Political philosophy is not something that I often discuss with other
than a few friends and family, and others who may be likely to agree with me.
I am not usually up to political debate with those who are unlikely to understand (or even willing to
listen to) my perspective. It takes a lot of work to change a mind set, and I am usually
not up to the task. This is especially true when the discussion necessitates tearing
off the mask of the status quo - that false security that most cling to in order to
feel some sense of order in their world.
My constant research of current events, however, does not allow me any piece of mind in keeping silent.
This post is brought on
by the importance of the issues at Abu Ghraib in
Iraq, as well as
the steady erosion of human ideals that most of us cherish, and the actions of a
presidential administration filled with oil and energy people who believe that
any means justify the end result.
The common phrase is, of course, "the ends justifies the
means". I turned this phrase around
intentionally because, as this administration’s political spin is played out,
the means wind up justifying the end, which is consistently some perpetual
carrot-on-a-stick in a continuously evasive future whose outcome is dependant on
whatever means are in play at the current moment. If these comments make
you feel like rallying in defense of the president, please read on.
The spin is necessary because no means can be justified (accepted as
morally correct) by a bad end. To
paraphrase philosopher Mortimer Adler; for the end to justify the means, the
means must serve the end. If the
end is truly a morally justified "good" end, the means can not harm it in any
way. The goodness of the goal would
be corrupted, and thus, would not be a good end. If an action is morally wrong, it cannot
serve a good end. You can build a
good looking car with bad parts, but it's not going to get you from
New York to LA.
“I call on all governments to join with the
and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and
prosecuting all acts of torture.”
These are the words of George W. Bush, last June, as he extolled the
moral virtues of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “We are
leading this fight by example”, he said.
In the light of recent discoveries of the torture and abuse of
“detainees” at the hands of
perhaps we should have asked “what kind of example?”
States is being run by an administration that
increasingly can neither justify the ends or the means, yet continually
spoon-feeds Congress and the American public with cover-ups, lies and spin that
is not so easily swallowed by the rest of the world. The recent disclosures of torture and
abuse of prisoners ( I don’t have to be politically correct – they are
prisoners ) in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Cuba is only one example of the arrogance of a republic who
demands compliance from the rest of the world to protocols it does not seem to
find necessary to comply with itself.
Ask the Iraqi mother, incarcerated after a neighborhood security roundup,
who has been sitting for months in prison; whose name or any other type of
identification was never recorded; who has no idea where her children are or
whether her husband is still alive.
Ask her what she thinks of her “liberators”.
Do I know that such a woman exists? No. But the probability is extremely
high. Similar complaints were
shouted out to reporters from prison cells at Abu Ghraib as they were led
through the prison for the first time last week, and it is now known that
hundreds of prisoners have never even been put on the books – many of them women
Family (let alone reporters) are not allowed to visit these
prisoners. The Red Cross has been
let in, yet their complaints of abuse and possible torture, dating back to July of
2003, then again on the 6th of November, after an October
investigation, were ignored by Military Command, who did not act upon the
reports. The practices continued
unabated, until one young, brave, soldier, U.S. Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby,
complained to his superiors in January.
An investigation was launched in mid-January, and kept quiet, until the
photos were leaked recently to the news media.
I listened this morning (May 19th) to Gen. John Abizaid, head
of U.S. Central Command, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, top
Iraq, tell the
Senate Armed Services Committee that they accept responsibility for the abuse of
Iraqi prisoners in
custody. The sincerity of these
individuals was almost believable with one very important exception. Both men say they only became aware of
the abuse through media reports. We
are to believe that General Sanchez ordered an investigation on January 19th, 2004 ( http://www.npr.org/iraq/2004/prison_abuse_report.pdf
), yet was not aware of the abuse until it came
out in the media????
According to General Abizaid, when the February, 2004 report came in was
when he learned that the November 6th Red Cross report had been
delivered to the Brigade Commander at Abu Ghraib, and apparently never went
anywhere from there. The commander,
however, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, has a quite different story to tell. She
says she warned her superiors from the first about the ill-treatment of Iraqi
prisoners. As commander of the Army Reserve's 800th Military Police Brigade, she
oversaw the guards at
those at Saddam Hussein's former torture center at Abu Ghraib. The trouble was,
Karpinski says, she didn't have enough troops or resources to do the job right,
and the men at the top ignored her complaints. "They just wanted it to go away,"
she told Newsweek magazine.
