Fellowship of Punditry

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The Sages

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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.

    Voltaire

    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.

    Friday, June 25, 2004

    George W. Bush and Benito Mussolini

    By Nick

    Excerpts from: Fascism -The News Media's Political "F" Word
    by Norman Solomon

    ---
    When a federal judge compares George W. Bush to Benito Mussolini, is that newsworthy?

    After the conservative daily New York Sun broke the story about a speech by Judge Guido Calabresi of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, few media outlets even mentioned what he had to say.

    “In a way that occurred before but is rare in the United States ... somebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power,”

    Judge Calabresi told attorneys and law students at the American Constitution Society’s annual convention on June 19. “That is what the Supreme Court did in Bush versus Gore. It put somebody in power.”

    The 71-year-old judge, who was born in Milan before his family left Italy in 1939, added: “The reason I emphasize that is because that is exactly what happened when Mussolini was put in by the king of Italy.” And Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School, went on:

    “The king of Italy had the right to put Mussolini in, though he had not won an election, and make him prime minister. That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in. I am not suggesting for a moment that Bush is Hitler. I want to be clear on that, but it is a situation which is extremely unusual.”
    ---
    About three-quarters of a century ago, the Louisiana populist Huey Long commented: “If fascism came to America it would be on a program of Americanism.” Well, fascism hasn’t arrived in the United States -- millions exercise crucial freedoms of speech and press every day -- but we should recognize that the U.S. government’s response to 9/11 has included some fascistic elements.

    Consider, for instance, the assessment by Stuart Taylor Jr., a careful mainstream journalist specializing in legal issues. His article in the June 12 edition of National Journal focused on memos and reports within the Bush administration about guidelines related to interrogation and torture. “These warped analyses are not just the work of a few lawyers carried away with clever circumvention of the law,” Taylor wrote. “They reflect an attitude deeply entrenched in the Bush White House -- including Bush and Dick Cheney as well as (White House counsel Alberto) Gonzales -- that whenever the president invokes national security, he enjoys near-dictatorial powers and is quite literally above the law.”

    Taylor’s conclusion should give chills to anyone who hasn’t been numbed by the soothing prattle of corporate media or the complacent view that it won’t matter much whether Bush gets four more years in the White House: “These perversions of the law would allow Bush to seize, imprison, and torture anyone in the world, at any time, for any reason that he associates with national security. Little did the Framers suspect that their Constitution would be twisted by a president to claim powers more appropriate to Roman emperors, Russian czars, and King George III.”

    At Cornell University, government professor Theodore Lowi now aptly describes the George W. Bush administration as “a toxic combination of God rhetoric, money, cronyism and severe moral hierarchy that poses a real threat of fascism for our nation.”

    This is not to throw the word “fascism” around loosely. Our society continues to enjoy a wide range of freedoms. Yet fascistic repression is apt to arrive in stages.

    Anyone who was paying close attention to the actions of the Ashcroft Justice Department in the wake of 9/11 has seen that elements of fascism can be implemented in the USA, particularly in times of crisis.

    The assumption that it can’t happen here makes more likely the possibility that it will.

    Referring to the Supreme Court’s post-election decision in 2000, Judge Calabresi said: “When somebody has come in that way, they sometimes have tried not to exercise much power. In this case, like Mussolini, he has exercised extraordinary power.”

    Related Posts:
    Inverted Totalitarianism
    Mussolini's Doctrine of Fascism
    The Danger of American Fascism
    George Orwell: Notes on Nationalism


    posted by Nick at 6/25/2004 03:38:00 PM |

    Comments:
    Well said Nick... I think you're on to something, and political correctness shouldn't stop anyone from saying what's blatantly obvious to many. I, for one, am crossing my fingers there wont be another four years of Bush...
     
    Its worse than most people think. I added some links at the bottom of some past explorations I've done on American Fascism. Its scary stuff, and it needs to be talked about more.
     
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