“ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ”
“ People around the world are tired of nice words from President Obama, and they want some concrete action. Some say it’s rude to interrupt the president, but it’s rude to kill innocent people with drones. ”
(Source: The New York Times)
“ To say a military tactic is legal or even effective is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. ”
“ Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be. ”
“ I like when people say, “God bless America” and Barack Obama ends every speech with “God bless America”. And whenever he says that I always think that God’s up there making sure that none of those blessings spill over into Canada or, God forbid, Mexico. It just stays right there… What is this? It’s just so juvenile, so sophomoric to treat God that way — “just bless us” like God gives a shit about a country. It’s a round world, last time I checked. ”
“ I know there are those who say fracking is dangerous and should be curtailed, full stop. That ignores the reality that it has been done for decades and has the potential for developing significant domestic resources and strengthening our economy and will be done for decades to come. ”
(Source: The New York Times)
Any radicalization of Dzhokhar, by contrast, would have happened at the last minute, if at all, officials said. They described a suspect who looks more like an agreeable follower of his elder brother’s instructions. Counterterrorism officials said they believe that without Tamerlan’s involvement, no attack would have taken place. Without Dzhokhar’s alleged involvement, they believe there still would have been some kind of violence committed by Tamerlan, who was killed a few days after the bombing in a confrontation with police.
Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former criminal profiler at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who isn’t involved in the case, said there are several indications the younger brother was psychologically dependent on his elder brother. In their shootout with police, it was Tamerlan, not Dzhokhar, who fired their only gun, according to law-enforcement officials. Dr. O’Toole described that as an important detail suggesting the pecking order.
“In this case the older brother really does seem to be the ringleader, and it appears that what they did were his ideas, his fantasies, his desires, and the younger brother was probably more the follower,” she said.”
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
“ Who says the doctrine of the soul is more humane than the understanding of the mind as a physical organ? I see no dignity in letting people die of hepatitis or be ravaged by Parkinson’s disease when a cure may lie in research on stem cells that religious movements seek to ban because it uses balls of cells that have made the “ontological leap” to “spiritual souls. ”
“ The history of religion shows that God has commanded people to do all manner of selfish and cruel acts: massacres Midianites and abduct their women, stone prostitutes, execute homosexuals, burn witches, slay heretics and infidels, throw Protestants out of windows, withhold medicine from dying children, shoot up abortion clinics, hunt down Salman Rushdie, blow themselves up in marketplaces, and crash airplanes into skyscrapers. Recall that even Hitler thought he was carrying out the will of God. The recurrence of evil acts committed in the name of God shows that they are not random perversions. An omnipotent authority that no one can see is a useful backer for malevolent leaders hoping to enlist holy warriors. ”