Is Consciousness an Illusion?
15 hours ago
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." - Voltaire
"As soon as she's told them whatever it is they think she's holding out on, she'll be back with you ... She'll tell them soon. You've approved the [interrogation] methods at Finsbury yourself."
Carmichael wanted to say that he hadn't approved them for Elvira, for an innocent girl, but the words wouldn't come out of his mouth. He had approved them, and if he had approved them he had approved them for her, for anyone, for everyone.
"This isn't about good guys and bad guys," Anna said. "Yes, we've picked sides now, because some of the actions they are about to take will have serious consequences for us, and we're going to try to stop them. But what you're doing is demonizing them, making them the enemy. The problem with that is that is that once we've stopped them and they can't hurt us anymore, they're still demons. Still the enemy."
"Believe me," Tilly said, "when I get out of here, it will be my mission in life to burn Cortez to the ground for this."
"What do you mean, why?"
"He won't be on a ship trying to destroy the Ring anymore. He won't be supporting Ashford anymore. All of the circumstances that made him your enemy will be gone. What's the value in the clinging to the hate?"
The reason why Brian Williams got into deep trouble for lying about his war experience while Bill O'Reilly hasn't is that Williams and O'Reilly have different jobs, for different employers. Brian Williams was paid to sit in front of a TV camera and give viewers an ostensibly neutral, agreeable account of current events. When people began disagreeing with Brian Williams about his presentation of facts, loudly and in public, it hurt his ability to perform those duties for NBC.
Bill O'Reilly is paid to go on television for Fox News and say things that get the viewers upset, even if those things are false or nonsensical. So what if his experience in the Falklands war was bogus? So is his experience in the War on Christmas. The fact that people are calling him dishonest simply proves, from Fox's point of view, that he's doing his job.
Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.
Mr. Obama has said multiple times that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.
"Anytime there's even a hint of the government limiting the public's ability to buy guns, people go crazy about them taking away our freedom, but this new law that gives the government the right to spy into every aspect of your life, without your consent - barely a peep. A clear violation of the third and fourth amendments, but nobody says a word." He took a deep breath.
"You know what freedom really is?" demanded Rory. "Freedom is civil liberty, and the foundation of civil liberty is privacy. No privacy means no civil liberty means no freedom. You know why they don't just fingerprint everyone?"
"Seems like a good idea to me," laughed Chuck.
"Because once they have your fingerprints," continued Rory, ignoring Chuck, "you instantly become a subject in every crime. They'll run your fingerprints against everything they find at a crime. You go from being a free citizen to being a criminal suspect."
"And fingerprints are just one way of identifying you," added Damon. "Location, your face on a camera, things you buy - all your personal information creates a digital fingerprint."
By then [L. Ron] Hubbard was nearly seventy years old and bad lived so long in a world of phantasmagoria that he was unable to distinguish between fact and his own fantastic fiction. He believed he was the teenage explorer, swashbuckling hero, sage and philosopher his biographies said he was. It was perhaps too late for him to comprehend that his life, in reality, far outstripped the fabricated version. He made the leap from penniless science-fiction writer to millionaire guru and prophet in a single, effortless bound; he led a private navy across the oceans of the world for nearly a decade; he came close to taking over control of several countries; he was worshipped by thousands of his followers around the world and was detested and feared by most governments.
I used to be a war reporter. From Algeria, Bosnia and Chechnya to Zimbabwe I have been shelled, shot at, bombed, arrested, threatened and a Serb devotee of Slobodan Milosevic once stuck two sticks of dynamite up my nose. But never, ever, in all my times in all those wars have I felt under such harrowing psychological pressure as I did inside the brainwashing section of the Church of Scientology's exhibition, 'Psychiatry: The Industry of Death' on Sunset Boulevard in LA in the spring of 2007.I previously wrote about the incident Sweeney is referencing, here.