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pearls

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

Sunday, February 26, 2006

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.

A language does not become fixed. The human intellect is always on the march, or, if you prefer, in movement, and languages with it.

The earlier works of a man of genius are always preferred to the newer ones, in order to prove that he is going down instead of up.

When liberty returns, I will return.
- August 18, 1859 (On when he planned to end his exile from France.)

Popularity? It's glory's small change.

A war between Europeans is a civil war.

I refuse the oration of all churches. I ask a prayer of all souls. I believe in God.
- from Hugo's will, written August 2, 1883, when Hugo thought he was near death. (He died in 1885).

I don't mind what Congress does, as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses.

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.

~Victor Hugo

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

So, I learn from my mistakes. It's a very painful way to learn, but without pain, the old saying is, there's no gain. I found that to be true in my life. You miss a lot of opportunities by making mistakes, but that's part of it: knowing that you're not shut out forever, and that there's a goal you still can reach.

Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money.

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way.

After about three lessons the voice teacher said, "Don't take voice lessons. Do it your way.

~Johnny Cash

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Books in a large university library system: 2,000,000. Books in an average large city library: 10,000. Average number of books in a chain bookstore: 30,000. Books in an average neighborhood branch library: 20,000.

Every dogma has its day.

I didn't think; I experimented.

I must say that acting was good training for the political life that lay ahead of us.

If you believe in an unseen Christ, you will believe in the unseen Christlike potential of others.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.

One of the delights known to age, and beyond the grasp of youth, is that of Not Going.

Readers are plentiful: thinkers are rare.

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent, experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it, if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art.

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.

~Anthony Burgess

Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Friday, February 24, 2006

As happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me!

I find my wife hath something in her gizzard, that only waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up; but I will not, for my content-sake, give it.

I went out to Charing Cross to see Major General Harrison hanged, drawn, and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could in that condition.

Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.

Music and woman I cannot but give way to, whatever my business is.
Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

Strange, to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and wife gazing and smiling at them.

Thanks be to God. Since my leaving the drinking of wine, I do find myself much better, and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.

But Lord! To see the absurd nature of Englishmen, that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at everything that looks strange.

In appearance, at least, he being on all occasions glad to be at friendship with me, though we hate one another, and know it on both sides.

I did not like that Clergy should meddle with matters of state.

He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound.

~Samuel Pepys

The greatest dignity and respect you can give [victims of war] is to show the horror they suffered, the absolute gruesome horror. ~War Photographer David Lesson

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.

Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.

A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.

But what of black women? . . . I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.

The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia and of the Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.

The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line -- the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War.

One ever feels his twoness-an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

I have loved my work, I have loved people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I have done well will live long and justify my life, that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.

As you live, believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life.

One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.

There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.

~W.E.B. DuBois

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.

A poet is a professional maker of verbal objects.

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

A tremendous number of people in America work very hard at something that bores them. Even a rich man thinks he has to go down to the office everyday. Not because he likes it but because he can't think of anything else to do.

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.

All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.

Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.

America has always been a country of amateurs where the professional, that is to say, the man who claims authority as a member of an elite which knows the law in some field or other, is an object of distrust and resentment.

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.

Art is born of humiliation.

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another.

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.

Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

Composing mortals with immortal fire.

Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.

Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.

Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.

God bless the USA, so large, so friendly, and so rich.

Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say: Sanctity is the state about which theology has nothing to say.

I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.

If time were the wicked sheriff in a horse opera, I'd pay for riding lessons and take his gun away.

In a world of prayer, we are all equal in the sense that each of us is a unique person, with a unique perspective on the world, a member of a class of one.

In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them.

It is already possible to imagine a society in which the majority of the population, that is to say, its laborers, will have almost as much leisure as in earlier times was enjoyed by the aristocracy. When one recalls how aristocracies in the past actually behaved, the prospect is not cheerful.

It is... axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction.

It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ.

It's a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.

It's frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.

Learn from your dreams what you lack.

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that "faith" is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?

Murder is commoner among cooks than among members of any other profession.

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell.

Music is the best means we have of digesting time.

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

No hero is mortal till he dies.

Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.

Now is the age of anxiety.

One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.

Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too "personal" style.

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.

The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.

The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.

The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.

To save your world you asked this man to die; would this man, could he see you now, ask why?

We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.

When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.

You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people.

You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at.

~W. H. Auden

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

Don't expect me to cry for all the reasons you had to die.

Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.

I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me.

