Frontliners Quotes

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Librarians are the coolest people out there doing the hardest job out there on the frontlines. And every time I get to encounter or work with librarians, I'm always impressed by their sheer awesomeness.
Neil Gaiman
I see libraries and librarians as frontline soldiers in the war against illiteracy and the lack of imagination.
Neil Gaiman
I said to Hun Sen, “Thank you, Hun! You have also told me that there was a kidnapping incident which almost bankrupted your family! Can you please elaborate upon that?” (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume Two)
Michael G. Kramer
She polished her words like smooth river rocks lying perfectly organized in brilliant rainbow shades under crystal clear, slow moving water.
John Payton Foden (Magenta)
It's all rot that they put in the war-news about the good humour of the troops, how they are arranging dances almost before they are out of the front-line. We don't act like that because we are in a good humour: we are in a good humour because otherwise we should go to pieces.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
After March in 1945, the Japanese felt threatened by possibility of the people of Indochina rising against them. Therefore, they stated: “We of the Imperial Japanese Army have only invaded other Asian countries in order to remove the European and American white man from Asia! Stick with us Japanese and together we shall make Asians great while we kick the whites out of the entire region!” (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume Two)
Michael G. Kramer
It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Life is short. Life is uncertain. But we know that we have today. And we have each other. I believe that for each of us, there is a place on the frontlines.
Eric Greitens (The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL)
Our culture is now one of masculine triumphalism, in which transhistorically feminine expressions – empathy, sweetness, volubility, warmth – are seen as impediments to a woman’s professional trajectory in many sectors.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
But it is Bella, not the supernaturals she falls in with, who is the true horror show here, at least as a female role model.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
It is only through my daughter that I have come to realise that a life without femininity – devoid of mystery, emotion, gentleness and the unerring power of a woman’s love – is no life at all.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
I want you to write like Alice Munro.  Stir the world.  Make people see the horror; show them their suffering relatives; show them that they’re not safe.  Let them know that they can’t even begin to imagine what’s happening here.  By making my reality more compelling than reality television is the only way you’ll get their attention. Psychotic and cynical. Who can tell the difference anymore between a severed head and a special effect?  Can you?  I doubt it, and I know you’ve been in the middle of it all and seen the damage first-hand.
John Payton Foden (Magenta)
In her comic books, necromancers kissed the gloved palms of their front-liner comrades in blessed thanks for all that they did. In the comic books none of these adepts had heart disease, and a lot of them had necromantically uncharacteristic cleavage.
Tamsyn Muir (Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1))
Keep in mind that without the law, we’re not a military, just an armed gang that dresses alike.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
[T]here are some human rights that are so deep that we can't negotiate them away. I mean people do heinous, terrible things. But there are basic human rights I believe that every human being has. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the United Nations says it for me. And it says there are two basic rights that can't be negotiated that government doesn't give for good behavior and doesn't take away for bad behavior. And it's the right not to be tortured and not to be killed. Because the flip side of this is that then when you say OK we're gonna turn over -- they truly have done heinous things, so now we will turn over to the government now the right to take their life. It involves other people in doing essentially the same kind of act." (PBS Frontline: Angel on Death Row)
Helen Prejean
There is only one princess in the Disney tales, one girl who gets to be exalted. Princesses may confide in a sympathetic mouse or teacup, but they do not have girlfriends. God forbid Snow White should give Sleeping Beauty a little support. Let's review: princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married, and be taken care of the rest of their lives.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
And then I see them. In the glow of the flashlight, I see the corses. Stacks of them. Some are shriveled. Some are putrid. Most still have their clothes on. Not one has its head on. "No. No way. No way! This can't be. Fresh dead people? They said the bodies were two hundred years old. This is bad. Really bad. We've got to call someone. Frontline. Nightline. Anderson Cooper.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Take a Somalian toddler. She has a 20% probability of dying before reaching the age of five. Now compare: American frontline soldiers had a mortality rate of 6.7% in the Civil War, 1.8% in World War II, and 0.5% in the Vietnam War.30 Yet we won’t hesitate to send that Somalian toddler back if it turns out her mother isn’t a “real” refugee. Back to the Somalian child-mortality front.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
What was once a home she had taken apart one piece at a time, one day...She sold her belongings for money to buy food.  First the luxuries: a small statue, a picture.  Then the items with more utility: a lamp, a kettle.  Clothes left the closet at a rate of a garment a day…she burned everything in the basement first; then everything in the attic.  It lasted weeks, not months.  Though tempted, she left the roof alone.  She stripped the second floor, and the stairs.  She extracted every possible calorie from the kitchen.  she wasn’t working alone, because neighbourhood pirates simultaneously stole anything of value outside: door and window frames, fencing, stucco.  They pillaged her yard.  Breaking in was a boundary her neigbours had not yet crossed.  But the animals had.  Rats and mice and other vermin found the cracks without much effort.  Like her, they sought warmth and scraps of food.  With great reluctance, she roasted the ones she could catch.  She spent her nights fighting off the ones that escaped.
