Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

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Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

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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.

    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.

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    Mea Culpa

    By Boileryard Clarke

    I'm not so sure I've returned Nick the service he had been looking for from me when he invited me to contribute to NetPolitik. And I have to admit I haven't been *speaking* here much of late because I have not been quite sure of my role.

    No matter what else has been said the plain fact of the matter is I have more in sympatico with political liberals than I often let on. When I challenge an assumption of my liberal friends it is probably because I somehow feel that I may have already covered that ground, have found the brickwall in the landscape, and have moved on to a different approach. I have this visceral (and therefore probably irrational) reaction when I hear the arguments and rhetoric I myself once happily spewed in the name of social justice that - one way or another - ended up hollow at some point in the proceedings.

    And since when you, my reader friend, hit that brickwall you're not going to remember anyone warned you about it, I don't really feel compelled to sound boring and instructive enough to wag a finger in all my glorious "know-best". Instead, I just break off.

    If anything my dilemma in these times is reconciling what I view as actually a gulf's worth of difference between the "classic liberal" and the modern one.

    I suppose I can get - or we all can get - too caught up in the distinction involved here, but I wonder...

    I hate to sound like a broken record and I have already gotten enough feedback telling me it isn't an issue people want to dwell on... but when I look around and read what people are thinking I have two choices: contribute what I've learned even at the risk of seeming redundant and pointless, or just walking away and letting people stew in their juices a while longer.

    I simply can't reconcile how the emphasis has shifted. Maybe it is a function of age but, as has been pointed out to me here, it isn't as if all my fellows here are just out of college. So it must be something more.

    It seems to me we somehow went from mistrusting government in our lives to wanting big and involved government in our lives. We went from free speech to correct speech. We moved from the value of unfettered personal conscience to personal conscience so long as it acts within an acceptable range. That a certain amount of national self-loathing is required of us before we discern what our national policies should be.

    I keep getting this eerie feeling that we've become a version of the churchlady, only with our prejudices merely inverted from the ones we ran away from, and laughed about.

    The dialog between what is known as the classic liberal and the modern one will define a future path. It may be instructive that some of us have found more refuge amongst paleolibertarians than anywhere else.

    Outside of that I obviously have no idea what I am talking about any longer. But I will say this - if I run into one more modern liberal who has lost all sense of humor I think I'll just walk altogether.

    posted by Boileryard Clarke at 11/20/2004 01:21:00 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

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