Up Voting Quotes

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Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
David Foster Wallace (Up, Simba!)
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
Every election is determined by the people who show up.
Larry J. Sabato (Pendulum Swing)
And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course —those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape ‘kit ‘n’ stuff, But for everybody else, it’s a win-win. Unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing’s a disaster.
Tina Fey
I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.
Barbara Ehrenreich
I am naïve and I have fucked up but I tell you something else. I believe in change. I don't mind getting my hands dirty because my hands are dirty already. I don't mind giving my life to this because I'm only alive because of the compassion and love of others.
Russell Brand
Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women's refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, 'Oh, I'm not a feminist', I ask, 'Why? What's your problem?
Dale Spender (Man Made Language)
Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda." "Is that what it means to be a Christian?" It sounded kind of stupid as Mack said it, but it was how he was trying to sum everything up in his mind. "Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not a Christian." The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't." They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. "Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some were bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraquis, Jews and Palistinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved." "Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?" "Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
Noam Chomsky
You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard)
Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid war on the other side of the world--or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property--or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons--or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.
Hunter S. Thompson
Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
When picking a leader, choose a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.
A Dalit Scholar in his suicide note
I thought that you had stood up for the free will & rights of humans in this town.” “Depends on the human,” Claire said. “As far as I know, Hitler had a heartbeat, and I wouldn’t vote him to be in charge.
Rachel Caine (Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires, #15))
You cannot be afraid to speak up and speak out for what you believe. You have to have courage, raw courage.
John Lewis
Break ups aren't fair. Why does only one person have power? We both agreed to start dating. Why do you get to make the decision to end it? Shouldn't it be a joint decision too? Relationships aren't a democracy. Not everyone gets an equal vote.
Alyssa Rose Ivy (Focus (The Crescent Chronicles, #2))
We must try again to be alive to what the people of our country really long for in our national life: forgiveness and grace, maturity and wisdom. ...Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.
Peggy Noonan (Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now)
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world—a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. . . . No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you. Well, shit on that dumbness. George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn’t vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today—and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us—they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.
Hunter S. Thompson (Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
We could choose to be a nation that extends care, compassion, and concern to those who are locked up and locked out or headed for prison before they are old enough to vote. We could seek for them the same opportunities we seek for our own children; we could treat them like one of “us.” We could do that. Or we can choose to be a nation that shames and blames its most vulnerable, affixes badges of dishonor upon them at young ages, and then relegates them to a permanent second-class status for life. That is the path we have chosen, and it leads to a familiar place.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
When you vote, you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new.
George Bernard Shaw (Major Barbara)
Whether voting Republican or Democrat, the result is the same: A corrupt corporate government.
Steven Magee
On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
They had signs about baby killers and murderers and whatever, protesting the troops who were going over to fight. They were protesting the wrong people. We didn’t vote in Congress; we didn’t vote to go to war. I signed up to protect this country. I do not choose the wars.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper)
The truth is that the hard-fought victories of the Civil Rights Movement caused a reaction that stripped Brown of its power, severed the jugular of the Voting Rights Act, closed off access to higher education, poured crack cocaine into the inner cities, and locked up more black men proportionally than even apartheid-era South Africa.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the welder, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Religion... has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever... If someone votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I must [not] move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'I respect that'... Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.
Douglas Adams
Oh, September! It is so soon for you to lose your friends to good work and strange loves and high ambitions. The sadness of that is too grown-up for you. Like whiskey and voting, it is a dangerous and heady business, as heavy as years. If I could keep your little tribe together forever, I would. I do so want to be generous. But some stories sprout bright vines that tendril off beyond our sight, carrying the folk we love best with them, and if I knew how to accept that with grace, I would share the secret.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
It struck me just how young he was—no more than seventeen. Older than my mortal form, yes, but not by much. This young man had lost his mother. He had survived the harsh training of Lupa the wolf goddess. He’d grown up with the discipline of the Twelfth Legion at Camp Jupiter. He’d fought Titans and giants. He’d helped save the world at least twice. But by mortal standards, he was barely an adult. He wasn’t old enough to vote or drink.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
Grown ups don't believe in Santa Claus. They vote.
Pierre Desproges
Belize: Hell or heaven? [Roy indicates "Heaven" through a glance] Belize: Like San Francisco. Roy Cohn: A city. Good. I was worried... it'd be a garden. I hate that shit. Belize: Mmmm. Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, fierce gusts of gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens. Roy Cohn: Isaiah. Belize: Prophet birds, Roy. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. Roy Cohn: And a dragon atop a golden horde. Belize: And everyone in Balencia gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome. And you ain't there. Roy Cohn: And Heaven? Belize: That was Heaven, Roy.
Tony Kushner (Angels in America)
I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics. ... When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick. .... If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.
Alice Cooper
Most likely they told her a whole lot of damned things she wasn't allowed to do, for a range of different reasons. But she damned well did them all the same. A few years after she was born they were still telling girls they couldn't vote in the bleeding elections, but now the girls do it all the same. That's damned well how you stand up to bastards who tell you what you can and and't do. You bloody do those things all the bloody same.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro. He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
Malcolm X
You don’t give up on democracy every time you lose a vote”, Ethel said crisply.
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
How about we play without special abilities?” she suggested. “That’ll make it fair for everyone.” Fitz shrugged. “I’m up for the challenge if you are.” “Lame. I vote for The Unstoppable Team Keefe! Or Team Foster-Keefe if you’re one of those egomaniacs who needs your name in there. I can share some credit.
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
We live in a society where too many women tear each other down instead of raising each other up. That's absurd to me. We need to empower one another, teach future generations of girls that it's important to stand together. Once upon a time, we had a common goal and a common enemy. We were burning bras, and fighting for the right to vote. Now we're body shaming each other on social media and blaming the mistress if our man cheats.
Elle Kennedy (The Chase (Briar U, #1))
Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.
Kate Sheppard
A self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He's an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, "I must be insane." What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses and catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he has to have it. Depression, strife, riots, murder - all this dread. We're irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It's in all of us. We revel in it. Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things and paints them up as great human tragedies. But we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world - no! Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers that be want us to be passive observers, and they haven't given us any other options outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. "You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?" I feel that the time has come to project my own inadequacies and dissatisfactions into the sociopolitical and scientific schemes, let my own lack of a voice be heard.
Richard Linklater
The Chancellor looked down at the empty table for a minute. Then he shrugged, looked up, and gave a surprisingly jaunty smile. "All in favor of admitting first-term Kvothe's reckless use of sympathy as proof of mastery of basic principles of sympathy vote by show of hands.
Patrick Rothfuss
A 1-watt laser is an extremely dangerous thing. It’s not just powerful enough to blind you—it’s capable of burning skin and setting things on fire. Obviously, they’re not legal for consumer purchase in the US. Just kidding! You can pick one up for $300. Just do a search for “1-watt handheld laser.” So, suppose we spend the $2 trillion to buy 1-watt green lasers for everyone. (Memo to presidential candidates: This policy would win my vote.)
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
...the way I figure, no man has the right to be ignorant. In a country like this, ignorance is a crime. If a man is going to vote, if he's going to take part in his country and its government, then it's up to him to understand.
Louis L'Amour (Sackett (The Sacketts #8))
In my high school yearbook I was voted third runner-up for “Most Casual.” I never figured out if that meant most casual in dress or in overall manner. In any case, I didn’t come in first. I guess the two ahead of me wanted it less.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
He could not believe that ordinary people in the Culture really wanted the war, no matter how they had voted. They had their communist Utopia. They were soft and pampered and indulged, and the Contact section’s evangelical materialism provided their conscience-salving good works. What more could they want? The war had to be the Mind’s idea; it was part of their clinical drive to clean up the galaxy, make it run on nice, efficient lines, without waste, injustice or suffering. The fools in the Culture couldn’t see that one day the Minds would start thinking how wasteful and inefficient the humans in the Culture themselves were.
Iain Banks (Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1))
... Promise me you won't do anything stupid." "Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'd been planning to come up with the most moronic plan I could think of, but I guess now I won't.
Eileen Cook (Unraveling Isobel)
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
The people of today would rather stand next to a man with no substance but covered in gold, rather than the man with substance and wisdom of gold. What if God was dressed as a carpenter with dirty nails and beaten boots? Would you recognize your Maker? Would you give him your time? Your vote? A cup of tea or water? Only those with truth in them will recognize truth. And you must learn to recognize all that is untrue to get the truth.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Nature will get rights as soon as it gets duties. The minute we see birds, trees, bugs, squirrels picking up litter, giving money to charity, and keeping an eye on our kids at the park, we'll let them vote.
P.J. O'Rourke (All the Trouble in the World)
I must be losing patience with my fellow humans," Miss Beryl went on. "Anymore I'm all for executing people who are mean to children. I used to favor just cutting off their feet. Now I want to rid the world of them completely. If this keeps up I'll be voting Republican soon.
Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool (Sully #1))
That day, I learned that I could be a giver by simply bringing a smile to another person. The ensuing years have taught me that a kind word, a vote of support is a charitable gift. I can move over and make another place for someone. I can turn my music up if it pleases, or down if it is annoying. I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly am a lover of mankind, and I will give freely of my resources.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
[P]eople only make decisions based on what they know. You can have everyone in the country vote freely and democratically and still come up with the wrong answer - if the information they base that decision on is wrong. People don't want the truth [when] it is complicated. They don't want to spend years debating an issue. They want it homogenized, sanitized, and above all, simplified into terms they can understand...Governments are often criticized for moving slowly, but that deliberateness, it turns out, is their strength. They take time to think through complex problems before they act. People, however, are different. People react first from the gut and then from the head...give that knee-jerk reflex real power to make its overwhelming will known as a national mandate instantly and you can cause a political riot. Combine these sins - simplification of information and instant, visceral democratic mandates - and you lose the ability to cool down. There is no longer deliberation time between events that may or may not be true and our reaction to them. Policy becomes instinct rather than thought.
Tracy Hickman (The Immortals)
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
Silence is the most expensive to buy.
Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
Suddenly polite and cherubic, Judge Pearl addressed the defendant, a voting citizen. "Mr. Jordan, have you had a chance to meet with your attorney?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #1))
I am not red or blue. I am red, white and blue. Those are the same colors in my body (my heart, blood and veins). I am only human, and the human race is the only race in which I am an active participant - mind, body and soul.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When the middle classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats—their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, more animalistic. No classical music for us—no walking around National Trust properties or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful: dying in means, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor—that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better later. We live now—for our instant, hot, fast treats, to pep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. You must never, never forget when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad post code. It's a miracle when someone from a bad post code gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
Understanding America for the Non-American Black: Thoughts on the Special White Friend One great gift for the Zipped-Up Negro is The White Friend Who Gets It. Sadly, this is not as common as one would wish, but some are lucky to have that white friend who you don’t need to explain shit to. By all means, put this friend to work. Such friends not only get it, but also have great bullshit-detectors and so they totally understand that they can say stuff that you can’t. So there is, in much of America, a stealthy little notion lying in the hearts of many: that white people earned their place at jobs and schools while black people got in because they were black. But in fact, since the beginning of America, white people have been getting jobs because they were white. Many whites with the same qualifications but Negro skin would not have the jobs they have. But don’t ever say this publicly. Let your white friend say it. If you make the mistake of saying this, you will be accused of a curiosity called “playing the race card.” Nobody quite knows what this means. When my father was in school in my NAB (Non American Black) country, many American Blacks could not vote or go to good schools. The reason? Their skin color. Skin color alone was the problem. Today, many Americans say that skin color cannot be part of the solution. Otherwise it is referred to as a curiosity called “reverse racism.” Have your white friend point out how the American Black deal is kind of like you’ve been unjustly imprisoned for many years, then all of a sudden you’re set free, but you get no bus fare. And, by the way, you and the guy who imprisoned you are now automatically equal. If the “slavery was so long ago” thing comes up, have your white friend say that lots of white folks are still inheriting money that their families made a hundred years ago. So if that legacy lives, why not the legacy of slavery? And have your white friend say how funny it is, that American pollsters ask white and black people if racism is over. White people in general say it is over and black people in general say it is not. Funny indeed. More suggestions for what you should have your white friend say? Please post away. And here’s to all the white friends who get it.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
I think when it comes to females in the media you’ll see something that kind of upsets me which is that females are pinned up against each other more so than men. You know, for example like you never see online “vote for who has the better butt - this actor or this actor.” It’s always like this female singer and this female singer. And you get to vote. I mean, it’s daily I see these things and these polls like “let us know who’s sexier, who’s the hotter momma” and I just don’t see it like “who’s the hotter dad” you know? I think that one thing that I do believe as a feminist is that in order for us to have gender equality we have to stop making it a girl fight and we have to stop being so interested in seeing girls trying to tear each other down, it has to be more about cheering each other on as women. That’s just kind of how I feel about it.
Taylor Swift
Believe it; 25 years from now or less, you will be voted for or appointed by the actions you are taking today! Guess what the vote will mean. Will it be an election for you to occupy the edifice of failure or to be the administrator in the kingdom of success? Rise up and optimize your potentials!
