Friday, December 15, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Bill Moyers


American journalist, broadcaster, and a former White House Press Secretary.
Bill Moyers
For the life of me I cannot fathom why we expect so much from teachers and provide them so little in return. In 1940, the average pay of a male teacher was actually 3.6 percent more than what other college-educated men earned. Today it is 60 percent lower. Women teachers now earn 16 percent less than other college-educated women. This bewilders me. [...] There was no Plato without Socrates, and no John Coltrane without Miles Davis.
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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.
Moyers
This 'zeal for secrecy' I am talking about – and I have barely touched the surface – adds up to a victory for the terrorists. When they plunged those hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago this morning, they were out to hijack our Gross National Psychology. If they could fill our psyche with fear – as if the imagination of each one of us were Afghanistan and they were the Taliban – they could deprive us of the trust and confidence required for a free society to work. They could prevent us from ever again believing in a safe, decent or just world and from working to bring it about. By pillaging and plundering our peace of mind they could panic us into abandoning those unique freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of the press – that constitute the ability of democracy to self-correct and turn the ship of state before it hits the iceberg.




Moyers Bill quotes
Standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.
Moyers Bill
News is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.
Bill Moyers quotes
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. Yes, Virginia, there is a class war and ordinary people are losing it.
Bill Moyers
As every volunteer testifies, the Peace Corps is more than a program or mission. It is a way of being in the world. This is a conservative notion because it holds dear the ground of one's own being—the culture and customs that gave meaning to a particular life. But it is a liberal notion for respecting the ground revered by others. This double helix in America's DNA may yet be the source of a new political and patriotism that could save us from toxic self-absorption.
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Journalists who make mistakes get sued for libel; historians who make mistakes get to publish a revised edition.
Moyers
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.
Moyers Bill
Like those populists of that earlier era, millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable. Then, the remedy was a popular insurgency that ignited the spark of democracy. Now we have come to another parting of the ways, and once again the fate and character of our country are up for grabs. [...] Democracy only works when we claim it as our own.
Bill Moyers
[Martin Luther] King subpoened the nation's conscience. He was killed for it.




Bill Moyers quotes
On the eve of the election last month my wife Judith and I were driving home late in the afternoon and turned on the radio for the traffic and weather. What we instantly got was a freak show of political pornography: lies, distortions, and half-truths — half-truths being perhaps the blackest of all lies. They paraded before us as informed opinion.
Bill Moyers
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. Civilization is an unnatural act. We have to make it happen, you and I, together with all the other strangers.
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In tracking down and eliminating terrorists, we need to change our metaphor from a "war on terror"—exactly what, pray tell, is that?—to the mind-set of Interpol tracking down master criminals through intense global cooperation among nations, or the FBI stalking the Mafia, or local police determined to quell street gangs without leveling the entire neighborhood in the process.
Moyers Bill
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.
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No wonder scoundrels find refuge in patriotism; it offers them immunity from criticism.
Bill Moyers
In uniform patriotism can salute one flag only, embrace but the first circle of life—one's own land and tribe. In war that is necessary, in peace it is not enough.
Bill Moyers quotes
In those days, affirmative action was for whites only. I might still be working for the grocery store in the small Texas town where I grew up were it not for affirmative action for Southern white boys.
Bill Moyers
Here is the crisis of the times as I see it: We talk about problems, issues, policies, but we don't talk about what democracy means—what it bestows on us—the revolutionary idea that it isn't just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency.
Moyers Bill
Reagan's story of freedom superficially alludes to the Founding Fathers, but its substance comes from the Gilded Age, devised by apologists for the robber barons. It is posed abstractly as the freedom of the individual from government control—a Jeffersonian ideal at the roots of our Bill of Rights, to be sure. But what it meant in politics a century later, and still means today, is the freedom to accumulate wealth without social or democratic responsibilities and license to buy the political system right out from everyone else.


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