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pearls

when the swine overwhelm, retreat into the wisdom of these words

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And reason...teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions. ~John Locke

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them. ~William Faulkner

If we emphasize the life and works of our greatest contributors . . . people will come to realize that moral courage is bravery of the highest type, and America will be called the "Champion of Peace". ~Senator Spark Matsunaga

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you. ~Friedrich Nietzche

These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the original parable, the bland lead the bland. ~John Kenneth Galbraith: The Affluent Society, 1976

There is little to be feared from the standard picture of a totalitarian society in which 'cogs,' who are watched by Big Brother or his equivalent, carry out orders emanating from the top. Such a society would collapse in inefficiency. What is infinitely more fearsome is the capacity of a dictatorship to use the principle of competition to organize terror and murder. ~Ronald Wintrobe: The Political Economy of Dictatorship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 328.

Freedom... refer[s] to a social relationship among people -- namely, the absence of force as a prospective instrument of decision making. Freedom is reduced whenever a decision is made under threat of force, whether or not force actually materializes or is evident in retrospect. ~Thomas Sowell

If the people are not convinced (that the Free World is in mortal danger) it would be impossible for Congress to vote the vast sums now being spent to avert danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshalled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our Job - yours and mine -- to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might. ~Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of General Electric and Truman appointee to head the Office of Defence Mobilization, in a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association, 1950

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. ~Samuel Adams

The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity — much less dissent.

Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye, to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time, and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions... ~Gore Vidal

The result has been that an increasingly authoritarian agenda has been sold to the American people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state. ~David McGowan

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. ~Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger 1916.

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear. ~Bertrand Russell

Fear always springs from ignorance. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear follows crime, and is its punishment. ~Voltaire

For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is slavery. ~Jonathan Swift

They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people. ~Eugene Debs

The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other. ~Bertrand Russell

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. ~Carl Sagan

Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing. It batters down the walls of cities and murders the women and children amid the flames and the purloining of altar vessels. When it goes away it leaves smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayonetted through the throat. It is not a children's pastime like mere highway robbery. ~Stephen Crane

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but, disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort. ~Marshall McLuhan

From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair. ~William Blum

God grant, that not only the love of liberty, but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man, may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface, and say, "This is my country.” ~Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, 4 December 1789

Unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges, you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations. ~Andrew Jackson, farewell address, 04 March 1837

"What is the great American sin? Extravagance? Vice? Graft? No; it is a kind of half-humorous, good-natured indifference, a lack of "concentrated indignation" as my English friend calls it, which allows extravagance and vice to flourish. Trace most of our ills to their source, and it is found that they exist by virtue of an easy-going, fatalistic indifference which dislikes to have its comfort disturbed....The most shameless greed, the most sickening industrial atrocities, the most appalling public scandals are exposed, but a half-cynical and wholly indifferent public passes them by with hardly a shrug of the shoulders; and they are lost in the medley of events. This is the great American sin." ~Joseph Fort Newman, Atlantic Monthly, October 1922

Sunday, December 18, 2005

In violence, we forget who we are. ~Mary McCarthy
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Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes. ~Murray Edelman
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Democracy don’t rule the world, You’d better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that’s better left unsaid. ~Bob Dylan
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You have to show violence the way it is. If you don’t show it realistically, then that’s immoral and harmful. If you don’t upset people, then that’s obscenity. ~Roman Polanski
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When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing. ~Dwight David Eisenhower
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We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. ~Jonathan Swift
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As long as we hate, there will be people to hate. ~George Harrison

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517

Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Matthew 7:12

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a

Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23

Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.: T’ai Shag Kan Ying P’ien

Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

[Thanks to Georgianne for the quotes above via Tom at ICH]

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