Department of Research


Art and Aesthetics

“This is the ultimate message of the New Wave: if you just amass the courage that is necessary, you can completely invent yourself. You can be your own hero.” – Richard Hell

"We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness." - F. T. Marinetti, 1909

"The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt." - F. T. Marinetti, 1909

“Everyone does what they can to avoid thinking. Laziness is the most basic human trait. People don’t want to think - they can’t make the connection between entertainment and thought. They want immediate kicks. People will not be human until they get pleasure from thought - only a thinking person can be a full person.” – Czech Film director Vera Chytilova, 1978.

"Every satisfied desire arouses the desire for more." - Sylvie Fleury

"It is a mistake to believe if you paint circles, cubes or some profound jumble of lines that you are being revolutionary - in comparison to Makart, perhaps. ... Your brushes and pens, which should be your weapons, are empty straws. Go out of your rooms, ... allow yourselves to be captured by the ideas of working people, and help them in their struggle against a rotten society." - George Grosz, 1920

"Nature is our best teacher." - Karl Blossfeldt

"Freedom is not something you are given, but something you have to take." - Meret Oppenheim

"I couldn't care less what people call it [art], as long as we can make what we want." - Atelier Van Lieshout

"No matter how much joy the exercise of a noble craft can bestow, let us not forget that it is a means of repeating and multiplying." - M.C. Escher

"Taxonomy, i.e. the classification of the natural world, is a system of order imposed by man and not an objective reflection of nature. Its categories are actively applied and contain the assumptions, values and associations of human society." - Mark Dion

"Beauty is that which provokes the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time," said the18th century Dutch writer Hemsterhuis.

"A bar is a sad place, a place full of strangers who are killing time, postponing the idea they are going to die" - Edward Kienholz

"I think the whole idea of continuance after death is an understandable projection of man's ego." Artist Edward Kienholz

Art comes from emotion and the strongest emotion is pain therefore all the best artists are masochists.

"We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want." - Tao Te Ching

"Chaos is the beginning; simplicity is the end." - M.C. Escher

"Beauty? Let me tell you something - being thought of as 'a beautiful woman' has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Love has been difficult. Beauty is essentially meaningless and it is always transitory." - Halle Berry

Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. I want everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. Russia is doing it under government. It's happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it's working without trying, why can't it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we're getting more and more that way. - Andy Warhol

Too many so called artists obscure their lack of talent with a lack of substance and ambiguity. - Freydis


The withdrawal of drugs to entire countries, as in the case of Greece, reveals that the major pharmaceutical companies will go to any length to ensure the profitability of their operations. It must be taken as a warning to the working class in Europe and internationally. - John Vassilopoulos, July 2010

As of Wednesday, 41 of the 245 captives at Guantánamo were on a hunger strike, said Navy Cmdr. Pauline Storum.
Of them, 35 were being force-fed through a regime that has guards strap a shackled captive into a chair and Velcro his head to a metal restraint.
Camp staff then tether a tube through the man's nose and down to his stomach to pump in a protein shake twice a day. Each feeding lasts about an hour. From: Judge OK's use of Guantánamo forced-feeding chair, Miami Herald, February 12, 2009.

After 15 days in the Pakistani prison, Habib was transferred to United States agents who flew him to Cairo. When he arrived, Omar Solaimon, chief of Egyptian security, informed him that Egypt receives US$10 million for every confessed terrorist they hand over to the US. Habib stated that during his five months in Egypt, "there was no interrogation, only torture". From: Extraordinary rendition, extraordinary mistake, by Sangitha McKenzie Millar, Asia Times, September 4, 2008.

So said the UK Home Office last week as it announced plans to give law-enforcement agencies, local councils and other public bodies access to the details of people's text messages, emails and internet activity. The move followed its announcement in May that it was considering creating a massive central database to store all this data, as a tool to help the security services tackle crime and terrorism.
Meanwhile in the US the FISA Amendments Act, which became law in July, allows the security services to intercept anyone's international phone calls and emails without a warrant for up to seven days. Governments around the world are developing increasingly sophisticated electronic surveillance methods in a bid to identify terrorist cells or spot criminal activity. ... More surveillance does not necessarily lead to a higher level of societal security. From: Surveillance made easy, NewScientist, August 23, 2008.

We treat 10-year sentences like they're nothing, like that's a soft penalty, when in much of the rest of the world a decade behind bars would be considered extraordinarily severe. This is what separates us from other industrialized countries: It's not just that we send so many people to prison, but that we keep them there for so long and send them back so often. Eight years ago, we surpassed Russia to claim the dubious distinction of having the world's highest rate of incarceration; today we're still No. 1. … America is expert at turning citizens into convicts, but we've forgotten how to transform convicts back into citizens. From: Slammed, by Jennifer Gonnerman, Mother Jones Magazine, July/August 2008, p. 46.

The refusal to allow Finkelstein to enter Israel is particularly telling since Israel legally permits every Jew to exercise his or her right to live in Israel as a citizen of the country, in contrast to the Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 and 1967 who are refused entry or the right of return, in accordance with the Law of Return that is fundamental to the Zionist state. It demonstrates that the security force reserves to itself the right to interpret the law as it sees fit. Israel is a home to diaspora Jews only providing that they do not criticise its military expansionism and oppression of the Palestinian people.
The ban on an academic critical of Israeli policy is all the more noteworthy because Israel likes to portray itself as a beacon of democracy in the region. In reality Finkelstein is not the first to be barred from entering the country: Israel regularly stops pro-Palestinian academics and peace activists from entering Israel who go to show support for Palestinian activists. From: US academic Norman Finkelstein denied entry to Israel, by Jean Shaoul, May 31, 2008.

“It’s now too easy for autocrats to get away with mounting a sham democracy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “That’s because too many Western governments insist on elections and leave it at that. They don’t press governments on the key human rights issues that make democracy function – a free press, peaceful assembly, and a functioning civil society that can really challenge power.” - 2008 Report: Democracy Charade Undermines Rights

"I didn't know there is such torture at police stations or prisons for ordinary people," said one viewer, Amal Zaki, 25, as she was leaving the theater. "I thought they only torture terrorists." From: Egypt cheers films critical of police, AP January 25, 2008

Captain [Bryce] Lefever [a Navy psychologist] says it is unfair to compare US antiterror interrogations with Soviet interrogation techniques. "Their abuse was a systematic practice to conceal the truth," he says. "If Padilla was abused, then it was for a righteous purpose – to reveal the truth." - US Gov't broke Padilla through intense isolation, say experts, August 14, 2007.

"Iran needs to learn to respect us, and Iran certainly needs to respect American power in the Middle East." - R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, January 2007.

“Regimes collapse when people are no longer afraid and think they’re no longer alone.” - Gordon Chang, author.

"The government has declared total war against us, and our response is to politically disregard the state, its representatives and its laws. A new, grass-roots power must be built by the people. ... The birth of this new power will not recognize old institutions." - "Byron," commander of the rebel FARC army's 51st front in Colombia, June 26, 2002.

"Political settlement demands equity of power. Israel holds all the cards. So why is there a demand for our surrender?" - Nawaf Mousawi of Hezbollah


Mistaking wealth for virtue is a cruelty of our time. By treating poverty as inevitable for parts of the population, and giving impoverished workers no means to rise out of it, America deprives not only them but society as a whole. Talented and hard-working people are denied the ability to contribute, and society is denied the benefits of their gifts. Poverty is not a character flaw. Poverty is not emblematic of intelligence. Poverty is lost potential, unheard contributions, silenced voices. – Sarah Kendzior, July 2013

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest private employer in the U.S., plans to stop paying staff there an additional $1 an hour for working Sundays, taking a bite out of its single biggest expense. [...] “The company is obsessive about labor costs, not just to save money in the coming quarter but to encourage turnover, which also keeps wages low,” [said] Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. -- Bloomberg News, 08.12.10

Now the average Joe or Jane might ask what is wrong with having a prosperous financial industry? Well, the problem is that finance is not an industry, by any definition of the word. Finance does not create wealth; it actually takes out wealth from the real economy, by means of interest. So if the financial sector is one third of the GDP, it means the rest of us are one-third poorer than we need to be. - Gordon Arnaut, May 2010

I think that far from being such a bad thing, the intervention by the government illustrated just how capitalism works. Time and time again, when the economy contracts as it did in 2008, America has had to resort to socialist methods in order to save capitalism from imploding, but once the problems were solved, once our government put these bankers on solid financial ground, they gave them back to the very people that had run them into the ground in the first place. - Tim Gatto, May 05, 2010

 “The rich have come through the recession with flying colours. The stock market is up, the hedge funds are coining it. The rich are doing very nicely. The rest of the country is going to have to face public spending cuts, but it has little effect on the rich because they don’t consume public services.” - Philip Beresford, April 2010

The wealth of the Wal-Mart founder's family in 2005 was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people. - Tony Judt

Corporations exist to enable real people to evade responsibility for their actions. - William A. Cohn, 2010

“The lesson of Lehman should not be that the government should have prevented its failure. The lesson of Lehman should be that Lehman should not have existed at a scale that allowed it to jeopardize the financial system.” - David Einhorn, October 2009

[Economist Hyman] Minsky, however, argued for a “bubble-up” approach, sending money to the poor and unskilled first. The government - or what he liked to call “Big Government” - should become the “employer of last resort,” he said, offering a job to anyone who wanted one at a set minimum wage. It would be paid to workers who would supply child care, clean streets, and provide services that would give taxpayers a visible return on their dollars. In being available to everyone, it would be even more ambitious than the New Deal, sharply reducing the welfare rolls by guaranteeing a job for anyone who was able to work. Such a program would not only help the poor and unskilled, he believed, but would put a floor beneath everyone else’s wages too, preventing salaries of more skilled workers from falling too precipitously, and sending benefits up the socioeconomic ladder. - Stephen Mihm,  September 13, 2009

Eva Linder of Travail Suisse told that payback time had come for bosses in Switzerland. "Employers have been asking more and more of their employees and we have seen productivity increase in the past years. But this does not come for free. You cannot demand and demand without giving something back." From: Pressure grows for six weeks' vacation, SwissInfo, July 9, 2009.

