“Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.” George Carlin
“Wake up. The old world is dead. The democratic republic of America is dead. We live in a new world, the world of the post-capitalist corporate feudal state. The empire of the top one percent. Corporate dictatorships are the state now, and the commercial media is state-controlled media. It’s all about keeping the public anesthetized, hypnotized, stupid, ignorant and docile. And it’s working very well.”
…secularanimist at Kevin Drum’s Rove thread, July 11, 2005
“What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we’re not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we’re living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.”
…Paul Krugman, July 15, 2005, NYT
“Maybe we’re simply not smart enough to fix the massive mess we’ve created — just as some of our early ancestral cousins couldn’t quite make the evolutionary grade either. Take Australopithicus robustus, for example. A nice enough ape, I’m sure, but not exactly the brightest bulb in the Olduvai Gorge. When his environment changed, he couldn’t adapt, until finally his last known forwarding address was at the American Museum of Natural History.
Maybe we’ve reached the end of our rope, too — that is to say, maybe we’ve risen to a level of intelligence just high enough to create problems we’re not bright enough to solve. A kind of evolutionary Peter Principle in action.
Certainly, I don’t see anything about our current national leadership, or the dominant political party in America, that would disprove my hypothesis.”
…Billmon, July 23, 2005
“Not a week goes by without someone telling me how terrorism can be solved by detroying ‘them’ – Muslims. Me, I’m not worried about Muslims. I’m worried about fundamentalism. Literalism, absolutism, extremism under the guise of faith. Any faith.” …Leonard Pitts Jr., July 30, 2005
“No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.” George W. Bush, early campaigning
“One of the requirements for holding the modern American presidency should be the possession of a serious attention span. If you want to engage in the sort of global remodeling that Bush does, it needs to be near inhuman — they should be able to synthesize Ritalin from your nail clippings.” Ezra Klein
“My generation grew up under the threat of a mushroom cloud. There is an old theatrical adage that when there’s a gun on the stage in the first act, it will go off by the third act. We have no false sense of security in this dangerous world. Nor do we embrace the equally false belief that curtailing liberty automatically makes us safer. We have seen how the promise of protection becomes a protection racket.
“Whatever it takes” does not mean “whatever the president says it takes.” Ellen Goodman, excerpts from her column, December 26, 2005.