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I open up my wallet, and it’s full of blood.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an influential Italian Baroque painter from the sixteenth century whose works’ use of everyday people as models and stark contrast proved immensely influential on future painters. At the time, however, he was labeled “The Antichrist of Painting” due to the often subversive messages contained within his paintings and his odd sexual habits, which often went hand in hand. For example, the most prominent part of Caravaggio’s painting of St. Paul’s conversion to Christianity was a horse’s rear end, and the model for his painting of the Virgin Mary’s death, itself an odd subject for a painting, was reputed to be the bloated corpse of a drowned prostitute. It will frequently be noted in art history textbooks that Caravaggio chose his models off the street, but what is not so frequently noted is that it was Caravaggio’s custom to have orgies with them before he painted them — both females and males alike.

I am a 33-year-old college graduate with interests in politics, the arts, and language. I am the owner of a medium-sized message board called Fool’s Gold. Apart from that, I post on Freethought Forum, but my forum days are otherwise largely behind me.

I no longer update much. I used to update several times a week, was active in a number of communities, and perused my friend list almost daily, but this place is kind of a ghost town now. Most of my entries are public, and I’ll usually add pretty much anyone to my list who adds me to theirs (although I may take a couple of days to notice), unless I think the account is a sockpuppet or you’ve given me a really, really, really good reason not to trust you. (I would appreciate it if you dropped me a comment letting me know a little bit about yourself and how you found my journal, just so I know you from the man on the moon, but it’s not necessary; I’ll probably friend you even if you don’t). Be warned that I have strong political views and can be fiercely argumentative about certain topics given the right provocation, but I try to keep such crapfests out of my journal, and I’ll keep them out of anyone else’s as well if they request it. Similarly, I ask that you not provoke unnecessary fights with me or people on my friends list; should any erupt, I will freeze comments or ban troublemakers as necessary (although I hope that I never have to do the latter).

I tend to dislike simplistic labels of such important things as political beliefs, but I suppose my own political philosophy is closest to that of anarcho-syndicalism, although I don’t think we’ll ever really get rid of governments entirely. I would like to see the eventual annihilation of the concept of private property (except for essential things like toothbrushes and computers, to which everyone should nonetheless be entitled) and government, because I believe that the bulk of society’s greatest problems will not be completely solved until both of these things are eliminated. However, I firmly recognize that America is nowhere near suited for either of these things in its current state, and I’m not even sure those things would be sustainable for a large number of people, which is why in practice I am a fiscal conservative with leftist social and economic views and a substantial interest in nihilism. I used to be strongly influenced by Heinlein’s (and others’) model of a Social Credit economy, which above all else espouses a complete alteration of the role of banks in the economy and a redistribution of wealth such that even the poorest members of society will be able to afford the basic essentials of life, but I’m no longer sure such changes are drastic enough to fix the deep underlying problems of society. They’d still be a nice start, though.

I believe that modern government is a vastly oversized dinosaur; I also believe that the greatest barrier to equal opportunity is an unequal start. Government, to me, has five responsibilities: (1a) protecting people from each other (which includes corporations and other countries), (1b) protecting people from natural disasters and the results thereof, (2) educating the people, (3) ensuring that people have adequate health care, (4) ensuring that people do not starve, and (5) ensuring that people can get from Point A to Point B in a convenient, reasonably ecologically friendly manner. Everything else should be limited to the private sector. Our government does not do #3, does #2 and #4 in a highly ineffective and inefficient manner, is rather irresponsible with #5 (although I suppose it could be much worse), and completely misinterprets part a of #1 (it largely ignores corporate liability while overextending itself in prosecution of crime; how does drug use harm anyone but the user?) and, as the atrocious response to Hurricane Katrina shows, completely fucks up everything where #1b is concerned. It also does a number of things that it has no business doing. I oppose most forms of gun control (limiting assault weapons and keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people or criminals are acceptable), oppose the war on drugs entirely, consider the war on terror to have been horribly mismanaged, and believe the Patriot Act and other similar measures to be a travesty of everything our country stands for. Government should stay entirely out of people’s personal lives, should let people make their own choices, and should limit its spending to no more than what it takes in. Running up the budget deficit will eventually come back to haunt us.