John Payton Foden (Magenta)
Action beats reaction most of the time.
Marko Kloos (Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1))
There’s no perfect place, you know. You always end up trading one kind of shit for another. Me, I’ll stick with the shit I know.
Marko Kloos (Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1))
In truth, warfare has changed very little since our great-great-grandfathers killed each other at places like Gettysburg, the Somme, Normandy, or Baghdad. It’s still mostly about scared men with rifles charging into places defended by other scared men with rifles.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
The Commonwealth—humanity—is in deep shit, and we’re the people with the shovels.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
You can’t read good-night stories to your bank account, or brush its hair, or teach it how to ride a bike for the first time.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
That which we allow to exist, to flourish freely according to its own rhythms, is superior to anything our little hands create.
William Powers (Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization)
A man dreams of a miracle and wakes up to loaves of bread.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Well, it was nice being all introspective, Andrew. Now let’s get back to shooting people.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
When you do exactly as you’re told, and you’re neither the best nor the worst at any task, you can disappear in the crowd and have a small measure of solitude.
Marko Kloos (Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1))
I fight because it’s the only way I have to control my destiny at least a little bit.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
You’ve been in long enough, Grayson. Never assume malice if you can explain it with lack of planning.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
Nobody gives a shit what we want. We take what we’re served, and we ask for seconds, and that’s the way it goes.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
This is how social change ultimately happens: enlightened values do not change behavior; the contours of self-interest are altered and new values rush into the vacuum.
William Powers (Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization)
But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
I am listening to what fear teaches. I will never be gone. I am a scar, a report from the frontlines, a talisman, a resurrection, a rough place on the chin of complacency.
Audre Lorde (A Burst of Light)
Send anyone who preaches war to a special frontline legion -into the assault, into the attack, ahead of everyone.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Metric fixation leads to a diversion of resources away from frontline producers toward managers, administrators, and those who gather and manipulate data.
Jerry Z. Muller (The Tyranny of Metrics)
The relevant question is not whether back then a few extraordinary individuals could overcome a system strongly weighted against them or whether today an admittedly far greater number requiring far less talent can succeed. The real question is whether it's harder for the people in this audience to succeed be they extraordinary, average, or below average. If it is, and I think it obvious that it is, then that's untenable in a country that purports to provide equal opportunity for all. Now of course you'll dispute my claim that it is more difficult to succeed for them. You say the battle's over. I say not only is it not over but you yourself are stationed on the frontline of the battle and have been all these years. This room and the criminal justice system as a whole is the frontline. This is where modern-day segregation lives on.
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
American Psychological Association, the girlie-girl culture’s emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness can increase girls’ vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, risky sexual behavior.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Perverse times have come The mystery of the Beloved to reveal Crows have begun to hunt hawks, Sparrows have vanquished falcons. Horse browse on rubbish, Donkeys graze on lush green. No love is lost between relatives, Be they younger or older uncles. There is no accord between fathers and sons, nor any between mothers and daughters. The truthful ones are being pushed about, the tricksters are seated close by, the front-liners have become wretched, the backbenchers sit on carpets. Those in taters have turned into Kings, The Kings have taken to begging. Oh Bullah, comes the command from the Lord, who can ever alter His decree? Perverse times have come, The mystery of the beloved to reveal
Bullhe Shāh
Data scientist (noun): Person who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician. — Josh Wills
Rachel Schutt (Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline)
When he says “jump,” the entire battalion is usually in midair before asking for an altitude parameter.
Marko Kloos (Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1))
For years, I had used these fractured men to justify my cynicism and workaholism, and the grief, insomnia and casual anorexia were no longer of any interest to me.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
That’s why I hate positions of authority. Everyone always bugs the shit out of you.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late; and how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?’ 
