Interesting quotes

27 March 2006 »

A collection of quotes that I find interesting.

  • “If God cares about our puny species, then disasters prove that he is not all-powerful; and if he is all-powerful, then clearly he doesn’t give a damn.” – Barbara Ehrenreich
  • “If you don’t violate someone’s human rights some of the time, you probably aren’t doing your job.” – A Bush administration national security official quoted in the Washington Post
  • “They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people.” – Eugene Debs, Socialist candidate for president, June 16, 1918. The speech led to Debs’s being stripped of his citizenship and sent to jail for 10 years.
  • “Every time we ‘go there to help’ it’s because we want something. We ‘went there to help’ South Africa because they’ve got diamonds. We ‘went there to help’ Saudi Arabia because they’ve got oil. Read your history books.” – A woman selling US flags – ironically – in Union Square, NYC 9/2001
  • “Everything that divides men, everything that separates or herds men together in categories, is a sin against humanity.” – José Martí
  • “If you’re not turned on to politics, politics will turn on you.” – Ralph Nader
  • “The last four secretaries of defense have pointed out that defense spending creates jobs. So do pornography, prostitution, and narcotics.” – Michael Parenti
  • “There are no borders in this fight to the death; we cannot be indifferent to what is happening in any part of the world.” – Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
  • “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t stop the revolution.” – Shaka Sankofa / Gary Graham
  • “The [United States] military is also a danger to its own ranks. Enlisted personnel are regularly killed in vehicular accidents, firing exercises, flight crashes, ship fires, and parachute jumps – resulting in 20,269 non-combat deaths from 1979 to 1988, or an average of 2,027 a year. In addition are the several hundred suicides that occur yearly in the armed services.” – Michael Parenti, Against Empire, page 64
  • “In our society, it has become clear that the opposite of courage is not cowardice but conformity.” – Ikechukwue Ibenegbu
  • “If you can’t beat them with logic, baffle them with bullshit.” – I have no clue
  • “The mind of the enemy and the will of his leaders are targets of far greater importance than the bodies of his troops.” – Mao Tse-tung
  • “That woman was the slave of man at the commencement of society is one of the most absurd notions that have come down to us from the period of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century.” – Friedrich Engels
  • “Building more prisons to address crime is like building more graveyards to address a fatal disease.” – Robert Gangi, Executive Director, Correctional Association of New York
  • “Republican democracy is overperfect and demands political virtues and talents far superior to our own.” – Simon Bolivar
  • “There is nothing softer and weaker than water. And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.” – Lao-Zi
  • “I am not educated, nor am I an expert in any particular field…but I am sincere, and my sincerity is my credential.” – Malcolm X
  • “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “It is not known with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Forget your aid. Go drink sea water.” – Gamal Abdul Nasser, leader of Egypt, to Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964
  • “Nuclear explosions under the Nevada desert? What the *%$# are we testing for? We already know the s**t blows up.” – Frank Zappa
  • “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” – Galileo Galilei
  • “If you get into the endzone, act as if you’ve been there before.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Probability is no consolation for the individual victimized by the improbable.” – Ulrich Weisstein
  • “Do not adopt the best system of government, but the one most likely to succeed.” – Simon Bolivar
  • “Great spirits have always encountered violent oppression from weak minds.” – Albert Einstein
  • “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament.” – Karl Marx on Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy
  • “It’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.” – I have no clue
  • “Where the sky begins, the horizon ends, despite the best intentions.” – Tom Petty
  • “How can one talk to a nine year old child about the fact that his father shot his best friend?

    “I asked him for his own explanation, and he looked right in my eyes and said, ‘I think they have been poisoned, they have been drinking something that has been poisoning their brains.’ But he suddenly added, ‘But now they are all poisoned, so I’m sure it is in the drinking water, and we really have to find out how to clean the polluted water reservoirs.’ When I asked him if children were as much poisoned as adults he shook his head and said, ‘No, not at all. They have smaller bodies, so they are not drinking so much, so they are less contaminated, and I have discovered that small children and babies who drink mostly milk, they are not poisoned at all.’

    “I asked him if he had ever heard the word politics. He almost jumped and looked at me and said, ‘Yes. That’s the name of the poison.'”

    – Magne Raundalen, a Norwegian psychologist, describes a session with ‘Ivan’ from Bosnia-Herzegovina (In “the State of War and Peace Atlas,” by the Economist.)

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