Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

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Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

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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, June 27, 2004

    Beheadings, Curiosity, and Consequence.

    By Nick

    For the last few days, I've been challenging the wisdom of linking to the videos and pictures of the recent slew decapitations. The intense debate has continued at Hot Abercrombie Chick. for the last week. Recently, my argument against linking to the pictures was thrown off track by the South Korean's forceful censorship. I will never respect any act of censorship, but I also find the demands of the protesters to be just as undeserving of respect. The demands of the protesters are nothing short of a full surrender to the terrorists.
    Asia Pacific News reportedon June 24th:

    South Korean anger was triggered by the brutal killing of 33-year-old hostage Kim Sun-Il by his Islamic captors after President Roh Moo-Hyun refused their demand to cancel the deployment of more than 3,000 extra South Korean troops to Iraq starting in August.

    Pro- and anti-war demonstrators took to the streets of Seoul and other cities on Wednesday with the biggest gathering of more than 3,000 in Seoul demanding that Roh scrap the troop dispatch.

    Emotion was running high Thursday as activists from dozens of anti-war groups said they would stage mass rallies on Saturday in cities supported by militant labor unionists.

    Analysts said the killing of Kim further polarized the country between anti-US opponents of the war and those who say the troop dispatch is in South Korea's national interests.

    The report also indicates that S. Korean Muslims are fearing for their lives:
    Anti-Arab sentiment was also apparent as police were forced to step up security to protect South Korea's small community of around 30,000 Muslims after some 40 callers threatened to blow up Seoul's main mosque.

    According to the Korea Herald, worker's unions have threatened to go on strike:
    Labor unions representing pilots, flight attendants and airport employees yesterday said they would refuse to transport troops and equipment to Iraq in opposition to the government's plan to send 3,000 soldiers to the war-torn country.

    ...the teachers' union said it will encourage teachers to promote antiwar themes during classes, while manufacturing worksites are also expected to raise their voice against the deployment and government policies.

    The Washington Times reports that North Korea has issued a broad anti-American threat to South Korea:
    Pyongyang has argued the Bush administration might attack North Korea after it branded the North a member of the "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran in 2002.

    A United States attack would likely result in a full on war beween North and South Korea. North Korea appears to be taking advantage of the sudden burst of S.Korea isolationism. Strangely a there is very little information regarding the censorship of the pictures by S. Korea. More ominiously, there appears to be a black out of coverage of the protests. However, in the process of searching I found some more relevent insight. One Australian Editorial shared a rather revealing statistic along with a poignant observation:

    Last month the horrifying beheading of the American Nicholas Berg edged out pornography and celebrity news as the "highest-rating" event across US websites.

    The images of Mr Johnson's death provoked an angry backlash in the United States. There has been abuse directed at Muslims in general and calls for similar suffering to be visited upon Saudi prisoners in US jails. This, too, is a tragedy. The anti-Western terrorist campaign in which Mr Johnston died is racist and wrong. But, the response to such an atrocity should not be similar manifestations of religious or racist hatred.

    The Washington Dispatch reminds us that these videos are pure propaganda. The terrorists ask the government to cooperate (which we will not do as a strict policy), which in turn creates an illusion that the governments were responsible for the murders :

    In December of 2003 Tom Marzullo wrote that “The newest tactical plan in the Islamist propaganda campaign is to create and distribute videos to the media showing the actual rape/torture/murder of westerners specifically kidnapped for these productions.” Marzullo is a former Special Forces operative and led the effort to debunk the phony CNN/Time ‘Tailwind’ story about nerve gas.

    The cowardly maggots who killed Johnson were demanding the release of prisoners held by the Saudi Government. Despite the absurdity of their demands and the policy of both the U.S. and the Saudis NOT to negotiate with terrorists…that was their story. It was hollow and disingenuous at best. The terrorists intended to kill Johnson, video tape it, and disseminate the tape.

    One expert reminds us of the purpose of these taped beheadings:

    "The aim is really to spread as much terror as possible and make it available to as many people as possible, especially in the West," where internet use was more common, said Dia'a Rashwan, a Cairo expert on Islamic militants.

    In what Mr Rashwan calls a war of "ideology, images and perception", the Web is a place for militants and their sympathisers to exchange the latest news, debate their definition of Islam, share how-to manuals, extol their heroes and vilify their enemies.

    We must mourn the victims of the terrorist's latest campaign. I will never forget their their screams and pleas for mercy at the hands of those filthy cowards. However, I am growing tired of those who defend their part in distributing these images some sort of celebration of free speech. Of course, freedom means the right to be wrong, but that doesn't mean we should celebrate our right to view pornography! Here is the cold and unfriendly truth:

    Those who choose the to distribute those links are IN FACT insuring the continuation of these their brutal strategy. I know this point might anger some people, but I urge them to hear me out. Terrorists will continue these broadcasted murders until:
    A. We start to censor ourselves and refuse to view or link to their filth.
    B. We aquiesce to their demands (a short term solution that would result in more terrorism in the future)
    C. The government censors the pictures for us. Look at Korea, look at us! With a knife, a victim, a camera, and web connection, they've destablized the entire country of Korea.

    Its basic psychology: We are rewarding the terrorists by linking to their propaganda; a link reinforces the practice as it enables Terrorists to distribute their propaganda at low cost, and without much work. No more excuses, it is better to restrain ourselves, than to submit to spreading the messages they want us to see. I can think of no stronger statement than us refusing to submit to their trash by free will. We need no censorship; censorship would strengthen them. Lets treat them like the beasts they are. We can read about the beheadings; lets send a message to terrorists that they can keep their pictures and tapes to themselves. We don't grant murderers self-promoting airtime.

    In Other News:
    Austrialia's The Age reports that Iran suspected of covering up a nuclear accident involving weapons-grade uranium
    Western intelligence officials believe Iran's Revolutionary Guards tried to cover up a nuclear accident triggered when weapons-grade uranium was being shipped from North Korea.

    The accident allegedly caused Tehran's new international airport to be sealed off by Revolutionary Guard commanders within hours of its official opening on May 9.

    Seven weeks later, the showpiece airport, named after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution, is still closed.

    The airport will remain closed until Russian nuclear experts can examine the site of the incident and make sure that no traces of the illegal shipment remain.

    A senior Western intelligence official said: "We are aware of the concerns being expressed by Iranian aviation experts, and are trying to investigate them.

    "The problem is that the Revolutionary Guards will not allow access to the airport to any foreign nationals, including UN inspectors."

    Earlier this month the IAEA rebuked Iran over its failure to give a full account of its atomic program, as suspicions mounted that Iran was was still trying to build nuclear weapons.

    Last week, American intelligence officials provided satellite evidence that they claimed showed a nuclear site at Lavizan Shiyan in Tehran.

    They said it had been razed to remove evidence of research that had been done there.

    posted by Nick at 6/27/2004 03:49:00 PM |

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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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