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
It’s amazing how much stuff you can accomplish when you don’t give a shit whether or not it’s feasible.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
Paranoia is one of the defining traits of the experienced combat soldier.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
Combative is her default setting.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
You think was if necessary? Fine. Send anyone who preaches war to a special front-line legion - into the assault, into the attack, ahead of everyone!
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Astrophysics. 'It's a super-long shot' is practically the motto of our profession.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
You can choose to follow orders without question, or you can choose to follow the law. Keep in mind that without the law, we’re not a military, just an armed gang that dresses alike.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
And it’s often in those battles that we are most alive: it’s on the frontlines of our lives that we earn wisdom, create joy, forge friendships, discover happiness, find love, and do purposeful work. If you want to win any meaningful kind of victory, you’ll have to fight for it.
Eric Greitens (Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life)
How about this, I would counter: try not commenting on your own looks—on the size of your thighs or the tightness of your jeans. At least not in front of your daughter. Girls receive enough messages every day reducing them to their appearance without women they love delivering them, too.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
[W]hat people truly desire is access to the knowledge and information that ultimately lead to a better life--the collected wisdom of the ages found only in one place: a well-stocked library. To the teachers and librarians and everyone on the frontlines of bringing literature to young people: I know you have days when your work seems humdrum, or unappreciated, or embattled, and I hope on those days you will take a few moments to reflect with pride on the importance of the work you do. For it is indeed of enormous importance--the job of safeguarding and sharing the world's wisdom. All of you are engaged in the vital task of providing the next generation with the tools they will need to save the world. The ability to read and access information isn't just a power--it's a superpower. Which means that you aren't just heroes--you're superheroes. I believe that with all my heart.
Linda Sue Park
Have you forgotten yet?... For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days, Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways: And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go, Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare. But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game... Have you forgotten yet?... Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget. Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets? Do you remember the rats; and the stench Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-- And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?' Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-- And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men? Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay? Have you forgotten yet?... Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.
Siegfried Sassoon
In America's 'nonlinear war', with no frontline or clear political or territorial goals, the number of enemy killed apparently revealed who was 'winning'. 'The military kill' became 'the prime target, simply because the essential political target is too elusive for us, or worse, because we do not understand its importance'.
Paul Ham (Vietnam - the Australian War)
Today humanitarianism is in search of an identity, especially after the war in Iraq. In a perfect world, humanitarianism would not exist. People wouldn't die of thirst or starvation. So humanitarian activity is in itself an admission of failure.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
Let me be clear here: I object—strenuously—to the sexualization of girls but not necessarily to girls having sex. I expect and want my daughter to have a healthy, joyous erotic life before marriage. Long, long, long before marriage. I do, however, want her to understand why she’s doing it: not for someone else’s enjoyment, not to keep a boyfriend from leaving, not because everyone else is. I want her to do it for herself. I want her to explore and understand her body’s responses, her own pleasure, her own desire. I want her to be able to express her needs in relationship, to say no when she needs to, to value reciprocity, and to experience true intimacy.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
A UN passport is the most beautiful thing that humanity has ever conceived. No colour, no affiliation, no religion, one planet, one world...In the document, only my name, date of birth and job appeared. Nothing else. Not the colour of my hair, or my country of origin. From now on my country was called Earth. I was a citizen of the world.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
...princess play feels like proof of our daughters' innocence, protection against the sexualization it may actually be courting. It reassures us that, despite the pressure to be precocious, little girls are still -- and ever will be -- little girls. And that knowledge restores our faith not only in wonder but, quite possibly, in goodness itself.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
But the average Kabuli was prepared to sacrifice some liberty for greater security and a measure of dignity. That's what the Taliban promised. It's only afterwards that they went off the rails. It's when they went too far that they became unpopular, held in contempt.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
We are not, indeed, in the front-line, but only in the reserves, yet in every face can be read: This is the front, now we are within its embrace.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
The universe is falling apart around us, and we still have nothing smarter to do than to try and kill each other.
Marko Kloos (Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2))
This is the military, and nobody gives a shit about what we want. We take what we’re served, and we ask for seconds, and that’s the way it goes.
Marko Kloos (Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1))
There is, it’s worth noting, no “Mom-with-three-ungrateful-children Barbie.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Decaf is an abomination, and serving it to someone should be considered a human rights violation,
Marko Kloos (Points of Impact (Frontlines, #6))
When the Combat Stations alert blares and everyone around you loses their head, it’s too late to be standing in line at the armory to sign out your pistol.
