These Are Unprecedented Times Quotes

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We have advantages. We have a cushion to fall back on. This is abundance. A luxury of place and time. Something rare and wonderful. It's almost historically unprecedented. We must do extraordinary things. We have to. It would be absurd not to.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
One-third to one-half of humanity are said to go to bed hungry every night. In the Old Stone Age the fraction must have been much smaller. This is the era of hunger unprecedented. Now, in the time of the greatest technical power, is starvation an institution. Reverse another venerable formula: the amount of hunger increases relatively and absolutely with the evolution of culture.
Marshall Sahlins (Stone Age Economics)
In times of unprecedented evil, God wants to give unprecedented grace. For, as St. Paul wrote, “Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more” (Rom 5:20).
Michael E. Gaitley (33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration)
For despite what some people say, love is not a sweet feeling bound to come and quickly go away. In many ways the twenty-first century is not that different from the thirteenth century. Both will be recorded in history as times of unprecedented religious clashes, cultural misunderstandings, and a general sense of insecurity and fear of the Other. At times like these, the need for love is greater than ever. Because love is the very essence and purpose of life. As Rumi reminds us, it hits everybody, including those who shun love - even those who use the word "romantic" as a sign of disapproval.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
The American Society of Civil Engineers said in 2007 that the U.S. had fallen so far behind in maintaining its public infrastructure -- roads, bridges, schools, dams -- that it would take more than a trillion and half dollars over five years to bring it back up to standard. Instead, these types of expenditures are being cut back. At the same time, public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. It's easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated. The well-off, meanwhile, will withdraw into gated communities, their needs met by privatized providers.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
Europe has achieved peaceful political union for the first time ever: They're using this unprecedented state of affairs to harmonize the curvature of bananas.
Charles Stross (Accelerando)
A label is a mask life wears. We put labels on life all the time. "Right," "wrong," "success," "failure," "lucky," "unlucky," may be as limiting a way of seeing things as "diabetic," "epileptic," "manic-depressive," or even "invalid." Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling we can no longer see things as they really are. This expectation often gives us a false sense of familiarity toward something that is really new and unprecedented. We are in relationship with our expectations and not with life itself.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
Of these, only the last, the crime against humanity, was new and unprecedented. Aggressive warfare is at least as old as recorded history, and while it has been denounced as "criminal" many times before, it has never been recognized as such in any formal sense.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
There are times when all the lies you have told about yourself to yourself just fall away. In your twenties, you tell yourself the lie that you are unusual, unprecedented, and interesting. You do this largely by purchasing things or stealing things. You adorn yourself with songs and clothes and borrowed ideas and poses. In your thirties, you tell yourself the lie that you are still in your twenties.
John Hodgman (Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches)
This is the most revolutionary thing a woman can do: the next precise thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission or offering explanation. This way of life is thrilling. I understand now that no one else in the world knows what I should do. The experts don’t know, the ministers, the therapists, the magazines, the authors, my parents, my friends, they don’t know. Not even the folks who love me the most. Because no one has ever lived or will ever live this life I am attempting to live, with my gifts and challenges and past and people. Every life is an unprecedented experiment. This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. There is no map. We are all pioneers.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
The amount of improvement that has occurred in computer technology in the past half century is truly staggering and unprecedented in other industries. ... If cars had improved at this rate in the same time period, a Rolls Royce would now cost 10 dollars and get a billion miles per gallon. (Unfortunately, it would probably also have a 200-page manual telling how to open the door.)
Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Many patients may confess that they feel “strange” or “confused” during a migraine aura, that they are clumsy in their movements, or that they would not drive at such a time. In short, they may be aware of something the matter in addition to the scintillating scotoma, paraesthesiae, etc., something so unprecedented in their experience, so difficult to describe, that it is often avoided or omitted when speaking of their complaints. Great
Oliver Sacks (Migraine)
Despite living in a time of unprecedented sexual freedom in America, the practice of policing sexuality has continued unabated since the days of the Puritans.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence)
Every time period that’s ever transpired has seemed unprecedented to the people who happened to live through it; no one has ever believed the Chinese aphorism ‘May you live in interesting times’ did not apply to the life they were coincidentally living.
Chuck Klosterman (The Nineties)
The novel was set in an unspecified near future, because setting a novel in the present in a time of unprecedented technological and social dislocation seemed to me shortsighted.... To write a book set in the present, circa 2013, is to write about the distant past.
Gary Shteyngart
Drilling without thinking has of course been Republican party policy since May 2008. With gas prices soaring to unprecedented heights, that's when the conservative leader Newt Gingrich unveiled the slogan 'Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less'—with an emphasis on the now. The wildly popular campaign was a cry against caution, against study, against measured action. In Gingrich's telling, drilling at home wherever the oil and gas might be—locked in Rocky Mountain shale, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and deep offshore—was a surefire way to lower the price at the pump, create jobs, and kick Arab ass all at once. In the face of this triple win, caring about the environment was for sissies: as senator Mitch McConnell put it, 'in Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana and Texas, they think oil rigs are pretty'. By the time the infamous 'Drill Baby Drill' Republican national convention rolled around, the party base was in such a frenzy for US-made fossil fuels, they would have bored under the convention floor if someone had brought a big enough drill.
Naomi Klein
The last time such a loss occurred was during the 1930s, and what makes it such a concern this time is that the dismal job creation statistic has been accompanied by huge and rising budget deficits, large and persistent trade deficits, enormous indebtedness, a low saving rate, a worsening state of indispensable modern infrastructure, poor achievements in education for the masses, worrisome public health (marked by a historically unprecedented incidence of obesity)—and a grossly dysfunctional government to run it all. When seen from this perspective, the state of US manufacturing is a clear cause for concern.
Vaclav Smil (Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing (The MIT Press))
Capitalism has succeeded in raising the material well-being of the masses in an unprecedented way. In the capitalist countries population figures are now several times higher than they were at the eve of the "industrial revolution," and every citizen of these nations enjoys a standard of living much higher than that of the well-to-do of earlier ages.
Ludwig von Mises (Bureaucracy)
To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence. It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.
Alan Moore
The free spirit again draws near to life - slowly, to be sure, almost reluctantly, almost mistrustfully. It again grows warmer about him, yellower as it were; feeling and feeling for others acquire depth, warm breezes of all kind blow across him. It seems to him as if his eyes are only now open to what is close at hand. he is astonished and sits silent: where had he been? These close and closest things: how changed they seem! what bloom and magic they have acquired! He looks back gratefully - grateful to his wandering, to his hardness and self-alienation, to his viewing of far distances and bird-like flights in cold heights. What a good thing he had not always stayed "at home," stayed "under his own roof" like a delicate apathetic loafer! He had been -beside himself-: no doubt about that. Only now does he see himself - and what surprises he experiences as he does so! What unprecedented shudders! What happiness even in the weariness, the old sickness, the relapses of the convalescent! How he loves to sit sadly still, to spin out patience, to lie in the sun! Who understands as he does the joy that comes in winter, the spots of sunlight on the wall! They are the most grateful animals in the world, also the most modest, these convalescents and lizards again half-turned towards life: - there are some among them who allow no day to pass without hanging a little song of praise on the hem of its departing robe. And to speak seriously: to become sick in the manner of these free spirits, to remain sick for a long time and then, slowly, slowly, to become healthy, by which I mean "healthier," is a fundamental cure for all pessimism.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
What the times demand, and in an unprecedented fashion, is that one be--not seem--outrageous, independent, anarchical. That one be thoroughly disciplined--as a means of being spontaneous. That one resist at whatever cost the fearful pressures placed on one to lie about one’s own experience. For in the same way that the writer scarcely ever had a more uneasy time, he has never been needed more.
James Baldwin
I tend to forget or rather, rarely cash in on — like coupons piling up — the proximity of people. If I wanted, I could walk a few blocks and find a friend, a friend who is likely experiencing coincidental gloom, blahs, and Sunday doom, because if there’s one thing I know to be true about New York friendships: they are intervened time and again by emotional kismet. Stupid, unprecedented quantities of it. We’re all just here, bungling this imitation of life, finding new ways of becoming old friends.
Durga Chew-Bose
Up to that time, the Republic, the Empire, had been to him only monstrous words. The Republic, a guillotine in the twilight; the Empire, a sword in the night. He had just taken a look at it, and where he had expected to find only a chaos of shadows, he had beheld, with a sort of unprecedented surprise, mingled with fear and joy, stars sparkling...
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
These are unprecedented times, Theo," she says. "If one does not adapt and move with them, all one can do is drown.
