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.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Introducing the Split Vote System
"[American legislatures] should be an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large, as it should think, feel, reason, and act like them." -John Adams
In a recent Elway Poll, 42 percent of Americans felt that they were either represented in our government "poorly" or "not at all". The cause of such sentiments is fairly straight forward: almost half of Americans are in fact not represented in our government. Our ancient voting system is designed to only ensure representation for a majority of voters in a particular geographic area. Most Americans have become so accustomed to our system of voting that they its just "the way democracy works". They are mistaken.
Our congressional elections use what electoral engineers call the single-member district plurality system.However, most everyone else prefers to use the more succulent name, "the winner takes all system". We are all familiar with the drawbacks of this system. Whether you are a Democrat who lives in Alabama, or a Republican who lives in Massachusetts, you are above all an American who is without a voice in Government. The good news is that there are alternatives to the winner-takes-all-system. In fact, most democratic countries have already replaced our antique system with newer system: proportional representation.
I propose a unique breed of proportional representation which I suppose could be called "the two member district proportonally split-vote system". However, lets just call it the "split vote system" . To begin, every district would be given two seats to represent the majority and minority factions. Thus, our House of Representatives would expand to 870 seats.
The two Representatives would not have equal votes in congress. Rather, they would split one vote to mirror the outcome of the election. Thus, if a candidate won 51% of the popular vote they would receives 51% of the district's vote. This system would end the practice of gerrymandering. More importantly, it would also better protect the interests of minority factions.
Another peculiar aspect of this system is that it doesn't grant an equal vote to every district. Instead, the weight of a districts vote is proportional to the amount of registered voters who participated in an election. Thus, if only 38 percent of a district's citizens participate in a congressional election, than the two elected representatives will split 38/100 of their district's vote. In such a system, not a single citizen would be able to say, "My vote doesn't matter."
This system has quite a few advantages. The additional seats to the House would increase the responsiveness of representatives to their constituents. Furthermore, the additional representatives insure that the voice of the minority isn't silenced by the mere fact that a partisan majority's candidate won 51% of the popular vote. Congressional candidates will be encouraged to reach out to as many diverse groups of as possible. This is in contrast to our current system, which allows candidates to win by using wedge issues to encourage groups whose vote is easily controlled, while making the rest apathetic. In the proposed system, a strategy designed to make voters apathetic or polarized will result in less power for not only the representatives, but also for citizens of the district.
Perhaps the greatest strength of this proposal is its realistic approach toward people and power. Since the power of a representative's vote is dependent on how many people participate, citizens will feel a greater obligation to vote. Rather than merely encouraging citizens to "rock the vote", the proposed system will make it clear that the entire community will suffer if they don’t vote. While latter has always been true, this proposed system will make it clear in concrete terms.
Non-voting will no longer default power to the winner of an election. Instead, a non-voter will default their entire community's power over national affairs. Best of all, it avoids the institution of fines for non-voting, such as the mandatory participation laws in Australia. Instead, it exploits the natural power of social pressure when an entire community's voice is at stake.
Moreover, the splitting of a vote between two candidates will fundamentally alter American politics for the better. An effective campaign strategy would have to attempt to build as many bridges between diverse interests as possible. Candidates would not only be rewarded for capturing the imagination of the voters in their district; they'd be punished for concentrating on divisive issues like abortion or gun control. While many activists would cringe at the loss of attention toward those problems, our ailing democracy would breath a sigh of relief.
"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.