserves it."
~ Mark Twain
Hiding in my Closet from MADtv.com
Funny video of GWB as played by Frank Caliendo hiding in his closet.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
LA Times: A Journey That Ended in Anguish
In light of the video that surfaced on the internet of contractors shooting randomly at civilians to a track of Elvis Presley's "Night Train", an apparent "trophy video" this should be read in full.
Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions.
'War is the hardest place to make moral judgments.'
Col. Ted Westhusing, Journal of Military Ethics
Return to Manitou Springs on the Ute Trail
The Incline Club run this morning is an out and back to the Waldo Canyon Loop Trail via the Ute Pass Trail, all in all about 18 miles. I took this photo this morning after completing Waldo Canyon and beginning the way back to Manitou Springs on the Ute Trail--certified by Matt Carpenter to be "up hill both ways".
On the Waldo Canyon Trail this morning
Chad Halsten runs on the Waldo Canyon Trail. It was a cold, blustery morning that never really got warmer.
Looking towards Pikes Peak from Waldo Canyon Trail
From the first run of the season for the Incline Club.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Jesse Helms, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, and more:
Get your Psychedelic Republican Trading Cards here. : "'If you're very very quiet - quiet like a spruce-wreathed mountain lake slowly soaking in the pre-dawn mist - you can actually hear your Psychedelic Republicans cards whispering softly in your ear - gently urging you to kill, kill, KILL!' - Wilson Kline, Satisfied Customer"
Presidential Prayer Team
"President Bush begins each day at the crack of nine o'clock kneeling on the floor of the Oval Office in his Batman flannel feety-pajamas, holding hands with a group of Christian men. They kneel there for an hour (two hours on the Lord's Day or if there are enough doughnuts) just talking to our nation's Commander-of-the-Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus. This is the Presidential Prayer team. Rev. Pat Robertson, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Bob Jones Jr., Pastor Deacon Fred, Brother Harry Hardwick, President George W. Bush, and the Lord Jesus Christ (who invisibly attends, legs crossed and dangling over the side of the Resolute desk), They comprise the elite force of spiritual warriors that most Americans consider more important and able to inflict more damage than the entire United States Military."
Doubts Now Surround Account of Snipers Amid New Orleans Chaos - Los Angeles Times
Remember that account of eight snipers on a bridge shooting at contractors that were killed by members of the New Orleans Police Department? At the time I thought it didn't sound right. Now, the rest of the story:
"... nearly three months later — and after repeated revisions of the official account of the incident and a lowering of the death toll to two — authorities said they were still trying to reconstruct what happened Sept. 4 on the Danziger Bridge. And on the city's east side, where the shootings occurred, two families that suffered casualties are preparing to come forward with stories radically different from those told by police."
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
Cheney: 'This is very good indeed … Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA.'
Core Evidence That Humans Affect Climate Change
The LA Times mentions that scientists have drilled the largest core of Arctic ice ever sampled and found that two greenhouse gases are currently at their highest levels in 650,000 years. "This is saying, 'Yeah, we had it right.' We can pound on the table harder and say, 'This is real,' " said one geophysicist not affiliated with the research.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
London Review of Books as an insightful review of Jane Fonda's War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon by Mary Hershberger:
"You don’t know America if you don’t know the Jane Fonda cult. Or rather, the anti-Fonda cult. At places where soldiers or former soldiers congregate, there’ll be stickers of her likeness on the urinals; one is an invitation to symbolic rape: Fonda in her 1980s ‘work-out’ costume, her legs splayed, pudenda at the bulls-eye. Every night at lights-out midshipmen at the US Naval Academy cry out ‘Goodnight, bitch!’ in her honour. They’ve learned, Carol Burke writes in her study of military folklore, Camp All-American, Hanoi Jane and the High-and-Tight, what you learn at all the service academies: ‘that being a real warrior and hating Jane Fonda are synonymous.’* When Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built on the Washington Mall, well-organised veterans who criticised it as the ‘gook monument’ – Lin is Chinese-American – were allowed to open their own kiosks nearby. These became the cult’s temples, the places to buy its sacraments and phylacteries; bumper stickers, for example, saying ‘Jane Fonda: John Kerry with Tits’. Phyllis Schlafly and Tom Wolfe have both described the memorial wall as a ‘monument to Jane Fonda’.
