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"If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal"

Final sentences of speech by President John F. Kennedy at American University in June, 1963. -- rebroadcast throughout the Soviet Union by Premier Khrushshev.


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Theresa

"A nation that continues, year after year, to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1960s

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, 1961

"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet."
Al Gore , 2008

"The aggregate aid budget of the most developed nations amounts to 0.28% of their gross national income, woefully below the target of 0.7% agreed to by world leaders in 2002.
Only Sweden, Luxembourg, and Denmark meet the target. Canada's overseas aid amounts to 0.28 % of its income. Japan's is 0.17%. The United States, shamefully, is at the bottom of the list, spending 0.16% of its income on development assistance."
New York Times editorial, 9/24,2008

"All the peoples of Europe and the world will have to go through this agony so that life may arise from death, and pagan nationality may be succeeded by Christian brotherhood-----Dark ferocious times are approaching, we can hear them rumble.The future has a strong smell of leather, blood, impiety, and the sound of flesh on flesh. I advise our grandchildren to come into the world with very thick skin."
Heinrich Heine, German poet, two generations before the outbreak of World War I.


 "As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him.  This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations." Charles Darwin in "The Descent of Man", 1871.

 "For states in their relation to each other, there cannot be any reasonable way out of the lawless condition which entails only war except that they. like individual men, should give up their savage (lawless) freedom, adjust themselves to the constraints of public law, and thus establish a continuously growing state consisting of various nations (civitas gentium) which will ultimately include all the nations of the world."
Immanuel Kant, 18th century, Enlightenment philosopher in "Perpetual Peace".

Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.

-- Oscar Romero, former archbishop of El Salvador


I'm glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I'm relieved that we didn't default on our debt.
But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.
Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.
According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.
$24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?
The Republicans keep saying, "Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets." They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.
So I'm relieved, but I'm also pretty angry.
We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.
It's time for the hostage taking to end. It's time for every one of us to say, "No more."
Thank you,

----- Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts