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    Having run on the idea of broad participation across society’s divisions, Mr. Obama’s campaign often seems to teeter on becoming a cult of personality – a feeling that the candidate and those around him do nothing to dispel. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” on Monday, Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle, was asked if she would work to support Mrs. Clinton if she won. “I’d have to think about that,” she replied.

    Mrs. Obama quickly got back on her talking points, stressing party unity. But her unguarded answer was similar to what we heard from Obama supporters in e-mail messages that we received after endorsing Mrs. Clinton. Many of those readers said they would not bother to vote if Mr. Obama lost the nomination. That is not the way democracy is supposed to work.

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    Lewis’s book is part of that revision. The Muslims came to Europe, he writes, as “the forward wave of civilization that was, by comparison with that of its enemies, an organic marvel of coordinated kingdoms, cultures, and technologies in service of a politico-cultural agenda incomparably superior” to that of the primitive people they encountered there. They did Europe a favor by invading. This is not a new idea, but Lewis takes it further: he clearly regrets that the Arabs did not go on to conquer the rest of Europe. The halting of their advance was instrumental, he writes, in creating “an economically retarded, balkanized, and fratricidal Europe that . . . made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, persecutory religious intolerance, cultural particularism, and perpetual war.” It was “one of the most significant losses in world history and certainly the most consequential since the fall of the Roman Empire.” This is a bold hypothesis.

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    The whole debate about the Iranian “interference” in Iraq makes sense only on one assumption, namely, that “we own the world.” If we own the world, then the only question that can arise is that someone else is interfering in a country we have invaded and occupied.

    We Own The World – Noam Chomsky

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    “When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease … But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight. ”

    John Maynard Keynes

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    Jan Marijnissen:

    Wie zijn je helden?
    “Ik vind het goedkoop om te koketteren met de verdiensten van een ander. Wij kunnen niet eens in de schaduw staan van mensen als Gandhi of Mandela. Ik stel me maar bescheiden op. Het heeft ook iets puberaals om te zeggen: Dit zijn mijn helden. Als volwassen man moet je proberen de held van je eigen leven te zijn. Gewoon zelf stinkend je best doen en natuurlijk van alles en iedereen leren wat je kan. Dus een helden-top-drie heb ik niet.”

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    “Al het goede komt uit de ingewanden”

    Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

    “Er was niets verkeerds of onbetamelijks in wat zij zeiden, het was geestig, en het had grappig kunnen zijn, maar het miste juist die kleinigheid die het zout der vrolijkheid is, en zij waren zich er zelfs niet van bewust dat iets dergelijks bestond.”

    Tolstoj, Oorlog en Vrede, Deel II, Hoofdstuk 18

    “Gij zint op verderf, uw tong is als een scherpgeslepen scheermes
    Gij, die bedrog pleegt.
    Gij hebt het kwade lief boven het goede, leugen boven waarheid spreken.
    Gij houdt van allerlei verderfelijke taal, van een bedrieglijke tong.”

    Psalm 52:4-6