Year of the Dragon

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"I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world, not only for its strength, but for its civilization as well.
And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.
I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty."- JFK 10/26/63 Amherst College

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"I hope we shall ... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - President Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan, 1816

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few and the Republic is destroyed." - President Abraham Lincoln, 1865

"Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." President Theodore Roosevelt, Speech August 1912

"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace- business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hatred for me - and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech at Madison Square Garden Oct 31 1936

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." - President Dwight Eisenhower, Final Speech to the Nation, 1961

"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."
- President Dwight Eisenhower, in a letter to his brother Edgar, November 8, 1954

The Rebellion Begins

Chris Hedges, Oct 17, 2011: A Movement Too Big to Fail
". . . the liberal class, by having refused to question the utopian promises of unfettered capitalism and globalization and by condemning those who did, severed itself from the roots of creative and bold thought, the only forces that could have prevented the liberal class from merging completely with the power elite. The liberal class, which at once was betrayed and betrayed itself, has no role left to play in the battle between us and corporate dominance. All hope lies now with those in the street."

Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges on the Occupy movement -interviewed by Charlie Rose.

Bill Moyers: "I think we thought that we could negotiate, and civilize the corporate power. . . We thought that they would respond responsibly to the pleas for equality, justice, or at least fairness. We thought we could . . . you know, Johnson's great quote from the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible: 'Come now, and let us reason together'. And I think liberals thought that you could regulate these predatory powers so that they would foam less at the mouth, consume less at the meal, and sleep a little easier at night. But they're restless; you know, money is restless for more. And we have discovered, too late, that they refuse to be reasoned with."
(TruthDig interview with Bill Moyers, "We're Almost Out of Time")

Grace Jones: Corporate Cannibal

And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then no person will be subject to another's will
And then all will be rich and free and varied
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
And then all will share equally in the Earth's abundance
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old
And then all will nourish the young
And then all will cherish life's creatures
And then all will live in harmony with one another and the Earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

Poem by Judy Chicago, spoken as part of the Invocation By Rabbi Arnold Rachlis University Synagogue
in Irvine CA, on March 18, 2009, for President Obama's Town Hall meeting in Orange County.

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