“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”—James Madison quoted in an article by Brian Phillips at AntiWar. The Imperial Boomerang Returns (via protoslacker)
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”—Nelson Mandela (via dreamhampton1)
“For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist.”—
“The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken… If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.”—Nelson Mandela in 2002, courtesy of Newsweek. (via nickturse)
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
LTMC: "It’s not paranoia if they’re actually watching you."
Max Blumenthal’s Goliath finds fascism in Israel, but overlooks the mask it’s hiding behind
There is a well-known genre in the art and literature of Israel-Palestine known as “Shoot and Cry” — a phrase which has expanded to describe a dimension of the Israeli psyche as well. Used by liberal apologists to describe the heavy heart with which Israeli soldiers take their task of managing an occupation over a large civilian population, and derisively by their critics, “Shoot and Cry” has become so established in the Israeli milieu that it is difficult to find a popular history of the conflict that doesn’t belong in this genre. The handful of books that don’t fit the mold are generally of a more openly terrifying bent: the ones who shoot and don’t cry.
In this sea of mediocre texts and thinly veiled hasbara [propaganda] vehicles for the Israeli state, Max Blumenthal’s Goliath is hardly recognizable. The latest fodder for debate on Israel-Palestine, Goliath is something of a phenomenon among its top-selling counterparts on the subject: an anti-Zionist (or non-Zionist?) book written in easily accessible language with a focus not on the extremists, but on mainstream Israeli society.
The fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people’s minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.
Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don’t be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.
”—Glenn Greenwald, “Cynicism as an enabling force for power abuse” (Sept. 8, 2012)
When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.
This is why Christianty is »terribly revolutionary. That a good man may have his back to the wall is no more than we knew already; but that God could have His back to the wall is a boast for all insurgents for ever. Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone has felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel as well as a king.« Chesterton is fully aware that we are thereby approaching “a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss /…/ a matter which the greatest saints and thinkers have justly feared to approach. But in that terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt.” 17 In the standard form of atheism, God dies for men who stop believing in Him; in Christianity, God dies for himself. In his “Father, why have you abandoned me?”, Christ himself commits what is for a Christian the ultimate sin: he wavers in his Faith.
“We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.”—Pope Francis (via azspot)