It is interesting to note that, with congressional and
military investigations going on, no one seems to be asking questions of the
military intelligence personnel who had been placed in charge, by General
Abizaid, with exclusive control of this wing of the prison where the worst
cases of abuse took place. In fact,
from November on, the entire prison was placed under control of military
intelligence, severely limiting the command of General Karpinski.
States is a great country. We have created a prosperous, advanced
industrial civilization that has shown great compassion not only for its own
people, but for people throughout the world. American aid has fed the starving,
helped countries to industrialize, brought medicine and medical knowledge to the
far corners of the world, and, most importantly, paraded an ideal for the rest
of the world to admire and look up to.
We have encouraged the rest of the world to believe that this ideal
exists; leading many to consider that becoming an American citizen is next to
Nirvana right here on Earth. This
great country has also advanced the procurement and use of chemical weapons and
nuclear technology throughout the world, shown a highly inconsistent political
policy where it is obvious that we are only after our own ends, polluted the
world's oceans, and consumed a vast majority of the world's resources, many of
which are reaching critical levels of scarcity. We are not the great country that we
purport to be. But we can and should be. At the very least, we should be
consciously and systematically trying to be.
On of our presidents stated that the greatest influence and responsibility of the office of the
presidency is to bind together and keep strong the moral fabric of the country.
I believe this axiom also applies to America and the world. The
United States of America is in a unique position in the known
history of civilization. We have
the opportunity and, perhaps, the responsibility to be a guiding force for the
rest of the world. We did not reach
that opportunity by accident. This
country was founded by people with great ideals. It continued to grow and prosper based
on those ideals, and despite its' flaws of racial injustice and the dire shadow
of the military-industrial complex, those ideals continue to prevail in the
hearts and minds of not only the American people, but many people throughout the
world. It has become our duty to
pursue those ideals with all the integrity we can muster.
Each and every one of us has the
responsibility to see that those ideals of self-worth and the sanctity of
individual freedom and integrity continue to prevail.
In that, we are failing miserably. We are so bound up in our consumerist
mentality of survival that we are losing scope of the very fabric of human
existence. As a friend, and a great
poet, Billy Sandiford, once said, “This is the first civilization in known
history that has begun to degrade before it even established a
The problem did not begin, nor will it end with the current
circumstances, however, place us at a critical point in world leadership, and
the misguided, distorted, ignorant, arrogant and self-serving mind set of George
W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and others has done damage, in a very short amount of
time, that will take many years to repair.
Some will never forgive. Our
actions in the Middle East represent a deplorable lack of
respect for other cultures and peoples.
Instead of using the catastrophic events of 9/11 to unify the world in
the fight against terrorism at a rare moment when we had most of the world on
our side, once again, we pursued our own questionable goals and alienated many
of our allies.
I have great respect for our people in the military.
We require a lot from these folks,
including the possibility of sacrificing their lives without questioning the
reason. This is something I,
personally, am not willing to do and I am greatly humbled by those who possess that kind
of muster. When I was of draft age, during the Vietnam War, I made it well known
that I was more willing to go to prison than to fight and risk my life in a war
for which I could find no justifiable end, let alone means or reason.
My draft board apparently choose to
ignore me, rather than make me another "martyr" for the cause, and the FBI kept
track of me for a few years to make sure I wasn't going to do something that
would destroy the country by making people think about what the hell we were
doing over there! I will always be
grateful and respectful of the men and women of the military who are willing to
sacrifice their personal thoughts, desires, emotions and weaknesses to become a
part of a well-oiled military machine.
That is what is required of a combatant soldier. It just won't work any
other way. A defensive force is a
thing of necessity, and it requires that kind of discipline.
I believe in a strong defense. I am not a complete pacifist who
believes in getting run over by a train just because I think I am on the right
That dedication to ideals; that discipline; that integrity of commitment
of our men and women in the armed forces deserves great respect.
It also deserves our protection. We are all responsible for the lives and
the safety and the well being of our service people.
It is our duty to see that they do not
go off to die or be maimed or psychologically damaged for questionable
reasons. It is also our duty to see
that they are not experimented on or ordered to commit acts that go beyond
international law or their own, or our own, moral principles.
Finally, I believe we have a
responsibility to the rest of the world to stand behind the ideal of
stands for freedom, individualism, and the sanctity and respect for life and
Given the discipline and the strict adherence to chain-of-command in our
military, are we to believe that these young military people just decided on
their own to go bonkers on the prisoners at Abu Ghraib?