I’m active on several other communities as well, but I’m increasingly trying to keep personal information about myself away from public view on the Internet. If you are interested in finding me elsewhere, message me and I’ll respond when I see it (which, to be fair, may not be anywhere near immediately).

Blogs of particular interest: (I haven’t checked to see how many of these are still active)
Roger Ailes | alicublog | Americablog | Atrios’ Eschaton | Billmon’s Whiskey Bar (dead) | Juan Cole’s Informed Comment | Daily Kos | Brad DeLong | Digby’s Hullabaloo | Et tu, Mr. Destructo? | The Huffington Post | Jesus’ General | Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo | EconoSpeak | Dave Neiwert | Operation Yellow Elephant | The Poor Man | Project for the Old American Century | Shrillblog | Arthur Silber | Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish | throwingstardna | TPMCafe | Wonkette | James Wolcott | World o’ Crap

And now, some a shitload of quotes:
  • “POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” -Ambrose Bierce
  • “I love America, but I don’t like it.” -Sinclair Lewis
  • “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” -James Baldwin
  • “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” -H.L. Mencken
  • “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” -George Carlin
  • “It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man.” -Alexander Seropian
  • “Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can’t win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end you’re just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by The Man. The Man… oh, you don’t know The Man? He’s everywhere… in the White House… down the hall. Ms. Mullins? She’s The Man. And The Man ruined the Ozone, he’s burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank! And there used to be a way to stick it to The Man. It was called Rock and Roll, but guess what! Oh no, The Man ruined that, too, with a little thing called MTV! So don’t waste your time trying to make anything cool or pure or awesome, ’cause The Man is just gonna call you a fat, washed-up loser and crush your soul. So do yourselves a favor and just GIVE UP!” -Dewey Finn
  • “Hey, listen, man, if you guys came to see us, don’t throw shit on the stage. Someone over there, one of you assholes, whoever threw it – I know you’re not all assholes – I mean, what the fuck were you thinking? When I go see my favorite band, I’m not gonna throw shit at them. You go do that at, like, Three Doors Down or fuckin’ Limp Bizkit.” -Cedric Bixler Zavala, 09/13/2004
  • “Limp Bizkit is fucking shit. Fucking assbag worm whore cunt infection STD ridden fuckbag shit. Fred Durst is a wank ass mothertruck coochrot sphincter jam fucking horse puke. I hope he fucking dies. I hope he fucking dies. I hope he fucking dies.” -homees
  • “Without music, life would be a mistake.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution.” -Emma Goldman
  • “I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
    “It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
    “Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
    “So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
    “What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
    “And all music is.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “All stories teach, whether the storyteller intends them to or not. They teach the world we create. They teach the morality we live by. They teach it much more effectively than moral precepts and instructions … We don’t need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. ‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘Once upon a time’ lasts forever.” -Philip Pullman
  • “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” -Blaise Pascal
  • “If there’s a God, he wants us to make the world in our image, not in our shit.” -meuterei
  • “God has no place within these walls, just as facts have no place in organized religion.” -Superintendent Chalmers
  • “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it’s not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.” -Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • “As for Christ – well, he has been most outrageously belied. His followers, like those of many scientists and literary men, have so garbled his words and conduct that many of them no longer apply to present life. Christ was a wonderful psychologist. He was an infidel of his day because he rebelled against the prevailing religions and government. I am a lover of Christ as a man, and his work and all things that help humanity, but nevertheless just as he was an infidel then, I am an infidel today.” -Luther Burbank
  • “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites. History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.” -Thomas Jefferson
  • “What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.” -James Madison
  • “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.” -John Adams
  • “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” -Thomas Paine
  • “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectively on sympathy, education and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he is good only because he is restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” -Albert Einstein
  • “I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these Ten Commandments: Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.” -William Blake
  • “If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.” -Mikhail Bakunin
  • “Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” -H.L. Mencken
  • “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.” -Stendhal
