Tag Archives: Quotes

Today’s Quotes: America the Great

“To deny American exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation.”
— Mike Huckabee, August, 2010.

“To renew American exceptionalism, we must recognize that our present crisis is not merely economic, but moral in nature… As we seek to build national wealth, we must renew our commitment to the institutions that nurture the character of our people — traditional family and religion.”
— Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) in 2011.

“America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”
Pat Buchanan in 2008.

“I believe in America. I believe in the freedom and opportunity, and the principles of our constitution, that have led us to become the greatest nation in the history of the earth …”
Mitt Romney, April, 2011.

“It wasn’t a mistake that the fantasy avenger figure of Rambo became immensely popular in the wake of defeat in Vietnam or that, unlike American heroes of earlier decades, he had such a visibly, almost risibly overblown musculature. As eye-candy, it was pure overcompensation for the obvious. Similarly, when the United States was actually ‘the greatest’ on this planet, no one needed to say it over and over again.”
— Tom Engelhardt, “Imperial Decline: How Does It Feel to Be Inside a Dying Empire?”, TomDispatch.com, April 19, 2011.

“When it shall be said in any country in the world my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want; the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, there may that country boast its Constitution and its Government”
— Thomas Paine, “The Rights of Man”.

Today’s Quote: Surprise — Walker Admits Union Busting Had Nothing to Do With Balancing Wisconsin’s Budget

Not a shock to those who have been paying attention to the Reign of Error of the Koch’s Little King in Madison, but remember those speeches where Gov. Scottie insisted his going after public employees unions was strictly about the budget? Yeah, I know — he’s a Republican: you can tell he’s lying because his mouth is moving. BTW, note that his union-busting antics are actually going to COST the state money. I know, that’s typically Republican, too.

“Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) asked Walker the key question: What do the union-busting provisions have to do with balancing the budget? ‘Annual votes so unions can continue representing their own members. How much money does this save your state budget?’, Kucinich demanded. ‘It doesn’t save any,’ admitted Walker.

“In fact, it is likely to cost the state agency charged with overseeing the elections a pretty penny. Kucinich entered into the record a Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo noting that the items were not fiscal.”
— Mary Bottari, “Koch-Fueled Controversy Lands in Washington,” PRWatch, April 14, 2011.

Quote-to-Quote: Edward Bernays on Propaganda

Every day, we are seeing the teachings of the ‘Father of Public Relations,’ Edward Bernays, played out in our media and political discourse. The propaganda techniques of Bernays have been used by Nazi flack Josef Goebbels as well as Frank Luntz and Karl Rove and, unfortunately, they usually work. Until the public realizes they are being hoodwinked by psychological mumbo-jumbo and dismisses the fearmongering and deceptions of the propagandists, the country has little hope of digging out of the ditch that’s been dug for us by the monied elite who pay the propagandists to practice their dark, democracy-killing art.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
— Edward Bernays (1891-1995), “Propaganda” (1928).

“[The] average citizen is the world’s most efficient censor. His own mind is the greatest barrier between him and the facts. His own ‘logic proof compartments,’ his own absolutism are the obstacles which prevent him from seeing in terms of experience and thought rather than in terms of group reaction.”
— Edward Bernays, “Crystallizing Public Opinion” (1923).

Today’s Quote: Brother Admits Koch Industries is an ‘Organized Crime’ Operation

As if those of us who have kept up with the Koch’s sleazy political fun-and-games had any doubt that Koch Industries chieftains David and Charles were crooks, but it’s nice to have confirmation from a family member.

“[William] Koch says that Koch Industries engaged in “organized crime. And management driven from the top down.”

” ‘It was – was my family company. I was out of it,’ he says. ‘But that’s what appalled me so much… I did not want my family, my legacy, my father’s legacy to be based upon organized crime.’ ”
— From “Koch Brother: Koch Industries an ‘Organized Crime’ Operation,” ReaderSupportedNews.org.

Also a must-read, Lee Fang’s Think Progress report on how Koch Industries makes billions from taxpayer-funded bailouts and subsidies. Read it here.

Today’s Quotes: Corporations Are Lying to Us About the Dangers of Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

It’s summed up in the emphasized third sentence – if nuclear power plant owners followed every safety precaution, they couldn’t make any money. Neocon Republicans love to spread fear by doting on lurid tales of the destruction that could be wrought by a ‘dirty-bomb’ nuclear device in the hands of a terrorist – so far, ‘peaceful’ nuclear power has killed more people than Al-Qaeda, but you won’t hear the GOP complain; they are, after all, a paid arm of the nuclear power industry.

“…[I]t’s been normal for this company in the past [lying to the public]. It’s normal for the industry to some extent.

“It’s a highly ideological industry, and it also involves a lot of concentration of political power, as well as physical power. And those institutions become very powerful, very close to the regulators, and an adversarial culture develops where they’re constantly pushing against the safety measures, because that`s where the money is.

“If you did every single thing that you — that was possible to make it safe, then you couldn’t make any money.”
— Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” March 16, 2011, talking about the Japanese nuclear plants. [Emphasis mine.]

“Nuclear plants the world over must be certified for what is called ‘SQ’ or ‘Seismic Qualification.’ That is, the owners swear that all components are designed for the maximum conceivable shaking event, be it from an earthquake or an exploding Christmas card from Al Qaeda.

“The most inexpensive way to meet your SQ is to lie. The industry does it all the time. The government team I worked with caught them once, in 1988, at the Shoreham plant in New York. Correcting the SQ problem at Shoreham would have cost a cool billion, so engineers were told to change the tests from ‘failed’ to ‘passed.’ ” [snip]

“These [Japanese nuclear] plants are now releasing radioactive steam into the atmosphere. Be skeptical about the statements that the ‘levels are not dangerous.’ These are the same people who said these meltdowns could never happen. Over years, not days, there may be a thousand people, two thousand, ten thousand who will suffer from cancers induced by this radiation.” [snip]

“It would be irresponsible for me to estimate the number of cancer deaths that will occur from these releases without further information; but it is just plain criminal for the Tokyo Electric shoguns to say that these releases are not dangerous. …The carcinogenic isotopes that are released at Fukushima are already floating to Seattle with effects we simply cannot measure.”
— Greg Palast, investigative journalist and former nuclear plant inspector, from “The No BS Info on Japan’s Nuclear Operators,” March 14, 2011.

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