Israelmore Ayivor
When considering a candidate for office, almost right up until they enter the polling booth and sometimes even in the booth itself, most voters rely more on what they see and hear themselves in real time than on facts, history, logic, or learned experience.
Quin Hillyer
Hector, I have to ask. Do you want to be an emperor? Because I could make you one. You could be my equal in rank, with just as much authority. Tristán still owes me votes on the Quorum. We could ram an edict through—” “No need,” he says, reaching up to brush my bottom lip with his thumb. “I’m a good leader, but you’re a great ruler. I am strong enough—man enough—to be subject to you.
Rae Carson (The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3))
I was raised by my parents to believe that you had a moral obligation to try and save the world. You sent money to the Red Cross, you registered people to vote, you marched in rallies, stood in vigils, picked up litter.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
That day, I learned that I could be a giver simply by bringing a smile to another person. The ensuing years have taught me that a kind word or a vote of support can be a charitable gift. I can move over and make another place for another to sit. I can turn my music up if it pleases, or down if it is annoying. I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly want to be known as charitable.
Maya Angelou (Mom & Me & Mom)
Today Congress operates not as the Framers intended, but in the shadows, where it dreams up its most notorious and oppressive laws, coming into the light only to trumpet the genius and earnestness of its goings-on and to enable members to cast their votes. The people are left lamebrained and dumbfounded about their "representatives'" supposed good deeds, which usually take the form of omnibus bills numbering in hundreds if not thousands of pages, and utterly clueless about the effects these laws have on their lives. Of course, that is the point. The public is not to be informed but indoctrinated, manipulated and misled.
Mark R. Levin (The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic)
Today women have the rights and equality our Victorian sisters could only dream of, and with those privileges comes the responsibility of standing up and being counted.
Sara Sheridan
I am not for the left or the right, but for what is right over the wrong. I am not an elephant or a donkey, but a lion that stands only with Truth and my conscience.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
In the natural sciences, some checks exist on the prolonged acceptance of nutty ideas, which do not hold up well under experimental and observational tests and cannot readily be shown to give rise to useful working technologies. But in economics and the other social studies, nutty ideas may hang around for centuries. Today, leading presidential candidates and tens of millions of voters in the USA embrace ideas that might have been drawn from a 17th-century book on the theory and practice of mercantilism, and multitudes of politicians and ordinary people espouse notions that Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and others exploded more than two centuries ago. In these realms, nearly everyone simply believes whatever he feels good about believing.
Robert Higgs
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The way we’ve set up corporations, even a majority vote of stockholders cannot demand that a corporation’s policies reflect the public good or preserve the environment for future use. That’s because profit is the one and only motive. It’s up to government and it’s up to people to protect the public interest. Corporations are simply not allowed to.
David Suzuki (From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-Crisis)
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy...
Alexander Fraser Tytler
What's a „culture“? Look it up. „A group of micro-organisms grown in a nutrient substance under controlled conditions“. A squirm of germs on a glass slide is all, a laboratory experiment calling itself a society. Most of us wrigglers make do with life on the slide; we even agree to feel proud of that „culture“. Like slaves voting for slavery or brains for lobotomy, we kneel down before the god of all moronic micro-organisms and pray to be homogenized or killed or engineered; we promise to obey.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
How many black holes have we been up close and personal with?" Kosta countered. "All sorts of odd things happen near the event horizon, from huge tidal forces to variations in time. Personally, I'm voting on it having to do with gravity, either a polarization of the fields themselves or else something related to the time differential." I didn't know physics had become a democracy," Hanan murmered.
Timothy Zahn
Our way was to share a fire until it burned down, ayi? To speak to each other until every person was satisfied. Younger men listened to older men. Now the Beelezi tell us the vote of a young, careless man counts the same as the vote of an elder.' In the hazy heat Tata Ndu paused to take off his hat, turn it carefully in his hands, then replace it above the high dome of his forehead. No one breathed. 'White men tell us: Vote, bantu! They tell us: You do not all have to agree, ce n'est pas necessaire! If two men vote yes and one says no, the matter is finished. A bu, even a child can see how that will end. It takes three stones in the fire to hold up the pot. Take one away, leave the other two, and what? The pot will spill into the fire.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
You have to educate people first— you can't let them go out and vote for whatever they want! You don't know what you'd end up with!
Una McCormack (The Never Ending Sacrifice)
Voting for the Green Party is how you say 'Up Yours!' to the Republicans and Democrats.
Steven Magee
Six paradoxes of Mature Socialism: 1) There’s no unemployment, but no one works; 2) no one works, but productivity goes up; 3) productivity goes up, but stores are empty; 4) stores are empty, but fridges are full; 5) fridges are full, but no one is satisfied; 6) no one is satisfied, but everyone votes yes.
Anya von Bremzen (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing)
Typically, in politics, more than one horse is owned and managed by the same team in an election. There's always and extra candidate who will slightly mimic the views of their team's opposing horse, to cancel out that person by stealing their votes just so the main horse can win. Elections are puppet shows. Regardless of their rainbow coats and many smiles, the agenda is one and the same.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
As societies trivialize traditional values, we witness a flow of immense suffering. We anguish, for instance, over what happens to the unborn, who cannot vote, and to children at risk. We weep over children having children and children shooting children. Often secular remedies to these challenges are not based on spiritual principles. To borrow a metaphor—secular remedies resemble an alarmed passenger traveling on the wrong train who tries to compensate by running up the aisle in the opposite direction! Only the acceptance of the revelations of God can bring both direction and correction and, in turn, bring a ‘brightness of hope’ (2 Ne. 31:20). Real hope does not automatically ‘spring eternal’ unless it is connected with eternal things!
Neal A. Maxwell
Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterton was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and 'sex equality.' As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits--barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them.
Ian Fleming (Goldfinger (James Bond, #7))
Only, the way I figure, no man has the right to be ignorant. In a country like this, ignorance is a crime. If a man is going to vote, if he’s going to take part in his country and its government, then it’s up to him to understand.
Louis L'Amour (Sackett (The Sacketts, #8))
Side note: Down here, you're either an Amundsen guy, a Shackleton guy, or a Scott guy. Amundsen was the first to reach the Pole, but he did it by feeding dogs to dogs, which makes Amundsen the Michael Vick of polar explorers: you can like him, but keep it to yourself, or you'll end up getting into arguments with a bunch of fanatics. Shackleton is the Charles Barkley of the bunch: he's a legend, all-star personality, but there's the asterisk that he never reached the Pole, i.e. won a championship. How this turned into a sports analogy, I don't know. Finally, there's Captain Scott, canonized for his failure, and to this day never fully embraced because he was terrible with people. He has my vote, you understand.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that. There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are. Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world. And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve. When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.
Lynne Twist
Now Lu wonders if her father worried that moving up through the political ranks would cost him that adjective, beloved. Certainly, almost no politician is described that way anymore. Even the people who vote for you didn’t seem to like you that much.
Laura Lippman (Wilde Lake)
It is up-hill work to oppose our prejudices; we have a democracy, but freedom of speech is enjoyed only by the most foolish members of this Assembly and by the comic poets in the theatre. As, however, I am not here to court your votes, I shall say what I think...
Isocrates (On the Peace)
And what if Britain lost? There would be a financial crisis, unemployment, and destitution. Working-class men would take up Ethel’s father’s cry and say that they had never been allowed to vote for the war. The people’s rage against their rulers would be boundless.
Ken Follett (Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1))
Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.
Henry Grady Weaver (The Mainspring of Human Progress)
He turns to the Council. 'Sounds like Foolish behavior to me, boys. I hereby nominate the human race for membership in the Council of Fools!' He raises both arms and shouts to the sky. 'Humanity! Join us! Join your masters! All opposed, say nay!" And then nothing but silence and Flip's panting as he strains, listening. 'There are no dissenting votes!' he cries. 'I hereby admit humanity to the Council of Fools!' He punches the air in triumph. 'Dude,' he says, grinning, 'I just upped our membership by six billion. Not bad, huh?
Barry Lyga (Hero-Type)
To be a bad girl is to break any socially accepted rule. For some women, it’s the way they dress. For other girls, it’s the act of going to school. At one point, it was fighting for the right to vote. Anything we do outside the lines is immediately up for persecution.
Ann Shen (Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World (Women in History Book, Book of Women Who Changed the World))
I hear of a convention to be held at Baltimore, or elsewhere, for the selection of a candidate for the Presidency, made up chiefly of editors, and men who are politicians by profession; but I think, what is it to any independent, intellegent, and respectable man what decision they may come to? Shall we not have the advantage of his wisdom and honesty, nevertheless? Can we not count upon some independent votes? Are there not many individuals in the country who do not attend conventions? But no: I find that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted from his position, and despairs of his country, when his country has more reason to despair of him. He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as his only AVAILABLE one, thus proving that he is himself AVAILABLE for any purposes of the demagogue. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden and Other Writings)
New Rule: America has every right ot bitch about gas prices suddenly shooting up. How could we have known? Oh, wait, there was that teensy, tiny thing about being warned constantly over the last forty years but still creating more urban sprawl, failing to build public transport, buying gas-guzzlers, and voting for oil company shills. So, New Rule: Shut the fuck up about gas prices.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
A final irony has to do with the idea of political responsibility. Christians are urged to vote and become involved in politics as an expression of their civic duty and public responsibility. This is a credible argument and good advice up to a point. Yet in our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Whenever I returned I found a city that was spineless, that couldn’t stand up to changes of season, heat, cold, and, especially, storms. Look how the station on Piazza Garibaldi was flooded, look how the Galleria opposite the museum had collapsed; there was a landslide, and the electricity didn’t come back on. Lodged in my memory were dark streets full of dangers, unregulated traffic, broken pavements, giant puddles. The clogged sewers splattered, dribbled over. Lavas of water and sewage and garbage and bacteria spilled into the sea from the hills that were burdened with new, fragile structures, or eroded the world from below. People died of carelessness, of corruption, of abuse, and yet, in every round of voting, gave their enthusiastic approval to the politicians who made their life unbearable.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
In those years I did not care to enjoy sex, only to have it. That is what seeing Alex again on Fifth Avenue brought back to me - a youth of fascinated, passionless copulation. There they are, figures in a discoloured blur, young men and not so young, the nice ones with automobiles, the dull ones full of suspicions and stinginess. By asking a thousand questions of many heavy souls, I did not learn much. You receive biographies interesting mainly for their coherence. So many are children who from the day of their birth are growing up to be their parents. Look at the voting records, inherited like flat feet.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Sleepless Nights)
We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements—transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting—profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Taking Ogen’s temperature, I said, “Right on. I vote we swim it.” He whimpered. “No swim—NO SWIM!” Death commanded him in that foreign tongue, and he shut up. “Well, aren’t you a good wittle doggie, Ogen?” I said. “You know how to sit, stay, and hush even better than Lark’s wolves.” He stared, disbelieving that I’d just insulted him like that. “I am the DESECRATOR! I sit upon Lucifer’s knee!” “That makes total sense, Scooby.” With a puzzled expression, Death said, “You taunt him at your peril.” “What’s he going to do? Kill me?” Over my shoulder I told Ogen, “Get in line, dick.
Kresley Cole (Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2))
New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week, they released the autopsy report on Anna Nicole Smith, and the cause of death was what I always thought it was: mad cow. No, it turns out she had nine different prescription drugs in her—which, in the medical field, is known as the “full Limbaugh.” They opened her up, and a Walgreens jumped out. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, sedatives, Valium, methadone—this woman was killed by her doctor, who is a glorified bartender. I’m not going to say his name, but only because (a) I don’t want to get sued, and (b) my back is killing me. This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of a famous government report. I was sixteen in 1972, and I remember how excited we were when Nixon’s much ballyhooed National Commission on Drug Abuse came out and said pot should be legalized. It was a moment of great hope for common sense—and then, just like Bush did with the Iraq Study Group, Nixon took the report and threw it in the garbage, and from there the ’70s went right into disco and colored underpants. This week in American Scientist, a magazine George Bush wouldn’t read if he got food poisoning in Mexico and it was the only thing he could reach from the toilet, described a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs, and found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy—which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper—Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn’t remember the number for nine-one-one. I wish I had more time to go into the fact that the drug war has always been about keeping black men from voting by finding out what they’re addicted to and making it illegal—it’s a miracle our government hasn’t outlawed fat white women yet—but I leave with one request: Would someone please just make a bumper sticker that says, “I’m a stoner, and I vote.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Be patient. Changes that alter the structure of power and widen opportunity require years of hard work, as those who toiled for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, or have been working for the rights of the disabled and gays, would tell you. It took thirty years of continuous fulmination for women to get the right to vote; fifty years of agitation before employers were required to bargain with unionized workers. Those who benefit from the prevailing allocation of power and wealth don’t give up their privileged positions without a fight, and they usually have more resources at their disposal than the insurgents. Take satisfaction from small victories, but don’t be discouraged or fall into cynicism. And don’t allow yourself to burn out. I
Robert B. Reich (Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix them)
Political scientists followed up on Todorov’s initial research by identifying a category of voters for whom the automatic preferences of System 1 are particularly likely to play a large role. They found what they were looking for among politically uninformed voters who watch a great deal of television. As expected, the effect of facial competence on voting is about three times larger for information-poor and TV-prone voters than for others who are better informed and watch less television. Evidently,
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.