Laura Sebastian
In 1937, the airship Hindenburg exploded at Lakehurst, N.J., just two hours before The March of Time went on the air. Only bulletins were available at air time, but it was enough: the segment focused on the history of dirigible travel and ended with a news flash on the Lakehurst tragedy. The orchestra and sound effects produced an unprecedented sense of reality, said Radio News: “of storm, explosion, frenzied cries, crackling flames, and crumpling girders.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
It may be underfunded and at times mismanaged, but the [Endangered Species] Act is an unprecedented attempt to delegate human-caused extinction to the chapters of history we would rather not revisit: the Slave Trade, the Indian Removal Policy, the subjection of women, child labor, segregation. The Endangered Species Act is a zero-tolerance law: no new extinctions. It keeps eyes on the ground with legal backing-the gun may be in the holster most of the time, but its available if necessary to keep species from disappearing. I discovered in my travels that a law protecting all animals and plants, all of nature, might be as revolutionary-and as American-as the Declaration of Independence.
Joe Roman (Listed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Act)
Although the army of Genghis Khan killed at an unprecedented rate and used death almost as a matter of policy and certainly as a calculated means of creating terror, they deviated from standard practices of the time in an important and surprising way. The Mongols did not torture, mutilate, or maim.
Jack Weatherford (Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)
When you see a war started by two single nations that is soon joined by the kingdoms of the world—followed by unprecedented famines, pestilence, and multiple earthquakes at the same time—you have the sign.
Tim LaHaye (Are We Living in the End Times?: Curretn Events Foretold in Scripture... and What They Mean)
A properly educated leader, especially when harassed and under pressure, will know from his study of history and the classics that circumstances very much like those he is encountering have occurred from time to time on this earth since the beginning of history. He will avoid the self-indulgent error of seeing himself in a predicament so unprecedented, so unique, as to justify his making an exception to law, custom or morality in favor of himself. The making of such exceptions has been the theme of public life throughout much of our lifetimes. For twenty years, we've been surrounded by gamesmen unable to cope with the wisdom of the ages. They make exceptions to law and custom in favor of themselves because they choose to view ordinary dilemmas as unprecedented crises.
James B. Stockdale
Far from fading away, it appears that prisons are here to stay. And despite the unprecedented levels of incarceration in the African American community, the civil rights community is oddly quiet. One in three young African American men will serve time in prison if current trends continue, and in some cities more than half of all young adult black men are currently under correctional control - in prison or jail, on probation or parole. Yet mass incarceration tends to be categorized as a criminal justice issue as opposed to a racial justice or civil right issue (or crisis).
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
A politics built around getting and spending money is sexier than a politics built around politics. And so, at a time of unprecedented freedom and power for women, at a time when we were more poised than ever to understand our lives politically, we got, instead of expanded reproductive protections and equal pay and federally mandated family leave and subsidized childcare and a higher minimum wage, the sort of self-congratulatory empowerment feminism that corporations can get behind. The kind that comes with merchandise: mugs that said 'male tears'; T-shirts that said 'feminist as fuck.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
Eventually, the storm blew itself out, because it is in the character of these strange times that any outrage, regardless of its unprecedented dimensions and horror, is inevitably followed by another outrage more novel and more shocking still.
Dean Koontz (False Memory)
Cleopatra moreover came of age in a country that entertained a singular definition of women’s roles. Well before her and centuries before the arrival of the Ptolemies, Egyptian women enjoyed the right to make their own marriages. Over time their liberties had increased, to levels unprecedented in the ancient world. They inherited equally and held property independently. Married women did not submit to their husbands’ control. They enjoyed the right to divorce and to be supported after a divorce. Until the time an ex-wife’s dowry was returned, she was entitled to be lodged in the house of her choice. Her property remained hers; it was not to be squandered by a wastrel husband. The law sided with the wife and children if a husband acted against their interests. Romans marveled that in Egypt female children were not left to die; a Roman was obligated to raise only his first-born daughter. Egyptian women married later than did their neighbors as well, only about half of them by Cleopatra’s age. They loaned money and operated barges. They served as priests in the native temples. They initiated lawsuits and hired flute players. As wives, widows, or divorcées, they owned vineyards, wineries, papyrus marshes, ships, perfume businesses, milling equipment, slaves, homes, camels. As much as one third of Ptolemaic Egypt may have been in female hands.
Stacy Schiff (Cleopatra)
Evolution, if it is nothing else, is endless modification, change without reason or end. Notions of preserving racial purity in the twenty-first century, or of maintaining biologically static environments, in which all new arrivals are classified as “invasive” or “foreign” and are to be expunged, or are not permitted entry to start with, are untenable. The obvious ethical issues aside, these arguments deny the flow of time. Landscapes are figuratively, not actually, timeless. And ours is an age of unprecedented cultural exchange, of emigration and immigration. Reactionary resentment around issues of race and culture has no future but warfare.
Barry Lopez (Horizon)
Attend any conference on telecommunications or computer technology, and you will be attending a celebration of innovative machinery that generates, stores, and distributes more information, more conveniently, at greater speed than ever before, To the question “What problem does the information solve?” the answer is usually “How to generate, store and distribute more information, more conveniently, at greater speeds than ever before.” This is the elevation of information to a metaphysical status: information as both the means and end of human creativity. In Technopoly, we are driven to fill our lives with the quest to “access” information. For what purpose or with what limitations, it is not for us to ask; and we are not accustomed to asking, since the problem is unprecedented. The world has never before been confronted with information glut and has hardly had time to reflect on its consequences (61).
Neil Postman (Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology)
As far as extinction is concerned, the absolute climate is not to blame, nor is the direction of change. It is the rapidity of change that is important. Communities of organisms need time to adapt – if too much change is thrust upon them at once, devastation and loss is the common response. This is true of the end-Cretaceous, when the impact of an extraterrestrial rock caused near-immediate global winter, and of the end-Permian, when skyrocketing greenhouse gases from unprecedented volcanic eruptions sparked global warming.
Thomas Halliday (Otherlands: Journeys in Earth's Extinct Ecosystems)
Since the start of their affair he was always running, hurrying, creating time where no time had been needed before; he had become an athlete of the clock, bending odd hours into an unprecedented and unsuspected second life. He had given up smoking; he wanted his kisses to taste clean.
John Updike (Marry Me: A Romance)
Mr. Schlubb, the pear-shaped PE teacher, sent us all out to run half a dozen laps around a preposterously enormous cinder track. For the Greenwood kids—all of us white, marshmallowy, innately unphysical, squinting unfamiliarly in the bright sunshine—it was a shock to the system of an unprecedented order.
Bill Bryson (The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid)
The challenge we face is not (only) to reduce or stabilize concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, but to live in productive relationship with the dynamic systems that govern a changing planet. This is a new challenge because humanity is young and now constitutes an important planetary force in a way that is unprecedented. Anthropogenic climate change is the harbinger of a new world in which humans have become a dominant force on Earth’s natural systems.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
In many ways the twenty-first century is not that different from the thirteenth century. Both will be recorded in history as times of unprecedented religious clashes, cultural misunderstandings, and a general sense of insecurity and fear of the Other. At times like these, the need for love is greater than ever.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said: “They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.” The undercurrent of constant unease started long before the rise of Western industrial civilization, of course, but in Western civilization, which now covers almost the entire globe, including most of the East, it manifests in an unprecedentedly acute form. It was already there at the time of Jesus, and it was there six hundred years before that at the time of Buddha, and long before that. Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. “Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?” And the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. Resistance to the Now as a collective dysfunction is intrinsically connected to loss of awareness of Being and forms the basis of our dehumanized industrial civilization. Freud, by the way, also recognized the existence of this undercurrent of unease and wrote about it in his book Civilization and Its Discontents, but he did not recognize the true root of the unease and failed to realize that freedom from it is possible. This collective dysfunction has created a very unhappy and extraordinarily violent civilization that has become a threat not only to itself but also to all life on the planet.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
In this unprecedented moment in American history, there is no more time for tinkering around the edges. It is time to reject “conventional wisdom” and “incrementalism.” It is time to fundamentally rethink our adherence to the system of unfettered capitalism, and to address the unspeakable harm that system is doing to us all.
Bernie Sanders (It's OK to Be Angry About Capitalism)
Today, people just want to live their lives, they don’t need some great Idea. This is entirely new for Russia; it’s unprecedented in Russian literature. At heart, we’re built for war. We were always either fighting or preparing to fight. We’ve never known anything else—hence our wartime psychology. Even in civilian life, everything was always militarized. The drums were beating, the banners flying, our hearts leaping out of our chests. People didn’t recognize their own slavery—they even liked being slaves. I
Svetlana Alexievich (Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets)
This is one of the ironies of being told that we live in a time of unprecedented connection. It is true that we can and do communicate across vast geographies with an ease and speed that were unimaginable only a generation ago. But in the midst of this global web of chatter, we somehow manage to be less connected to the people with whom we are most intimately enmeshed... Ours is an economy of ghosts, of deliberate blindness. Air is the ultimate unseen, and the greenhouse gases that warm it are our most elusive ghosts of all.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal)
Polarization (and Trumpism) is in itself a kind of political crisis. But all of this would be fine in the long run, if the stakes weren’t so high and the time frames so narrow. As a world-system, we really don’t have the time for Trumpism and the like. Global warming and the rapid changes pertaining to the internet age won’t wait. We are entering a time of unprecedented transformation and we are in dire need of politics that are progressive—in the sense that they anticipate and productively respond to the upcoming multidimensional crisis—revolution.