  • “The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.” -Robert G. Ingersol
  • “The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom. The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world was the child of fear and faith.” -Clarence Darrow
  • “If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.” -Isaac Asimov
  • “Is it noticed that in Heaven all the interesting people are missing?” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer of reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling. And being restrain’d it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire. ” -William Blake
  • “Frankenstein took some flesh and bones and blood and made a man out of them; the man ran away and fell to raping and robbing and murdering everywhere, and Frankenstein was horrified and in despair, and said, ‘I made him, without asking his consent, and it makes me responsible for every crime he commits. I am the criminal, he is innocent.’ … [That’s exactly] the case of God and man… God made man, without man’s consent, and made his nature, too; made it vicious instead of angelic, and then said, ‘Be angelic, or I will ill punish you and destroy you.’ But no matter, God is responsible for everything man does, all the same; He can’t get around that fact. There is only one Criminal, and it is not man.” -Mark Twain
  • “Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he LOVES YOU. He loves you. He loves you and he NEEDS MONEY! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing and all-wise - just can’t handle money. Religion takes in billions of dollars per year, pays no taxes, and always needs a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story - holy shit!” -George Carlin
  • “If God were alive today, he would have to be an atheist.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “It was Christianity which first painted the devil on the world’s wall; It was Christianity which first brought sin into the world. Belief in the cure which it offered has now been shaken to its deepest roots; but belief in the sickness which it taught and propagated continues to exist.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.” -Bertrand Russell
  • “The reason organized religion merits outright hostility is that, unlike belief in Russell’s teapot, religion is powerful, influential, tax-exempt and systematically passed on to children too young to defend themselves. Children are not compelled to spend their formative years memorizing loony books about teapots. Government-subsidized schools don’t exclude children whose parents prefer the wrong shape of teapot. Teapot-believers don’t stone teapot-unbelievers, teapot-apostates, teapot-heretics and teapot-blasphemers to death. Mothers don’t warn their sons off marrying teapot-shiksas whose parents believe in three teapots rather than one. People who put the milk in first don’t kneecap those who put the tea in first.” -Richard Dawkins
  • “And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways… There’s nothing so mysterious about it. He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about – a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” -Joseph Heller
  • “Come ride with me through the veins of history/I’ll show you a God who falls asleep on the job/How can we win when fools can be kings?/Don’t waste your time or Time will waste you.” -Muse
  • “The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.” -Bertrand Russell
  • “Where has God gone? I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us - for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever, and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hellbound as ourselves; go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.” -Rorschach
  • “You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion…. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.” -Aldous Huxley
  • It’s perfectly clear to me that religion is a myth. It’s something we have invented to explain the inexplicable. My religion and the spiritual side of my life come from a sense of connection to the humankind and nature on this planet and in the universe. I am in overwhelming awe of it all: It is so fantastic, so complex, so beyond comprehension. What does it all mean -- if it has any meaning at all? But how can it all exist if it doesn’t have some kind of meaning? I think anyone who suggests that they have the answer is motivated by the need to invent answers, because we have no such answers.’ -Hugh Hefner
  • “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” -Voltaire
  • “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” -Sinclair Lewis
  • “When religion controls government, political liberty dies; and when government controls religion, religious liberty perishes.” -Sen. Sam Ervin
  • “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” -Buddha
  • “I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were (permanent) Seekers after Truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment--until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather. If he was seeking after political Truth he found it in one or another of the hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth; if he was seeking after the Only True Religion he found it in one or another of the three thousand that are on the market. In any case, when he found the Truth he sought no further; but from that day forth, with his soldering-iron in one hand and his bludgeon in the other he tinkered its leaks and reasoned with objectors.” -Mark Twain
  • “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” -D. P. Barron
  • “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.” -Poul Anderson