Karl Marx (On the Question of Free Trade (Annotated))
Laura picked up the menu again. “In graduate school I knew a woman from Africa who was just like this doctor, I think she was from Uganda. She was wonderful, and she didn’t get along with the African-American woman in our class at all. She didn’t have all those issues.” “Maybe when the African American’s father was not allowed to vote because he was black, the Ugandan’s father was running for parliament or studying at Oxford,” Ifemelu said. Laura stared at her, made a mocking confused face. “Wait, did I miss something?” “I just think it’s a simplistic comparison to make. You need to understand a bit more history,” Ifemelu said.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Along with the concept of American Dream runs the notion that every man and woman is entitled to an opinion and to one vote, no matter how ridiculous that opinion might be or how uninformed the vote. It could be that the Borderer Presbyterian tradition of "stand up and say your rightful piece" contributed to the American notion that our gut-level but uninformed opinions are some sort of unvarnished foundational political truths. I have been told that this is because we redneck working-class Scots Irish suffer from what psychiatrists call "no insight".Consequently, we will never agree with anyone outside our zone of ignorance because our belligerent Borderer pride insists on the right to be dangerously wrong about everything while telling those who are more educated to "bite my ass!
Joe Bageant (Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War)
Personally I don’t endorse the notion of mortality. It’s fine for other folk, but I disapprove of the concept for me and my loved ones. Seems unfair that we’re not allowed to vote on the matter and not one of us is excused. Who made up that rule?" - Kinsey Millhone
Sue Grafton (V is for Vengeance (Kinsey Millhone, #22))
Civil and voting rights for blacks didn’t come from the White House or from masses demonstrating in front of the White House. They came after the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955–56, the Freedom Rides in 1961, the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham in 1963, the Mississippi Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in 1964, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965. In other words, they came only after hundreds of thousands of black Americans and their white supporters had accepted the challenge and risks of ourselves making or becoming the changes we want to see in the world. Women’s leadership in the public sphere didn’t come from the White House or from CEOs. It came only after millions of women came together in small consciousness-raising groups to share stories of our “second sex” lives. Today’s good news is that Americans in all walks of life have begun to create another America from the ground up in many unforeseen ways. In our bones we sense that this is no ordinary time. It is a time of deep change, not just of social structure and economy but also of ourselves.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
The proposal to quit voting is basically revolutionary; it amounts to a shifting of power from one group to another, which is the essence of revolution. As soon as the nonvoting movement got up steam, the politicians would most assuredly start a counterrevolution. Measures to enforce voting would be instituted; fines would be imposed for violations, and prison sentences would be meted out to repeaters.
Frank Chodorov
It must be this overarching commitment to what is really an abstraction, to one's children right or wrong, that can be even more fierce than the commitment to them as explicit, difficult people, and that can consequently keep you devoted to them when as individuals they disappoint. On my part it was this broad covenant with children-in-theory that I may have failed to make and to which I was unable to resort when Kevin finally tested my maternal ties to a perfect mathematical limit on Thursday. I didn't vote for parties, but for candidates. My opinions were as ecumenical as my larder, then still chock full of salsa verde from Mexico City, anchovies from Barcelona, lime leaves from Bangkok. I had no problem with abortion but abhorred capital punishment, which I suppose meant that I embraced the sanctity of life only in grown-ups. My environmental habits were capricious; I'd place a brick in our toilet tank, but after submitting to dozens of spit-in-the-air showers with derisory European water pressure, I would bask under a deluge of scalding water for half an hour. My closet wafter with Indian saris, Ghanaian wraparounds, and Vietnamese au dais. My vocabulary was peppered with imports -- gemutlich, scusa, hugge, mzungu. I so mixed and matched the planet that you sometimes worried I had no commitments to anything or anywhere, though you were wrong; my commitments were simply far-flung and obscenely specific. By the same token, I could not love a child; I would have to love this one. I was connected to the world by a multitude of threads, you by a few sturdy guide ropes. It was the same with patriotism: You loved the idea of the United States so much more powerfully than the country itself, and it was thanks to your embrace of the American aspiration that you could overlook the fact that your fellow Yankee parents were lining up overnight outside FAO Schwartz with thermoses of chowder to buy a limited release of Nintendo. In the particular dwells the tawdry. In the conceptual dwells the grand, the transcendent, the everlasting. Earthly countries and single malignant little boys can go to hell; the idea of countries and the idea of sons triumph for eternity. Although neither of us ever went to church, I came to conclude that you were a naturally religious person.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
It turns out the voter's lied. Just like the accusations that they always throw at hard-working public servants, the goddamned electorate turned out to be goddamned liars themselves. They said they respected hard work, commitment and moral courage. They said that the candidate's opponent had lost their vote the moment she gave up on reasoned discourse and calm authority. But when they went into the voting booths in their hundreds, and thousands, and tens of thousands, they'd thought, You know what, though, she's strong. She'd show them.
Naomi Alderman (The Power)
As soon as my log-in sequence completed, a window popped up on my display, informing me that today was an election day. Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Several times that day, the name or thought of Papa had come up. And each time, Francie had felt a flash of tenderness instead of the old stab of pain. "Am I forgetting him?" she thought. "In time to come, will it be hard to remember anything about him? I guess it's like Granma Mary Rommely says: 'With time, passes all.' The first year was hard because we could say last 'lection he voted. Last Thanksgiving he ate with us. But next year it will be two years ago that he...and as time passes it will be harder and harder to remember and keep track.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today, insolvent; seeking to curry favor, to get custom, by how many modes, only not state-prison offences; lying, flattering, voting, contracting yourselves into a nutshell of civility or dilating into an atmosphere of thin and vaporous generosity, that you may persuade your neighbor to let you make his shoes, or his hat, or his coat, or his carriage, or import his groceries for him; making yourselves sick, that you may lay up something against a sick day, something to be tucked away in an old chest, or in a stocking behind the plastering, or, more safely, in the brick bank; no matter where, no matter how much or how little.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
During the 1992 election I concluded as early as my first visit to New Hampshire that Bill Clinton was hateful in his behavior to women, pathological as a liar, and deeply suspect when it came to money in politics. I have never had to take any of that back, whereas if you look up what most of my profession was then writing about the beefy, unscrupulous 'New Democrat,' you will be astonished at the quantity of sheer saccharine and drool. Anyway, I kept on about it even after most Republicans had consulted the opinion polls and decided it was a losing proposition, and if you look up the transcript of the eventual Senate trial of the president—only the second impeachment hearing in American history—you will see that the last order of business is a request (voted down) by the Senate majority leader to call Carol and me as witnesses. So I can dare to say that at least I saw it through.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Many of the same people who are crying for mankind to tolerate everything have overlooked examples of intolerance that have utterly reshaped the country in which we live. For instance, what would this country be like if George Washington had tolerated British troops? Where would we be today if Thomas Jefferson had tolerated King George III? Or what if Fredrick Douglas had tolerated slavery, or Martin Luther King Jr. had tolerated segregation? What would America be like if Winston Churchill had tolerated Adolf Hitler or if Susan B. Anthony tolerated only men voting? Part of what made these individuals great was that they were strong enough to stand up for their convictions. They recognized something as “wrong,” and they didn’t tolerate it.
Brad Harrub (Convicted: A Scientist Examines the Evidence for Christianity)
I am born as the South explodes, too many people too many years enslaved, then emancipated but not free, the people who look like me keep fighting and marching and getting killed so that today— February 12, 1963 and every day from this moment on, brown children like me can grow up free. Can grow up learning and voting and walking and riding wherever we want. I am born in Ohio but the stories of South Carolina already run like rivers through my veins.
Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming)
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi
Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us -- they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.
Hunter S. Thompson (Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
You call The Smiths clichéd one more time and I’m going to put this song on repeat, then run us off the cliff so that people think we died in some teenage suicide death pact. Then everyone at school will be sad and they’ll do a big teary gesture by making you win prom king, then you’ll be that guy that gets memorialized by a candlelight vigil by people who didn’t know him all that well. You’ll get voted into the cliché hall of fame.” “I would throw up inside my grave.
Adi Alsaid (Never Always Sometimes)
People like my parents, both veterans of World War II, came to be called the “Greatest Generation,” because they rose to the challenge and defended the world against tyranny. Often enough, certain pundits imply that no generation since—today’s generation, especially—can live up to the standard of the greatest generation. I could not disagree more. We face a challenge right now, you and I, that is even greater in aspect and scope than a global war. It is a battle for our house and home, and for our future on this planet. It is a moment for all of us to step up: through our personal effort, through the innovations we create, through the policies we support, through the people we vote for. You and I can be a part of the Next Great Generation. We can save Earth—for us. Let’s get to work.
Bill Nye (Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World)
Denying the poor access to knowledge goes back a long way. The ancient Smriti political and legal system drew up vicious punishments for sudras seeking learning. (In those days, that meant learning the Vedas.) If a sudra listens to the Vedas, said one of these laws, ‘his ears are to be filled with molten tin or lac. If he dares to recite the Vedic texts, his body is to be split’. That was the fate of the ‘base-born’. The ancients restricted learning on the basis of birth. In a modern polity, where the base-born have votes, the elite act differently. Say all the right things. But deny access. Sometimes, mass pressures force concessions. Bend a little. After a while, it’s back to business as usual. As one writer has put it: When the poor get literate and educated, the rich lose their palanquin bearers.
Palagummi Sainath (Everybody loves a good drought)
It’s like… that big red hand of McMurphy’s is reaching into the fog and dropping down and dragging the men up by their hands, dragging them blinking into the open. First one, then another, then the next. Right on down the line of Acutes, dragging them out of the fog till there they stand, all twenty of them, raising not just for watching TV, but against the Big Nurse, against her trying to send McMurphy to Disturbed, against the way she’s talked and acted and beat them down for years.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Correct thinking provides a sense of certainty. Without it, we fear that faith is on life support at best, dead and buried at worst. And who wants a dead or dying faith? So this fear of losing a handle on certainty leads to a preoccupation with correct thinking, making sure familiar beliefs are defended and supported at all costs. How strongly do we hold on to the old ways of thinking? Just recall those history courses where we read about Christians killing other Christians over all sorts of disagreements about doctrines few can even articulate today. Or perhaps just think of a skirmish you’ve had at church over a sermon, Sunday-school lesson, or which candidate to vote into public office. Preoccupation with correct thinking. That’s the deeper problem. It reduces the life of faith to sentry duty, a 24/7 task of pacing the ramparts and scanning the horizon to fend off incorrect thinking, in ourselves and others, too engrossed to come inside the halls and enjoy the banquet. A faith like that is stressful and tedious to maintain. Moving toward different ways of thinking, even just trying it on for a while to see how it fits, is perceived as a compromise to faith, or as giving up on faith altogether. But nothing could be further from the truth. Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
By nature I’m a deliberate speaker, which, by the standards of presidential candidates, helped keep my gaffe quotient relatively low. But my care with words raised another issue on the campaign trail: I was just plain wordy, and that was a problem. When asked a question, I tended to offer circuitous and ponderous answers, my mind instinctively breaking up every issue into a pile of components and subcomponents. If every argument had two sides, I usually came up with four. If there was an exception to some statement I just made, I wouldn’t just point it out; I’d provide footnotes. “You’re burying the lede!” Axe would practically shout after listening to me drone on and on and on. For a day or two I’d obediently focus on brevity, only to suddenly find myself unable to resist a ten-minute explanation of the nuances of trade policy or the pace of Arctic melting. “What d’ya think?” I’d say, pleased with my thoroughness as I walked offstage. “You got an A on the quiz,” Axe would reply. “No votes, though.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
If the ghost that haunts the towns of Ypres and Arras and Albert is the staturory British Tommy, slogging with rifle and pack through its ruined streets to this well-documented destiny ‘up the line’, then the ghost of Boulogne and Etaples and Rouen ought to be a girl. She’s called Elsie or Gladys or Dorothy, her ankles are swollen, her feet are aching, her hands reddened and rough. She has little money, no vote, and has almost forgotten what it feels like to be really warm. She sleeps in a tent. Unless she has told a diplomatic lie about her age, she is twenty-three. She is the daughter of a clergyman, a lawyer or a prosperous businessman, and has been privately educated and groomed to be a ‘lady’. She wears the unbecoming outdoor uniform of a VAD or an army nurse. She is on active service, and as much a part of the war as Tommy Atkins.
