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.
Monday, October 04, 2004
The Pentagon's New 'Pain Ray'
Non-lethal weapons (NLW's, and no, they're not the latest Mel Gibson satire, get outa here) have been around for a while. Plastic or rubber bullets, stun guns, electric people-prods, even the ancient tear-gas bomb--a form of chemical weapon after all--have been deployed in riot control. But the Pentagon is close to ratcheting up a new one for use in Iraq, an actual war zone. (Parenthetically, would somebody please tell Junior that's what it is? He still seems [see Thursday's debate] to be under the impression that the war is over.) It's called the Pain Ray, and I have the dubious distinction of living in the state where it's being developed. But it isn't the only one nearing completion.
[T]he US military is considering deploying a directed energy weapon to Iraq. The device, informally known as a pain ray, and formally as the Active Denial System (ADS), shoots an invisible beam of energy that leaves a burning sensation on the skin even through clothing. It operates by heating the water molecules in the skin with microwave energy.
The ADS reportedly can operate beyond small-arms range, enabling an operator to deter a foe long before a potentially fatal clash occurs.
The weapon is made by Raytheon. The Marine Corps and other services have paid at least US$51 million over 11 years to develop the technology. Raytheon, which developed the ADS for the Pentagon, says it is testing it in the field and fixing technical glitches before delivering a working system mounted on a Humvee that will be named Sheriffs, which may be delivered this year. US Army and Marine Corps units should receive four to six ADS-equipped Sheriffs by next September. But even if it is deployed, this will hardly be the first NLW in Iraq. Others are already there.
For example, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a device that can shoot compact sound waves across several hundred meters at up to 150 decibels, is for fending off insurgents, dispersing crowds, and flushing out buildings. It was developed after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching US warships.
In February, the marines signed a $1.1 million contract for the devices; the I Marine Expeditionary Force took them to Fallujah and the navy's 5th Fleet has them in the Persian Gulf.
I must say, I am torn by this news. On the one hand, we are working toward the kind of tools Israel has been using against its Palestinian population for years as a way of controlling the native insurgency with a minimum loss of life. On the other, we are working toward the kind of tools Israel has been using with near-disastrous results. On the one hand, these weapons are non-lethal. On the other, boiling the water in the skin of protestors seems like a step back, say, to a form of long-range torture.
Thgere's no guarantee--as the Israelis discovered--that NLW's will in fact be NL. People have died after being shot with rubber bullets. Lots of people. OK, not as many as would have died if standard metal bullets had been used to rake the crowds instead, but still. And experts say these new NLW's aren't any less dangerous.
A study released by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board in 1994 found that "a usually non-lethal weapon may cause unintended lethality under certain conditions: A stun gun could kill someone with a weak heart. A 'rubber' bullet could hit a particularly vulnerable body part like the throat, and thus become lethal. And microwave devices could have unintended affects."
'Unintended effects'. Like death.
So does this mean we're going forward or propelling violently in reverse? I'm not sure but on balance I tend to think it would be better for everybody if we could avoid getting ourselves in situations where we might have to use them instead of what we're doing: looking for trouble so we can test them out.
"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.