Marko Kloos (Points of Impact (Frontlines, #6))
Is no such thing as overkill,” Dmitry replies. “Anything worth breaking is worth breaking a lot.
Marko Kloos (Fields of Fire (Frontlines, #5))
The bar is masculine, and women must adopt traditionally masculine characteristics – cultivated insensitivity, goal-orientated thinking, the prioritising of the material – to compete.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
A world without rape would be a world in which women moved freely without fear of men. That some men rape provides a sufficient threat to keep all women in a constant state of intimidation, forever conscious of the knowledge that the biological tool must be held in awe for it may turn to weapon with sudden swiftness borne of harmful intent...Rather than society's abberants or"spoilers of purity," men who rape have serves in effect as front-line masculine shock troops, terrorists guerrillas in the longest sustained battle the world has ever known.
Susan Brownmiller
Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,” he says. “Where did you get that?” I ask. “Oh, an old novel that I like. Orcs and elves and high adventure, that sort of thing.
Marko Kloos (Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3))
Although my body and I have reached if not peace, at least a state of détente, “fat” remains how I experience anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment. I feel “fat” if I can’t master a task at work. I feel “fat” if I can’t please those I love. “Fat” is how I blame myself for my failures. “Fat” is how I express my anxieties. A psychologist once told me, “Fat is not a feeling.” If only it were that simple. As for so many women, the pathology of self-loathing is permanently ingrained in me. I can give in to it, I can modify it, I can react against it with practiced self-acceptance, but I cannot eradicate it. It frustrates me to consider what else I might have done with the years of mental energy I have wasted on this single, senseless issue.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
This is more like it,” Elin says. “What’s that?” I ask. “Decent weather. Clear line of sight. A bunch of subjects to observe in the wild. And only a medium-high risk of violent death.” “Living the dream,” I say.
Marko Kloos (Orders of Battle (Frontlines, #7))
They too struggle with the expectation to look sexy but not to feel sexual, to provoke desire in others without experience it themselves. Our daughters may not be faced with the decision of whether to strip for maxim, but they will have to figure out how to become sexual beings without being objectified or stigmatized.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
You’re beautiful’ is not something you want to say over and over to your daughter, because it’s not something that you want her to think is so important. “That said,” she continued, “there are times when it is important to say it: when she’s messy or sweaty, when she’s not dressed up, so that she gets a sense that there is something naturally beautiful about her as a person. And it’s also important to connect beauty and love. To say, ‘I love you so much. Everything about you is beautiful to me—you are beautiful to me.’ That way you’re not just objectifying her body.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Habit is the explanation of why we seem to forget things so quickly. Yesterday we were under fire, to-day we act the fool and go foraging through the countryside, to-morrow we go up to the trenches again. We forget nothing really. But so long as we have to stay here in the field, the front-line days, when they are past, sink down in us like a stone; they are too grievous for us to be able to reflect on them at once. If we did that, we should have been destroyed long ago. I soon found out this much:—terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks;—but it kills, if a man thinks about it. Just
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
That said, pointing out inaccurate or unrealistic portrayals of women to younger grade school children-ages five to eight-does seem to be effective, when done judiciously:taking to little girls about body image and dieting, for example, can actually introduce them to disordered behavior rather than inoculating them against it. I may be taking a bit of a leap here, but to me all this indicated that if you are creeped out about the characters fromMonster High, it is fine to keep them out of your house.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Children weren’t color-coded at all until the early twentieth century: in the era before Maytag, all babies wore white as a practical matter, since the only way of getting clothes clean was to boil them. What’s more, both boys and girls wore what were thought of as gender-neutral dresses. When nursery colors were introduced, pink was actually considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red, which was associated with strength. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy, and faithfulness, symbolized femininity.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
It's all very well to rail against human rights violations or the absence of democracy, but when there's a need to vaccinate children, supply drinkable water, care for the wounded, you'd better step up. No matter what the host government is like. We're aid workers. Not politicians. We serve human beings, not legal or political causes. If we can make a contribution to a cause, so be it, but not at the expense of our primary mission.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
We have more computing power in the drop ships’ tactical integrated neural network computers than existed on the entire planet fifty years ago, and somehow mission planning goes better when you’re outside in the fresh air and drawing diagrams and maps into the dirt with a pointy stick. “Two
Marko Kloos (Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4))
Curtis grew up to become King Cuz. A gangster well respected for his brain and his derring-do. His set, the Rollin’ Paper Chasers, was the first gang to have trained medics at their rumbles. A shoot-out would pop off at the swap meet and the stretcher-bearers would cart off the wounded to be treated in some field hospital set up behind the frontlines. You didn’t know whether to be sad or impressed. It wasn’t long after that innovation that he applied for membership to NATO. Everybody else is in NATO. Why not the Crips? You going to tell me we wouldn’t kick the shit out of Estonia?
