Beautiful Sentences: Gerda Weissmann Klein

Why? Why did we walk like meek sheep to the slaughterhouse? Why did we not fight back? What had we to lose? Nothing but our lives. Why did we not un away and hide? We might have had a chance to survive. Why did we walk deliberately and obediently into their clutches?

I know why. Because we had faith in humanity. Because we did not really think that human beings were capable of committing such crimes.

Gerda Weissmann Klein, All But My Life: A Memoir.


Beautiful Sentences: Tadeusz Borowski

“Save us. We are going to the gas chambers! Save us.”

And they rode slowly past us—the ten thousand silent men—and then disappeared from sight. Not one of us made a move, not one of us lifted a hand.

Tadeusz Borowski, “Auschwitz, Our Home (A Letter)”


Beautiful Sentences: Martha Gellhorn

You never even stopped to notice the dead; they weren’t men any more They lay along the roads, in the fields, in the streets of villages, under the trees, like old dirty laundry sacks, nothing, just dead. You never knew how much of nothing dying was until you saw the shapeless, nameless, meaningless dead.

Martha Gellhorn, Point of No Return.


Beautiful Sentences: Marguerite Duras

In group photographs of the Central Committee of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow, the murderer-members look to me as if they’re lonely in the same way as Rabier—the solitude of cholera victims, or worse, with moth-eaten souls, each loneliness its own disguise, its teeth chattering for fear of its neighbor, for fear of tomorrow’s execution.

Marguerite Duras, The War.


Beautiful Sentences: Mario Vargas Llosa

El pelo que le faltaba en la cabeza le sobresalía de las orejas, cuyas matas de vellos negrísimos irrumpían, agresivas, como grotesca compensación a la calvicie del Constitutucionalista Beodo.

Mario Vargas Llosa, La Fiesta del Chivo.


Beautiful Sentences: Renata Adler

It would not have been a crime, of course. But it would have taken us over that edge of irreversible violence where, whether in a pattern of years or in the flicker of an oversight, crime begins.

Renata Adler, Speedboat.


Beautiful Sentences: Aldous Huxley

Man can’t live by bread alone, because they need to feel their life has a point. That’s why they take to idealism. But it’s a matter of experience and observation that most idealism leads to war, persecution and mass insanity.

Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan.


Your vote for the Greens is a vote for Trump

With yesterday’s results fromEnd of the world by alexiuss dajaesc Ohio’s special election, it’s clear that some people haven’t learned the lessons of the 2016 and 2000 elections. If you voted for some third-party candidate, “some people” is you.

Political science has few hard laws, but there if you were to ask a political scientist what the strongest result of political science is, they would almost certainly point you at Duverger’s Law. This states that in elections where there is a single winner in an election and a plurality is sufficient to win, you tend to get a two-party system. In short, your vote for someone who isn’t the Democratic candidate is a vote for the Republicans who have made it clear that they will not stand up to Trump.

But what about Sandra Ocasio-Cortez you ask. She has a D after her name, I answer. In a primary, go ahead and vote for the ideologically pure candidate who’s willing to go out on a limb for Medicare for All and a $15 minimum wage. I’m with you on that. But come the general election, if your candidate didn’t win, you must vote for the Democrat. Anything else is a vote to continue the policies of Trump. You might as well be casting your vote for the KKK.

But what about Bernie Sanders you ask. Yes, he’s an independent in the senate, but when he ran for president, he knew that he had no chance of winning without that D after his name. His first campaign for congress led to a Republican winning the election with 41% of the vote. He won the next time around because there was no Democrat on the ballot. He didn’t caucus with the Democrats during his tenure in the house and learned that this was a guarantee for existing in the wilderness. When he ran for senate, he effectively ran as a Democrat and pledged to caucus with the Democrats. Had he run as a Democrat from the beginning, he would have had a greater influence as a politician, if only because he would have had two more years’ tenure in the house. It was only when he was effectively the Democratic candidate that he actually won elections and didn’t just hand the seat to the Republicans.

 The general election is in three months. The Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives or, for roughly two-thirds of those reading, the Senate, might not be ideal. You may not be excited about him or her. But it’s essential to vote for the Democrat (likewise for any down-ballot races, especially your state legislature and governor since they will likely be in office when the all-important district boundaries are set after the 2020 census). You might think that Hillary Clinton was a neo-liberal corporate sell-out, but I can guarantee you that under a President Clinton, we would never have seen this:


Print that picture out and put it in your wallet, tape it to the ceiling over your bed, tattoo it on your forehead. Elections have consequences and this is what all those people who voted for a third-party candidate in 2016 should have on their consciences. You didn’t get Medicare for All with your vote. You got Obamacare crippled. You didn’t get a $15 minimum wage. You got tax cuts for the wealthy and tax increases on the middle class and plans to cut benefits to pay for all the cash going to the 1%. And you got children separated from their parents, locked in cages and no plan to ever reunite them. If you voted for Jill Stein or wrote in Bernie, this is all on you. November is your chance to make things right.

Beautiful Sentences: Salman Rushdie

At the beginning of love there is a private treaty each of the lovers makes with himself or herself, an agreement to set aside what is wrong with the other for the sake of what is right, Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life’s wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold. When that warmth is born in the heart the imperfections of the beloved are as nothing, less than nothing, and the secret treaty with oneself is easy to sign. The voice of doubt is stilled. Later, when love fades, the secret treaty looks like folly, but if so, it’s a necessary folly, born of lovers’ belief in beauty, which is to say, in the possibility of the impossible thing, true love.

Salman Rushdie, Two Years, Eight Months, Twenty-Eight Days.


Beautiful Sentences: Katherine Anne Porter

The sailors were out again washing down the decks, which rolled gently as the Vera set out resolutely for the Canaries with only a head or two looking out of her portholes to watch the eternal love affair between the moon and the sea.

Katherine Anne Porter, Ship of Fools.