From the Light:
“I mean, if we had elected, say, a giant fronded barnacle from a geothermal vent, then, sure, I’d want to hear about it. For at least five minutes. Or maybe if we chose a hitherto-unknown tube worm. Though I grant we came pretty close last time. What’s the big deal about a black guy?”
“Yes, there may be modest or even significant adjustments in the implementation of the imperial agenda. Some of the most visible barbarities might end, or at least appear to. A certain superficial gentility might replace the pugnacious ignorance that characterized the Bush-era executive branch. Where the powers and purposes of the imperial state are concerned, however, these are merely cosmetic enhancements and refinements of technique; it's a bit like giving a cannibal a makeover and teaching him to use flatware.”
Will Grigg, on the Obama Era
“Randolph Bourne, famous for observing that war is the health of the state, might have gone further: war is not only the health of the state, but the health of democracy too. There is hardly any aspect of war that is unwelcome to the modern collectivist-democratic state. War justifies every desired measure for the expansion of state power; it necessitates the removal of all intermediaries among or between the state and individuals, families, or other natural human units. War exalts the collective and tends to kill, maim, humiliate, or corrupt the individual. War lends an air of sacralization to the modern positivist, humanist civic religion.”
“A real transfer of power is not simply a new name on the door. The plantation owner may sell the plantation, but the slaves are still enslaved.”
“Our politicized training – reinforced by media and government officials – leads most of us to believe that social order is the product of the conscious design of wise leaders, whom the political process allows us to identify and elect. In the face of the wars and economic collapse that are now destroying our world, it is difficult for intelligent men and women to any longer embrace such childlike thinking that is probably a carryover from a dependence on parental authority.”
“The cause of liberty is a cause of too much dignity to be sullied by turbulence and tumult. It ought to be maintained in a manner suitable to her nature. Those who engage in it should breathe a sedate, yet fervent spirit, animating them to actions of prudence, justice, modesty, bravery, humanity and magnanimity.”
John Dickinson (1732-1808)
“From the beginning, prominent Americans saw their nation as the chosen people, their government as destined to advance liberty through force, their faith in freedom and the dignity of man no less firm despite the exceptions made for those not in the establishment’s favor – whether they were American Indians, blacks, Catholics, Mexicans, Southern civilians, Chinese, Spanish, Cubans, Filipinos, Latin Americans, anarchists, war protestors, Germans, Japanese, Communists, Koreans, Vietnamese, drug users, Branch Davidians, Serbians or Muslims.”
“Economic reality is more than a brick wall. It is like the sea or the world's tallest mountain, or like the force of gravity itself. Economic forces pay no attention to the wishes of charismatic leaders and their throngs of adoring followers."
“Israel today is not the country once dreamed, in which Heidelberg professors escaped from Europe would work the soil with their hands on kibbutzim and play chess and the violin at night. It looks more like what the professors fled. Brutal conflicts breed brutal people. Atrocities engender counter- atrocities, extremists come to the fore, and military solutions seem the only solutions.”
“When normal human beings are in financial trouble they cut back on their spending, as they are doing now. The American polity, in its younger days, would naturally apply the same logic to government, but, in our dotage, we impart magical powers to the organs of the state, which can produce wealth out of thin air, with only the aid of a printing press. Oh, yes, we understand – albeit vaguely – that this is debt for future generations to pay. Yet we recall – even more vaguely – old bromides like "We owe it to ourselves," which are embedded in our collective memory like flies in amber, and we are reassured.”
From the Darkness:
"We have achieved a lot in hitting Hamas and its infrastructure, its rule and its armed wing, but there is still work ahead."
Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli Army
[1400 dead Gazans, 5,500 wounded; hundreds of children killed; 4,000 to 5,000 homes destroyed and 20,000 damaged – 14% of all buildings in Gaza; 50,000 or more homeless; 400,000 without water; 50 U.N. facilities, 21 medical facilities, 1,500 factories and workshops, and 20 mosques reportedly damaged or destroyed; smashed schools and university structures; obliterated government buildings; an estimated almost two billion dollars in damage- and you’re just getting started?]
“Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry. It is to help America's automakers prepare for the future."
El Presidente Obama, holder of all knowledge.
"I want to be clear from the beginning of this administration that we have made our choice: America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes and a warming planet."
President Obama [How does a planet hold you hostage?]
"The scientists are practically screaming from the rooftops. This is a planetary emergency. It's outside the scale we're used to dealing with."
Al Gore, doing his Chicken Little routine to a Senate committee.
“We are moving the ship of state in a new direction.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Obama’s $825 billion pork bill.