Thursday, November 30, 2006
Marine Life Leaped From Simple to Complex After Greatest Mass Extinction
The greatest “great dying,” 251 million years ago, erased 95 percent of species in the oceans (and most vertebrates on land). But new research suggests that it was followed by an explosion of complexity in marine life, one that has persisted ever since.
My only question is how does this match up with the great flood and a world only 6,000 years old?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Electrons to Enlightenment
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Iraq War Links for today
EPA IS HASTILY DISPOSING OF ITS LIBRARY COLLECTIONS
Bushevics are scurrying to hide the evidence.
Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is frantically dispersing its library collections to preempt Congressional intervention, according to internal emails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to promises by EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock that all of the former library materials will be made available electronically, vast troves of unique technical reports and analyses will remain indefinitely inaccessible.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Iraq War Links for today
Death Squads infiltrate Iraqi Police.
Iraq: Handicapping the Baker Report, Part Two
Maureen Dowd says: After the Thanksgiving Day Massacre of Shiites by Sunnis, President Bush should go on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and give an interview headlined: “If I did it, here’s how the civil war in Iraq happened.”
The Last Throes of the Insurgency
Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska (R) has this excellent piece: Leaving Iraq, Honorably.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Eric Schlosser in Sierra Club Magazine
Cheap Food Nation
Eric Schlosser: "Changing your eating habits can send ripples far and wide."
WHENEVER A WELL-KNOWN ATHLETE gets caught using anabolic steroids to run faster, pedal harder, or hit a baseball farther, there's a universal chorus of disapproval. Most Americans regard steroid use in sports as an unhealthy form of cheating. Under federal law, all performance-enhancing synthetic hormones are class III controlled substances; obtaining them without a prescription is a felony. Steroid users may suffer from a wide variety of physical and mental ailments, some of them irreversible--and the long-term effects of the drugs are unknown.
Meanwhile, for the past two decades, a number of the same steroids abused by athletes have been given to U.S. cattle on a massive scale. Without much publicity or government concern, growth hormones like testosterone are routinely administered to about 80 percent of the nation's feedlot cattle, accelerating their weight gain and making them profitable to slaughter at a younger age. The practice is legal in the United States but banned throughout the European Union, due to concerns about its effect on human health. A recent study by Danish scientists suggested that hormone residues in U.S. beef may be linked to high rates of breast and prostate cancer, as well as to early-onset puberty in girls. Hormone residues excreted in manure also wind up in rivers and streams. A 2003 study of male minnows downstream from one Nebraska feedlot found that many of them had unusually small testes. When female minnows in a laboratory were exposed to trenbolone--a synthetic hormone widely administered to cattle--they developed male sex organs.
Dollar falls to 19 month low against Euro
Watch for more of this in the near future. A budget deficit that has ballooned from $4T in 2000 to $9T today and a trade deficit of $800B/yr and climbing is the reason. Tax cuts for the top 1%, constant war, and a dim bulb prez contribute to our demise.
Things that can't go on forever Don't!!
Dollar falls to 19 month low.
Global Warming and Peak Oil Links
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Navajos' desert cleanup no more than a mirage
Church Rock Mine, N.M. -- Most of the mining companies that drilled, dug and blasted for uranium on the Navajo reservation during the Cold War did nothing to repair the environmental damage they left behind. For a time, tribal leaders staked their hopes for a cleanup on Superfund, the landmark legislation that forces polluters to pay for remediation of toxic sites.
More than 1,000 abandoned mines are scattered across the Navajo homeland, which covers 27,000 square miles in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
Backstory: The unvarnished Gore Vidal
From the Christian Science Monitor:
It was just an ordinary day in the journalistic trenches when I got the call. "Gore Vidal has a new book out ... would you like to interview him?" said the voice on the other end of the phone, a well-known Los Angeles publicist.
"Isn't he the guy famous for saying, "It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail?" I asked."That's the one," she said.
