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Character assassination...

"Character assassination is at once easier and surer than physical assault; and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to commit the same deed over and over again, and may, indeed, win him the honors of a hero in the country of his victims."

-- Alan Barth

As much damage as they can

"The question is not how to get good people to rule; the question is how to stop the powerful from doing as much damage as they can to us."

-- Karl Popper

My favorite thing...

"My favorite thing about the United States? Lots of Americans, one America."

-- Val Saintsbury

Gary Webb on Investigative Journalism

"If we had met five years ago, you wouldn't have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me ... I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. So how could I possibly agree with people like Noam Chomsky and Ben Bagdikian, who were claiming the system didn't work, that it was steered by powerful special interests and corporations, and existed to protect the power elite? And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job ... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress..."

-- Gary Webb

CIA and the Wire Services

"PAO now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped turn some "intelligence failure" stories into "intelligence success" stories ... In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories"

-- From a 1991 document obtained by Ralph McGehee through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding the operations of the CIA's Public Affairs Office (PAO)

Meaning vs Economic Security

"This focus on money and power may do wonders in the marketplace, but it creates a tremendous crisis in our society. People who have spent all day learning how to sell themselves and to manipulate others are in no position to form lasting friendships or intimate relationships... Many Americans hunger for a different kind of society -- one based on principles of caring, ethical and spiritual sensitivity, and communal solidarity. Their need for meaning is just as intense as their need for economic security."

-- Michael Lerner, American rabbi, political activist, and editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California

Worthwhile to society...

"People are personally responsible for keeping themselves relevant. If you can't make yourself worthwhile to society, then that's your problem, not society's."

-- Bug, a character from Douglas Copeland's novel Microserfs

Jim Garrison on the CIA

"The CIA could not face up to the American people and admit that its former employees had conspired to assassinate the President; so from the moment Kennedy's heart stopped beating, the Agency attempted to sweep the whole conspiracy under the rug."

-- Jim Garrison

A real patriot...

"A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."

-- Bill Vaughan

The more money, the less virtue...

"If there were one who lived wholly without the use of money, the State itself would hesitate to demand it of him. But the rich man — not to make any invidious comparison — is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; and it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it. It puts to rest many questions which he would otherwise be taxed to answer; while the only new question which it puts is the hard but superfluous one, how to spend it. Thus his moral ground is taken from under his feet."

-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
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