Lyn Macdonald (The Roses of No Man's Land)
Think about it: If you have saved just enough to have your own house, your own car, a modicum of income to pay for food, clothes, and a few conveniences, and your everyday responsibilities start and end only with yourself… You can afford not to do anything outside of breathing, eating, and sleeping. Time would be an endless, white blanket. Without folds and pleats or sudden rips. Monday would look like Sunday, going sans adrenaline, slow, so slow and so unnoticed. Flowing, flowing, time is flowing in phrases, in sentences, in talk exchanges of people that come as pictures and videos, appearing, disappearing, in the safe, distant walls of Facebook. Dial fast food for a pizza, pasta, a burger or a salad. Cooking is for those with entire families to feed. The sala is well appointed. A day-maid comes to clean. Quietly, quietly she dusts a glass figurine here, the flat TV there. No words, just a ho-hum and then she leaves as silently as she came. Press the shower knob and water comes as rain. A TV remote conjures news and movies and soaps. And always, always, there’s the internet for uncomplaining company. Outside, little boys and girls trudge along barefoot. Their tinny, whiny voices climb up your windowsill asking for food. You see them. They don’t see you. The same way the vote-hungry politicians, the power-mad rich, the hey-did-you-know people from newsrooms, and the perpetually angry activists don’t see you. Safely ensconced in your tower of concrete, you retreat. Uncaring and old./HOW EASY IT IS NOT TO CARE
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
It is worthy of note, however, that the exclusion of black voters from polling booths is not the only way in which black political power has been suppressed. Another dimension of disenfranchisement echoes not so much Jim Crow as slavery. Under the usual-residence rule, the Census Bureau counts imprisoned individuals as residents of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated. Because most new prison construction occurs in predominately white, rural areas, white communities benefit from inflated population totals at the expense of the urban, overwhelmingly minority communities from which the prisoners come.35 This has enormous consequences for the redistricting process. White rural communities that house prisons wind up with more people in state legislatures representing them, while poor communities of color lose representatives because it appears their population has declined. This policy is disturbingly reminiscent of the three-fifths clause in the original Constitution, which enhanced the political clout of slaveholding states by including 60 percent of slaves in the population base for calculating Congressional seats and electoral votes, even though they could not vote.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?" "Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways. "Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then." "Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-" "These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna." "She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells. "Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles. Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice." She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you." Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him. Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma." "We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns. "Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma. Galen grins. "Such as?" "I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms. Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table. Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair. Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?" The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt. The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago." This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly. She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand." She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons." "Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her. She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?" He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks. "Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
They are demanding equal rights with us,’ says Mrs. Fiedke. ‘That’s why I never vote with the Liberals. Perfume, jewellery, hair down to their shoulders, and I’m not talking about the ones who were born like that. I mean, the ones that can’t help it should be put on an island. It’s the others I’m talking about. There was a time they would stand up and open the door for you. They would take their hat off. But they want their equality today. All I say is that if God had intended them to be as good as us he wouldn’t have made them different from us to the naked eye. They don’t want to be all dressed alike any more. Which is only a move against us. You couldn’t run an army like that, let alone the male sex. With all due respects to Mr. Fiedke, may he rest in peace, the male sex is getting out of hand. Of course, Mr. Fiedke knew his place as a man, give him his due.’ ….. ‘If we don’t look lively,’ she says, ‘they will be taking over the homes and the children, and sitting about having chats while we go and fight to defend them and work to keep them. They won’t be content with equal rights only. Next thing they’ll want the upper hand, mark my words. Diamond earrings, I’ve read in the paper.
Muriel Spark (The Driver's Seat)
People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections. To make sure those elections are effectively meaningless as far as Wall Street is concerned, two things end up being true. One is that voters on both sides of the aisle are gradually weaned off that habit of having real expectations for their politicians, consuming the voting process entirely as culture-war entertainment. The other is that millions of tenuously middle-class voters are conned into pushing Wall Street’s own twisted greed ethos as though it were their own. The Tea Party, with its weirdly binary view of society as being split up cleanly into competing groups of producers and parasites—that’s just a cultural echo of the insane greed-is-good belief system on Wall Street that’s provided the foundation/excuse for a generation of brilliantly complex thievery. Those beliefs have trickled down to the ex-middle-class suckers struggling to stay on top of their mortgages and their credit card bills, and the real joke is that these voters listen to CNBC and Fox and they genuinely believe they’re the producers in this binary narrative. They don’t get that somewhere way up above, there’s a group of people who’ve been living the Atlas dream for real—and building a self-dealing financial bureaucracy in their own insane image.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
So the obvious, then: the liberal arts in general, and especially reading seriously, offer an opening to a wider life, the powers of active citizenship (including the willingness to vote); reading strengthens perception, judgment, and character; it creates understanding of other people and oneself, maybe kindliness and wit, and certainly the ability to endure solitude, both in the common sense of empty-room loneliness and the cosmic sense of empty-universe loneliness. Reading fiction carries you further into imagination and invention than you would be capable of on your own, takes you into other people’s lives, and often, by reflection, deeper into your own. I will indulge a resounding tautology: every great civilization, including ours, has had a great literature and great readers. If literature matters less to young people than it once did, we are all in trouble.
David Denby (Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives.)
Note that the best rationalizations are those that have an element of truth. Whether you vote or not will almost certainly have no influence on the outcome of an election. Nor will the amount of carbon you personally put into the atmosphere make a difference in the fate of the planet. And perhaps it really should be up to governments rather than the charities that are soliciting your contributions to feed the hungry and homeless in America or save children around the world from crushing poverty and abuse. But the fact that these statements are true doesn't mean they aren't also rationalizations that you and others use to justify questionable behavior. This uncomfortable truth is crucial to an understanding of the link between rationalization and evil—an understanding that starts with the awareness that sane people rarely, if ever, act in a truly evil manner unless they can successfully rationalize their actions... [The] process of rationalizing evil deeds committed by whole societies is a collective effort rather than a solely individual enterprise.
Thomas Gilovich (The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights)
..I met two young guys from the Oregon National Guard... The lieutenant told me about their temporary barracks in an old neighborhood high school. He told me that he was disgusted that kids ever went to school there, and that in Oregon the place would have been bulldozed and rebuilt so that kids could have a proper place to learn. He seemed troubled that all of this was happening in America. He realized that many of the problems he was seeing in New Orleans existed before the storm, and he wanted to know why people had put up with it and why they hadn't voted out of office the people who had let this happen. I told him I didn't know, but maybe we could change things in New Orleans in the future. He seemed hopeful. I felt less certain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
When one looks at the all-prevailing schizophrenia of democratic societies, the lies that have to be told for vote-catching purposes, the silence about major issues, the distortions of the press, it is tempting to believe that in totalitarian countries there is less humbug, more facing of the facts. There, at least, the ruling groups are not dependent on popular favour and can utter the truth crudely and brutally. Goering could say ‘Guns before butter’, while his democratic opposite numbers had to wrap the same sentiment up in hundreds of hypocritical words.
George Orwell (Essays)
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
R.O.TC. kept me away from sports while the other guys practiced every day. They made the school teams, won their letters and got the girls. My days were spent mostly marching around in the sun. All you ever saw were the backs of some guy's ears and his buttocks. I quickly became disenchanted with military proceedings. The others shined their shoes brightly and seemed to go through maneuvers with relish. I couldn't see any sense in it. They were just getting shaped up in order to get their balls blown off later. On the other hand, I couldn't see myself crouched down in a football helmet, shoulder pads laced on, decked out in Blue and White, #69, trying to move out some brute with tacos on his breath so that the son of the district attorney could slant off left tackle for six yards. The problem was you had to keep choosing between on evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25, most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
I'm tired of people using their cars as biographical information centers, informing the world of their sad-sack lives and boring interests. Keep that shit to yourself. I don't want to know what college you went to, who you intend to vote for or what your plan is for world peace. I don't care if you visited the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore or the birthplace of Wink Martindale. And I'm not interested in what radio station you listen to or what bands you like. In fact, I'm not interested in you in any way, except to see you in my rearview mirror. Furthermore, I can do without your profession of faith in God, Allah, Jehova, Yahweh, Peter Cottonail or whoever the fuck it is you've turned your life over to; please keep your superstitions private. I can't tell how happy it would make me to someday drive up to a flaming auto wreck and see smoke curling up around one of those little fish symbols with Jesus written inside it. And as far as I'm concerned you can include the Darwin/fish-with-feet-evolution symbol too. Far too cute for my taste. So keep the personal and autobiographical messages to yourself. Here's an idea: maybe you could paste them up inside your car, where you can see them and I can't.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
But even though nobody from the government ever says anything out loud about a lack of evidence being the real reason nobody from these companies goes to jail, we’re all—including reporters who cover this stuff—still supposed to accept that as the real explanation. It’s a particular feature of modern American government officials, particularly Democratic Party types, that they often expect the press and the public to give them credit for their unspoken excuses. They’ll vote yea on the Iraq war and the Patriot Act and nay for a public option or an end to torture or a bill to break up the banks. Then they’ll cozy up to you privately and whisper that of course they’re with you in spirit on those issues, but politically it just wasn’t possible to vote that way. And then they start giving you their reasons.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X…. What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of…. He works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays…. —WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1883
Amity Shlaes (The Forgotten Man: a New History of the Great Depression)
As American culture changes, the scandal of Christianity is increasingly right up front, exactly where it was in the first century. The shaking of American culture will get us back to the question Jesus asked his disciples at Caesarea Philippi: “Who do you say that I am?” As the Bible Belt recedes, those left standing up for Jesus will be those who, like Simon Peter of old, know how to answer that question. Once Christianity is no longer seen as part and parcel of patriotism, the church must offer more than “What would Jesus do?” moralism and the “I vote values” populism to which we’ve grown accustomed. Good.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
Like Nadia, I wrestled with the evangelical tradition in which I was raised, often ungracefully. At times I've tried to wring the waters of my first baptism out of my clothes, shake them out of my hair, and ask for a do-over in some other community where they ordain women, vote for Democrats, and believe in evolution. But Jesus has this odd habit of allowing ordinary, screwed-up people to introduce him, and so it was ordinary, screwed-up people who first told me I was a beloved child of God, who first called me a Christian. I don't know where my story of faith will take me, but it will always begin here. That much can never change.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
If you’re like most people, you’ll do one thing for two to three years, then something else for two to three years, and then—somewhere in that five- to seven-year distance from Yale—you’ll see a need to fully commit to something that’s a longer-term project: graduate school, for example, or a job you need to stick with for some real time. The question is: where do you need to be with yourself such that when the time comes to ‘cast your whole vote,’ you’re reasonably confident you’re not being either fear-based or ego-driven in your choice . . . that the journey you’re on is really yours, and not someone else’s? If you think of your first few jobs after Yale in this way—holistically and in terms of your growth as a person rather than as ladder rungs to a specific material outcome—you’re less likely to wake up at age forty-five married to a stranger.” Yikes!
Marina Keegan
The competition to lead the Review was ferocious every year, involving rigorous vetting and a vote by eighty student editors. Being picked for the position was an enormous achievement for anyone. It turned out that Barack was also the first African American in the publication’s 103-year history to be selected—a milestone so huge that it had been written up in the New York Times, accompanied by a photo of Barack, smiling in a scarf and winter coat. My boyfriend, in other words, was a big deal. He could have landed any number of fat-salaried law firm jobs at that point, but instead he was thinking about practicing civil rights law once he got his degree,
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
...we have to show up to get up. Cynicism isn't a politics. Neither is irony. We have to participate, at cost and peril, in shaping our government and thereby shape its processes....The hard work of the civil rights movement wasn't engaged to change city busing in Montgomery; those protesters meant to change the laws and heart of the country for themselves and future generations....[T]he success of the civil rights movement was vested in the degree to which activists voluntarily endured injustice and injury by marching in the street and by encouraging others to march into classrooms, and county boardrooms, and colleges and law schools, and the voting booth.
David Treuer (The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present)
[R]esitance is by nature reactive; it is not forward-looking. And anti-Trumpism is not a politics. My worry is that liberals will get so caught up in countering his every move, essentially playing his game, that they will fail to seize -- or even recognize -- the opportunity he has given them. Now that he has destroyed conventional Republicanism and what was left of principled conservatism, the playing field is empty. For the first time in living memory, we liberals have no ideological adversary worthy of the name. So it is crucial that we look beyond Trump. The only adversary left is ourselves. And we have mastered the art of self-sabotage. At a time when we liberals need to speak in a way that convinces people from very different walks of life, in every part of the country, that they share a common destiny and need to stand together, our rhetoric encourages self-righteous narcissism. At a moment when political consciousness and strategizing need to be developed, we are expending our energies on symbolic drama over identity. At a time when it is crucial to direct our efforts into seizing institutional power by winning elections, we dissipate them in expressive movements indifferent to the effects they may have on the voting public. In an age when we need to educate young people to think of themselves as citizens with duties toward each other, we encourage them instead to descend into the rabbit hole of the self. The frustrating truth is that we have no political vision to offer the nation, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
... what he could or couldn’t say to them. Everything he had to say: I love you, it’s hell, I walk on corpses and breathe death, it’s only a matter of time before I prove a coward, and I don’t want to be a coward, but I don’t understand, either I kill people, or I’m a coward, that’s the choice, someone somewhere set it up and I get no vote, I can’t say, ‘I don’t accept that’ – and I have accepted it, for a year I’ve accepted it, this is the situation but I don’t understand how I got here, how it is just going on and on, and nobody mentions it, and if you don’t like it they think you’re mad, and you get shot, for cowardice, desertion . . . and your own men, your companions, your brothers, have to shoot you . . . and I’m so fucking scared out there every day, every night— and now they’ve made me a fucking officer — What the fuck could he say to any of them? Well, there’ll be none of that swearing for a start.