Hanzi Freinacht (The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics, Book One)
Even the great Thomas Paine, a friend to Franklin and Jefferson, repudiated the charge of atheism that he was not afraid to invite. Indeed, he set out to expose the crimes and horrors of the Old Testament, as well as the foolish myths of the New, as part of a vindication of god. No grand and noble deity, he asserted, should have such atrocities and stupidities laid to his charge. Paine’s Age of Reason marks almost the first time that frank contempt for organized religion was openly expressed. It had a tremendous worldwide effect. His American friends and contemporaries, partly inspired by him to declare independence from the Hanoverian usurpers and their private Anglican Church, meanwhile achieved an extraordinary and unprecedented thing: the writing of a democratic and republican constitution that made no mention of god and that mentioned religion only when guaranteeing that it would always be separated from the state.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
The paradox—and a fearful paradox it is—is that the American Negro can have no future anywhere, on any continent, as long as he is unwilling to accept his past. To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought. How can the American Negro’s past be used? The unprecedented price demanded—and at this embattled hour of the world’s history—is the transcendence of the realities of color, of nations, and of altars.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
The digital age is Heraclitus on steroids: change is a daily constant. In almost every professional environment, we are expected to use and master tools that did not exist a decade ago, or even last year. For better or worse (and frankly, it is often for worse), organizations have access, essentially, to infinite amounts of data, and what might as well be an infinite variety of ways to sort through and act on that data. At the same time, ideas can be turned into reality at unprecedented speed. The thing Amazon, Facebook, and no less hot firms, including Zara, have in common is they are agile (the new-economy term for fast).
Scott Galloway (The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)
By sheer dumb luck, my father was born in the right place at the right moment in time - when the whole region was going through enormous, unprecedented growth. And oh yeah, he also inherited an empire that had already been set up four generations before him. I think he looks down on people like your father - people who are self-made - because at the heart of it he is a deeply insecure individual. He knows he did absolutely nothing to deserve his fortune, and so the only thing he can do is disparage others who have the audacity to make their own money. His friends are all the same - they are frightened of the new money that's rolling in, and that's why they cluster in their little enclaves.
Kevin Kwan (Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3))
And so all the time the European brain has held onto two contradictory things. The first is the dominant established narrative of a generation: that anyone in the world can come to Europe and become a European, and that in order to become a European you merely need to be a person in Europe. The other part of the European brain has spent these years watching and waiting. This part could always recognise that the new arrivals were not only coming in unprecedented numbers but were bringing with them customs that, if not all unprecedented, had certainly not existed in Europe for a long time. The first part of the brain insists that the newcomers will assimilate and that, given time, even the most hard-to-swallow aspects of the culture of the new arrivals will become more recognisably European. Optimism favours the first part of the brain. Events favour the second, which increasingly begins to wonder whether anyone has the time for the changes that are meant to happen.
Douglas Murray (The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam)
And the rule in life that has unprecedented power is that the individual who knows the right people, for the right reasons, and utilizes the power of these relationships, can become a member of the “club,” whether he started out as a caddie or not.
Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (Portfolio Non Fiction))
The story I will tell could be read by some as a tragedy. To put it bluntly—and to give away the punch line—we have failed. We inherited a science, physics, that had been progressing so fast for so long that it was often taken as the model for how other kinds of science should be done. For more than two centuries, until the present period, our understanding of the laws of nature expanded rapidly. But today, despite our best efforts, what we know for certain about these laws is no more than what we knew back in the 1970s. How unusual is it for three decades to pass without major progress in fundamental physics? Even if we look back more than two hundred years, to a time when science was the concern mostly of wealthy amateurs, it is unprecedented.
Lee Smolin (The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next)
In all, 62 percent of the budget cuts would come from low-income programs. Yet at the same time, the Republican budget would provide a substantial tax cut to the rich—who are already taking home an almost unprecedented share of the nation’s total income.
Robert B. Reich (Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it)
Today, people just want to live their lives, they don’t need some great Idea. This is entirely new for Russia; it’s unprecedented in Russian literature. At heart, we’re built for war. We were always either fighting or preparing to fight. We’ve never known anything else—hence our wartime psychology. Even in civilian life, everything was always militarized. The drums were beating, the banners flying, our hearts leaping out of our chests. People didn’t recognize their own slavery—they even liked being slaves.
Svetlana Alexievich (Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets)
As A. J. McMichael writes: “Each species is an experiment of Nature. Only one such experiment, Homo sapiens, has evolved in a way that has enabled its biological adaptation to be complemented by a capacity for cumulative cultural adaptation. This unprecedented combination of the usual biologically-based drive for short-term gain (food, territory and sexual consummation) with an intellectual capacity to satisfy that drive via increasingly complex cultural practices is what distinguishes the human ‘experiment.’”6
David Christian (Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library Book 2))
Roadways. The fifth component of sprawl consists of the miles of pavement that are necessary to connect the other four disassociated components. Since each piece of suburbia serves only one type of activity, and since daily life involves a wide variety of activities, the residents of suburbia spend an unprecedented amount of time and money moving from one place to the next. Since most of this motion takes place in singly occupied automobiles, even a sparsely populated area can generate the traffic of a much larger traditional town.
Andrés Duany (Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream)
The time scale for evolutionary or genetic change is very long. A characteristic period for the emergence of one advanced species from another is perhaps a hundred thousand years; and very often the difference in behavior between closely related species-say, lions and tigers-do not seem very great... But today we do not have ten million years to wait for the next advance. We live in a time when our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. While the changes are largely of our own making, they cannot be ignored. We must adjust and adapt and control, or we perish.
Carl Sagan (The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence)
A poet or philosopher should have no fault to find with his age if it only permits him to do his work undisturbed in his own corner; nor with his fate if the corner granted him allows of his following his vocation without having to think about other people. For the brain to be a mere laborer in the service of the belly, is indeed the common lot of almost all those who do not live on the work of their hands; and they are far from being discontented with their lot. But it strikes despair into a man of great mind, whose brain-power goes beyond the measure necessary for the service of the will; and he prefers, if need be, to live in the narrowest circumstances, so long as they afford ihm the free use of his time for the development and application of his faculties; in other words, if they give him the leisure which is invaluable to him. It is otherwise with ordinary people; for them leisure has no value in itself, nor is it, indeed, without its dangers, as these people seem to know. The technical work of our time, which is done to an unprecedented perfection, has, by increasing and multiplying objects of luxury, given the favorites of fortune a choice between more leisure and culture upon the one side, and additional luxury and good living, but with increased activity, upon the other; and true to their character they choose the latter, and prefer champagne to freedom. And they are consistent in their choice; for, to them, every exertion of the mind which does not serve the aims of the will is folly. Intellectual effort for its own sake, they call eccentricity.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Furthermore, many of the things people think are unprecedented in family life today are not actually new. Almost every marital and sexual arrangement we have seen in recent years, however startling it may appear, has been tried somewhere before. There have been societies and times when nonmarital sex and out-of-wedlock births were more common and widely accepted than they are today. Stepfamilies were much more numerous in the past, the result of high death rates and frequent remarriages. Even divorce rates have been higher in some regions and periods than they are in Europe and North America today. And same-sex marriage, though rare, has been sanctioned in some cultures under certain conditions.2
Stephanie Coontz (Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy)
A global world puts unprecedented pressure on our personal conduct and morality. Each of us is ensnared within numerous all-encompassing spider webs, which on the one hand restrict our movements, but at the same time transmit our tiniest jiggle to faraway destinations. Our daily routines influence the lives of people and animals halfway across the world, and some personal gestures can unexpectedly set the entire world ablaze, as happened with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia, which ignited the Arab Spring, and with the women who shared their stories of sexual harassment and sparked the #MeToo movement. This global dimension of our personal lives means that it is more important than ever to uncover our religious and political biases, our racial and gender privileges, and our unwitting complicity in institutional oppression. But is that a realistic enterprise? How can I find a firm ethical ground in a world that extends far beyond my horizons, that spins completely out of human control, and that holds all gods and ideologies suspect?