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
The misery is what should concern us: the death, rage and distress of others always comes back to haunt us. Especially when the tragedies are partially due to our own actions, policies and erroneous vision of the planet. September 11 happens and we are surprised to learn that there are people who hate us. Even then ,we mourn the 3,000 deaths without a thought for the victims our government has left all over the world because of our evil and immoral politics.
Marc Vachon (Rebel Without Borders: Frontline Missions in Africa and the Gulf)
For years, I worked seven-day weeks, through birthdays and most public holidays, Christmases and New Year’s Eves included. I worked mornings and afternoons, resuming work after dinner. I remember feeling as if life were a protracted exercise in pulling myself out of a well by a rope, and that rope was work.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
The people who write that kind of stuff never fight; possibly they believe that to write it is a substitute for fighting. It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
If one of you sons of bitches gets killed for lack of shooting back because you ran out of ammo, I will personally violate your carcass. Understood?” “Yes, Master Sergeant,” the enlisted grunts shout back. I grin behind the shield of my visor. Nobody does motivational premission pep talks better than Sergeant Fallon. I
Marko Kloos (Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4))
at best, young children who are drilled on letters and numbers show no later advantage compared with those in play-based programs. In some cases, by high school their outcomes are worse. That inappropriately early pressure seems to destroy the interest and joy in learning that would naturally develop a few years later.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Marriage is never static. There are peaks and troughs, cycles. It is easy to forget that this shifting landscape is really only ever a reflection of the self. Our capacity for attachment determines the kind of mate we attract, and it is through this mate that we are forever transformed – marriage as alchemy, but also as a mirror.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
This human need for mysticism – surrender to an unknown truth, union – stands at the helm of all romantic feeling. It is, in essence, the same intimacy known in a mother’s arms; in those who are deprived of the experience, the need freezes and, distorted, it can rent a life. All addiction has as its foundation skewed yearning for the same transcendence. For me, the spell of the material was broken by my brother’s death; after his suicide, all I wanted was the renewal of my connection to the intangible.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
On first hearing that little voice – as fine and friable, I felt, as cotton thread, the impact on my soul was that of the highest magnitude of earthquake, those that occur every hundred years, say, or every thousand. The old shell I called myself cracked and was swallowed by a sudden crevasse, and just as suddenly was lost in the commotion.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
In order to assimilate the culture of the oppressor and venture into his fold, the colonized subject has to pawn some of his own intellectual possessions. For instance, one of the things he has had to assimilate is the way the colonialist bourgeoisie thinks. This is apparent in the colonized intellectual's inaptitude to engage in dialogue. For he is unable to make himself inessential when confronted with a purpose or idea. On the other hand, when he operates among the people he is constantly awestruck. He is literally disarmed by their good faith and integrity. He is then constantly at risk of becoming a demagogue. He turns into a kind of mimic man who nods his assent to every word by the people, transformed by him into an arbiter of truth. But the fellah, the unemployed and the starving do not lay claim to truth. They do not say they represent the truth because they are the truth in their very being. During this period the intellectual behaves objectively like a vulgar opportunist. His maneuvering, in fact, is still at work. The people would never think of rejecting him or cutting the ground from under his feet. What the people want is for everything to be pooled together. The colonized intellectual's insertion into this human tide will find itself on hold because of his curious obsession with detail. It is not that the people are opposed to analysis. They appreciate clarification, understand the reasoning behind an argument, and like to see where they are going. But at the start of his cohabitation with the people the colonized intellectual gives priority to detail and tends to forget the very purpose of the struggle - the defeat of colonialism. Swept along by the many facets of the struggle, he tends to concentrate on local tasks, undertaken zealously but almost always too pedantically. He does not always see the overall picture. He introduces the notion of disciplines, specialized areas and fields into that awesome mixer and grinder called a people's revolution. Committed to certain frontline issues he tends to lose sight of the unity of the movement and in the event of failure at the local level he succumbs to doubt, even despair. The people, on the other hand, take a global stance from the very start. "Bread and land: how do we go about getting bread and land?" And this stubborn, apparently limited, narrow-minded aspect of the people is finally the most rewarding and effective model.