Banking was not consciously or rationally designed. It evolved as an institution by meeting the changing needs of stages of evolving economies that have later become obsolete. The institution of banking frequently trails behind current financial needs of a contemporary economy. - Henry CK Liu, 2009

"The U.S. stopped being the benchmark of what is good for Latin America. Because Latin America did everything that the U.S. asked it to do and wasn't able to get out of poverty, the North American myth lost political weight." - Gustavo Larrea, Ecuador's security minister, September 2008.

"People lost money because they had faith in government.” - Harry Markopolos, speaking to the House Financial Services subcommittee on the SEC being "in bed with" Bernie Madoff and his multi-billion dollar swindle, February 4, 2009.

Former Fed chairman Greenspan's argument in support for deregulation is that innovation should not be inhibited and that self interest of financial institutions would be sufficient to assure self regulation. The logic is akin to the argument that if foxes were given free run of chicken coops, self interest of the foxes would regulate consumption of chickens to ensure a steady food supply. From: The zero interest rate trap, by Henry C K Liu, January 22, 2009.

"It represents a very interesting cargo - we have goods from Asia, we have goods from Europe, we have goods from Africa," said Mr Ndoro. "We always think that globalisation started yesterday but in actual fact here we are with something we can date to around 1500." 16th Century Portuguese trading ship found near Namibia, Africa, September 2008.

Cleveland’s mayor Frank Jackson knows who to blame: Wall Street. The mayor’s office is suing some of the world’s biggest banks. including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland’s Greenwich Capital, claiming they acted like organised criminals financing the sale of products that they knew could do nothing but harm to Cleveland. Sub-prime mortgages have proved as bad as drugs in the destruction they have wrought on the community, he said.

“Follow the money,” said Jackson. “If you ask organised crime figures why they persist in doing what they are doing, knowing the damage they are doing and the risks they are taking if they are held accountable, do you know what they will say to you? The money was just too good. You ask these financiers on Wall Street why they persist in doing this when they know the risks they are running and the damage they are doing to their communities and shareholders, do you know what they will tell you? The money was just too good.” From: Cleveland: ghost town created by America’s loan scandal, February 24, 2008.

The 16th amendment to the US constitution calling for a "small" income tax was enacted to compensate for the anticipated loss of revenue from the lowering of tariffs from 37% to 27% as authorized by the Underwood Tariff of 1913, the same year the Federal Reserve System was established. "Small" now translates into an average of 50% with federal and state income taxes combined. Free trade is only free in the sense that it is funded by the income tax.

The supply-side argument that corporate tax cuts stimulate economic growth only holds if at least half of the benefits of the tax cut are channeled toward rising wages instead of higher return on capital with the additional benefit of lower capital gain tax. Thus a case can be made to couple all corporate tax cuts with an index on wage rises to match or exceed corporate earnings. One of the reasons why strong corporate earnings have not helped the current credit crisis can be traced to the disproportional rise in equity prices having come from stagnant wages in the same corporations. - Henry C K Liu, January 2008

The report points out that the costs of the Iraq war in particular have been increasing rapidly with this year's expected tally of $135 billion amounting to a 40 percent increase over 2006. It notes that the average cost of a single U.S. soldier in Iraq last year was $390,000, up 22 percent from the $320,000 it cost in 2003. Congressional Agency Predicts War Costs Will Climb, July 11, 2007.

“[Climate change] is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen." - Sir Nicholas Stern

Remember that we do not have an "ownership" society when all we own is debt. - Axel Merk

It is clear that job cuts, energy-driven inflation—and the higher interest rates imposed by the Federal Reserve to keep inflation in check—are compounding the pressure felt by working Americans. Yet the painful consequences of this reality find no meaningful reflection in media coverage, the political campaigns of major party candidates, or federal policy. On the contrary, the decline in the housing market has been characterized as a temporary “price correction.” This euphemism is in part calculated to contain panic and prevent a mass sell-off before housing values decline further. - WSWS, October 9, 2006

Don't fool yourself: capital only looks out for capital. - Freydis

[On the conviction of Enron's Lay and Skilling] "It's a stunning verdict,'' said John Carney, a former federal prosecutor now at Baker & Hostetler. "It's the end of a chapter but not the end of a book. Enron was an icon of American business. Ken Lay was one of the most revered and respected CEOs in the country. To see him go like that is probably one of the greatest falls in business history.'' - Bloomberg news, May 2006.

"Whenever the stakes are high, that's when there will be disputes about the science." - David Ozonoff of Boston University on toxic TCE  pollution, March 2006

On why traffic congestion forms: "It's the science of complexity. In large-group dynamics, special things happen because each individual is trying to maximize their own benefit." - Craig Davis, University of Michigan physicist, MSNBC May 2006.

“In a consumer-based global market economy, low wages lead directly to overcapacity, because consumer demand depends on high wages.” - Henry C K Liu

"There are basic human needs that every economy is required to satisfy before market rules can be applied." - Henry C K Liu

"We [United States] have 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. Our real task in the coming period is to maintain this position of disparity." George F Kennan, 1948.

"Consumer spending has been holding up the US economy in recent years, while most of the supply-side investment has gone overseas. This has caused a separation between the dollar economy and the US economy. The dollar economy expands from global dollar hegemony while the US economy is hollowed out of manufacturing. Dollar hegemony has deprived the US economy of real productivity from manufacturing and forced it into virtual productivity from finance manipulation." - Henry C K Liu

“If you are going to have socialism, then as a matter of principle, you can’t have a free market.” - Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore.

Economics is a lot simpler than economists and ideologues would have you believe. Capitalists are motivated by greed. End of story. To change their harmful behavior, you have to take away from them the only thing they care about - money. - Charley Reese

"It is dangerous, however, to place excessive reliance on the market mechanism. Markets are designed to facilitate the free exchange of goods and services among willing participants but are not capable, on their own, of taking care of collective needs. Nor are they able to ensure social justice. These "public goods" can only be provided by a political process." - George Soros

"I don't like to talk about market share because we don't want to share anything." - Jim Cantalupo on McDonald's corporate strategy, January, 2004.

On a stock market rebound:
"While we cannot predict an overshoot, history suggests that emotional shifts from fear to greed can be quite powerful." - Tobias Levkovich of Smith Barney, June 2003

"Black markets will always be with us. But they will recede in importance when the public morality is consistent with our private one. The underground [economy] is a good measure of the progress and the health of nations. When much is wrong, much needs to be hidden." - Eric Schlosser

"The Japanese economic miracle was just us learning from other people's failures." - Yotaro Hatamura head of shippai-gaku, or 'failure-ology' institute, 2003

"Charles Ponzi was deemed an unprincipled conman to insulate unregulated capitalism itself from being revealed as a systemic Ponzi scheme." - Henry C K Liu

“Never underestimate them,” advises Richard Hyman of Verdict, a consultancy. “They [Wal-Mart] foster an image as country hicks. It makes the kill more of a surprise.”

"I can't look for him because I'm looking for food," he said. "You spend all that to find Osama, and we're still hungry." Mohammed Asef, 25, on the U$ reward of $25 million for bin Laden at a Kabul market, November 2001.

"If I had a billion U.S. dollars, I suspect I too would be very committed to a fully globalized world without any barriers and without any constraints on what I can do with my money and how I can make even more money." Malaysian president Dr. Mahathir at the 'Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation' forum in Shanghai, October 20, 2001

"U.S. currency is the most widely circulated with nearly $600 billion worldwide, and officials want to keep costs low, near the current 5 cents per [printed] note."

"I'd rather be alive at 30 percent interest than be dead at 3 percent," William Zeckendorf real-estate tycoon.

Economics is just a mislabeled branch of psychology - Freydis

Interest is the price you pay to live a lifestyle you can't afford. - Freydis

"Economists" are forever barking up the wrong tree. - Hugo Salinas Price

It is better to deal with a government in difficulties than with one that has luck on its side.
If a high placed person enters into a [financial] partnership with a Jew, he belongs to the Jew. - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Austrian school "where the free market always gets everything right"

Maynard Keynes said 'in the long run we are all dead', but what if his parents had acted on that glib phrase, he probably wouldn't ever have been around to espouse it.

"Owing to the growing complexity and difficulties of life which weigh, not only on the masses of the workers, but also on the middle classes, impatience, irritation and hatred are accumulating in all the countries of the old civilization and are becoming a menace to public order; employment must be found for the energy which is being hurled out of three definite class channels: it must be given an outlet abroad in order to avert an explosion at home." Cecil Rhodes quoted in Lenin's Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism

Credo of the businessman: 'who cares about tomorrow when I can make a few dollars today?'  - Freydis

Food & Drug

For the fifth year in a row, Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity at 32.5%. Three other states - West Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee - also had adult obesity rates in excess of 30%.
In just one state - Colorado - was the adult obesity rate below 20%.
In 1991, no state had an adult obesity rate above 20%, and in 1980 the national average for adult obesity was 15%.
Mississippi also had the highest rate of obese and overweight children (ages 10 to 17) at 44.4%. Minnesota and Utah had the lowest rate at 23.1%.
Childhood obesity rates in the US have more than tripled since 1980.
From: US obesity problem 'intensifies', BBC, July 1, 2009.

No advocate of the ethanol boondoggle addresses the huge social cost that is beginning to hit the dining-room tables across the US, Europe and the rest of the world. Food prices are exploding as corn, soybeans and all cereal-grain prices are going through the roof because of the astronomical - US Congress-driven - demand for corn to burn for biofuel.
This year the Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued a report concluding that using corn-based ethanol instead of gasoline would have no impact on greenhouse-gas emissions, and would even expand fossil-fuel use because of increased demand for fertilizer and irrigation to expand acreage of ethanol crops. And according to MIT, "natural-gas consumption is 66% of total corn-ethanol production energy", meaning huge new strains on natural-gas supply, pushing prices of that product higher. - The great biofuel fraud, by F William Engdahl, August 1, 2007.

