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
  • 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
  • Tom Paine
  • Z-Magazine
  • Breaking News

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  • The Guardian (UK)
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  • Think Tanks

  • CEIP
  • The CATO Institute
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  • Blogging Resources

  • Principia Cybernetica
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  • 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.


    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.

    Sunday, October 03, 2004

    The Whistleblower Protection Bill: Another Straw

    By Mick

    Yet another bogus business attitude has emerged from the corporate ex-Execs who are now running the country: their contempt for--and fear of--whistle-blowers.

    A bill to protect Federal employees who blow the whistle on ineptitude or corruption in the govt emerged from the hidey-hole of Senate bill-hell when Republican Olympia Snowe decided to support it. The corporate puppets in the White House promptly attacked the bill, saying--and you'll love this--that Junior needs the authority to to get rid of these people because he can't manage the govt without it.
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - Over strenuous objections from the Bush administration, Congress is moving to increase protections for federal employees who expose fraud, waste and wrongdoing inside the government.

    Lawmakers of both parties say the measures are needed to prevent retaliation against such whistleblowers, who reveal threats to public health, safety and security.

    But the administration says the bill unconstitutionally interferes with the president's ability to control and manage the government.
    (emphasis added)
    Ain't it perfect? Emperor George is openly claiming that people who expose wrong-doing in his Administration are a threat to his ability to manage it. Oops.

    All-in-all, this has been quite a week for the Shrub. First he endorses the move by Publican wackos in the House to outsource terror. Next he gets blown off the stage in the debate that was supposed to be his showpiece, leading to speculation that the next two debates will be called off for fear he will embarrass himself so badly even Laura won't vote for him. And then he follows up that stellar performance with insisting that whistle-blowers endanger his ability to control his own govt.

    An interesting result of all this is that the Mighty Wurlitzer is slowly transitioning into a different orchestration. Junior's already lost George Will on Iraq, Andy Sullivan with the anti-gay thing, Glenn Reynolds has problems with the DEFICIT (it's big enough to deserve caps, I think), the Korner Kids have had an extraordinarily hard time trying to defend his non-military record, and even Rupert Murdoch's Official WH Propaganda Organs, Fox and the NY Post, admitted Georgie had lost the debate Big Time--it was so obvious they didn't even bother to try to spin it.

    I doubt that a concern for workers like Mark Hall and Robert Lindeman (two Border Patrol agents who were disciplined after they disclosed weaknesses in security along the Canadian border) or Teresa Chambers (who 'was dismissed from her job as chief of the United States Park Police after she said the agency did not have enough money or personnel to protect parks and monuments in the Washington area') is going to animate Rocco's Gang much but it's another straw loading this weak camel's back. Junior is out on the campaign trail trying to convince the country that John Kerry is a Madman. It's a good thing he only speaks to tame audiences of mouth-breathing Bush-worshippers because after Thursday nobody else is buying it.

    Everything that Junior is and always has been was on display. A simple thing like a split-screen was all that was necessary to out Georgie's petulant insecurity, short temper, and contemptuous snarl to a waiting world, small portions of which were surprised by them. The only thing that surprised me about his appearance was his utter lack of preparation.

    One of the drawbacks to surrounding yourself wih yes-men and ridiculing any idea or viewpoint that doesn't mirror your own is that you begin to think everybody dismisses that viewpoint as easily as you do, and you stop thinking you have to work to unseat it. Bush seems genuinely to have thought that a wave of his Imperial hand would rend Kerry's arguments into the dust from which they came; it didn't. Some of them he responded to as if he really had never heard them before--an astounding reaction considering they've been bandied about in the rest of the world for three years. It makes one wonder just how cut off this moron really is. I knew it was bad but to sputter and shake and scowl in shock just because Kerry said a few of the things about Allawi that the rest of us have been saying since June? In print and in public?

    That was no performance. He was actually taken aback to discover that Allawi isn't universally loved and applauded by all. He had no response ready--no handy cliche, no devastating pre-digested sound-bite, nothing. He just couldn't believe his ears.

    Even Poppy, famous for his disconnection, was never as hopelessly out-to-lunch as that. But then, Poppy actually read newspapers instead of having them spoon-fed to him in one-graf summaries from which all the controversy and unpleasant disagreements had been thoughtfully removed; Poppy didn't have Fox and CNN reporting whatever Roger Ailes told them to report on behalf of Rupert and twisting all the 'news' his way; Poppy didn't go out campaigning with an organization that never let anyone with an opposing opinion within five miles of him.

    Given all that it's not hard to understand how Junior could support torture outsourcing and smothering whistle-blowers. He doesn't get it. He doesn't get what those stances say about him and his Admin, and, judging by the debate, he doesn't give a damn, either. His ideology is so firmly in charge now that even political considerations are taking a back seat--waaaaaay back. He's out on the stump wowing the already-convinced acolytes who would vote for him if he came onstage and told them he was the Devil Incarnate and he was going to rape all their women and send the rest of them to The Hell of Being Cut-to-Pieces While Hanging Upside Down By Their Testicles ('What a guy!' the Faithful would say admiringly. 'Now that's a Real Man.') while everyone else is so appalled by his decisions they're gagging.

    It's an odd strategy--if that's what it is--this business of officially approving torture and punishing the people who want to make your supposed initiatives work better. Hard to imagine he'll make many converts with a record that includes them. It's a little like Dole expecting support from the center after he came out in favor of poison gas because the corporate contributor who makes it told him to.

    Me, I love the way Junior is handling his campaign. Go for it, I say. He's making all the right moves--for Kerry.

    posted by Mick at 10/03/2004 01:39:00 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

    PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.

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