Frantz Fanon
Men's rights activists tend to make a series of valid observations from which they proceed to a single, 180-degree-wrong conclusion. They are correct to point out that, worldwide, suicide is the most common form of death for men under fifty. It's also true that men are more likely than women to have serious problems with alcohol, that men die younger, that the prison population is 95 per cent male and that the lack of support for our returning frontline soldiers is a national disgrace. So far, so regrettably true. They are incorrect, however, to lay any of this at the door of 'feminism', a term which they use almost interchangeably with 'women'. [...] No, sir. No, lads. No, Daddy. That won't help us and it won't help anyone else. Men in trouble are often in trouble precisely because they are trying to Get a Grip and Act Like a Man. We are at risk of suicide because the alternative is to ask for help, something we have been repeatedly told is unmanly. We are in prison because the traditional breadwinning expectation of manhood can't be met, or the pressure to conform is too great, or the option of violence has been frowned upon but implicitly sanctioned since we were children. [...] We die younger than women because, for one thing, we don't go to the doctor. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We don't want to be thought self-indulgent. The mark of a real man is being able to tolerate a chest infection for three months before laying off the smokes or asking for medicine.
Robert Webb (How Not To Be a Boy)
Delirious as it can be, sex is only one kind of intimacy, and yet has become the cultural catchment area for all kinds of needs because our understanding of intimacy is so poor. Brutal work schedules, related geographic isolation, and the concomitant fracturing of families has meant that there is little time for intimacy, and even less to teach the necessary skills. But intimacy, the axis of romance, is slow, based on the sharing of a life rather than show. In terms of intimacy, folding laundry together or sharing the feeding of a child can have more impact than the most extravagant bouquet.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
There were times when I would sob until I shook, until my eyelids were so swollen that it pained me to open them, and through hiccoughs, trembling, I would hiss, don’t touch me! as he moved to place a gentle hand on my shoulder. There were times when we seemed locked into our chairs, discrete, the static between us more eloquent than words. But there was never a moment when I doubted Peter’s ability to heal me.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love)
Actually, using the Daleks would be a masterstroke. Everyone loves Doctor Who - who wouldn't be thrilled by the sight of a real-life Dalek squadron rolling down the high street, glinting in the sun? The sheer excitement would genuinely make the accompanying loss of liberty seem worthwhile. To liven things up even more, our rasping pepperpot overlords would be colour-coded. Blue Daleks would deal with minor infractions, and would spend most of their time issuing warnings and administering minor shocks - but they'd also be chummy and approachable, and willing to pose for photographs with your nephew. Red Daleks, on the other hand, would be emotionless killing machines. Imagine the atmosphere outside a pub on a hot summer's day: a Red Dalek trundles past, and the convivial hubbub suddenly fades to a whisper. Everyone stiffens. And then he turns the corner and a communal sigh of relief goes up, and the drinking continues and the jukebox plays louder and louder... community spirit lives again. Admit it: it'd be fantastic.
Charlie Brooker (Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline)
But no matter how carefully we schedule our days, master our emotions, and try to wring our best life now from our better selves, we cannot solve the problem of finitude. We will always want more. We need more. We are carrying the weight of caregiving and addiction, chronic pain and uncertain diagnosis, struggling teenagers and kids with learning disabilities, mental illness and abusive relationships. A grandmother has been sheltering without a visitor for months, and a friend's business closed its doors. Doctors, nurses, and frontline workers are acting as levees, feeling each surge of the disease crash against them. My former students, now serving as pastors and chaplains, are in hospitals giving last rites in hazmat suits. They volunteer to be the last person to hold his hand. To smooth her hair. The truth if the pandemic is the truth of all suffering: that it is unjustly distributed. Who bears the brunt? The homeless and the prisoners. The elderly and the children. The sick and the uninsured. Immigrants and people needing social services. People of color and LGBTQ people. The burdens of ordinary evils— descriminations, brutality, predatory lending, illegal evictions, and medical exploitation— roll back on the vulnerable like a heavy stone. All of us struggle against the constraints places on our bodies, our commitments, our ambitions, and our resources, even as we're saddled with inflated expectations of invincibility. This is the strange cruelty of suffering in America, its insistence that everything is still possible.
