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.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Time to Get Tough
By Robert Kuttner Source: American Prospect ***
So, two questions: What is wrong with the Kerry campaign? And can it be fixed in time? Answers: Plenty, and Yes.
Five big things are wrong, and each can (belatedly) be fixed.
Toughness. First, Kerry waited too long to forcefully criticize Bush's ample defects and vulnerabilities. The campaign's grand strategists made two big decisions for the Democratic convention that seemed like good ideas at the time. First, they decided that the tone needed to be relentlessly positive. This became such a mantra that whenever a rare speaker actually landed a good punch on Bush, TV commentators tsk-tsked that the speaker was "off message."
Please. The whole point of challenging a sitting president is to question his record. Better late than never, but Kerry should have been a lot tougher a lot earlier.
Clarity. The convention's second big mistake was to mistake biography for a strategy. Yes, Kerry needed to be introduced to the broad public, and yes, he needed to be credible as a leader on defens, and yes, his Vietnam record made for a compelling personal story as well as a contrast with Bush.
But they overdid it. Elections are about the competence of the incumbent and the challenger's vision for the future, not about candidate biographies. If they were, Bush never would have been elected (actually, he wasn't elected).
You can't blame Kerry's Vietnam emphasis for the right-wing veterans' smear. That was orchestrated in advance and ready to go in any case. But by overemphasizing Vietnam, the convention message inadvertently reminded voters that Kerry had both fought in the war and then opposed it. Many Americans, of course, did. But in Kerry's case, this could seem another flip-flop.
Most important, the Vietnam focus diverted attention from Kerry's vision for the future. Bush's actual policies and new proposals are so bogus and so disconnected from the problems they purport to solve that Kerry should be having a field day knocking them down and advancing his affirmative vision for America. He needs to stick to a few strong themes.
Too Many Cooks. While I respect most of the people newly brought into the Kerry campaign, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I heard of the latest shake-up. If anything, the campaign already has too many hands on the steering wheel. Yes, it's a source of strength to listen to multiple views -- Roosevelt and JFK certainly did. But Kerry needs to clarify the chain of command or the campaign will degenerate into a dynamic where a lowest common denominator defines a feeble consensus position or, worse, positions will shift depending on which adviser is momentarily on top. That dynamic did in Al Gore.
Hostile Media. The press (with some heroic exceptions) continues to cut Bush and the right-wing smears a lot more slack than they cut Kerry. There is no offsetting left-wing Fox.
Likability. Bush is one likable fellow. Some believe it is hard for the candidate who is less likable to utter tough criticisms of a sitting president who is liked personally, even if voters mistrust his policies. But that's just not so.
Each of these problems has the same solution: toughness. If Kerry is much tougher on Bush, he will come across as tougher generally, including on defense -- tough enough to lead. By being decisive, he will lay to rest the sense of a drifting campaign. He will get more respect from the media. And even voters who might prefer to go out for a beer with Bush will take Kerry more seriously as a potential president.
Kerry is said to close well. Senator, it's time to start closing -- before we all join Bill Clinton in the cardiac ward.
"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.