"The one who said, 'I had never wanted to meet most of the people I had met, and the fact that I never got to know most of them took dedication and steadfastness on my part?"
"That's him," she answered.
"Sounds like a lovely opportunity," I said. "I'll take it."
OK, it didn't happen quite that way. But like everyone - like some people, anyway - I thought I knew who Gore Vidal was, at least on the surface: literary lion, scold, verbal jester, and political screed writer. To double-check my memory, I went on Wikipedia (just to make sure the upstart website was up to snuff):
Author of 25 novels, six plays, 200 essays, and several screenplays. Check. An early novel, "The City and the Pillar," and a later sexual farce, "Myra Breckinridge," credited with pushing the envelope of sexuality in modern literature. Check. Historical novels ranging from the Roman Empire ("Julian") to the birth of the American republic ("Burr") garnered wide respect among historians, and his "United States: Essays 1952-1992" won the 1993 National Book Award. Tried politics in the distant past. Check, check, and check.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tomgram: Mark Danner, How a War of Unbound Fantasies Happened
Tom Dispatch makes one of the longest pieces ever done in the New York Review of Books available on-line. The print version will come out in the December 21st edition. If you are interested in understanding how we blundered into the Iraq Quagmire, spend some time reading this excellent piece: Iraq the War of the Imagination.
Missing Votes in FL-13 Favored Dems
The group of nearly 18,000 voters that registered no choice in Sarasota's disputed congressional election solidly backed Democratic candidates in all five of Florida's statewide races, an Orlando Sentinel analysis of ballot data shows.
Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat - agriculture commissioner candidate Eric Copeland - outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes.
The trend, which continues up the ticket to the race for governor and US Senate, suggests that if votes were truly cast and lost - as Democrat Christine Jennings maintains - they were votes that likely cost her the congressional election.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Kurzweil: Computers Will Enable People To Live Forever
Saturday, November 18, 2006
John Muir: Conservationist
Clear Evidence 2006 Congressional Elections Hacked
Results skewed nationwide in favor of Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes.
A major undercount of Democratic votes and an overcount of Republican votes in US House and Senate races across the country is indicated by an analysis of national exit polling data, by the Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national election integrity organization.
These findings have led EDA to issue an urgent call for further investigation into the 2006 election results and a moratorium on deployment of all electronic election equipment.
"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.
Run, Al, Run
Q. Really? How about all the warnings?
A. That’s a separate question. And it’s almost too easy to say, “I would have heeded the warnings.” In fact, I think I would have, I know I would have. We had several instances when the CIA’s alarm bells went off, and what we did when that happened was, we had emergency meetings and called everybody together and made sure that all systems were go and every agency was hitting on all cylinders, and we made them bring more information, and go into the second and third and fourth level of detail. And made suggestions on how we could respond in a more coordinated, more effective way. It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, “Well, you’ve covered your ass.” And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question. To this day, I don’t understand it. And, I think it’s fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job. And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off!
And I don’t know why—honestly—I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn’t these kinds of things produce a similar outrage? And you know, I’m even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it’s so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way. [Practically screaming now] But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!
Blogged with Flock
China’s Path to Modernity, Mirrored in a Troubled River - New York Times
For centuries, the Yellow River symbolized the greatness and sorrows of China’s ancient civilization, as emperors equated controlling the river and taming its catastrophic floods with controlling China. Now, the river is a very different symbol — of the dire state of China’s limited resources at a time when the country’s soaring economic growth needs more of everything.
“The Yellow River flows through all these densely populated parts of northern China,” said Liu Shiyin, a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “Without water in northern China, people can’t survive. And the economic development that has been going on cannot continue.”
