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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
A Sleeping Monster
Source: Independent It sounds like the plot of a fanciful Hollywood disaster movie. A dangerous volcano in the Canary Islands erupts, sends a giant tsunami travelling faster than a jet aircraft into the major population centres of America's east coast, killing tens of millions and wiping out New York and Washington DC.
But unlike the eruption in the 1997 film Volcano (which threatened in its tagline that 'the coast is toast') scientists believe the threat from the volcano of Cumbre Vieja on the island of La Palma is real, and that it could send a massive slab of rock twice the size of the Isle of Man crashing into the Atlantic.
The effect would be to generate a huge wave with the energy equivalent to the combined output of America's power stations working flat out for six months.
After travelling across 4,000 miles of the Atlantic for about nine hours the tsunami would hit the Caribbean islands and the east coasts of Canada and the US with devastating effect. It would stretch for many miles and sweep into the estuaries and harbours for up to 20 miles inland, destroying everything in its path.
Those scientists are warning that the US government is not taking the threat from Cumbre Vieja seriously enough and not enough is being done to monitor it. Professor Bill McGuire, the director of the Benfield Grieg Hazard Research Centre at University College, London, warned that Boston, New York, Washington DC and Miami could be virtually wiped out.
Professor McGuire said close monitoring might at best provide two weeks warning of the disaster but that despite knowing about the danger for a decade, no one was keeping a proper watch on the mountain
The Cumbre Vieja volcano last erupted in 1949 and its western flank is highly unstable. It could literally split apart next time the volcano erupts, which could be at any time in the next 1,000 years.
Any evacuation plan would have to be based on the forecast of an eruption, since once the collapse happened it would be too late, he said. However, it could be a false alarm. Several eruptions could come and go before one of them sent the mountainside crashing into the sea in a matter of minutes.
Professor McGuire acknowledged that the decision to depopulate the US eastern seaboard would not be an easy one. "I don't honestly know how we handle that," he said. "As scientists all we should really do is advise people of what we think the risks are."
The wave front from the collapse of the mountain would spread out in a crescent, striking the west African coast with a wall of water more than 300ft high in two to three hours. Its northern side would also brush against Europe. Within three to four hours, a 33ft-high wave would smash into the south coast of England, causing immense damage.
Unlike a normal wave, the tsunami would not break rapidly but just keep coming, said Professor McGuire. "You're not talking about the destruction of the UK economy, but very serious damage along the south coast," he said. Trying to stop the mountain collapsing was simply out of the question, he said. He has calculated that it would take 35 million years to dig out the dangerous part of the volcano and move it away.
"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.