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
This was the time when all we could talk about was sentences, sentences—nothing else stirred us. Whatever happened in those days, whatever befell our regard, Clea and I couldn’t rest until it had been converted into what we told ourselves were astonishingly unprecedented and charming sentences: “Esther’s cleavage is something to be noticed” or “You can’t have a contemporary prison without contemporary furniture” or “I envision an art which will make criticism itself seem like a cognitive symptom, one which its sufferers define to themselves as taste but is in fact nothing of the sort” or “I said I want my eggs scrambled not destroyed.” At the explosion of such a sequence from our green young lips, we’d rashly scribble it on the wall of our apartment with a filthy wax pencil, or type it twenty-five times on the same sheet of paper and then photocopy the paper twenty-five times and then slice each page into twenty-five slices on the paper cutter in the photocopy shop and then scatter the resultant six hundred and twenty-five slips of paper throughout the streets of our city, fortunes without cookies.
Jonathan Lethem
The new Anti-Drug Abuse Act authorized public housing authorities to evict any tenant who allows any form of drug-related criminal activity to occur on or near public housing premises and eliminated many federal benefits, including student loans, for anyone convicted of a drug offense. The act also expanded use of the death penalty for serious drug-related offenses and imposed new mandatory minimums for drug offenses, including a five-year mandatory minimum for simple possession of cocaine base—with no evidence of intent to sell. Remarkably, the penalty would apply to first-time offenders. The severity of this punishment was unprecedented in the federal system. Until 1988, one year of imprisonment had been the maximum for possession of any amount of any drug.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
at 378 parts per million, current CO2 levels are unprecedented in recent geological history. (The previous high, of 299 parts per million, was reached around 325,000 years ago). It is believed that the last time carbon dioxide levels were comparable to today’s was three and a half million years ago, during what is known as the mid-Pliocene warm period, and it is likely that they have not been much higher since the Eocene, some fifty million years ago. In the Eocene, crocodiles roamed Colorado and sea levels were nearly three hundred feet higher than they are today. A scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put it to me—only half-jokingly—this way: “It’s true that we’ve had higher CO2 levels before. But, then, of course, we also had dinosaurs.
Elizabeth Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe)
The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach? [...] Put this question in slightly more general terms and you are confronting the single great mystery of 2016. The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.
Thomas Frank
All told, the Fifty-first Congress passed 531 public laws, representing an unprecedented level of legislative accomplishment unequaled until Theodore Roosevelt’s second term. After the final adjournment on March 3, the historian and Republican congressman Henry Cabot Lodge wrote, “No Congress in peace time since the first has passed so many great & important measures of lasting value to the people.
Charles W. Calhoun (Benjamin Harrison: The American Presidents Series: The 23rd President, 1889-1893)
Mom promised she’d buy groceries today, but it looks like we’re out of luck. Again. I’ll worry about dinner later. Annie ate most of her giant slice of pizza plus a cookie, so she’ll probably be fine for another hour or so. I plop onto our sagging couch, replaying the scene from this afternoon in my mind one more time. “Robin,” my mother said as she pressed a bill into my hand, “take your sister to the mall. This should cover the bus ride and lunch at the food court.” A million questions popped into my head, but I was speechless at this unprecedented gift. I forced myself to close my gaping mouth. “I’ll be out late, kiddo. Take care of supper.” Placated by her familiar words, I nodded. When she says she’ll be out late, that can mean she’ll arrive home shortly after the bars close, or sneak in just in time for breakfast.
Diane Winger (The Abandoned Girl)
But these assumptions could not accomplish much on their own. What gave them power, and made them able finally to dominate and reshape our society, was the growth of technology for the production and use of fossil fuel energy. This energy could be made available to empower such unprecedented social change because it was “cheap.” But we were able to consider it “cheap” only by a kind of moral simplicity: the assumption that we had a “right” to as much of it as we could use. This was a “right” made solely by might. Because fossil fuels, however abundant they once were, were nevertheless limited in quantity and not renewable, they obviously did not “belong” to one generation more than another. We ignored the claims of posterity simply because we could, the living being stronger than the unborn, and so worked the “miracle” of industrial progress by the theft of energy from (among others) our children. That is the real foundation of our progress and our affluence. The reason that we are a rich nation is not that we have earned so much wealth— you cannot, by any honest means, earn or deserve so much. The reason is simply that we have learned, and become willing, to market and use up in our own time the birthright and livelihood of posterity.
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food)
We're living in a world in which we're all survived, targeted, herded, and indoctrinated to an unprecedented degree. Our fallen, debased state is ghastly. Our bodies have been transformed into profit-optimized enterprise zones, our minds have been hacked and neutered, our social milieus have been completely leached of authenticity.... [...] Bro, we're living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of petite bourgeoisie ideology whose resources and ruses are infinite and which ubiquitously permeates the world -- high culture, low culture, bienpensant media, prestige literature, pop music, commerce, sports, academia, you name it. The only reasonable response to the situation is to maintain an implacable antipathy toward everything. Denounce everyone. Make war against yourself. Guillotine all groveling intellectuals. That said, I think it's important to maintain a cheery disposition. This will hasten the restoration of Paradise. I've memorized this line from Andre Breton's magnificent homage to Antonin Artaud -- "I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive." Given the state of things, that's what we need to be doing all the time -- negating everything that causes us to be dead while alive.
Mark Leyner
Ten years after the first commercial train service began operating between Liverpool and Manchester, in 1830, the first train timetable was issued. The trains were much faster than the old carriages, so the quirky differences in local hours became a severe nuisance. In 1847, British train companies put their heads together and agreed that henceforth all train timetables would be calibrated to Greenwich Observatory time, rather than the local times of Liverpool, Manchester or Glasgow. More and more institutions followed the lead of the train companies. Finally, in 1880, the British government took the unprecedented step of legislating that all timetables in Britain must follow Greenwich. For the first time in history, a country adopted a national time and obliged its population to live according to an artificial clock rather than local ones or sunrise-to-sunset
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Early naturalists talked often about “deep time”—the perception they had, contemplating the grandeur of this valley or that rock basin, of the profound slowness of nature. But the perspective changes when history accelerates. What lies in store for us is more like what aboriginal Australians, talking with Victorian anthropologists, called “dreamtime,” or “everywhen”: the semi-mythical experience of encountering, in the present moment, an out-of-time past, when ancestors, heroes, and demigods crowded an epic stage. You can find it already by watching footage of an iceberg collapsing into the sea—a feeling of history happening all at once. It is. The summer of 2017, in the Northern Hemisphere, brought unprecedented extreme weather: three major hurricanes arising in quick succession in the Atlantic; the epic “500,000-year” rainfall of Hurricane Harvey, dropping on Houston a million gallons of water for nearly every single person in the entire state of Texas; the wildfires of California, nine thousand of them burning through more than a million acres, and those in icy Greenland, ten times bigger than those in 2014; the floods of South Asia, clearing 45 million from their homes. Then the record-breaking summer of 2018 made 2017 seem positively idyllic. It brought an unheard-of global heat wave, with temperatures hitting 108 in Los Angeles, 122 in Pakistan, and 124 in Algeria. In the world’s oceans, six hurricanes and tropical storms appeared on the radars at once, including one, Typhoon Mangkhut, that hit the Philippines and then Hong Kong, killing nearly a hundred and wreaking a billion dollars in damages, and another, Hurricane Florence, which more than doubled the average annual rainfall in North Carolina, killing more than fifty and inflicting $17 billion worth of damage. There were wildfires in Sweden, all the way in the Arctic Circle, and across so much of the American West that half the continent was fighting through smoke, those fires ultimately burning close to 1.5 million acres. Parts of Yosemite National Park were closed, as were parts of Glacier National Park in Montana, where temperatures also topped 100. In 1850, the area had 150 glaciers; today, all but 26 are melted.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Even if I lead the most stunted, lethargic life, I still have the feeling of being caught up in an unprecedented whirlwind that has to be slowed before I can do anything else. Trying to escape the busyness that arises from the emptiness of life by resorting to still more emptiness, that is the vicious circle that threatens us. Whereas in our colorless lives we need tranquility less than authentic activities, important and meaningful events, dazzling moments that prostrate us or transport us. Time, that great thief, is constantly stealing from us; but it is one thing to be robbed magnificently and to grow old in the awareness that one has lived a full and rich life, and it is another to be cheaply gnawed away, hour by hour, for things that we have not even known. Our contemporaries' hell is called platitude. The paradise they seek is called plenitude. Some have lived; the others have simply endured.