Kate Bowler (No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear)
It was after a Frontline television documentary screened in the US in 1995 that the Freyds' public profile as aggrieved parents provoked another rupture within the Freyd family, when William Freyd made public his own discomfort. 'Peter Freyd is my brother, Pamela Freyd is both my stepsister and sister-in-law,' he explained. Peter and Pamela had grown up together as step-siblings. 'There is no doubt in my mind that there was severe abuse in the home of Peter and Pam, while they were raising their daughters,' he wrote. He challenged Peter Freyd's claims that he had been misunderstood, that he merely had a 'ribald' sense of humour. 'Those of us who had to endure it, remember it as abusive at best and viciously sadistic at worst.' He added that, in his view, 'The False memory Syndrome Foundation is designed to deny a reality that Peter and Pam have spent most of their lives trying to escape.' He felt that there is no such thing as a false memory syndrome.' Criticising the media for its uncritical embrace of the Freyds' campaign, he cautioned: That the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been able to excite so much media attention has been a great surprise to those of us who would like to admire and respect the objectivity and motive of people in the media. Neither Peter's mother nor his daughters, nor I have wanted anything to do with Peter and Pam for periods of time ranging up to two decades. We do not understand why you would 'buy' into such an obviously flawed story. But buy it you did, based on the severely biased presentation of the memory issue that Peter and Pam created to deny their own difficult reality. p14-14 Stolen Voices: An Exposure of the Campaign to Discredit Childhood Testimony
Judith Jones Beatrix Campbell
If you are a North American Christian, the reality of our society’s vast wealth presents you with an enormous responsibility, for throughout the Scriptures God’s people are commanded to show compassion to the poor. In fact, doing so is simply part of our job description as followers of Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:31–46). While the biblical call to care for the poor transcends time and place, passages such as 1 John 3:17 should weigh particularly heavy on the minds and hearts of North American Christians: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Of course, there is no “one-size-fits-all” recipe for how each Christian should respond to this biblical mandate. Some are called to pursue poverty alleviation as a career, while others are called to do so as volunteers. Some are called to engage in hands-on, relational ministry, while others are better suited to support frontline workers through financial donations, prayer, and other types of support. Each Christian has a unique set of gifts, callings, and responsibilities that influence the scope and manner in which to fulfill the biblical mandate to help the poor.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself)
their home was the front-line trench or the foxhole—there, on the main battle line, where day after day they worried about their survival and killed their enemies in order to avoid being killed; where each man fought as a unit but in the end had to rely upon himself; where the earth around them often turned into a burning hell; where they sensed the ice-cold touch of death when a glowing hot splinter or a fizzing bullet searched out their living bodies; where the shredded corpses of their enemy were heaped in front of them; and where the piercing screams of the wounded would mix with the barely audible calls of the dying, touching them as they cowered deep within the ground and pursuing them in their nightmares. There
Gunther K. Koschorrek (Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front)
As in everything, nature is the best instructor, even as regards selection. One couldn't imagine a better activity on nature's part than that which consists in deciding the supremacy of one creature over another by means of a constant struggle. While we're on the subject, it's somewhat interesting to observe that our upper classes, who've never bothered about the hundreds of thousands of German emigrants or their poverty, give way to a feeling of compassion regarding the fate of the Jews whom we claim the right to expel. Our compatriots forget too easily that the Jews have accomplices all over the world, and that no beings have greater powers of resistance as regards adaptation to climate. Jews can prosper anywhere, even in Lapland and Siberia. All that love and sympathy, since our ruling class is capable of such sentiments, would by rights be applied exclusively—if that class were not corrupt—to the members of our national community. Here Christianity sets the example. What could be more fanatical, more exclusive and more intolerant than this religion which bases everything on the love of the one and only God whom it reveals? The affection that the German ruling class should devote to the good fellow-citizen who faithfully and courageously does his duty to the benefit of the community, why is it not just as fanatical, just as exclusive and just as intolerant? My attachment and sympathy belong in the first place to the front-line German soldier, who has had to overcome the rigours of the past winter. If there is a question of choosing men to rule us, it must not be forgotten that war is also a manifestation of life, that it is even life's most potent and most characteristic expression. Consequently, I consider that the only men suited to become rulers are those who have valiantly proved themselves in a war. In my eyes, firmness