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

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  • 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.

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Corporate Mythology Strikes Again--In Iraq

    By Mick

    California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger laid to rest all those claims about how 'moderate' he is with two strokes of the pen. One vetoed a hike in CA's minimum wage--which hasn't been adjusted in 4 years and remains the lowest on the west coast--and the other vetoed a bill that would have forced corporations like Wal-Mart to pay for studies on the effects of their proposed projects on nearby neighborhoods and traffic patterns. Like the good little radcon he is, Ahnud would rather see workers slave away for pay that is below the poverty line than see corporations forced to pay a living wage.
    Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, the author of the minimum-wage bill, said Schwarzenegger's veto was disappointing. "The state minimum wage is under the federal poverty line," said Lieber (D-Mountain View). "This veto is evidence that you can't serve two masters. You either side with the corporate interests or the people. Schwarzenegger sided with the corporate interests."

    More than 1.4 million Californians earn the minimum wage, according to the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit group. A report it released earlier this month rebutted the presumption that most minimum-wage earners are teens and part-time employees. The report said that 83.1% are adults and 60.7% work full time to support themselves and their families.

    Five states have higher minimum wages than California: Alaska ($7.15), Connecticut ($7.10), Oregon ($7.05), Vermont ($7 starting in January) and Washington state ($7.16), according to the U.S. Department of Labor. California's rate is the same as Massachusetts' and Rhode Island's.
    I live in Mass and you can't pay even the lowest rent in the cheapest town on minimum wage. That Schwarzenegger is deliberately allowing corporations to take advantage of their workers by paying a non-living wage is bad enough, but that he does so because he believes businesses won't come to CA if it means paying their workers enough to live on says a lot about the core radcon ideology. Where, one wonders, will it end?
    Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit organization, said that the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation over the last 25 years. Adjusted for inflation, California's minimum wage is 22% below what it was in 1969, he said.

    Levy disputed the notion that raising the wage would drive businesses out of California. "If you're talking about the sectors where most of the minimum-wage workers work — restaurants, dry cleaners — those are not in industries that compete internationally," he said Saturday. "The impact is going to be on prices. Your burger is going to cost another nickel. All the restaurants aren't going to go to Nevada, because their customers are here."

    Levy said that under Schwarzenegger's logic, the minimum wage should be scrapped altogether. "We have a lot of governmental policies that meet objective values but also raise costs," he said. "Somebody should ask the governor if he's going to roll back environmental standards because they raise costs, or roll back plant-safety standards because they raise costs, or take away smog controls."
    Ahnud is using standard radcon race-to-the-bottom ideological reasoning, the kind that won't be happy until American workers are making as little as street vendors in Ecuador or Indonesia, the kind that sees every penny paid over starvation level as a waste of money and an insurmountable obstacle to corporate survival. But Levy is right: the radcon reasoning doesn't stop at the door of workers' wages; that's only the beginning. The same corporate forces rail regularly against the 'cost of government interference and excessive regulation' when it comes to other areas that affect profit, like pollution controls, product safety, and consumer fraud.

    Hidden within both veto statements is the over-arching radical conservative hard-core dogma that worker and consumer concerns are valueless--meaningless sour-grapes whining from people jealous of the success of thrifty corporations who want to do nothing more than bring them down from their high perch for spite. There is a familiar echo here, isn't there? A logic we've heard applied to a totally different area?

    That's right--the war in Iraq.

    Bush and his other ex-corporate-honcho advisors didn't stop thinking in the blocked tunnel of corporate self-interest just because they joined the government. They brought those narrow-minded, short-sighted attitudes with them, and they were what led Junior to claim that the insurgency in Iraq didn't arise from the Iraqis' intense reaction to their occupation by a foreign force but because 'the terrorists hate our freedom and everything we stand for'. It's simply the corporate radcon anti-poor mythology fleshed out in different words.

    At its root, BushCo's strangely insistent belief that its enemies hate it for its success, its moral perfection even, is the twin brother of the just as strangely insistent belief of corporations and the rich that any claim of unfairness or foul play on their part is the belly-aching of the losers they stomped on their way to the top who are trying to use the govt and the courts to get back at them. They've simply switched their prejudices from corporate mythology to governing myth and applied the same faulty logic on a wider scale.

    If you needed another reason to refuse to vote for any ex-corporate-exec who uses his (probably) ill-gotten wealth to buy his way into the government on the strength of a childish belief that govt and corporations have the same goals, this should do it. Wars should NEVER be fought for private corporate gain, and we're seeing why in Iraq right now. The myth of corporate government is just that--a myth. Bush and Ahnud betyween them are proving that every day.

    (Cross-posted at Dispatch from the Trenches)

    posted by Mick at 9/20/2004 06:54:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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