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

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  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
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  • Buzz Machine
  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
  • Eschaton
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    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
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  • To The Teeth
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  • Blogged In the Desert
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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.

    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Pax Americana

    By Nick

    The extent of American military strength is so obvious a fact, that it need not be re-emphasized. Some refer to the United States as "The American Empire" -a metaphor which deserves neither nationalistic embrace, nor rejection by denial.

    The United States has much less choice in world affairs than the pacifists or foreign critics would like to believe. Despite the wishes of the French, no coalition is likely to form that will counter-weight US strength and restore a military balance similar to post-Napoleonic Europe. Contrary to the wishes of idealists, the UN has proven incapable of maintaining global order without the military, diplomatic, and financial support of the US.  Lastly, if the pacifists had their way, and we became isolationists with a mediocre military -the result would be International anarchy, rampant totalitarianism, and mass-bloodshed -all of which is too horrifying to contemplate.

    America's current situation is most commonly paralleled to that of the Roman empire. However, the parallel is insufficient. The Roman empire was built by legions who slaughtered their way to world power. In the process, they suffered catastrophic defeats at the hands of the Gauls, Persians, Carthaginians, and numerous other Germanic tribes.  The grand legions fell in clashes with rival dictators, and massive revolts the humiliated citizens of their occupations. The United States hasn't suffered comparable defeats since the Korean War. It also bears mentioning that the Legions owned their allegiance, not to Rome or the Emperor, but to their leaders and fellow troops. Thus, while Rome did dominate the world, it did so without the military superiority or discipline of the United States at present.

    The other common parallel is that of the British Empire during the late 19th century. Unlike the Romans, the British had a relatively small army. Bismarck once joked that if the British army landed on the Baltic coast, he'd send the Berlin Police to arrest them. The British Empire was mostly sustained by their legendary navy. However, the huge mass of ships in the royal navy became increasingly  obsolete. The Ironclad was introduced into the French Navy well before the British caught up. Even when the British introduced the revolutionary Dreadnought battleships, the superior industrial power of the Americans and Germans closed the gap of sea power within a blink of an eye.

    Historically, the strength of the United States military is without parallel. Our military budget accounts for 50% of the overall international expenditures on defense. Within the annals of military history, the US is the only country to enjoy superiority in all spheres of warfare (land, sea, air, and space). No other country's military can compare to our technological sophistication. Not a single country can compete with the US's capability to move large forces within short periods of time to any part of the globe. In short, the legions of the United States have no match, and the gap between them and other militarize is only growing.

    Perhaps the biggest military blunder in recent history was Vietnam. However, the damage of Vietnam is not comparable to that of Disraeli's regiments at Isandhlwana, or Augustus's legions in the Teutoburger Wald. In the end, its not the terminology of "Empire" that matters; rather its America's overwhelming military dominance. For now, no international coalition could be capable of blocking it, let alone willing to replace it. Our strength lies in our remarkably stable economy and political system, and our growing and extraordinarily productive workforce. The fact is that no president will call for a major reduction in defense spending in the next decade or deny that we must have the strongest military in the world, ready to exert its power at any point the world unilaterally.

    In the end, our real choice is to exercise our power foolishly or prudently, safely or dangerously. In the case of Iraq, we excercised our power foolishly and dangerously. Our military is a mighty machine, but even now is showing signs of fatigue and ware. Had we not invaded Iraq, we would have ended a genocide in Sudan by now- which would have been an example of wise use of military force. However, we've over-stretched ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our European allies have shown complete denial and apathy towards the situation. If anything is clear regarding the future international order, its that Europe will continue to behave much as they did at the Munich Conference of 1938, and delude themselves into thinking that the temporary lack of war is peace. As for America, it rests in the hands of the people to elect a president who will continue to make the world safer. Judging from Bush's first term, he will not be that man. 

    posted by Nick at 7/23/2004 06:30:00 PM |

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