I really haven't had that exciting of a life. There are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting around and complaining about having a boring life. So I pretty much like to make it up. I'd rather tell a story about somebody else.

I wanted to move to Seattle, sell my ass, and be a punk rocker, but I was too afraid.

I was looking for something a lot heavier, yet melodic at the same time. Something different from heavy metal, a different attitude.

I'm so happy because today I found my friends - they're in my head.

I'm too busy acting like I'm not Naive. I've seen it all, I was here first.

I've always had a problem with the average macho man - they've always been a threat to me.

If you die you're completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I'm not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I've got.

If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first.

It's okay to eat fish because they don't have any feelings.

My generation's apathy. I'm disgusted with it. I'm disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whining about for years.

Never met a wise man if so it's a woman!

Punk is musical freedom. It's saying, doing and playing what you want. In Webster's terms, 'nirvana' means freedom from pain, suffering and the external world, and that's pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock.

Rather be dead than cool.

That's what music is entertainment. The more you put yourself into it, the more of you comes out in it.

The worst crime is faking it.

Thought the sun is gone, I have a light.

Vandalism is as beautiful as a rock in a cop's face.

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.

We have no right to express an opinion until we know all of the answers.

We're so trendy we cant even escape ourselves.

What people don't realize is that the so-called Seattle grunge scene grew out of several close-knit gourmet supper clubs - we would only pick up guitars to pass the time while our dishes were simmering, baking, boiling, etc.

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.

If it's illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail!

I used to try to make my head explode by holding my breath, thinking that if I blew up my head, they'd [mom and dad] be sorry.

By definition pop is extremely catchy, whether you like it or not," Cobain says. There are some pop songs I hate but I can't get them out of my head. Our songs also have the standard pop format: Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bad solo. All in all, I think we sound like The Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath.

We were just amazed we were putting out a record. We were, and are, still learning. But we've never cared much for professionalism as long as the energy was there. Like our live shows: We're out of tune and use a lot of feedback. That's not on purpose or because we don't care, we're just musically and rhythmically retarded and we play so hard that we can't tune our guitars fast enough.

~Kurt Cobain

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish. ~Albert Einstein

And like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.

Of course I'm a black writer. I'm not just a black writer, but categories like black writer, woman writer and Latin American writer aren't marginal anymore. We have to acknowledge that the thing we call "literature" is more pluralistic now, just as society ought to be. The melting pot never worked. We ought to be able to accept on equal terms everybody from the Hasidim to Walter Lippmann, from the Rastafarians to Ralph Bunche.

Passion is never enough; neither is skill.

The function of freedom is to free somebody else.

There is an incredible amount of magic and feistiness in black men that nobody has been able to wipe out. But everybody has tried.

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don't mean a thing.

Most of our lives are spent in little towns, little towns all throughout the country. That's where we live. And that's where the juices come from and that's where we made it, not made it in terms of success but made who we are.

You marvel at the economy and this choice of words. How many ways can you describe the sky and the moon? After Sylvia Plath, what can you say?

Bit by bit . . . she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.

I have my own list of objections that I can peruse at my leisure, not least of which is an almost comic obtuseness regarding women, ... generous; impractical; often wrong; always engaged; mindful of, and often amused by, his own power.

Too much tail. All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Can't nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.

Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.

As a writer reading, I came to realize the obvious: the subject of the dream is the dreamer.

As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.

How soon country people forget. When they fall in love with a city it is forever, and it is like forever. As though there never was a time when they didn't love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves: their stronger, riskier selves.

Bryn Mawr had done what a four-year dose of liberal education was designed to do: unfit her for eighty per cent of useful work of the world.

Her mind traveled crooked streets and aimless goat paths, arriving sometimes at profundity, other times at the revelations of a three-year-old.

The loneliest woman in the world is the woman without a close woman friend.

Bit by bit . . . she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.

(Love) is easily the most empty cliché, the most useless word, and at the same time the most powerful human emotion—because hatred is involved in it, too.

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.

If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.

She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.

Tell us what it is to be a woman so that we may know what it is to be a man. What moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.

I really think the range of emotions and perceptions I have had access to as a black person and as a female person are greater than those of people who are neither.... So it seems to me that my world did not shrink because I was a black female writer. It just got bigger.

When I write, I don't translate for white readers.... Dostoevski wrote for a Russian audience, but we're able to read him. If I'm specific, and I don't overexplain, then anyone can overhear me.

When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same.