If you believe that one, I've got some
prime Afghan real estate to sell you.
Are the military personnel involved in the atrocities at Abu Ghraib
responsible for their actions? Yes,
they are. They have the right to
refuse an unlawful order. That
refusal would not be without its consequences, however, and the structure of
military discipline goes against the grain of refusing to obey an officer.
Personally, I could care less about
those particular individuals. My
defense of them derives from a long history of abuse of our military personnel
by the upper chain of command, and this one goes all the way to the White House
… and beyond – to the Intelligence community - those organizations who do not
seem to have to answer to anybody.
It is not my intention here to describe all the details. For a series of
very informative articles on Abu Ghraib, see the
New Yorker Magazine Articles on Abu Ghraib.
Here, among other facts, you will find comments on a 53-page report
compiled by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, completed in late February and not
meant for public release, as well as interrogation procedures sent down from the
Bush administration who determined that we did not need to pay any attention to
the Geneva Convention. These orders
were then instigated by Donald Rumsfeld during the invasion of Afghanistan,
against complaints by State Department attorneys.
According to reports, these policies were then
brought to Iraq last summer as a means of propagating better intelligence.
The Pentagon says the articles are "outlandish, conspiratorial, and
filled with error and anonymous conjecture." You decide.
Taguba’s entire 53 page report (also listed above) is available on
National Public Radio’s web site at http://www.npr.org/iraq/2004/prison_abuse_report.pdf
It is not my intention, to describe here the abhorrent history of
U.S. policies in
the Middle East.
But this history is one that every American should be aware
If you have not done so, read the history of the area, from the
Ottoman Empire forward, for an understanding of the
culture and the tribal/religious wars that have gone on in the Middle
East for centuries.
Read the struggles of British rule in
Iraq from 1917
to 1958 and notice that there is little basic difference in what we are dealing
with there today. Perhaps, if you
do not understand already, you will begin to understand how we have made
ourselves a victim of this ignorant Islamic warfare, rather than a seed of
Understand why OPEC was formed (after multiple pleas from Middle Eastern
states for U.S. and other foreign oil companies to give back some of their then
huge profits from Middle Eastern oil to provide educational and other help to
third-world countries) and how it came to be that Laili Helms, the niece, by
marriage, of former CIA director Richard Helms was, even after Osama bin Laden
had been found guilty of attacks on U.S. embassies, and up until just a few
months before 9/11, the publicity agent and international lobbyist for the
Discover the facts behind the Saudi fundamentalist networks, the
financing of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the oil companies’ attempts to build a
the reason George Bush wanted the Al-Qaeda-Saudi-Arabian connection
Read former CBS correspondent Daniel Shorr's book,
"Clearing the Air",
for an understanding of why you don't get the real news from the U.S. media.
Try to find real information (you won't) on the NSA (National Security
Administration). Read the history of that highly compartmentalized organization
and discover how it came to be that a civilian agency exists that has 22
top-secret security levels above the President or anyone in Congress.
Discover how, although we have created oversight agencies such as
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and The Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), as well as the President's Intelligence
Oversight Board (IOB) and the Congressional Oversight Committees (both Senate
and House of Representatives), attempts by congressional committees dating back
to the 1950's (read the congressional records) have fallen short in obtaining an
accurate accounting of the activities and expenditures of the NSA, which has a
reported (hidden costs are said by many to be much higher) annual budget of $3.5
billion. (Does this make you wonder who's running this country?)
Read Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech and his comments on the
Research the suppression of Cold Fusion and other energy technologies and
the mysterious deaths of some of the world’s best scientists and inventors in
the energy field.
All of the information above is available in bookstores, public
libraries, and the Internet. You
need only to do the research. I can
list all kinds of information here on these subjects and more, but I will
probably be dismissed by many (if I haven't been already) as an alarmist and
conspiratorialist, of which I am neither. I am a person who has done, and
continues to do, a modest amount of research - enough to know that we are being
lied to and it is not for our own good, or the good of others on this
I disdain most conspiracy theorists - those people who are more than willing to
draw conspiracies out of thin air or partial facts, allowing no room for the
possibility of simple human error. When one begins to theorize without a full
collection of the facts, or consideration of human mistakes, bad judgement, or
misguided philosophies, the inevitable tendancy is to bend the facts to fit the
theory. This should be the other way around.