of character is more precious than any other quality. A well toughened character can be the characteristic of a man who, in other respects, is quite ignorant. In my view, the men who should be set at the head of an army are the toughest, bravest, boldest, and, above all, the most stubborn and hardest to wear down. The same men are also the best chosen for posts at the head of the State—otherwise the pen ends by rotting away what the sword has conquered. I shall go so far as to say that, in his own sphere, the statesman must be even more courageous than the soldier who leaps from his trench to face the enemy. There are cases, in fact, in which the courageous decision of a single statesman can save the lives of a great number of soldiers. That's why pessimism is a plague amongst statesmen. One should be able to weed out all the pessimists, so that at the decisive moment these men's knowledge may not inhibit their capacity for action. This last winter was a case in point. It supplied a test for the type of man who has extensive knowledge, for all the bookworms who become preoccupied by a situation's analogies, and are sensitive to the generally disastrous epilogue of the examples they invoke. Agreed, those who were capable of resisting the trend needed a hefty dose of optimism. One conclusion is inescapable: in times of crisis, the bookworms are too easily inclined to switch from the positive to the negative. They're waverers who find in public opinion additional encouragement for their wavering. By contrast, the courageous and energetic optimist—even although he has no wide knowledge— will always end, guided by his subconscious or by mere commonsense, in finding a way out.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
It may seem paradoxical to claim that stress, a physiological mechanism vital to life, is a cause of illness. To resolve this apparent contradiction, we must differentiate between acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the immediate, short-term body response to threat. Chronic stress is activation of the stress mechanisms over long periods of time when a person is exposed to stressors that cannot be escaped either because she does not recognize them or because she has no control over them. Discharges of nervous system, hormonal output and immune changes constitute the flight-or-fight reactions that help us survive immediate danger. These biological responses are adaptive in the emergencies for which nature designed them. But the same stress responses, triggered chronically and without resolution, produce harm and even permanent damage. Chronically high cortisol levels destroy tissue. Chronically elevated adrenalin levels raise the blood pressure and damage the heart. There is extensive documentation of the inhibiting effect of chronic stress on the immune system. In one study, the activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells were compared in two groups: spousal caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and age- and health-matched controls. NK cells are front-line troops in the fight against infections and against cancer, having the capacity to attack invading micro-organisms and to destroy cells with malignant mutations. The NK cell functioning of the caregivers was significantly suppressed, even in those whose spouses had died as long as three years previously. The caregivers who reported lower levels of social support also showed the greatest depression in immune activity — just as the loneliest medical students had the most impaired immune systems under the stress of examinations. Another study of caregivers assessed the efficacy of immunization against influenza. In this study 80 per cent among the non-stressed control group developed immunity against the virus, but only 20 per cent of the Alzheimer caregivers were able to do so. The stress of unremitting caregiving inhibited the immune system and left people susceptible to influenza. Research has also shown stress-related delays in tissue repair. The wounds of Alzheimer caregivers took an average of nine days longer to heal than those of controls. Higher levels of stress cause higher cortisol output via the HPA axis, and cortisol inhibits the activity of the inflammatory cells involved in wound healing. Dental students had a wound deliberately inflicted on their hard palates while they were facing immunology exams and again during vacation. In all of them the wound healed more quickly in the summer. Under stress, their white blood cells produced less of a substance essential to healing. The oft-observed relationship between stress, impaired immunity and illness has given rise to the concept of “diseases of adaptation,” a phrase of Hans Selye’s. The flight-or-fight response, it is argued, was indispensable in an era when early human beings had to confront a natural world of predators and other dangers. In civilized society, however, the flight-fight reaction is triggered in situations where it is neither necessary nor helpful, since we no longer face the same mortal threats to existence. The body’s physiological stress mechanisms are often triggered inappropriately, leading to disease. There is another way to look at it. The flight-or-fight alarm reaction exists today for the same purpose evolution originally assigned to it: to enable us to survive. What has happened is that we have lost touch with the gut feelings designed to be our warning system. The body mounts a stress response, but the mind is unaware of the threat. We keep ourselves in physiologically stressful situations, with only a dim awareness of distress or no awareness at all.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)