A set of urban legends has sprung up around her visit to Hanoi in the summer of 1972: a prisoner of war, ordered by his captors to describe his ‘lenient and humane’ treatment to the visiting actress, spat on her instead and was beaten almost into blindness; prisoners secretly gave her their social security numbers to prove their existence to the outside world – Fonda turned the numbers over to their captors and men were supposed to have died from the beatings that followed. The reliability of such tales is suggested by a piece that appeared in the Washington Times, a right-wing daily, in 1989: a former pow, Air Force Major Fred Cherry, recalled Fonda’s voice ringing out over the prison public address system during an ‘extended torture siege’ in 1967. Fonda didn’t speak out against the war until 1970.
The cult matured in the 1980s when America finally began to accept that it had lost a war which hadn’t been worth fighting in the first place. This was around the time Ronald Reagan observed: ‘Boy, I saw Rambo last night. Now I know what to do next time this happens.’ The moment had come to fix the blame where it properly belonged: not on Lyndon Johnson, not on Richard Nixon, but, as Burke points out, on the oldest story in the world, ‘the seductive woman who turns out to be a snake’."
DissidentVoice.org: Government by Dirty Tricks
Nice little web site dissidentvoice.org I just discovered has this on our present shell-shocked state of democracy:
Government by Dirty Tricks
GWB's economic professor at Harvard: "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. . . .
Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. “In class, he couldn’t challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that’s how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."
Democracy Now! | A Conversation with the "Chimpanzee Lady": Jane Goodall on Animals, the Environment and her Life
Illuminating interview with Jane Goodall on the democracynow.org web site.
"On this Thanksgiving Day, as we cook and share meals with friends and families, we bring you an interview with the renowned primatologist, Jane Goodall. Her latest book is Harvest for Hope : A Guide to Mindful Eating. Goodall, who is known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons, turns her attention to the food we eat and how it reaches our tables. In her book, Goodall examines the danger of corporate ownership of water and the patening of seeds, the hazards of genetically modified foods and the existence of inhumane animal factories."
Guardian Unlimited | Anti-Consumers Dig Through Trash for Food
"They call themselves ``freegans,'': a play on the words ``vegan''- vegetarians who avoid all animal products, including dairy - and ``free.'' In an ideological rejection of consumer waste, they only eat food that's been discarded. And in New York City, at least, they never go hungry.
``We find more food than we could ever possibly eat,'' said Adam Weissman. Just 24 hours before the dinner party, he found a hefty stash outside a gourmet supermarket in Manhattan: bags of salad nearing the sell-by date, dozens of sandwiches, boxes of Ritz crackers, some nice looking squash and loaves of still-crisp baguettes."
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Free Film night at Colorado College
Yesterday evening was the last night of free Tuesday night German film night at Colorado College. Rebekka and I enjoyed a very powerful film called "Die Bruecke": The Bridge in English. Very powerful movie.
Here is the blurb on it:
Film: German Series: "The Bridge" - "Die Brucke," ("The Bridge"), 1959, drama. Seven 16-year-old boys are drafted into the army in April 1945, a few weeks before the end of the war. Originally slated to be sent into combat, but having received hardly any training, they are instead given the assignment of defending a bridge that is set to be destroyed by their own troops the next day. Considered by many film critics to be the classic anti-war film of the West German Cinema. Best Film of the Year, 1959, and Golden Globe winner, 1959. Part of the German Film Series "When the War was Over: West German Film from 1948 to 1959," in commemoration of the end of WWII. All films are shown in German without subtitles. An introduction and synopsis in English will be provided. All films are suitable for young people. Final film in the series.
War protesters arrested near Bush ranch
War protesters arrested near Bush ranch : "Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war, estimated it was his 70th arrest for various protests since the 1970s.
“Those of us who finally saw through the Vietnam war saw through this war, and all the actions that were necessary to end the Vietnam war will be necessary here,” Ellsberg said Wednesday before his arrest. “I think the American people will get us out of this.”