  • “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” -Noam Chomsky
  • “I do not approve of a word you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” -Evelyn Beatrice Hall
  • “Folks: It’s time to evolve ideas. You know, evolution didn’t end with us growing thumbs. You do know that, right? Didn’t end there. We’re at the point, now, where we’re going to have to evolve ideas. The reason the world is so fucked up is we’re undergoing evolution. And the reason our institutions, our traditional religions, are all crumbling, is because … they’re no longer relevant. They’re no longer relevant. So it’s time for us to create a new philosophy and perhaps even a new religion, you see. And that’s okay ’cause that’s our right, ’cause we are free children of God with minds who can imagine anything, and that’s kind of our role.” -Bill Hicks
  • “What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.” -Voltaire
  • “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” -Plato
  • “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” -George Jean Nathan
  • “No one – and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag … is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the fucking flag. See, that’s freedom.” -Bill Hicks
  • “I would much rather someone burn the flag and wrap themselves in the Constitution than burn the Constitution and wrap themselves in the flag.” -Molly Ivins
  • “I hate patriotism; I can’t stand it. It’s a round world, last time I checked.” -Bill Hicks
  • “‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.’” -G. K. Chesterton
  • “All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.” -Alexis de Tocqueville
  • “I keep a conscience uncorrupted by religion, a judgment undimmed by politics and patriotism, a heart untainted by friendships and sentiments unsoured by animosities.” -Ambrose Bierce
  • “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” -Thomas Jefferson
  • “Hey, guys, remember when we said that [the Bush] administration would send the country backsliding into the Dark Ages? I wonder how many anti-gay, anti-choice, abstinence-oriented, anti-evolution, anti-science, pro-religious, faith-preferential, moralizing, theocratic, Evangelist-handjobbing fucking bullshit laws, amendments and proposals it’s going to take before you wake up and smell the shotgun barrel of fundamentalism being slowly inserted into your mouth like a big, black cock of death.” -god_v2
  • “Yes, I know my enemies; they’re the teachers who taught me to fight me: Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite, all of which are American dreams….” -Rage Against the Machine
  • “As a parent, I [also] realize what my role is in protecting my child from influences that might have a disturbing effect… I cannot sit back and hope that the government or some public interest groups will protect her; that responsibility is up to my wife and myself alone. As soon as we as a society abdicate our personal responsibility towards protecting and caring for our children we give up our basic freedoms as Americans; freedoms that have been hard fought and even harder won.” -Drew Markham
  • “Vote for The Party this year and I’ll give you a cookie. I would tell you to ignore the fact that past cookies are as yet undelivered, but your fickle nature, short attention span, tribal loyalty, and proclivity to knee-jerk reaction eliminates the need for me to do so.” -shoeshine_boy on the State of the Union address
  • “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” -Stephen Colbert
  • “The definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn’t have.” -Howard Dean
  • “I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. ‘I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.’ ‘I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.’ ‘Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!’ ‘Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Here’s Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons.” -Bill Hicks
  • “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.” -P. J. O’Rourke
  • “Go back to bed, America! Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America! Your government is in control again. Here, here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up! Go back to bed, America! Here is American Gladiators; here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom! Here you go, America: You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” -Bill Hicks
  • “There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well known and much lamented fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.” -Douglas Adams
  • “We would like to apologise for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are concerned more with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today, nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive. We are sorry if this impression has come across.” -Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  • “Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” -Voltaire
  • “You know what’s interesting about assassination? Well, not only does it change those popularity polls in a big fucking hurry, but it’s also interesting to notice who it is we assassinate. Ya ever notice who it is, got to think who it is we kill? It’s always people who’ve told us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus, Gandhi, Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, John Lennon – they all said, ‘Try to live together peacefully.’ Bam! Right in the fucking head! Apparently we’re not ready for that. Yeah, that’s difficult behavior for us. We’re too busy thinking around, sitting around trying to think up ways to kill each other.”
