“The public, regardless of party, overwhelmingly opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. But elected officials of both parties are hell-bent on conspiring to bring the programs to an end. They seem to have come to grips with a fact that the public has not: their tenure in office depends on carrying out the wishes of oligarchical elites.”
-Jane Hamsher, on the death of the Democratic party, and democracy itself

“What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives – its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security – in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise.”
-William Deresiewicz, in The Nation

All Ye Good Citizens of America

The competent systems managers who went to the good schools, those of us now so consumed by our busy lives, are responsible for maintaining the panopticon of modern American culture, in which we can all see the goal, but we can’t see each other.

Justice Will Be Served

“Was Shadadi’s mother and father terrorist? They were killed by the US drone. They are both over 60 years old.” -Abdul Hadi Mohammed, neighbor of al Qaeda suspect Nader Shadadi, whose father, mother and sister were killed by a US drone strike in Yemen last week. Over 100 Yemenis have been killed in such bombings… Continue reading Justice Will Be Served

Kafkaland

“My American dream became an American nightmare.” -American immigrant Syed Anwar Hashmi, describing the arrest and imprisonment of his son, essentially for political speech. Syed Fahad Hashmi now sits in solitary confinement nearly all his waking hours.

Understatement

“Obviously, I haven’t understood it correctly because we’re still here.” -Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, on his not being raptured yesterday

Completely Wrong

“A black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” -Professor Cornell West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, on the president’s betrayal. “I was completely wrong,” Dr. West added.

All It Took

All it took was for over 539,000 people to sign an international statement, 300 of the US’s top legal scholars taking a public stand, the forced resignation of a US State Department spokesperson, our organizers directly confronting President Obama, and of course our ongoing efforts internationally. -Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist, on how we… Continue reading All It Took

Processing

“It feels as though that arc in American history has come to a close,” Watkins said. Acknowledging the strangeness of the analogy, he compared Bin Laden’s death to the upcoming last installment of the long-running Harry Potter movies: “It marks the end of our childhood,” he said. -Luke Watkins, a 20-year-old American, on his understanding… Continue reading Processing

Detritus

Who among us is ready to make an actual sacrifice to restore the vitality of our country, of our planet?