“Thomas Jefferson, 250 years ago, said those who most fear investigations are the ones who attack free press first. This is what journalism is about, shining a light on what the most powerful people in the country are doing to them in the dark. So we’re going to continue to do that no matter what David Gregory and his friends say.”
Glenn Greenwald, July 2, 2013 on Fox and Friends
“We are kind of an ‘Authoritarian Surveillance State’” – Paul Krugman, New York Times
And Krugman seems okay with the “Authoritarian Surveillance State.”
- ‘I do not expect to see home again’…
- ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’
- ‘I believed in Obama’s promises’
- ‘Presidents openly lie to secure the office’
- ‘Government has granted itself power it is not entitled to’
- ‘Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general.’
- ‘Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.’
“It will happen everywhere in the world, in Western democracies. You have more people that vote for a living than work for a living. I think you have to be prepared to lose 20 to 30 percent. I think you’re lucky if you don’t lose your life.” Squawk on the Street, April 2, 2013 discussing the events in Cyprus the last few weeks.
It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon — so long as there is no answer to it — gives claws to the weak.
The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans — even Tibetans — could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one. There are fewer and fewer foci of power. Already, in 1939, there were only five states capable of waging war on the grand scale, and now there are only three — ultimately, perhaps, only two. This trend has been obvious for years, and was pointed out by a few observers even before 1914. The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon — or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting — not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant.
“The people who make wars, the people who reduce their fellows to slavery,
the people who kill and torture and tell lies in the name of their sacred causes,
the really evil people in a word — these are never the publicans and the sinners.
No, they’re the virtuous, respectable men, who have the finest feelings, the best
brains, the noblest ideals.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English writer
“I am leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, anything different, must be punished.”
Gerard Depardieu, in an open letter to French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault , December 16, 2012
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I’ve tried to go out and do. I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.’” Robert Griffin III, December 12, 2012
First of all, I’m in the top two percent. Right now, I’m paying 45% of my total income in income taxes, both to the state of Connecticut and to the federal government, and if you take the 3% Medicare tax. After the tax hikes go into effect next year, more than half — more than half of my total income is going to go to the government. You tell me, what’s fair about that when medieval serfs pay 25%, I’m paying half? I don’t care what the majority voted to do, they don’t have a right to steal my money just because they vote for it. ..You know what the wealthy are going to do? They’re going to invest more abroad, they’re not going to work as hard, they’re not going to pay as much in taxes, they’re not going to employ as many people. They’re employees are going to pay all the taxes. Peter Schiff, December 10, 2012
“Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”