Louisa Young (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You #1))
The bad guys—the Democrats—put up a great fight but the Republicans won in the end. It was Republicans who made possible the Civil Rights laws that finally and belatedly secured equal rights for blacks and other minorities. Democrats are the ones who bitterly resisted the Civil Rights Movement, and had the Democrats been the only party in America at the time, none of these laws, from the Civil Rights Act to the Voting Rights Act to the Fair Housing Bill, would have passed.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
As my wife saw it—as most people would see it, I imagine—an unwritten book was hardly a financial plan. “In other words,” she said, “you’ve got some magic beans in your pocket. That’s what you’re telling me. You have some magic beans, and you’re going to plant them, and overnight a huge beanstalk is going to grow high into the sky, and you’ll climb up the beanstalk, kill the giant who lives in the clouds, and then bring home a goose that lays golden eggs. Is that it?” “Something like that,” I said. Michelle shook her head and looked out the window. We both knew what I was asking for. Another disruption. Another gamble. Another step in the direction of something I wanted and she truly didn’t. “This is it, Barack,” Michelle said. “One last time. But don’t expect me to do any campaigning. In fact, you shouldn’t even count on my vote.” — AS A KID, I had sometimes watched as my salesman grandfather tried to sell life insurance policies over the phone, his face registering misery as he made cold calls in the evening from our tenth-floor apartment in a Honolulu high-rise. During the early months of 2003, I found myself thinking of him often as I sat at my desk in the sparsely furnished headquarters of my newly launched Senate campaign
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
We hear the expression, Vox populi, vox Dei, that is, the voice of the people is the voice of God. There are a lot of people in America who believe that. They consider public opinion as the authority. However, the mass of people is a fickle crowd that will follow one TV personality after another. It will elect a man to office if he has charisma even though he may be the biggest fool in the world and utterly corrupt in his life. The voice of the people is the very worst basis for authority. I thank God that He is not going to let the world vote the Lord Jesus into office! If God were to put it up to a public vote, Jesus Christ would never enter into His kingdom. I rejoice that God will send the Lord Jesus to this earth to put down rebellion.
J. Vernon McGee (Jeremiah and Lamentations)
Sadly, our culture raises man to be strong and silent. Straight or gay, the pressure is on from the time we're very young to become our culture's John Wayne-style of man. * The more pain I can take, the more of a man I am. * Showing feelings is for women. * The more I can drink, the manlier I am. * Intimacy is sex; sex is intimacy. * Only women depend on others. * A man takes care of himself without help from others. * No one can hurt you if you're strong. * I am what I earn. * It is best to keep your problems to yourself. * Winning is all that really matters. Where did this stuff come from? It's everywhere in our society from the movies heroes we love to the politicians we vote for. Our culture demands that man fit in a tightly defined role.
Alan Downs (The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World)
My husband’s career had allowed me to witness the machinations of politics and power up close. I’d seen how just a handful of votes in every precinct could mean the difference not just between one candidate and another but between one value system and the next. If a few people stayed home in each neighborhood, it could determine what our kids learned in schools, which health-care options we had available, or whether or not we sent our troops to war. Voting was both simple and incredibly effective.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
The year was 1952.” I clear my throat and look down at my paper. “It was summer, and Frank Sinatra was on the radio. Lana Turner and Ava Gardner were the starlets of the day. Stormy was eighteen. She was in the marching band, she was voted Best Legs, and she always had a date on Saturday night. On this particular night, she was on a date with a boy named Walt. On a dare, she went skinny-dipping in the town lake. Stormy never could turn down a dare.” Mr. Perelli laughs and says, “That’s right, she never could.” Other people murmur in agreement, “She never could.” “A farmer called the police, and when they shined their lights on the lake, Stormy told them to turn around before she would come out. She got a ride home in a police car that night.” “Not the first time or the last,” someone calls out, and everyone laughs, and I can feel my shoulders start to relax. “Stormy lived more life in one night than most people do their whole lives. She was a force of nature. She taught me that love--” My eyes well up and I start over. “Stormy taught me that love is about making brave choices every day. That’s what Stormy did. She always picked love; she always picked adventure. To her they were one and the same. And now she’s off on a new adventure, and we wish her well.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest place on the planet. The South Pole averages sixty below zero, has hurricane-strength winds, and sits at an altitude of ten thousand feet. In other words, those original explorers didn’t have to just get there, but had to climb serious mountains to do so. (Side note: Down here, you’re either an Amundsen guy, a Shackleton guy, or a Scott guy. Amundsen was the first to reach the Pole, but he did it by feeding dogs to dogs, which makes Amundsen the Michael Vick of polar explorers: you can like him, but keep it to yourself, or you’ll end up getting into arguments with a bunch of fanatics. Shackleton is the Charles Barkley of the bunch: he’s a legend, all-star personality, but there’s the asterisk that he never reached the Pole, i.e., won a championship. How this turned into a sports analogy, I don’t know. Finally, there’s Captain Scott, canonized for his failure, and to this day never fully embraced because he was terrible with people. He has my vote, you understand.)
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
There's one big difference between the poor and the rich,' Kite says, taking a drag from his cigarette. We are in a pub, at lunch-time. John Kite is always, unless stated otherwise, smoking a fag, in a pub, at lunch-time. 'The rich aren't evil, as so many of my brothers would tell you. I've known rich people -- I have played on their yachts -- and they are not unkind, or malign, and they do not hate the poor, as many would tell you. And they are not stupid -- or at least, not any more than the poor are. Much as I find amusing the idea of a ruling class of honking toffs, unable to put their socks on without Nanny helping them, it is not true. They build banks, and broker deals, and formulate policy, all with perfect competency. 'No -- the big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich are blithe. They believe nothing can ever really be so bad, They are born with the lovely, velvety coating of blitheness -- like lanugo, on a baby -- and it is never rubbed off by a bill that can't be paid; a child that can't be educated; a home that must be left for a hostel, when the rent becomes too much. 'Their lives are the same for generations. There is no social upheaval that will really affect them. If you're comfortably middle-class, what's the worst a government policy could do? Ever? Tax you at 90 per cent and leave your bins, unemptied, on the pavement. But you and everyone you know will continue to drink wine -- but maybe cheaper -- go on holiday -- but somewhere nearer -- and pay off your mortgage -- although maybe later. 'Consider, now, then, the poor. What's the worst a government policy can do to them? It can cancel their operation, with no recourse to private care. It can run down their school -- with no escape route to a prep. It can have you out of your house and into a B&B by the end of the year. When the middle-classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats -- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. 'Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us -- no walking around National Trust properties, or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful; dying in mines, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate, then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor -- that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better, later. We live now -- for our instant, hot, fast treats, to prep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. 'You must never, never forget, when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad postcode, It's a miracle when someone from a bad postcode gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
I couldn’t understand why people keep voting for the very people they loathe. They’ll protest a war, but the everyday stuff, small injustices, they just let them slide. Friends making a fortune off government contracts, paying a hundred dollars for a pencil, that type of thing, people complain about it, everyone does, but they won’t do a thing. I remember how floored I was when he told me that was a good thing, how we need a certain level of cynicism for society to function properly. If people thought they had real power to change things, if they truly believed in democracy, everyone would take to the streets, advocate, militate for everything. It happens from time to time. Thirty thousand people will block traffic to march for a cause, but they do it believing that the other side couldn’t possibly feel justified in doing the same thing. What if they did? What if thirty thousand people who believe in one thing marched at the very same time as those who believe in the exact opposite? What if it happened every single day? People who care about other things would also want to be heard. They’d need to scream louder. They’d need their disruption to be more…disruptive. People are compliant because they don’t expect the system to be fair. If they did, if they thought that was even possible, we’d live in chaos, anarchy. We need apathy, he said, or we’ll end up killing each other on the streets.
Sylvain Neuvel (Only Human (Themis Files, #3))
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life)
When I was ten years old, one of my friends brought a Shaleenian kangaroo-cat to school one day. I remember the way it hopped around with quick, nervous leaps, peering at everything with its large, almost circular golden eyes. One of the girls asked if it was a boy cat or a girl cat. Our instructor didn't know; neither did the boy who had brought it; but the teacher made the mistake of asking, 'How can we find out?' Someone piped up, 'We can vote on it!' The rest of the class chimed in with instant agreement and before I could voice my objection that some things can't be voted on, the election was held. It was decided that the Shaleenian kangaroo-cat was a boy, and forthwith, it was named Davy Crockett. Three months later, Davy Crockett had kittens. So much for democracy. It seems to me that if the electoral process can be so wrong about such a simple thing, isn't it possible for it to be very, very wrong on much more complex matters? We have this sacred cow in our society that what the majority of people want is right—but is it? Our populace can't really be informed, not the majority of them—most people vote the way they have been manipulated and by the way they have responded to that manipulation—they are working out their own patterns of wishful thinking on the social environment in which they live. It is most disturbing to me to realize that though a majority may choose a specific course of action or direction for itself, through the workings of a 'representative government,' they may be as mistaken about the correctness of such a choice as my classmates were about the sex of that Shaleenian kangaroo-cat. I'm not so sure than an electoral government is necessarily the best.
David Gerrold (Star Hunt (Star Wolf, #1))
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
I tried to map the cultural trends leading up to it but as I did they grew, interconnecting and weaving backwards and sideways out to everything. Next to the megalithic institutionalized shredding of people's humanity, marked by tombstone malls and scabby hills, the Styrofoam gullets and flag-waving god-chatterers casting their votes for eternal paternity on the lap rapists - next to all of that, the intimacy between a terrorist and his target was almost a beautiful thing but I still couldn't solve that moment when they did it anyway so I grabbed more paper and widened my field of vision.
Vanessa Veselka (Zazen)
Through Jimi Hendrix's music you can almost see the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and of Martin Luther King Junior, the beginnings of the Berlin Wall, Yuri Gagarin in space, Fidel Castro and Cuba, the debut of Spiderman, Martin Luther King Junior’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Ford Mustang cars, anti-Vietnam protests, Mary Quant designing the mini-skirt, Indira Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister of India, four black students sitting down at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina, President Johnson pushing the Civil Rights Act, flower children growing their hair long and practicing free love, USA-funded IRA blowing up innocent civilians on the streets and in the pubs of Great Britain, Napalm bombs being dropped on the lush and carpeted fields of Vietnam, a youth-driven cultural revolution in Swinging London, police using tear gas and billy-clubs to break up protests in Chicago, Mods and Rockers battling on Brighton Beach, Native Americans given the right to vote in their own country, the United Kingdom abolishing the death penalty, and the charismatic Argentinean Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. It’s all in Jimi’s absurd and delirious guitar riffs.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stonesour)
Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly formulated as by Hutten: ''Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure.'' We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up. The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and compulsive marriage and family: ''Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship.'' Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, fit together like the parts of a machine: ''Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity.'' It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma!
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
I sit in the center row of the SUV, fuming on the way back to the hotel. “Can I offer you a bit of advice, Prince Nicholas?” Tommy asks. I may have been mumbling out loud. “Shut up, Tommy,” Logan says from the driver’s seat... “It’s all right.” I meet Tommy’s light brown eyes in the rearview mirror, where he sits behind me. “Offer away.” He scratches his head. “I think the lass was embarrassed.” “Embarrassed?” “Aye. It’s like my younger sister, Janey. She’s a good-looking girl, but one day she had a zit on her forehead that was so big it made her look like a dickicorn. And she was walking—” James, in the front passenger seat, reads my mind. “What the fuck is a dickicorn?” “It’s an expression,” Tommy explains. James angles around to look at Tommy, his blue eyes crinkled. “An expression for what?” “For…someone with something big coming out o’ their forehead that looks like a cock.” “Wouldn’t it be a unicock, then?” James wonders. “For Christ’s sake,” Logan cuts in. “Would you forget about the fuckin’ unicorn or dickicock or whatever the hell it is—” “It doesn’t make any sense!” James argues. “—and let Tommy finish his story? We’re never gonna hear the end at this rate.” James throws up his hands, grumbling. “Fine. But it still doesn’t make any sense.” For the record, my semantic vote goes to unidick
Emma Chase (Royally Screwed (Royally, #1))
Most people don’t get (or want) to look at old news footage, but we looked at thirty years of stories relating to motherhood. In the 1970s, with the exception of various welfare reform proposals, there was almost nothing in the network news about motherhood, working mothers, or childcare. And when you go back and watch news footage from 1972, for example, all you see is John Chancellor at NBC in black and white reading the news with no illustrating graphics, or Walter Cronkite sitting in front of a map of the world that one of the Rugrats could have drawn–that’s it. But by the 1980s, the explosion in the number of working mothers, the desperate need for day care, sci-fi level reproductive technologies, the discovery of how widespread child abuse was–all this was newsworthy. At the same time, the network news shows were becoming more flashy and sensationalistic in their efforts to compete with tabloid TV offerings like A Current Affair and America’s Most Wanted. NBC, for example introduced a story about day care centers in 1984 with a beat-up Raggedy Ann doll lying limp next to a chair with the huge words Child Abuse scrawled next to her in what appeared to be Charles Manson’s handwriting. So stories that were titillating, that could be really tarted up, that were about children and sex, or children and violence–well, they just got more coverage than why Senator Rope-a-Dope refused to vote for decent day care. From the McMartin day-care scandal and missing children to Susan Smith and murdering nannies, the barrage of kids-in-jeopardy, ‘innocence corrupted’ stories made mothers feel they had to guard their kids with the same intensity as the secret service guys watching POTUS.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
The population of his feelings Could not be governed By the authorities He had reasons why Reason disobeyed him And voted him out of office Anxiety His constant companion Made it difficult to rest Unruly party of one Forget about truces or compromises The barricades will be stormed Every day was an emergency Every day called for another emergency Meeting of the cabinet In his country There were scenes Of spectacular carnage Hurricanes welcomed him He adored typhoons and tornadoes Furies unleashed Houses lifted up And carried to the sea Uncontained uncontainable Unbolt the doors Fling open the gates Here he comes Chaotic wind of the gods He was trouble But he was our trouble
Edward Hirsch (Gabriel: A Poem)
Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us - no walking around National Trust properties or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful: dying in mines and slums without literacy or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor - that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better later. We live now - for our own instant hot, fast treats, to pep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio.
