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As our wise and far-sighted administration prepares for war against Iran and tries to bring the nation (that’s us) to support its folly, I think it would be good to recall a few words from the much elder statesman: Mark Twain.
“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.”
“We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.”
“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
“Our country, right or wrong...” Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?”
“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”
“By and by when each nation has 20,000 battleships and 5,000,000 soldiers we shall all be safe and the wisdom of statesmanship will stand confirmed.”
“The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it.”
“God puts something good and lovable in every man His hands create.”
For those of you who share my concerns for the future of our children and grandchildren, this country and our world, please consider this final quote of Samuel Clemens: “No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law, and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.”
Are we failing our responsibilities?