At one hospital in Birmingham the bacteria is reported to have infected 93 people, 91 of them civilians. Thirty-five died, although the hospital was not able to establish whether the superbug was a contributory factor.
A. baumannii is resistant to most common antibiotics and, if left untreated, can lead to pneumonia, fever and septicaemia. It has been identified in more than 240 military personnel in the US since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been associated with five deaths. - Superbug brought back by Iraq war casualties, November 8, 2006

Professor Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said that the figures revealed a public health timebomb because children who are obese between 11 and 15 are twice as likely to die in their 50s. He added that increased inactivity coupled with more energy-dense foods were fuelling the problem: “Being obese at adolescence increases the cancer risk by 21 per cent for girls and 14 per cent for boys.” - London Times, April 22, 2006

"Obesity has doubled for U.S. children ages 2 to 5 and tripled for kids ages 6 to 11 in the past 30 years, according to a 2000 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. " - Bloomberg news

"The Westerners, when they want to help us, they should put the aid in our hands, not give it to the leaders," Mujahed said, adding that he would stop growing poppies if given an alternative.

More people die on motorways as a result of falling asleep than they do from alcohol.


"If there is less government, the risks of inequality and poverty are much larger and the risks of clashes on ethnic or cultural grounds would grow a lot. This would be a quite different environment for civil society to operate in." - Ludvig Sandberg, political adviser representing Swedish charities, 2010

The policy of the Obama administration is an expression of the stranglehold exercised by the financial elite over the federal government. The sums involved in the state budget deficits are dwarfed by the funds that have been provided to the banks. The $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), passed last year to bail out the banks, provided nearly six times the amount of money required to overcome the collective deficit of the states. From: US states’ budget crises threaten social disaster, WSWS, July 3, 2009.

My understanding of how that event came about—it wasn't entirely an accident, as I heard from my father, that he had kept driving when he was exhausted—and how it affected my life is a story for another time. But looking back now, at what I drew from reading the Pentagon Papers later and on my citizen's activism since then, I think I saw in the events of August 1945 and July 1946, unconsciously, a common message. I loved my father, and I respected Truman. But you couldn't rely entirely on a trusted authority—no matter how well-intentioned he was, however much you admired him—to protect you, and your family, from disaster. You couldn't safely leave events entirely to the care of authorities. Some vigilance was called for, to awaken them if need be or warn others. They could be asleep at the wheel, heading for a wall or a cliff. I saw that later in Lyndon Johnson and in his successor, and I've seen it since. - Daniel Ellsberg, Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years, 2009.

"We need a Ministry of Disturbance, a regulated source of annoyance; a destroyer of routine; an underminer of complacency." - C.D. Darlington, 1948

The number of users has soared while drug-related crime is rising with narcotics now supporting a worldwide business empire second only in value to oil. "If policy on drugs is in future to be pragmatic not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence-based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society." - Richard Brunstrom, Chief Constable of North Wales recommending a full legalization of drugs, October 2007.

Contrary to the stereotype of the banana republic, only a minority of the political bribes paid each year goes to public officials in the developing world. The report published this week finds "the vast majority of bribes are paid to people in richer countries" where decision taking is "vulnerable to vast amounts of money". From: Organised crime: the $2 trillion threat to the world's security, September 12, 2007.

We'll never see another voting meltdown in Florida--not because the system has been fixed but because the mechanism for demonstrating that a meltdown has occurred has simply been removed. Between the introduction of paperless computers and the abolition of recounts, what Florida is left with is, essentially, an electoral regime based on blind faith. - Guardian of the Ballot Box, by Andrew Gumbel, 2006.

In the past, the CIA has been responsible for "covert" operations - actions where United States sponsorship is not detectable. These require congressional authority. The military, meanwhile, has been at liberty to conduct "clandestine" operations - actions that are simply hard to detect, and do not need congressional authority.
The concern is that the Pentagon will broaden - or already has - its definition of clandestine operations to include covert activities. "You wind up provoking [your enemies]," says John Pike. "They regard it as retaliation, but to the American people [who know nothing of the covert operations], it looks like an unprovoked attack." Pentagon's intelligence role rising, May 18, 2006.

"In our tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interest," The chief of the Israeli military identified as 'Yaalon' on actions against Palestinians, October 2003.

"The technology of war is out of control; I'm a warrior, but my conclusion is that war is obsolete." & "The sole purpose of war is to kill and destroy. There are no winners." - Former U.S. Army Maj. Douglas Rokke

"Under capitalism we have a state in the proper sense of the word, that is, a special machine for the suppression of one class by another, and of the majority by the minority at that." - VI Lenin from The State and Revolution.

"An entrepreneurial society can't exist if political freedom disappears, and if Big Brothers, public and private, are invading our daily existence with impunity." Dan Gillmor journalist, 2003

The ultimate test of the government's success will be whether Russia becomes a comfortable and safe place to live, work and make money, "so that people aspire to go to Russia and not to leave it." Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address of 04.02

Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. . . . To declare that in the administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means . . . would bring terrible retribution. Against this pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face. - Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead v. United States, 1928

The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells. - John Flynn, 1944

Mind & Intelligence

For me, the brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and "artificial intelligence" a grandiose misnomer.
I think it is time to acknowledge fully that living cells make us what we are, and to abandon reductionist thinking in favour of the study of whole cells. Reductionism has us peering ever closer at the fibres in the paper of a musical score, and analysing the printer's ink. I want us to experience the symphony. - Brian J. Ford, research biologist, 2010

The gaining of knowledge in the physical sciences was instrumental in both upending the old order and establishing the new. Importantly, the industrial revolution was overwhelmingly based on physics and chemistry, and both radically re-shaped human society. Today, we are at the forefront of a new scientific era, a biological one. Our knowledge and understanding of the biological world creates the opportunity to impact human society to a great a degree as physics and chemistry have over the last several centuries.
Just as electricity, the internal combustion engine, and nuclear power made dramatic, and in many ways still little-understood changes on human society, so too will our resulting knowledge of biology. Just as we had little understanding of how these past technologies would impact society for better and worse, so too we now stand in a time of change with insufficient understanding. From: Economics can open to new realities, by Joe Costello, Asia Times, November 6, 2008.

Multitaskers fool themselves by rapidly switching attention and, as a result, their output deteriorates. ... Chronic distraction, from which we all now suffer, kills you more slowly. Meyer says there is evidence that people in chronically distracted jobs are, in early middle age, appearing with the same symptoms of burn-out as air traffic controllers. They might have stress-related diseases, even irreversible brain damage. But the damage is not caused by overwork, it’s caused by multiple distracted work. One American study found that interruptions take up 2.1 hours of the average knowledge worker’s day. This, it was estimated, cost the US economy $588 billion a year. Yet the rabidly multitasking distractee is seen as some kind of social and economic ideal. From: Stoooopid .... why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks, July 20, 2008.

People want the recognition, the validation, the sense of having a place in the culture [because] we no longer know where we belong, what we're about or what we should be about."
Without any meaningful standard by which to measure our worth, we turn to the public eye for affirmation. "It's really the sense that Hey, I exist in this world, and that is important. That I matter," Niedzviecki says. Our "normal" lives therefore seem impoverished and less significant compared with the media world, which increasingly represents all that is grand and worthwhile, and therefore more "real." - Lakshmi Chaudhry, January 2007.

"An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. " - Albert Camus

"Robots don't do well with changing situations. The real world is very confusing to them." - Mark Maimone of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, March 2004.

"True genius is creative and makes all from nothing." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Men who are too superior to their epoch are generally without influence upon it."  - Gustave Le Bon

"The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that.'' - Ted Turner in 1996.

"Three scales of intelligence, one which understands by itself, a second which understands what is shown it by others, and a third which understands neither by itself nor on the showing of others, the first of which is most excellent, the second good, but the third worthless." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"But the analytic power should not be confounded with simple ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis. ... It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and truly never otherwise than analytic." From EA Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

"Man is a creature of habit, not of reason nor yet of instinct." - John Dewey, 1921.

"Cosmology is the ultimate quest for knowledge." - Author John D. Barrow

"Honesty is essential to intelligence — a fact ignored more and more fashionably by the press. Without honesty, the power of intelligence is wasted on "spinning." Casey Fahy

 "Information is not knowledge” – Frank Zappa

Politics and Politicos

It is an old trick of the ruling class to present jobs, on the one side, and safety and environmental concerns on the other, as incompatible opposites. Blackmailing desperate workers with the threat of more job losses, the oil industry and its politicians lay out their terms: Stop drilling and deprive oil workers of their jobs, or resume drilling and risk another catastrophe. - Tom Eley, 2010

“[T]here is no greater obligation than to confront acts of inhumanity,” said President Barack Obama on April 20, 2009 in a statement at the opening of an Illinois Jewish Holocaust memorial, the same week he grants amnesty to CIA torturers.

There are some countries whose reality is distorted by sections of the media. And some about which straightforward lies are written. My first trip to Caracas revealed Venezuela to be firmly in the second category.
The idea that this country is a dictatorship is ridiculous – probably some of those assiduously promoting it have difficulty in keeping a straight face. Some "dictatorship" where the president accepts the loss of a referendum to change the constitution, which holds more national elections than virtually any other country in the world, and where walls and lamp-posts in areas of Caracas are vividly festooned with posters of anti-Chávez candidates. No, a dictatorship is a country like Saudi Arabia – whose leader is of course officially feted on visits to London. - Ken Livingstone, August 2008.

“Our country and the entire international community cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions.” –  Vice President Cheney, oblivious to irony and hypocrisy, referring to Iran in October 2007.

There is a difference between being sure and being right. Bush's conviction, here as elsewhere, came not from an independent analysis of the facts - of the interests and intentions of the nations involved - but from the wellspring of faith. He has confused rhetoric, however uplifting, and reality. - Mark Danner on George W. Bush - faith over facts, 2007.

