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Last Updated:
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 08:43:30 PM



Thoughts for Today
Collected by Wes Penre

January 2006

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Thoughts Archives

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January 31.

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
Thomas Jefferson, 1799

January 30.

"People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster."
James Baldwin Biography - Fiction Writer, Essayist, Social Critic, 1924-1987

January 29.

"Only two things ever stop the government from doing anything: money and politics"
Bradley Whitford on "The West Wing " (Reader's Digest)

January 28.

"My early choice in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."
Harry S. Truman (Reader's Digest)

January 27.

"Being President is a lot like running a cemetery. You've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
Bill Clinton (Reader's Digest)

January 26.

Jay Leno

"I looked up the word politics in the dictionary. It's actually a combination of two words: poli, which means many, and tics, which means bloodsuckers."
Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" (Reader's Digest)

January 25.

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

January 24.

"Truth is the enemy of the State
The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political,
economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State. "
George W. Bush
No, sorry, it should be:
Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels,
Nazi Minister of Propaganda 

January 23.

"This great and powerful force-the accumulated wealth of the United States-has taken over all the functions of Government, Congress, the issue of money, and banking and the army and navy in order to have a band of mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property."
Senator Richard Pettigrew - Triumphant Plutocracy  - Published, January 1, 1922. 

January 22.

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

January 21.

"The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890, Painter)

January 20.

"A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you."
Ramsey Clark - U. S. Attorney General: Source: New York Times, 2 October 1977

January 19.

"If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."
George Orwell - [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author

January 18.

"I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it."
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) - Source: The Age of Reason, 1783

January 17.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader

January 16.

"Patriotism in its simplest, clearest and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, conscience, and a slavish enthralment to those in power"
Leo Tolstoy - Demanding the Impossible: a History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall (Fontana Press 1992) p374

 January 15.

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

January 14.

"One of the things that bothers me most is the growing belief in the country that security is more important than freedom. It ain't."
 Lyn Nofziger [Franklyn C. Nofziger] Press Secretary for President Reagan

January 13.

"If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time."
Abraham Lincoln - (1809 -1865) 16th US President

January 12.

"War creates peace like hate creates love"
David L. Wilson

January 11.

"When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe; he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime."
Thomas Paine: "The Age of Reason" 1793

January 10.

"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world."
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918- ) Russian writer, Soviet dissident, imprisoned for 8 years for criticizing Stalin in a personal letter, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1970

January 09.

"There is, however, a somber point in the social outlook of Americans.
Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of
white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am
clearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the
attitude of the 'Whites' toward their fellow-citizens of darker
complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the
more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it
only by speaking out.

"Many a sincere person will answer: 'Our attitude towards Negroes is the
result of unfavorable experiences which we have had by living side by side
with Negroes in this country. They are not our equals in intelligence,
sense of responsibility, reliability.'

"I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal
misconception. Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes
by force; and in the white man's quest for wealth and an easy life they
have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The
modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain
this unworthy condition."
Albert Einstein
"The Negro Question"

January 08.

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

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

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

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

"You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father.....could never have imagined."
Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) 

January 07.

"Our job this day is to become part of the answer to the world's immense and protracted suffering rather than continuing our ancient task of being part of the difficulty."
Hugh Prather - Author, minister

January 06.

"The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence."
Elbert Hubbard  (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)

January 05.

"Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters"
African Proverb

January 04.

"I'm not sure what weapons will be used in World War III, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Albert Einstein

January 03.

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear
Albert Camus

January 02.

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

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


January 01.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
John Kenneth Galbraith

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