On Tony Blair, the so-called Middle East peace envoy. Not since Caligula appointed his horse a proconsul of Rome has there been a more grotesque appointment.
When I was at school I was told that the sun never set on the british empire. But when I went home and told that to my old Irish grand father he said that’s because god never trusted the British in the dark.
I got there via this post at P U L S E
“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit atrocities” – Voltaire
“What the media do nationally is to create an amnesiac-like feeling – there’s no context for actions, there’s no background; there’s no history. Things just happen”. David Barsamian
“We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence; on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly-knit highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”
JFK address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City (27 April 1961)
Here are a few quotes on history, more for later:
The historian lays humanity on the couch. Lynn White, Jr.
History is never antiquated, because humanity is always fundamentally the same. Walter Rauschenbusch
To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child. Cicero
A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia. David McCullough
Man is an historical animal, with a deep sense of his own past; and if he cannot integrate the past by a history explicit and true, he will integrate it by a history implicit and false. Geoffrey Barraclough
It has become too easy to see that the luckless men of the past lived by mistakes, even absurd beliefs, so we may well fail in a decent respect for them, and forget that historians of the future will point out that we too lived by myths.
Herbert J. Muller
When a person identifies himself with a group his critical faculties are diminished and his passions enhanced by a kind of emotive resonance. The individual is not a killer, the group is, and by identifying with it, the individual becomes one. This is the infernal dialect reflected in man’s history.
It is striking how history, when resting on the memory of men, always touches the bounds of mythology. Leopold von Ranke
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age. H.L. Mencken
The history of man is a series of conspiracies to win from nature some advantage without paying for it. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells
I’m certainly not the “voice of the voiceless”. (We know of course there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.)
THERE IS an alternative to terrorism. What is it? JUSTICE.
Even among the well-intentioned, the expansive, magnificent concept of justice is gradually being substituted with the reduced, far more fragile discourse of ‘human rights’. […] Almost unconsciously, we begin to think of justice for the rich and human rights for the poor.
[…] the Indian corporate press is no different from the American corporate press. In a twisted sense, the only lucky thing is that most people can’t read it, so the lies and the indoctrination don’t penetrate very deep.
Using the threat of an external enemy to rally people behind you is a tired old horse, which politicians have ridden into power for centuries.
Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there’s the business of war.
Time was when weapons were manufactured in order to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured in order to sell weapons.
Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.
Of course the people do not want war.
But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it is a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy.
All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism.
Thank you PeoPlesGeoGraphy … “so angry right now at the smarmy, taken for granted talk of a war … ” 1 & 2 … “Believe it, don’t believe it, that’s up to you. But at least we should know what exactly he said …”
October 20, 1925- January 17, 2007
W e seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you’re hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.
W hether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.
J ust when you think there’s nothing to write about, Nixon says, “I am not a crook.” Jimmy Carter says, “I have lusted after women in my heart.” President Reagan says, “I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope.”
T ax reform is taking the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on things that haven’t been taxed before.
P eople are broad-minded. They’ll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn’t drive, there’s something wrong with him.
A ny company executive who overcharges the government more than $5 million will be fined $50 or have to go to traffic school three nights a week.
E very time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was.
The powder is mixed with water and tastes exactly like powder mixed with water.
It’s easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.
This is a wonderful way to celebrate an 80th birthday, … I wanted to be 65 again, but they wouldn’t let me – Homeland Security.
II don’t know what’s coming next and neither does anyone else. It’s something that we do have to face but the thing is that a lot of people don’t want to face it. And there’s denial. If somebody says it, like me, everybody feels a little better that they can discuss it.
It was purely a decision about ‘Did I want to stay around or did I want to go?‘ It’s one of the few things where you have choice.
The best things in life aren’t things.
These days I was busy reading Goethe, also reading about him. I also like quotes, here are a few from Von G.
It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.
Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
A person hears only what they understand.
There is no crime of which I do not deem myself capable.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
The senses do not deceive us, but the judgment does.
No one should be rich except those who understand it.
We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again.
I do not speak of what I cannot praise.
The man of understanding finds everything laughable.
If you treat an individual… as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
The little man is still a man.
Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.
The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.
Freedom consists not in refusing to recognize anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us; for by respecting it, we raise ourselves to it, and, by our very acknowledgment, prove that we bear within ourselves what is higher, and are worthy to be on a level with it
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.
I don’t know if a lazy (listless) genius is a loss to humanity, but the untalented (asinine) workaholic certainly is.
I found the following in Linkmachinego
[ ………………Terrorist extremists? Yeah, they’re frightening – but what about those North Korean nukes? Or global warming, come to think of it? I need a personal bloody organiser to sort it out – a gizmo that’ll set me a “timetable of concern” just so I can break down my overall sense of creeping dread into manageable, bite-sized flurries of panic. Otherwise, I’m in danger of forgetting to worry about some things – like bird flu, for instance. I haven’t seriously crapped myself about that since, ooh, February?…………….] Charlie Brooker
The whole text: Supposing … We invent some decoy doomsday scenarios