Pascal Bruckner (Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy)
As Peter Drucker said, “In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time – literally – substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”4
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Once, on a walk by a river- Eskdale in low reddish sunlight, with a dusting of snow- his daughter quoted to him an opening verse by her favourite poet. Apparently, not many young women loved Phillip Larkin the way she did. 'If I were to construct a religion/ I should make use of water.' She said she liked the laconic use of 'called in'- as if he would be, as if anyone ever is. They stopped to drink coffee from a flask, and Perowne, tracing a line of lichen with a finger, said that if he ever got the call, he'd make us of evolution. What better creation myth? An unimaginable sweep of time, numberless generations spawning by infinitesimal steps complex living beauty out of inert matter, driven on by the blind furies of random mutation, natural selection and environmental change, with the tragedy of forms continually dying, and lately the wonder of minds emerging and with them morality, love, art, cities- and the unprecedented bonus of this story happening to be demonstrably true.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
When President Roosevelt suggested to Archibald MacLeish that radio be prodded to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, Corwin was given the job. It was an enormous undertaking, a 60-minute broadcast to air on the four national networks simultaneously. But We Hold These Truths was to have a special meaning, for the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor the week before, and the show arrived on an unprecedented wave of patriotism. It was estimated by Crossley, the national barometer of radio listenership, that 60 million people tuned in that night, Dec. 15, 1941. Corwin had arranged a stellar cast. James Stewart played the lead, “a citizen” who was the sounding board for the cascade of opinions, historical perspectives, and colloquialisms that flooded the hour. Also in the cast were Edward Arnold, Lionel Barrymore, Walter Brennan, Bob Burns, Walter Huston, Marjorie Main, Edward G. Robinson, Rudy Vallee, and Orson Welles. Bernard Herrmann conducted in Hollywood,
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
When Homo sapiens passed the six-billion mark we had already exceeded by perhaps as much as 100 times the biomass of any large animal species that ever existed on the land.” Wilson meant wild animals. He omitted consideration of livestock, such as the domestic cow ( Bos taurus ), of which the present global population is about 1.3 billion. We are therefore only five times as numerous as our cattle (and probably less massive in total, since they’re each considerably bigger than a human). But of course they wouldn’t exist in such excess without us. A trillion pounds of cows, fattening in feedlots and grazing on landscapes that formerly supported wild herbivores, are just another form of human impact. They’re a proxy measure of our appetites, and we are hungry. We are prodigious, we are unprecedented. We are phenomenal. No other primate has ever weighed upon the planet to anything like this degree. In ecological terms, we are almost paradoxical: large-bodied and long-lived but grotesquely abundant. We are an outbreak.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
A bare two years after Vasco da Gama’s voyage a Portuguese fleet led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral arrived on the Malabar coast. Cabral delivered a letter from the king of Portugal to the Samudri (Samudra-raja or Sea-king), the Hindu ruler of the city-state of Calicut, demanding that he expel all Muslims from his kingdom as they were enemies of the ‘Holy Faith’. He met with a blank refusal; then afterwards the Samudra steadfastly maintained that Calicut had always been open to everyone who wished to trade there… During those early years the people who had traditionally participated in the Indian Ocean trade were taken completely by surprise. In all the centuries in which it had flourished and grown, no state or kings or ruling power had ever before tried to gain control of the Indian Ocean trade by force of arms. The territorial and dynastic ambitions that were pursued with such determination on land were generally not allowed to spill over into the sea. Within the Western historiographical record the unarmed character of the Indian Ocean trade is often represented as a lack, or failure, one that invited the intervention of Europe, with its increasing proficiency in war. When a defeat is as complete as was that of the trading cultures of the Indian Ocean, it is hard to allow the vanquished the dignity of nuances of choice and preference. Yet it is worth allowing for the possibility that the peaceful traditions of the oceanic trade may have been, in a quiet and inarticulate way, the product of a rare cultural choice — one that may have owed a great deal to the pacifist customs and beliefs of the Gujarati Jains and Vanias who played such an important part in it. At the time, at least one European was moved to bewilderment by the unfamiliar mores of the region; a response more honest perhaps than the trust in historical inevitability that has supplanted it since. ‘The heathen [of Gujarat]’, wrote Tomé Pires, early in the sixteenth century, ‘held that they must never kill anyone, nor must they have armed men in their company. If they were captured and [their captors] wanted to kill them all, they did not resist. This is the Gujarat law among the heathen.’ It was because of those singular traditions, perhaps, that the rulers of the Indian Ocean ports were utterly confounded by the demands and actions of the Portuguese. Having long been accustomed to the tradesmen’s rules of bargaining and compromise they tried time and time again to reach an understanding with the Europeans — only to discover, as one historian has put it, that the choice was ‘between resistance and submission; co-operation was not offered.’ Unable to compete in the Indian Ocean trade by purely commercial means, the Europeans were bent on taking control of it by aggression, pure and distilled, by unleashing violence on a scale unprecedented on those shores.
Amitav Ghosh (In an Antique Land)
When Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, old age was defined as sixty-five years, yet estimated life expectancy in the United States at the time was sixty-one years for males and sixty-four years for females.62 A senior citizen today, however, can expect to live eighteen to twenty years longer. The downside is that he or she also should expect to die more slowly. The two most common causes of death in 1935 America were respiratory diseases (pneumonia and influenza) and infectious diarrhea, both of which kill rapidly. In contrast, the two most common causes of death in 2007 America were heart disease and cancer (each accounted for about 25 percent of total deaths). Some heart attack victims die within minutes or hours, but most elderly people with heart disease survive for years while coping with complications such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, general weakness, and peripheral vascular disease. Many cancer patients also remain alive for several years following their diagnosis because of chemo-therapy, radiation, surgery, and other treatments. In addition, many of the other leading causes of death today are chronic illnesses such as asthma, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease, and there has been an upsurge in the occurrence of nonfatal but chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis, gout, dementia, and hearing loss.63 Altogether, the growing prevalence of chronic illness among middle-aged and elderly individuals is contributing to a health-care crisis because the children born during the post–World War II baby boom are now entering old age, and an unprecedented percentage of them are suffering from lingering, disabling, and costly diseases. The term epidemiologists coined for this phenomenon is the “extension of morbidity.
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
On the labour front in 1919 there was an unprecedented number of strikes involving many millions of workers. One of the lager strikes was mounted by the AF of L against the United States Steel Corporation. At that time workers in the steel industry put in an average sixty-eight-hour week for bare subsistence wages. The strike spread to other plants, resulting in considerable violence -- the death of eighteen striking workers, the calling out of troops to disperse picket lines, and so forth. By branding the strikers Bolsheviks and thereby separating them from their public support, the Corporation broke the strike. In Boston, the Police Department went on strike and governor Calvin Coolidge replaced them. In Seattle there was a general strike which precipitated a nationwide 'red scare'. this was the first red scare. Sixteen bombs were found in the New York Post Office just before May Day. The bombs were addressed to men prominent in American life, including John D. Rockefeller and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. It is not clear today who was responsible for those bombs -- Red terrorists, Black anarchists, or their enemies -- but the effect was the same. Other bombs pooped off all spring, damaging property, killing and maiming innocent people, and the nation responded with an alarm against Reds. It was feared that at in Russia, they were about to take over the country and shove large cocks into everyone's mother. Strike that. The Press exacerbated public feeling. May Day parades in the big cities were attacked by policemen, and soldiers and sailors. The American Legion, just founded, raided IWW headquarters in the State of Washington. Laws against seditious speech were passed in State Legislatures across the country and thousands of people were jailed, including a Socialist Congressman from Milwaukee who was sentenced to twenty years in prison. To say nothing of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917 which took care of thousands more. To say nothing of Eugene V. Debs. On the evening of 2 January 1920, Attorney General Palmer, who had his eye on the White House, organized a Federal raid on Communist Party offices throughout the nation. With his right-hand assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, at his right hand, Palmer effected the arrest of over six thousand people, some Communist aliens, some just aliens, some just Communists, and some neither Communists nor aliens but persons visiting those who had been arrested. Property was confiscated, people chained together, handcuffed, and paraded through the streets (in Boston), or kept in corridors of Federal buildings for eight days without food or proper sanitation (in Detroit). Many historians have noted this phenomenon. The raids made an undoubted contribution to the wave of vigilantism winch broke over the country. The Ku Klux Klan blossomed throughout the South and West. There were night raidings, floggings, public hangings, and burnings. Over seventy Negroes were lynched in 1919, not a few of them war veterans. There were speeches against 'foreign ideologies' and much talk about 'one hundred per cent Americanism'. The teaching of evolution in the schools of Tennessee was outlawed. Elsewhere textbooks were repudiated that were not sufficiently patriotic. New immigration laws made racial distinctions and set stringent quotas. Jews were charged with international conspiracy and Catholics with trying to bring the Pope to America. The country would soon go dry, thus creating large-scale, organized crime in the US. The White Sox threw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. And the stage was set for the trial of two Italian-born anarchists, N. Sacco and B. Vanzetti, for the alleged murder of a paymaster in South Braintree, Mass. The story of the trial is well known and often noted by historians and need not be recounted here. To nothing of World War II--
E.L. Doctorow (The Book of Daniel)
We tend to think that our age is the most apocalyptic of all. But imagine living in a shtetl in Eastern Europe in the late 1930s. Or during the First World War, amidst that unprecedented butchery. Or during the Black Death, when one-third of Europe's population died. Or in any number of places around the world assaulted by colonialism. The world is always ending, and every time there's a storyteller bearing witness. And if there isn't, then that world doesn't end, it's worse than that: It simply disappears. A place and a time that is not expressed in stories mostly vanishes from human consciousness. So yes, I do believe stories and their creators are still relevant.