If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

What difference do it make if the thing you scared of is real or not?

If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.

There is really nothing more to say -- except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.

Birth, life, and death -- each took place on the hidden side of a leaf.

Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me.

I'm a Midwesterner, and everyone in Ohio is excited. I'm also a New Yorker, and a New Jerseyan, and an American, plus I'm an African-American, and a woman. I know it seems like I'm spreading like algae when I put it this way, but I'd like to think of the prize being distributed to these regions and nations and races.

In Tar Baby, the classic concept of the individual with a solid, coherent identity is eschewed for a model of identity which sees the individual as a kaleidoscope of heterogeneous impulses and desires, constructed from multiple forms of interaction with the world as a play of difference that cannot be completely comprehended.

Had any adult with the power to fulfill my desires taken me seriously and asked me what I wanted, they would have known that I did not want to have anything to own, or to possess any object. I wanted rather to feel something on Christmas day. The real question would have been, 'Dear Claudia, what experience would you like on Christmas?' I could have spoken up, 'I want to sit on the low stool in Big Mama's kitchen with my lap full of lilacs and listen to Big Papa play his violin for me alone.'

~Toni Morrison

Friday, February 17, 2006

We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful what we pretend to be. ~Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgement upon anything new.

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

What greater stupidity can be imagined than that of calling jewels, silver, and gold 'precious,' and earth and soil 'base'? People who do this ought to remember that if there were as great a scarcity of soil as of jewels or precious metals, there would not be a prince who would not spend a bushel of diamonds and rubies and a cartload of gold just to have enough earth to plant a jasmine in a little pot, or to sow an orange seed and watch it sprout, grow, and produce its handsome leaves, its fragrant flowers, and fine fruit. It is scarcity and plenty that make the vulgar take things to be precious or worthless; they call a diamond very beautiful because it is like pure water, and then would not exchange one for ten barrels of water.

Doubt is the father of invention.

But where the senses fail us, reason must step in.

By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.

But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant, either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man.

I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.

Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.

And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will? When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the whim of others? When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please? These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin ofcommonwealths and the subversion of the state.

~Galileo Galilei

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~Mark Twain

Monday, February 13, 2006

Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.
I adore life but I don't fear death. I just prefer to die as late as possible.

~Georges Simenon

All creeds that use suppression of facts show a lack of robust-ness and a lack of confidence in the reasonableness of their own beliefs. What is true will emerge as true from the fullest consideration of events. ~Bertrand Russell, 1934

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason.

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.

A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives - of approving of some and disapproving of others.

The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.

Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.

Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence.

An American Monkey after getting drunk on Brandy would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.

I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

In the survival of favoured individuals and races, during the constantly-recurring struggle for existence, we see a powerful and ever-acting form of selection.

It has been a bitter mortification for me to digest the conclusion that the 'race is for the strong' and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in science.

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.

In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."

Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers- Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity.

I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.

As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.

Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress.

...doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue...

I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follow[s] from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion.

The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an improved theory, is it then a science or faith?

~Charles Darwin

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.

Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.

Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

I would rather be defeated with this expression ('house divided against itself cannot stand') in the speech, and uphold and discuss it before the people, than be victorious without it.

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.

...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the women of America!

Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.

The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny.

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend it'.

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except Negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

You think slavery is right and should be extended; while we think slavery is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.

Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.

This is where I part with Abe:


I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.

~Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.

The sentiment of justice is so natural, and so universally acquired by all mankind, that it seems to be independent of all law, all party, all religion.

Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.

The punishment of criminals should be of use; when a man is hanged he is good for nothing.

To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted.

Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.

We owe respect to the living. To the dead we owe only truth.

All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

If Christians want us to believe in a Redeemer, let them act redeemed.

The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all, and others to persecute those who reason.

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.

Better is the enemy of good.

Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.

Clever tyrants are never punished.

Common sense is not so common.

Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.

Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest.

Everything is for the best in this best of possible worlds.

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

Fear follows crime and is its punishment.

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.

He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.

He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.

He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool.

History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes.

How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite.

How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.

I advice you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying you annuities.

I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom.

If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.

Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?

It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge.

It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.

It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.

It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind; it is only by defying it that the brave escape.
Voltaire

Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

Love has features which pierce all hearts, he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings, he comes quickly and flies away the same.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.

Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.

Nature has always had more force than education.

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.

Originality is nothing by judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.

Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.

Prejudice, friend, govern the vulgar crowd.

Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.

