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This page is dedicated to insightful
thoughts pertinent to our times, perhaps more so than we care to
acknowledge. We will post additional quotes every so
state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.
All we are saying is: give
peace a chance.
The essence of so-called war
prosperity; it enriches some by what it takes from others. It is not rising
wealth but a shifting of wealth and income.
Strike against war, for
without you no battles can be fought!
War is a racket. It is the
only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are
reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put
your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the
In order to rally people,
governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally
Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk
Military justice is to justice
what military music is to music.
Our country is now geared to
an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an
incessant propaganda of fear.
Terrorism is the war of the
poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
An army of principles can
penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
Liberty and democracy become
unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.
We will bankrupt ourselves in
the vain search for absolute security.
Before the war is ended, the
war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war
as unpatriotic and cowardly.
Robert M. La Follette
the business of barbarians.
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
$1,000.' 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
$1,000.' 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 a $1,000, we call that a campaign contribution. We
should call it a bribe.
Janice Fine, Dollars and Sense
Private gain from
public life at the national level is legal and not uncommon in the United
States, and those in or around government officialdom in Washington
would be shocked if anyone had the temerity to refer to it as
'corruption'. It's rather just 'business' and 'how things work'... There
is no no shortage of evidence that, despite the annual applause for all of the
anti-corruption mechanisms in place in these United States, so-called legal
corruption abounds. What is perhaps more interesting is the lack of candor in
public discourse today--indeed, the palpable denial, the false conceit--about
the state of corruption in America. Our politicians perpetually lie to
us and we so badly want to believe them.
from: "A Climate of Legal Corruption", by
Charles Lewis, former Executive Director of The Center for
Public Integrity. www.publicintegrity.org
In the First
Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must
have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to
serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censure
the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure
the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the
secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and
unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And
paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent
any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to
distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and
Justice Black, NYT v. U.S. 403 US
Peace and Justice
It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in
it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at
I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of
justice and liberality.
At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human
stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice
and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism, and proselytizing zeal on behalf of
religious or political idols.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the
loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with
Edward R. Murrow
Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the
conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the
voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate
the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the
democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism--ownership of
government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
A slave is he who cannot speak his
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are
not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor;
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 defense of custom...
I certainly understand the need to
balance the federal budget, but people need to remember that to balance
the federal budget off the backs of the poorest people in the country is
simply unacceptable. You don't pull feeding tubes from people. You don't pull
the wheelchair out from under the child with muscular
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on a bipartisan
lobbying effort by governors to stave off federal cuts in
Few of us can easily surrender our
belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought
that the STATE has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is
intolerable. And so the evidence
has to be internally denied.
Arthur Miller, Playwright
Nobody made a greater mistake than
he who did nothing because he could only do a
The welfare of the people in
particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides
the further advantage of giving
the servants of tyranny a good conscience.
The Roots of
Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without
character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship
without sacrifice, politics without principles.
never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and
everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal.'
Martin Luther King,
government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition,
it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly
repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens
and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
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.
former U.S. Attorney General
threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in
accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from
terrorism but from laws such as these.
Lord Hoffman, Britain's Highest Court, who ruled
against indefinite detention of terror
On one's Conduct toward others
...to do injustice is a greater evil, and to suffer it a
lesser one. With what then, shall a man provide himself to secure this double
advantage: insurance from doing wrong and from suffering it ? Is it
power that he needs, or will-power ? What I mean is this: can a man
escape from being wronged merely by willing to escape it, or may he escape it
by acquiring power to prevent it ?
Plato, from Gorgias; Socrates in discourse with
(section 510), W.C. Helmbold translation,
In discourse with the philosopher Socrates, the Greek
citizen Thrasymachus posits the view that 'might makes right', that the
ruler imposes his 'rights' by sheer force, that in a society-- justice or right,
is that which is defined by the stronger, by those in power.
Socrates disagrees in this way:
...the art of medicine does not study its own interest, but
the needs of the body, just as a groom shows his skill by caring for horses,
not for the art of grooming. And so every art seeks, not its own
advantage--for it has no deficiencies--but the interest of the subject on
which it is exercised...no art ever studies or enjoins the interest of the
superior or stronger party, but always that of the weaker over which it has
authority... and so with government of any kind: no ruler, in so far as he is
acting as ruler, will study or enjoin what is for his own interest. All
that he says and does will be said and done with a view to what is good and
proper for the subject for whom he practices his art.
Plato, from the Republic; Socrates in discourse with
Part I (Book I, Ch. 3), Francis Cornford's translation
Our Father, who has set a restlessness
in our hearts and made us all seekers
after that which we can never fully find, forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life.
