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
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  • Wonkette
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    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
  • Rox Populi
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  • 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.


    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.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Three simple things Bush could do to get elected

    By donald

    Lord knows I'm not one to give President Bush any pointers on how to better run his campaign, but a few thoughts do come to mind. And as I'm not the only one who's pointed these things out, nothing I'm divulging here will come as a big surprise to anybody. And hey, I'm anything if not helpful.

    President Bush came to power under questionable circumstances. A lot of people think he stole the election. Personally, I don't think he did. Ok, maybe he did. I forgot about Katherine Harris. But more than that, the rest of us were victims of an antiquated electoral process that should have been thrown on the scrap heap of history years ago. Al Gore did win the popular vote after all, in spite of all the shenanigans in Florida. When push came to shove it was the electoral college that screwed us. But that's another topic best left for another day. Today, we're talking about helping the president get his act together. So here it is, three areas where Bush could do a lot to improve his electioneering prowess and just maybe win this election after all.

    First off, why is Bush so intent on inviting only his staunchest supporters to his stump speeches? It's common knowledge that anyone who wants to see Bush speak in person has to sign a loyalty oath promising to vote for the president. Now I always thought that the whole purpose of crisscrossing the country to campaign in swing states was to try and connect with undecided voters. If Bush insists on speaking only to true believers, then why even bother to go out on the campaign trail at all? There are easier ways to keep the base fired up. Like distributing campaign flyers in bible belt states like West Virginia accusing Democrats of wanting to ban the bible.

    Second, it would behoove the president to stop acting like the challenger. Both in the televised debates, and on the campaign trail, you would think that it's Bush who's trying to unseat the incumbent President Kerry. What's that all about? Granted, Bush hasn't much of a record to run on. But as the incumbent, he has to find something to run on. Voters need a reason to reelect a sitting president. Otherwise, they tend to be swayed by the notion that a fresh face and a fresh start would provide them with something better than they already have.

    Sure, Bush is more than willing to point out his "steady leadership" and his determination to "get the terrorists before they get us." But that's a platform of fear, and fear can only take you so far. In lieu of a record, Bush makes statements without feeling the need to explain them. When a questioner at the last debate asked him whether his application of the Patriot Act was infringing on civil liberties, the president responded, "of course not. I hope you don't think that?" This has been the standard response to any challenge against this administration. To simply deny that there's any validity to the question. Case closed.

    It's not so much that Bush is a bad, morally bankrupt president. God knows we've had a lot of those over the years.Richard Nixon anyone? It's that Bush may be the first bad president who truly believes that incompetence is a virtue. When Bush has been asked whether he's made any mistakes, he claims he hasn't. We all know that nobody is perfect, so by implication, the presumption is that Bush's mistakes have actually been good for the country. When the self evident truth of the mess in Iraq is brought to his attention, he announces that if he had to do it over again, he'd handle the Iraq war exactly the same. Facts don't mean anything to this president. He urges everybody to ignore that which is self evident.

    Lastly, this president just isn't very likable. Half the American people can't stand the guy. That's rather amazing for a commander-in-chief in a time of war. Bush promised to unite the country. Instead he divided it. Leaders don't divide their people. Yet this president has consistently seen 50% support as a mandate to screw the other half of the electorate.

    So my advice to the president would be this. Act like you're the incumbent. Show a little humility and tell the truth every now and then, even if it hurts. And speak in terms that bring people together, not divide them. I assume such advice will go unheeded, as I don't think Bush has the capacity to do any of these things. It's just not in the nature of his frat boy mentality to display anything but swagger and contempt for those he doesn't agree with.

    Four more years of President Bush could be ruinous for the country but it will be ruinous for the Republican party. I guess I should be grateful for small favors, except that I know there are some bright people in the Republican party who deserve better. In a two party system it seems that more often than not the good people with innovative ideas are ridden roughshod by intellectually puny leaders who become victims of ideology and captives of their own egos. How these kinds of people float to the top to become leaders is anybody's guess. Maybe they're the ones best able to deceive themselves enough to believe they're better than everybody else, and so are willing to do anything to gain power, no matter how morally dubious the means and no matter how unqualified they really are.

    So George, keep on acting like a spoiled frat boy. Keep making those monkey faces. Maybe three weeks is still enough time for the other half of the electorate to finally realize what the rest of us have known for the past four years. Then again, only one other person from the other half needs to be convinced how unfit for the office of president of the United States Bush really is. I only hope that person doesn't decide to stay home on election day, believing his or her vote doesn't count.

    posted by donald at 10/11/2004 06:14:00 PM |

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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

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