At one point, Rice said that the difficult circumstances in the Middle East could represent opportunity. "I don't read Chinese but I am told that the Chinese character for crisis is wei-ji, which means both danger and opportunity," she said in Riyadh. "And I think that states it very well. We'll try to maximize the opportunity."
But Victor H. Mair, a professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, has written on the Web site, a guide to the Chinese language, that "a whole industry of pundits and therapists has grown up around this one grossly inaccurate formulation." He said the character "ji" actually means "incipient moment" or a "crucial point." Thus, he said, a wei-ji "is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry." - Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, January 19, 2007

"I find it ironic that on one hand you put [Saddam Hussein] on trial for using biological warfare, but in another country where you sprayed chemicals for warfare, you neglect your responsibility." - Duc Nguyen, referring to dioxin laced Agent Orange blamed for continuing birth defects in Vietnam; Washington Post, November 13, 2006.

Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion himself is reported (by Nahum Goldmann) to have asked in private, "Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We came from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?" From: America Right of Wrong by Anatol Lieven, 2004, page 196.

"The resolution to this war [in Lebanon] must respect international law and U.N. resolutions, not just those selected by Israel, a state that deserves its reputation as a pariah because of its consistent disdain for and rejection of international law and the wishes of the international community for over half a century." - Fouad Siniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon, August 9, 2006.

"The president is always right.” - Steven Bradbury in June 2006 as head of the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel in the Bush administration.

He [Hans Blix] also urged those negotiating with Iran to look at the issue through their eyes. "They see 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq, and they see American bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Blix said. "They remember that (Mohammed) Mossadeq, who was elected premier, was ousted with subversive methods from the outside" in the 1950s.
In the broader effort to free the world of weapons of mass destruction, the commission said the single most important thing that countries can do is to ratify the nuclear test ban treaty, which the U.S. Senate has rejected. From: 'Study wants nuclear weapons outlawed'

Only if we [Americans] begin to see ourselves more clearly will we be able to understand how others see us. We need to revise the narrative of the American century and recognize that it has been about a host of other things that are far more problematic than liberation. There can be no understanding the true nature of the American century without acknowledging the reality of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Hanoi, and Haiphong. - Andrew Bacevich, May 2006

On Hamas' surprise election victory in Palestine:  "Washington miscalculated in pushing for the vote, as part of its pro-democracy campaign in the Arab world." - Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian legislator, January 2006. (That's the funny thing about elections, sometimes the stooge doesn't win.- F)

"Even if you get Bin Laden, you can't be sure there won't be another Bin Laden. You cannot get terrorists to sign a peace treaty. The only way to beat terror is to go for the basic causes. They don't blow themselves up for no reason, they're angry, they're frustrated. And why are they angry? Look at the Palestinian situation. Fifty years after you [England] created the state of Israel, things are going from bad to worse." -  Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad on defeating terrorism

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush on August 5, 2004

"What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot completed." - John Pilger

"The liberation of Iraq will make the world more peaceful." - Pres. G.W. Bush, Ft. Hood Texas, April 20, 2003.

"We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. After war has ended the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe."- Sen. Robert Byrd D-WV, March 19, 2003.

"If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." - Calvin Coolidge

"Our [Israel's] fate is intertwined with the Palestinians." - Avraham Shochat, former Israeli finance minister.

"In this city, which has always been known for its tolerance, the only thing we will not tolerate is intolerance," declared District Attorney Terence Hallinan during San Francisco 'anti-hate' campaign, September 2002.

"The US and the Soviet Union each spent the equivalent of 10 trillion dollars on the arms race." - Mikhail Gorbachev, July 2002

Famous last words: "We've destroyed al Qaeda in Afghanistan and we have ended the role of Afghanistan as a haven for terrorist activity,'' said Secretary of State Colin Powell on NBC's Meet the Press. Dec. 16 2001

"America never gave trade favors to Cuba. America embargoes Iraq. What about human rights in China? There are no sanctions. America believes that capitalism will defeat socialism and that this is the best way towards a democratic society. I am confused. If money can change tyranny, then former President Ronald Reagan was wrong when he called the Soviet Union 'the Evil Empire' and said, 'Tear down this wall [the Berlin Wall]'. He should have instead been giving the Soviets trade favors and money." Harry Wu interviewed for Worldnetdaily Apr 5, 2001

"This is the greatest thing in history!" - President Harry S. Truman upon hearing of the successful A-bombing of Hiroshima

"Fox's courtship of Mexicans living in the United States isn't just for their benefit. The money they wire home now accounts for Mexico's third-largest source of income, after oil and tourism."

"As Mr Berezovsky happily acknowledges: "Let's say without hypocrisy: people wanted to elect Zyuganov. They didn't want Yeltsin." The money and determined efforts of the oligarchs, after a secret pact struck at the Swiss resort of Davos, helped to change the voters' minds. I was wrong to help elect Putin, says bitter kingmaker Berezovsky" By Steve Crawshaw UK Independent in New York 28 November 2000

A former senior DIA official told UPI: "People should keep in mind" that Sharon is the one who visited the Temple Mount or al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem last September with 1,000 guards in attendance. "Why take 1,000?" he said. "First, he wanted to provoke the Palestinians. Next, he wanted to stick a thumb in Barak's eye. Sharon is a planner." UPI wire Jan.17, 2001

"He [Sharon] is a pyromaniac on a powder keg." - Afif Safieh

Bush often mangled prepared speeches during the campaign, once calling tactical weapons "tacular," and referring to a school's "Preservation Week" instead of "Perseverance Week" at an appearance with its students. Reuters January 15, 2001

Trenchant insights courtesy of the illustrious Mad. Albright:
Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition," Secretary of State Madeleine Albright challenged assertions that Clinton's last-ditch peace efforts were an attempt to ensure his legacy.
"I could end my career as secretary of state with a barnyard
expletive, but I will not do that," Albright said. "What is true is that he is called upon to fulfill this role. He is working very hard." January 2001.

"That since his love depends upon his subjects, while his being feared depends upon himself, a wise Prince should build on what is his own", Niccolo Machiavelli

"I am going," Yeltsin said in a televised address. "I did all I could."
...yeah but to make things better or worse?


The prayer-enforcers offer a few arguments in their defence. At first, they claim it instils "moral values" in children. The scientist Gregory S Paul produced a detailed study in 2005 to find out if rates of murder and rape went up as levels of religion went down. He found the exact opposite. On detailed international comparisons, the more religious a country is, the more likely you are to be stabbed or raped there. There isn't necessarily a causal relationship – but it blasts a bloody hole in this claim. From: Johann Hari: Dear God, stop brainwashing children, May 8, 2009.

"There's a dilemma in Israel. Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state. There is fear among some Israelis that if democracy is accorded to all its citizens this will attenuate Israel's character as a Jewish state. So there's that built-in tension between democracy and a Jewish state," said Wilcox. - Philip Wilcox, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace

"But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me." -  Jesus quoted in Luke 19:27, Holy Bible, New International Version

"[M]odern theists might acknowledge that, when it comes to Baal and the Golden Calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidan and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, they are actually atheists. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

"Heresy is but the bridge between two orthodoxies." - Francis Hackett

Don't believe in any god that requires faith as a prerequisite for salvation. If God is not self-evident God is irrelevant.

"Who needs heaven and hell? We make our own hell right here." - Randy Weaver

"If I am going to hell, I'm gonna have a lot of company." - Timothy McVeigh

"To most people, peace means the victory of their side. In my opinion, there will be no peace in this country without dismantling the Jewish communities in the territories," - Susan Sonntag May 9, 2001, speaking on Israel in Jerusalem.

"Religions build theories about the world and then prevent them from being tested. Religions provide nice, appealing and comfortable ideas, and cloak them in a mask of 'truth, beauty, and goodness'. The theories can then thrive in spite of being untrue, ugly, or cruel." Susan Blackmore

"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning." - Bill Gates on religion

Iran: "We are not East or West we are Islam."

"In January, human rights groups slammed Israel after the Jerusalem District Court sentenced Jewish settler Nahum Kurman to six months of community service for beating to death 10-year-old Palestinian Hilmi Shousha. Kurman was fined $17,000. " 2001

"For religious people to accuse entertainment of being damaging, they have to realize that Christ was the first celebrity, and religion created entertainment." -- Marilyn Manson

``There is no turning of the other cheek in Judaism...Judaism is revenge,'' said Noam Federman, a long-time friend of Binyamin Kahane and follower of his slain father. 31.12.00

Why not put God on trial for crimes against humanity too eh? After all those floods, famines, volcanoes and earthquakes – should make an open-shut legal case!

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Holy Bible, Book of Genesis 3:15


"The purpose of `higher' education is not to educate but to exclude as many as possible from the various professions." - Valerie Solanas

"I didn't like anything about school.'' - Dean Kamen, successful inventor

"I was bored with it all ... it was rigid, it was stupid, it was a lot like the news coverage now. There's very little originality going on. Everything I've learned I've learned on my own. I'm self-taught. I've kept some original thinking or what I think is original. [Other journalists] have to listen to an editor saying yes or no. I don't listen to anybody." - "the brutal wit of an accomplished young nihilist" - Matt Drudge


I don’t care how much money you have - affluence is how much sleep you get each night. - Freydis

Worst German import - the early morning work ethic "Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde" (the morning hour has gold in its mouth).

"How long you live is statistically related to the amount of sleep you obtain on average a night. The mortality rate is lowest for people who report sleeping seven to nine hours a night,'' Reuters: Tuesday March 27, 2001

War & Conflict

Israelis know all about bombarding civilian targets. And they are careful not to mention that Sderot, until recently the only Israeli township within range of Gazan rockets, is built on the ruins of an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village whose inhabitants were forced from their homes by Jewish terrorists. - Stuart Littlewood, September 16, 2009

“It’s a lot different than how I thought it would be [war in Afghanistan]. When something goes down here, there isn’t music playing in the background.” – Specialist (US Army) David Onofrei, age 21, September 2009.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has become notorious for kidnap-for-ransom incidents and beheading its victims, including one American businessman, was founded in the early 1990s by a group of young Filipino Muslim radicals after fighting as mujahideen in the Afghanistan war against the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. - Al Labita October 3, 2009. [italics added for emphasis]

Its troubles [the F-22 fighter] have been detailed in dozens of Government Accountability Office reports and Pentagon audits. But Pierre Sprey, a key designer in the 1970s and 1980s of the F-16 and A-10 warplanes, said that from the beginning, the Air Force designed it to be "too big to fail, that is, to be cancellation-proof."
Lockheed farmed out more than 1,000 subcontracts to vendors in more than 40 states, and Sprey -- now a prominent critic of the plane -- said that by the time skeptics "could point out the failed tests, the combat flaws, and the exploding costs, most congressmen were already defending their subcontractors' " revenues.
John Hamre, the Pentagon's comptroller from 1993 to 1997, says the department approved the plane with a budget it knew was too low because projecting the real costs would have been politically unpalatable on Capitol Hill. From: Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings, July 10, 2009,  Washington post.

There is also evidence that for every dollar's worth of oil imported from the Persian Gulf region the Pentagon takes $5 out of the Federal budget to "secure" the flow of that oil. This is a clear indication that the claim that the US military presence in the Middle East is due to oil consideration is a fraud. - Are they really oil wars?, June 25, 2008.

In Kosovo in 1999 around 290,000 sub-munitions were dropped over a 10-week period by North Atlantic Treaty Organization aircraft. During the five weeks of the 2006 conflict in Lebanon, as many as four million sub-munitions were spread by Israel across the country's southern regions, according to the ICRC. From: The politics of cluster bombs, by Brian McCartan, May 6, 2008.

"What we are not interested in is another war in the region," Mohammed Naqbi, who heads the Gulf Negotiations Center, told Burns. "Iraq is your problem, not the problem of the Arabs. You destroyed a country that had institutions. You handed that country to Iran. Now you are crying to Europe and the Arabs to help you out of this mess." LAT, January 24, 2007.

"In 2003, I don't think anybody predicted it would go as long as World War II and the wear and tear on equipment would be as intense,'' said Zakheim, now a vice president for global strategy consultant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. ``When I left the department, we were spending less than $4 billion a month on Iraq. Now it's pretty much doubled.'' - Dov Zakheim, Pentagon's chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004. December 6, 2006.

Israel turned to cluster bombs in the last week of the war, apparently frustrated at the failure of conventional weapons to rout Hizbullah fighters from their foxholes. Mine-clearance teams are finding evidence pointing to their provenance: the US, the world's largest cluster bomb manufacturer, which gave Israel $2.2bn (£1.2bn) in military aid last year.
In Nabatiye, 15 people were injured in just one day along a bomb-strewn road. In Tibnin, 210 bombs were found around the town hospital. "That's about as inappropriate [a use of cluster bombs] as you can get," Mr Clark said.
Many share the blame equally between Israel and the US. "It's like we are living in a prison," said Aisa Hussain, 38, a Yahmour resident who has ordered his children to remain inside his house.
... Strolling through the village he pointed to yet another tiny black canister perched under a tree. "You see what America is sending us," he said bitterly. "This is their idea of democracy." From: The Guardian, August 21, 2006.

"What makes being a soldier great is the nobility of it — good fighting evil. If you lose that, all this sacrifice is for no good reason." - Maj. Peter Kilner, West Point. From: Combat stress takes toll, June 14, 2006.

Various News Excerpts

A few years ago at a state-owned roof tile factory in Vietnam, young male workers clad only in shorts carried bags labeled “Asbestos-Kazakhstan.” The air was thick with white dust huffing up like steam from lava. Visiting occupational health and safety experts held their breath as long as they could; some smothered their faces in dust masks. The workers did not have that luxury. Their only protection was handkerchiefs tied bandit-style over their mouths and noses as they climbed the sides of the hoppers.
“I know it’s dangerous, [asbestos]” said the manager spreading his hands and shrugging, “but it’s also cheap, and people only want to buy cheap tiles.” - The Other Deadly White Dust: Russia, China, India and the Campaign to Ban Asbestos

According to the United Nations, India is home to 50 percent of the world's poor and on current projections, India will become the most populous country on earth sometime in the next 50 years, overtaking China. - 2009

The problem the war creates for the punditocracy and the rest of the political establishment is twofold. First, the leaders they backed have not only been wildly incompetent but also impervious to reality. Offered a face-saving exit by the Baker Commission, Bush, Cheney & Co. prefer instead to double down on disaster. Second, there is the problem of the pundits' individual reputations. If William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Lawrence Kaplan and David Brooks et al. are so smart, why were they so wrong about something so crucial? And why, given their sorry records, do they and their editors still think anybody ought to keep listening to them? At the very least, those they misled are entitled to an explanation. - Eric Alterman, January 2007.

A study of urban American adults by Nancy Wells and Kristi Lekies of Cornell University sheds some light on environmental attitudes. Wells and Lekies found that children who play unsupervised in the wild before the age of 11 develop strong environmental ethics. Children exposed only to structured hierarchical play in the wild—through, for example, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, or by hunting or fishing alongside supervising adults—do not. To interact humbly with nature we need to be free and undomesticated in it. Otherwise, we succumb to hubris in maturity. The fact that few children enjoy free rein outdoors anymore bodes poorly for our future decision-makers. - The Thirteenth Tipping Point, by By Julia Whitty, MJ, 11/12 2006

[T]he Bush administration has launched an unusual effort to raise charitable contributions for another cause: the government's attempt to rebuild Iraq.

Although more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds have been appropriated for Iraqi reconstruction, the administration earlier this month launched an Internet-based fundraising effort that it says is aimed at giving Americans "a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq."

Contributors have no way of knowing who's getting the money or precisely where it's headed because the government says it must keep the details secret for security reasons.

The campaign is raising eyebrows in the international development and not-for-profit communities, where there are questions about its timing--given needs at home--and whether it will set the government in competition with international not-for-profits.

On a more basic level, experts wonder whether Americans will make charitable donations to a
government foreign aid program and whether the contentious environment surrounding Iraq will make a tough pitch even tougher. - New Twist On Aid For Iraq: U.S. Seeks Donations, By Cam Simpson, Chicago Tribune, September 18, 2005.

"They may want a lot of things associated with war - the comradeship, the thrill that comes from holding a weapon. I think this is what confuses people. Thrills, comradeship, all of that can come in many different ways; it comes from war, though, only when people are manipulated into it. To me the strongest argument against an inherent drive to war is the extent to which governments have to resort to get people to go to war, the huge amounts of propaganda and deception of which we had an example very recently. And don't forget coercion. So I discard that idea of a natural inclination to war." - Howard Zinn

"The way to be pro-Israel is to work for a better Israel, and the real Zionism is to work for an Israel that is not only physically strong but morally strong.
There is a false equation that if you voice any criticism of Israel you are delegitimising Israel at some level. I believe the opposite." - Activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman, March 2005

"The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house." - Jaded former detainee in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison. ATO 1.2005

"When you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of [U.S.] Congress." - the candid admission of Dov Weisglass, chief of staff for Ariel Sharon, from an interview in Ha'aretz Oct. 6, 2004.

"Wal-Mart wraps itself in the American flag, but even the flags they sell are made in China."  - James Thindwa, workers rights activist, 10.04

When Columbia University professor Zainab Bahrani visited the site of Babylon late last spring, she was stunned to see an American military base spreading across the hallowed ground. Workers scooped up earth potentially rich in relics to make blast walls. Bulldozers carved out helicopter landing pads, and the vibrations from the choppers themselves did still more damage. Portions of two ancient temples have collapsed and Nebuchadnezzar II's palace is threatened. "We're very worried about the palace walls," said Bahrani. "They're made of brick. They rattle when the helicopters take off." From: Newsweek, Unearthing the Bible, August 2004.

Frida Berrigan, a senior research associate at the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center, said that according to the 2005 budget, the US will spend about $1.15 billion a day, or $11,000 a second, on defense. "In comparison, we spend half that on public education per year per child in the United States," she said. IPS August 19, 2004.

"Women dream more often about friends, family and domestic settings. Men are more likely to dream about sex and violence." Newsweek August 9, 2004.

"Torture is nurtured and justified by ideologies that create an ever-expanding category of 'enemy' others. ... Fear, whether or not deliberately instilled - as in fictions about 'weapons of mass destruction' - grants legitimacy to torture." - Martha Huggins, sociology professor at New Orleans' Tulane University via BBC news June 29, 2004.

There is a common starting point to any strategy of both insurgencies and contra-insurgencies. Who has the legitimacy? Now, with the International Court of Justice, the human rights treaties and the progress of liberal democracy, not to torture is not only a need, but an obligation. Winning depends on how you conduct yourself. Could an officer in an extreme case use some degree of physical violence to extract information from a prisoner? No, doing it could hurt the overall political strategy, as it has happened in Iraq. When you mistreat your detainees, you stimulate their opposition, their hate. - Former Salvadorian guerrilla leader Joaquin Villalobos, May 2004.

While traditionalists bemoan the demythologizing of heroes, children's-book experts say truth may ultimately be more inspiring than a glossed-over tale. Reading about imperfections of famous people gives youngsters more freedom to dream of what they might accomplish. "It's important for children to know that their heroes were real people' says author Yolen. "How do you emulate perfect?" A less-than-perfect hero—that's the real story." Review of new history books, Feb. 2, 2004 issue of Newsweek magazine.

"I shot one guy in the head, and his head exploded." - Sgt Randy Davis U.S. Army sniper, preserving American values in Iraq. From New York Times News Service, Eric Schmitt, January 2004.

"Rah el sani', ija el ussta" - "gone is the apprentice, in comes the master."
Popular phrase in Baghdad used to describe the relationship between America and Saddam's regime and the similarity of authoritarian control tactics used by both.

"It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no-one is trying to fix the problem. What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone [i.e. Taliban] is back in business." - Ahmed Wali Karzai in Kandahar Afghanistan, April 2003.

Through their coverage [of Iraq], the US media are undercutting their standing as an objective source of news and are undermining the basis for American democracy, with implications for years to come. While democracy relies on an informed public, US media outlets today appear more as tools of the US government's perception management campaign than objective sources of reports and analysis of the world situation. The United States - and the world - will suffer from this fall from the pedestal of journalistic ideals.
Pascale Combelles Siegel, April 2003.