Blogged with Flock
Friday, November 17, 2006
Michael Hayden on Iraq
The Director of the CIA offers a refreshingly candid view of the Civil War in Iraq:
Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex - washingtonpost.com
Blogged with Flock
Climate Controlled White House
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
CIA Acknowledges Two Interrogation Memos: Papers Called Too Sensitive for Release
After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
But CIA lawyers say the documents - memos from President Bush and the Justice Department - are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public.
The disclosures by the CIA general counsel's office came in a letter Friday to attorneys for the ACLU. The group had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking records related to U.S. interrogation and detention policies.
Blogged with Flock
Kucinich Calls for Cutting Off Iraq War Funds
"I want to say that there's one solution here, and it's not to engage in a debate with the President, who has taken us down a path of disaster in Iraq, but it's for Congress to assume the full power that it has under the Constitution to cut off funds. We don't need to keep indulging in this debate about what to do, because as long as we keep temporizing, the situation gets worse in Iraq.
"We have to determine that the time has come to cut off funds. There’s enough money in the pipeline to achieve the orderly withdrawal that Senator McGovern is talking about. But cut off funds, we must. That's the ultimate power of the Congress, the power of the purse. That's how we'll end this war, and that’s the only way we’re going to end this war.
"We need to shift our direction."
Blogged with Flock
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Senator Boxer plans Senate Hearings on Global Warming
Automakers and manufacturers, beware: There's a new environmental policy boss in town, she scowls a lot, and two of her favorite phrases are "global warming" and "extensive hearings."
Blogged with Flock
Salt Lake City Embraces Green Building
Private developers who tap Salt Lake City green must build green. City Council members Tuesday night unanimously adopted an ordinance requiring builders of commercial structures, apartments and condos to meet national environmental building standards if they are funded by city loans, grants or tax rebates. The ordinance also endorses Mayor Rocky Anderson's executive order mandating that municipal buildings - such as a new police and fire administration building, fire station, east-side police precinct and Sorenson Unity Center - also meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. Anderson signed that LEED order in July 2005.
Blogged with Flock
Monday, November 13, 2006
High Country News: When a gas pipeline blows, you get out fast
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Liberalism is the True Conservatism
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control'
The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.
Data on carbon dioxide emissions shows that the global growth rate was 3.2 per cent in the five years to 2005 compared with 0.8 per cent from 1990 to 1999, despite efforts to reduce carbon pollution through the Kyoto agreement.
Much of the increase is probably due to the expansion of the Chinese economy, which has relied heavily on burning coal and other fossil fuels for its energy.
Neither intellect nor faith will save humanity
The Scottish journalist Muriel Gray wrote a beautiful account Richard Dawkins' dialogue with Bishop Holloway in the Glasgow Herald:
Holloway, as we all know, is the church leader who questioned his faith and found it wanting, and Dawkins of course is not simply world famous for his pioneering and award-winning scientific work, but also for his aggressive views concerning organised religion. A couple of audience members before the session began admitted they were worried that the two men might come to blows, or that a fundamentalist audience member might use the event to launch an offensive verbal attack on Dawkins. Instead the hour that seemed like five minutes was one filled with two startlingly intelligent men, each brimming with humanity, drawing personal pictures of just how awesome, mysterious and wonderful existence is. The sheer joy of hearing Holloway still trying to draw poetry and meaning from a religion he is not quite ready to dismiss completely out of hand, as Dawkins listened eagerly, trying to assist him without dismissing his desires as ignorant, was breath takingly inspiring. And all this was book-ended with Dawkins’s views on birthing universes, black holes, and the future of the human species when we start to form ourselves from silicone and alloys instead of vulnerable flesh. Now that’s what I call entertainment.
Read the rest here:
Quebec is lightyears ahead of the USA
Friday, November 10, 2006
For War Crimes. Send the criminals to jail where they belong.
Rummy: Kung Fu Fighter
Should Bush be Impeached?
Not a "scientific poll" but 355,379 responses!!!!
|Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? * 355379 responses|
|Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.|
|No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."|
|No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.|
|I don't know.|
Live Vote: Should Bush be impeached? - Politics - MSNBC.com
President Pelosi sounds real good to these military ears.
