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Saturday morning quotes 4.2: Inference

May 24, 2014

We’re very busy. Read and draw your own conclusions.

“Your imagination, your initiative, and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth…Worst of all expansion is eroding the precious and time-honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature. The loss of these values breeds loneliness and boredom and indifference.”

– Lyndon B. Johnson, May 22, 1964

“What we are witnessing today is the direct commodification of our experiences themselves: what we are buying on the market is fewer and fewer products (material objects) that we want to own, and more and more life experiences – experiences of sex, eating, communicating, cultural consumption, participating in a lifestyle. Michel Foucault’s notion of turning one’s self itself into a work of art thus gets an unexpected confirmation: I buy my bodily fitness by way of visiting fitness clubs; I buy my spiritual enlightenment by way of enrolling in the courses on transcendental meditation; I buy my public persona by way of going to the restaurants visited by people I want to be associated with.”

– Slavoj Žižek, May 21, 2014

“Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this–in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything–even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon “moderation” in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954

“We have a choice, either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they [hundreds of millions of Muslims living in the Middle East] live, and we chose the latter.”

 – Donald H. Rumsfeld Sept. 18, 2001

“Get down to Disney World in Florida…Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed.”

– George W. Bush, September 25, 2001

“If the highest officials in government can break the law without fearing punishment or even any repercussions at all, secret powers become tremendously dangerous…Did we get to where we are today via a slippery slope that was entirely within our control to stop, or was it a relatively instantaneous sea change that sneaked in undetected because of pervasive government secrecy?”

Edward Snowden, December 4, 2013

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