Caitlin Moran
Power and influence in Congress," he explained, "are not obtained by promoting one's own measures. They come either from blocking measures others want enacted or sup-                                     porting measures others oppose. As a member of the Agricul- ture Committee, Mrs. Chisholm would have been in an ideal position to make her presence felt. Without offending her own constituents, she could have voted against all of the bills introduced for the benefit of farmers. At the same time she could have introduced bills to scuttle price supports and other farm programs. Before long, farm belt congressmen would have been knocking on her door, asking favors." That kind of long-range Machiavellian strategy may be fine for a white, mid-western congressman whose district has more cows than voters, and who has all the time in the world to try to work himself up to that comfortable share of power that a House member can achieve if he plays by the rules, makes his district "safe," and lives long enough. What I can never forget, and what my friend the reporter apparently never knew, is that there are children in my district who will not live long enough for me to play it the way he proposes.
Shirley Chisholm (Unbought and Unbossed)
meant to be a scaled-down version of your previously full-time job, can be something of a trap. Or at least that’s how it played out for me. At work, I was still attending all the meetings I always had while also grappling with most of the same responsibilities. The only real difference was that I now made half my original salary and was trying to cram everything into a twenty-hour week. If a meeting ran late, I’d end up tearing home at breakneck speed to fetch Malia so that we could arrive on time (Malia eager and happy, me sweaty and hyperventilating) to the afternoon Wiggleworms class at a music studio on the North Side. To me, it felt like a sanity-warping double bind. I battled guilt when I had to take work calls at home. I battled a different sort of guilt when I sat at my office distracted by the idea that Malia might be allergic to peanuts. Part-time work was meant to give me more freedom, but mostly it left me feeling as if I were only half doing everything, that all the lines in my life had been blurred. Meanwhile, it seemed that Barack had hardly missed a stride. A few months after Malia’s birth, he’d been reelected to a four-year term in the state senate, winning with 89 percent of the vote.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
She said that we didn't know anything, either as children or now, that we were therefore not in a position to understand anything, that everything in the neighbourhood, every stone or piece of wood, everything, anything you could name, was already there before us, but we had grown up without realizing it, without ever even thinking about it. Not just us. Her father pretended that there had been nothing before. Her mother did the same, my mother, my father, even Rino. And yet Stefano's grocery store before, had been the carpenter shop of Alfredo Peluso, Pasquale's father. And yet Don Achille's money had been made before. And the Solaras' money as well. She had tested this out on her father and mother. They didn't know anything, they wouldn't talk about anything. Not Fascism, not the king. No injustice, no oppression, no exploitation. They hated Don Achille and were afraid of the Solaras. But they overlooked it and went to spend their money both at Don Achille's son's and at the Solaras', and sent us, too. And they votes for the Fascists, for the monarchists, as the Solaras wanted them to. And they thought that what had happened before was past, and in order to live quietly, they placed a stone on top of it, and so, without knowing it, they continued it, they were immersed in the things of before, and we kept them inside us, too.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2))
Eight dragons in one small cave, all thinking at the same time. How was she going to get through this? “Let’s go around and introduce ourselves,” Tsunami said. “I mean, maybe it’s unnecessary, but that’s what Sunny said to do. And then she said I probably wouldn’t listen to her anyway, so I am proving her wrong, so there. I’m Tsunami, if anyone didn’t know. I was going to give myself a title like Commander of Recruitment, but then for some reason everyone voted that I would be terrible at recruiting, whatever that is all about, so they made me Head of School instead. So I’m pretty much the boss. And I’m running your first small group-discussion class, which was Glory’s big idea, so I figure we’ll figure it out together. Any questions?” “Yeah,” said Carnelian. “Are we stuck with this group?” “That’s not quite how I would put it,” said Tsunami. “But yes.” “What if we would prefer to be in a group with other IceWings?” Winter asked. “Such as my sister?” “That’s not how the winglets are set up,” Tsunami said. “But you’ll be in some bigger group classes with her and have plenty of time to make other friends as well.” “I love our winglet,” Kinkajou volunteered. “When do we eat?” Umber asked. “Just kidding. Pretending to be Clay.” He grinned, then shot a look at Qibli. Did he think that was funny? I hope that was funny. Did I sound like an idiot?
Tui T. Sutherland (Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6))
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems, and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this. James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this. If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of "the wealth of the nation," those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Zach, it doesn't matter which talking heads the Republicrats put up as their candidates. Either way you're voting to maintain the status quo. Is that what you want?" "Ummm...." "Are you pro-choice?" "Sure, I guess." Abortion's not something a gay man has to think about often. "And you must be in favour of allowing gays to marry?" "Of course." But I'd have to be dating someone first, right? "And you believe in the decriminalization of marijuana?" "I suppose." There was no way i was going to to argue with a man who sold bongs for a living on that one. "Don't you think you should be able to vote against our out-of-control welfare state without having to vote against those basic rights? Basic rights which should be protected by our constitution?" "Well-" "Have you even read the constitution, Zach?" "I don't think so," I admitted in surprise. He shook his head at me. "Neither has the president, Zach. Think about that." He left a stack of pamphlets on the counter and headed for Ruby's. It was going to be a long campaign season.
Marie Sexton (A to Z (Coda Books, #2))
You’re so bright, Trav, and so intuitive about people. And you have … the gift of tenderness. And sympathy. You could be almost anything.” “Of course!” I said, springing to my feet and beginning to pace back and forth through the lounge. “Why didn’t I think of that! Here I am, wasting the golden years on this lousy barge, getting all mixed up with lame-duck women when I could be out there seeking and striving. Who am I to keep from putting my shoulder to the wheel? Why am I not thinking about an estate and how to protect it? Gad, woman, I could be writing a million dollars a year in life insurance. I should be pulling a big oar in the flagship of life. Maybe it isn’t too late yet! Find the little woman, and go for the whole bit. Kiwanis, P.T.A., fund drives, cookouts, a clean desk, and vote the straight ticket, yessiree bob. Then when I become a senior citizen, I can look back upon …” I stopped when I heard the small sound she was making. She sat with her head bowed. I went over and put my fingertips under her chin. I tilted her head up and looked down into her streaming eyes. “Please, don’t,” she whispered. “You’re beginning to bring out the worst in me, woman.” “It was none of my business.” “I will not dispute you.” “But … who did this to you?” “I’ll never know you well enough to try to tell you, Lois.” She tried to smile. “I guess it can’t be any plainer than that.” “And I’m not a tragic figure, no matter how hard you try to make me into one. I’m delighted with myself, woman.” “And you wouldn’t say it that way if you were.” “Spare me the cute insights.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat. But the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little life-saving station grew. Some of the members of the life-saving were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it as sort of a club. Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. The life-saving motif still prevailed in this club`s decoration, and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club initiations were held. About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and some had black skin and some had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club`s life-saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted upon life-saving as their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. So they did just that. As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a club, and yet another `spin-off` life saving station was founded. History continued to repeat itself, and if you visit the sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the shore. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.
Ross Paterson (The Antioch Factor: The Hidden Message of the Book of Acts)
Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? Where is your tribal memory? Sirs, in that gray vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History. First, there was the heaving oil, heavy as chaos; then, likea light at the end of a tunnel, the lantern of a caravel, and that was Genesis. Then there were the packed cries, the shit, the moaning: Exodus. Bone soldered by coral to bone, mosaics mantled by the benediction of the shark's shadow, that was the Ark of the Covenant. Then came from the plucked wires of sunlight on the sea floor the plangent harp of the Babylonian bondage, as the white cowries clustered like manacles on the drowned women, and those were the ivory bracelets of the Song of Solomon, but the ocean kept turning blank pages looking for History. Then came the men with eyes heavy as anchors who sank without tombs, brigands who barbecued cattle, leaving their charred ribs like palm leaves on the shore, then the foaming, rabid maw of the tidal wave swallowing Port Royal, and that was Jonah, but where is your Renaissance? Sir, it is locked in them sea sands out there past the reef's moiling shelf, where the men-o'-war floated down; strop on these goggles, I'll guide you there myself. It's all subtle and submarine, through colonnades of coral, past the gothic windows of sea fans to where the crusty grouper, onyx-eyed, blinks, weighted by its jewels, like a bald queen; and these groined caves with barnacles pitted like stone are our cathedrals, and the furnace before the hurricanes: Gomorrah. Bones ground by windmills into marl and cornmeal, and that was Lamentations - that was just Lamentations, it was not History; then came, like scum on the river's drying lip, the brown reeds of villages mantling and congealing into towns, and at evening, the midges' choirs, and above them, the spires lancing the side of God as His son set, and that was the New Testament. Then came the white sisters clapping to the waves' progress, and that was Emancipation - jubilation, O jubilation - vanishing swiftly as the sea's lace dries in the sun, but that was not History, that was only faith, and then each rock broke into its own nation; then came the synod of flies, then came the secretarial heron, then came the bullfrog bellowing for a vote, fireflies with bright ideas and bats like jetting ambassadors and the mantis, like khaki police, and the furred caterpillars of judges examining each case closely, and then in the dark ears of ferns and in the salt chuckle of rocks with their sea pools, there was the sound like a rumour without any echo of History, really beginning.
Derek Walcott (Selected Poems)
And yet that performance has a method. Trump's artlessness, like Mark Antony's, is only apparent. Listen, for example, as he performs one of his favorite riffs. He begins by saying something critical of Mexicans and Chinese. Then he turns around and says, 'I love the Mexican and Chinese people, especially the rich ones who buy my apartments or stay at my hotels or play on my golf courses.' It's their leaders I criticize, he explains, but then in a millisecond he pulls the sting from the criticism: 'they are smarter and stronger than our leaders; they're beating us.' And then the payoff all this has been leading up to, the making explicit of what has been implied all along. 'If I can sell them condominiums, rent space to them in my building at my price, and outfox them in deals, I could certainly outmaneuver them when it came to trade negotiations and immigration.' (And besides, they love me.) Here is the real message, the message that makes sense of the disparate pieces of what looks like mere disjointed fumbling: I am Donald Trump; nobody owns me. I don't pander to you. I don't pretend to be nice and polite; I am rich and that's what you would like to be; I'm a winner; I beat people at their own game, and if you vote for me I will beat our adversaries; if you want wonky policy details, go with those losers who offer you ten-point plans; if you want to feel good about yourselves and your country, stick with me. So despite the lack of a formal center or an orderly presentation, Trump was always on point because the point was always the same. He couldn't get off message because the one message was all he had.