I am not saying that I totally dismiss the possibility and the probability of
conspiracies (conspiracy: “An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or
subversive act”) – it only takes two. As psychologists Robert Robins and Jerrold Post
point out, "political paranoia is seldom a complete delusion". More often than not,
however, our problems stem from arrogance, ignorance, human error, fear, prejudice
and misjudgment, which all wrap up into some very ignorant and misguided beliefs and
philosophies. Some of these all too human weaknesses in our leaders have created
monsters that are out of our control, and if we don't wake up to that fact, they will
destroy us and our idealistic society.
Beyond the scope of this article, but worth mentioning here,
if you really want to read about very real conspiracies, read up on the
Bank for International Settlements
(BIS), the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) (and how it launders your tax dollars through the BIS),
The World Bank, international
trade agreements and other recent moves toward "Globalization".
Get past the conspiracy fanatics to the real facts, which are, today,
pretty much in the open and just as scary as anyone's imagination can
This government is supposed to be run "by the people, for the
people". Folks - if you're not
aware of this - it ain't! Somehow,
if it is not too late, the monster we have created needs to be destroyed. I
don't pretend to have the solution.
What I do know is that if we don't, individually, become more aware, we
are doomed as a society. I also
know, speaking as a former member of the news media, we will not get the
information we need from that source.
Fortunately, we still live in a free society, where a wealth of
information is readily available, if we will simply look for it.
Be sure to read both sides of the issue.
The truth is obvious. Don't take my word for that - do the research. The
truth is obvious.
I have not listed a bunch of statistics here because it would do little
good. Some would agree, and
be amazed by the facts. Others would dismiss it as fanaticism.
Instead I am trying to encourage you to
research the facts yourself. If you
do, you will know the degree to which we are being misled and, hopefully, you
will understand the need to encourage others to understand.
It is our responsibility, as citizens of
the earth, to be aware of what is going on around us.
That awareness is also necessary for our
own self-preservation as a society.
One can take the spiritual standpoint that civilization is like a leaf on
a tree - it grows and becomes green, and, in the end falls off its branch and
decomposes. The tree of existence
lives on. The energy that gave the
leaf its' life is never lost - it simply changes form.
I believe that theory.
I believe that existence on this earth
is a temporary learning experience and that what "we" are is more than we can
imagine. I also believe while we
are here, we have a responsibility to be the best human beings that we can be. I
believe we have a responsibility to open the doors to harmonious existence with
nature and one another, and I believe that is possible. These beliefs are not lofty
ideals or "flowery" viewpoints to relegate to naive philosophy - they are necessary
components of human survival in an increasingly complex environment.
I hope that this small attempt to encourage others to explore the
actualities of the situation around us is expressed well enough that it will be
passed on, and that, in some minuscule way, it will help to make the world a
Respect the existence of authority - and question
it. It is your responsibility as a
member of a free society. Research
the available information on the transgressions at Abu Ghraib, and understand
why we cannot let these military personnel be used as scapegoats for an arrogant
mentality that believes that their "end" is the only "end" that has any
validity, and that whatever it takes to achieve that end is of little
consequence. Understand the
importance of this issue and its' effect on the Arab world, as well as our own, and understand too,
that this is only one example of American arrogance that needs to change.
Lastly, forgive the perpetrators of this
arrogant philosophy. Yes, forgive
them. For they know not what they do.
The atrocities at Abu Ghraib (and
Guantanamo) are the result of an
atmosphere that goes beyond the White House.
The Bush administration, with it’s'
"ends justifies the means" policies simply allows that atmosphere to
flourish. We need strong leaders
with a worldly view - people who have the depth of understanding and respect of
culture extolled by leaders like UN Secretary General Kofi Annan http://www.un.org/News/ossg/sg/,
or former presidential candidate General Wesley Clark http://securingamerica.com/
. We need leaders who understand
that true spiritual beliefs (be they Christian or otherwise) leave no room for
antagonism or a sense of superiority.
We need a strong defense against barbaric, misguided mentalities, without
supporting a military and intelligence community mad with arrogance and
power. Most of all, we need to understand that we are on the brink of losing our
power in the world, and this mentally will surely be our downfall.
Let us all strive to be a part of the solution.