  • “This country was founded by a group of slave owners who told us all men are created equal. Oh, yeah, all men. Except for Indians and niggers and women, right? I always like to use that authentic American language. This was a small group of un-elected white male land-holding slave owners who also suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. Now that is what’s known as being stunningly and embarrasingly full of shit!” -George Carlin
  • “So we kept our black African people, in order to fight and kill the white English people, so we could move west and steal the land from the red Indian people, and then move south and steal the land from the brown Mexican people, which would give us a place to take off and bomb the yellow Japanese people! You know what the motto for this country oughta be? ‘YOU GIVE US A COLOR, AND WE’LL WIPE IT OUT!’” -George Carlin
  • “Instead of the comforting rationale that merit breeds success and the successful have merit, a more rational approach would be to speculate that in our society wealth and power tend to accrue to those who are ruthless, cunning, avaricious, self-seeking, lacking in sympathy and compassion, subservient to authority and willing to abandon principle for material gain.” -Noam Chomsky
  • “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.” -Voltaire
  • “Pure truth, like pure gold, has been found unfit for circulation because men have discovered that it is far more convenient to adulterate the truth than to refine themselves.” -Charles Caleb Colton
  • “The only good fnord is a dead fnord.” -Dr. Ignotum per Ignotius
  • “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.” -Adam Smith
  • “Conservatives say if you don’t give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they’ve lost all incentive because we’ve given them too much money.” -George Carlin
  • “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” -Adam Smith
  • “Soon it won’t just be that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer--soon the rich will get healthier and smarter and longer-lived as well. And the poor will not be happy about that. What will become of this misery and frustration I leave to your imagination.” -Scott Edelman
  • “The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.” -Albert Einstein
  • “Which is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe–‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that is the kind of government which they will have.” -Henry David Thoreau
  • “What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.” -Ursula K. Le Guin
  • “Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man’s lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one’s self.” -Max Stirner
  • “Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all.” -August Spies
  • “Anarchism aims to strip labor of its deadening, dulling aspect, of its gloom and compulsion. It aims to make work an instrument of joy, of strength, of color, of real harmony, so that the poorest sort of a man should find in work both recreation and hope.” -Emma Goldman
  • “Anarchy means ‘without leaders;’ not ‘without order.’” -V
  • “It was play rather than work which enabled man to evolve his higher faculties -- everything we mean by the word ‘culture.’” -Herbert Read
  • “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” -Pablo Picasso
  • “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.” -Winston Niles Rumfoord
  • “While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” -Eugene V. Debs
  • “What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be an inconvenience to the whole. No society can ever be flourishing and happy of which the far greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable.” -Adam Smith
  • “I do not wish to remove from my prison to a prison a little larger. I wish to break all prisons.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law.” -Henry David Thoreau
  • “Why is pot against the law? It wouldn’t be because anyone can grow it, and therefore you can’t make a profit off it, would it?” -Bill Hicks
  • “It’s not a war on drugs; it’s a war on personal freedom.” Bill Hicks
  • “You think you’re God because you have a robe and you can put people up the Goddamn river for twenty years? Well you’re not!” -Blaise Bailey Finnegan III
  • “True peace is impossible. Only an illusion of peace exists in the superficial calm of our lives. In fact, the blood and tears of the poor are sacrificed daily by a handful of elite power-mongers. No matter how far science and technology advance, repression will never cease. We’re only human. Whenever the calls for revolution turn into concrete action, instigators are met by the full resistance of the elite, who stop at nothing to keep their power.” -Cardinal Albert Simon
  • “One of the hardest lessons of young Sam’s life had been finding out that the people in charge weren’t in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.” -Terry Pratchett
  • “Because they don’t teach the truth about the world, schools have to rely on beating students over the head with propaganda about democracy. If schools were, in reality, democratic, there would be no need to bombard students with platitudes about democracy. They would simply act and behave democratically, and we know this does not happen. The more there is a need to talk about the ideals of democracy, the less democratic the system usually is.” -Noam Chomsky
  • “It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem, to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment.” -Albert Einstein
