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pearls

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ~Elie Wiesel

Coretta Scott King 1927-2006

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won you earn it and win it in every generation.

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, ... a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.

If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.

I learned that when you are willing to make sacrifices for a great cause, you will never be alone, because you will have divine companionship and the support of good people. This same faith and cosmic companionship sustained me after my husband was assassinated, and gave me the strength to make my contribution to carrying forward his unfinished work.

I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.

Segregation was wrong when it was forced by white people, and I believe it is still wrong when it is requested by black people.

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.

The value of life in our cities has become as cheap as the price of a gun.

In this country. we vigorously regulate the sale of medicine and severely limit the advertising of cigarettes because of their effect on human health. But we allow virtually anyone in America to buy a gun and virtually everyone in the nation to see graphic violence.

The more visible signs of protest are gone, but I think there is a realization that the tactics of the late sixties are not sufficient to meet the challenges of the seventies.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Virtually every step forward in our history has been a liberal initiative taken over conservative opposition: civil rights, Social Security, Medicare, rural electrification, the establishment of a minimum wage, collective bargaining, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and federal aid to education, including the land-grant colleges, to name just a few. Many…were eventually embraced by conservatives only after it became clear that they had overwhelming public approval for the simple reason that almost every American benefited from them. Every one of these liberal efforts strengthened our democracy and our quality of life. I challenge my conservative friends to name a single federal initiative now generally approved by both of our major parties that was not first put forward by liberals over the opposition of conservatives. ~George McGovern

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. ~Thomas Paine

I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. ~Thomas Paine

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. ~Thomas Paine

Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out. ~Anton Chekhov

You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result. ~Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~Gandhi

Today democracy is a facade of plutocracy. Because the peoples will not tolerate naked plutocracy, power is nominally turned over to them, while real power rests in the hands of the plutocrats. In democracies, whether republican or monarchical, the statesmen are marionettes, and the capitalists are the wire pullers: they dictate the political guidelines, they control the voters by buying public opinion, through business and social connections [they control] higher government officials ... The plutocracy of today is more powerful than the aristocracy of the past, because nothing stands above it except the state, which is its tool and helper. ~Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, "Praktischer Idealismus ("Practical Idealism"), Vienna, 1925.

For what can war, but endless war, still breed? ~John Milton

If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there's a chance for you to contribute to making a better world. That's your choice. ~Noam Chomsky

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. I feel, at this moment, more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless. ~Lincoln in a letter to Col. William F. Elkins on November 21, 1864

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest... and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war. ~Plato

To initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. ~Nuremberg Tribunal

Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them. ~John Stuart Mill

A true revolution of values will say of war, 'This way of settling differences is not just.'… I call on Washington today, I call on every man and woman of goodwill all over America today: Take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late; a book may close. And I don't know about you -- I ain't going to study war no more. ~Martin Luther King

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell. ~Edward Abbey

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~Albert Einstein

Friday, January 27, 2006

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. ~Edward Abbey

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State. ~Edward Abbey

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. ~Thomas Paine

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

“Standing Tall for America” means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.

You support states’ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
~unattributed
[thanks Pam]

Being a Negro in America means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means trying to hold on to physical life amid psychological death. It means the pain of watching your children grow up with clouds of inferiority in their mental skies. It means having your legs cut off, and then being condemned for being a cripple. It means seeing your mother and father spiritually murdered by the slings and arrows of daily exploitation, and then being hated for being an orphan.

To be a Negro in America is to hope against hope. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967


A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

[special thanks to Monica]

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. ~Harper Lee

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.

I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.

The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.

~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. ~Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man's attitude may be, that problem is hers -- and before it can be his, it is hers alone. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it. ~Margaret Sanger

No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. ~Margaret Sanger

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Those who are feared are hated.

Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one make you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him.

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.

It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

(At the signing of the Declaration of Independence)

~Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 16, 2006

Words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Without love, benevolence becomes egotism.

All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.

The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

If man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobile rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.

Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

Words of One of MLK's Spiritual Mentors

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Hatred ever kills, love never dies such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality for it increases hatred.

Non-cooperation is an attempt to awaken the masses, to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be done by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force, if they would but know the soul within.

Whenever I see an erring man, I say to myself I have also erred; when I see a lustful man I say to myself, so was I once; and in this way I feel kinship with everyone in the world and feel that I cannot be happy without the humblest of us being happy.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody will see it.