Slavery is also as ancient as war, and was as human nature.

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.

The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.

Though one sits in meditation in a particular place, the Self in him can exercise its influence far away. Though still, it moves everywhere... The Self cannot be known by anyone who desists not from unrighteous ways, controls not his senses, stills not his mind, and practices not meditation.

Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.

Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.

The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

When we hear news we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

...the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.

All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.

God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Love truth, and pardon error.

Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

Prejudice is opinion without judgement.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.

~Voltaire

Friday, February 10, 2006

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.

For the villainy of the world is great, and a man has to run his legs off to keep them from being stolen out fom underneath him.

The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.

A man who sees another man on the street corner with only a stump for an arm will be so shocked the first time he'll give him sixpence. But the second time it'll only be a three penny bit. And if he sees him a third time, he'll have him cold-bloodedly handed over to the police.

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

Don't tell me peace has broken out.

Everyone needs help from everyone.

Grub first, then ethics.

Life is short and so is money.

The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.

Poverty makes you sad as well as wise.

Hungry man, reach for the book: it is a weapon.

Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men.
For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat.

He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.

Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.

Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably.

No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.

People remain what they are even if their faces fall apart.

Right is its own defense.

Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste.

The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn when teachers themselves are taught to learn.

Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.

War is like love; it always finds a way.

What a miserable thing life is: you're living in clover, only the clover isn't good enough.

What's breaking into a bank compared with founding a bank?

~Bertolt Brecht

Hope has two beautiful daughters Their names are anger and courage;
anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain
the way they are. ~St. Augustine

The effects of kindness are not always seen immediately. Sometimes it
takes years until your kindness will pay off. Sometimes you never see
the fruits of your labors, but they are there, deep inside of the soul
of the one you touched. ~Dan Kelly

If you always assume the person sitting next to you
is the Messiah waiting for some human kindness -
You will soon come to weigh your words and watch your hands.
And if he/she chooses not to reveal him/herself in your time -
It will not matter. ~Author Unknown

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they will not be here
tomorrow. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you
can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will
never be the same again. ~Og Mandino

When I was young, I admired clever people.
Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

~Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Thursday, February 09, 2006

No person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended.

Tell the truth, have you ever found God in a church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I evr felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God. (The Color Purple

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. (The Color Purple)

Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.

The most important question in the world is, 'Why is the child crying?'

In order to be able to live in America I must be unafraid to live anywhere in it, and I must be able to live in the fashion and with whom I choose.

All partisan movements add to the fullness of our understanding of society as a whole. They never detract; or, in any case, one must not allow them to do so. Experience adds to experience.

For in the end, freedom is a personal and lonely battle; and one faces down fears of today so that those of tomorrow might be engaged.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.

Nobody is as powerful as we make them out to be.

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book, If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for.

Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.

Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.

I try to teach my heart not to want things it can't have.

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers names.

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.

I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to.

I'm always amazed that people will actually choose to sit in front of the television and just be savaged by stuff that belittles their intelligence.

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.

It no longer bothers me that I may be constantly searching for father figures; by this time, I have found several and dearly enjoyed knowing them all.

It seems our fate to be incorrect (look where we live, for example), and in our incorrectness stand.

It's so clear that you have to cherish everyone. I think that's what I get from these older black women, that every soul is to be cherished, that every flower Is to bloom.

Never be the only one, except, possibly, in your own home.

People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools.

The experience of God, or in any case the possibility of experiencing God, is innate.

The gift of loneliness is sometimes a radical vision of society or one's people that has not previously been taken into account.

The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men who shout.

Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?

Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me.

~Alice Walker

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What is a feminist? You are a feminist if you believe:

Women matter as much as men do.
Women have the right to determine their lives.
Women's experiences matter.
Women have the right to tell the truth about their experiences.
Women deserve more of whatever it is they are not getting enough of because they are women: respect, self-respect, education, safety, health, representation, money.

~Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire

I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the war. ~Robert Mueller

Because women's work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we're the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it's our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we're nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we're nymphos and if we don't we're frigid and if we love women it's because we can't get a "real" man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we're neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we're selfish and if we stand up for our rights we're aggressive and "unfeminine" and if we don't we're typical weak females and if we want to get married we're out to trap a man and if we don't we're unnatural and because we still can't get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can't cope or don't want a pregnancy we're made to feel guilty about abortion, and...for lots of other reasons we are part of the women's liberation movement. ~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987

Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. ~Lois Wyse

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.... Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less. ~Susan B. Anthony

I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing. ~Gloria Steinem

A natural response is to change the word feminist to a word with fewer stigmas attached. But inevitably the same thing will happen to that magical word. Part of the radical connotation of feminism is not due to the word, but to the action. The act of a woman standing up for herself is radical, whether she calls herself a feminist or not. ~Paula Kamen

Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. ~Pat Robertson, 1992 Republican Convention

We must not allow ourselves to be deflected by the feminists who are anxious to force us to regard the two sexes as completely equal in position and worth. ~Sigmund Freud

The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions.. for safety on the streets... for child care, for social welfare...for rape crisis centers, women's refuges, reforms in the law." [If someone says] 'Oh, I'm not a feminist,' [I ask] 'Why? What's your problem?' ~Dale Spender

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive. ~Marya Mannes

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. ~Erma Bombeck

Women consititute half the worlds population, perform nearly two thirds of the world's work, receive one tenth of the world's income and own less than one hundredth of the worlds wealth.
~UN findings from 1975-1985 Decade of Women

Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful... The UK beauty industry takes £8.9 billion a year out of women's pockets. Magazines financed by the beauty industry teach little girls that they need make-up and train them to use it, so establishing their lifelong reliance on beauty products. ~Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ~Roseanne Barr

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. ~H.L. Mencken

The people in power will not disappear voluntarily, giving flowers to the cops just isn't going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.

In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or exist in dreary boredom. Make no mistake; all intellectuals are deviants in the U.S.

Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use any other drug with special horror.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.

America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.
~William S. Burroughs

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she adjust to prejudice and discrimination.

The problem that has no name — which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities — is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.

Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffered Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night — she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — "Is this all?"

No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.

Men weren't really the enemy -- they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework - an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.

If divorce has increased by one thousand percent, don't blame the women's movement. Blame the obsolete sex roles on which our marriages were based.

Aging is not "lost youth" but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

~Betty Friedan

"La plus perdue de toutes journées est celle où l'on n'a pas ri." [The most wasted of all days is that when one did not laugh.] ~Chamfort, french writer of the 18th century.

[thx rpc]

“Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever.”

“Our world is fast succumbing to the activities of men and women who would stake the future of our species on beliefs that should not survive an elementary school education. That so many of us are still dying on account of ancient myths is as bewildering as it is horrible, and our own attachment to these myths, whether moderate or extreme, has kept us silent in the face of developments that could ultimately destroy us. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it was at any time in the past.”

“We live in an age in which most people believe that mere words— ‘Jesus,’ ‘Allah,’ ‘Ram’—can mean the difference between eternal torment and bliss everlasting. Considering the stakes here, it is not surprising that many of us occasionally find it necessary to murder other human beings for using the wrong magic words, or the right ones for the wrong reasons. How can any person presume to know that this is the way the universe works? Because it says so in our holy books.

How do we know that our holy books are free from error? Because the books themselves say so.

Epistemological black holes of this sort are fast draining the light from our world.”

“We live in a world of unimaginable surprises—from the fusion energy that lights the sun to the genetic and evolutionary consequences of this light’s dancing for eons upon the earth—and yet paradise conforms to our most superficial concerns with all the fidelity of a Caribbean cruise.

This is wondrously strange. If one didn’t know better, one would think that man, in his fear of losing all that he loves, had created heaven, along with its gatekeeper God, in his own image.”

~Sam Harris, The End of Faith

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Words of Aung San Suu Kyi

The value systems of those with access to power and of those far removed from such access cannot be the same. The viewpoint of the privileged is unlike that of the underprivileged.

Human beings the world over need freedom and security that they may be able to realize their full potential.

I think I should be active politically. Because I look upon myself as a politician. That's not a dirty word you know. Some people think that there is something wrong with politicians. Of course, something is wrong with some politicians.

It is often in the name of cultural integrity as well as social stability and national security that democratic reforms based on human rights are resisted by authoritarian governments.

Peace as a goal is an ideal which will not be contested by any government or nation, not even the most belligerent.

The democracy process provides for political and social change without violence.

The history of the world shows that peoples and societies do not have to pass through a fixed series of stages in the course of development.

The provision of basic material needs is not sufficient to make minority groups and indigenous peoples feel they are truly part of the greater national entity. For that they have to be confident that they too have an active role to play in shaping the destiny of the state that demands their allegiance.

The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social and economic aspirations.

Confidence-building is not something that can go on forever. If it goes on forever then it becomes counterproductive.

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