Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

Eric M. Fink

Michael Lane

Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

  • David Weinberger
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  • Rebecca MacKinnon
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    Distinguished Colleagues

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  • Into the Blogosphere
  • 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.

    Sunday, May 30, 2004

    Jonathan Schell: Why we should politicize the war

    By Nick

    ZNet | Iraq | Politicizing the War

    Schell writes: "Many people (mostly Republicans) say (mostly to Democrats) that it's wrong to "politicize" the war in Iraq. But politicizing the war is exactly what should now occur. To be precise, those who oppose the war should politicize it as much as the Bush administration has already done. Politics is not just the activity of politicians; it is a democratic people's chief means of making basic decisions about its future."

    "The promise of "full sovereignty" is the next in this series (coming along just in time to refresh the litany). But in one way it's different. You had to wait some months for the previous mirages to dissipate, but this one is dead before arrival."

    Schell is correct in lamenting over what Sovereign Iraq will not be:

    "the new "sovereign" will not: possess authority over either American forces or its own; be able to pass legislation; control its own news media; make decisions about the economy of the country. Neither will it enjoy the authority of the "interim constitution" recently promised by Bush but now simply forgotten. Arguably, the new group will possess less authority even than the powerless existing "governing council."

    Schell points out that "The changes that will occur are all in the realm of appearances. But they are not, for that reason, insignificant, for as the White House well knows, it is appearances that may determine the November election. "

    To him the Administration is likely to wage a war with 4 fronts of illusions.
    1.One is the United Nations. Theoretically, its man Lakhdar Brahimi is choosing the country's next government. In actuality, he has become a key figure, however unintentionally, in George W. Bush's election effort. Now the United States and Britain have placed before the Security Council a draft resolution inviting the UN to give its blessing to the new order in Iraq. The UN is in danger of creating an aura of legitimacy and international control where none in fact exist. The draft permits the Security Council to "review" -- not "renew" -- the presence of the American and other foreign troops after a year. That is, the United States, wielder of a veto in the council, can keep its troops in Iraq as long as it wants.
    2.The second front is the political leadership in Iraq, which is under intense pressure by the administration to play its part. What happens to defectors was recently illustrated by the treatment of the Pentagon's former favorite Iraqi, Ahmad Chalabi, who made the mistake of turning against the occupation, stating, "sovereignty is not to be given, it is to be seized." With a brutality that is the hallmark of this administration's approach to any opposition, an Iraqi force accompanied by Americans looted his office and home, breaking up furniture and smashing family photographs.
    3.The third front is the American media. Its members should awaken to the fact that every time they use phrases like "handing over sovereignty" or "transition to democracy" they are misleading the public just as thoroughly as so many did when they accepted at face value the administration's claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
    4.A final front is the administration's Democratic opposition, which is hobbled by Senator John Kerry's own "stay the course" position. Perhaps he is simply following the old political rule that when your opponent is destroying himself by his own efforts, you should stay out of the way. However, by failing to challenge the President on the war, he risks himself becoming a kind of unwilling accessory to the White House propaganda maneuvers.
    Again, Kerry needs to read the writing on the wall. We don't want more of the same, only Kerry-style. We want a policy in Iraq that doesn't require lying to ourselves to accept.

    posted by Nick at 5/30/2004 12:20:00 PM |

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it
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    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

    PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.

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