Draw us from base content and set our
eyes on far-off goals. Keep us
at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength.
Deliver us from fretfullness and self-pitying; make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden
good in the world. Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us
and our hearts to the loveliness men
hide from us because we do not try to
understand them. Save us from
ourselves and show us a vision of a
world made new.
Eleanor Roosevelt's nightly prayer
(from Elliott Roosevelt and James Brough, Mother
R., New York, Putnam's Sons 1977, p. 151)
The Idiocy of War
...every expression of life must serve only the preservation
of existence, and is absolutely focused on that. All else is banished... in
the quiet hours when the puzzling reflection of former days like a blurred
mirror, projects beyond me the figure of my present existence, I often
sit over against myself, as before a stranger, and wonder how the
unnamable active principle that calls itself to life has adapted itself even
to this form... life is simply one continual watch against the menace of
death;--it has transformed us into unthinking animals in order to give us the
weapon of instinct--it has reinforced us with dullness, so that we do not go
to pieces before the horror, which would overwhelm us if we had clear,
conscious thought... we are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls
against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and
sometimes almost go out. Then the muffled roar of the battle becomes a
ring that encircles us, we creep in upon ourselves, and with big eyes stare
into the night.
...if we go back we will be weary, broken, burnt out, rootless
and without hope. We will not be able to find our way any more. And men
will not understand us--for the generation that grew up before us, though it
has passed these years with us already had a home and a calling; now it will
return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten--and the
generations that grew up after us will be strange to us and push us
aside. We will be superfluous even to ourselves...
Excerpts from the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front,
by Erich Maria Remarque
If we are to
preserve our democracy, these are not times to retreat, but to advance the
cause of civil rights.
The USA v. NJ (1981) Judge H. Lee
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and will never
It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.
Tom Stoppard, Dramatist
If the people of this country can be reached with the truth,
their judgment will be in favor of the many, as against the privileged few.
Man's capacity for evil, makes democracy necessary, and man's
capacity for good makes democracy possible.
Reinhold Niebuhr, Theologian
The world stands in more need of justice than charity, and
indeed it is the want of justice, that renders charity everywhere so
Benjamin Rush, U.S. Surgeon
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely
according to conscience, above all liberties.
John Milton, Writer
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to
George Orwell, Novelist
Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
Jean J. Rousseau, Philosopher
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out
the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Such men feel in conscience bound to ask of this nation three
things: 1. The right to vote; 2. Civic equality; and 3. The education of youth
according to ability... I sit with Shakespeare and he winces
not. Across the color-line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas... I
summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all
graciously with no scorn or condescension. So wed with truth, I dwell
above the Veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America
? Is this the life you long to change into the dull red hideousness of
Georgia ? Are you so afraid lest peering from this Pisgah, between
Philistine and Amalekite, we sight the Promised Land ?
W.E.B. DuBois, from The Souls of Black Folk
ON THE BIRTH OF
We stand for the maintenance of private property... We shall
protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible
Fascism should more appropriately be called
Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of
human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is shattering to
pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere or sinking in the depths of the sea,
materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable,
and hence in the long run, too intelligent... a general state of scarcity
increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the
distinction between one group and another... And at the same time the
consequence of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over
of power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of
George Orwell, excerpts from the novel: 1984,
published in 1949
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his
country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and
woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this
consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the
triumph... I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength
from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little
minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience
approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine, from: The American
I think we are blind, blind but seeing, blind people who can
see, but do not see.
Jose Saramago, Nobel Laureate/Literature, from the novel
When the trumpets had sounded and all was in readiness on the
face of the Earth, Jehovah divided his universe: Anaconda, Ford Motors,
Coca-Cola Inc., and similar entities: the most succulent item of all, the
United Fruit Company Incorporated reserved for itself: the heartland and
coasts of my country, the delectable waist of America. They rechristened
their properties: the "Banana Republics"-- and over the languishing dead, the
uneasy repose of the heroes who harried that greatness, their flags and their
freedoms, they established an opera bouffe: they ravished all
enterprise, awarded the laurels like Caesars, unleashed all the covetous, and
contrived the tyrannical Reign of the Flies-- Trujillo the fly, and Tacho
the fly, the flies called Carias, Martinez, Ubico -- all of them flies, flies
dank with the blood of their marmalade vassalage, flies buzzing drunkenly on
the populous middens: the fly-circus fly and the scholarly kind, case-hardened
Poet, excerpt from the prose poem: The
United Fruit Company
Last updated March 04, 2011
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