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Quotes of the day: Bill Moyers

Published Thursday, June 05, 2014 @ 12:44 AM EDT
Jun 05 2014

Bill D. Moyers (born June 5, 1934) is an American journalist and public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years. Moyers has been extensively involved with public broadcasting, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees for his investigative journalism and civic activities. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media (particularly modern, corporately structured news media). Moyers is a member of the Bilderberg Group and since 1990 has been president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All my life I've prayed the Lord's Prayer, but I've never prayed, 'Give me this day my daily bread.' It is always, 'Give us this day our daily bread.' Bread and life are shared realities. They do not happen in isolation.

Bullies- political bullies, economic bullies, and religious bullies- cannot be appeased; they have to be opposed with courage, clarity, and conviction. This is never easy. These true believers don't fight fair. Robert's Rules of Order is not one of their holy texts.

Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.

Civilization is an unnatural act. We have to make it happen, you and I, together with all the other strangers.

Civilization is but a thin veneer stretched across the passions of the human heart.

Conservatism is less a set of ideas than it is a pathological distemper, a militant anger over the fact that the universe is not closed and life is not static.

Conservatives- or better, pro-corporate apologists- hijacked the vocabulary of Jeffersonian liberalism and turned words like 'progress,' 'opportunity,' and 'individualism' into tools for making the plunder of America sound like divine right.

Democracy may not prove in the long run to be as efficient as other forms of government, but it has one saving grace: it allows us to know and say that it isn't.

I've always thought there's no limit to what you can do in this world if you don't want to get rich or gain credit.

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism.

Jesus would not be crucified today. The prophets would not be stoned. Socrates would not drink the hemlock. They would instead be banned from the Sunday talk shows and op-ed pages by the sentries of establishment thinking who guard against dissent with the one weapon of mass destruction most cleverly designed to obliterate democracy: the rubber stamp.

Journalists who make mistakes get sued for libel; historians who make mistakes get to publish a revised edition.

News is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.

No wonder scoundrels find refuge in patriotism; it offers them immunity from criticism.

Our media and political system has turned into a mutual protection racket

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.

People who don't believe in government are likely to defile government.

Standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.

Terms like 'liberty' and 'individual freedom' invoked by generations of Americans who battled to widen the 1787 promise to 'promote the general welfare' have been perverted to create a government primarily dedicated to the state and the political class that runs it.

The conventional rules of Beltway journalism... divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.

The most fundamental liberal failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibility.

The property qualifications for federal office that the framers of the Constitution expressly chose to exclude for demonstrating an unseemly 'veneration of wealth' are now de facto in force and higher than the Founding Fathers could have imagined.

There are people who can endure personal tragedies and private griefs exacted by the nation only if they feel the nation itself is worthy.


(Today is also the birthday of John Maynard Keynes.)

Categories: Bill Moyers, Quotes of the day


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