Stanley Fish
When the system of mass incarceration collapses (and if history is any guide, it will), historians will undoubtedly look back and marvel that such an extraordinarily comprehensive system of racialized social control existed in the United States. How fascinating, they will likely say, that a drug war was waged almost exclusively against poor people of color—people already trapped in ghettos that lacked jobs and decent schools. They were rounded up by the millions, packed away in prisons, and when released, they were stigmatized for life, denied the right to vote, and ushered into a world of discrimination. Legally barred from employment, housing, and welfare benefits—and saddled with thousands of dollars of debt—these people were shamed and condemned for failing to hold together their families. They were chastised for succumbing to depression and anger, and blamed for landing back in prison. Historians will likely wonder how we could describe the new caste system as a system of crime control, when it is difficult to imagine a system better designed to create—rather than prevent—crime.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
We have not thoroughly assessed the bodies snatched from dirt and sand to be chained in a cell. We have not reckoned with the horrendous, violent mass kidnapping that we call the Middle Passage. We have not been honest about all of America's complicity - about the wealth the South earned on the backs of the enslaved, or the wealth the North gained through the production of enslaved hands. We have not fully understood the status symbol that owning bodies offered. We have not confronted the humanity, the emotions, the heartbeats of the multiple generations who were born into slavery and died in it, who never tasted freedom on America's land. The same goes for the Civil War. We have refused to honestly confront the fact that so many were willing to die in order to hold the freedom of others in their hands. We have refused to acknowledge slavery's role at all, preferring to boil things down to the far more palatable "state's rights." We have not confessed that the end of slavery was so bitterly resented, the rise of Jim Crow became inevitable - and with it, a belief in Black inferiority that lives on in hearts and minds today. We have painted the hundred-year history of Jim Crow as little more than mean signage and the inconvenience that white people and Black people could not drink from the same fountain. But those signs weren't just "mean". They were perpetual reminders of the swift humiliation and brutal violence that could be suffered at any moment in the presence of whiteness. Jim Crow meant paying taxes for services one could not fully enjoy; working for meager wages; and owning nothing that couldn't be snatched away. For many black families, it meant never building wealth and never having legal recourse for injustice. The mob violence, the burned-down homes, the bombed churches and businesses, the Black bodies that were lynched every couple of days - Jim Crow was walking through life measuring every step. Even our celebrations of the Civil Rights Movement are sanitized, its victories accentuated while the battles are whitewashed. We have not come to grips with the spitting and shouting, the pulling and tugging, the clubs, dogs, bombs, and guns, the passion and vitriol with which the rights of Black Americans were fought against. We have not acknowledged the bloodshed that often preceded victory. We would rather focus on the beautiful words of Martin Luther King Jr. than on the terror he and protesters endured at marches, boycotts, and from behind jail doors. We don't want to acknowledge that for decades, whiteness fought against every civil right Black Americans sought - from sitting at lunch counters and in integrated classrooms to the right to vote and have a say in how our country was run. We like to pretend that all those white faces who carried protest signs and batons, who turned on their sprinklers and their fire hoses, who wrote against the demonstrations and preached against the changes, just disappeared. We like to pretend that they were won over, transformed, the moment King proclaimed, "I have a dream." We don't want to acknowledge that just as Black people who experienced Jim Crow are still alive, so are the white people who vehemently protected it - who drew red lines around Black neighborhoods and divested them of support given to average white citizens. We ignore that white people still avoid Black neighborhoods, still don't want their kids going to predominantly Black schools, still don't want to destroy segregation. The moment Black Americans achieved freedom from enslavement, America could have put to death the idea of Black inferiority. But whiteness was not prepared to sober up from the drunkenness of power over another people group. Whiteness was not ready to give up the ability to control, humiliate, or do violence to any Black body in the vicinity - all without consequence.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
That’s just the way life is. It can be exquisite, cruel, frequently wacky, but above all utterly, utterly random. Those twin imposters in the bell-fringed jester hats, Justice and Fairness—they aren’t constants of the natural order like entropy or the periodic table. They’re completely alien notions to the way things happen out there in the human rain forest. Justice and Fairness are the things we’re supposed to contribute back to the world for giving us the gift of life—not birthrights we should expect and demand every second of the day. What do you say we drop the intellectual cowardice? There is no fate, and there is no safety net. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I believe in God. But he’s not a micromanager, so stop asking Him to drop the crisis in Rwanda and help you find your wallet. Life is a long, lonely journey down a day-in-day-out lard-trail of dropped tacos. Mop it up, not for yourself, but for the guy behind you who’s too busy trying not to drop his own tacos to make sure he doesn’t slip and fall on your mistakes. So don’t speed and weave in traffic; other people have babies in their cars. Don’t litter. Don’t begrudge the poor because they have a fucking food stamp. Don’t be rude to overwhelmed minimum-wage sales clerks, especially teenagers—they have that job because they don’t have a clue. You didn’t either at that age. Be understanding with them. Share your clues. Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your intolerance. Stop and think on Veterans Day. And don’t forget to vote. That is, unless you send money to TV preachers, have more than a passing interest in alien abduction or recentlypurchased a fish on a wall plaque that sings ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy.’ In that case, the polls are a scary place! Under every ballot box is a trapdoor chute to an extraterrestrial escape pod filled with dental tools and squeaking, masturbating little green men from the Devil Star. In conclusion, Class of Ninety-seven, keep your chins up, grab your mops and get in the game. You don’t have to make a pile of money or change society. Just clean up after yourselves without complaining. And, above all, please stop and appreciate the days when the tacos don’t fall, and give heartfelt thanks to whomever you pray to….
Tim Dorsey (Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms Mystery, #4))
The blackest chapter in the history of this State will be the Indian guardianship over these estates,” an Osage leader said, adding, “There has been millions—not thousands—but millions of dollars of many of the Osages dissipated and spent by the guardians themselves.” This so-called Indian business, as White discovered, was an elaborate criminal operation, in which various sectors of society were complicit. The crooked guardians and administrators of Osage estates were typically among the most prominent white citizens: businessmen and ranchers and lawyers and politicians. So were the lawmen and prosecutors and judges who facilitated and concealed the swindling (and, sometimes, acted as guardians and administrators themselves). In 1924, the Indian Rights Association, which defended the interests of indigenous communities, conducted an investigation into what it described as “an orgy of graft and exploitation.” The group documented how rich Indians in Oklahoma were being “shamelessly and openly robbed in a scientific and ruthless manner” and how guardianships were “the plums to be distributed to the faithful friends of the judges as a reward for their support at the polls.” Judges were known to say to citizens, “You vote for me, and I will see that you get a good guardianship.” A white woman married to an Osage man described to a reporter how the locals would plot: “A group of traders and lawyers sprung up who selected certain Indians as their prey. They owned all the officials…. These men had an understanding with each other. They cold-bloodedly said, ‘You take So-and-So, So-and-So and So-and-So and I’ll take these.’ They selected Indians who had full headrights and large farms.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
Satan's masterpiece of counterfeiting is the doctrine that there are only two choices, and he will show us what they are. It is true that there are only two ways, but by pointing us the way he wants us to take and then showing us a fork in that road, he convinces us that we are making the vital choice, when actually we are choosing between branches in his road. Which one we take makes little difference to him, for both lead to destruction. This is the polarization we find in the world today. Thus we have the choice between Shiz and Coriantumr-- which all the Jaredites were obliged to make. We have the choice between the wicked Lamanites (and they were that) and the equally wicked (Mormon says "more wicked") Nephites. Or between the fleshpots of Egypt and the stews of Babylon, or between the land pirates and the sea pirates of World War I, or between white supremacy and black supremacy, or between Vietnam and Cambodia, or between Bushwhachers and Jayhawkers, or between China and Russia, or between Catholic and Protestant, or between fundamentalist and atheist, or between right and left-- all of which are true rivals who hate each other. A very clever move of Satan!-- a subtlety that escapes us most of the time. So I ask Latter-day Saints, "What is your position frankly (I'd lake to take a vote here) regarding the merits of cigarettes vs. cigars, wine vs. beer, or heroin vs. LSD?" It should be apparent that you take no sides. By its nature the issue does not concern you. It is simply meaningless as far as your life is concerned. "What, are you not willing to stand up and be counted?" No, I am not. The Saints took no sides in that most passionately partisan of wars, the Civil War, and they never regretted it.
Nibley, Hugh
What the hell is all this I read in the papers?" "Narrow it down for me," Alan suggested. "I suppose it might have been a misprint," Daniel considered, frowning at the tip of his cigar before he tapped it in the ashtray he kept secreted in the bottom drawer of his desk. "I think I know my own flesh and blood well enough." "Narrow it just a bit further," Alan requested, though he'd already gotten the drift.It was simply too good to end it too soon. "When I read that my own son-my heir, as things are-is spending time fraternizing with a Campbell, I know it's a simple matter of misspelling. What's the girl's name?" Along with a surge of affection, Alan felt a tug of pure and simple mischief. "Which girl is that?" "Dammit,boy! The girl you're seeing who looks like a pixie.Fetching young thing from the picture I saw.Good bones; holds herself well." "Shelby," Alan said, then waited a beat. "Shelby Campbell." Dead silence.Leaning back in his chair, Alan wondered how long it would be before his father remembered to take a breath. It was a pity, he mused, a real pity that he couldn't see the old pirate's face. "Campbell!" The word erupted. "A thieving, murdering Campbell!" "Yes,she's fond of MacGregor's as well." "No son of mine gives the time of day to one of the clan Campbell!" Daniel bellowed. "I'll take a strap to you, Alan Duncan MacGregor!" The threat was as empty now as it had been when Alan had been eight, but delivered in the same full-pitched roar. "I'll wear the hide off you." "You'll have the chance to try this weekend when you meet Shelby." "A Campbell in my house! Hah!" "A Campbell in your house," Alan repeated mildly. "And a Campbell in your family before the end of the year if I have my way." "You-" Emotions warred in him. A Campbell versus his firmest aspiration: to see each of his children married and settled, and himself laden with grandchildren. "You're thinking of marriage to a Campbell?" "I've already asked her.She won't have me...yet," he added. "Won't have you!" Paternal pride dominated all else. "What kind of a nitwit is she? Typical Campbell," he muttered. "Mindless pagans." Daniel suspected they'd had some sorcerers sprinkled among them. "Probably bewitched the boy," he mumbled, scowling into space. "Always had good sense before this.Aye, you bring your Campbell to me," he ordered roundly. "I'll get to the bottom of it." Alan smothered a laugh, forgetting the poor mood that had plagued him only minutes earlier. "I'll ask her." "Ask? Hah! You bring the girl, that daughter of a Campbell, here." Picturing Shelby, Alan decided he wouldn't iss the meeting for two-thirds the popular vote. "I'll see you Friday, Dad.Give Mom my love." "Friday," Daniel muttered, puffing avidly on his cigar. "Aye,aye, Friday." As he hung up Alan could all but see his father rubbing his huge hands togther in anticipation. It should be an interesting weekened.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
I can't remember when I've spent a more...enjoyable Saturday." She sighed, then teased his tongue with hers. "Since I don't intend to move for at least twenty-four hours,we'll see how you like Sunday as well." "I think I'm going to love it." She slid a hand over his shoulder. "I don't like to be pushy, Senator, but when are you going to marry me?" "I thought September in Hyannis Port." "The MacGregor fortess." He saw by her eyes the idea appealed to hre. "But September's two and a half months away." "We'll make it August," he said as he nibbled at her ear. "In the meantime, you and your roommates can move in here, or we can start looking for another place. Would you like to honeymoon in Scotland?" Shelby nestled into his throat. "Yes." She tilted her head back. "In the meantime," she said slowly as her hands wandered down to his waist. "I've been wanting to tell you that there's one of your domestic policies I'm fully in favor or,Senator." "Really?" His mouth lowered to hover just above hers. "You have-" she nipped at his bottom lip "-my full support.I wonder if you could just...run through the prodecure for me one more time." Alan slid a hand down her side. "It's my civic duty to make myself avaiable to all my constituents." Shelby's fingers ran up his chest to stop his jaw just before he captured her lips. "As long as it's only me, Senator." She hooked her arm around his neck. "This is the one-man one-vote system.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Here’s a simple definition of ideology: “A set of beliefs about the proper order of society and how it can be achieved.”8 And here’s the most basic of all ideological questions: Preserve the present order, or change it? At the French Assembly of 1789, the delegates who favored preservation sat on the right side of the chamber, while those who favored change sat on the left. The terms right and left have stood for conservatism and liberalism ever since. Political theorists since Marx had long assumed that people chose ideologies to further their self-interest. The rich and powerful want to preserve and conserve; the peasants and workers want to change things (or at least they would if their consciousness could be raised and they could see their self-interest properly, said the Marxists). But even though social class may once have been a good predictor of ideology, that link has been largely broken in modern times, when the rich go both ways (industrialists mostly right, tech billionaires mostly left) and so do the poor (rural poor mostly right, urban poor mostly left). And when political scientists looked into it, they found that self-interest does a remarkably poor job of predicting political attitudes.9 So for most of the late twentieth century, political scientists embraced blank-slate theories in which people soaked up the ideology of their parents or the TV programs they watched.10 Some political scientists even said that most people were so confused about political issues that they had no real ideology at all.11 But then came the studies of twins. In the 1980s, when scientists began analyzing large databases that allowed them to compare identical twins (who share all of their genes, plus, usually, their prenatal and childhood environments) to same-sex fraternal twins (who share half of their genes, plus their prenatal and childhood environments), they found that the identical twins were more similar on just about everything.12 And what’s more, identical twins reared in separate households (because of adoption) usually turn out to be very similar, whereas unrelated children reared together (because of adoption) rarely turn out similar to each other, or to their adoptive parents; they tend to be more similar to their genetic parents. Genes contribute, somehow, to just about every aspect of our personalities.13 We’re not just talking about IQ, mental illness, and basic personality traits such as shyness. We’re talking about the degree to which you like jazz, spicy foods, and abstract art; your likelihood of getting a divorce or dying in a car crash; your degree of religiosity, and your political orientation as an adult. Whether you end up on the right or the left of the political spectrum turns out to be just as heritable as most other traits: genetics explains between a third and a half of the variability among people on their political attitudes.14 Being raised in a liberal or conservative household accounts for much less. How can that be? How can there be a genetic basis for attitudes about nuclear power, progressive taxation, and foreign aid when these issues only emerged in the last century or two? And how can there be a genetic basis for ideology when people sometimes change their political parties as adults? To answer these questions it helps to return to the definition of innate that I gave in chapter 7. Innate does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience. The genes guide the construction of the brain in the uterus, but that’s only the first draft, so to speak. The draft gets revised by childhood experiences. To understand the origins of ideology you have to take a developmental perspective, starting with the genes and ending with an adult voting for a particular candidate or joining a political protest. There are three major steps in the process. Step
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
The trial, despite the subserviency of the court to the Nazi authorities, cast a great deal of suspicion on Goering and the Nazis, but it came too late to have any practical effect. For Hitler had lost no time in exploiting the Reichstag fire to the limit.   On the day following the fire, February 28, he prevailed on President Hindenburg to sign a decree “for the Protection of the People and the State” suspending the seven sections of the constitution which guaranteed individual and civil liberties. Described as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree laid down that:      Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searchers, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.   In addition, the decree authorized the Reich government to take over complete power in the federal states when necessary and imposed the death sentence for a number of crimes, including “serious disturbances of the peace” by armed persons.8   Thus with one stroke Hitler was able not only to legally gag his opponents and arrest them at his will but, by making the trumped-up Communist threat “official,” as it were, to throw millions of the middle class and the peasantry into a frenzy of fear that unless they voted for National Socialism at the elections a week hence, the Bolsheviks might take over.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke. Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something." "What?" "Something I don't ever want to forget," he said. "What's that?" "That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that." So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
While it has been clear that right and wrong is nonexistent, I can't say that the concept of 'right or wrong' isn't needed. Because of ignorance, we still need authorities to set up rules and say 'vandalism is wrong, killing is wrong, et cetera.' People ask, "So, vandalism isn't wrong? Killing isn't wrong?" I answer, "Uneducated people say that vandalism is wrong. More educated people say that vandalism destroys the things that many people have spent their lives making. Uneducated people say that killing is wrong. More educated people say that killing takes away the only thing that matters which is lives." The more educated people are, the freer they will be, and the words 'right or wrong' won't be needed anymore. There was a bomb again in Brussels yesterday. I laughed. In the past, we had tyrannies because people didn't know what they could do and what they couldn't do. Now, we have democracy. Do we deserve democracy? Do we deserve freedom? No, we don't deserve freedom. We certainly don't deserve democracy. People are still voting for Donald Trump. And people still bomb other people. And socioeconomic gap is still high. Ignorance is still prevalent, so, if you ask me, "Do we deserve democracy? Do we deserve freedom? Do we deserve the world without authority, the world of truth, the world of peace?" I answer, "No, we don't." So, when you hear your president shouting 'Peace!', your government speaking 'Freedom!', ask them 'Are you educated?' Someone asks, "So, instead of 'right or wrong', you will now set up the rules about what we can do and we can't do?" I answer, "No. When will you understand? I stand for the world without authority, the world of truth, the world of peace. OK, forget the truth, forget my book, forget my paper. Let me expand science for you. You will let your fellow humans who are more educated than you set up the rules for you. When all the people are finally educated, please come back and reread my book and my paper, and when you finally understand them, please live in the world of no authority, the world of truth, the world of peace. Me? I probably have been gone by then." There is, however, a problem with how many educated people there are in the world. In my paper, I prove that right and wrong is nonexistent by showing that everything that exists is not wrong and is not right because everything that exists is the result of the thing(s) that happened before it and everything that exists can’t be right because future doesn’t exist. I wrote that terrorism is caused by capitalism (democracy) and capitalism (democracy) is caused by death. This paper was rejected. When educated people fail, there goes all your hope in the world.