Ellsberg became famous for his release of the secret documents, which indicated the government had deceived the public about whether the Vietnam war could be won and the extent of casualties."
Jean Schmidt done to lyrics
Mad Kane onA Rep From Ohio Named Jean
Bush's Lost Year
James Fallows in the Atlantic Monthly, Oct 2004. This kind of thing needs to be repeated again and again as more and more people find the scales falling from their eyes and realize that we have made a grave mistake by going to war in Iraq. We need to keep going back to these articles that were overlooked in the MSM, filtered out by "patriotic" jingoists, ignored and ridiculed by the Brush Lintballs, Bill O'Lielly's....
This piece is a must read today just as it was a year ago:
Bush's Lost Year: "President Bush's first major speech after 9/11, on September 20, 2001, was one of the outstanding addresses given by a modern President. But it introduced a destructive concept that Bush used more and more insistently through 2002. 'Why do they hate us?' he asked about the terrorists. He answered that they hate what is best in us: 'They hate what we see right here in this chamber—a democratically elected government … They hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.' As he boiled down this thought in subsequent comments it became 'They hate us for who we are' and 'They hate us because we are free.'
There may be people who have studied, fought against, or tried to infiltrate al-Qaeda and who agree with Bush's statement. But I have never met any. The soldiers, spies, academics, and diplomats I have interviewed are unanimous in saying that 'They hate us for who we are' is dangerous claptrap. Dangerous because it is so lazily self-justifying and self-deluding: the only thing we could possibly be doing wrong is being so excellent. Claptrap because it reflects so little knowledge of how Islamic extremism has evolved."
DenverPost.com - White House forced hand of Denver trio
White House forced hand of Denver trio
by Jim Spencer
"The lawsuit filing makes you wonder why the Bush administration continues to let three political lightweights feast like gnats on its elephantine behind. A relatively harmless bite has now festered into a boil at a time when the president - already mired in allegations of political dirty tricks in the Valerie Plame case - truly doesn't need it."
Cheat Sheet to reach a human
Frustrated by voice mail hell? Here is a cheat sheet to circumvent the labrynth.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
t r u t h o u t - Blair 'Convinced Bush' Not to Launch Strike at al-Jazeera
This is beyond the pale. Can you imagine? Think of it. The Al Jazeera stations were in Qatar, a strong ally of ours. And Bush thought it would be a good idea to BOMB their studios because he disagreed with their reporting??
Blair 'Convinced Bush' Not to Launch Strike at al-Jazeera: " Tony Blair had to persuade US President George Bush not to launch a military strike on the studios of TV station Al-Jazeera.
New reports claim the two leaders debated an attack on the station which has broadcast video messages from al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden and leaders of the insurgency in Iraq, as well as clips of dead British and US soldiers.
There have been calls for Downing Street to publish the transcript of their conversation.
According to sources it records Mr Bush suggesting that he might order the bombing of Al-Jazeera's studios in Qatar."
Booman Tribune ~ Operation Yellow Feather
Go here to print up your protest forms to mail to Rep. Schmidt:
"Since the run up to the War in Iraq, right-wing conservatives have sought to use a new McCarthyism to silence debate on the most important issues faced by the United States. Leaders who challenge the flawed policies of the administration are labeled as cowards or as unpatriotic sympathizers with terrorists. Operation Yellow Feather is a grass roots effort to tell Republican 'chicken hawks' that we will not tolerate their 'Red Scare' tactics.
Last week, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) stated his public position that the U.S. troops in Iraq should be redeployed outside Iraq in a manner consistent with their own safety. Rep. Murtha is a brave and distinguished man. He left college to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. He gave lengthy service as a Marine, rising through the ranks to become a Colonel. He again volunteered for service in Vietnam. He was a decorated veteran, receiving the Bronze Star for Combat, two Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
In a effort to blunt the effect of Murtha's serious call for a withdrawal of the troops, Republicans hurriedly offered a sham Bill on the issue that had almost no support. During debate on the issue, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), a freshman Rep., called Murtha a coward."
