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Again and again in my public career I have confronted circumstances where I was told there was nothing I could do about a given condition: a city electric system sold to a giant private utility under indecent conditions. "Nothing you can do," said my top advisors. I saw something else, organized a civic movement and a three year struggle resulted in regaining for the people of my community a light system which recently observed its 100th annivers...
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Dennis Kucinich Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10), Progressive Democrat, was the oldest of seven children and was born in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio to Frank and Virginia Kucinich. The family lived in 21 places, including a couple of cars, by the time he was 17 years-old.

He was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1977 on the promise to save the city’s municipally-owned electric system which offered customers significantly lower rates than the private utility. A year later, Cleveland’s banks demanded that he sell the city’s 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to the city.

The attempted political blackmail failed as did several assassination attempts.

The principled stand destroyed his political career. He lost his reelection bid. He was demonized as the mayor who threw Cleveland into default. Fifteen years later, the citizens of Cleveland - recognizing he had saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal power bills and also forced the private utility to keep bills low to compete – voted him into the Ohio Senate. His campaign signs featured a light bulb and the expression “Because he was right.” In 1998 the Cleveland City Council honored Dennis for “..having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city’s municipal electric system.”

In 1996, Dennis unseated a two-term Republican incumbent. He has followed that narrow victory by winning 60 to 70% of the votes in the following elections. Much of those vote totals were achieved because of outstanding constituent services and his successful efforts to save a local steel mill, two neighborhood hospitals and 10th District cities a dramatic - and disruptive - increase in train traffic.

At the same time his reputation as a progressive leader in the Congress grew. He was voted the chair of the Progressive Caucus because of his passionate commitment to peace, human rights, workers rights, economic justice and the environment.

In 2002 the second great challenge of his elected career occurred. After analyzing the “evidence” presented by the Administration in its rush to folly in Iraq and actually reading the National Intelligence Estimate, he stepped forward to help lead 125 Democrats in voting against the blank check for the President to wage an illegal, immoral and ineffective war.

Speaking from the floor of the House some 140 times against the war and appearing on over 100 radio and talk shows was a risky political move. But it did not stop him. The neo-cons and their complicit friends in media engaged in a frenzy of caustic name calling. In Feb. of 2003 when Dennis explained on “Meet the Press” that oil was a key causal factor for the war and that our troops would be trapped in a costly door-to-door war, administration zealot Richard Perle insisted Dennis’ comments were “scurrilous” and “an out-and-out lie.” Richard Cohen of the Washington Post chimed in to agree with Perle calling a Congressman who saw no evidence of WMDs and did see oil as a cause for war a “fool.” Other “mainstream” opinion commentators called him a “clown” and worse for not seeing the clear evidence of WMDs.

For his tireless and courageous efforts he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 2003.

In 2006 when Israel and Hezbollah were facing off, Dennis again stepped forward for peace. As the Administration gave a green light to Israel and the Republican Congress sat silent – again – Dennis warned that the conflict and the ensuing deaths would make peace even more intractable. And now as the Israeli and Lebanese governments teeter from public criticism, his words ring true.

It was not the first nor, hopefully, will it be the last time Dennis Kucinich ignored political dangers to do the right thing. After all, it is his life story.

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Change happens from the bottom up, from the grassroots...
You don't just count on governments, on officials. You count on people.
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Barack Obama

He began his run for the presidency in February 2007. After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination, becoming the first major party African American candidate for president. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.

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We live in the midst of conjunctures so strange that the old are as inexperienced as the young. We are all novices, where all is new.

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Joseph Joubert

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Just to stir things up seemed a great reward in itself.

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Sallust

Gaius Sallustius Crispus, generally known simply as Sallust, (86-34 BC), a Roman historian, belonged to a well-known plebeian family, and was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines. Throughout his career Sallust always stood by his principle as a popularis, an opposer of Pompey's party and the old aristocracy of Rome.

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What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but 'who is sitting in' - and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.
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Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010) was an American historian and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988. He was the author of more than 20 books, including A People's History of the United States (1980). Zinn was active in the civil rights, civil liberties and anti-war movements in the United States, and wrote extensively on all three subjects.