Andreas Laurencius (Genesis)
As it happens, there’s a way of presenting data, called the funnel plot, that indicates whether or not the scientific literature is biased in this way.15 (If statistics don’t excite you, feel free to skip straight to the probably unsurprising conclusion in the last sentence of this paragraph.) You plot the data points from all your studies according to the effect sizes, running along the horizontal axis, and the sample size (roughly)16 running up the vertical axis. Why do this? The results from very large studies, being more “precise,” should tend to cluster close to the “true” size of the effect. Smaller studies by contrast, being subject to more random error because of their small, idiosyncratic samples, will be scattered over a wider range of effect sizes. Some small studies will greatly overestimate a difference; others will greatly underestimate it (or even “flip” it in the wrong direction). The next part is simple but brilliant. If there isn’t publication bias toward reports of greater male risk taking, these over- and underestimates of the sex difference should be symmetrical around the “true” value indicated by the very large studies. This, with quite a bit of imagination, will make the plot of the data look like an upside-down funnel. (Personally, my vote would have been to call it the candlestick plot, but I wasn’t consulted.) But if there is bias, then there will be an empty area in the plot where the smaller samples that underestimated the difference, found no differences, or yielded greater female risk taking should be. In other words, the overestimates of male risk taking get published, but various kinds of “underestimates” do not. When Nelson plotted the data she’d been examining, this is exactly what she found: “Confirmation bias is strongly indicated.”17 This
Cordelia Fine (Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society)
The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro. He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
Malcom X
We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY? These days, however, I am much calmer-since I realized that it's technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn't be allowed to have a debate on a woman's place in society. You'd be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor-biting down on a wooden spoon so as not to disturb the men's card game-before going back to hoeing the rutabaga field. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail-giving daily wail against feminism-amuse me. They paid you 1,600 pounds for that, dear, I think. And I bet it' going into your bank account and not your husband's. The more women argue, loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges. Because for all that people have tried to abuse it and disown it, "feminism" is still the word we need...We need the only word we have ever had to describe "making the world equal for men and women". Women's reluctance to use it sends out a really bad signal. Imagine if, in the 1960's, it had become fashionable for black people to say they "weren't into" civil rights. "No, I'm not into Civil Rights! That Martin Luther King is too shouty. He just needs to chill out, to be honest." But then, I do understand why women started to reject the word feminism. It ended up being invoked in so many baffling inappropriate contexts that you'd presume it was some spectacularly unappealing combination of misandry, misery, and hypocrisy, which stood for ugly clothes, constant anger, and, let's face it, no fucking...Feminism has had exactly the same problem that "political correctness" has had: people keep using the phrase without really knowing what it means.
Caitlin Moran
New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. I refer to the case of Van Jones, the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he got caught on tape saying Republicans are assholes. And they call it news! Now, I know I'm supposed to be all reinjected with yes-we-can-fever after the big health-care speech, and it was a great speech--when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. It bothers me that Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like dropped "end-of-life counseling" from health-care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant "death panels" on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it. Same thing with the speech to schools this week, where the president attempted merely to tell children to work hard and wash their hands, and Cracker Nation reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom. Of course, the White House immediately capitulated. "No students will be forced to view the speech" a White House spokesperson assured a panicked nation. Isn't that like admitting that the president might be doing something unseemly? What a bunch of cowards. If the White House had any balls, they'd say, "He's giving a speech on the importance of staying in school, and if you jackasses don't show it to every damn kid, we're cutting off your federal education funding tomorrow." The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats , who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen. I love Obama's civility, his desire to work with his enemies; it's positively Christlike. In college, he was probably the guy at the dorm parties who made sure the stoners shared their pot with the jocks. But we don't need that guy now. We need an asshole. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the seventy percent of Americans who aren't crazy. And speaking of that seventy percent, when are we going to actually show up in all this? Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees descending on Washington. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million, of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state--but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman; we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of Twitters and blogs and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health-care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Separated from everyone, in the fifteenth dungeon, was a small man with fiery brown eyes and wet towels wrapped around his head. For several days his legs had been black, and his gums were bleeding. Fifty-nine years old and exhausted beyond measure, he paced silently up and down, always the same five steps, back and forth. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . an interminable shuffle between the wall and door of his cell. He had no work, no books, nothing to write on. And so he walked. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . His dungeon was next door to La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan, less than two hundred feet away. The governor had been his friend and had even voted for him for the Puerto Rican legislature in 1932. This didn’t help much now. The governor had ordered his arrest. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Life had turned him into a pendulum; it had all been mathematically worked out. This shuttle back and forth in his cell comprised his entire universe. He had no other choice. His transformation into a living corpse suited his captors perfectly. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Fourteen hours of walking: to master this art of endless movement, he’d learned to keep his head down, hands behind his back, stepping neither too fast nor too slow, every stride the same length. He’d also learned to chew tobacco and smear the nicotined saliva on his face and neck to keep the mosquitoes away. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The heat was so stifling, he needed to take off his clothes, but he couldn’t. He wrapped even more towels around his head and looked up as the guard’s shadow hit the wall. He felt like an animal in a pit, watched by the hunter who had just ensnared him. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Far away, he could hear the ocean breaking on the rocks of San Juan’s harbor and the screams of demented inmates as they cried and howled in the quarantine gallery. A tropical rain splashed the iron roof nearly every day. The dungeons dripped with a stifling humidity that saturated everything, and mosquitoes invaded during every rainfall. Green mold crept along the cracks of his cell, and scarab beetles marched single file, along the mold lines, and into his bathroom bucket. The murderer started screaming. The lunatic in dungeon seven had flung his own feces over the ceiling rail. It landed in dungeon five and frightened the Puerto Rico Upland gecko. The murderer, of course, was threatening to kill the lunatic. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The man started walking again. It was his only world. The grass had grown thick over the grave of his youth. He was no longer a human being, no longer a man. Prison had entered him, and he had become the prison. He fought this feeling every day. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He was a lawyer, journalist, chemical engineer, and president of the Nationalist Party. He was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spoke six languages. He had served as a first lieutenant in World War I and led a company of two hundred men. He had served as president of the Cosmopolitan Club at Harvard and helped Éamon de Valera draft the constitution of the Free State of Ireland.5 One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He would spend twenty-five years in prison—many of them in this dungeon, in the belly of La Princesa. He walked back and forth for decades, with wet towels wrapped around his head. The guards all laughed, declared him insane, and called him El Rey de las Toallas. The King of the Towels. His name was Pedro Albizu Campos.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
These senators and representatives call themselves “leaders.” One of the primary principles of leadership is that a leader never asks or orders any follower to do what he or she would not do themselves. Such action requires the demonstration of the acknowledged traits of a leader among which are integrity, honesty, and courage, both physical and moral courage. They don’t have those traits nor are they willing to do what they ask and order. Just this proves we elect people who shouldn’t be leading the nation. When the great calamity and pain comes, it will have been earned and deserved. The piper always has to be paid at the end of the party. The party is about over. The bill is not far from coming due. Everybody always wants the guilty identified. The culprits are we the people, primarily the baby boom generation, which allowed their vote to be bought with entitlements at the expense of their children, who are now stuck with the national debt bill that grows by the second and cannot be paid off. These follow-on citizens—I call them the screwed generation—are doomed to lifelong grief and crushing debt unless they take the only other course available to them, which is to repudiate that debt by simply printing up $20 trillion, calling in all federal bills, bonds, and notes for payoff, and then changing from the green dollar to say a red dollar, making the exchange rate 100 or 1000 green dollars for 1 red dollar or even more to get to zero debt. Certainly this will create a great international crisis. But that crisis is coming anyhow. In fact it is here already. The U.S. has no choice but to eventually default on that debt. This at least will be a controlled default rather than an uncontrolled collapse. At present it is out of control. Congress hasn’t come up with a budget in 3 years. That’s because there is no way at this point to create a viable budget that will balance and not just be a written document verifying that we cannot legitimately pay our bills and that we are on an ever-descending course into greater and greater debt. A true, honest budget would but verify that we are a bankrupt nation. We are repeating history, the history we failed to learn from. The history of Rome. Our TV and video games are the equivalent distractions of the Coliseums and circus of Rome. Our printing and borrowing of money to cover our deficit spending is the same as the mixing and devaluation of the gold Roman sisteri with copper. Our dysfunctional and ineffectual Congress is as was the Roman Senate. Our Presidential executive orders the same as the dictatorial edicts of Caesar. Our open borders and multi-millions of illegal alien non-citizens the same as the influx of the Germanic and Gallic tribes. It is as if we were intentionally following the course written in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The military actions, now 11 years in length, of Iraq and Afghanistan are repeats of the Vietnam fiasco and the RussianAfghan incursion. Our creep toward socialism is no different and will bring the same implosion as socialism did in the U.S.S.R. One should recognize that the repeated application of failed solutions to the same problem is one of the clinical definitions of insanity. * * * I am old, ill, physically used up now. I can’t have much time left in this life. I accept that. All born eventually die and with the life I’ve lived, I probably should have been dead decades ago. Fate has allowed me to screw the world out of a lot of years. I do have one regret: the future holds great challenge. I would like to see that challenge met and overcome and this nation restored to what our founding fathers envisioned. I’d like to be a part of that. Yeah. “I’d like to do it again.” THE END PHOTOS Daniel Hill 1954 – 15
Daniel Hill (A Life Of Blood And Danger)