BBC ON THIS DAY | 22 | 1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas
On this day, November 22nd, 1963 an era came to an end.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Jane Smiley: Superpower? | The Huffington Post
Jane Smiley speaks out in The Huffington Post:
"Back in the year 2000, I believed almost without thinking about it that the US was a 'superpower', the only 'superpower' in the world. Maybe it was true and maybe it wasn't, but there was a lot of money around, Americans were pretty prosperous, and most people around the world had a benign view of the US.
Maybe the clearest sign of our 'superpower' status was that the right wing and the press could beat up on Bill Clinton with absolutely no effect on US power or the perception of US power. Beating up on Bill Clinton was a kind of parlor game that the participants cared about, but was in the end of no international import. The most surprising thing, then, about the last five years is how quickly and absolutely the US has ceased to be a superpower."
"It is obvious that George W. Bush is a small, shallow man, the son of a rather dumb and bumbling father and a blinkered, vindictive mother. That his nature and nurture have been visited upon the country as a whole is an interesting detail of our decline and fall."
RollingStone.com: The Man Who Sold the War
How the Bush administration got spooked
How the Bush administration got spooked: "It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know - that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long."
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Jerusalem Post: Zarqawi dead?
Pelosi on O'Reilly
CSIndy: Public Eye
What can one say? Can it get any wierder? I'm a 24-year career Airman in this country's Air Force and I am totally in thrall by this!!! How can this be happening in my country; my Air Force??
CSIndy: Public Eye: "'Praise God that we have been allowed access by the Academy into the cadet areas to minister among the cadets,' the Lindbloms wrote. 'We have recently been given an unused classroom to meet with cadets at any time during the day. This was a true answer to prayer.'
The newsletter was dated Oct. 11. That was less than a week after Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Academy graduate, filed a lawsuit accusing the institution of fostering an environment of religious intolerance -- and just weeks after the Air Force issued new guidelines instructing officials to avoid obvious proselytizing at the tax-funded institution, and to be sensitive to all religions."
LA Times: How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball'
The incompetence and arrogance of the Bushevics is staggering. Now the Germans are piling on. Remember-- 'Curveball' was their asset. They interviewed him, they managed him. The results were given in good faith to us, WITH GRAVE RESERVATIONS! The reservations were left out and the administration grossly trumped up outlandish fallacies and used them as a pretext for a war that has since turned into a grotesque failure.
How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball': "The Iraqi informant's German handlers say they had told U.S. officials that his information was 'not proven,' and were shocked when President Bush and Colin L. Powell used it in key prewar speeches."
"The senior BND officer who supervised Curveball's case said he was aghast when he watched Powell misstate Curveball's claims as a justification for war.
'We were shocked," the official said. "Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence."
In a telephone interview, Powell said that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, and his top deputies personally assured him before his U.N. speech that U.S. intelligence on the mobile labs was "solid." Since then, Powell said, the case "has totally blown up in our faces."'
t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich: One War Lost, Another to Go
Frank Rich, always a must read in the Sunday NYT:
One War Lost, Another to Go
LA Times: Missionary's Dark Legacy
Be sure and look at the sidebar of the photo gallery as well. Very sad. The ongoing denial by the Catholic Church is a great crime.
Missionary's Dark Legacy - : "Two remote Alaska villages are still reeling from a Catholic volunteer's sojourn three decades ago, when he allegedly molested nearly every Eskimo boy in the parishes..
By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer
ST. MICHAEL, Alaska — Peter 'Packy' Kobuk has to walk past the old Catholic church to get almost anywhere. To fill a drum of heating oil. To take his children to school. To wash his clothes at the only laundromat in this Eskimo village of 370.
'I think about burning it down, but I have to block that out,' says Kobuk, 46. 'It all comes back to me right away each time I have to see it.'"
Saturday, November 19, 2005
NPR : 'Why Iraq Has No Army'
NPR : 'Why Iraq Has No Army': "In a cover article for the December issue of Atlantic Monthly, reporter James Fallows argues there is no easy way out of Iraq for American forces. Pressure is mounting to withdraw U.S. troops, but the move would almost certainly leave Iraq in chaos. It will take years to train an Iraqi security force.
Rebekka and Steve "pre-race"
I finished 4th overall with a time of 3:09 on this difficult rolling course through the Nevada desert; my 75th marathon and 40th state. Rebekka had a very respectable run on this unrelenting roller coaster of a course.
