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Monday, January 17th, 2005

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Einstein Speaks
"It is horrifying to realize that the poison of militarism and imperialism threatens to bring undesirable changes in the political attitude of the United States….What we see at work is not an expression of the sentiments of the American people; rather, it reflects the will of a powerful minority which uses its economic power to control the organs of political life." - Einstein on Peace, p. 343

"I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime." (Albert Einstein Quotes)

"Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population."

"Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."

"The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
There is something about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy that I find unbelievably powerful. I have been brought to flooding tears time and again watching documentaries about him and sometimes even just by looking at a picture of him giving a speech. I know that, though I always admired him and what he did, in my younger days I didn't really fully comprehend the power of what he did. But in the last few years that has changed. Here was a man that stood in the most dangerous situations, risking his life on a daily basis, to tell the truth about the injustice perpetrated on his people. Here was a man who had the vision to go beyond divisions by race, creed, socioeconomics or gender, and come to embrace all of humanity. Here was a man with the courage to stand in the midst of violent hatred and preach love. And here is a man who died doing it so that we in America could have a true symbol of the power of the human spirit. Of all the Americans who have national monuments and holidays attributed to them, perhaps none was as much a champion of the rights of all humans, and as much a representative of all of us, not just Americans. So I hope that today people will read something about his life and if possible, truly think for a few minutes about what this man did. How many of us could stand in those situations he did and have the faith and bravery to speak the truth, come what may, just because somebody had to do it?

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