May, 2005 - For an update on Abu Ghraib, see Seymoure Hersh's Update
I cannot resist concluding with a few quotes:
President Truman on the creation of the CIA:
"I think that it was a mistake. And if I'd known what was going to
happen, I never would have done it.... But it got out of hand.... Now as nearly
as I can make out, those fellows in the CIA don't just report on wars and the
like, they go out and make their own and there is nobody to keep track of what
they are up to. They spend billions of dollars on stirring up trouble so they
will have something to report on. They've become . . . it's become a government
of all its own and all secret. They just don't have to report to anybody. . . .
The people have got a right to know what those birds are up to.
. . . You've got to keep an
eye on the military at all times, and it doesn't matter whether it's the birds
in the Pentagon or the birds in the CIA."
“This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation
… and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it and we’re going to hamper our
military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a
good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking
about people having a good time. These people, you ever heard of emotional
release? You heard of the need to blow some steam off?”
-- Talk show host Rush Limbaugh
commenting on the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib
(See the full article: “Missing Doctrines: Moral Clarity
Pragmatism (Middle East)” )
"In November, 1983, then Secretary if State George P. Shultz reportedly
was told that Iraqi troops used chemical weapons almost daily in their war with
information did not stop the Reagan Administration from dispatching a special
envoy to Iraq
(Donald Rumsfeld, then a private citizen) for the purpose of establishing full
diplomatic relations with the well-known Iraqi butcher and slaughterer Saddam.
Iraq was removed
from the list of terrorist nations (in 1979 President Carter had placed Saddam
on the list), and Saddam began a thriving business with American firms. They
sold him chemicals and high-tech equipment with dual civilian military uses,
even cluster bombs through a Chilean front. In the 1980s the U.S. Center for
Disease Control sold to
Iraq strains of
all the germs
Iraq used to
make chemical weapons using anthrax, botulinum and gangrene. In the same era,
the U.S. Government, using American taxpayers money, approved $4 billion in
agricultural and other commercial loans to Saddam's terrorist machinery."
"In 1986 President Reagan sent a secret message to Saddam Hussein telling
him that Iraq
should step up its air war and bombing of
President Bush communicated this message to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in
turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein."
"In the course of the Gulf War, the U.S. encouraged the Iraqi Kurds to
rise up against Saddam Hussein, but once access to Kuwaiti and Saudi oil was
secure and billions of dollars in arms contracts were signed with naïve and
paranoid Arab countries in the region, the U.S. and its Gulf War allies signed a
cease fire with Iraq and then stood aside, allowing thousands of Iraqi Kurds to
be slaughtered by Saddam's oppressive Republican Guard."
"During the Iran-Iraq War, G8 and other UN members stood aside and
watched as thousands of Iraqi Kurds (in Halabcheh , etc.) and thousands of
Iranian soldiers were poisoned to death or permanently injured by Saddam's
chemical weapons, the same chemical weapons that the U.S., Germany, and other
Western World countries had provided him!"
ended in 1988, Saddam Hussein was able to purchase biological products for at
least four more years. The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological
exports to Iraq
between 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of
anthrax, sent by the American Type Culture Collection. Shipments continued
beyond the Reagan Administration under President Bush."
conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned
that they wouldn’t want to leave.”
-- General Janis Karpinski –
of the prison at Abu Ghraib, in a December, 2003 interview with the St.
It's a problem here how to get into touch with the Shiahs, not the tribal
people in the country; we're on intimate terms with all of them, but the grimly
devout citizens of the holy towns and more especially the leaders of religious
opinion, the Mujtahids, who can loose and bind with a word by authority which
rests on an intimate acquaintance with accumulated knowledge entirely irrelevant
to human affairs and worthless in any branch of human activity. There they sit
in an atmosphere which reeks of antiquity and is so thick with the dust of ages
that you can't see through it -- nor can they. And for the most part they are
very hostile to us, a feeling we can't alter…There's a group of these worthies
in Kadhimain, the holy city, 8 miles from Baghdad, bitterly pan-Islamic,
anti-British…Chief among them are a family called Sadr, possibly more
distinguished for religious learning than any other family in the whole Shiah
-- Gertrude Bell – One of the British Nationals sent To Iraq after World
War I to help establish that country after the French and British divided up the
map of the former Ottoman Empire. This was written on March 14th, 1920.
In 1917, British General Frederick Stanley Maude made the following
statement in Bagdad:
"Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or
enemies, but as liberators. . . . It is [not] the wish of [our] government to
impose upon you alien institutions."
(The Iraqis revolted in 1920 in bloody battles where thousands of lives
were lost on both sides. They never
successfully rid themselves of the British, however, until 1958.)
government has apparently not the slightest appreciation about the nature or
functioning of the Shi'ite community. It was clear from the very beginning that
for Washington, a Shi'ite was a
Shi'ite was a Shi'ite. Dating back to the Iran-Iraq war, the
assumed that the Shi'ites in
natural allies of the Shi'ites in
learned that things were not so simplistic but the complexity of the Shi'ite
world never filtered up to the White House-neither in Democratic nor Republican
“This blind spot has led to the unwarranted assumption that if Shi'ites
were to run a post-conflict Iraqi government, they would install an
"Iranian-style theocracy" in
Iraq, to quote
Vice President Dick Cheney. Both Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
have said repeatedly that the fundamentalist Shi'ites will be prevented from
“The Coalition Provisional council was said to be "balanced" with twelve
Shi'ites and thirteen others. However six of the twelve Shi'ites are émigrés
with no support in the Shi'ite community. Even if a political figure is
nominally a Shi'ite, he or she has to have some way to garner the loyalty of
followers in the community. Confessional identity is never enough in and of
itself. Ahmad Chalabi, who misled the United States repeatedly in planning for
the invasion, and who has zero credibility with Iraqis, was touted as a future
leader of Iraq in editorials in the Wall Street Journal by Bernard Lewis, this
administration's apparent house "expert" on things Islamic. One of Chalabi's
supposed credentials was that he was a Shi'ite.”
-- William O. Beeman; Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of
Middle East Studies at
Brown University. Read the entire text, as posted by the
U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/2004/may/beemanMay04.asp
Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's
gonna happen?...It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
--Barbara Bush, "Good Morning America," the day before the Iraq war started
"September the 4th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the twin towers.
Its a day I will never forget." -- George W Bush - October 18th, 2001
Other Favorite Quotes:
Sam Nunn: Ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations:
"We have the continuing opportunity and responsibility to demonstrate to
ourselves, and indeed the world, that our ideas of liberty, our ideas of
justice, our ideas of equality, our ideas of human rights and dignity, can all
be made to work right here in America."
"How can we escape from the trap that the terrorists have set for us?
Only by recognizing that the war on terrorism cannot be won by waging war.
We must, of course, protect our security; but we must also correct the grievances on which terrorism feeds.
Crime requires police work, not military action.
We can criticize our government - we can change our government - and in due course, we will correct the wrong."
-- George Soros
Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a
destiny." -- Charles
"Most people think the future is the ends and the present is the means.
In fact, the present is the ends and the future the means."
-- Fritz Roethilisberger
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing
himself." --- Leo Tolstoy
"The only people who get away with spending other peoples money are
children, thieves and the government. They all need adult supervision." -
I don't believe in miracles - I rely on them
-- Albert Einstein
"As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a
philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a
conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical
deliberation -- or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted
conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested
slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but
integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into
a single, solid weight; self doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where
your mind's wings should have grown." -- Ayn Rand
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by
stupidity" -- Hanlon’s
Americans are willing to go to enormous trouble and expense defending
their principles with arms - very little time and expense advocating them with
words. Temperamentally, we are willing to die for certain principles (or, in the
case of overripe adults, send youngsters to die), but we show little inclination
to advertise the reasons for dying. - E.B. White
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." – Mahatma
The person who won't think has no advantage over one who can't. -- Paul
It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough
facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not
succeed, become scientists. -- Knut Schmidt-Neilson
It is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity. -
Truth never damages a cause that is just. – Mahatma Gandhi
Great spirits have always found opposition from mediocrities. The latter
cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary
prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. -- Albert
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us
with reason, sense and intellect has intended for us to forgo their use.
- Galileo Galilei
"I love a dog; he does nothing for political reasons." -- Will
“If you never let yourself be your own enemy, you won't have any.”
A hallmark of adult intelligence is the balance between great drive, self
discipline, caring, and cooperation.
Consumerism is fed by the absence of wonder. – BL
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have
come because you have found that your liberation is bound up with mine, then let
us work together." -- Words of an aboriginal Australian woman
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some
blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to
be encumbered with your old nonsense." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can.
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That
way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes! –
We pardon in the degree that we love.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have
guns, why should we let them have ideas." -- Joseph Stalin
Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up
and hurry off as if nothing happened.
-- Winston Churchill
My life is my message. –
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