  • “Our laws make laws impossible; our liberties destroy all freedom; our property is organized robbery; our morality an impudent hypocrisy; our wisdom is administered by inexperienced or mal-experienced dupes; our power wielded by cowards and weaklings; and our honour false in all its points.” -George Bernard Shaw
  • “We have stopped believing in progress. What progress that is!” -Jorge Luis Borges
  • “The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.” -John Steinbeck
  • “Modern capitalism, organising the reduction of all social life to a spectacle, cannot offer any other spectacle than that of our own alienation.” -Raoul Vanigem & Attila Kotányi
  • “The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.” -Adam Smith
  • “There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron…. Is there no other way the world may live?” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “I’m so sick of arming the world and then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms, you know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries, then we go and blow the shit out of them. We’re like the bullies of the world, you know. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing the pistol at the sheep herder’s feet: ‘Pick it up.’ ‘I don’t wanna pick it up, mister; you’ll shoot me.’ ‘Pick up the gun.’ ‘Mister, I don’t want no trouble, huh. I just came downtown here to get some hard rock candy for my kids, some gingham for my wife. I don’t even know what gingham is, but she goes through about 10 rolls a week of that stuff. I ain’t looking for no trouble, mister.’ ‘Pick up the gun.’ Boom, boom. ‘You all saw him. He had a gun.’” -Bill Hicks
  • “I have wanted to give Iraq a lesson in democracy—because we’re experienced with it, you know. And, in democracy, after a hundred years, you have to let your slaves go. And, after a hundred and fifty years, you have to let your women vote. And, at the beginning of democracy, is that quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing is quite okay. And that’s what’s going on now.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” -Thomas Jefferson
  • “I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood.” -Rodrik Harlaw
  • “We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on.” -Kurt Vonnegut
  • “We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.” -Mikhail Bakunin
  • The Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts, that’s their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm… Sounds like…every commercial on television, doesn’t it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial? I’m not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing, so maybe that’s the connection they’re trying to make.” -Bill Hicks
  • “I have the impression that the images that surround us today are worn out, they are abused and useless and exhausted. They are limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution. When I look at the postcards in tourist shops and the images and advertisements that surround us in magazines, or I turn on the television, or if I walk into a travel agency and see those huge posters with that same tedious and rickety image of the Grand Canyon on them, I truly feel there is something dangerous emerging here. The biggest danger, in my opinion, is television because to a certain degree it ruins our vision and makes us very sad and lonesome. Our grandchildren will blame us for not having tossed hand-grenades into TV stations because of commercials. Television kills our imagination and what we end up with are worn out images because of the inability of too many people to seek out fresh ones.” -Werner Herzog
  • “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth.” -Molly Ivins
  • “If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.” -William Blake
  • “It wasn’t the money that robbed her of her soul. It wasn’t the technology either. There were fat, bloated men rolling in money and decrepit, pathetic kids ensconced in technology, and neither were truly lost. It was the combination. You sell your body to the technology, and you sell your mind to the money. When both are gone, there’s no house for the soul, and the love of your life has turned into a woman with a gun to your throat.
        “So there I stood, facing the end of my life and the only woman who had ever mattered to me. Three men, one girl, four guns. ‘Give us the formula,’ the middle one demanded. The door behind me was swinging slowly closed, and the moment to act was now.
        “Is that what being a hero is about? Not courage, not compassion, not fighting, not triumph, but instead when you say, simply, “I will not be a party to this.’ Not when you lock up your files nice and tight and coat the lab in C-4, not when you press the release, not when everything you’ve ever done wrong is destroyed in an instant and the only weak link is your own mind. Those things don’t make you a hero. It’s when the guns are trained on your stomach, chest, throat and face, and all you can say is, ‘I will not be a party to this.’”-Marathon Rubicon
  • “The management is very bad. In fact, let’s not mince words: The management is terrible! We’ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars, and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is a plain fact. But who elected them? It was you! You who appointed these people! You who appointed these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you! While I’ll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate. You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was, ‘No.’” -V
  • “They don’t want the voice of reason spoken, folks, ’cause otherwise we’d be free. Otherwise, we wouldn’t believe their fucking horseshit lies, nor the fucking propaganda machine of the mainstream media and buy their horseshit products that we don’t fucking need and become a third world consumer fucking plantation, which is what we’re becoming. Fuck them! They are liars and murderers. All governments are liars and murderers, and I am now Jesus, and this is MY compound.” -Bill Hicks
