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

  • David Weinberger
  • Jon Lebkowsky
  • Jay Rosen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
  • Dan Gillmor
  • Jim Moore
  • Lawerence Lessig
  • Ed Cone
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

  • Talking Points Memo
  • Oliver Willis
  • Burnt Orange Report
  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
  • The Decembrist
  • Buzz Machine
  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
  • Eschaton
  • The Left Coaster
  • Pacific Views

    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
  • Rox Populi
  • Scratchings
  • Blond Sense
  • Cut To The Chase
  • Bad Attitudes
  • Rook's Rant
  • Dohiyi Mir
  • Stout Dem Blog
  • A Violently Executed Blog
  • American Leftist
  • Easy Bake Coven
  • Southerly Buster
  • Abuddhas Memes
  • ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES
  • Post-Atomic
  • Van Ramblings
  • Friends of the Fellowship

  • Texas Native
  • Chuck Currie
  • To The Teeth
  • Radically Inept
  • In Dark Times
  • Serial Blogonomy
  • The Bone
  • Public Domain Progress
  • Alien Intelligencer
  • Research Associates

  • Blogged In the Desert
  • One Fine Jay
  • Jessica's Universe
  • Selective Amnesia
  • In Grown Brain Stem
  • Immolation.org
  • Somewhere over the rainbough
  • Politikult
  • Political Puzzle
  • Dear Free World
  • Twenty Something
  • Thom:WebLog
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • A Skeptical Blog
  • The Common Man
  • Progressive News

  • The American Prospect
  • World Press Review
  • Alternet
  • In These Times
  • Common Dreams
  • Media Channel
  • History News Network
  • MOJO.COM
  • Tom Paine
  • Z-Magazine
  • Breaking News

  • Associated Press
  • Reuters
  • BBC Newswire
  • World NEws

  • The Guardian (UK)
  • The Independent (UK)
  • The Financial Times (UK)
  • Pravda (Russia)
  • La Monde Diplomatique (France)
  • Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
  • The Age (Australia)
  • China Daily
  • The People's Daily (China)
  • The Korea Herald
  • Think Tanks

  • RAND CORPORATION
  • CEIP
  • The CATO Institute
  • Center for America Progress
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • Progressive Policy Institute
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Brookings Institution
  • The Foreign Policy Association
  • Blogging Resources

  • Principia Cybernetica
  • The Fallacy Files
  • Fact Check
  • 50 Ways To Improve Your Blog
  • Poynter Online's Writers ToolBox
  • News Thinking
  • The Scout Archives
  • WebReference.com
  • Into the Blogosphere
  • 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.

    Voltaire

    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, October 15, 2004

    Running With The Liberals

    By Agent Bedhead

    This afternoon, whilst practicing for a deposition with an "adversary," who is in reality a great buddy from school, the subject of the PBA came up. He's read my blog before, one of the very few reality-based friends who knows about it. Being a Democrat, he thought that Progressive Bloggers bonding together was pretty cool and a necessary entity to counter the strong right-wing of the blogosphere. A few moments of silence ensued, some shuffling of feet, and then he blurted "Okay...you realize I'm dying to know, so why did you join that Alliance?"

    This is surprising? Not as such. Truth be told, a majority I've ever known and respected, friends and family, have fallen on the respective left end of the political spectrum. Oh by others, I've been chided and called several not-so-nice derivatives of "foolish," "deluded," "ignorant," and "insensitive prickish white-bread bitch." That last one is my personal favorite. AH, this matters little....those people are not worth the trouble, and not for their politics, but because they spread hatred, lies, and perpetrate fear. People earn my respect through loyalty, trustworthiness, and having things in common besides politics. Policy and analysis is something that I already have to think about ad nauseum, so when Friday night arrives, a night of poker and drinking sounds a lot more fun to me than arguing over whether Tom Coburn or Brad Carson has the more terminal Oedipus syndrome. After all, Guinness and humour seldom depend on what box you check on that ballot. Not a smidge really.

    Libertarianism is fairly quashed in Oklahoma, the armpit of the bible belt, a place where you either roll with or against the holy. Oklahoma City has the second highest number of Baptist churches of any major American city, and it also has the second highest per capita HIV-positive population. This is a place of extremes indeed. As such, one is a true oddity to not fit neatly into one category or the other, much akin to Judy Blume novels, where the teenage girl characters are either members of "The Y" or the "Jewish gymnasium." One or the other, tit or tat. Needless to say, truly discovering my ideology fell into firm place in my mind in the oddest of places--the First Annual Convention of the American Constitution Society, which took place in D.C. in August 2003. This was an infant society that found a neophyte chapter at school, and well, any society that supported the Constitition's guarantees of civil liberties sounded spiffy to moi.

