"I think what is so utterly depressing is that none of the ambiguities that exist in the Ferguson case exist in the Staten Island case. And yet the outcome is exactly the same: no crime, no trial, all harm, no foul...
The coroner called it a homicide. The guy is not acting threatening, and we know that not through witness testimony from unreliable bystanders but because we are fucking watching it. Someone taped it."
"Everybody who’s involved with this debate has been struggling over me, my personality and how to describe me. But this isn't the question that we should be struggling with. Who I am really doesn't matter at all. If I'm the worst person in the world, you can hate me and move on. What really matters here are the issues. What really matters here is the kind of government we want, the kind of Internet we want, the relationship between people and societies. and that's what I'm hoping the debate will move towards."
"Through this and other experiences I began to discern one of the elements of an education: get as near to the supposed masters and commanders as you can and see what stuff they are really made of. As I watched famous scholars and professors flounder here and there, I also, in my career as a speaker at the Oxford Union, had a chance to meet senior ministers and parliamentarians “up close” and dine with them before as well as drink with them afterward, and be amazed once again at how ignorant and sometimes plain stupid were the people who claimed to run the country. This was an essential stage of my formation and one for which I am hugely grateful."
"In the months after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney repeatedly invoked the principle that if there’s even a 1 percent chance of a terrorist attack, we must prepare as if it were a certainty.
Can a rational human being who doesn't believe in climate change at least agree there is a remote possibility that 95 percent of climate scientists are right? Maybe a 1 percent chance?"
"Here we are a year after 20 elementary school children were literally blown to pieces in their classrooms. And the president stood there a few days later and said, 'I will take action.' And here we are a year later and absolutely nothing has been done. Nothing. No background checks brought in, no ban on assault weapons, no ban on high capacity magazines. Nobody in Washington has done anything to try and prevent this from happening again."
"The U.S. does not have a policy of striking nations that use weapons of mass destruction automatically. If we had such a policy, one would wonder where the policy has been before now. Because the reality of the policy is, if a nation use weapons of mass destruction, we write that down and we put it in a folder. And if we need to go after that nation for some other reason in the future, we'll pull out that little folder and say, ' Well look at the list of abuses that this regime has been involved in.'
I mean, one of the things we used as a justification to go after Saddam Hussein was his use of chemical weapons, especially against his own people. We just didn't bring up that he had done that a decade before. And, oh yeah, with our passive agreement to that."
"In politics as in religion, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy."
"Let's recall that getting esteemed individuals and thinkers together to discuss ideas towards reform is how we got a Constitution written once upon a time. It's got a long and respected tradition and has been effective in the past. The key aspect to my effort is not to get the defenders of the status quo together (the George Wills or Thomas Friedmans or David Brooks types) but those who have already demonstrated that they understand that the status quo is a one-way trip off a historical cliff. There are a decent number of those non-status quo esteemed thinkers around, and if I could aid their efforts by bringing them together, I would sleep better at night thinking I had done something helpful and positive rather than just bitched about problems we all already realize are out there."
"For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor - other people's lives."