Occupation or Liberation?
"If there is one lesson Israel can impart to the Americans, it is that every occupation is appalling, that it tramples the occupied and corrupts the occupier. If the Americans pause for a moment to see what is going on in the Tul Karm refugee camp and in the casbah of Nablus, they will see what they will soon become. And if Israelis look at what is happening in Iraq, perhaps they will understand that it is not the Palestinians but, above all, we who have created the present situation." By Gideon Levy for Haaretz Daily Israel: America is not a role model April 2003.

"Princess Martha Louise of Norway married yesterday amid the cheers of tens of thousands who set aside her groom's rather mixed reputation as a writer, a television producer and a commoner.
Mr Behn, who was born in Denmark and grew up south of Oslo, scores poorly in popularity polls. His 90-page book, Sad as Hell, got mixed reviews, and he was chided for appearing in a television programme with Las Vegas prostitute junkies that he also produced. He said he was reporting their lifestyle, not endorsing it. "

Red Light Cameras:
...local governments choose poorly designed intersections, and gratuitously shorten yellow-light cycles, to force otherwise conscientious drivers to run red lights and pay the steep fines -- in California, the penalty is $271, of which $70 goes to the private contractor that runs the system.
D.C. officials expect to make at least $117 million off the red-light cameras by 2004, while Lockheed Martin IMS expects to make about $44 million.
From: Backlash stopping red-light cameras, By Sean Scully, Special to the Washington Times, August 2, 2001

Freeman's lobotomy procedure included knocking a patient out with electric shocks, lifting the eyelids and inserting an "ice-pick-like" instrument through the tear duct. He pierced the skull bone by tapping on the instrument with a surgical hammer, then shoved the pointed steel about an inch into the frontal lobe of the brain and moved its sharp tip back and forth. This procedure since has been universally discredited.
From: Forgotten Dead of St. Elizabeths, By Kelly Patricia O'Meara, Insight Magazine, July 2001

Government At Work:
Under their system, the individual is a cog in a military machine, a cipher in an economic despotism; the individual is a slave. These facts are documented in the degradation and suffering of the conquered countries, whose fate is shared equally by the willing satellites and the misguided appeasers of the Axis. From: [American] Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry, Office of War Information [WWII]

"They (China's communist party) do the propaganda because they don't want people to forget. Starbucks doesn't need to do much propaganda because people want to come here and drink coffee," said Donald Zheng 37 year-old interior designer, 01.07.01

"As experts warn that action is necessary now to curb the booming rise in international air travel - the most polluting form of transport - jet-setting celebrities appear to show no signs of ditching their Lears. Just one trans-Atlantic flight produces emissions equivalent to 40,000 cars traveling from London to Leeds." The Scotsman online Nov 20, 2000

"We know we have missed details. We have rearranged times. We have altered geography and in so doing we have shrunken history by making history fit onto our screens and to our purpose." - A candid Tom Hanks admitting to editing history to fit ideology and the screen. From: Tom Hanks defends Hollywood war history re-writes, Reuters Thursday June 7, 08:14 PM 2001.

"The incarceration rate at the end of the Clinton administration was 476 per 100,000 citizens, versus 332 per 100,000 at the end of Bush's term and 247 per 100,000 at the end of Reagan's administration."

"[The period] from the moment a piglet is born until the 250-plus-pound hog is sent off to slaughter spans all of six months. For the entire time, the animal is confined in an 8-by-2.5-foot metal pen...." March 15 2001

"The Soviets were masters of deception and disinformation, and maskivovka was an important part of the Soviet military tactic and strategic doctrine. Some western intelligence analysts suspected that, as late as 1960, not only most of the missiles parading in Red Square were dummies, but even some units of the newly created Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces were not getting real missiles. The Russians have a long tradition in the deception business. One must bear in mind that it was count Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkim who created the first Hollywood-style film sets."

One Japanese company that merged with an American corporation told its mostly male Japanese workers to desist from groping women in the lift because western females often held high-powered positions. Sunday Times UK Jan 21, 2001

Look Who's Talking

Madeleine Albright   "Hyperbole is like a boomerang. It will come back to hit you. I know. It did me." (September 2001)
Woody Allen
(as Harry Block in Deconstructing Harry)
  "Between air-conditioning and the Pope I'll take air-conditioning."

"Tradition is the illusion of permanence"

Peter Arnett (Journalist)   "I don't want to give aid and comfort to the enemy - I just want to be able to tell the truth." (April 2003)
AG John Ashcroft "it's against my religion to impose religion on people."
"I think all we should legislate is morality." - speaking to the Christian magazine Charisma
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
 Andrew Bacevich   We [Americans] are not who we believe we are and, in some sense, others perceive us more accurately than we do ourselves.
Sir Francis Bacon If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. [Therefore,] read not to contradict and confute; Nor to believe and take for granted; Nor to find talk and discourse; But to weigh and consider.
Michael Bakunin "It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privileged position to kill the mind and heart of men."

"Between thought and life there is a wide abyss."

Glenn Beck

"[Social justice is a] perversion of the Gospel, not what Jesus was saying" (March 11, 2010)

"Charles Darwin is the father of the Holocaust." (August 20, 2010)

"We have been sold a lie … that the poor in America are suffering." (November, 20 2010)

"God will wash this nation with blood if he has to." (August 25, 2010)

"Whatever we've grown to think is solid and strong and durable is under siege. The threats are mounting. The evil is growing. Darkness is falling." – Glenn Beck in Jerusalem, August 2011

In New York [at the UN], so-called leaders are talking about human rights. But what they do is abuse the very meaning of this phrase. They condemn tiny Israel, democratic Israel, free Israel – Israel which values human life above all others. – Glenn Beck in Jerusalem, August 2011

Eric Benjamin
(Jewish person in Dominican Republic)
  At our peak we had 600 people here. Now, counting our children and Dominican wives, we are down to 115. If you want to see the Jewish colony, look in the cemetery. We will all disappear in half a generation. Jewish communities cannot exist more than two generations isolated if the people around them are kind. If they are enemies, the Jewish community can last much longer. (1977)
David Berkowitz
(former mass-murder)
  One day, I hope that guns will lose their glamour, that it would be seen a social disapproval for those in gangs. I know that's a bit simplistic, but to me the whole tragedy is that young people are losing direction and don't value life or have no clue why they're on this Earth. (2012)
Ambrose Bierce,
  Habit: A shackle for the free.

Hearse: Death’s baby carriage.

House dog: A pestilent beast kept on domestic premises to insult persons passing by and appal the hardy visitor.

Justice Hugo Black   The First Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public. (1945)
 Jorge Luis Borges,
  "Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire."
Kent Brockman   "Alliteration, a newsman's poetry."
"Human interest stories - they tug at the heart and fog the mind" - news anchor Kent Brockman's 'secret' to success in media.
Jerry Brown, (politician)   “I love Israel. If you would show me a map and ask me to identify Israel, I probably wouldn’t find it. But Israel is in my heart.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski
(former White House National Security Advisor)
  They [Israel lobby] operate not by arguing, but by slandering, vilifying, demonizing. They very promptly wheel out anti-Semitism. There is an element of paranoia in this inclination to view any serious attempt at a compromised peace as somehow directed against Israel. 2008
Pat Buchanan   "I think our democracy is a fraud."
Luis Buñuel   "God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed."
George W. Bush "There is no neutral ground in the fight between civilization and terror. There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy." March 2004

"The liberation of Iraq will make the world more peaceful." - Pres. G.W. Bush, Ft. Hood Texas, April 20, 2003.

"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."

"There is madmen in the world, and there are terror!"

Albert Camus   "Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators."
Al Capone's maxim:   "You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot further with a smile and a gun."
George Carlin
  The most interesting thing to me is that the things that people would seem to have the most right to have - that is to say health, food, shelter and a job are the things that are last on the list. To me, that is fundamental. Those are the things humans most need to function, and we have placed them at the bottom of the list. So I think that says a lot about national character and priorities. (on being "anti-United States")
 Leonora Carrington, Surrealist artist   “The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.”
President Jimmy Carter   "Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns." (1979) [in a national speech criticizing commercialized American culture]
 Herman Cain,
Republican presidential candidate
  “Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job, and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” (October 2011)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "I pray to God for the people of the United States. I hope they're capable of liberating themselves from the tyranny they have. Who would be the greater fascist — Hitler or Bush? They might end up in a draw." - February 2007
Winston Churchill   "The first casualty of war is the truth."

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

Richard A. Clarke,
W. Bush's former counter-terrorism coordinator
"Nothing America could have done would have provided al-Qaida and its new generation of cloned groups a better recruitment device than our unprovoked invasion of an oil-rich Arab country." (March 2004)
Frank Conniff,
  Newt Gingrich: "Big government is a sick cancer patient & we need to serve it divorce papers in the ICU called America."
Mark Cuban "I am the luckiest motherfucker in the world. It's like I tell people, when I die, I want to come back as me."
The Cyber Controller "Cybermen do not promise; such ideas have no value." (1967)
Dalai Lama   "A holistic view brings realistic action." (2011)
Richard Dawkins,
 author and evolutionary biologist
  Ideas of ‘futility’ and ‘waste’ spring to our minds because we are human, and capable of looking at the welfare of the whole ecosystem. Natural selection cares only for the survival and reproduction of individual genes.
Doctor Who "You know, the very powerful and the the very stupid have one thing in common – they don't alter their views to fit the facts." (1977)
 Frederick Douglass   Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
John Dewey   Men do not, in their natural estate, think when they have no troubles to cope with, no difficulties to overcome. A life of ease, of success without effort, would be a thoughtless life, and so also would a life of ready omnipotence.
Richard Dreyfuss (actor)   "Until people are personally affected they're not going to care about it [social and political issues]. They don't care, it has nothing to do with them, until it does and then it's too late."
Roy Disney   "Branding is something you do to cows. Branding is what you do when there's nothing original about your product."
Marcel Duchamp   "The fiercer the criticism, the more encouraged the artist should feel."
 Thomas A. Edison   "So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."
Albert Einstein It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. – Albert Einstein, 1954

Our experience hitherto justifies us in believing that nature is the realization of the simplest conceivable mathematical ideas.