    Many a pleasant handshake at this gathering, and I rubbed elbows with some lawyers for the A.C.L.U. and think-tank types. While I was not uncomfortable, I felt so oddly out of place. Fascinating programs were offered, and though a few moments were puke-inducing anti-right dogma, so much information was gained on my part in the areas of the Patriot Act, internet security, and privacy issues related to many areas of law. Listened to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg speak (thumbs up) and HIllary Clinton as well (thumbs down), and to my surprise, found myself in a ten-minute conversation with Janet Reno during an after an elevator ride (after the fright of having such a forbidding woman walk into an otherwise empty and very small space, that is).

    Finally, on that last evening, at the Janet Reno Dance Party (spoof of the spoof), two dashing fellows and I had a good long conversation at the bar whilst Ms. Reno shook her Wild Thang to "Funky Cold Medina" onstage. There at that bar, and in the most absurd of circumstances, I found my reality with two members of the CATO Institute who came just to see Ms. Reno in action. Darlings, a freak was born that night...and she learned that being libertarian is at times quite a contradiction. For now, I'll stick with generalities....to explain my beliefs in a nutshell, they are socially liberal and more fiscally conservative. Pro-Individual liberty and personal responsibility, as well as a free-market economy... these are the themes that speak to me. No religious nutcakes, no shootings at abortion clinics. Good times.

    In a perfect world, white collar crime doesn't exist and no one fudges the market, and as such consumers can vote with their pocketbooks. Companies who earn good reputations ideally are rewarded via commerce. The Bill of Rights, the prenumbra of privacy found within the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, that is my scripture. As a current card-carrying member of the libertarian party, my reasons for joining the PBA are to stress the emphasis of social liberalism. To be expected, my main concern with the Bush administration is the eroding of our individual rights and liberties. In the legislative arena, this has occurred largely by way of the Patriot Act and its successor. These are slowly but surely being chipped away at and sections are repealed one by one. This is slow work for the Congress indeed. However, a more immediate and lasting threat to our civil liberties lies in the President's power to appoint federal judges.

    Now I trust, perhaps in blind faith of the nonreligious sort, that all who visit Net Politik achieved rudimentary knowledge of the mechanics of the federal government and its respective three branches whilst in the toilet-training stages. Certainly you'll allow me to state the obvious--that the future holding of the executive branch is the current main concern of the PBA. Legislators are like the fraternity members of the federal government. Executive types of course hold the most concentrated power, yet 'tis so easily checked by Congressional power of the purse and bootstrapping of bills. The judicial branch, however, holds the most power as to our day-to-day lives. Justices are the masters of societal policy, and judicial review can quash a legislative bill in the wink of an elephant's wee eye. And as we saw in the year 2000, Justices even get the tiebreaker vote on what political party controls the executive branch.

    Federal judges are appointed for lifetime terms, which might as well mean "to infinity and beyond." One only need glance towards the withering justices of our highest court, and it is evident that retirement is far past the eligibility age for social security payments. For one fleeting moment, I did have the distinct pleasure of meeting Justice Ginsberg, and the handshake on my end was frought with fear of breaking a few metacarpals. Pretty sure that reckless endangerment of such honorable hands would be disastrous to the career indeed. Needless to say, it's expected that perhaps four justices will be moving into the world of golf carts and floridian nudist colonies. Then up to four new justices will be moving into their places....for a very long stay indeed. Unless a federal judge commits violent felonies or behaves in a most "highly scandalous" manner, i.e., caught wanking off underneath the black robes repeatedly while court is session, removal from the bench is not a common occurrence. Ah you laugh, yes, but a judge in Oklahoma was recently removed for just this reason. (and she digresses).

    The point being, legislators face frequent reevaluation by their constituents at least in theory. At best, the Prez gets eight years to undo his predecessor's doings. However, members of the judicial branch, at least in the federal system, serve for decades. They neither face reelection or initial election...no they are the blessed appointed (or rather annointed as the case may be) ones. Seldom does any public sentiment curb the judicial branches whims. C'mon. Newt and Scalia are perhaps equally hated, and we know who's still standing, albeit through accusations of orgy-loving. Court nominations are serious business, and oft-neglected, with far reaching consequences. In the next installment of the "Lewd Libertarian," I shall attempt to adequately detail and analyze the potential dynamics that will occur with the appointment of Supreme Court justices. Dangerous times indeed.

    posted by Agent Bedhead at 10/15/2004 02:30:00 AM |

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    "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.

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