Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

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The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

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  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Thursday, May 27, 2004

    Excerpts from Gore's speach on the Politics of Fear

    By Nick

    I know many of y'all are not fond of Al, however you cannot deny his intelligence. Below, I've provided some excerpts that may help everyone understand the divide in America right now.
    Read the Full speech here:

    "Somewhere along the line, the Republican Party became merely the name plate for the radical right in this country.

    The radical right is, in fact,a coalition of those who fear other Americans:
    as agents of treason;
    as agents of confiscatory government;
    as agents of immorality.

    This fear gives the modern Republican Party its well-noted cohesiveness and its equally well-noted practice of jugular politics.
    Even in power, the modern Republican Party feels itself to be surrounded by hostility: beginning with government itself, which they present as an enemy; extending to those in the opposition party; and ultimately, on to that portion of the country whose views and hopes are represented by it - that is to say, to virtually, half the nation. "

    "As with individuals, nations succeed or fail - and define their essential character - by the way they challenge the unknown and cope with fear.

    And much depends upon the quality of their leadership.

    If their leaders exploit their fears and use them to herd people in directions they might not otherwise choose, then fear itself can quickly become a self- perpetuating and free-wheeling force that drains national will and weakens national character, diverting attention from real threats deserving of healthy and appropriate concern, and sowing confusion about the essential choices that every nation must constantly make about its future.

    Leadership means inspiring us to manage through our fears.

    Demagoguery means exploiting our fears for political gain."

    "50 years ago, when the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union was raising tensions in the world and McCarthyism was threatening freedom at home, President Eisenhower said, "Any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America.

    But only 15 years later, when Ike's V-P, Richard Nixon, finally became President, it marked the beginning of a big change in America's politics.

    Nixon embodied the spirit of "suppression and suspicion and fear" that Eisenhower denounced.

    Like Bush, Nixon understood the political uses and misuses of fear.

    After he was driven from office in disgrace, one of Nixon's confidants quoted Nixon as having told him this: People react to fear, not love. They don't teach that in Sunday School, but it's true.

    The night before that election, 33 years and 3 months ago, Senator Ed Muskie of Maine spoke on national television for the Democrats and said,

    There are only two kinds of politics. They are not radical and reactionary, or conservative and liberal. Or even Democrat and Republican. There are only the politics of fear and the politics of trust.

    One says: You are encircled by monstrous dangers. Give us power over your freedom so we may protect you.

    The other says: The world is a baffling and hazardous place, but it can be shaped to the will of men. ...(C)ast your vote for trust ...in the ancient traditions of this home for freedom."

    posted by Nick at 5/27/2004 08:19:00 PM |

    Finally, a major Dem says something Democrats and liberals should have been saying for a long time.

    Nonetheless, I think he misses the point (I find it hard to praise anyone, esp. pols, w/o finding something to criticize).

    Why have radical conservatives been able to so ruthlessly exploit the fears Americans? Many complex reasons, but I think the biggest one is the deep sense of alienation that a hyper-capitalist economy instills in people. It is not an economy made for people, but an economy made for production systems,in this way it is very similar to Soviet-style Communism.

    Unfortunately, not even Ralph Nader offers up the sort of wide-ranging system critique that is needed to understand why the ordinary American feels so powerless.
    Sorry I just had to make a crack aboud something: I bet more people would have responded to this post had I hid Al Gore's name, and called him some obscure professor.
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