July 16, 2007

Exerpt from Kurt Vonnegut's "A Man Without a Country"

"In case you haven't noticed, as a result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed pitiless war-lovers with appallingly powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed.
In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazis once were.
And with good reason.
In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want.
Piece of cake.
In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanized our own soldiers, not because of their own religion or race, but because of their low social class.
Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything.
Piece of cake.
The O'Reilly Factor.
So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called In These Times."

Kurt Vonnegut
A Man Without a Country

July 15, 2007

Beginnning Mantra

"Cultivate relationships with those who can teach you. Let friendly intercourse be a school of knowledge, and let culture be taught through conversation. Thus you make your friends your teachers and mingle the pleasures of conversation with the advantages of instruction. Sensible people enjoy alternating pleasures: you are rewarded with applause for what you say and you gain instruction from what you hear. We are always attracted to others by our own interest, but in this case it is of a higher kind. Wise people frequent the houses of great nobility as theatres of heroism and not temples of vanity. They are renowned for their worldly wisdom, not for being oracles of all nobleness by their example and their behavior, but because those who surround them form a courtly academy of worldly wisdom of the best and noblest kind."
-Baltasar Gracian