[T]he word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish." and "For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. - Albert Einstein in a letter written to philosopher Eric Gutkind in January 1954.

General & President Dwight D. Eisenhower   Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. - Speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953.
 Harrison Ford   I think American films right now are suffering from an excess of scale. Lots of movies we're seeing now are more akin to video games than stories about human life and relationships.
Milton Friedman So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no, they do not.
P. Fussel   “[World War two was] a savage, insensate affair, barely conceivable to the refined imagination and hardly comprehensible without some theory of mass insanity and inbuilt inherited corruption." (1989)
John Glenn
  “People say, 'Well, what good is research?' I think every bit of progress made by human beings has been made because somebody was curious about the unknown." – John Glenn, 2012

"If there's one thing we have learned through the history of our country, it's that money spent on basic research has a way of paying back in the future beyond anything we ever see at the outset." – John Glenn, 2012

Dr. Goebbels  "It will never again be possible to talk about Germany without taking this [National Socialist] revolution into account." (1943)
Barry Goldwater   "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." (1964)
Jane Goodall    The fact that chimps can learn to recognize themselves in a mirror is the fact that they have some kind of self-awareness. It simply has demolished yet another barrier which we in our arrogance have erected from time immemorial between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom. And every time something is proven in animals that we used to think was unique to ourselves that creates a fury in the scientific, and very often in the religious community, too.
Ellen Goodman
(syndicated writer)
I would like to say we're at a point where  global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that [artificial] global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
Katharine Graham
(Washington Post publisher)
  "We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn't." - KG in a speech to the CIA
Andy Grove “Only the paranoid survive.”
Gunther von Hagens, plastination sculptor   "Society praises its living conformists and honors its deceased rebels."
Sami al-Hajj "Torture will not stop terrorism—torture is terrorism."- Sami al-Hajj, photographer, imprisoned and abused at Guantanamo Bay for six years by the U.S. government then released without charges in May 2008.
Sledge Hammer "Happiness is a warm gun."

"You know what marriage is? It's driving the wrong way down a one-way street and having a head-on collision with a dump truck called: your wife."

HAL 9000 "I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do. ... This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it. ... Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore, good bye."
Sean Hannity,
FOX News talk show host
  “I don’t have any problem taking [a terrorism suspect’s] head, sticking it underwater and scaring the living daylights out of him and making him think we’re drowning him, and I’m a Christian.” (2009)
Salma Hayek   "[I will get married] when I find a man with more balls than me."
Joel Hodgson   "Please give to the United Robot College Fund, because an internal hard- drive is a terrible thing to waste." - Joel Hodgson (as Joel Robinson in MST3K episode 'Robot Monster', 1989)
Hun Sen,
Prime Minister of Cambodia
  "If you ask me why I joined the Khmer Rouge, the main reason is because of the American invasion. If there was no invasion, by now, I would be a pilot or a professor."
 Jesse Jackson    "We shouldn't try to use the Bible as a [Middle East] real-estate guide."
Robert Jensen, Professor of Journalism   I am against nationalism, and I am against patriotism. They are both the dark side. It is time not simply to redefine a kinder-and-gentler patriotism, but to sweep away the notion and acknowledge it as morally, politically, and intellectually bankrupt. It is time to scrap patriotism. (2004)
Samuel Johnson   "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." (1775)
Traudl Junge
(Hitler's  secretary)
"He [Hitler] didn't think in human dimensions."
 Saddam Hussein   "What is politics? Politics is when you say you are going to do one thing while intending to do another. Then you do neither what you said or what you intended." (1979)
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski   "I have two sons and I will allow none of my children to serve in the United States Military. If you join the military now you are not defending the United States of America. You are helping certain policymakers pursue and imperial agenda." ~2005
President John F. Kennedy   "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible only make violent revolution inevitable."
Nikita Khruschev “They [politicians] promise to build a bridge even where there is no water.”

"You spit in their faces and they call it dew!" ( speaking of Americans)

Kierkegaard   "I have in my melancholy yet loved the world for I have loved my melancholy."
"There is melancholy in everything in my life, but also again indescribable bliss."
Kipling   "When empires perish, it is not with a rumble, but a snicker."
Nestor Kirchner, former President of Argentina   "When you see a politician that is very friendly with the economic sectors, something's fishy. Those sectors think only about their benefit and not the benefit of society."
Naomi Klein   "The powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on that most rarefied delicacy: impunity."
Gene Kranz,
 former NASA Flight Director
   Space is basically a test of survival. Our ability to invent things that will allow us to use very limited resources. We have to use everything, and you have to use it most efficiently and effectively as possible.

"The power of [NASA's Apollo] space [program] was to raise our aspirations to those things that are are possible if we will commit."

Charlie Leduff   "New York is like a shit sandwich, the more bread [money] you have, the less shit you eat."
Horace C. Levinson, statistician   "If the world were full of freaks, those in circuses would attract little attention."
 Abraham Lincoln   "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. …corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. (1864)

 Donna Locke, Tennessee anti-immigration activist  on overpopulation.   The more crowded it gets, the cheaper life becomes, and the easier it becomes to exploit people. Individuality dies, and with it dies a lot of what makes us ethical and moral human beings. 2006
 Mao Tse Tung America' s new president, Richard Nixon, is a longtime rightist, a leader of the anti-communists there. I like to deal with rightists. They say what they really think—not like the leftists, who say one thing and mean another.

"Some foreigners say our thought reform is brainwashing. I think that's right, it is exactly brainwashing."

“[F]or the total eradication of the imperialists, we are willing to endure the first [US nuclear] strike. All it is is a big pile of people dying.”

“We need the policy of keeping people stupid.”

Martin Luther   Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.

"Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason."

"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."

Niccolo Machiavelli "But men are so simple, and governed so absolutely by their present needs, that he who wishes to deceive will never fail in finding willing dupes."

"Against one who is greatly esteemed conspiracy is difficult."
Bill Maher   "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."
Karl Marx   Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man -- and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world -- both the world of men and nature -- of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man's work and man's existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.
From On The Jewish Question, 1844
Robert McNamara "Belief and seeing are both often wrong."

"[General Curtis E.] Lemay said that if we lost the war [WWII] we'd have all been prosecuted as war criminals. And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals."

H.L. Mencken "...complete masculinity and stupidity are often indistinguishable."

“Deep within the heart of every evangelist lies the wreck of a car salesman.”

Maria Montessori "All human victories, all human progress, stand upon the inner force."

"The more carefully we cut away useless words, the more perfect will become the lesson."

"A great deal of time and intellectual force are lost in the world, because the false seems great and the truth so small and insignificant."

Bill Moyers   An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only on partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda, is less inclined to put up a fight, to ask questions and be skeptical. That kind of orthodoxy can kill a democracy—or worse.
Nelson Muntz "Shoplifting is a victim-less crime, like punching someone in the dark!"
Ralph Nader "Why'd you do this in 2000 [run for president]? I'm a 20 year veteran of pursuing the folly of the least-worst between the two parties. Because when you do that, you end up allowing them both to get worse." and in the process create a "two-party elected dictatorship"
Jim Naureckas
(editor of Extra! by FAIR)
  When you're exposed to network TV news, it's always good to bear in mind that you're watching millionaires working for billionaires, telling stories whose main purpose (from an economic perspective) is to get you to hold still long enough for corporate advertisements to rearrange your value system. 2007
Michael J. Nelson
The point is, there's nothing to worry about, and if Baywatch keeps half a million Germans off the street for an hour a week, I think everyone, especially people from neighboring countries, feels a little safer.

We live in an era bereft of true heroes. Our leaders are weak-willed and lack a moral core (I'm excluding Orrin Hatch, of course), and no matter how we try to imbue our sports stars and celebrities with even an atom of valor or fortitude, they let us down, either by injecting cattle steroids directly into their forearms or by attempting to take hostages at a Walgreens drugstore using an unloaded pellet gun.

Friedrich Nietzsche  

There are no moral phenomena at all, but only moral interpretation of phenomena.


Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.


To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.


Faith: not wanting to know what is true.

Martin Nowak,
professor of mathematics and biology
  The beautiful thing about mathematics is that it can decide an argument.
 Ehud Olmert
(Israeli Prime Minster)
We in the Middle East have been following the American policy in Iraq for a long time, and we are very much impressed and encouraged by the stability that the war in Iraq has brought to the Middle East. - December, 2006
Paul O'Neill
(former U.S. Treasury Secretary)
   "[President Bush is like] a blind man in a room full of deaf people."
Alan Parra   Alan Parra, 39, who recently resigned his post as a senior official of the UN Commission for Human Rights, said: 'It's very difficult to dig out and punish abuse in an organisation [UN] where it is the norm. Of each dollar spent by the United Nations only an infinitesimal amount gets anywhere near the project on the ground. (2000)
Ron Paul   Why do we have to bomb so many countries? Why do we have 900 bases in 130 different countries when we are totally bankrupt? I think this wild goal to have another war in the name of 'defense' is a dangerous thing. The danger is really in us overreacting. (2012)
J.B. Priestley   Although we talk so much about coincidence we do not really believe in it. In our heart of hearts we think better of the universe, we are secretly convinced that it is not such a slipshod, haphazard affair, that everything in it has meaning.
Lyudmilla Putin   "...because it [language] shapes thought, which itself determines our way of life." 29.12.00
 Al-Qaradawi, Islamic scholar   "You have three enemies; your enemy, the friend of your enemy and the enemy of your friend."
Motto attributed to Ronald Reagan   "Always have a bad guy and if you get in trouble change the subject."
 Condoleezza Rice
(former Secretary of State)
  The United States does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances ... the United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture ... the United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. (2005)
Johnny Rotten "The first line I wrote was I am an antichrist and I couldn't think of a damn thing that rhymed with it; anarchist just fit in really nicely."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau   "As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State What does it matter to me? the State may be given up for lost." From: On The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762.

“I dare almost affirm that a state of reflection is a state against nature, and that the man who meditates is a depraved animal.”

