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Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson, suffragette, radio broadcaster, and war correspondent, was the first American journalist to be expelled from Germany for questioning Hitler. I recently ran across a couple of quotes by her that I really like. Both seem rather apt, the first one due to the current state of journalism with its non-substantive coverage of news and its mindless rush towards infotainment, the second due to the insistence of a certain political party to poke their noses into people's sex lives and bedrooms.

No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say "Heil" to him, nor will they call him "Fuhrer" or "Duce." But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of "O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!"

-- 1935, quoted in Watchdogs of Democracy? : The Waning Washington Press Corps and How it Has Failed the Public (2006) by Helen Thomas, p. 172

I know now that there are things for which I am prepared to die. I am willing to die for political freedom; for the right to give my loyalty to ideals above a nation and above a class; for the right to teach my child what I think to be the truth; for the right to explore such knowledge as my brains can penetrate; for the right to love where my mind and heart admire, without reference to some dictator’s code to tell me what the national canons on the matter are; for the right to work with others of like mind; for a society that seems to me becoming to the dignity of the human race. I shall pick no fight, nor seek to impose by force these standards on others. But let it be clear. If the fight comes unsolicited, I am not willing to die meekly, to surrender without effort. And that being so, am I still a pacifist?

-- 1937, "Dilemma of a Pacifist"

On a lighter (I guess) note, apparently the most frequent UK Google search AFTER the Brexit vote was, "What is the EU?" Probably should have done that googling BEFORE voting, guys.


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Jun. 26th, 2016 12:28 am (UTC)
What I don't understand is, how can a country leave such an important issue to the vote of an ignorant populace? I doubt that even a teensy minority of the people voting knew anything about the issue. They just heard sound bites that frightened a/o angered them, and without researching any further, went bleating to the polls.
Jun. 26th, 2016 10:48 pm (UTC)
It is interesting. Direct democracy isn't always all it's cracked up to be.
Jun. 27th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
I find it strange that a simple majority, and not even 55% at that, would allow such a thing to pass. Why wouldn't you require a supermajority?
Jun. 26th, 2016 01:06 am (UTC)
Probably should have done that googling BEFORE voting, guys.

Sometimes, sucks big old donkey balls, the democratic process does. *rolls eyes* I read something promising about Scotland and Northern Ireland perhaps having veto power over the Leave vote; I hope Charles Stross is right. If you've not read it, his condemnation of the election result was quite scathing.

P.S. Excellent quotations. :D
Jun. 26th, 2016 01:07 am (UTC)
Apparently, the link to the condemnation is broken. Here you go:

Jun. 26th, 2016 10:52 pm (UTC)
Great piece, thanks! "Most likely England will end up losing the house, the CD collection, and the cat and having to sleep in the car." Heh. Not to mention the right to claim Americans are dumber.

Of course, come November, they may get that right back :P
Jun. 26th, 2016 11:53 am (UTC)
Frankly, the parallels between he-who-gags-maggots and Hitler have scared me from the start. Not to mention some of the ridiculous stuff people around here believe.

Jun. 26th, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but at least we'll get a beautiful wall out of the deal ;) I'm getting a big kick out of the fact that nobody wants to sponsor or even attend the GOP Convention, nobody will work for him as a staffer, and nobody wants to be his VP. He's toxic and they all know it.
Jun. 26th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
Journalism should never be censored-the job is to bring the truth to the masses. Not the exact thing but a Canadian MMA writer named Ariel Helwani who I've followed for a long time was recently banned by the UFC for speaking his mind and reporting a big news piece of the return of Brock Lesnar before the company could announce it. Instead of riding the hype from fans hearing that news and awaiting the announcement they banned him and his colleagues mid UFC PPV. Thankfully 48 hours later, fellow media members and the masses pressured the UFC to drop the ban and it has, despite FOX SPORTS who hold their TV rights having fired him prior to the ban for speaking out about the company in a journalistic fashion and reporting about news about other competing companies like Bellator. One of the best podcasts on the story is at http://fightnetwork.com/news/6560774:the-mma-report-3-days-19-hours-and-2-minutes-in-mma/

As for not knowing what the EU is, just wait to November when Americans need to Google things after voting for whatever controversial choice they pick. Take care!
Jun. 26th, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, Faux News. My favorite non-news source.

As for not knowing what the EU is, just wait to November when Americans need to Google things after voting for whatever controversial choice they pick

If Trump wins I predict the top U.S. google searches will be "how to move to canada" and "when bad things happen to good countries". The rest of the world will be searching on "why are americans so stupid" :P
Jul. 10th, 2016 07:44 pm (UTC)
I flew to London two days after the Brexit vote, and the overall atmosphere was one of shocked dismay. Then everyone who is in any kind of position of responsibility just said, "Screw it," and quit. It was amazing to watch.

...A plus, sort of, was that no one asked me to explain Trump.
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