Protests in Oaxaca, Mexico
Protesters aid an injured cameraman who was shot during, and later died, when clashes erupted between unidentified gunmen and protesters who are demanding the resignation of Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico on Friday Oct. 27, 2006. The journalist, who worked for an unidentified independent media organization, was shot in the abdomen and died later at a hospital, said a police official who was not authorized to give his name. The name and hometown of the journalist was not immediately available.(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Many more photos here.
Pelosi's Hometown Disputes Liberal Image
Richard Pombo is a rep no more
Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman
A defense to-do list for the new Congress
Joseph Galloway has a defense to-do list for the new Congress.
For the Democrats who will soon take charge of the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate, too, here's a preliminary laundry list of some of the things that need doing:
-A comprehensive investigation of the pre-war intelligence on Iraq and how it was perverted, how the mine was salted, and by whom.
-A thorough investigation of what pre-war advice was offered by senior American military commanders on troop strength, equipment requirements and strategy and tactics. Did even one general ignore the bullying from on high and ask for more troops, and how did Rumsfeld respond?
-Why did the Pentagon send American troops into battle without enough armored vests, armored vehicles, rifles, ammunition, food and water? Who's responsible for that debacle, which cost so much in blood and money?
-Where did our money go? Billions of dollars of taxpayer money disappeared down various rat holes in Iraq, forked over to contractors without even so much as a handwritten receipt. Who got the money? What did they do for it? This is a fertile field that can be drilled for years, with a steady stream of indictments, trials and prison sentences.
-What about those no-bid Defense Department contracts that were parceled out to the Halliburtons and KBRs and Blackwaters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other more costly weapons and equipment contracts that went to big defense industry conglomerates accustomed to writing very generous checks to the Republicans?
-Why did an administration that was hell-bent on going to war, with the inevitable and terrible human casualties among our troops, consistently underfund the Veterans Administration, which is charged with caring for our wounded and disabled?
-What's been the effect of the grotesque politicization of the selection and promotion system for senior military commanders by the office of the secretary of defense? What failures have resulted from that ill-conceived action? What responsibility do those generals and admirals chosen by Rumsfeld bear for the failure to prepare for and conduct effective action against an inevitable Iraqi insurgency?
-Who at the top bears responsibility for the torture and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantanamo detention camp? A score of Pentagon investigations got to the bottom of the chain of command but declared that the top, in Rumsfeld's office and the White House, was innocent.
-Who's responsible for breaking our understrength Army and Marine Corps with endless combat duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who refused all suggestions that the force was too small for the mission, and that 50,000 or 100,000 more men and women were needed in uniform? Who stubbornly refused even to consider the inevitable consequences of an Army so tied down trying to man these wars that it no longer could react to an emergency anywhere else in a dangerous world?
Simply put, the jig is up. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld have come to the end of their free ride. No longer can they act without thought or ignore the boundaries of the Constitution, the law and common sense.
Blogged with Flock
My House from the Barr Trail
Ed Bradley: Gone at 65
Bradley succumbed to leukemia Thursday at age 65 after battling the disease for several years. For nearly 30 years, he sought solace in the Colorado mountains as a break from his fast-paced life chasing the big story around the world."Whenever I leave Woody Creek, before I go down to the airport, I always go down to the river and just sit for a minute or two, as long as I have, because it gives me sustenance to go back and do what I do," he told members of the Denver Press Club when he received its Damon Run yon award in 2003.
Blogged with Flock
Books For Burma
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Rush Limbo
How low can Limbaugh go?
