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
  • Jon Lebkowsky
  • Jay Rosen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
  • Dan Gillmor
  • Jim Moore
  • Lawerence Lessig
  • Ed Cone
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

  • Talking Points Memo
  • Oliver Willis
  • Burnt Orange Report
  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
  • The Decembrist
  • Buzz Machine
  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
  • Eschaton
  • The Left Coaster
  • Pacific Views

    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
  • Rox Populi
  • Scratchings
  • Blond Sense
  • Cut To The Chase
  • Bad Attitudes
  • Rook's Rant
  • Dohiyi Mir
  • Stout Dem Blog
  • A Violently Executed Blog
  • American Leftist
  • Easy Bake Coven
  • Southerly Buster
  • Abuddhas Memes
  • Post-Atomic
  • Van Ramblings
  • Friends of the Fellowship

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  • Chuck Currie
  • To The Teeth
  • Radically Inept
  • In Dark Times
  • Serial Blogonomy
  • The Bone
  • Public Domain Progress
  • Alien Intelligencer
  • Research Associates

  • Blogged In the Desert
  • One Fine Jay
  • Jessica's Universe
  • Selective Amnesia
  • In Grown Brain Stem
  • Immolation.org
  • Somewhere over the rainbough
  • Politikult
  • Political Puzzle
  • Dear Free World
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  • Think Tanks

  • CEIP
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  • Blogging Resources

  • Principia Cybernetica
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  • 50 Ways To Improve Your Blog
  • Poynter Online's Writers ToolBox
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  • The Scout Archives
  • WebReference.com
  • 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.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    David Corn: Whitehouse lies and Civil Debate

    By Nick

    From Alternet
    White Lies
    David Corn

    Even non-ideological writers bemoaned the anti-Bush books as the latest indication that the nation's embittered and deteriorating political culture was degenerating further. Time magazine pointed to my book as more evidence of "the rise of the anger industry." New York Times Magazine's James Traub observed, "Hatred is delicious. But the sudden rash of jeremiads and their stunning popularity raises a question: Why are so many liberals, including sane and sober ones, granting themselves permission to hate the president?.... Buying a book that has 'Bush' and 'lie' in the title...is a deeply cathartic, ideology-affirming experience. It's satisfying; but I don't see how it can be a good thing, either for public debate or ultimately for the electoral prospects of the Democrats, to have liberals descend to the level of rabid conservatives." Another New York Times Magazine writer, Matt Bai, took the same line: "A new strand of vitriol has consumed the Bush-hating left.... The new leftist screeds seem to solidify a rising political culture of incivility and overstatement.... The various expressions of liberal fury are a direct imitation of what the right has been doing for more than a decade.... Hate isn't much of a message."

    But these critics have overlooked the main point: the case against Bush. The essential issue is not whether Bush detractors hate the man or are angry with him. What matters is whether their indictments are persuasive and well-founded. After all, if Bush has indeed misled the public about his far-ranging tax cuts, global warming, homeland security, stem cells research, the reasons for war and other serious topics, isn't anger an appropriate response? But often commentators (mainly of the right-wing variant) have preferred to focus on what they perceive to be the emotions of Bush's antagonists. It has been an easy way to dismiss the bill of particulars. They self-servingly decry the decline of civil debate and avoid the question: How civil should debate be if the president of the United States is not telling the truth about life-and-death issues? (One exception is columnist George Will, who has at least urged Bush to acknowledge his untrue prewar assertions about the weapons of mass destruction.)

    And more than one conservative radio talk-show host has said to me that if Bush believes his spin then it cannot be considered a lie. After all, didn't it seem as if Bush truly thought there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

    This defense of Bush does not take into account that a president has the responsibility to ascertain the truth and do his best to guarantee that the information he shares with the public is as accurate as can be. Too often, Bush has embraced and put forward misinformation to support and advance his policy desires. Did he know the information was false? That is not an excuse. In the case of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Bush, according to the White House, did not even bother to read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Produced in October 2002, this 90-page report summarized the intelligence community's information on Iraq. Had Bush perused it, he would have seen that the evidence regarding Iraq's WMDs was often inconclusive and disputed by various US intelligence analysts and that the overall picture of Hussein's WMD capabilities was unclear. And Bush would have had good reason to question his own melodramatic, black-and-white statements about Iraq's WMDs.

    If a president recklessly abandons his obligation to determine whether he is in possession of good, solid information, and then accepts incorrect or misleading material and presents it to the public because doing so serves his own ends, he is engaged in a deceptive practice that can be considered the functional equivalent of lying. Bush has yet to face any consequences for promoting deceptions crucial to his agenda, and he has not assumed responsibility for actively misleading the American public and the world. So the debate over his truth-defying ways will continue until Election Day.

    David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation, is author of the best-selling 'The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception.' This article is excerpted from the new and expanded paperback edition of the book.

    posted by Nick at 6/22/2004 05:36:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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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

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