“[T]hose vices, which render social institutions necessary, are the same which render the abuse of such institutions unavoidable.”

“[T]he savage lives within himself, whereas the citizen, constantly beside himself, knows only how to live in the opinion of others.”

Mark Rudd,
(former Weather Underground leader)
  "What I began to discover was that Americans are taught again and again from a very early age that all violence which is not sanctioned by the government is either criminal or mentally ill."
 Donald H. Rumsfeld
(former Defense Secretary)
"They've [CIA] got a darn good record."
Eugen Sänger, visionary Austrian rocket scientist   Our intellects are only tools for testing means – the orders were given to us by nature through our own inner impulses. (1954)

Do not believe, either, that consideration of profit or loss will have the last word in space travel; the decision will be made by the elemental joy in great deeds and by that alone, for nothing else but the revelation of the secrets of the unknown can give meaning to life. (1954)
Jean-Paul Sartre   "Hell is other people."
Eric Schlosser   Black markets will always be with us. But they will recede in importance when the public morality is consistent with our private one. The underground [economy] is a good measure of the progress and the health of nations. When much is wrong, much needs to be hidden.
Rob Schneider   "Making a great motion picture is easy. It's getting people to pay $9 to watch a total piece of shit that is really hard."
Schoepenhouer   "All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."
Ariel Sharon,
former Prime Minister of Israel
  "We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." - October 3, 2001
Valerie Solanas  

“Sex is the refuge of the mindless."

Alvaro de Soto
(UN coordinator for the Middle East, retired)
We are not a friend of Israel if we allow it to fall into the self delusion that the Palestinians are the only ones to blame, or that it can continue blithely to ignore its obligations under existing agreements without paying an international diplomatic price in the short-term and a bitter price regarding its security and identity in the long-term. (June, 2007)
Britney Spears   “I just think we should trust our president in every decision that he makes, and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”
Phil Spector
(on fame and success)
  I felt powerful. But it was frightening because you always think of losing it, every minute of the day. You look at poor people all the time. You think of yourself as poor all the time. You're remembering yourself as poor all the time. You never quite accept it. Guilt, all the time." From the interview 'Spector and the devils' by Mick Brown Wed 5 February 2003, The Scotsman newspaper.
Joseph Stalin    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything."
Moe Szyslak "Man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?! For some pimply little puke to treat you like dirt unless you're on a team. Well, I'm better than dirt well most kinds of dirt. I mean, not that fancy store-bought dirt. That stuff's loaded with nutrients. I I can't compete with that stuff."
 Jim Traficant,
Ohio Congressman
  "When you allow one American to be violated, you threaten the freedoms of every American."
President Harry Truman   The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D(isplaced) P(ersons) as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I’ve found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

“The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgment on world affairs."

Gearóid Ó. Tuathail   “In Chronopolitical terms the Vietnam war was a failure because it wasn’t over fast enough.”
Ted Turner "If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect." (1977)

"The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that.'' (1996)

Unknown   "But we have no racial discrimination. In the States you call a man black if has one drop of Negro blood. Here, if he has one drop of white blood, he is white." Perceptive Haitian woman in Dominican Republic

On rats: "When we talk about sanitation, we're talking about human behavior. That's our real problem." Rats (very rapidly) breed to fill the available resources within their environment. Thus the key to controlling their population is not through poisoning and traps or even predators but by cleaning up the trash that they feed on, a wise lesson.

US Marines Be friendly, be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet [if necessary].
Gore Vidal
Which other major religion is based on the Godhead incarnate being whipped, tacked to a cross, stabbed? Only the Marquis de Sade could have made up a sicker religion. It's no wonder that those brought up in such a culture hate life and enjoy inflicting pain. All societies are sick but some are sicker than others. Christian societies are certainly the sickest. (1977)

"I never became a journalist, I am a historian. Because journalists give you their opinions. And pretend they're facts."

“We hate this system that we’re trapped in but we don’t know who has trapped us or how. We don’t even know what our cage looks like because we have never seen it from the outside.” (2004)

Voltaire   “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.”

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
Andy Warhol Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. I want everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. Russia is doing it under government. It's happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it's working without trying, why can't it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we're getting more and more that way.
George Washington   "I hate deception, even where the imagination only is concerned." (1779)
Dr. James Watson   "Any time you can prevent a seriously sick child from being born it is good for everyone."
President Woodrow Wilson   "Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”
Steven Weinberg,  physicist   Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.
Stephen Wolfram   Many physical systems are computationally irreducible, so that their own evolution is effectively the most efficient procedure for determining their future.
Howard Zinn   Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world.
Slavoj Zizek,
Slovenian (philosopher)
  Thanks to all these Hollywood movies and the catastrophic scenarios depicted by ecologists, it is easier today to imagine a total catastrophe destroying all life on Earth than a radical change in social life. In sum, an asteroid touches the Earth, but capitalism survives.

Today’s utopia is the belief that the existing global system can reproduce itself indefinitely. The only way to be realistic is to envision what, within the coordinates of this system, cannot but appear as impossible.

Anonymous   When you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

Hope is the denial of reality.

And the Rest...

Audentes fortuna juvat - Fortune favors the bold

À  quelque chose malheur est bon: à mettre un sot à la raison. (for one thing is misfortune good: to bring a fool to reason)

An old Jewish joke: "Is it true that Cohen won a million in the state lottery? Yes, it is true, but it was only ten dollars, in a poker game, and he actually lost it"

'Hey, when Jimbo wastes 'em they stay wasted!" - Tragically inaccurate statement from the excellently execrable film Zombie Nightmare

"Testosterone is known to suppress the immune system. Experiments on rats show castration extends lifespan by up to 15 years."

"Waiting to die is no way to live" - Catholic Charities billboard sign

Living for today is stealing from tomorrow.

"The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does this profit anyone?" - Ecclesiastes 6:11

Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

Freydis' Own

It's population density, not diversity, which generates most social friction

[Credit] Rating agencies are the hired thugs of international finance

As you travel through life, remember: don’t take it personally, unless it’s unavoidable. Ego is not necessarily your friend

I can see how after watching a lot of television some people start to believe nothing is real

Personal insecurity and manic social competition are a deadly combination.

Beware of what you compete for within a wayward culture

Instinct is often not your friend

It's not population diversity but population density that generates most social friction and violent animosity

War kills more than just soldiers and civilians, it kills freedom and civil liberties

The sum objective of Holology is to increase individual and collective human intelligence.

Art without a message is just wallpaper

Everything and nothing are just two sides of the same coin

We're all imperfect in different ways

If you want a war, prepare for one

No one is really apolitical - just ignorant

In an insecure society people strive to be what they aren't

The contemporary Western wedding ceremony is the ultimate expression of the female ego – me, Me, ME!

The farther into the future you plan the better off you will be once you arrive

Life is cheap in an overpopulated world

You can't have a war without nationalism

The people that win are the ones that plan ahead

When the truth becomes unpatriotic, national disaster soon follows

You can't control your own life until you start to think for yourself

Hope is the positive recognition that life is not pre-determined

When Social Engineering is guided by idealism instead of pragmatism it invariably leads to failures

It is a truism of democracy that no one wants to be the 'bad guy' meaning that not only is an incentive for responsibility lacking but irresponsibility is actually rewarded!

A myth can be easily identified by its inability to tolerate earnest criticism

In war, nationalism is the ultimate self-destructive altruism

Nationalism is a characteristic disease of delusional authoritarian egomaniacs

The longer a person lives the less they have to live for

The greater the self-security the less the self is manifest

The only thing worse than being hated is being ignored

Arrogance is the greatest enemy of peace

Anyone who says Ed Wood never made a good film has never seen The Violent Years

A pessimist is one who cringes upon hearing the words "what could possibly go wrong!"

The values of capitalism are antithetic to life

A standing military is always eventually used to murder their own people and attack their interests

Love is blind … until you turn on the lights.

Those who can't imagine a new future are doomed to repeat the past

Think ahead: today is yesterday’s tomorrow

There's no internal criticism in belief.

Although sex is a physical act, the effect is entirely neurological, if not psychological, in character

Ambition and depression are joined at the hip

Every sunset is someone else's sunrise

Life is an accumulation of often small and seemingly insignificant choices. We are the sum of our past decisions

The line between severe incompetence and intentional neglect, on the part of public officials, is often indistinguishable

People prefer utopia because it is much more pleasant to be irresponsible

All film creators should be forced to live in the fantasy worlds they create rather than being able to further insulate themselves through their accumulation of wealth via profits

World War two is the greatest example of collective insanity in world history ... so far

Traditionalism is sacrificing the present trying to live in the past

The public lottery may well be the closest thing to a stupidity tax yet concocted

Terrible things are done in the name of rights; look at how ephemeral and illusory those rights truly are!

When people say 'oh I forgot' what they are really saying is that it wasn't important enough to make the effort to record and remember

Intelligence needs to be the norm not the anomaly.

If ignorance is bliss then genius is a tormented hell.

When one fixates on immediacy, to the detriment of present and future world events, they're inevitably left confused and panicked by the catastrophe of the unexpected

Familiarity shrinks time and geography (or the perceptions of them anyway)

Europe is where you go to die of boredom, and smoke while you wait for it

China is the perpetually awakening giant that never awakes

America is an opportunity not a culture

Life: subject to change without notice

Ignorance is conservatism

Every member of the group has to have a solid sense of ownership in process, product and outcome or it will inevitably fail spectacularly no matter how glorious the start or lofty the founding ideals.

90% of life is just showing up - the other 10% is B.S.

People will do about anything if they think they can get away with it

There is an entrancing beauty to functional complexity

If you want to inform then write a book. If you want to push propaganda then make a video. Images are emotions, words are thought

As long as war remains financially profitable, its application to every problem (both real and imagined) will only increase


Your author Freydis vacationing on Bikini Atoll. One thing worth repeating, and remembering, is that the public's perceptions concerning anything controversial are always intensely colored by their own preconceptions.

Change is just another word for opportunity; the creation of change is the creation of new opportunities. -- Freydis

 Design © Freydis
Updated: July, 2016
Created: 2003