  • “History is made by those who say no.” -Jon Savage
  • “Man is free at the instant he wants to be.” -Voltaire
  • “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.” -Valerie
  • “For us to struggle, the forces being so unequal, must appear insane. But if we consider our opponent’s means of strife and our own, it is not our intention to fight that will seem absurd, but that the thing we mean to fight will still exist. They have millions of money and millions of obedient soldiers; we have only one thing, but that is the most powerful thing in the world: Truth.” -Leo Tolstoy
  • “We won’t destroy society in a day until we change ourselves first from the inside out.” -Jello Biafra
  • “Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion.” -Tenzin Gyatso
  • “We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” -Kilgore Trout
  • “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” -Eliot Rosewater
  • “The most sublime act is to set another before you.” -William Blake
  • “Suddenly she knew. She knew! Love. That was what she had that IT did not have. She had Mrs. Whatsit’s love, and her father’s, and mother’s, and the real Charles Wallace’s love, and the twins’, and Aunt Beast’s. And she had her love for them.” -Madeleine L’Engle
  • “It is difficult to get a man to understand a thing when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair
  • “Human beings do metamorphose. They change their identity constantly. However, each new identity thrives on the delusion that it was always in possession of the body it has just conquered.” -Orson Scott Card
  • “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” -Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” -Albert Einstein
  • “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • “Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession; it consists of getting screwed and pretending you like it. Politics is the world’s second oldest profession; it consists of screwing other people and making them like it.” -cassandraleo
  • “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is a good as dead; his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein
  • “Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I have read and heard many attempts at a systematic account of it, from materialism and theosophy to the Christian system or that of Kant, and I have always felt that they were much too simple. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming.” -John Burden Sanderson Haldane
  • “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” -George Bernard Shaw
  • “It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. These are the two things that the psychedelics attack. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior.” -Terence McKenna
  • “The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: Is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, ‘Hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we … kill those people. ‘Shut him up. We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter, because – it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” -Bill Hicks

Fourteen Points of Fascism

Current terror alert level:
Terror Alert Level

Loving is not hurting.

\m/, a silver mt. zion, a song of ice and fire, accountability in government, alan moore, albert einstein, albert simon, amartya sen, anarchism, anarcho-cynicism, anarcho-syndicalism, arrested development, ash borer, atheism, bathory, bertrand russell, bill hicks, black metal, bob dylan, bran stark, brian eno, carl sagan, chapters from a self-help booklet, china miéville, chrono trigger, cookie monster, cynic, daniel dennett, daniel suarez, deadly badgers, death metal, deathspell omega, democratic socialism, douglas adams, dr. strangelove, drudkh, emperor, enslaved, existentialism, face-melting guitar solos, fell voices, final fantasy vi, flying spaghetti monster, folk metal, fool's gold, fucking metal, futurama, gandhi, genesis, george carlin, george orwell, george r.r. martin, godspeed you! black emperor, grant morrison, great justice, green anarchy, hardly being located in the auto, his dark materials, hookers and blow, howard zinn, innuendo, intelligence, invisible pink unicorn, jello biafra, jeremy scahill, joanna newsom, joel and ethan coen, john lennon, john twelve hawks, joseph stiglitz, kantian nihilism, kayo dot, kefka palazzo, kilgore trout, kim stanley robinson, king crimson, kurt vonnegut, legalization, libertarian socialism, lossless audio, luca blight, lunar aurora, lux occulta, magma, making baby jesus cry, marathon trilogy, massive damage, matt taibbi, maudlin of the well, mofl, monty python, moonsorrow, more cowbell, negura bunget, ninja info cards, noam chomsky, not messing with billy-bob, panopticon, parecon, participatory economics, paul krugman, peter kropotkin, philosophy, pierre-joseph proudhon, piracy, polyamory, prog, rabites, renewable energy, robert a. heinlein, roberto bolaño, rorschach, sarcasm, satire, secular humanism, sergio leone, series of tubes, sex, seymour hersh, shadow hearts, sigh, skagos, sonic youth, star wars, suikoden, sustainable development, syndicalism, tedius zanarukando, terry pratchett, the bill of rights, the illuminatus! trilogy, the mars volta, the reality-based community, thomas paine, thomas pynchon, tigger, truthiness, ulver, v for vendetta, validity, vi veri veniversum vivus vici, viking metal, vinyl records, weapons of mass destruction, wikipedia, wit, wolves in the throne room, yes, ,