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You are remembered for the rules you break.
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Douglas MacArthur

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Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive.
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Rainer Maria Rilke

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Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.
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Rainer Maria Rilke

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All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every second.

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Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817- May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time imploring one to abandon waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs.

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Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

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Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817- May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time imploring one to abandon waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs.

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The true felicity of life is to be free from perturbations; to understand our duties towards God and man; to enjoy the present without any serious dependence upon the future. Not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so, wants nothing. ... Tranquillity is a certain equality of mind, which no condition or fortune can either exalt or depress."

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Seneca

from Wikipedia: Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger) (c. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. He was later executed by that emperor for complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate this last of the Julio-Claudian emperors; however, he may have been innocent.[1][2]

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I believe that the aim of the avant-garde should be to re-discover-- not invent -- in their purest state, the permanent forms and forgotten ideals of the theatre. I make no claim to have succeeded in this. But others will succeed and show that all truth and reality is classical and eternal.

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Eugene Ionesco

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The world owes all of its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

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They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change.

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Paulo Freire from wikipedia
Paulo Freire contributed a philosophy of education that came not only from the more classical approaches stemming from Plato, but also from modern Marxist and anti-colonialist thinkers. In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may be best read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, which emphasized the need to provide native populations with an education which was simultaneously new and modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an extension of the culture of the colonizer).



Freire is best-known for his attack on what he called the "banking" concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. The basic critique was not new — Rousseau's conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the "banking concept"), and thinkers like John Dewey were strongly critical of the transmission of mere "facts" as the goal of education. Freire's work, however, updated the concept and placed it in context with current theories and practices of education, laying the foundation for what is now called critical pedagogy.



More challenging is Freire's strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy. This dichotomy is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, but Freire comes close to insisting that it should be completely abolished.

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...no reality transforms itself.

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Paulo Freire from wikipedia
Paulo Freire contributed a philosophy of education that came not only from the more classical approaches stemming from Plato, but also from modern Marxist and anti-colonialist thinkers. In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may be best read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, which emphasized the need to provide native populations with an education which was simultaneously new and modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an extension of the culture of the colonizer).



Freire is best-known for his attack on what he called the "banking" concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. The basic critique was not new — Rousseau's conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the "banking concept"), and thinkers like John Dewey were strongly critical of the transmission of mere "facts" as the goal of education. Freire's work, however, updated the concept and placed it in context with current theories and practices of education, laying the foundation for what is now called critical pedagogy.



More challenging is Freire's strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy. This dichotomy is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, but Freire comes close to insisting that it should be completely abolished.

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It is essential for the oppressed to realize that when they accept the struggle for humanization they also accept, from that moment, their total responsibility for the struggle.

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Paulo Freire from wikipedia
Paulo Freire contributed a philosophy of education that came not only from the more classical approaches stemming from Plato, but also from modern Marxist and anti-colonialist thinkers. In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may be best read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, which emphasized the need to provide native populations with an education which was simultaneously new and modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an extension of the culture of the colonizer).



Freire is best-known for his attack on what he called the "banking" concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. The basic critique was not new — Rousseau's conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the "banking concept"), and thinkers like John Dewey were strongly critical of the transmission of mere "facts" as the goal of education. Freire's work, however, updated the concept and placed it in context with current theories and practices of education, laying the foundation for what is now called critical pedagogy.



More challenging is Freire's strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy. This dichotomy is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, but Freire comes close to insisting that it should be completely abolished.

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All of a sudden, I realized I was on the verge of closing a door that was my only way into a more meaningful existence. And I would be doing it out of fear. If I didn't do this now, I would just get more and more comfortable in my inertia, and the false sense of security that surprisingly I wanted to cling to.

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Gioconda Belli

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All revolutions inevitably generate a counterrevolution.

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Tomas Borge

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Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming
a laurel, dares you to become the wind.

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Rainer Maria Rilke

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History is a long process, and if one can muster the patience to understand it, one can derive satisfaction from the small battles that drive it forward. A cause isn't hopeless just because its objectives aren't reached in one's lifetime.

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Gioconda Belli

 

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