RonPaul: The first Senate bill of the year has taken on those who seek to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. In a complicated maneuver, the Senate has voted to allow states to boycott the boycotters. Is it a free speech/First Amendment issue? Supporters of the bill say no. Many civil libertarians disagree.
'They want to invade and intervene in Venezuela - they say - in the name of democracy and freedom. But this is false. ...We appeal to the good soul of U.S. society, a victim of its own leaders, to join our call for peace.'
By Nicolás Maduro: If I know anything, it is about the people, because just like you, I am a man of the people. I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood of Caracas. I was forged in the heat of popular and union struggles in a Venezuela submerged in exclusion and inequality. I am no tycoon; I am a worker of mind and heart. Today I have the great privilege of presiding over the new Venezuela, rooted in a model of inclusive development and social equality, which Comandante Hugo Chávez forged starting in 1998, inspired by the legacy of Simón Bolivar. We are living today in a historical crossroad. There are days that will define the future of our countries, giving us a choice between war and peace. Your national representatives of Washington want to bring to their borders the same hatred that they sowed in Vietnam.
By William Banzai7: Hat tip to the Hedger who thought of Occasional Cortex... Now think about this: “[T]he useful idiots, the leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of the Soviet socialist or Communist or whatever system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. That’s why my KGB instructors specifically made the point: never bother with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. [...] They serve a purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation.
By Martin Sykes: A few weeks ago, I traveled to Mexico City. I took a taxi to my destination and, as it is customary, I engaged in small talk with the driver. After a while, the conversation turned to local politics, traffic, and women. The taxi driver must have been in his fifties and from a low class urban background. He was from an older generation, since he revealed he valued sex and a hot meal at night and he thought it was worth working long hours in traffic for those benefits. When I pointed out to him that younger, urban men were not marrying as much as they did in the past, he said something that caught my attention: “I have no respect for those slackers who prefer to jack off because they don’t have the balls to support a woman.” I changed the topic to avoid an overt disagreement, which is a bit of a sin in Mexico’s culture. On the way to my destination, I reflected on what the driver had just said. Apparently, this guy hadn’t received the memo; in modern Mexico, getting married and supporting a wife didn’t earn you sex or a hot meal as much as it used in the past, and young men were reacting appropriately.
RI: George Orwell, the world-renowned author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, wrote the following essay in 1946. In it, he sets out how language can be corrupted, leading to unclear, sloppy thinking. He is especially concerned with how the powerful use vague writing to cover up their own misdeeds. Despite being published over 70 years ago, this essay is as relevant and thought-provoking as ever.
By George Orwell: Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Gilad Atzmon: On 10 February 2019 a bunch of local AZZs (Anti Zionist Zionists) were determined to interfere with Gilad Atzmon's book event in Stroud, UK. For some reason they didn't manage to find a single quote in support of their argument that Atzmon is an 'antisemite.' What did they do instead? manufactured a few. This wasn't the first time the ADL (Atzmon Defamation League) were caught making up quotes.