Monday, January 08, 2007

Old Fogey's Quotes for Monday

"There is in most Americans some spark of idealism, which can be fanned into a flame. It takes sometimes a divining rod to find what it is; but when found, and that means often, when disclosed to the owners, the results are often extraordinary."
Louis Brandeis, former Justice of the SC
[I stubbornly have faith in this notion and want do my part to make it happen, but I also believe that this should be the role of the president. Kennedy was a good example. Therefore, I have to cast my support to either John Edwards or Barack Obama for the Democratic nominee in 2008. Either has the charisma and the commitment to be the divining rod. Personally, I would like to see both on the ticket. One of my major concerns is poverty, and Edwards has been consistent in his emphasis on the problem. So, I guess my dream ticket would be Edwards/Obama.]

"Now, I'm not in any way happy with what I see in Baghdad. The level of violence is way too high."
Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the former second-ranking commander in Iraq
War's Toll on Iraqis Put at 22,950 in '06
[Estimates of the total Iraqi deaths since the start of the war vary from 58,000 to 600,000. A clear total is impossible because both of the governments involved want to keep the real number a secret. Is it any wonder the whole world is aghast? They reacted with horror to the 2,973 people killed on 9/11. Compare the numbers, folks. Those dead Iraqis are people, not statistics. ]

"The administration presented a proposal that would expand the waiver and basically said, 'Trust us.' It's been two years, and the administration hasn't done a whole lot to instill confidence."
Jennifer Daskal, a program director for Human Rights Watch, referring to the administration's broad use of anti-terrorism laws to reject asylum for thousands of people seeking refuge from religious, ethnic and political persecution
Conservatives Decry Terror Laws' Impact on Refugees
[This is one of those areas where conservatives and liberals can work together. There are a lot of issues that both could endorse, if we stop letting wedge issues divide us into warring camps. Why don't we hunt for joint projects rather than seek things to enrage us. Of course, as far as I am concerned, it is still open season on the abuses of King George the Terror Monger. His approval rating will continue to slide as conservatives recognize the danger of granting one man the power to be an unaccountable 'decider' on issues of basic rights.]

"That data shows that it can be rebuilt, and rebuilt in a cost-effective way. What is lacking are the resources."
Andrew Rumbach, a Cornell urban planner, one of three who agree that many of the existing buildings in New Orleans' Ninth Ward are structurally sound
Ninth Ward Sound, Study Says
[Many of the residents lacked flood insurance, and it seems that little of the promised money has arrived there to help people rebuild or to reopen schools and other public facilities. This is a real sin, folks, of much greater dimension that sexual immorality. In the Gospels, Jesus said very little about sex. Yet the writings about his teachings are riddled with admonitions to take care of those who can't take care of themselves. So are the words of the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures. A lot of residents literally lost everything they had through no fault of their own. Private charities do not have the resources to rebuild the Ninth Ward. People of faith do, however, have the ability to lobby the government to act. Let's do it!]

"The pervasive unfairness in the way the great wealth of the United States is distributed should be seen for what it is, an insidious disease eating away at the structure of the society and undermining its future. The middle class is hurting, propped up by the wobbly crutches of personal debt. The safety net, not just for the poor, but for the middle class as well, is disappearing. The savings rate has dropped to below zero, and more Americans are filing for bankruptcy than for divorce.
Your pension? Don’t ask.
There’s a reason why the power elite get bent out of shape at the merest mention of a class conflict in the U.S. The fear is that the cringing majority that has taken it on the chin for so long will wise up and begin to fight back."
Bob Herbert, in NYTimes Select editorial (subscription only)
Working Harder for the Man
[I don't usually use quotes this long, but Herbert has nicely put into words what I have been outraged about for so long. In his column he also notes that the 93 million production and nonsupervisory workers' combined raises for 6 years were less than half of the combined bonuses awarded by the five Wall Street firms for just one year. This also is a sin, folks]


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