Yann Martel
All terrorism is fake. It is a military deception practiced by the rich upon the poor in an ongoing class war. Their most important weapon in this class war are television presenters. The BBC has actually become The Ministry of Truth of George Orwell’s 1984….Why is this happening right now? It’s happening because we no longer have an enemy. We have an unprecedented situation in which there is only one super state: the Anglo-American alliance…..The ruling group maintain their position in society by controlling the masses through fear. In order to make us believe that we must live in fear, the rich had to provide us with a new foreign enemy, a “bogeyman” who wants to conquer the world. The moment you have a world at peace, the keystone in the arch of ruling class power is gone. Every year America’s oligarchs take three trillion dollars out of America’s economy. This is how the rich have rigged the system – so that it benefits them at the expense of everyone else all of the time. To keep this fraud going, the public must be convinced of the need for military expenditure, and this is where all of the phony terror attacks come in. Here is Orwell’s definition of totalitarianism: ‘ A society living by and for continuous warfare in which the ruling caste have ceased to have any real function but succeed in clinging to power through force and fraud.
Francis Richard Conolly
It was that ocean heat that caused the First Pulse to pulse, and later brought on the second one. People sometimes say no one saw it coming, but no, wrong: they did. Paleoclimatologists looked at the modern situation and saw CO2 levels screaming up from 280 to 450 parts per million in less than three hundred years, faster than had ever happened in the Earth’s entire previous five billion years (can we say “Anthropocene,” class?), and they searched the geological record for the best analogs to this unprecedented event, and they said, Whoa. They said, Holy shit. People! they said. Sea level rise! During the Eemian period, they said, which we’ve been looking at, the world saw a temperature rise only half as big as the one we’ve just created, and rapid dramatic sea level rise followed immediately. They put it in bumper sticker terms: massive sea level rise sure to follow our unprecedented release of CO2! They published their papers, and shouted and waved their arms, and a few canny and deeply thoughtful sci-fi writers wrote up lurid accounts of such an eventuality, and the rest of civilization went on torching the planet like a Burning Man pyromasterpiece. Really. That’s how much those knuckleheads cared about their grandchildren, and that’s how much they believed their scientists, even though every time they felt a slight cold coming on they ran to the nearest scientist (i.e. doctor) to seek aid.
Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140)
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven. But why is it important? After all, fiction can be dangerously misleading or distracting. People who go to the forest looking for fairies and unicorns would seem to have less chance of survival than people who go looking for mushrooms and deer. And if you spend hours praying to non-existing guardian spirits, aren’t you wasting precious time, time better spent foraging, fighting and fornicating? But fiction has enabled us not merely to imagine things, but to do so collectively. We can weave common myths such as the biblical creation story, the Dreamtime myths of Aboriginal Australians, and the nationalist myths of modern states. Such myths give Sapiens the unprecedented ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. Ants and bees can also work together in huge numbers, but they do so in a very rigid manner and only with close relatives. Wolves and chimpanzees cooperate far more flexibly than ants, but they can do so only with small numbers of other individuals that they know intimately. Sapiens can cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers. That’s why Sapiens rule the world, whereas ants eat our leftovers and chimps are locked up in zoos and research laboratories. The
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
There’s an old phrase,” Matthew says. “Knowledge is power. Power to do evil, like Jeanine…or power to do good, like what we’re doing. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.” “I guess I grew up suspicious of both. Power and knowledge,” I say. “To the Abnegation, power should only be given to people who don’t want it.” “There’s something to that,” Matthew says. “But maybe it’s time to grow out of that suspicion.” He reaches under the desk and takes out a book. It is thick, with a worn cover and frayed edges. On it is printed HUMAN BIOLOGY. “It’s a little rudimentary, but this book helped to teach me that it is to be human,” he says. “To be such a complicated, mysterious piece of biological machinery, and more amazing still, to have the capacity to analyze that machinery! That is a special thing, unprecedented in all of evolutionary history. Our ability to know about ourselves and the world is what makes us human.” He hands me the book and turns back to the computer. I look down at the worn cover and run my fingers along the edge of the pages. He makes the acquisition of knowledge feel like a secret, beautiful thing, and an ancient thing. I feel like, if I read this book, I can reach backward through all the generations of humanity to the very first one, whenever it was--that I can participate in something many times larger and older than myself. “Thank you,” I say, and it’s not for the book. It’s for giving something back to me, something I lost before I was able to really have it.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
I can’t recapture that feeling of euphoric gratitude any more than I can really remember the mortal terror I felt when I was pretty sure I had about four minutes to live. But I know that it really happened, that that state of grace is accessible to us, even if I only blundered across it once and never find my way back. At my cabin on the Chesapeake Bay I’ll see bald eagles swoop up from the water with wriggling little fish in their talons, and whenever they accidentally drop their catch, I like to imagine that fish trying to tell his friends about his own near-death experience, a perspective so unprecedented there are no words in the fish language to describe it: for a short time he was outside the world, he could see forever, there’s so much more than they knew, but he’s glad to be back.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
almost fifty per cent and stayed high until the end of the 1950s. In 1957, at the peak of the boom, 123 in every 1,000 women gave birth – a figure unprecedented in American history – and all those children were brought up in far greater prosperity than their parents had known. ‘There never was a country more fabulous than America,’ wrote British historian Robert Payne after a visit in 1949. ‘She bestrides the world like a colossus: no other power at any time in the world’s history has possessed so varied or so great an influence on other nations . . . Half the wealth of the world, more than half the productivity, nearly two-thirds of the world’s machines are concentrated in American hands; the rest of the world lies in the shadow of American industry.’ It was the American Century, and so it would remain.
Geert Mak (In America: Travels with John Steinbeck)
Facebook’s own North American marketing director, Michelle Klein, who told an audience in 2016 that while the average adult checks his or her phone 30 times a day, the average millennial, she enthusiastically reported, checks more than 157 times daily. Generation Z, we now know, exceeds this pace. Klein described Facebook’s engineering feat: “a sensory experience of communication that helps us connect to others, without having to look away,” noting with satisfaction that this condition is a boon to marketers. She underscored the design characteristics that produce this mesmerizing effect: design is narrative, engrossing, immediate, expressive, immersive, adaptive, and dynamic.11 If you are over the age of thirty, you know that Klein is not describing your adolescence, or that of your parents, and certainly not that of your grandparents. Adolescence and emerging adulthood in the hive are a human first, meticulously crafted by the science of behavioral engineering; institutionalized in the vast and complex architectures of computer-mediated means of behavior modification; overseen by Big Other; directed toward economies of scale, scope, and action in the capture of behavioral surplus; and funded by the surveillance capital that accrues from unprecedented concentrations of knowledge and power. Our children endeavor to come of age in a hive that is owned and operated by the applied utopianists of surveillance capitalism and is continuously monitored and shaped by the gathering force of instrumentarian power. Is this the life that we want for the most open, pliable, eager, self-conscious, and promising members of our society?
Shoshana Zuboff (The Age of Surveillance Capitalism)
Only optimists thought this possible at the time and even the leaders of the anti-slavery movement did not at first attempt the direct abolition of the institution of slavery itself, hoping instead that stopping the buying and selling of human beings would dry up the source and cause slavery as an institution to wither on the vine. At this juncture in history, Britain was the world's largest slave trader and the powerful vested interests which this created were able to roundly defeat early attempts to get Parliament to ban the trade. In the long run, however, such powerful opposition to the proposed ban, combined with equal tenacity on the other side, simply dragged out the political struggle for decades, making ever wider circles of people aware of the issue. Something that had never been a public issue before now became a subject of inescapable and heated controversy for years on end. Slavery could no longer be accepted as simply one of those facts of life that most people do not bother to think about. The long, drawn-out political controversy meant that more and more people had to think about it—and many who began to think about slavery turned against it. Eventually, such strong feelings were aroused among the British public that anti-slavery petitions with unprecedented numbers of signatures poured into Parliament from around the country, from people in all walks of life, until the mounting political pressures forced not only a banning of the international slave trade in 1808, but eventually swept the anti-slavery forces on beyond their original goals toward the direct abolition of the institution of slavery itself.