Valley of Fire Marathon in the Valley of Fire State Park, near Lake Mead, Nevada.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park were named after figures from the Old Testament by a Methodist minister. Somehow the less prominent peak on the right in the foreground received the name Mt Moroni... BTW, the park was named Zion by a zealous Mormon as he hoped for it to be a place of religious tolerance. When Brigham Young visited and found wine and tobacco in free use, he deemed it "not Zion", which his more pious true believers took up as its new moniker...
Weeping Rock, Zion National Park. This phenomenon of the cliffs "weeping" water is caused by rain water travelling through porous sandstone on the plateaus above Zion Canyon until it reaches the shale layer at which point it travels horizontally across the non-porous shale until it "weeps" out of the side of the canyon cliffs...
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I run a lot. I get outdoors as much as I can. I read and I think. I love intellectual confrontation. I'm a liberal secular humanist atheist who speaks French (and German). I am the opposite of the "Christian Right".
Sibling Web sites
- Andrew Sullivan
- Raw Story
- Juan Cole -- Informed Comment
- Huffington Post
- One Good Move
- Brad Blog: on the Voting Fraud front
- The Belgravia Dispatch
- Think Progress
- Colorado Pols
Running in Colorado
- Steve Bremner's North American Outdoors
- Incline Club
- C.R.U.D. -- Coloradans Running Ultra-Distances
- Pikes Peak Marathon and more
- Barr Trail Race
- Grist Mag: Environmental News and Humour
- Waterkeepers: RFK, Jr battles corporate polluters
- National Audubon Society
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project
- The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- The Canary Coalition
- Leonardo di Caprio has a damn good environmental web site
- Next Billion.net -- Development Through Enterprise -- Focusing on the 4B people at the bottom of the pyramid
- Save the Springs -- To preserve and enhance quality of life in the Pikes Peak region
- Kleercut: Wiping away ancient Forests
- COLORS: a most extraordinary magazine
- Scientific American's Blog
- Election Fraud 2004 (quick page of facts)
- Sudan: the passion of the present
- December 2004
- January 2005
- February 2005
- March 2005
- April 2005
- May 2005
- June 2005
- July 2005
- August 2005
- September 2005
- October 2005
- November 2005
- December 2005
- January 2006
- February 2006
- March 2006
- April 2006
- May 2006
- June 2006
- July 2006
- August 2006
- September 2006
- October 2006
- November 2006
- December 2006
- January 2007
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007
- May 2007
- June 2007
- July 2007
- August 2007
- September 2007
- October 2007
- November 2007
- December 2007
- January 2008
- February 2008
- March 2008
- April 2008
- May 2008
- June 2008
- July 2008
- August 2008
“There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy (stated in 1968, when Robert was Attorney General, and his brother John had been the President)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” - Philip K. Dick
“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.” Bertrand Russell
"Just as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight... and it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."
-- William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1939 to 1975
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy."
-- Charles Manson, serial killer and one-time cult leader
"A very popular error-having the courage of one's convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one's convictions."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"There are no sects in geometry. One does not speak of a Euclidean, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.... Well, to what dogma do all minds agree? To the worship of a God, and to honesty. All the philosophers of the world who have had a religion have said in all ages: "There is a God, and one must be just." There, then, is the universal religion established in all ages and throughout mankind. The point in which they all agree is therefore true, and the systems through which they differ are therefore false."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-- Albert Einstein
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
-- Bob Dylan, 'Masters of War'
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war . . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, April 20, 1795
"In the end the party would announce that 2 plus 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim, sooner or later, the logic of their position demanded it."
-- George Orwell, in 1984
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. " --€”Richard Feynman
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise. They have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe."
--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
"We're all in this alone."
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
-Joe Hill, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 1911
â€œThe more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party. Thatâ€™s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.â€�
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasure, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." --Jerome K. Jerome
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --Aldo Leopold
"Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do." --Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity...."
"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
"Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level." --Henry David Thoreau
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive. It's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly." --Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Mother Night
"I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels."
--Diogenes of Sinope (c. 408-323 B.C.)
"Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson