Fellowship of Punditry

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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.

    Friday, September 17, 2004

    The outing of David Dreier

    By donald


    Yes.. well, possibly, according to a report in Raw Story.

    A Republican congressman from California who has repeatedly voted against gay rights measures is believed to be gay himself.

    After RAW STORY ran an article Wednesday about a gay activist who announced his intention to "out" Congressman David Dreier, R-CA, Hustler Magazine revealed that they planned a major expose exploring the intersection of the congressman's sexuality and his positions on gay rights.

    Kos on Progressive Trail.org has been on the story all week too.

    Michael Rogers, the guy behind BlogActive, has now trained his fire on California Rep. David Dreier, CA-26. The Republican, who heads the powerful Rules Committee, is part of the GOP leadership team and "rising star" of the Republican Party. Er, was.

    Rogers recently outed Rep. Ed Schrock of VA, forcing his resignation. But while his efforts against Schrock were a lonely affair, he has plenty of backup in his efforts to out yet another hypocrite antigay gay Republican. Larry Flint is also on the case, and the Raw Story is following the story closely.

    For a Libertarian take, Julian Sanchez on Reason's Hit and Run blog had this to say:

    But I'm increasingly thinking (outing is) a counterproductive strategy. First, Dreier has at least recently been one of a number of Republicans who've pushed back against a Federal Marriage Amendment; now seems and odd time to blindside him with this. But more generally, it's unclear what this is supposed to accomplish. Assume elected gay officials are not, by and large, self-hating. If they go along with homophobic legislation, presumably it's because they'd often like to oppose it, but think their constituencies wouldn't go along. Moreover, the most homophobic districts are likely to be even more averse to electing a gay representative than they would be to electing a presumptively straight one who was lukewarm about antigay legislation. So what do outings ultimately accomplish? When they have any impact, it's likely to be to replace gay officials who might at least want to try to slowly turn their party around on such issues with authentic homophobes. How does this really advance the cause of gay rights?

    Interesting take, but where's the evidence that someone like Dreier was trying "to slowly turn their party around on" gay rights issues? Granted, Dreier voted on August 5, 1998 against an amendment to a spending bill that would have overturned President Clinton's executive order banning discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the federal civilian workforce, according to the ACLU.

    But earlier, on 7/29/98 Dreier voted for an amendment to a spending measure that would have specifically targeted San Francisco's policy of doing business only with companies that offered the same health benefits to gay employees as heterosexual married employees, forcing the city to give up millions of dollars of federal funding.

    Then, in 1999, Dreier voted for a bill to forbid the District of Columbia "from using any federal funds to permit the joint adoption of any child by unmarried couples, including lesbian and gay couples. The bill "targeted gay couples as unfit to adopt children from the District's troubled foster care system."

    And in 2000, Dreier voted for an amendment to the annual spending bill for the District of Columbia, introduced by Rep. Mark Souder, R-IN, "that would have forbidden the DC government from using even non-federal money to operate needle exchange programs, which have been proven to help slow the spread of AIDS."

    My problem with Dreier goes beyond his mostly negative gay voting rights record to encompass his support for the right wing Republican agenda overall. Although Dreier has been said to oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, he's supported both "flag desecration" and "school prayer" amendments to the Constitution. Opposition to 1 out of 3 really dumb ammendments does not, in my opinion anyway, speak well for the congressman.

    He's been a staunch supporter of anti-abortion legislation, voted for taxpayer funds in support of vouchers for private and religious schools and voted for keeping the travel ban on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba. So his record is more than just antigay. It's anti-progressive. And it's not particularly libertarian either.

    Sanchez, a libertarian, would come to Dreier's defense, in part, by declaring that "some of Dreier's (antigay voting record) (is) defensible on small-government or federalist grounds," and claims, as an example, that "plenty of gay libertarians would agree that if some bigot wants to rent an apartment to straights only, that should be his right."

    This is about where I always part company with libertarians. Sanchez' penchant for making broad assumptions aside, my argument would simply be that if we dumbed down the laws to permit the acting out of the basest instincts of bigots, then we'd wind up with a country where only bigots had any real rights.

    Anyway, the practice of "outing" which was a term invented by a hostile mainstream press to criticize Michelangelo Signorelli's crusade of exposing the private gay lives of antigay public figures back in the mid-eighties, had, in recent years, fallen into disuse, if not outright disfavor, but now seems to be making a comeback. Many of us argued back and forth for years whether outing was an effective tool for fighting bigots and bigotry, or in fact was counterproductive in the long run. I'm still open to debate the question myself. In any event I'm sure this most recent outing activity of big name politicians will continue to fan the flames of a lot of folks' malcontent on all sides of the issue.

    posted by donald at 9/17/2004 06:45:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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