Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
John Stuart Mill
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
The Public is merely a multiplied "me."
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
Otto Von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
A witty saying proves nothing.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.
Friday, October 08, 2004
One-Third of American Children Still in Poverty
A new study from the Annie E Casey, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations shows that one-third of American children are living in low-income or poor families unable to provide for their basic needs.
The study...will show that 9.2 million working families in the United States - one out of every four - earn wages that are so low they are barely able to survive financially.
"Our data is very solid and shows that this is a much bigger problem than most people imagine," said Brandon Roberts, one of the authors of the report, which is to be formally released on Tuesday. The report found that there are 20 million children in these low-income working families.
For the purposes of the study, any family in which at least one person was employed was considered a working family. Very wealthy families were included.
The median income for a family of four in the U.S. is $62,732. According to the study, a family of four earning less than $36,784 is considered low-income. A family of four earning less than $18,392 is considered poor. The 9.2 million struggling families cited by the report fell into one of the latter two categories. And those families have one-third of all the children in American working families.
Not surprisingly, the problem for millions of families is that they have jobs that pay very low wages and provide no benefits. "Consider the motel housekeeper, the retail clerk at the hardware store or the coffee shop cook," the report said. "If they have children, chances are good that their families are living on an income too low to provide for their basic needs."
Neither politicians nor the media put much of a spotlight on families that are struggling economically. According to the study, one in five workers are in occupations where the median wage is less than $8.84 an hour, which is a poverty-level wage for a family of four. A full-time job at the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour is not even sufficient to keep a family of three out of poverty.
Families with that kind of income are teetering on the edge of an economic abyss. Any misfortune might push them over the edge - an illness, an automobile breakdown, even something as seemingly minor as a flooded basement.
For the families in these lower-income brackets, life is often a harrowing day-to-day struggle to pay for the bare necessities. According to federal government statistics, the median annual rent for a two-bedroom apartment in major metropolitan markets is more than $8,000. The annual cost of food for a low-income family of four is nearly $4,000. Utility bills are nearly $2,000. Transportation costs are about $1,500. And then there are costs for child care, health care and clothing.
You do the math. How are these millions of poor and low-income families making it?
(A lot of those families are going to get a shock this winter as price increases for crude oil get translated into big jumps in home heating bills.)
The economy relies heavily on the services provided by low-wage workers but, as the report notes, "our society has not taken adequate steps to ensure that these workers can make ends meet and build a future for their families, no matter how determined they are to be self-sufficient."
Mr. Roberts said he hoped the study, titled "Working Hard, Falling Short," would help initiate a national discussion of the plight of families who are doing the right thing but not earning enough to get ahead. "Seventy-one percent of low-income families work," he said. More than half are headed by married couples. But economic self-sufficiency remains maddeningly out of reach.
Even in a presidential election year, these matters have not been explored in any sustained way. We're quick to give lip service to the need to work hard, but very slow to properly reward hard work.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.