However much I may sympathise with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. ~Bertrand Russell

Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one. ~Ellen Key

Capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life. ~Orrin Hatch

Our ancestors... purged their guilt by banishment, not death. And by so doing, they stopped that endless vicious cycle of murder and revenge. ~Euripides

The Punishment of death has never prevented determined men from injuring society. ~Beccaria

If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow. ~Steve Allen

Laws are rules established by men who are in control of organized violence for the non fulfillment of which those who do not fulfill them are subjected to personal injuries, the loss of liberty, and even capital punishment. ~Leo Tolstoy

I think people would be alive today if there were a death penalty. ~Nancy Reagan

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

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. ~Andy Warhol

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. ~Philip K. Dick

Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians. ~Chester Bowles

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control. ~Denis Diderot

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.


Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'


Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.


...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man.

~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a right to my anger, and I don't want anybody telling me I shouldn't be, that it's not nice to be, and that something's wrong with me because I get angry. ~Maxine Waters

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them. ~Edward R. Murrow

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. ~Malcolm X

Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee. ~Immanuel Kant

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~Henry David Thoreau

In battling evil, excess is good; for he who is moderate in announcing the truth is presenting half-truth. He conceals the other half out of fear of the people's wrath. ~Kahlil Gibran

Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq - mostly volunteers in a poverty draft from small towns and poor urban neighborhoods - are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs. ~Arundhati Roy

The powerful have invoked God at their side in this war, so that we will accept their power and our weakness as something that has been established by divine plan. But there is no god behind this war other than the god of money, nor any right other than the desire for death and destruction. Today there is a "NO" which shall weaken the powerful and strengthen the weak: the "NO" to war. ~Subcomandante Marcos

Iniquity, committed in this world, produces not fruit immediately, but, like the earth, in due season, and advancing by little and little, it eradicates the man who committed it. ...justice, being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve; it must never therefore be violated. ~Manu, 1200 B.C.

The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world. ~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism. ~Howard Thurman

The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. ~Albert Camus

By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction. ~William Osler

When the President starts lying he begins to need evidence to back up his lies because in this democracy he is questioned on his statements. It then percolates down through the bureaucracy that you are helping the Boss if you come up with evidence that is supportive of our public position and you are distinctly unhelpful if you commit to paper statements that might leak to the wrong people.

The effect of that is to poison the flow of information to the President himself and to create a situation where a President can be almost, to use a metaphor, psychotically divorced from the realities in which he is acting.... ~Daniel Ellsburg to the US Senate on Foreign Relations, May 13, 1970

I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end. ~Albert Schweitzer

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention. ~Kahlil Gibran

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. Some of these young men think that war is all glory but let me say war is all hell. ~William Tecumseh Sherman.

The president has adopted a policy of 'anticipatory self-defense' that is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date which, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we Americans who live in infamy. ~Arthur Schlesinger

If they do it, it's terrorism, if we do it, it's fighting for freedom. ~Anthony Quainton, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1984: off the record response of the Ambassador to a group of concerned U.S. citizens when asked to explain the difference between U.S. government actions in Nicaragua and the violence it condemns as terrorism elsewhere in the world.

They tell us that we live in a great free republic; that our institutions are democratic; that we are a free and self-governing people. That is too much, even for a joke. ... Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder... And that is war in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. ~Eugene Victor Debs

Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice. ~John Adams

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear. ~Albert Camus

It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. ~General Douglas MacArthur

Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck.

The responsibility for wars falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these same masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anyone else. To stress this guilt on the part of the masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom fighters; the latter that attitude held by power-thirsty politicians. ~Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. ~Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells. ~John Flynn, 1944

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

The soul of our country needs to be awakened ...When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders. ~Veterans Fast for Life

Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true. ~Buddha

Do not say, that if the people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if the people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them. ~Muhammad

He is not strong and powerful who throweth people down; but he is strong who witholdeth himself from anger. ~Muhammad

Protest that endures...is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence. ~Wendell Berry

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. ~Thomas Paine

Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo? ~Adlai Stevenson

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them! ~Albert Einstein

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. ~Voltaire

When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. ~William Blake

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. ~John Milton

Sunday, January 08, 2006

"What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap between the government and the people. And it became always wider.....the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think....for people who did not want to think anyway gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about.....and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated.....by the machinations of the 'national enemies,' without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.....

"Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures'.....must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing.....Each act is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next.

"You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even talk, alone.....you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes.

"That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed.

"You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father.....could never have imagined."

Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

“If a baseball player slides into home plate and, right before the umpire rules if he is safe or out, the player says to the umpire — ‘Here is $1000.’ What would we call that? We would call that a bribe. If a lawyer was arguing a case before a judge and said, ‘Your honor before you decide on the guilt or innocence of my client, here is $1000.’ What would we call that? We would call that a bribe.

But if an industry lobbyist walks into the office of a key legislator and hands her or him a check for $1,000, we call that a campaign contribution. We should call it a bribe.” ~Janice Fine, Dollars and Sense magazine

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