Thomas Sowell (Black Rednecks and White Liberals)
The same thing, notes Brynjolfsson, happened 120 years ago, in the Second Industrial Revolution, when electrification—the supernova of its day—was introduced. Old factories did not just have to be electrified to achieve the productivity boosts; they had to be redesigned, along with all business processes. It took thirty years for one generation of managers and workers to retire and for a new generation to emerge to get the full productivity benefits of that new power source. A December 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute on American industry found a “considerable gap between the most digitized sectors and the rest of the economy over time and [found] that despite a massive rush of adoption, most sectors have barely closed that gap over the past decade … Because the less digitized sectors are some of the largest in terms of GDP contribution and employment, we [found] that the US economy as a whole is only reaching 18 percent of its digital potential … The United States will need to adapt its institutions and training pathways to help workers acquire relevant skills and navigate this period of transition and churn.” The supernova is a new power source, and it will take some time for society to reconfigure itself to absorb its full potential. As that happens, I believe that Brynjolfsson will be proved right and we will start to see the benefits—a broad range of new discoveries around health, learning, urban planning, transportation, innovation, and commerce—that will drive growth. That debate is for economists, though, and beyond the scope of this book, but I will be eager to see how it plays out. What is absolutely clear right now is that while the supernova may not have made our economies measurably more productive yet, it is clearly making all forms of technology, and therefore individuals, companies, ideas, machines, and groups, more powerful—more able to shape the world around them in unprecedented ways with less effort than ever before. If you want to be a maker, a starter-upper, an inventor, or an innovator, this is your time. By leveraging the supernova you can do so much more now with so little. As Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media, observed in a March 3, 2015, essay on TechCrunch.com: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
I strongly believe in the fact that there’s still plenty of money and plenty of private equity capital available around the globe. What are in short supply are great entrepreneurs and great teams. A trading opportunity or a company’s biggest challenge is and has always been the team behind it. There’s enormous change under way in every facet of the world. Some is technology driven, some is market driven. All that change creates unprecedented opportunity, but to take full advantage of such opportunities I mostly focus on the team. The right teams and right people behind those opportunities always win. There is no secret sauce. Trading and investing has, in my experience, boiled down to building relationships and exchanging value. It consists of striking the right balance between backing and interacting with the right teams with the right business model at the right time and with the right amount of money.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
The birth and growth of modern antisemitism has been accompanied by and interconnected with Jewish assimilation, the secularization and withering away of the old religious and spiritual values of Judaism. What actually happened was that great parts of the Jewish people were at the same time threatened by physical extinction from without and dissolution from within. In this situation, Jews concerned with the survival of their people would, in a curious and desperate misinterpretation, hit on the consoling idea that antisemitism, after all, might be an excellent means for keeping the people together so that the assumption of external antisemitism would even imply an external guarantee of Jewish existence. This superstition, a secularized travesty of the idea of eternity inherent in a faith in chosenness and a Messianic hope, has been strengthened through the fact that for many centuries the Jews experienced the Christian brand of hostility which was indeed a powerful agent of preservation, spiritually as well as politically. The Jews mistook modern anti-Christian antisemitism for the old religious Jew-hatred—and this all the more innocently because their assimilation had by-passed Christianity in its religious and cultural aspect. Confronted with an obvious symptom of the decline of Christianity, they could therefore imagine in all ignorance that this was some revival of the so-called "Dark Ages." Ignorance or misunderstanding of their own past were partly responsible for their fatal underestimation of the actual and unprecedented dangers which lay ahead. But one should also bear in mind that lack of political ability and judgment have been caused by the very nature of Jewish history, the history of a people without a government, without a country, and without a language. Jewish history offers the extraordinary spectacle of a people, unique in this respect, which began its history with a well-defined concept of history and an almost conscious resolution to achieve a well-circumscribed plan on earth and then, without giving up this concept, avoided all political action for two thousand years. The result was that the political history of the Jewish people became even more dependent upon unforeseen, accidental factors than the history of other nations, so that the Jews stumbled from one role to the other and accepted responsibility for none.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
We are in uncharted territory" when it comes to sex and the internet, says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. "There have been two major transitions" in heterosexual mating, Garcia says, "in the last four million years. The first was around ten to fifteen thousand years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled," leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract. "And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet," Garcia says. Suddenly, instead of meeting through proximity, community connections, and family and friends, people could meet each other virtually and engage in amorous activity with the click of a button. Internet meeting is now surpassing every other form. “It’s changing so much about the way we act both romantically and sexually,” Garcia says. “It is unprecedented from an evolutionary standpoint.” And yet this massive shift in our behavior has gone almost completely unexamined, especially given how the internet permeates modern life. While there have been studies about how men and women use social media differently- how they use language and present themselves differently, for example- there's not a lot of research about how they behave sexually online; and there is virtually nothing about how girls and boys do. While there has been concern about the online interaction of children and adults, it's striking that so little attention has been paid to the ways in which the Internet has changed the sexual behavior of girls and boys interacting together. This may be because the behavior has been largely hidden or unknown, or, again, due to the fear of not seeming "sex-positive," mistaking responsibility for judgement. And there are questions to ask, from the standpoint of girls' and boys' physical and emotional health and the ethics of their treatment of each other. Sex on a screen is different from sex that develops in person, this much seems seems self-evident, just as talking on a screen is different from face-to-face communication. And so if talking on a screen reduces one's ability to be empathic, for example, then how does sex on a screen change sexual behavior? Are people more likely to act aggressively or unethically, as in other types of online communication? How do gender roles and sexism play into cybersex? And how does the influence of porn, which became available online at about the same time as social networking, factor in?
Nancy Jo Sales (American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers)
Be Still and Know Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! PSALM 46:10 AMP September 11, 2001. A day Americans will remember forever. Terrorists took over passenger planes and ran two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Another crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Yet another plane headed to the nation’s capitol crashed into a Pennsylvania field when the passengers took out the hijackers, refusing to let them fulfill their purpose. While the whole world watched the horrible events unfold, many turned to the Word of God to find comfort in this unprecedented carnage. Psalm 46 is one of the passages promising peace in the midst of cataclysmic events. The psalmist starts the song with “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea” (vv. 1–2 NLT). No matter what happens, God is standing ready to help. Later in the psalm, the reader is invited to “see the glorious works of the LORD” (v. 8), to watch as the Lord destroys all those who stand in opposition to Him. Then the reader sees the command: “Be still, and know that I am God.” In another version the phrase is translated, “Cease striving” (NASB). No matter what happens, God has it all under His control. There is no need for fear. Father, quiet my spirit before You today so I may know who You are.
Various (Daily Wisdom for Women 2015 Devotional Collection - January (None))
Yet my study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that Homo sapiens is also Homo religiosus. Men and women started to worship gods as soon as they became recognizably human; they created religions at the same time as they created works of art. This was not simply because they wanted to propitiate powerful forces; these early faiths expressed the wonder and mystery that seem always to have been an essential component of the human experience of this beautiful yet terrifying world. Like art, religion has been an attempt to find meaning and value in life, despite the suffering that flesh is heir to. Like any other human activity, religion can be abused, but it seems to have been something that we have always done. It was not tacked on to a primordially secular nature by manipulative kings and priests but was natural to humanity. Indeed, our current secularism is an entirely new experiment, unprecedented in human history. We have yet to see how it will work. It is also true to say that our Western liberal humanism is not something that comes naturally to us; like an appreciation of art or poetry, it has to be cultivated. Humanism is itself a religion without God—not all religions, of course, are theistic. Our ethical secular ideal has its own disciplines of mind and heart and gives people the means of finding faith in the ultimate meaning of human life that were once provided by the more conventional religions.
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
The more the State of Israel relied on force to manage the occupation, the more compelled it was to deploy hasbara. And the more Western media consumers encountered hasbara, the more likely they became to measure Israel’s grandiose talking points against the routine and petty violence, shocking acts of humiliation, and repression that defined its relationship with the Palestinians. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a professional explainer who spent the early years of his political career as a frequent guest on prime time American news programs perfecting the slickness of the Beltway pundit class, the Israeli government invested unprecedented resources into hasbara. Once the sole responsibility of the Israeli foreign ministry, the task of disseminating hasbara fell to a special Ministry of Public Diplomacy led by Yuli Edelstein, a rightist settler and government minister who called Arabs a “despicable nation.” Edelstein’s ministry boasted an advanced “situation room,” a paid media team, and coordination of a volunteer force that claimed to include thousands of volunteer bloggers, tweeters, and Facebook commenters fed with talking points and who flood social media with hasbara in five languages. The exploits of the propaganda soldiers conscripted into Israel’s online army have helped give rise to the phenomenon of the “hasbara troll,” an often faceless, shrill and relentless nuisance deployed on Twitter and Facebook to harass public figures who expressed skepticism of official Israeli policy or sympathy for the Palestinians.