The president, vice president and secretary of defense, meanwhile, marched to their Maginot line to defend the fortifications of the "war president" and his war paradigm ("alternative interrogation techniques" ... "terrorist surveillance program" ... "terrorists win, America loses"). Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld behaved as though they were the latest in a straight line of descent from heroes past, inheritors of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill. Mythologizing themselves as they struggled to gain support for "victory," they sought to distract from catastrophe by casting deepening failure as inevitable success. Envious of the "Greatest Generation," they claimed its mantle. But elevating themselves into the latter-day versions of the leaders from World War II was delusional imitation as the highest form of self-flattery.
Bill Maher outs Ken Mehlman on Larry King
Hypocrisy runs deep in the Republican Party. "Hating yourself is the greatest love of all."
onegoodmove: A Losers Lament
Stephen Colbert and the Losers Lament. Pauvre, pauvre Repugs. Sniff.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Gore Vidal: ‘The Most Important Election in My Lifetime’
On the eve of the publication of his new memoir, “Point to Point Navigation” (Doubleday), iconic author and historian Gore Vidal sat down to an exclusive video interview with Truthdig editor Robert Scheer and offered this plea to America regarding the Nov. 7 elections:
“This is the most important vote that you’ll probably ever cast. Because should this gang of thugs continue in the two houses of Congress, there isn’t any chance of getting the ”Constitution back....
Monday, November 06, 2006
Prominent Male Hooker Forced To Step Down Amid Accusations Of Sex With Sleazy Evangelical Leader
A prominent male hooker, Dirk Blackman, was forced to give up his position as the head of a large national prostitution ring when it was revealed that he had repeatedly had sex with sleazy evangelical leader Ted Haggard.
At first Blackman denied that he had sex with that "theological conman," saying that Haggard had been sent to his Denver hotel room and that he had only gotten a quick sermon. Yesterday Blackman admitted that some of the charges were true, but denied that he had ever supported social security privatization.
Today Blackman is entering the William F. Buckley Clinic for the Sexually Obsessed With Hypocritical Conservatives.
Assimilated Press: Bush To Personally Execute Saddam Hussein
In an extraordinary move that has no precedent in modern history, the White House announced today that President Bush would personally perform the execution of Saddam Hussein which will take place in a specially constructed execution chamber next to the Oval Office. The weapon of choice has yet to be finalized but the President is said to favor the use of a standard major league aluminum baseball bat. The President's aides had tried to convince him that a high caliber hand gun would be swifter and more humane but they were quickly overruled by White House political strategist Karl Rove who felt that the President's base would prefer a slower and more painful death for Hussein
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Bill Moyers | America 101
Bill Moyers | America 101: Education is the key to making America great again.
Lance runs the New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon: "Cycling champion Lance Armstrong calls the ING New York City Marathon “the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done”"
Paul Hipp: METH AND MAN ASS | The Huffington Post
TrekEarth | Serpentine Bench Photo
Gaudi's famous Serpentine Bench -- located in Park Guell, Barcelona. We are going to Barcelona for 10 days in February. Why? Well, though there is a marathon in the cards we also will partake of the fantastic city.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Bush Names Exxon Chief to Chart America's Energy Future
Bush Names Exxon Chief to Chart America's Energy Future: "Even for an administration dedicated to putting industry lobbyists in charge of the very agencies they have devoted their careers to undermining (coal and oil lobbyist J. Stephen Griles as Deputy Secretary of the Interior is one of dozens of examples), President Bush has recently outdone himself. He has named Lee Raymond, the retired chief of ExxonMobil, to head a key study to help America chart a cleaner course for our energy needs. Raymond currently chairs the National Petroleum Council (NPC), one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington...
Environmentalists are outraged about the appointment of Lee Raymond. During his long tenure at ExxonMobil, the company spent $19 million on front groups designed to discredit the science on global warming. It also resisted funding clean energy alternatives and lobbied aggressively to drill in the Arctic Refuge."
Staring into the abyss
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you," - Nietzsche.
(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP.)
Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan
Top 10 Ways we know we have lost in Iraq
Juan Cole as always, Informed Comment.
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
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“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