First Thoughts

Epiphanies, outbursts & warnings

| September / October 2005

'WHEN A POLITICIAN tells you 'there is no alternative,' you know something bad is about to happen. . . . It is never, ever true. There is always an alternative, only you may not like it, and denying this suggests that your own views have hardened into dogmas, at which point it's much easier to override qualms and close down coal mines or bomb Iraqis.'
VISHVAPANI, Buddhist author/editor, Dharma Life (Winter/Spring 2005)

'THE DEMANDS -- heard from pole to pole, for freedom, justice, security, equality, education, a safe environment, and a better life for the world's children -- are all grounded in, and reach downward to, this elemental human need: silence, solitude, and the right to rule one's own thoughts: the sanity of the inner life.'
NOEL PEATTIE, poet/librarian, Inner Life (Regent Press)

'YOU COULD BE listening to John Lee Hooker or you could be listening to Berber musicians in the Sahara -- the forms mingle. You could send the Malians and the Moroccans and the guys from Mississippi on a vacation together and they'd all recognize what they were doing as the same thing.'
ROBERT PLANT, musician, Songlines (May/June 2005)

'NEWS ITEMS OF global importance such as the rapid shrinking of the polar ice terrain or developments in the supply of oil are apt to be buried in obscure paragraphs on inner pages whilst the front page banner headlines are devoted to the personal foibles of some prominent person who happens to be prominent because he or she is prominent.'
JOHN PAPWORTH, Anglican minister/political analyst, Fourth World Review #132

'I LIKE CONSERVATIVES. They're opposed to all questionable adventures abroad and for fiscal prudence and responsibility. It's right-wing nuts I can't stand.'
MOLLY IVINS, columnist, Funny Times (June 2005)

'TO HELP IS to think that we have actually learned about someone's story of pain by merely gazing. To be responsible is to realize how little we know.'
MEGHANA V. NAYAK, political science professor, ColorLines (Summer 2005)

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