Max Blumenthal (Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel)
The Deepening Though in the wake of 9/11 Americans gathered in houses of worship across the land and it appeared as if there would be a national return to God—it never came. In place of the revival was a spiritual and moral apostasy that was unprecedented in its scope and accelerating pace. There was now increasing talk concerning the end of “Christian America.” Polls noticed a growing departure from biblical ethics and values. The turn was most pronounced among the younger generation, portending a future of even greater moral and spiritual departure. In the fall of ancient Israel the nation decided it could rewrite morality and change what was good and evil, sin and righteousness—so too in America. What had once been recognized as right was now attacked as evil, and what had once been recognized as sin was now celebrated as a virtue. Morals, standards, and values that had undergirded not only the nation’s foundation, but also the foundation of Western civilization and civilization itself, were increasingly overturned, overruled, and discarded. And those who would not go along with the change—who merely continued to uphold that which had once been universally upheld—were now increasingly marginalized, vilified, condemned by the culture and the state, and persecuted. And not only did the blood of unborn children continue to flow, as it did in ancient Israel, but the number of those killed was now well over fifty million, a population of many Israels. The nation’s moral descent had now reached the point where the government was seeking to force those who held to God’s Word to go against that Word, punishing resistance with fines, damages, and condemnation. Any deviation from the new ethics of apostasy was swiftly punished. At the same time, the name of God increasingly became the object of attack, mockery, and blasphemy.
Jonathan Cahn (The Mystery of the Shemitah: The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery That Holds the Secret of America's Future, the World's Future, and Your Future!)
Here is my six step process for how we will first start with ISIS and then build an international force that will fight terrorism and corruption wherever it appears. “First, in dedication to Lieutenant Commander McKay, Operation Crapshoot commenced at six o’clock this morning. I’ve directed a handpicked team currently deployed in Iraq to coordinate a tenfold increase in aerial bombing and close air support. In addition to aerial support, fifteen civilian security companies, including delegations from our international allies, are flying special operations veterans into Iraq. Those forces will be tasked with finding and annihilating ISIS, wherever they walk, eat or sleep. I’ve been told that they can’t wait to get started. “Second, going forward, our military will be a major component in our battle against evil. Militaries need training. I’ve been assured by General McMillan and his staff that there is no better final training test than live combat. So without much more expenditure, we will do two things, train our troops of the future, and wipe out international threats. “Third, I have a message for our allies. If you need us, we will be there. If evil raises its ugly head, we will be with you, arm in arm, fighting for what is right. But that aid comes with a caveat. Our allies must be dedicated to the common global ideals of personal and religious freedom. Any supposed ally who ignores these terms will find themselves without impunity. A criminal is a criminal. A thief is a thief. Decide which side you’re on, because our side carries a big stick. “Fourth, to the religious leaders of the world, especially those of Islam, though we live with differing traditions, we are still one people on this Earth. What one person does always has the possibility of affecting others. If you want to be part of our community, it is time to do your part. Denounce the criminals who besmirch your faith. Tell your followers the true meaning of the Koran. Do not let the money and influence of hypocrites taint your religion or your people. We request that you do this now, respectfully, or face the scrutiny of America and our allies. “Fifth, starting today, an unprecedented coalition of three former American presidents, my predecessor included, will travel around the globe to strengthen our alliances. Much like our brave military leaders, we will lead from the front, go where we are needed. We will go toe to toe with any who would seek to undermine our good intentions, and who trample the freedoms of our citizens. In the coming days you will find out how great our resolve truly is. “Sixth, my staff is in the process of drafting a proposal for the members of the United Nations. The proposal will outline our recommendations for the formation of an international terrorism strike force along with an international tax that will fund ongoing anti-terrorism operations. Only the countries that contribute to this fund will be supported by the strike force. You pay to play.
C.G. Cooper (Moral Imperative (Corps Justice, #7))
During these uninterrupted peregrinations of mine from place to place, and almost continuous and intense reflection about this, I at last formed a preliminary plan in my mind.   Liquidating all my affairs and mobilizing all my material and other possibilities, I began to collect all kinds of written literature and oral information, still surviving among certain Asiatic peoples, about that branch of science, which was highly developed in ancient times and called " Mehkeness ", a name signifying the " taking away-of-responsibility ", and of which contemporary civilisation knows but an insignificant portion under the name of " hypnotism ", while all the literature extant upon the subject was already as familiar to me as my own five fingers.   Collecting all I could, I went to a certain Dervish monastery, situated likewise in Central Asia and where I had already stayed before, and, settling down there, I devoted myself wholly to the study of the material in my possession.   After two years of thorough theoretical study of this branch of science, when it became necessary to verify practically certain indispensable details, not as yet sufficiently elucidated by me in theory, of the mechanism of the functioning of man's subconscious sphere, I began to give myself out to be a " healer " of all kinds of vices and to apply the results of my theoretical studies to them, affording them at the same time, of course, real relief.   This continued to be my exclusive preoccupation and manifestation for four or five years in accordance with the essential oath imposed by my task, which consisted in rendering conscientious aid to sufferers, in never using my knowledge and practical power in that domain of science except for the sake of my investigations, and never for personal or egotistical ends, I not only arrived at unprecedented practical results without equal in our day, but also elucidated almost everything necessary for me.   In a short time, I discovered many details which might contribute to the solution of the same cardinal question, as well as many secondary facts, the existence of which I had scarcely suspected.   At the same time, I also became convinced that the greater number of minor details necessary for the final elucidation of this question must be sought not only in the sphere of man's subconscious mentation, but in various aspects of the manifestations in his state of waking consciousness.   After establishing this definitely, thoughts again began from time to time to " swarm " in my mind, as they had done years ago, sometimes automatically, sometimes directed by my consciousness,—thoughts as to the means of adapting myself now to the conditions of ordinary life about me with a view to elucidating finally and infallibly this question, which obviously had become a lasting and inseparable part of my Being.   This time my reflections, which recurred periodically during the two years of my wanderings on the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, resulted in a decision to make use of my exceptional, for the modern man, knowledge of the so-called " supernatural sciences ", as well as of my skill in producing different " tricks " in the domain of these so-called " sciences ", and to give myself out to be, in these pseudo-scientific domains, a so-called " professor-instructor ".
G.I. Gurdjieff (The Herald of Coming Good)
Adventists urged to study women’s ordination for themselves Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson appealed to members to study the Bible regarding the theology of ordination as the Church continues to examine the matter at Annual Council next month and at General Conference Session next year. Above, Wilson delivers the Sabbath sermon at Annual Council last year. [ANN file photo] President Wilson and TOSC chair Stele also ask for prayers for Holy Spirit to guide proceedings September 24, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, appealed to church members worldwide to earnestly read what the Bible says about women’s ordination and to pray that he and other church leaders humbly follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance on the matter. Church members wishing to understand what the Bible teaches on women’s ordination have no reason to worry about where to start, said Artur A. Stele, who oversaw an unprecedented, two-year study on women’s ordination as chair of the church-commissioned Theology of Ordination Study Committee. Stele, who echoed Wilson’s call for church members to read the Bible and pray on the issue, recommended reading the study’s three brief “Way Forward Statements,” which cite Bible texts and Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White to support each of the three positions on women’s ordination that emerged during the committee’s research. The results of the study will be discussed in October at the Annual Council, a major business meeting of church leaders. The Annual Council will then decide whether to ask the nearly 2,600 delegates of the world church to make a final call on women’s ordination in a vote at the General Conference Session next July. Wilson, speaking in an interview, urged each of the church’s 18 million members to prayerfully read the study materials, available on the website of the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. "Look to see how the papers and presentations were based on an understanding of a clear reading of Scripture,” Wilson said in his office at General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. “The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are to take the Bible just as it reads,” he said. “And I would encourage each church member, and certainly each representative at the Annual Council and those who will be delegates to the General Conference Session, to prayerfully review those presentations and then ask the Holy Spirit to help them know God’s will.” The Spirit of Prophecy refers to the writings of White, who among her statements on how to read the Bible wrote in The Great Controversy (p. 598), “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” “We don’t have the luxury of having the Urim and the Thummim,” Wilson said, in a nod to the stones that the Israelite high priest used in Old Testament times to learn God’s will. “Nor do we have a living prophet with us. So we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s leading in our own Bible study as we review the plain teachings of Scripture.” He said world church leadership was committed to “a very open, fair, and careful process” on the issue of women’s ordination. Wilson added that the crucial question facing the church wasn’t whether women should be ordained but whether church members who disagreed with the final decision on ordination, whatever it might be, would be willing to set aside their differences to focus on the church’s 151-year mission: proclaiming Revelation 14 and the three angels’ messages that Jesus is coming soon. 3 Views on Women’s Ordination In an effort to better understand the Bible’s teaching on ordination, the church established the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, a group of 106 members commonly referred to by church leaders as TOSC. It was not organized
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