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Month: May 2022

“Neurology takes a positive view toward god and prayer. And relinquishing, which is what god and prayer is about. It is always turning your will over to a higher power and letting the will of the world and not your extraordinary manipulations lead you to your desired result. I always say that, it is my constant prayer: god, if you are out there, watch over me and your will, not mine, be done. That is what will happen anyway, but I pray for release from the dreadful fight.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel (quoted by Garance Franke-Ruta in GEN, January 8, 2020)

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“The only antidote to panic phenomenologically, the only cure, is love — not romantic love or erotic love (though encompassing these sometimes), but selfless, unequivocal love. The sole basis of faith to live in a universe of hemorrhaging stars, predatory demons, occupying armies, and inevitable loss and grief is connection to other human beings, real connection. Otherwise, life is a march of zombies.” – Robert Grossinger, “A Phenomenology of Panic”

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“You canʼt just write by spilling the words on the page. You have to arrange them. And you have to arrange them not only in terms of one another, but with the sentences that came before, and the sentences you havenʼt written yet. They have a demand.” – William H. Gass (interviewed by Greg Gerke in Tin House, Issue #54, 2012)

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“It’s a favorite myth in our culture that hardship makes you a better person, that it is merely the grindstone on which your essence is refined and polished. But the truth is that scarcity, depression, thwarted ambition, and suffering most often leaves the person a little twisted. That is the territory where mean drunks and tyrannical bastards come from.” – Jessa Crispin, “Talking to the Dead: Channeling William James in Berlin”

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“Let’s say, for a moment, that the character of a city has an effect on its inhabitants, and that it sets the frequency on which it calls out to the migratory. People who are tuned a certain way will heed the call almost without knowing why. Thinking that they’ve chosen this city, they’ll never know that the city chose them. Let’s say, for a moment, that the literal situation of a city can leak out into the metaphorical realm. That the city is the vessel and we are all merely beings of differing viscosity, slowly taking on the shape of that into which we are poured.” – Jessa Crispin, “Talking to the Dead: Channeling William James in Berlin”

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“We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
• The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
• The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
• The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
• The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
• The right of every family to a decent home;
• The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
• The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and
unemployment;
• The right to a good education.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Second Bill of Rights,” January 11, 1944

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“Primitive – and not so primitive – peoples commonly attempt to bargain with nature,
through prayer, through sacrifice or through ritual persuasion. In doing so they are explicitly adopting a social model, expecting nature to participate in a transaction. But nature will not transact with men; she goes her own way regardless – while her would-be interlocutors feel grateful or feel slighted as the case befits.” – Nicholas Humphrey, “The social function of intellect” (emphasis in original)

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“Judges must keep in mind that poverty is not a crime; it is a condition, and every day presents a struggle for the poor to survive, to cope, to get by until tomorrow. When one is poor, drifting into petty crime can become an option, despite its undeniable risks.” – Justice Michael B. Hyman, The People of the State of Illinois v. Harley Busse (Illinois Appellate Court, First District, December 17, 2016)

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“It is a mistake to suppose that intellectuality necessarily makes for suspended judgments. The intellect craves certitude. It takes effort to keep it supple and pliable. In a time of danger and disaster we jump desperately for some dogma to cling to. The time comes, if we try to hold out, when our nerves are sick with fatigue, and we seize in a great healing wave of release some doctrine that can be immediately translated into action.” – Randolph Bourne, “The War and the Intellectuals”

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“In a war undertaken for any object, even if that object be the possession of a particular territory or position, an attack directly upon the place coveted may not be, from the military point of view, the best means of obtaining it. The end upon which the military operations are directed may therefore be other than the object which the belligerent government wishes to obtain, and it has received a name of its own, — the objective. In the critical consideration of any war it is necessary, first, to put clearly before the student’s eye the objects desired by each belligerent; then, to consider whether the objective chosen is the most likely, in case of success, to compass those objects ; and finally, to study the merits or faults of the various movements by which the objective is approached. The minuteness with which such an examination is conducted will depend upon the extent of the work which the inquirer proposes to himself; but it will generally conduce to clearness if an outline, giving only the main features unencumbered by detail, should precede a more exhaustive discussion. When such principal lines are thoroughly grasped, details are easily referred to them, and fall into place.” – Captain A. T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660-1783

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Sophrosyne, which to the Greeks was an ideal second to none in importance, is not among our ideals. We have lost the conception of it. Enough is said about it in Greek literature for us to be able to describe it in some fashion, but we cannot give it a name. It was the spirit behind the two great Delphic sayings, ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Nothing in excess.’ Arrogance, insolent self-assertion, was the quality most detested by the Greeks. Sophosyne was the exact opposite. It meant accepting the bounds which excellence lays down for human nature, restraining impulses to unrestricted freedom, to all excess, obeying the inner laws of harmony and proportion.” – Benjamin Jowett, “Introduction to Plato’s Charmides

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“The pretzel is said to have been invented almost fourteen hundred years ago in a monastery in southern France where a monk frugally twisted leftover scraps of dough into a shape like that of arms folded in prayer, with the three openings representing the Trinity.” – James and Kay Salter, Life Is Meals

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“I would love to see all exotic wildlife in zoos allowed to live out their lives in peace and comfort and then not be replaced. Instead, have the zoos and aquariums be places where people – especially children – go to interact with animals that actually like us and want to be around us and not have to be on medication to deal with their lives behind the glass or bars. There are lots of animals who enjoy us, and I think children and adults would have a more meaningful experience interacting with animals who are interested in us.” – Laurel Braitman (interviewed by Malcolm Harris in The New Inquiry, September 2012)

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